Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Only in my world....

There is this scene in the movie TWILIGHT where the main characters are talking, and Bella (the chick) says, "This isn't real, stuff like this doesn't happen"- and Edward (the vampire boy that is 100 years old) says, "It does in my world". Yeah, I feel you, man.
Only in the Doan world can you go from talking about moving back to town in September so your son can go to the high school he wants to attend, and two weeks later, have your co-renters be moving out, your husband unemployed, "sicker than a mad cow" sick when you haven't had even a bad cold in 5 years, your children all jumping ship for the week to go to the beach with friends, one of your horses already gone and the last two almost sold- and still be expected to go to work and actually smile and care about the people there. I have decided God has a bigger sense of humor than he does any other emotion. Is that blasphemous?

I am being very melodramatic, so forgive me. I just am still feeling a little shell-shocked, but the more I process everything, the more I know God is so amazingly good.
1. We started our whole "Financial Peace" thing, not having any idea how much we would need to have gotten our finances in order. Specimen A in the "Evidence that God is always watching out for you" case. Now, Steve being out of work won't be nearly as hard because we had already nearly halved our overhead by getting rid of a lot of the fluff.
2. We trusted Jordan to make his decision about school last summer, and now that he has, his timing was perfect because Steve and I were in a much better place with our trust in God to allow Jordan this next stage of growth. God has done more in Steve and my heart in the last two months than I can describe. Specimen B- Steve found out he was getting laid off, and after one conversation, instead of being down and depressed, he was encouraged, and totally had faith that this is part of God's great plan for us. (Who is this man, and how did I get blessed to be his wife?) My amazing husband squared his shoulders, shot off some resumes, and keeps on keeping on.
3. We told Stef that we would be moving in the fall, and a week later she up and finds a place and says she's moving this month. A little taken aback, but no joke- the SAME DAY she tells us this, Steve gets laid off. Specimen C that God is amazing- instead of having to cover the full rent here by ourselves for the next 6 months, God made it evidently clear that he wasn't even going to let that be an option. Without Steve working, we can't even afford this place for another month on our own. We obviously need to be moving sooner rather than later, and couldn't have done it if Stef was not moving first. We couldn't leave her out here by herself.
4. I get so sick last Wednesday that I can hardly walk. Specimen D- God knocks me flat instead of letting me run around freaking out on my two days off about all the stress, trying to make plans, fretting and swearing a lot- God tells me to "be still" and know that He is God, and He has got it under control. Hey, did you know the world keeps on turning even if I am out of commission for a couple of days?
5. We had decided to sell the horses because of the costs and the need to have more time taxi-ing the kids around, and I have literally cried every day just thinking about it. In my mind, I have tried to think of ways Steve might let me keep just Iris, talking myself out of the reasons we agreed on that we needed to wait until the kids are gone to get into horses again, etc etc. Specimen E- Steve loses his job, and suddenly, I couldn't give a rip about having horses, I would just like to be able to put food in front of my children. God totally showed me my priorities before I could start whining to Steve until he gave in, which would have totally disrespected him and caused more trouble in the long run.
"Evidence that God is always watching out for you" case- closed. God is innocent. He is never "against" us, He is never hurtful, and He never gives us more than we can bear.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 (This was my verse all last year, but I think I am going to claim it again for 2009- it seems like we are going to need it.)

All being said, the Doan World may be volatile and still in a total uproar, but I know if I keep putting one foot in front of the other, it's all going to be "alright".

Thursday, March 26, 2009


What a difference a new day makes. The fever and chills are gone, and only my throat hurts. It makes everything seem better. With our future move coming up, I was feeling so guilty for making things harder for our dear friends and family, the Clarks, but I finally am remembering why we decided to do this in the first place. All the reasons to get Jordan in the right school, save money, and encourage relationships that build the kingdom of Christ are still valid, and as much as it will be sad and hard, it is so necessary. These last two years have been such a growing time for us, and we are finally coming out of it with a better understanding of the "why"'s and the "what for"'s. Thank you, Jesus, for your unending patience as you watch your people stumbling around, trying to figure life out. :)

As Mercy Me says in their song "Alright"- "ooh ooh, you know it's gonna be alright!"

"For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life...for your heavenly Father knows you need all these things. But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matthew 6:25-33

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Forced to stop.

It's funny how when you start getting ahead of yourself, God finds a way to force you to slow down. I am in a funk right now, feeling frustrated and unsure, scattered in different directions, and God let me get totally knocked down by this cold today, and it's given me time to think. Pray for us if you think of it.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

What a fantastic concert tonight!

Bring me joy, bring me peace,
Bring the chance to be free,
Bring me anything that brings You glory.
And I know there'll be days,
When this life brings me pain,
But if that's what it takes to praise You, Jesus,
bring the rain.

I am yours regardless of the clouds that may loom above
because you are much greater than my pain,
you who made a way for me,
suffering your destiny, so tell me-
whats a little rain?

(Remember to pause the playlist to the right so that you can hear the video.)

Our good friends invited us to a concert at the Coliseum- the Rock and Worship Roadshow, and to be honest, I was pretty "ho-hum" about it. Wow. Am I so glad I went. Not only was the music phenomenal, the message was OUTSTANDING. I need a couple days just to mull over the things that hit my heart tonight. I love those mountain high experiences, and I spend so much time trying to survive, I forget to make the time to be sure to have them on occasion. Tonight was a great recharge, and so needed. I was looking at my kids, just totally rocking out, and I couldn't help but laugh out loud. My God is so good, in spite of me. I keep messing up, and He keeps reminding me- I am on a journey (as MercyMe said), and my destination is secure. Oh, what a wonderful feeling. I won't always be such a spaz, and someday, I will be able to look in Jesus's face and know that I loved Him every day- maybe not always well, but I truly did.
Tonight I thought I was going to a music concert. Instead, I met with God. Wow.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Obama and Biden take the cake.

I couldn't resist sharing these tidbits from a website Steve showed me. I am bound as a Christian to obey the leadership above me, and I will, but I also am bound by my sense of humor to laugh heartily when I see something funny. The YouTube videos that go with these links were VERY funny.
It is a sad day when the title of President of the United States no longer rings true for honor, respect, decorum and propriety, and instead, it becomes synonymous with bashing other great leaders, giving thoughtless gifts and offending special needs children.

10. Just after he's been sworn in by him, the newly-minted Vice President Joe Biden gets the name of Justice John Paul Stephens, "one of the great justices" of the Supreme Court, wrong by calling him "Justice Stewart".
9. Barack Obama jokes about Nancy Reagan having seances in the White House. He later called her to apologize after the AP noted that although she had consulted astrologers, "she did not hold conversations with the dead".
8. Joe Biden forgets the "website number" for the White House internet site designed to show how TARP money is being spent.
7. Barack Obama mixes up the windows and doors at his new home. (This was just funny- not offensive)
6. Joe Biden jokes about Chief Justice John Roberts fluffing the inauguration oath. The president is visibly annoyed with his VP and Biden later apologizes.
5. A Marine One double. First, on his maiden Marine One trip Obama breaches protocol and makes life uncomfortable for an enlisted marine by shaking the serviceman's hand as he's saluting his commander-in-chief. Then -Barack Obama bangs his head as he boards his helicopter. (I have decided that this president has spent way too much time rubbing shoulders with Hollywood celebs and not enough time researching and preparing for his new job. If I did that- refused to spend the time necessary to learn the policies and procedures of Legacy Health Systems, I would end up losing my license and probably get taken to court for malpractice. I should have been a politician!)
4. Joe Biden tells his wife that he had the choice of being either Secretary of State or vice-president - an offer that was news to Obama aides and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when Jill Biden spilled the beans on Oprah. (Liar, liar, pants of fire. They roll way too easy off the tongue, don't they?)
3. Gordon Brown presents the new President with: a pen holder carved from the timbers of HMS Gannett, a sister ship of HMS Resolute; the commissioning certificate of HMS Resolute; and a seven-volume biography of Winston Churchill. In return, the Prime minister gets 25 DVDS, which don't work in Britain. (This one was just sad- how embarrassing for our nation. A world leader who is so inconsiderate. Maybe they were freebies from his Hollywood admirers. I hope they are proud of him now.)
2. Joe Biden tells a former Senate colleague who addresses him as "Mr Vice-President" to "give me a f---ing break". (I am just curious why you aren't hearing these all over the news, as we would have if it was Bush?)
1. The latest one takes the biscuit. Barack Obama jokes about the disabled on the Jay Leno show. Afterward, he calls the head of the Special Olympics to apologize. (Because an apology gets rid of the fact that you mocked them on national television. Anyone else think our president should be praying and preparing for his next work day, rather than chatting it up with Jay Leno? I bet if Obama wants to share his message, he can hold all the press conferences he wants- why pick late night t.v.? Because he wants to be cool, more than he wants to get the job done and help our country move forward? Maybe.)

Here is the link, if you would like to view our "great leaders", live and in color, for yourselves. http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/toby_harnden/blog/2009/03/20/top_10_gaffes_by_barack_obama_and_joe_biden_

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The road to Financial Peace isn't easy!

Thinking about our new life on Mr. Dave Ramsey's budget, and thought I should update. I still think it is one of the best things that has happened to us in the last year. There really is freedom in finally taking control of our money, and it has opened up communication doors Steve and I didn't even know were there. That part has been great, and our marriage has grown in such a neat way.
But as the weeks go by, and the bills pile up, it is so hard to stick to this plan. I liked it better when I could pay for things with credit, or with the "knowledge" of my paycheck at the end of the week, rather than having to wait until it is actually in the bank and each dollar has been spent on paper, the BUDGET. When you can't take care of things on credit anymore, or finance the stuff that you "need", you finally realize how short your paycheck comes every month! I don't know how we did it all these years, just making it up as we went along. It has been a great thing, to be working the plan and moving forward, but it is also really hard too. Each time Steve and I sit down to see what else needs to go, we realize how many luxuries we have called necessities. Even cell phones, pets and fast food. I can justify it all! But if we are honest, we know that these are things that are convenient but not "necessary" for daily life. And when you have dug yourself in a hole and are wanting out, conveniences have got to go!

That is the toughest part for me now, it's not tempting to overspend at Costco, or go out to eat without cash from the "entertainment envelope". What's tough is looking at my life and weeding out the wastes that we still have. If I truly don't want to work full time, can we continue having horses? That is the saddest, most difficult question. The kids have gotten so busy, and as they hit high school I am sure it will get worse, so if I am honest, I know we have these guys for me. I am the crazy horse lady who can't go a day without hugging one and brushing their manes, sniffing their sweet noses and watching them galloping through a pasture- bucking and rearing. It makes my day, and gives me a laugh no matter what else is going on. Has my faith and relationship with Jesus grown enough to fill the gap that living without horses will leave? Steve thinks so, and I know he is right when he says we need to modify our overhead. Our place is too big, our car too expensive, we have three horses for two riders, three dogs, a cat, and a partridge in a pear tree. (No not really, I was just on a role.) Can we suck it up and do the "right" thing, can we "live like no one else now" so that we can "live like no one else for the rest of our lives"? (Dave Ramsey is all about the quotes.) That is the question that plaques me this morning.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Matthew 11:28-30

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I decided I wanted to know more about Mr. Maewyn Succat (our Saint Patrick)on this fun-filled day, and I thought I would share. I didn't even know he was a Roman citizen until now! Ah, the glories of Wikipedia!

Ten Interesting Facts-
(or something for you to read when you are bored at work, cleaning your fingernails and day-dreaming.)

1. He was captured and lived as a slave in Ireland for 6 years, before escaping back to his family in Wales.
2. He had a vision in his twenties that he was to go back and minister to the people of Ireland.
3. He was effective in his evangelism of the pagan culture around him because he truly treated them as equals, not acting superior to the people- but one who came to the people with a very important message.
4. Patrick lacked education, was forced to use translators as he did not know the languages, but had a very contagious heart for God. He led people to Christ through his example- he lived his life the way he would have preached it.
5. General George Washington used the password "Saint Patrick" at his army encampment during the Revolutionary War.
7. In another attempt to "be all things, to all people", Patrick used bonfires to celebrate Easter, as the Irish were used to celebrating their pagan gods with fire. He also put a sun symbol behind the cross (the Celtic cross we see now) to help the people make another connection between their nature-based pagan beliefs, and the one, true God of the Universe.
8. Blue was the color originally associated with honoring Saint Patrick- not green!
9. The story of the three-leafed Shamrock being used to explain the Trinity to people is attributed to Patrick's early teaching to the Irish.
10. People said Patrick was the one who rid Ireland of snakes- but it is much more likely there were never any snakes in that cold, wet country.

What a great piece of history- if it weren't for Catholic saints, what excuse would we have for all our fun holidays?

Monday, March 16, 2009

I think I like definition number 3.

1. a gloomy state of mind, esp. when habitual or prolonged; depression.
2. sober thoughtfulness; pensiveness.
3. Archaic- the condition of having too much black bile, considered in ancient
and medieval medicine to cause gloominess and depression, black bile.

When I say I feel "melancholy" today, I have always meant definition 2, a sense of dissatisfaction, reflection, almost a "dreariness"- pensive. But now that I know I can blame "too much black bile" on the reason for my gloomy feeling, I think I will take that one. That's why my Kirby dog looks the way he does, not because he is awaiting his children's return and is bored stiff in the car, but he has too much black bile in his system and it is depressing him. What a relief!

I have decided that sometimes, the dreary, monotony of life is harder to handle than the dramatic times. It is one thing to look into the face of death and say "I believe in God- save me, Jesus!", but when there is nothing tearing at your soul, no big test, no "need" for God in a safe, average, old day- what then? Am I honestly living like I BELIEVE in God, am I honestly saying and knowing that I NEED rescuing? When the Israelites had the entire Egyptian army behind them, and the parted Red Sea before them, I am sure there was fear, terror, even awe- in their hearts, but there was no doubt in their mind that God was fighting for them, who then, could stand against them? But as the years wore on, the manna kept coming and lost it's flavor, the excitement was gone and God's face was harder to see- did the frustration of boring life, the constant sand and dust in their eyes scare them more than all of Pharaoh's bravado? Was the lack of obvious progress a heavier burden than even death?

I have made so many mistakes, like Joshua- forgotten to inquire of the LORD, and thus been faced with the unfortunate consequences (Joshua chapter 9), and struggled with feelings of depression and wishing for Jesus to come back simply to rid me of myself. But in those moments, there is no doubt in my mind that God is real, He is just as He said He is, and Jesus is with me. It's in the daily grind that I feel myself question, in the "melancholy" of work, and chores, and child rearing, and marriage, and friendship- that I sometimes find myself despairing of hope. Despairing that there is a God who is working for me, that though I might not see it; I am growing, and learning, and becoming more of the daughter He created me to be.
Those are the days that I know I need to keep my focus all the more on the prize- press onward through the "dryness" of the desert, the drudgery of the wilderness.

I guess it boils down to, am I ready to put my "money where my mouth is". If God is working in me, to will and to act according to His "good pleasure" (Phil 2:13), then I too, better get busy and quit my belly-aching! To be prepared and ready for whatever might be in store, to work and strive in the quiet times to be closer with my Lord, that when the time comes, I am equipped and ready to stand- sword blazing and eyes on fire- ready to do battle with the evils of this world and my own sinfulness, and to proclaim that Jesus Christ is the ONE and ONLY worthy thing to live for, that He is the joy and happiness of every day, and that He has "risen, He has risen indeed!" and lives in me, how then can I be melancholy? (I obviously have been spending too much time with fiction books again) I suppose for today, my sword is the toilet brush and my eyes are blazingly blood shot due to the lovely mix of chemicals I use to scrub the tile floors. Onward, Soldier!

"Do all things without grumbling or disputing, so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of LIFE..." Philippians 2:14-16a

Thursday, March 12, 2009

To truly make a difference.

Now that I am back in the Northwest (note I didn't say "STUCK back"), I have been brushing up on my Northwest History, and so have embarked on the Lewis and Clark adventure. Well, actually, I just found a really thorough book at the Camas library about Meriwether Lewis's early years through his tragic death by his own hand, and am really enjoying it. But NOW I am interested in Northwest History in it's entirety!

The way people lived back then seems so totally foreign, and it is fun to imagine what the Columbia River Gorge would have looked like to those first white man's eyes. To think of spending all day in the saddle, as a Virginian plantation owner, or going to balls and everyone actually knowing structured line dances, that education including instruction in dancing, manners, and gentlemanly conduct- what a different world it was 2-3 centuries ago.

It also is hard to imagine good men, with high ideals and christian training, owning and selling slaves, prostituting their slaves, and looking at Indians as "intelligent savages who live thus due to the superstitious religion...only lack proper training", yet treat their slaves as "more than an animal, and less than a man". To admit that we are all hypocrites, and have blind spots- is to admit that we all need Jesus. I wish Meriwether had seen it so, maybe he would have managed to live beyond his 34th year. If he had seen that there was "no one good, no not one" yet in Christ, we are made "holy...pure...perfect...a new creation", he would have been able to reconcile the things he saw with the things he believed, like Clark did.

This entry was beautiful to me:
"This day I completed my thirty first year, and conceived that I had in all human probability now existed about half the period which I am to remain in this Sublunary world. I reflected that I had as yet done but little, very little, indeed, to further the happiness of the human race, or to advance the information of the succeeding generation. I viewed with regret the many hours I have spent in indolence, and now soarly feel the want of that information which those hours would have given me had they been judiciously expended. but since they are past and cannot be recalled, I dash from me the gloomy thought, and resolved in future, to redouble my exertions and at least endeavour to promote those two primary objects of human existence, by giving them the aid of that portion of talents which nature and fortune have bestowed on me: or in future, to live for mankind, as I have heretofore lived for myself." excerpt from Meriwether Lewis's diary, from biography, "Courage"

He very much wanted to make a difference in the world, and I am so glad he and others braved the unknown and discovered this beautiful land I now call home. Because they went first, others could follow, and dreams were made into reality. I can't help but wish that Meriwether's love for humanity could have been a comfort to him, rather than a burden. To put others' feelings and needs before our own sounds like a lofty ideal, but so important that we make it a reality- to live as Jesus did, to give and love as He gave of Himself, and loved us. May we all resolve to "live for (God), as I have heretofore lived for myself."

(The photo is just for nostalgia's sake. My mom just returned home from Vietnam, and it made me "family-sick". This is the absolute best Aunt in the world, Ba-Ba, and I miss her tremendously right now. It's funny, she speaks no English, and I only understand Vietnamese- so our relationship consists of her staring at me, making a comment, pinching my face, me smiling and me saying "yes, no, com beik" for I don't know, and us laughing together. But she is still one of my favorite people, and we love each other. My cousin, her son, is to be married next year, and Steve and I are saving to go back. I would love to hug this sweet woman, and kiss her cheeks again. AND eat her delicious food! She's the best cook I have ever met!)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Catherine, Called Birdy- so wise!

One of the kids novels that tries to depict life in the Middle Ages features a precocious, hilarious girl who is determined not to be "married" off by her "pig" of a father to the highest bidder.
An excerpt- "Dear Diary, The stars and my family align to make my life black and miserable. My mother seeks to make me a fine lady- dumb, docile, and accomplished- so I must take lady-lessons and keep my mouth closed. My father, the toad, conspires to sell me like cheese to some lack-wit seeking a wife.
What makes this clod pole suitor anxious to have me? I am no beauty, being sun-browned and gray-eyed, with poor eyesight and a stubborn disposition.
Corpus bones! He comes to dine with us in two days' time. I plan to cross my eyes and drool in my meat." Karen Cushman

Obviously, the author does a great job giving laughs, but through out the book there are little nuggets of truth, only children are honest enough to speak out loud. One particular entry was really intriguing to me, because it made so much sense. See what you think-
"26th Day of October- My mother makes the best cider in Lincolnshire. She swears it is because she always includes a number of rotten apples in the mix. I was wondering if this could be true of people- if the world needs a few rotten people to make the sweetest mix. This would explain the problem of God allowing evil in the world." Karen Cushman

Would the love and mercy of God taste as sweet if we didn't have the hurt and sorrow of the world?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Needing a "pick me up".

Very confused, conflicted, frustrated at the moment. So I thought I would pass along a little story a missionary friend sent- a great reminder to not measure our success by world standards, and some hilarious photos I got in an email "Why Boys Need Parents". Hope you are having a better week than I am, and if not- hope this gives you the laugh you need.

"One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, "What are you doing?
The youth replied, "throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them back, they'll die."
"Son," the man said, "don't you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can't make a difference!"
After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then smiling at the man, he said-
"I made a difference for that one."

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Pastor's Cat

This was posted as a true story about Mr. Nelson's pastor- and whether it is true or not, it was hilarious!

"Dwight Nelson recently told a true story about the pastor of
his church. He had a kitten that climbed up a tree in his
backyard and then was afraid to come down. The pastor
coaxed, offered warm milk, etc. The kitty would not come down.

The tree was not sturdy enough to climb, so the pastor decided
that if he tied a rope to his car and drove away so that the tree
bent down, he could then reach up and get the kitten.

He did! All the while, checking his progress in the car frequently,
then figured if he went just a little bit further, the tree would be
bent sufficiently for him to reach the kitten. But as he moved a
little further forward, the rope broke.

The tree went "Boing!" and the kitten instantly sailed through the
air--out of sight.

The pastor felt terrible. He walked all over the neighborhood
asking people if they'd seen a little kitten. No. Nobody had
seen a stray kitten. So he prayed, "Lord, I just commit this
kitten to your keeping," and went on about his business.

A few days later he was at the grocery store, and met one
of his church members. He happened to look into her shopping
cart and was amazed to see cat food. Now this woman was a
cat hater and everyone knew it, so he asked her, "Why are you
buying cat food when you hate cats so much?"

She replied, "You won't believe this," and told him how her
little girl had been begging her for a cat, but she kept refusing.
Then a few days before, the child had begged again, so the
Mom finally told her little girl,"Well, if God gives you a cat,
I'll let you keep it."

She told the pastor, "I watched my child go out in the yard,
get on her knees, and ask God for a cat. And really, Pastor,
you won't believe this, but I saw it with my own eyes....
A kitten suddenly came flying out of the blue sky, with its
paws outspread, and landed right in front of her!"

Friday, March 6, 2009

Scout was a genius.

I have the greatest job in the world, but it has been fairly slow the last few months, so when I work the evening shift, I usually have some down time. Well, I finished "To Kill A Mockingbird" again last night, and have decided that Scout was a brilliant little girl. There were so many great ideas in that novel, and so much history. It was really a fun read.
One particular part struck me- when Scout has to sit in on a "ladies luncheon" with her Aunt, she reflects on how baffling women are. Scout, being raised by a father and a big brother, has no recollection of her mother, and their cook, Calpurnia, doesn't have the airs good, Southern women seemed to possess. So Scout really doesn't have much experience with the formal manners of women. A silent exchange happens between her aunt and her dear neighbor, Miss Maudie, and Scout realizes soon she will need to enter this difficult world of women. Scout realizes she is much more comfortable in her father's world, "People like Mr. Heck Tate did not trap you with innocent questions to make fun of you...Ladies seemed to live in faint horror of men, seeming unwilling to approve wholeheartedly of them. But I liked them. There is something about them, no matter how much they cussed and drank and gambled and chewed; no matter how undelectable they were, there was something about them that I instinctively liked....they weren't-...hypocrites". Here the author blends Scout's thoughts with the surrounding conversation, but I couldn't help hanging on to that concept. I realized that I felt that way a lot of the time- slightly confused at the mannerisms and secret thoughts women around me seem to harbor. No wonder my husband is my very best friend. He is so relaxing to be around (when he isn't mercilessly teasing me), and I can count on him to be honest all the time. I always thought that was just because he was my husband- but is it also because it is the very nature of a man?
I like to be alone, and thought that was one reason I don't hang out with a lot of women anymore- my hobbies also make me more isolated unfortunately, the women in my circle don't seem to like to hang out with thousand pound animals and their manure. But last night I realized some of the reason is it is just EASIER to do my own thing. As a kid you can't wait to become part of the adult world, and as a young woman, I wanted to fight for my spot in "society". Now, I really could care less. Is that terrible? I am not on old lady, so shouldn't I be actively ministering to the women around me, rather than feeling like I would rather be with my horses- they make sense to me all the time, whereas most women make no sense, some women make some sense, and I can think of only three women who make sense to me all the time.

I know I am making big generalizations here, but for the most part- I agree with Scout. I need to work harder on relating to women on their playing field, but it is nice to know I am not the only one who finds the world of women difficult to manuever at times. Women are confusing- myself included!
All that being said, I love being a woman, and all the pleasures that come with it as a wife, mother, sister and friend. I just wish we could all be kinder to one another, and more compassionate sometimes. Get rid of the "game" and LOVE each other.
It is a gift from God that I don't have to be married to a woman- I know, that sounds weird, but you know what I mean. There are some days that I think, "God, why did you invent the marriage relationship?", but others where I see the wisdom of God in designing male and female- so totally different in every way, and so totally perfect to meet each other's needs. I am so lucky that my partner in life is the best man I know. He absolutely fits me perfectly, and blesses me in so many ways. Things have been hard, but I wouldn't trade a minute of it. Being married to a real Christian has all the benefits of being able to trust that when things aren't going right, God will work on both of us until we figure it out, plus all the "man-ness" that I love without all the "yuckiness" that some men exemplify. Steve is the best friend, the best joker, the best lover, and the most honest Christian I know. Scout would have loved him.

"Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble." 1Peter 3:8

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Festival of the Nile

Did you know I have the most amazing kids? I am sorry to break it to you, and your kids are great- but Jordan and Jasmine are truly astounding. :)

The kids got through reading "The Golden Goblet" in Literature this last month, and put together a "Festival of the Nile" showcasing the different things they have learned about ancient Egypt, and even a few facts about current Egyptians. It was pretty interesting, but what interested me the most was watching my two kids- home schooled for most of their days- stand up and give two very good presentations to a room full of adults and their peers. They spoke clearly and confidently, and even let a little of their personalities shine through the self-consciousness. It was awesome, and made me think that they really are going to be alright, in spite of my insanity and alternative education.

Jordan has been trying to decide all year if he wants to go to traditional high school next year, and we have always told him the decision is up to him. This is just the first time he has said he might want to go back to school. We are encouraging him to pray and seek God's guidance, but it is hard for me to take my own advice. I am so worried for him- what if he goes back now and it is horrible, or he hates the kids, do we send him to the high school here, do we move back to town so he can go to school with his friends, do we do the full Riverlink program, do we make him stay home? Argh! Very frustrating. I know that God has a wonderful plan and purpose for my son, and I can trust that He will lead us towards that plan- but my nerves overcome me sometimes. I guess that is the downfall of being female- I can be poking someone with 3 inch long needles, telling them what the Sherlock tracking device is for, maintaining sterility and threading a plastic catheter down towards their heart- while at the same time worrying about my son's faith in God and future educational decisions. Baaahhh! Steve always tells me most men don't think like that. How nice that must be!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Love Dare

It's too bad that some days seem to end quickly. Yesterday was a much needed day of refreshment and review- the skies were blue, the air warm, and spending the day with my kids was so perfect. I needed that so much. No matter how much I think I can handle the rude thoughtlessness of some, apparently I can't. I get so bent out of shape about little things, and Sunday I found myself hung up over inconsequentials. It is so difficult for me not to get angry when someone hurts my husband or my children, and in all honesty- I want to let them have it. I can't even tell you how hard it was for me to hold my tongue. I spent most of Monday morning trying to distract myself, and by 9am, God was slowly cooling my spirit- and reminding me what my focus should be on. Ahhhh- relief.

I watched Fireproof, a Christian movie about marriage, last night and the funny thing was, it applied more to my extended family issues than my marriage right now. It was a good reminder of how I should respond to hurt, and how MUCH crap Jesus has taken from me, yet still loves me and provides for me every day. Can I really say that anything He asks me to do is too much?

Very good movie if you haven't seen it. Now I just have to KEEP that focus, it's always so easy to do when I haven't had to talk to anyone yet. :)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Stopped cold again.

Help Me Forgive

When rage and fury overwhelm my heart,
It’s time to look to God’s own Holy Word.
I search the Bible for His good advice;
My will to His commands must be deferred.

In Romans God reveals His love for me;
In all things God works only for my good;
He gives me blessings I can’t understand;
I’d be peaceful if I’d do the things I should.

Jesus forgave so much; why then can’t I?
I want to mold my life after His own.
I pray, I try, but my sinful nature wins;
Lord, help me, I can’t do this thing alone.

In Colossians, I read about the peace of Christ;
Oh, how I long to feel it in my heart.
All I have to do is to forgive,
But Lord, it seems I don’t know where to start.

I need to walk a mile in the other’s shoes;
They’re doing what they think they have to do.
I know some problems are blessings in disguise,
But Lord, sometimes I feel so doggone blue.

Ephesians says "forgive as the Lord forgave you;
Get rid of anger and every form of malice."
I’d love to just let go and release it all,
But upon my heart is a wound that’s become a callus.

I’ll keep praying, trying, Lord, no matter what;
I’m determined to let go and relinquish blame;
Some day, I’ll say, and be truly sincere:
"I forgive it all in Jesus’ precious name."

(Romans 8:28, Colossians 3:13, Ephesians 4:31)

By Joanna Fuchs

Yeah, I know...way too hard sometimes, but totally has to happen.