Monthly Archives: February 2012

Good Morning

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Good Morning

“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” Proverbs 31:25

First, thank you to all of you who offered me your strength in my weakness. I thank God for surrounding me with people who are able to pull me back in when I feel like running away.

I titled this post good morning because my husband gave me a wake-up call. Not the one at 05:00 this morning, a different one, at about 23:00 last night.

Ladies and gentlemen, my voice of reason.

He had been at driving school all day and night learning how to drive the humvees. Cool right? Well, he missed out on my little melt down of discontentment and when he got home, he asked me why I was upset. I told him he already knew why I was upset. He looked at me and said, “well, yeah, but I thought I talked you through that already…”
I looked back at him. “You gave me a very logical list of reasons why I shouldn’t be upset, but that doesn’t mean I’m automatically happy.”
He paced around the living room re-listing the reasons I needed to just chill out and I sat on the couch and nodded in agreement to each one. Then in classic stubborn me fashion, I stood up and said, “Well, it’s making me mad to think about it, so I’m just not going to.” and I walked back to the bedroom and stuffily put on my jammies, slightly slamming the dresser drawers like a child, in an attempt to release some of my tension.
Mitch, knowing better than to poke a ticking time bomb just quietly slipped in to bed and turned over on to his side, and was just going to let me fume. I, still wound up, got out of bed and went to the living room bookshelf and grabbed the Kathy Reichs book I had been engulfed in all week. When I got back to the bedroom, I climbed under the covers, still a little bit mad, and clicked on my book light. That got Mitch’s attention and he turned just his head to face me. “Whatcha readin’?”
“The same thing I’ve been reading all weekend…” I was still feeling moody.
He paused for a minute, somewhat offended by my unnecessary attitude. “Well… I don’t know…but maybe if it’s answers you’re looking for, you should check in the book that has them…”
I closed the book; I was speechless.
Mitch kept looking at me. “I’m not trying to offend you,” he said, “but think about it… How much time have you spent reading that,” he pointed to the book, “versus reading the Good Book?”
I tried to squeak out a reply, “…Y-yeah…” was all I could manage. I knew he was right.
Mitch went on, “And maybe, this is just where you are in your life you know? learning how to wait.” That got me fired up again.
“But for how much longer? I’ve been waiting and being told no for months!”
“I don’t know. It’s not my time. What is the meaning of life?” I looked at him and in my head I called him a dork, and lame, and mentally told him to not ask me such lame philosophical questions so close to midnight. He tried again. “What is your purpose in this life?”
“To serve God,” I answered. “But how am I doing that by doing nothing!?”
“Do you know what we’re gonna be doing in Heaven?”
I thought, what an arrogant question…”No,” I said.
“We’re all just gonna be up there sitting around praising! All the time praising! Not doing anything but worshiping the MAN!”
I squeaked out another humbled, “yeah…” and he continued.
“…So, maybe if you’re wondering what you’re supposed to be doing, you should think about that, and ask the One who can give you the answers you’re looking for. I’m not saying we’ll never have kids. I want you to go to school. I want you to be able to get a job. I love all your ideas! That’s Great- we’ll do them all! But it’s my job to look out for you and I just don’t think that you have your best interest in mind; it’s not the right time. I think you’re a little over emotional right now because you keep being told to wait, and you look around and see other people who aren’t being told that. But it’s alright. We have years. I already made one life changing decision by joining the corps that I’m having to deal with now, and I don’t want to make another one in haste like I did with that one. So just give it time.”
I started to tear up…I couldn’t remember the last time I’d been given that kind of guidance before. He had shown me strength in my time of weakness. I started to cry and thanked God for my husband and his wisdom and leadership. I leaned over to kiss him good night, and missed and got him on the cheek.
“Really? the cheek? I pour out advice and I get a peck on the cheek?”
“…I missed…”
We both giggled and drifted off to sleep. This morning I was reminded of a few scriptures I’d like to share with you. But as always, I want to do it in such a way that you have to go look them up for yourselves. Here goes…

  • John 10:1-5; 9-10; 14-16
  • Jeremiah 29:11 (thanks Easy-Going Organizer 🙂 ) and 33:2-3
  • Galatians 6:9
  • Philippians 1:6; 2:3-4; 3:14-15, 19-21; 4:12-13
  • Ecclesiastes 3:1-8; 4:9-12
  • Isaiah 55:8-9

If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times- this is exactly why I wanted to start this blog- to hold myself accountable, and prevent the anxiety and discontentment that come from straying from what God wants me to do and to be. And right now, He’s just telling me to “be”. Thank you for all of your help, especially you, Mitchell. I love you more than you’ll ever know. Thank you for knowing exactly what I needed to hear.

I Wish…

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“Many women do noble things but you surpass them all.” Proverbs 31:29

Recently I’ve been wanting God to wave his hand over my eyes and suddenly make me aware of my life’s calling.

“But how can you know what you want till you get what you want and you see if you like it?… What I want most of all is to know what I want” –“Cinderella”, Into the Woods

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I don’t think it’s coincidence that I played “Cinderella” in SIC’s production of Into the Woods. I have no idea what I’m supposed to do with my life. It seems that every time I approach a door to open it, God has it locked or slammed shut. I tried going back to school but I couldn’t afford the tuition even with grants and financial aid… We’ve looked at different houses, but they’re all already under contract, or have severe structural damage… AND EVERYONE AROUND ME IS HAVING BABIES!!!!!!! I feel like there’s not much for me to look forward to… Mitch is going to be gone most of the summer, and then off to Japan in September… He’s going to get to see beautiful things and places I’ve never even imagined; experience new culture, and travel. I just feel like I’m at a stand still, stuck in the limbo of not knowing what I’m supposed to do or where I’m supposed to be and my life is just passing me by and I’m not able to do anything to seize opportunities.

I’m so conflicted. I feel like everyone has something to be excited about and I’m just in the audience, watching them live their lives. I want a happy little family of my own, but what if our marriage isn’t ready for that? I want to go back to school, but what do I major in? I want to get a job, but where could I work? What if? What if? What if? Ifs, buts, maybes, ors… I have no concretes! I’m just waiting for God to work something out and I’m feeling completely clueless and a little bit jealous of everyone else who is taking action.

That’s my rant for the day… I’m feeling a little lacking in the surpassing them all category… I want an adventure. I want something to get excited about!

All Creation Cries Out

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“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities- his eternal power and divine nature- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1:20

I’m taking a break from Proverbs 31 today, because I have been smacked in the face by the overwhelming power of the Almighty. Maybe it’s because I’ve been stuck inside with sickness, or maybe it’s because spring is teasing me with her budding leaves and flowers, but I walked out the door this morning to let my dogs go potty, and I was just in awe of the beauty of God’s creation.

The smell of last night’s rain… the smell of grass, newly erupted from the dormant, winter earth… The wind moving the limbs on the trees, dancing through strands of hair, escaped from my ponytail… The cool, crisp air threatening humidity, but being denied by Spring’s reluctance… I love nature. I feel closest to God when I am in a forest, enveloped by the work of his hands; the beauty of his power…

My husband proposed to me at Ferne Clyffe State Park. We had hiked all afternoon up to our favorite spot, just off the beaten path near the small brook that trickled down and eventually became the waterfall. I remember it was early November and the leaves had just been painted a bright, pumpkin orange, and deep crimson. And as the sun began it’s decent behind the trees, we stood watching the gentle water trickle down, down, and away. He knelt just beside a pool of crystal clear water, and diverted my attention to its ripples. Just as I was about to kneel beside him to see the water from his perspective, he pulled a little black velvet box from his jacket pocket. He opened it as I stared in surprise and I looked at the ring, glinting and casting tiny rainbows against his cheek in the sunset. Neither of us spoke as tears welled in our eyes, and smiles played across our faces. I took him in my arms and said, “I will!” He hadn’t even asked me, but he didn’t have to; he knew he didn’t have to. It was understood. And there, surrounded by the handiwork of our God and creator, he placed the ring on my finger, and promised to make me his wife.

After plenty of tears and hugging, we continued our hike toward the summit of the waterfall. It was there that I slipped on a wet, moss-covered rock and got my jeans nice and muddy and put a classic touch of Eden’s clumsiness and lack of grace all over the otherwise perfect day.

I love that memory, and I love that I don’t have to embellish it at all because it truly was that beautiful. Times like those when I’m in the midst of nature, I see a glimpse of what God intended for us in the beginning. I feel his presence and wonder how anyone could have wanted to turn and hide from his awesome power. I felt that again today and my body is longing to see and experience more. I’m feeling the call of the grass, the damp earth, the pavement…it’s time for a run.

Oh, Man!

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“She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks” Proverbs 31:17

I caught the sickness… I have no idea what it is, because the strep test I had done yesterday when I went to the doctor was negative… still waiting on the throat culture results… but at least we know what it isn’t… However, being so dizzy to the point of feeling inebriated, my throat being so swollen it’s difficult to breathe, and not being able to eat because it feels like swallowing broken glass and razor blades has reduced me to a weak-ish lump of pallid flesh wrapped in fleece, lying uselessly on the couch for the past 4 days. I’m not the kind of person to run to the doctor’s office at every sniffle, so I attempted to self-medicate. I learned a few things that I thought might be useful to you.

  1. Mixed berry NyQuil tastes way better than the cherry, and there is menthol in it which soothes your sore throat and opens nasal passages. It’s good stuff
  2. Halls honey lemon throat lozenges are way better than the off brand. If you’re bargain shopping, make sure you check the ingredients and compare them to the name brand stuff. In some cases, there’s a reason the generics are cheaper; they lack in quality.
  3. The generic Vick’s vaporub DOES have all the same active ingredients, in the same quantities, and is $4 cheaper than the name brand for the medium sized jar.
  4. If you feel dizzy and can’t figure out why, chances are it’s related to something in your inner ear throwing off your equilibrium. I had no idea I needed my ears flushed because I hadn’t noticed a difference in my hearing… turns out, I DID need them flushed, and I no longer feel drunk, and my hand-eye coordination is much improved. They recommended I use one part peroxide to one part water to flush them on my own once a month.
  5. Chicken noodle soup DOES in fact make all things better. Not only is it tasty, but it is good for you.
  6. My brother-in-law was right; you can to a certain extent “sweat it out” I did this in two ways: one, layer on the jammies. Dress like it’s 10 below outside and cover up in blankets galore. Two, run a bath as hot as you can stand. When you acclimate to the water, add more hot to it. As the water cools, it draws the toxins from your body. Add some menthol Epsom salt for added benefit.
  7. above all, PREVENT! Vitamin C people, OJ, Dark leafy greens like kale, and pretty much any fruit or veggie that is orange or yellow. Best game plan is to avoid getting sick all together.
  8. Oh, and wash your hands…duh…

Those were just a few helpful hints I thought may be useful in helping you all combat the sickness that’s going around.

But because I’ve been stuck on the couch, all the house work has piled up around me, and now my hubby is back from the field and the only thing on my to do list that I accomplished was buying groceries. 😦 I’m trying not to be too discouraged though because I realize my body probably needed the rest. However, those tasks aren’t going to complete themselves… So I will tackle them next week. Afterall, I feel I have to take advantage of every weekend I get to spend with the husband, so take 2 of the “To-do list” starts next Monday.

Oh- interesting side note- I did get a 3 hole punch to start organizing a command center… I’ll keep you posted on how that goes as well. And another by the way, I’m loving Deja Dead. You should totally read it… It’s set in Montreal, Canada, so there’s quite a bit of French, but I’m muddling through it all right. Just an FYI, if you’re weak-stomached, forensic fiction is not for you…

Bittersweet

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Today’s post is a tribute to my lovely friend Jaymie, who is going to be moving away from the area.

I am blessed to have met such a strong, and independent woman as Jaymie. She’s successfully kept the home fires burning through 2 deployments, gave birth just in time to be evacuated from a hurricane, and was kind enough to reach out to me amidst the chaos she had going on in her own life.

I’ll always remember holding baby Jasper as Jaymie tried on clothes at the mall, and going with her to trade in her vehicle (kudos, another independent woman task!) and coloring pictures of fairies with Marah as we watched Thumbelina. And the coffee! Boy, can that woman make a pot of coffee. 😉

Jaymie, If you read this, just know that I admire your strength and your grace, and that I’m thankful to have met you. You truly are a Proverbs 31 woman, “…clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” (Proverbs 31:25) And even though I knew you only a short time, you were able to show me more about the kind of wife and mother I hope to be some day. May God bless you and your beautiful family wherever you may go. Go; experience and enjoy the crazy adventure God has in store for you, Justin and the kids! And know that you’ll always have a friend/ baby-wrangler in me. 🙂

A Penny Saved…

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A Penny Saved…

“She sees that her trading is profitable…” Proverbs 31:18

… is a new book for me!… I said,… A Penny saved, is a new book for me! 2 new books in this case…

I went grocery shopping today. I had to do our once quad-monthly trip to Sam’s for root beer, stamps, Riddex, and paper products, so this trip was a little more expensive than usual… Other than that, I’m not too disappointed with the shopping trip this week, considering we now have food in our house for the next 2ish weeks.

One of my main plans this week was to buy ingredients for homemade doggie treats.

From left to right, Anna Beth and Cydney Sue

As I mentioned earlier, I had made 2 vet visits in 2 weeks; one for an infection in Cyd’s front passenger side paw, and the other to get both Anna and Cyd on Trifexis before flea, tick, and heart worm season went full swing. So while I was at the office, and the doggies were being well-behaved enough for me to read, I began to browse through the magazine with a Border Collie on the cover. Sure enough, I found an awesome recipe that’s saved me money! My dogs usually get a biscuit or chew before we leave the house as a reminder that we love them, we’ll be back soon, and here-chew-this-and-be-distracted-from-the-fact-that-we’re-leaving. We hadn’t been able to find any kind of economy size box of treats for under $20. So today, I worked some canine culinary magic. Here is a link to the recipe!

Which brings me to the books… As I’m sure you are aware if you read my blogs regularly, I very much enjoy Fox’s television drama series, Bones.” Upon cycling through seasons one and two, I noticed in the credits that one of the episodes was dedicated to a woman named Kathy Reichs… I was curious, and verging on boredom, so I googled her. Turns out, she’s actually a practicing forensic anthropologist/ novelist from North Carolina, who wrote several novels about the fictional forensic anthropologist, Temperance Brennan, the character upon whom the show Bones is based!

We'll see how the show stacks up to the books!

Being an incredible book nerd, I had to check it out. So I went to Amazon.com and looked up the books. The first novel, Deja Dead is a New York Times best seller and was written in 1997. After checking the prices online, I realized it would be cheaper to just go to Barnes & Nobel to pick up the book, free of shipping fees and waiting periods! So I did, and I bought the first two Temperance Brennan novels, Deja Dead, and Death Du Jour. I’m unbelievably excited to dive in to them. I’ve always been a book nerd; Being an English teacher, my uncle on my mom’s side used to get me a new book for Christmas every year as a kid. I remember he got me The Wind in the Willows, one year and Phillip Hall Likes Me, I Reckon, Maybe. If you or your children haven’t read either of these wonderful stories, I recommend them both! My point being, that I’ve been in to books and reading as long as I can remember.

So all of you thrifty mamas, or those of you who want to become thrifty mamas like me, it’s definitely beneficial! Saving money on groceries leaves that little bit of extra cash lying around that you can spend on things you WANT… or things YOU want… or things YOU WANT! like manicures, or chocolates, or books if you’re nerdy like me. 🙂

Adventure!

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I went shopping today. Thats always an adventure, especially at the commissary… it’s always crazy crowded.
Unfortunately, I had a longer list this time than last time, so needless to say the grocery bill was higher.
Good news: I’ve decided to make my own doggie treats. I got the recipe from a magazine in the vet’s office. I’ll post it later 🙂 but that alone will save me a ton of money.
Also, my darling sister has asked for my assistance in helping her establish a monthly budget! Big sis is here to save the day, B! So I will share all of my tips and such with all of you as well.
Those are some things to look forward to in my blog later this week!
More later…

Doors or Walls

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” …but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30

I have a hard time telling God’s doors apart from his walls… They’re like that secret passage way in The Young Frankenstein, behind the book case; always in places I’d never have thought to look for a door. Or like the door to Jack’s private bathroom in his office on 30 Rock; it looks like a part of the wall… non-discriminate, unsuspecting, no shiny door knobs or handles. No clear or distinctive means of letting you know that it’s the door you’re looking for…

That drives me crazy… You’d think as a military wife I would have learned how to patiently wait… Well, I used to pray for patience, but then I realized that patience comes as a result of persevering through suffering and trials… So when you’re wanting patience because your husband is 3,000 or more miles away from home, suffering and trials stop seeming like attractive things to pray for… Instead, I prayed that God would give me perseverance, so that when the crazy trials did inevitably happen, I’d be able to stick it out till they were through.

But that’s where I am now… waiting… Waiting for my husband to come home, waiting for our housing questions to be answered, just…waiting…

I read a Meet Me In The Meadow devotional this morning. I’d like to share it with you:

“God wants you to move through this day with a quiet heart,
An inward assurance that He is in control,
A peaceful certainty that your life is in His hands,
A deep trust in His plan and purposes,
An abiding hope in His promises,
And a thankful disposition toward all that He allows.”

It cited Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God;…” and
Isaiah 14:24, 27, “24 The Lord Almighty has sworn, ‘Surely, as I have purposed, so it will stand’…27 For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him?”

Clearly, the Lord understands my fretful nature…and has given me these scriptures as a means of telling me to chill out and stop backseat driving… I’m not good at literally front seat driving, so Heaven only knows why I would attempt to correct from the backseat…

Either way, the door is for God to open or close, not me. We will end up where He wants us to be because he already has it figured out. I just need to sit back and enjoy the ride… I’m praying that whatever door I’m supposed to walk through or walk away from will be clearly marked, for my fallible human-minded sake. So far I haven’t seen it, but I’ll stay alert.

In other news, I’ve made myself a list of a few projects to work on while the husband is out of the house.

  1. patch holes in walls
  2. paint patched holes in walls
  3. clean the car inside and out (this one is going to be an all-day task)
  4. buy groceries and beat last trip’s savings goal
  5. get rid of the beginnings of this stupid cold that I probably got from Mitch, who has always acted as a carrier and never gets sick himself, but consistently spreads it around…

That’s all I’ve got for today. I’ll keep you posted on how useful my handy-man skills turn out to be. (ha ha, posted! It’s a blog pun!)

Should I Date This House?

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Today was weird…

found out that our lead pastor, Chris is going to be leaving in June. 😦 that’s a bummer. He is a wonderful speaker, and I know he will spiritually grow whatever congregation he leads in the future.

We spent the afternoon looking at houses with a realtor, after a quick Taco Bell stop- BTW- any of you people who think that Taco Bell’s Cheesy potato burrito is delicious, you have never experienced Taco Johns… Hand’s down, TJ’s wins.

Anyway, the housing search simply lead to more questions.

  • What are we qualified for?
  • What kind of house are we looking for?
  • Are we pre-approved?
  • What kind/type of mortgage to we get?
  • Which lender do we choose?
  • Are all these people just trying to rip us off?
  • What do ANY of these real estate terms mean?
  • Why does thinking about housing give me a headache?
  • Why can’t I stop snapping at Mitch even though I’m not really mad at him?

Idk… The whole process is just exhausting… We looked at a house that we loved though… I don’t want to be rash though, so I’ll just say we liked it-liked it… Like, we wanna be more than friends with this house… For a couple of reasons:

  • Forclosure, so it’s selling for 10,000 less than it’s worth, which brings me to point 2:
  • CHEAP
  • Fixer-upper, so we stand to make money in re-sale
  • HUGE YARD
  • Beautiful staircase
  • Wood burning fire place
  •  Useable living space…

It just needs some love… come on, guys, I think I can fix it! I mean, being bank owned, there’s a lot of competition… But I think I’ve got plenty to offer this place. I know I could show it the love it hasn’t seen in a while…paint it’s walls, fix it’s base-board moulding, rip up its ugly pink stair carpet, fix it’s window screens, give it some decent rain gutters, for crying out loud…

I really want to ask this house out… But I have no idea how to do that… I need someone to talk me through it… What’s the first step? How do I make my move? My husband likes the house too… Heck, we sorta wanna marry it… Actually, come to think of it, we more or less just want to adopt it… Yep. This house is more like a sad little puppy stuck at the animal shelter… We want to make it ours, clean it up, and give it to a loving family when our time with it is through…

It needs quite a few repairs, but all of which seem to be cosmetic. Idk, readers…

What do you think? Should I send it a “Check yes or no” note?

Answers, Shmanswers…

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“Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting…” Proverbs 31:30

I feel this verse is extremely appropriate for my rantings today…

So we’ve been renting this house, that by all of today’s construction standards, is ancient… It’s safe to assume it is at LEAST 76 years old, because the owner was born in it… Now, assuming it was built a few years before he was born, that makes it just about…well, ancient…

For all I know, the insulation may have been eaten away by mice or disintegrated years ago… And judging by our electric bill, I don’t doubt that’s true…

Anyway, the lease is coming up soon, and we were exploring our options in renting something a little newer for a comparable cost.

That leads us to the following scenarios:

  1. We move farther in town, take a downsize in house, but upgrade in quality for about $150-$200 more in rent cost
  2. We sacrifice newness and quality for space and yard, and still end up paying $150-$200 more in rent…
  3. We stay where we are with the mice and roaches and 76-year-old plumbing for another 6 months to a year, and maybe our rent will stay the same, maybe it will get hiked up…
  4. We buy a home for between $120,000 and $135,000 and have cheaper monthly payments by about $100-$200, and stay in it for the next 3-5 years until we can break even on selling it and moving back home…

Now, on paper, it looks like our best option now is to buy… Honestly, with interest rates as low as they are now, it looks absolutely stupid on paper to be throwing our money down a 76-year-old, mouse and roach-infested money pit for who knows how long. The concern comes in when you factor in selling a house in this economy… I have no way of knowing for sure what the economy will do in the next 3-5 years, I can only speculate… And everyone in this area who is military keeps whispering, “buy…buy…BUY!!!” in our ears… and everyone back home keeps saying, “rent, rent, rent” Now, if for the next 3-5 years, I can buy a house, be saving $100-$200 a month, and break even in the sale, or quite possibly, make a little money, I’m having a hard time telling myself that’s not the smartest decision.

Plus, having two border collies, which are high agility, high energy dogs, both over thirty pounds makes finding a place under $800/month in rent just short of impossible when it comes to negotiating with renters….

I really have no idea what to do, or where to turn guys…At this point, I’m praying that God will wave his hand over my eyes and make the answer miraculously clear…I’m open to suggestions and even prayers! HELP ME READERS!