Saturday, March 31, 2012

Time to Mow the Grass

It's kind of yucky outside, but my hubby is motivated to clean up the yard anyway. I suppose I should go out and help, but then who would stay inside the nice warm house, in jammies, taking care of getting in my Stampin' Up! order (due today) ordered, drinking coffee, and blogging? Plus, I'm actually feeling rather creative - like finish cleaning up the studio and start re-doing it creative. Or maybe work on our digital wedding album creative. I am definitely NOT in the do the dishes and laundry creative mood. And I don't like working in the yard when it looks like it might rain. I melt in the rain.

Hubby is excited because it's not super hot as he tries to mow. So many things are wrong with that sentence I'm not sure there is room to expose them all, but I'm going to try! Today is the last day of March - and we are the LAST house in the neighborhood to be mowing. In March. Concerned because tomorrow it is legitimately supposed to be 80. In March. Well, technically April. But still.We are the LAST TO MOW OUR GRASS IN MARCH!

The AC has even been mentioned a few times. IN MARCH in Illinois?! Quite possibly we are living in an alternate reality that occurred sometime while we were sleeping. Sadly the grass grows, the laundry and dishes multiply still. That didn't work out as well as it could have, did it?


Thursday, March 29, 2012

What's In Your Hand?

I've re-written this about a thousand times already today. I'm so moved to share something, but I just don't know what. So here's what's in my heart this morning:


  • What's in your hand? Find it, embrace it, use it for the glory of God.
  • Joseph probably muttered a few choice words when he was sold, imprisoned, falsely accused, and returned to prison. Yet he ultimately ended up exactly where God told him he would. 
  • The time is short. Why are we worrying about stupid, petty, indifferent things, when we could be out changing the world?
  • Have you learned not to stand in judgement of others? If not, heads up....if God decides to help you learn, look out - the lesson is NOT FUN! Take it from others who have had to be helped in learning this - read your Bible or look around you - the evidence of the lesson being hard is all around you!
  • Don't forget that the devil is crafty. He was the highest angel in heaven. He can take anything and make it look good because he is also the master deceiver. He's so deceived himself, he still believes he will be victorious, despite God having clearly outlined the opposite. Anyone who can believe his own bad press, even when faced with many failures to look at, probably shouldn't be trusted. His track record is not good - Jesus was born, did rise from the dead, and never did sin. Hello?!? 
  • By the same principle - why do we spend any time listening to the devil? Is there any proof that he actually has managed to accomplish anything? His track record should be what we look at - no what he seems capable of - duh! Now mind you, I'm as guilty of this as anyone.... guilty OFTEN! I don't even remember my OWN advice half the time, let alone remembering what God has to say about it!
  • People will despise you if you stand up for truth because it's just too scary to listen too. Can imagine if preacher's are right about anything they say? 
  • God's plan is perfect. My plan is not. In fact, I'm not sure why I plan at all.... the man plans his steps, but the Lord determines his course. Can I get a 'duh' again?!
That's a lot of stuff. All from a short time in conference with God this morning. That's my new code by the way. No more devotions for me - now I'm always 'in conference'. Sounds more productive. Although, it usually ends in someone productively crying...any guesses as to who?

So working through is apparently the theme of the day. What the result will be who knows. Well, God does, but since he hasn't clued me in, I can't clue you in. I DO know that whatever all this is, He is working it out so that it benefits Him and will be a testimony of His goodness and mercy, vs. a testimony of how accomplished I look. 

To quote one of my best friends: "I wish there was a treasure map with a big X marks the spot, because life feels more like a game of Marco Polo. Just show us the X and we can get moving! Quit with the wandering around already!" Ditto girlfriend. Sadly though, as I quoted this, it occurred to me - we actually DO have the treasure map, the X is clearly defined, we just may prefer wandering around and playing Marco Polo. The children of Israel ended up wandering for 40 years since they couldn't be bothered to stay on the map and make it to the X. Thank goodness they didn't, or else what comfort would we have in OUR lives of wandering! :)






Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Accomplishment!

Nope, I didn't accomplish the laundry.

BUT, I can see the floor of my studio, AND I finished ALL my thank-you notes finally, so into the box they go tomorrow. I also managed to make dinner & dessert (from scratch), finish the dishes, organize the wedding stuff, AND clean off most of the top of my desk in my studio. I also managed to get caught up on grading schoolwork, and motivated my child to begin cleaning her room.

I accomplished something!! No to-do list involved, I just went with the flow. Yippee!! AND now I'm ready for bed!

Laundry Lesson Learned

Ugh! Laundry is by far my least favorite household chore. So, being silly, I put it off until it seems there is a reason to do it....like running out of towels (or pants). And we seem to have a lot of towels. In fact, I'm pretty sure that the large ones my hubby likes account for at least 1 whole load by themselves!

Then there is a teen in the house. And she's a girl. And she likes to dress like a girl. Which means every outfit gets worn during the week, at least for 5 minutes. And she hates doing laundry too.

Then there is a mechanic in the house. How do you get that much stuff on your socks, which are inside your shoes? Thank goodness they have a uniform service and I don't actually have to wash work clothes. However, our vehicles get fixed on day's off, so exactly how do you get grease out of jeans? He's not allowed to 'help' do the laundry.... No, you can not just throw everything into the same hot wash load and expect them to come out looking like they did when they went in. And no, we do not dry everything on hot either! I like some of my sweaters on me, better than on the dogs!

There are only 3 people that live here. Yet we own collectively, 6, yes I said 6, laundry baskets. All of which manage to fill at an alarming rate. Does it secretly mutliply at night while we're sleeping? How come the sock thief leaves me socks, instead of taking them like at everybody else's house? And how come he only leaves me the ones with holes? 

Life has been life the last few weeks, and I apparently failed to stay on top of the laundry. So I've officially learned my lesson: Do not allow all 6 baskets to filled at the same time....or you will never, ever, ever, leave the laundry room. EVER! (And you will run out of hot water!)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tidying Up My Garden

It's been so nice out lately, that we forayed into the yard to make an early attempt to tidy up a bit. While I refuse to remove my winter coverings, just in case of another frost, I did prune back some bushes that won't be hurt and pull some weeds - they grow just fine w/out any help or nurturing. I also checked for early bloomers, stem conditions, plants poking through their winter covers.

In the fall, we rake all the leaves out of the yard and cover the herb garden and all the perennials, so that they are protected from the harsh realities of winter weather up here. Then in the spring, we rake all those leaves up again, and dispose of them, so the plants can breathe in the fresh air, see the sunshine, and warmth and rain can permeate down to their roots.

This past winter was so mild here though, that the plants are confused, and sadly, won't be as strong....they didn't get enough rest over the winter and are already thinking it's time to wake up. Plus, the bugs didn't die off, disease didn't die off, it just wasn't cold enough to kill potential dangers to the plants. All that preparation, and they didn't need it. Yet, I'll do it all again in the fall, because you just never know about next winter

God has really been showing me how we do the same thing. We get all ready for harsh, cold, extreme 'weather'. We do the work to protect ourselves, and then we forget to tidy up when the weather changes. We leave the winter preparations in place, because you just never can tell about frost. But how can we see the warmth of the sun (or Son), experience the rain needed for growth, if we're smothered under a leaf pile? Is it always winter in our lives? Are we always living in fear of frost? Do we ever see summer?

For my life, the 'leaf pile winterizing' has always been the need to be in control, fear, insecurity, inferiority, doubt, life experiences, disappointment, battling along alone sometimes. Some of the pile was created all by myself, with each leaf being expertly placed, just where I thought it was needed. In fact, not some of the pile, most of the pile was my own doing. Some of the pile was created by others, much more scattered about. But the whole pile needs to go! Doesn't matter how it got there, or why, it MUST be removed so the light and air and rain can get to my roots so I can grow!

There is an additional benefit in my plant garden to the leaf piles. The bottom layers will slowly decompose, feeding nutrients into the soil. Not a ton, but some. Sadly, this is evident when we go to rake them up in the spring....soggy, yucky mess of leaves at the very bottom of the pile! Do the leaves in my life decompose and add nutrients, or do they just create a yucky, soggy mess right on my surface? I think I have far more choice in this area than I do with the garden.

If I choose to allow God to be Himself, and use those things to grow me, then I'm a stronger, healthier me. But if I just let them be a big, yucky, soggy mess on my surface then what was the point of 'winterizing'? Is it possible that by getting that yuck out of the way, the lord will rain down His spirit and blessing, cleaning off the yuck, and instead washing the nutrients in?

It's been a less than fun experience tidying up my life, and removing all that yuck and winterizing and all those leaves. Sometimes they fall off the rake, out of the garden cart, blow around. Sometimes I'll think I've got all the top layers raked up, turn around, and there are a few mores leaves I didn't spot. Can you say frustration!! I'm only partially through the yucky part, but am already seeing a difference. Yuck is harder to remove than those top layers. The bottom of the pile....ugh!

I am beginning to see the benefits. I've found a renewed sense of purpose and joy. A renewing of my passions and mission and purpose and faith. I've found God confirming, renewing, redeeming, strengthening, growing, building, adding peace and direction, and sprouting new dreams in my life. That makes it all worthwhile! I'm excited to see what a fully-in-bloom-healthy me looks like!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Studio Time

It is time, I've decided, to clean out the Studio again! There, I've publicly declared it! It won't happen for awhile. Shelves need to be placed in strategic locations in order to house some of the items currently being stored in my poor Studio. I've only got 5 more thank you notes to build so they can finally be sent out. :)

My Studio is my 'inside worship space'. My herb garden is my 'outside worship space'. It's through these two areas I connect with God best....while in the herb garden and while crafting in my studio. With everything that has gone in in the last little while, I desperately need to spend time in one of them....and the herb garden won't really be an option for about 2 more months here in IL.

Now mind you, it's spring, so every room in my house is in some state of 're-claiming' for the upcoming year. We've cleaned up outside some, still deciding on which color to paint the kitchen cabinets, about finished the hallway repainting, hung pictures (still need to get some of the other pics, so I can fill the ALL the frames), etc...

But my studio is mine. It's my retreat. I have this beautiful space designed in my head. My wallet thinks my head is crazy. My hubby probably thinks our wallet is right. It's not like his garage....it smells good and is pretty and the 'junk' looks different.

If I can get my retreat space all clean and tidy and in order, I can actually go on retreat there. And I REALLY need a retreat after the last year. Whew! It's been a busy 1! Wish me luck....retreat here I come!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Change

I think I'm going to change the title of this blog to "My Journey of Renewal". It seems that I spend more time sharing deep thoughts, than actually anything about my home, hobbies, or jobs. :)

Change is a scary thing. Especially if you're a control freak like me. Change disrupts our plans, disrupts our course of action, requires a 'plan B, D, E, F, G, & maybe H', creates a need for discussion and evaluation, forces us to our knees. It can also be an exciting adventure, especially if you're an entrepreneur like me. Change creates opportunity, enthusiasm, new creative pursuits, defining & shaping moments, adventure into the unknown, forcing me to my knees.

So how can any 1 person both fear and embrace change all at once? Carefully. If I'm in control of the changing, then it's a wild adventure full of all my favorite things. But if it's out of my hands, it represents a scary, trust situation. I DON'T LIKE this scenario at all! A lot of time on my knee's!

I constantly re-arranged and re-painted my home in my early 20's as a way of being in control in an out-of-control life. I went through a very rough patch when I was 27, and my way of coping, I colored my hair. In the last 8 years, I've faced down some scary situations....cut my hair, changed the color, added a few tattoos, bought new shoes, re-did some rooms in my house. Anything I could find that was truly within my hands to control, I changed. It gave me a sense of peace believe it or not. Now mind you, with all this change, also came hours of prayer and bible study. Which left me slightly sleep deprived, which meant I battled with my Chronic Fatigue, which left me moody, which led to depression, which led to another room being re-done, or a new project started....which left me slightly sleep deprived. Do you see a pattern here? Rather cyclical don't you think?

Since I don't quit, and hate to fail, I will do what I have to do adapt to any given situation, in order to succeed. I would rather fail having tried, then just up and quit without giving it my all. How do you get anywhere in life when you just give up when it gets hard. To quote a famous 80's hit, "when the going gets tough, the tough get going. When the going gets rough, the tough get rough". This means I must adapt to change, embrace it always as a journey of renewal and growth. An opportunity to do, be, see, experience, something I might otherwise miss out on. Isn't that what adventure is about anyway? And I LOVE adventures!! 


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Struggling On

Isn't it funny how so many people can be going through the same thing, only different? I know, sounds like an oxymoron, kind of, but it's true. Raising teenagers, building strong marriages, figuring out what the next step is, getting the garden in.....sigh, ugh, gag, and really?

I accomplished this miraculous goal of re-doing the entryway, getting pictures up....but the vaulted ceiling still needs to be painted. I'm living w/ new color options in my kitchen......but right now it looks like a coloring book until I figure out what I want. My bunnies are all healthy.....but no new babies and a PILE of chores weekly....and no time for shows. Beautiful weather that begs me to join it just outside......but a day of work inside because it's still to muddy to work in the yard and too early to prune anything back...just in case.....and I have to go to work. Growing in my faith.....but finding it a struggle some days to hang onto what I've already learned. Being ambitious.....but having to rein it in so I can actually accomplish something.

Here comes the sigh again. I had my year mapped out, goals, plans, lack of drama.....slam....my year is a mess, my plans have to be re-planned and melodrama has invaded my home. I HATE MELODRAMA when it's not my own. ;)

And so we keep moving on, struggling to stay afloat in the midst of cloudy days, thanking God for sunshine, warmth, great friends, jobs, a home, enough to meet our needs and some of our wants, and feeling blessed for minor accomplishments throughout the day. :)

At least I know we're all going through the same thing......only different.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Spring

I love the spring. Really, I do. In capital letters - LOVE! I know you're not supposed to use the word 'love' in relation to anything that can't actually love you back, but I LOVE the spring. The birds singing, the smell of blooming flowers and fresh turned dirt, the gentle rains, the picture of new and fresh. the soft colors, the promise of harvest and warmth, the sunshine. It's my favorite time of the year.


I always get a renewed sense of purpose in the spring. That 'I can do it all' feeling. It helps that the days get longer and there's more sunshine and warmth. Every other season just reminds me that I live in a 4 season part of the country. Although this year winter seems to have forgot to visit, which is just as well as it is my least favorite. I've heard I need to move to Hawaii if I want to enjoy spring year round. (Of course I've also heard that I need to be rich to move there and that's not really even on the horizon of possibility.)


A fresh new me is ready for a fresh new spring. Spring Kim meet the future. I was really excited to meet her too. Until, (insert scary music of your choice), my parade was rained out. In a matter of seconds. I had clarity, purpose, open doors, and then....BOOM!.....that was so short lived. :(


The awesome thing about spring rain though is that it causes everything to grow. It makes the best sounds as you're falling asleep. It washes the grime and salt off the roads. 


So my 'spring rain' won't rain out my parade. It will simply encourage it to grow. And no matter what happens, I know growth=fruit and fruit=purpose. 


Besides, by tomorrow, the sun will be back out and spring Kim will be on her way again....until the next BOOM! ;)





Saturday, March 10, 2012

March Madness = March Sadness

It will begin tomorrow....the most dreaded time of the year....March Madness. Sigh.

The big screen, recliner, and snack cabinet will be the only things my husband can see or hear. I am not allowed to share in this momentous time because I'm too vocal......a problem that has been mentioned during many games. "Do you have to yell at the coaches? I'm trying to hear." Not to mention that college basketball doesn't do much for me.

I will have to find something else to do. I've already painted the entry and finished the decorating in there, filled the picture frames, and cleaned most of the rooms. There are always taxes to work on..... sigh.....

I will be a March Madness Widow which makes me sad. :( I will miss you honey.

Unless this means you won't notice all the stuff I will be doing to fill the void....redecorating, shopping, reading, scrapbooking, gardening..........in which case, please enjoy and I'll find you the remote!

I Must Confess - Day 3

Confession time here. Be prepared. Last night, after a fairly emotionally charged day, I snapped at my husband. I shall pause to let that s...