Thursday, November 8, 2012


I hate the word failure. It makes me cringe. I despise the way it makes me feel & I have enormous wars within myself about what it "makes me" when do [fail] in some way. Society even tries to make light of it when people make a funny mistake or do something simply stupid by saying "major fail" or the like.
I still hate the word.
A few years ago, I started to read the book Failing Forward by John Maxwell and yes: I failed to finish reading it. :-( But what I do remember about it was that people can choose to take failures & label themselves by them ("I am a failure.") OR see them as isolated moments & incidences from which to learn from & grow in.
I find myself very stubbornly still in the first camp, unfortunately. I tell myself that I can do better & will to better in the future.... then I screw up again somehow & my brain does some math: 1 failure + 1 failure + 1 failure = complete failure.
At that point, all I want to do is cry & be held & told that I'm not a failure. :-(
For some reason, this time in my life it seems so easy to get stuck into a hole of catch-up, failing, & burn-out. I really thought I was an organized person. I really thought that I was a good student. But now I'm so scared of not doing 'my best' like I was in cc & Bible college. I've never known how or ever let myself only give "just enough" for a passing grade. It's seriously messing with my head when a subject that would normally excite, engage, & enthrall my attention is stressing me out so much that I want to pull my hair out & quit something for the first time in my life!
The most ridiculous part of it all is that according to my known scores: I am passing.
It was drilled so deep into my brain & heart that "just passing" was completely unacceptable & just as bad as "failing." I don't know how to get this unrealistic (at this specific point in my life) expectation out of my thinking.
Perhaps it's something that I've never thought about praying & releasing to God because it was suppose to be "my work", "my effort", "my achievement." I guess I look back at all my educational pursuits & take all the credit (with the exceptions of when my dad insisted on editing my papers or doing my research). :-/ That's stupid. For all that "knowledge" I really don't use much of it. Whatever I "learned" was simply for finding favor with people that I felt, saw, or was told was important -family, teachers, friends... and somewhere in there I was "honoring God." I will say that I know my quiet times during Bible college are sweet, tender, & emotional memories ...that I find hard to tap into now. they are almost bittersweet. but i didn't learn how to relate with people. i armed myself with knowledge & scripture so much that i became unapproachable, self-righteous, hyper-judgmental, & full of self-pity (or loathing). i feel like i pleased my parents by getting 'their' degrees but failed them as a daughter by forcing their-hands in my desire to get married. i'm afraid to talk to them about certain things because i'm afraid they won't accept me or will fear for my sanity or salvation. i'm afraid to talk to my in-laws because i'm realizing how ungrateful & bitter i probably came across to them in my years of living under their roof on their charity. i am so afraid of opening up to someone new because they will see how much i don't pray or read the Bible any more or trust God & witness to others. i'm afraid of getting close to someone & then letting them down... just like with my siblings. one of them is battling depression now. :-( what do i have to offer anyone? I use to sing & dance. I use to create & plan. I use to explore & serve. I use to praise, worship, & have joy.
what happened?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

New Month

I love the Fall! "Autumn" If I had another girl I just might name her Autumn… or perhaps that will be the name of my future horse! I love the month of September, too. well, love & hate. it's the start of school. no explanation needed there. it's the end of summer & beginning of autumn. summer is fun for outdoors activities, but it's almost an expectation that you will be outdoors all the time. in autumn, it's oftentimes warm enough to be outside, but more than acceptable to remain indoors with a good book or cup of tea. i guess i'm more of a homebody that i previously thought! it's my birthday & anniversary month. it's the beginning of life groups @ church, new gym schedules, & updated library events. The colors, the smells, the views, the weather, the social atmosphere, the types of food being harvested, the decor, the clothes, the warmth! Yes, I love this time of the year!

Monday, August 27, 2012

End of the month

It's the last week of the month, I found a different outlet for my semi-daily journal entries. I'll keep using that for the upkeep of my journaling skills, but here will be summaries of thoughts, ideas, "big" stories, & the like.
I realized that I somewhat petered off on my journaling consistency by the third week- with only a few sentences just to show something on the overall calendar. I also realized that the actual accounts were usually in 3 to 4 day chunks, unless I got so busy (like this last weekend) that each day simply got one line.
Now this is the first week of me going back to school. I will hopefully get together a whole packet of things for the girls to do when I have to study or when James will be in charge of watching them. It's been a whirl-wind of a month, but I've learned a lot and am ready for the "season of learning" -Autumn. Time for rain, turning leaves, harvest time, new school supplies, & extra layers of clothes. And especially the colors! Gold, red, orange, yellow, & brown.

Monday, August 6, 2012

New Week

It is Monday. I skipped writing on Sunday as I chose to make it a day of rest.
Rather than try to remember & relay all the specific details of two days, I will simply mention that the Drill weekend went as all the previous ones did -uneventful & with some amount of injustice (albeit less this time) received.  I babysat yet another neighbor-girlfriend's kids for their date night (my complete & total choice) which allowed my girls no end of fun & learning to interact with other people. For the most part, it is really just letting them play with minimal interference from myself. I make sure they are fed & concluded the meal with a movie. Luckily, the guest selected movies that my girls were either unfamiliar with or absolutely loved. My youngest uncharacteristically wet herself, stripped (with the guests there), & proceeded to color herself with markers. Quite flustered & a litte more than irritated, brought her immediately up for a bath. Saturday night even gave me a better idea of what it would be like if I had 4 kids with differing personalities.  Their parents picked them up late & my hubby decided to reach "level 50" on his online LotR character. I on the other hand turned in early after finishing up a light beer.
Sunday morning I woke up feeling heavy & groggy. I slept well (thanks to the beer) but could just barely pull myself up & clear my head to shower with my hubby as he rushed to get ready for his last Drill day. As soon as he was off (I finally remembered to make Banana Muffins with the girls on Saturday morning) with breakfast to go with his coffee, I crashed back into bed & got a few more moments of sleep before both of the kiddos came & joined me. Once attempted sleep became fruitless, we got up watched The Lion King, ate, bathed my oldest, & quickly dressed for church. We made it in pretty good time & I even got a compliment on the behavior of my daughters in their 3's&4's Sunday school class. The message was on a particularly difficult passage (Luke 16) but didn't fail to give life & a powerful reminder to be a good steward of all that the Lord has blessed me with in this life. I wish my husband had been there, but in some ways, I was almost better able to focus without his physical presence to distract me.
As I mentioned earlier, we really just used Sunday to rest & relax. I finished Dracula. We napped; I did light cleaning; we "loafed." Selah seems to be going through a "phase" I think I will call Preschool PMS. I'm not sure what is going on in her little head, but after her Daddy returned from concluding his Drill weekend, everything about her usual calm, "big-girl" attitude & mentality went down the drain. She soiled her clothes so many times in so many different places around the house that I am still trying to find all of them! After soiling her clothes, she would strip down naked until her sister would come to notify me. She also continued to draw on herself, toys, & furniture! My husband was finishing a Nexflix movie while I had begun the task of sorting all the paperwork buildup on his desk from the summer. I was rather disheartened as she had been doing so well for almost a full month!
We had baked potatoes with shredded cheese, baked broccoli, & I baked some bacon to dice & top the potatoes. I returned to finish up the filing in the office, but was constantly interrupted by the girls & the fact that my husband had pretty much given up on the dull task. It all came to a head when I started upstairs & found wet poop streaks on the tile floor of our entryway!!! After a hot wash down, discipline with lecture, new clothes, & clean up, our youngest was sadly & immediately sent to bed. Shortly later, I followed up in getting the older child (normally the "trouble-maker", but pleasantly complacent) dress & ready for bed, too. I laid by both just a bit longer... wondering if my youngest was acting up because of all the traffic that had been going on in her home -she can be quite the introvert. With her dad gone, new kids over every evening, & late bedtimes she was probably just needing some extra attention. My oldest thrives on action, people, & activities to keep her constantly occupied. She also does a wonderful job of being an "open book" about her emotions, mind, & physical state. Her little sister, not so much. She is much more of an observer, reserved, & easily distracted ...unless of course her mind does get made up & she iron-grips onto the completion/acceptance/permission of that decision. It's in those moments that the combination of stubbornness & strong-will of her 2 first-born parents are manifested in all their terrifying & intense realities.
Back to the day's events. Once I was convince the two of them were not getting up, we decided to watch Leverage (another couple favorite of ours). Lots of fun & good laughter had there! After it finished, I headed to bed while my husband returned to his online game.
I guess I have to mention that I started a new game, for my brother Justin's sake, called Dragonvale. It's slightly entertaining & pretty simple but I have been tending to it off & on the last 2 days. :-p

Saturday, August 4, 2012


I doubt that anyone wants to read such droll entries about my life, but I am finding it a much more satisfying & gratifying way to fill the "lulling" moments of my day. It seems to be fitting in later & later in the day, but I see it as something to "look forward to" and thus getting through my household tasks earlier & earlier in the day. I've also found myself using social media (mostly Facebook) less I'd hate to keep including it in my "daily happenings." :-p
I also keep wondering if it has any helpful aspect towards my overall memory, journal blogging that is .... forcing me to recall even mediocre moments of the day before. I have yet to include any dialogue or even conversations, but perhaps that will come with time & practice? surely there are things said, read, or heard which are worth recording & remembering each day?! I shutter at the the wastefulness of days gone by with nothing to remember but actions. Language & words, conversation & literature are quite important in legacy making & character guiding. I do believe that "actions speak louder than words" but even the Lord gave us His Words to study & treasure in our hearts.
On that note, I just want to remark at the surprising amount of references to God, His Words, Heaven, & Christ that are mentioned in Dracula! So much of the despair, the actual tragedy, the hunt, the chase, & ultimate climax/conclusion of the story hinges on the religious beliefs of those intimately involved. And, oh my goodness! Mina Harker is a new fictional heroine to me.... There is so much honor, purpose, & righteous struggle in this classic & original tale regarding vampires than the flighty, emotionally-overwrought stories of my current culture. (Within Dracula) Vampires are to be properly feared, not infatuated with; pitied, not envied as a way "out" of morally bound humanity, & horrifically but rightfully freed from their demonic oppression & possession because of their horrific deeds for their selfish, base survival.
But then again, I am a "happily-ever-after" sort of person.... so I won't judge others who do like the current versions & fascinations of present-day vampires. ...I'll just be ever bewildered & "creeped out" about said infatuations. ;-)


Yesterday was one of those dull days that could make for quite a boring entry. Nonetheless, here I go.
I woke up to my alarm @ 6AM but left my husband to wake up & get going to his Drill. For some reason, I am getting this morning & yesterday quite confused. I'm pretty sure that he overslept & I rushed about emptying his car of the carseats & various paperwork that needed to be refiled. Both girls were still sleeping when he finally departed.  My oldest awoke & we sat cuddling in a sun-bathed kitchen chair. Rather than speed my way through what I assumed was going to be a long day, I opted to simply enjoy my joyful 4 year old's presence by gently combing through her "bed-head" hair & gleaning whatever thoughts came to her lips. It was a tender few moments & one I hope she will not too soon forget. The "baby" woke up shortly after & I tried to cuddle too, but she was hungry & the oldest wanted to get dressed.
The rest of the day really did pass with me mostly cleaning (lots of vacuuming), getting the girls to help me clean, them playing on the deck & in their room, folding laundry, having lunch, & all the while, me attentively listening to the audio book of Dracula.  It is the last aspect that I think makes yesterday such a blur. The house is cleaner, the kids were dressed, fed, entertained, & tasks were done... but my mind was truly on the narrative & following such an engrossing classic story. I do know that I had to put it temporarily away about 3PM for I had agreed to babysit my neighbor-girlfriend's children that afternoon-evening. I got my kiddos down for their naps & re-confirmed my services to my neighbor via text. Almost a full half hour after their expected time, my girls woke up & their family arrived apologizing & explaining that their little boy had fallen down some steps just as they were leaving. Assuring that he was alright & returning across the street for some footwear for their pj-wearing child, they finally headed out for some couple time at the local mall.
I gave the kids all the freedom to do a number of activities while I finished folding a clean laundry load. I put dinner in & on the oven (Shoyu Chicken, white rice, & baked broccoli) & we then took our German Shepherd out for some fetch in at the neighborhood dog park.  After each kids had their turn throwing her toys, we returned to our house for more play while I got dinner served. Dinner was mostly a success & after the promise of ice cream for anyone who finished their whole plate, I helped them to select a movie. My territorial (oldest) child pouted much after the eldest guest selected Bolt for the evening entertainment. The ice cream was to be served after the movie. Within 10 minutes of the actual movie beginning, all the children were quietly enraptured in the story & I had time to clean up the kitchen, put away clothes, & while continuing Dracula.
My uniformed husband returned home, joined me for dinner, & went upstairs to change into "civi's" (civilian clothes). Bolt was reunited with Penny (the conclusion of the movie) & the ice cream was served. My husband went down to his office while I played some of the special features of the Blu-ray for the kids. Once bordem set in, I had the kids read books until their parents returned. The couple returned, their kids said their farewells, & we worked to get our munchkins to bed, too.
After the bedtime rituals & countless "goodnights", my husband selected a Netflix movie for the evening. I missed most of the first 20 minutes helping the girls "go potty", getting the old crib mattress out for the "scared" little one who had decided something was wrong with her new bed, reprimanding, & essentially issuing threats of punishment for further bedtime rule breakage. For missing so much, my husband & I still enjoyed Immortals, giving it a good rating & then heading to bed.

Friday, August 3, 2012


My husband has to be gone for most of the weekend (including Friday) but he took an intentional day off work yesterday to make sure that I had some key things that I've been needing for a while now. We've moved around so much in our almost 6 years of marriage, but I've managed to retain the same driver's license the entire time (even up to a year longer than suppose to BECAUSE of all our moving & the fact that a military ID can often take the place of the usual "photo ID" requirements). I finally relinquished ownership of that well-used piece of plastic for a newer, updated one yesterday! =) After finishing my entry for Wednesday on Thursday morning (which I'm finding is more realistic & helpful than doing the night of the actual day), I got up & did my best to get my husband awake & ready for the day. I understood that this was his only day to "sleep in" because of his weekend duties, but I've yet to find a way to deal with the nervous energy that I build up when watching the sun climb higher in the sky & another mealtime skips by & I still feel unproductive as I wait.  So I wrote 2 blog entries. :-p lol.
We finally showered & ate some leftover pancakes while I cleaned up the kitchen again & discussed the specific errands we had to do for the day. Drivers' license (since I wasn't the only one of the two of us who hadn't switched over to our new state of residence), title & tag registration of my vehicle, a regulation appropriate haircut, & desperately needed dishwasher detergent. Our new state has a TON of regulations & this wasn't our first attempt at the licenses. Nay! This was my FOURTH. I truly had been living the "3 strikes" you're out mentality, but this time we resolved to try a different location to see if it yielded better results. Before leaving, it took us about 2 hours of re-reviewing their requirements & gathering the needed paperwork like a pygmy trying to find water during the dry season -and I'm a pretty decent organizer when it comes to paperwork!  As I mentioned earlier: it finally worked! :-D I think I deserve some sort of "well-prepared Mommy" award for not only keeping my girls relatively quiet but happily occupied AND fed during our almost 4 hour ordeal at the actual DMV! Praising the Lord even now that we had friendly, helpful, & even fun clerks to get what we needed! The car registering didn't happen but we will save $$ because of the advice of the clerk James got. :-)
We returned to the car all pretty hungry & looked for something we could all agree on in an area we didn't know very well. Remember, we went a little bit out of our way to avoid the other DMV that had given so much grief. ;-) An Old Country Buffet met our needs & gave us all some time to relax & unwind... so much so, that we had to keep reminding each other that is wasn't actually Saturday. lol! Suddenly, at least one very full school bus, of what we decided was a high school sports camp, of teenagers began flooding our peaceful, "off-hour" lunch/dinner, so we got back in our car to continue our errands.
We realized that time was getting short (I thought of all the "sleeping in" time that had eaten up so much of the day) & that it would be better to drop the kids & I at home while my husband received his "regulation" haircut. Once home, I chatted with my neighbor-friend that had been texting us about trading date-nights until her landlord arrived for a scheduled visit. Once in the house, I cleaned up a bit while the girls watched some tv. Daddy returned with 3 bags of cherries & the same desire as I did when he dropped us off -to just unwind and zone-out. :-) We settled down for some family viewing time with Wes & Travis from Common Law. Literally half way into the show, the husband remarked that Costco was closing in 30 mins.  Rather than doing it by myself or staying at home with the kiddos, I told him that we could make it happen: we would go together. We immediately got up, got into the car, happily sang to Lion King & Tangled on the way, & enjoyed weaving our way through the quickly emptying aisles of Costco. We'd almost finished our trip when we remembered the dishwasher detergent! hehe... For simply recording our day, I feel it is important to interject how much I love shopping as a family. Yes, we do have some rotten ones, but for the most part I love the random spontaneity & jovial teasing from my husband, the enthusiastic input & "revelations" or "announcements" from our oldest, & the giggles or cute comments from our littlest. It fills my heart with so much joy to watch father & daughters playfully interact and to show off the love & joy that my husband & I have in each other to our daughters & the "world." :-)
Barely 5 minutes after leaving the parking lot, the girls were asleep & the hubby found a Disney reggae album on Mog that we listened to for 10 minutes in our driveway. The bathroom began "calling" me so we brought the girls up to their room, changed them into pjs, returned to the car to unload the groceries, put them away (I finally relieved myself), & we sat down again to finish our tv show. Once finished, we talked a bit about the busy day & headed to bed.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

New ideas, More questions

I am thinking that this diary entering might properly guilt me into better planning my days or at the very least cut-down on my more lazy moments.

As to my thoughts, right now I am wrestling through the idea of going back to school to get a Masters in Nursing. Despite having an AA & a BA, neither are very applicable in finding a job that would support me if -God forbid- something were to happen to my husband or his ability to provide for us. I think one of the biggest obstacles for me right now is the reality that pursuing more school now means not having more kids for quite a while. It saddens me. I want more kids. Not like my mother-in-law or sister-in-law... just one or two more. My heart just isn't ready to completely close that door. Even with an accelerated studies track, both girls will be well into elementary school by the time we could even "try" again. It wouldn't be right after the degree was achieved either -then there's the looking-for-an-actual job. Another aspect that I cringe at. Once the degree is in hand, the job secured -how in the world do you fit in the joy of pregnancy & enjoyment of infancy with all its beautiful, quickly passing milestones... milestones I wish I had been more available to enjoy in my last pregnancy... I want the freedom to be pregnant without having my mother or mother-in-law right at hand... In my mind, I suppose it's like the ultimate proof of motherhood & being a full-grown woman, to go through a pregnancy not feeling like I'm still just a child myself. But I know that it's exhausting. I know that it is taxing... I suppose that is why I want to have them now as I am younger/stronger & not as I am older in years.
Then I have the fear that I'm just not capable of rearing more than 2 kids right now... I question if I am adequately raising the ones I already have.  I want to "try" for a boy. I truly did like the round 4-some of my siblings & I as we were growing up. We are all 2-3 years apart...
Should I be pursuing the furthering of my own personal interests & showing my girls that I too can & need to learn? Should I be sacrificing myself to the commitment to rear & raise more God-fearing people for this world?
I suppose I have an answer in just asking that last question. Perhaps for now, the ones that I am blessed with need more focus & intentional training in the Lord, His word, & "the way in which they should go." Perhaps they can learn more from my sacrifice of a bigger family & dedication to the challenge of using & refining the blessings & giftings given to us from the Lord. Undoubtably, I have been given the heart of a nurse. The touch of a comforter. The tender spirit of one who feels & see the pain of others & longs to ease & end it. Despite it's difficulty & demanding schedule, I would probably find much joy & fulfillment in the occupation & career of a nurse.
This will be my resolve for now. I will be taking 2 or 3 classes to refresh my student-mind & re-open the education door to this new path & journey I thought I had given up before I graduated from college. It will be hard. It will be challenging. It will be intense & laden with many trials. It will include math. It will require much & probably not give return immediately. It will probably end up being like a child, requiring much sacrifice, personal "deaths", energy, time, & money. But I already know that it's result will be a lifetime of constant reward, knowing that I am using the brain, body, & spirit granted to me....
I am scared. I am hesitant. I am doubtful. I am fearful of this new path. But the more I think through it: it is good. I have a loving, encouraging, extremely helpful husband who supports me & loves me. I have strong, independent daughters who can already take care of themselves in so many ways.... I suppose this really is the better time in life to pursue such a life-altering choice. Not later...

New Month, New Ideas

So, it is a new month of this year & I've been listening to more books, spending more time with friends, keeping up with household tasks more to my liking, teaching my kiddos, & pursuing the possibility of my return to formal education. The current book that I am listening to (thanks to audible & my husband) is a compilation of peoples' journal & diary entries. One character in particular, Mina Hartka, actual writes that it's a good way to keep the mind sharp & the memory strong... as well as strengthen her writing skills. Its seems harmless enough & simple enough since all she does is report what happend in her day. It's a good way to finish the day & fill the downtimes in the evening. After all this resolve to start on a new day, I fell asleep before I entered a word. Thankfully, my hubby is not a morning person, so I can "catch up" on my new task till he wakes more calmly (our daughter just knocked, causing our dog to rapidly bark which jostled my husband straight up & out of a sound sleep).

My new task will be to simply record my/our goings on each day.
Yesterday, I had intended to attend my gym's 5:30AM class as I had on Tuesday, but failed to set my alarm the night before & was awakened as normal to the construction going on just outside our bedroom door around 7AM.  The hubby & I showered (I forgot the towels), discussed our plans for the day while dressing, then greeted our girls. James was late & had to skip breakfast while I got the girls cereal, began washing dishes from the night before, & eating a banana. I continued to listen to my audio book while I tidied up. After a spat of disagreement, I got the girls in my car & went to the gym to take one of my favorite classes, a combination of yoga & Pilates they call Centergy. The girls stay in a daycare with other kids whose mom's are in the class or using the other equipment offered by the gym. It felt so good to stretch out after lifting weights earlier in the week. I followed up on proper form with the instructor & went to retrieve the girls. After another pleading to play a bit longer, I decided to run on the treadmill for 15min. before retrieving forgotten workout clothes for hubby. More resistance to leaving their playtime, we got the appropriate clothes (& I some Cheerios & almonds to stave off hunger) & drove to their Daddy's place of work & waited for 5 minutes till we realized that we had been waiting in the same parking lot @ different places. =)
Once back home, we made ham & cheese quesadillas for lunch, the girls snacking on applesauce with cinnamon first. I turned on the recording of the Olympics 2012 recap of Tuesday to see the Fabulous Five in each of their events & culminate in their winning the Gold as a team! Such a thrilling thing to see people at their best physicality, working together, & being rewarded before all. Both girls helped in spreading the cheeses for their quesadillas & I allowed them to eat on their new little Costco table in the living room to watch the Olympics with me. My oldest finished all her food, while I worked on my half burnt one, & the youngest played with hers. After ultimately dropping the slices I cut to make it easier for her, my youngest gave up & I bagged them for later. I had just decided that a nap was needed for attitudes & sanity's sake when their was a knock on the door. The girls' friend wanted to know if they could come out to play since they had been locked out of their house temporarily. I allowed my youngest out & explained that the older sister was in time out. With instructions that their mom needed to keep an out for my littlest was my only instruction, I returned to the couch with my oldest pouting on my lap. We watched Team USA receive their medals between Russia & China! USA women's gymnastics teams haven't won Gold since 1996 with the Fantastic Seven, including Kerri Strugg, the very team who secured my love for the Olympic games as a child! Not 10min. later, my neighbor-friend rang the doorbell & was holding my baby with a bloody knee & scratched forehead. Nothing big, but it gave me a chance to hear her plight of being locked out of her house while her night-shift-working hubby was sound asleep on the top floor of their 3-story town home. After an hour of fruitless attempts, she & her 3 kiddos were hot, tired, & just a hint of frustrated. My heart breaks at suffering of any kind and instantly responds especially if solutions or relief can be achieved immediately by myself. I got my girls down for naps & welcomed them inside. I got a sleeping spot prepared for her youngest, in our room. I restarted the Olympics recording for them while I got laundry started & we folded the first load together. I did dishes, turned over more laundry, & chatted off and on until our kiddos woke up & her husband finally woke up around 5ish.  My hubby called to let me know he was off work & headed to his gym. I started to prepare dinner while my girls watched MouseTrap. After getting out all the ingredients for green, chicken, Thai curry, I realized that I had no coconut milk & prepared spagetti with tomato sauce for the girls & I. My hubby had leftover spiced pork tenderloin & scalloped potatoes. We watched Covert Affairs & then got into a discussion about President Obama, Mitt Romney, & the upcoming election. I eventually lost my cool & said we needed to get the girls to bed. I sat on the couch to cool down while my husband tucked them in, prayed with them, & waited until I joined them. We exchanged our ritualistic "hugs & kisses" & settled down beside my littlest for a few tracks on their well-loved, over-used Loving Lullabies CD & my hubby with our oldest. We got up, said goodnights & returned downstairs to the couch to continue our political discussion after my apologies for loosing control. We got weary of the topic & made some nachos. Once the cheeses were melted, he took his share downstair to his office where we talked about workouts, sore muscles, bills, & his current hobby -Lord of the Rings Online game. I applied some cream medication to the dark skin spots on his chest & back, followed up with a massage of his tender & sore muscles. I rotated the last clean but damp load of laundry to the dryer & headed upstairs for bed. Once in my room, I settled down to listen once again to my audio book until I realized that an entire chapter had passed & I had fallen asleep. I put everything away & intentionally returned to sleep before my hubby also climbed into bed later.

Friday, June 8, 2012


During a family walk last night, my husband asked me if it bothered me at all that I didn't have any real "marketable skills." While, yes, I do have 2 degrees (AA & BA), my work history is small & limited. I really haven't shown any initiative or even interest in finding work... Lord forbidding, if I were suddenly left with 2 little girls to take care of on my own, I honestly have no "contingency plan" other than returning to family. While I know either side would be more than willing to help, at almost 30 yrs. of age & two degrees, I ought to be able to at least get something before our life-insurance would run out.  I only ever had 3 ambitions in childhood: overseas missionary, wife&mother, & nursing. At this point, leaving the country on my own with 2 little girls is really rather foolish if not impossible. I would probably remarry but I can't count on that happening or wanting it to happen depending on the circumstances. And at this point, starting a very time-consuming, physically-demanding career is not what our family needs right now.  
What I do need is something to jump-start my desire to learn again. While I love my family, I really get bored of only looking forward to learning about new ways to feed, clothe, wash, & entertain my children. SO much time really just becomes tedious & unproductively repetitious. "Why bother washing the clothes  I just folded yesterday again today?" "I just emptied the dishwasher of these dishes this morning..." "What did I do today? oh, vacuum the same strip of carpet from 2 days ago." Don't get me wrong, I do my household duites, but I really have NOTHING new from day to day. I interact with the same 3 people from morning till bedtime, with the occasional neighbor or two. I work out regularly with no other reason than a few hours away from my kids & to "keep up" with my husband. I have no friends at church, no ministry to pour time or energy or imagination into. I read 2 monthly magazines & watch tv series with my hubby for entertainment. I have no outlet to sing, dance, create, or play music. I live for "Date Night" but never seem to have anything worthwhile to share or bring for conversation. I really have nothing to look forward to or to use my quickly "rusting" skills, abilities, & talents. 
In short, I need to find work. It is good to work. Depending on what I find, I can meet new people, learn new skills, get better at skill I have, and be an overall productive, contributing member of this family. I might get to use my gifts & talents, but more importantly, I can actually interact with people of differing, conflicting, or no faith.  I can learn to actually "be a friend" & "be Jesus Christ" to others through quality work, perseverance, godly behavior, willing attitude, etc.  Times with family will be more valuable & (hopefully) better planned & utilized. 
I hate being a sloth. And I came to the ugly realization that I have been one for a while now. :-p Hoping to change this in the next month or so (after family comes to visit & James' schedule isn't so brimming with trainings, conferences, & travel.) Prayers MUCH appreciated & needed! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Jesus Christ

Who is He?

He was a man born of a virgin 2000+ years ago in a little town of Bethlehem in Israel.  He was raised by a carpenter & mother in Egypt until the Roman-appointed king of Israel, who wanted him dead, had died. He had half-siblings & grew up in a small town in Galilee called Nazareth. He & his parents observed Jewish traditions like circumcision & celebrating the Passover in Jerusalem. He was confident enough to remain in the temple without his parents & wise to actual teach the teachers there. Very little was recorded about his childhood, "coming of age", & young adulthood. Records of him really don't reveal much about him until his 30's when he began publicly preaching & claiming his deity. He never married or had children. His first recorded miracle was changing water into wine @ a wedding. Many of his family members didn't start to believe in him fully until well-into his ministry & after his death & resurrection. He was often found with the sick, broken, poor, or shunned people.  He owned very little, stayed in other peoples' homes, ate the food meant for the poor or whatever was given to Him, & traveled a lot to teach, preach to, & heal hundreds & thousands of people.  He made friends by asking them to help him with his teaching, preaching, & helping others. He constantly surprised them by doing supernatural & controversial things. He taught meekness, humility, end-times, peace, forgiveness, righteousness, holiness, purity, & love. He upset the "status quo", challenged, & even condemned the religious "experts" of Judaism to the point of their obsessive desire to kill him. He said he was God & God's Son. He deeply loved & appreciated those who understood who he was & had faith in Him. He showed deep compassion & forgiveness. He healed "lost causes" & raised people from the dead. He touched disgusting, dying, & "sinful" people. He made powerful, absolute claims & backed them with century-old prophecies, miracles, love, truth, & ultimate passion by dying a criminal death after an unfair & illegal trial for people who mocked, doubted, betrayed, hated, & didn't even know him... all because he loved his Father & loved the people He had created. Because it was the only way that would repair the broken relationship between God & people. The break caused by the sin chosen by people & the ultimate holiness of God.

Tired of who I am

I am so weary of myself. I am so blessed, it's becoming commonplace. I am so provided for that I'm forgetting to take care of the things I have. I get so much & have so many options that I whine & complain & make excuses CONSTANTLY about what I don't have, don't want to do, can't do, have to do, what my kids & husband do or don't do... I have become so "Americanized" it makes me sick!

And I have no one to blame but myself. And I know it full well. On top of that I don't know how to get myself out of it.

Where do I start? I go to church & I even filled out their volunteer form. I called them a week before that... I have neighbors who seem to have it so "figured out" that I think they'd just laugh at me trying to find ways to "help" them. :-p

I feel so lost & aimless in life right now. I have so much but for what? My own consumption? I can only consume so much & I still feel "empty." I read my Bible. I pray. I take care of my kids. I spend time with my husband. But why? The only things I "look forward to" are weekend outings, family gatherings... being around people.  I miss having friends that tell me when to "shape up" but will still be my friend & love me for who I am. I miss having friends to be silly & girly with but to also share my questions & struggles with. I share with my husband... but it's not the same. Guys are wired to "fix" things... Women just need to process things & be... feminine?

I don't have a schedule to follow. I tried to make those... they fail & leave me frustrated. I try to have a "flow" but then I'm left "to my own devices" & my selfishness kicks in. ...and now I'm making excuses again. How does one "grow up"? By just doing it? No one to "punish" or "reward" me but me (or my husband.... which shouldn't be his job. How do you teach initiative to your kids, when you don't know how to get it yourself?

I need something in my life to move me. Truly, intrinsically, passionately move me. I need true LIFE.

"I am The Way, The Truth, The Life. No one comes to the Father but through me." ~Jesus Christ

...I guess that's as good a place to start as any?

Monday, June 4, 2012


"What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules & working my head off to please God, and it didn't work. So I quit being a "law (wo)man" so that I could be God's (wo)man. Christ's life showed me how, and enabled me to do it.

I identified myself completely with him.

Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not "mine," but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me & gave Himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.
Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal & free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God's grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily." Galatians 2:19-21 The Message

Can I just start by saying this particular translation is so hard to ignore or forget because of it's clarity to the language of my time? moving on...

"Identified" with God has always been a beautiful, yet confusing mystery to me. I know that He knows my sins & strengths... but because I hold such a low opinion of myself, I don't bring my faults & weaknesses to the God who made & redeems me. I feel "to stupid" as Jo March in the classic Little Women refers to herself.

" are too busy. I am too stupid to learn." ~Jo March

"Prut! We will make the time, and we fail not to find the sense." F. Bhaer

It always seems to ease my conscience when I just say "I'm not good at such-&-such. Or this-&-that are not my strengths." But this response is becoming more & more like an excuse... and a pathetic one at that. It was Jo's answer many a time but the right person finally brought her out of herself & challenged her to pursue things above herself -to be "good."
I know that I have the right husband & the right God, it's all me that does the disqualifying & the devil exaggerates. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

What I was...

Something changed. I keep looking at my wonderful life & how blessed I am... yet, I find myself yearning for the fullness of... of... of something that I felt back when I was sixteen to eighteen. My husband even commented about the things he knew I loved doing when he first met me.
I worked with children in almost every non-school related activity the entire time I was in high school & frequently into community college & occasionally during my time at university. I knew early on that my spiritual gifts included service & "administration." I will never forget the true, heart-brimming joy I had leading children to Christ! It was truly something supernatural that I didn't conjure up when I heard kids asking Jesus to forgive them & inviting Him to become their Savior & Lord. I love being able to beautify a person's day even if it just meant cleaning up part of their home, preparing & presenting them food, or singing a song or presenting a self-choreographed dance. I loved the emotions & release of love that came from rehearsing a song or dance & offering it up to Jesus Christ. When shared in public, I would pray that others would catch even just a glimpse of the glory & majesty of my Savior & Lord.

I am a proud momma. I love being a wife. but sometimes I wonder if these roles (not the people - it's not their fault) have the tendency to bring out the worst in me... :-( I scream, complain, whine, & get angry (& often times bitter) faster than in any other situation I find myself. I can see growth in those areas over the last 4 years of my oldest child's life... yet for all the teaching, training, planning, & sacrificing I've done, I feel like I've also lost a part of me that shouldn't have been lost... and I replaced it with excuses, "busy-ness", & overall selfishness.
Reaching out to a hurting and lost world doesn't get & shouldn't be put off simply because one of my kids woke up last night & kept me awake for an hour. Using the gifts my Lord gave me shouldn't & cannot wait till I have more "free time" or I find the "right ministry." I'm learning that my abilities & the things that give me the greatest, deepest fulfillment & right pleasure are not in the "showy", "noticeable" areas.  Visiting shut-ins & the elderly. Cleaning someone's home or a classroom. Making meals for people who need them. Printing, stapling, entering data, running errands, restocking.... stuff that keep other, more prominent people going & doing what needs to be done -casting vision, dreaming dreams, leading, & training. It's in my "blood" - physically (most of my mother's side of the family is in some form physical service, ie: handymen, caretaker, nurse, computer repair, office assistant, police, ect.) & spiritually (Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. John 13) to practically & physically help/serve other people (not necessarily because "I love people" but because I find joy in the "doing" of the jobs that need to be done). My earthly father's side were mostly teachers or preachers, things I was trained to do from adolescence. It's been years since I've worked with any other kids but my own... perhaps it is time again. Being a part of something bigger than myself - of helping, serving... being the literal hands-and-feet of Jesus Christ in my present corner of the world.

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Romans 12:6-8

Thursday, May 31, 2012


Today is my "Saturday." Now that we've "settled down" & found ourselves in a more permanent position that we ever have since having kids, I'm learning that the weekends are NOT a break for me. On the contrary, they are often times the culprit for my normally tidy house to become a cluttered petri-dish for all sorts of growth piles around the house: dishes pile up faster - all over the house, laundry multiplies exponentially - all over the house, paperwork piles grow - all over the house, bathrooms work double-time - and I can't get all over the house quick enough to tend it all.  The added factor is that weekends are also the times that we have out-of-the-house, family activities the most. So while all the piles & mess grow, I'm there less... leaving me even more unmotivated to deal with the extras. Seriously, how many people get an adrenaline rush of excitement after returning from a fabulous, yet exhausting beach trip to grab the toilet scrubber & rubber gloves to scour the bathroom from the accident that happened just as you were leaving for said beach trip? How about after dinner at a sit-down restaurant to clean up dishes & half-eaten (or forgotten) food sitting out from various snack-ers after lunchtime? :-p

All that being said, I've learned to TGIT (vs. TGIF)! I do my absolute best to keep errands, activities, & deep-cleaning to a minimum on this day.  It's different than even Sundays because I don't have to get kids cleaned & dressed up or stress about getting somewhere on time.  People are more likely to schedule things on weekends than on a weekday & if they do Wednesday usually gets the honor. ;-)

If our schedule remains so, I just might make this "my day" to take care of emails, write letters, make social phone calls, be 'crafty' or 'domestic' (meaning bake, sew, and/or garden), blog, & surf (the web). One day out of 7 to be "Amy" & not just "Mom"... am I being selfish or unreasonable? In no way would I neglect my children, but meals, activities, & an "understanding" would be set ahead of time. I would probably even plan/prepare for Dates Night on Friday. =) We'll see what happens...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wake-up Calls

This morning was a slow one. It wasn't for lack of sleep on my part. In fact, I woke up with a jarring start because my 2 yr. old accidentally turned on her lullaby music on full volume. :-p The hubby on the other hand was "dead to the world" from working late the night before.  Me, being the "morning person", was awake but still in bed fb-ing like I do every morning.

It's always just a tad amusing to watch my hubby wake up. His alarm goes off at the same time every weekday. He always hits the snooze a minimum of twice before he even attempts to ask me when I woke up or what I've been doing since I woke up. For the few years we've been married, it's always been a challenge for me to let him sleep in -or stay up late for that matter. At night, I'll drop hints about how late it is or what responsibilities he has the early the next morning. ;-) In the morning, I'll actively snuggle, massage, or kiss him to wake up -usually unsuccessfully. :-/ In fact, it's usually more effective to abruptly stop the affection & become engrossed in something else (like my iPhone) that somehow shakes a layer of sleeping dust out of his head.

Today, I was... okay, I'll admit it: lazy.

I had no intentions of quickly getting the day started like I had 2 mornings before when I had forgot to put the trash out -even though I LOVED the results of that earlier morning.
Then the piercing, annoying house alarm went off. :-p
The previous tenant of our townhouse were a dual-income couple with school-aged kids and apparently all left the house by 7:30AM -when their house alarm automatically sets itself. We've never taken the time to un-set it and forget this almost every time we take the dog out to the yard to do her business. This morning my over-eager, already-dressed-in-princess-attire, almost-4-year-old child decided to open the deck sliding glass door to enjoy the sunshine.  >_<

"Now she should be awake & cured of her laziness!"

One would assume this statement, but sadly, not in this case. :-/ I got the child a bowl of frosted mini-wheats then hurried up to my bed & got cozy again. :-p Since the hubby doesn't have class until 9AM & the extension campus he attends his only 10min. away, I simply wasn't concerned.

...but I had stopped looking at the clock by this time.

Motherhood called again & I got up to get the 2 yr old changed & dressed. Sometime during that task the hubby got up (probably because the dog followed me into our bedroom & excitedly kissed him until he was thoroughly awake). ;-) By the time I finally finished the changing/dressing task the dog had been taken out & the hubby was in the shower.... which is unusual since we usually shower together because of the dual shower heads & spacious size of the stand-up/sit down shower. I followed him in but he said that he couldn't talk & hurried out. He quickly took care of his toilet (teeth, hair, etc) & started dressing while I finished my shaving & started drying off. (This was all very accelerated & out of order from our regular routine.) I finally asked what time it was and he replied 8:35! Wow! Where had the time gone? I mentally assumed that that meant he was going to hop into his car & head off to school... so what did I do?

...went back to lazy, "slug" mode! :-p

Apparently 10 full minutes went by & I was stunned when the hubby opened the bedroom door to me still stark-naked asking where I had been! He'd been having cereal with the girls & even taken care of the dog's food.  A quick kiss later & he was down the stairs & driving off in his car.

That was when I "snapped out of it."

What had just happened?! I'm the type of personality that is like a computer. Only sleep will stop my brain from running (& even that isn't 100% effective). Where had my duty-filled, obligation-compulsive drive gone?! Well wherever it went, it gave me time to observe my husband in an entirely NEW light... and myself. My husband is a grown man. (Obvious, I know.) He is a man that has been getting himself up & out of bed for 20+ years. He is a man that has learned the painful importance of getting to things on time, if not early. He is a man that has been to BCT & AIT where lack of sleep is inevitable & still requires 100% of your energies & attention. Sure he likes to sleep in. Sure he's a "night-owl." BUT in the end, HE is the one responsible to get the sleep he needs & to get himself to the places he needs to be when he needs to be there. This rare morning showed me how much of these tasks of his that I'VE been mentally shouldering & taking responsibility for... and that I should NOT be.

This morning, my kids have also shown me that they are more capable than I give them credit for. The 2 yr old not only sweetly offered to help me sweep, she can successfully help with holding the dust pan while I sweep up the crumbs from her meals. And the almost-4-yr-old just announced that she took the dog out to go "poop & pee" in the back yard! She can be responsible to take the dog out in the mornings (since they both seem to beat us on getting up in the morning anyway).

I just have to remember to keep the house alarm remote close by. ;-)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Praying Circles

Problem with blogs... er with me and my blogs: i forget that I have them. :-p I've been using tumblr for so many of my quick thoughts & keeping so many of my growing/building concepts to myself that I've forgotten that I have a place for developing and evolving ideas. 
We've made it to our new home across the country. He starts his new job with his new team tomorrow. We've found our new church family -ironically they have the same name as the one we had to leave. 
I am constantly debating taking up some part-time work (when & where). 
Schooling or just some classes for my almost 4 yr old?
Potty-training the 2 1/2 yr old starting tomorrow. 
Learning to "keep" my own home -all three floors of it! 
Trying to make friends & figure out what "kind" of mom I am.
Struggling with "who I am" & how to "be" right now.
Battling complacency & aimlessness.
Scared of being yet staying in my "comfort zones".
Frustrated but fearful for my brother's mental state of being.
Excitement over family visiting in the summer!
Planning the 4 yr old's b-day party.
Cleaning & organizing our bedroom.
Wrestling fatigue & inner demons (re-read my last post).
Knowing what to "pray circles" about based on our new Pastor's message today.
How this 21-day fast challenge is actually going to work-out.
The Hunger Games. book & movie.
Kony 2012.
Election primaries & caucuses. 

I don't know why I didn't have a clue what to pray for this morning! Oh the blinders of the evil one are so slimy & seductive... I KNOW that when I'm too comfortable & content, that snake has me just where he wants me: ready to steal, kill, & destroy all the blessings & potential God has worked so hard for in us, in me! I'm still baffled at what He could possibly do with, much less through me. I keep getting in the way. But here are my prayer requests to demand God's-will in:

The DEFEAT of my pride & self-righteous anger for 1.
The freedom & faith of my husband.
The discernment & education of my children.
The clear revelation of direction & purpose for our family & marriage.

He didn't just answer my prayers for an awesome job for my husband, simply for us to stay at home, accumulate stuff, & be comfortable the rest of our lives, with the occasional ministry at church or Bible study. 
He didn't just uproot us from our location of choice to a foreign land with no family, simply to show us we are self-sufficient & fully capable on our own. 
He didn't just hand write the last 2 years of our lives simply to hand the pen & paper "back into our capable hands." :-p
He didn't provide us a home bigger than almost anyone we have met since we moved here or an income so large that I can even consider staying home or working "just to have my own spending cash" just because we deserved it or even because we worked for it....

there has to be a bigger reason. my spirit knows this. it's been trying to tell me this for some time now. this is the first time i've stopped my busy mind to actually think some of these things through. life can't just be about me. i don't even know of anything i could find, do, or buy that would actually keep me happy forever -except my Creator. And He tells me that I was created for HIS glory & purpose; for HIS enjoyment & praise. 
Yeah. I think I'll end with that.