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giving thanks

I’m over my tantrum from yesterday.  Talking it over with Mark helped validate my feelings and calmed me.  See, I told you he has an amazing effect on me!

We are doing gratitude journals as a family. We gather in her bedroom before bed and write in our journals and then share.  She is getting the hang of it. At first, she was writing the same thing over and over. It was terribly sweet, but she just wasn’t thinking deep enough.  But I think she’s got it now.  It’s been a real joy for us.  Last night Mark gave me the sweetest compliment ever. It really validated me and what I do.  That’s just one of the blessings of giving thanks.

venting

So, I need to vent a little bit. I’ve said it before, but we live FAR from our families. No one is near us – seriously.  And, we happen to live in a smaller town where everyone is related to everyone else. Consequently – we have no family events to attend over the holidays. And, people seem to think that since we don’t have family around that they just assume we do NOTHING. A co-worker just told us that we could do the extra work because we don’t have family events coming up and she does. She won’t have time, but she knows that since we don’t have family around we would be able to do the extra work load. And, this is NOT the first time this has happened. This happens almost every year. Someone says things like, “Well, you can probably work on that since you won’t have family in town. I can’t because my wife’s family will be here one weekend, then the next weekend we are hosting the party at our house for my family.”  Seriously!?! I get so frustrated hearing that. It’s not fair. And then it seems like our bosses always agree, “Well, since Joe has all these family activities it only seems logical you can do the extra work. ”

tired of it!

 

Roots

 

So, I remember when I was little and the TV mini-series, Roots was on. It was a HUGE deal. I didn’t get it.  My parents watched it. Things around our house stopped during those nights. My brother and I were “shushed” a lot!  It was just a TV show that bored me.  It wasn’t funny. I like sit-coms. This was NOT a sit-com. So, I didn’t pay attention.

In fact, I really didn’t pay attention to my roots at all growing up. I kind of just didn’t think about it. To me, now, the word “roots” symbolizes family. See, we lived far away from our family. Like four states away. We hardly ever saw anyone. And guess what – it’s kind of the same thing now.  Hubby and I live at least 4 hours away from any sense of family.  And then it’s only my brother and his little boy. We are spread around the country. So, I instill in my little girl the importance of family – the right here-right-now kind of family. The kind that matters!  We talk about family in our house all the time. We know how important this bond is.

We are sad that we can’t be around more family – and sometimes I get a little jealous. But, we must establish our own roots with just the three of us. With a big change looming, our roots are going to be even more important than ever before.

Last night we started our gratitude journals for the  month of November. The wee one wrote about family.

This is what having roots means to me. A love between us that anchors us to each other.

calm by my husband

(stumpy) christ of the ozarks

There are some pretty intense things going on at work. That means it’s intense for us. We work really hard to keep it all out of our home. We DO talk about it – it’s just not something we talk out loud in front of the wee one.

I am nervous about it.

The hubby isn’t.  I don’t know how he does it. But, he is headstrong and focused. I get stressed when he starts talking about all of it.  He’s seen this pattern, and consequently, he’s pulled back on it. Not that it’s a bad thing – I mean, who wants to sit around and talk about work all night long?  We want to have family time!

But, I am utterly calmed by him. With anything. Not just this. But, this is the pattern.  I stress. I go to him. He assures me.  Relief.  I know I’m supposed to put my faith in God and know that Christ will take care of everything. But, seriously, isn’t it normal to at least FEEL something. I mean, if we’re nervous or anxious, I think that’s ok. We can still KNOW that God is in control.  It’s like a roller coaster, right?  I can SEE the twists and turns. I know I am safe in my harness, but I get a bit nervous going up that first big hill, right? Don’t we all?  I mean, it’s normal. I sometimes feel guilty for feeling nervous. I don’t want it to mean that I distrust God or His will. Because I DO trust him. I totally KNOW that things will be fine. I really do. But, I still get an upset tummy thinking about all of it.   Now, I am ultimately calmed by God.  Not just my husband. But, in the moment that we are having a serious discussion, I sometimes get stressed and need for Mark to reach over, hold my hand, and look at me with those eyes of his, and say, “It’s going to be ok. I’ll take of you.”  In my private moment I rely on God to do this.

I am thankful to have such an amazing husband in my life. I am thankful that God still smiles down on me. I am nervous. But, I’m calmed.

Making My Home a Haven

I accept!

I can do this. It’s not a crazy load of work or anything. And, I think I pretty much do these things already. But the difference is that I don’t do them with INTENTION in Christ. I just do it. Now, I will be more mindful of my actions. I can’t wait.

This is my favorite time of year anyway.

disappointed by “friends”

I had something occur within the last week that saddened me. Actions by some people I call “friends”. I’m not going in to the logistics of it all, but my friends behaved in a manner that shocked me. Nonetheless, it made me look at some things.

First off, I started to look online for advice/reasons/ or something. I found a few things that helped me. One site talked about putting your hope in OTHERS rather than putting your hope in God. For me, I was really expecting my friends to behave a certain a way. When they didn’t, I was disappointed. I can’t control my friends or their behaviors. I just need to put my faith in God and not others. OTHERS won’t bring me happiness, only God can. He never disappoints.  Not that I need to EXPECT disappointment from others, but I need to know that I can’t assume people will behave the way I think they would behave.

And, it’s also made me re-think my relationships with these women.  I thought they would help me in the same way I’ve helped them.  I was wrong. So, they obviously aren’t the type of people I thought they were. They were given plenty of opportunities, so I know scheduling wasn’t an issue. I am not going to confront them. I will continue being friends with them, but I know better what I CAN and CAN NOT count on them for.

 

crafterly things

Knitting Kit-Jimin

Knitting Kit-Jimin (Photo credit: nist6ss)

Tomdeads sewing machineLong-armed cross stitch

I am a crafter, and I always have been. Though there have been seasons in my life where I haven’t crafted as much.  My parents would buy me paint-by-number sets, and markers, and eventually I started to cross-stitch. I thought I was pretty hot stuff then. In high school I would cross-stitch once in a while. Hardly ever. Like, I don’t think I even finished a project.  In college, I didn’t work on it either. But, right before I graduated, I went out and bought a HUGE cross stitch project. Well, big for me. It was like 9 x 11.  And, I started it. Then I put it away.

In grad school, I picked up a couple more cross-stitch projects. Then I started to sew. Because I had to. We had to do costume shop hours. So, one summer I spent 4 hours a day in the costume shop. I learned to sew. I learned to surge. I learned a lot!  I loved it!  I felt creative again!

After grad school I got my first sewing machine. It was pretty basic, but it totally worked for me.  I did some cross stitching, some embroidery, and then I started to learn to knit.  I was busy! And, it really kept up from there. My one craft I love is knitting. I love to sew. I am lucky enough to have a little one that loves to do all those things as well. We totally love crafting together. It’s been a joy for us.

I try to do something crafty every day. Mostly knitting, but not all the time. Sometimes I have to forego my projects so I can help her with her little projects. It’s a lot of fun.

reading

Jester reading a book

 

I am a reader. i used to read a bunch. But, alas, life happens.  For many years, I read TO Atlantis, then when she was first learning to read, I always had to listen to her. But now, she is on her own with reading.  Which means – I can finally read.

I keep my books on this book, as well as another one – which is terribly old. I use goodreads. But, many  moons before goodreads and the interwebs, I kept book journals. I wrote down the start and ending dates of books along with my own little book review.  i still have those darn things. So, I have probably kept track of my reading for at least 14 years. How crazy is that?  Now, I am also fortunate to have to read for my job. So, that is super helpful as well.

But, I am a booklover!  And, I just happen to be hosting an online Usbourne party.  Here is the link to my party!  So, if you love books just as much as we do – take a look and load up for the holidays. Thanks!

blogging

I place some blogging demands on myself as well. I maintain three blogs. Let me explain.

I have one blog that is ONLY for my family. You see, when we first adopted Atlantis, we had so much news – every day- what was going on, how the paperwork was going, the phone calls, the visits, etc.  And, it was easier to set up a blog and post ONCE rather than continually update family. Well, six years later, and I’m STILL posting. Every day. Ok, not every day.  But, about 97% of the time I do.  I hardly EVER miss. It’s my routine. She gets tucked in, and I go blog. I blog about the day. Boring things that no one cares about but those of us that love her.

Then, in January of this year, I started a picture-a-day blog.  I have my alarm set for 5:00 on my phone. Then, I just snap a picture of where I am, and upload to Flicker. Then, when I’m sitting down to blog for the night, I just upload that to its own blog. I’ve discovered that 5:00 around our house involves a lot of dinner prep. So, my pics are normally cutting boards, food, the microwave, etc.

Then, there’s this blog. I ask myself to blog five times a week. Do I do that? No. I think 3 is more common for me.

I keep track of how frequently I blog too. I have a little chart, then I kind of know if I should be blogging or devoting time to some other activity.

Look

Look:

I can think of “look, momma, look!”  All day long. I am asked to come and Look at something – a picture she drew, a bug she found, a commercial of something she wants, or even how her scrap of bread looks like a duck.  Look. And I do. Ok, not all the time, but I do. I am getting better. It never fails, though. That “Look” comes right when I’m in the middle of something. Right when I have things to finish. Right when I have things to start .

I need to stop. I need to look. I need to find what she finds fascinating. I need to understand that she finds it all amazing, and hopefully I will too. And, not just with her – with my husband.  He comes home from work and has things to share. I need to stop and LOOK at him too.

What about God?  I need  to stop and LOOK at him too. He shows me fascinating things every day. He says – LOOK, Bethanie, LOOK! And, sometimes I notice, and sometimes I don’t.  How sad is that?

I looked yesterday. I looked at the blue cloudless sky and I saw a lone bird flying so far up there it looked like a little moving speck. I saw what God placed in front of me.

I looked when Atlantis showed me some fabric scraps she found – she said they were pretty. I agreed. We decided to make doll clothes from them. We looked. Together. We looked.

I looked when my hubby came home from work with calloused hands. I looked. I loved. I appreciated.

Five Minute Friday