"Be thankful in all things, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." I Thes 5:18

Saturday, February 26, 2011

He Does, She Does- Unleashed

I've been learning a lot about myself lately. Do you ever have a time when you are thinking about something and somehow, ever so ironically, multiple things you see or hear in your day are congruent to your ponderings? Well, I do, and it happened to me yesterday.
I was browsing through the "manly" isles in Walmart looking for some tools for pulling the old floor up, and doing some research browsing on tools for sanding and staining or painting the chairs (have not decided yet). I surprised myself that I was in those isles. I surprised myself even more by enjoying it greatly.
When I was little, I was like my fathers son in a lot of ways. My brother would help my dad a lot but he does have cerebral palsy so his skills were limited. My dad would take me all the time to the hardware store with him. I would hope it was free popcorn day but even if it wasn't, my dad would stop for what he liked to call a "beer". This was just soda. Now that I'm older and I get it, I find that quite funny. I just thought he was weird back then. Without meaning to, I became very familiar with PVC pipe, glues, sprinkler heads, bolt sizes, gorilla snot, and drill bits. I learned how to dig trenches, re-wire whole entertainment systems, and drive a tiller. I spent more time doing these things than I ever did in the kitchen learning to make muffins. At the time, I didn't enjoy it much because I wanted to go play but it became part of me.
Like any child, I tried not to have to do these things once I was older and married. I doused myself in the feminine side of me. I enjoyed tea cups, and had babies. I wore long skirts trying to grasp that ever so Gathered femininity (I want to gag right now, it's developed such a reflex over the years). There are parts of me that are legitimately girly, don't get me wrong! I still love tea times (though I keep my china packed away now for when I want it and have replaced it with some Tuscan simple dishes), and I adored having my babies. I still love to wear skirts or dress now and then but I'm much more likely to dress up a pair of jeans and top with some matching earrings the size of Texas.
So, getting back to my day and my thoughts......
I was headed to Lowes to find what Walmart didn't have that I needed. On the way I was listening to a great Family Life Today episode called "A Biblical Response To Homosexuality". It was really good. In it though he talked for a moment about how society makes up these "idiotic" (his choice of words) definitions of what is manly. He uses some quite humorous illustrations regarding hunting to demonstrate his point. However he says, these stupid definitions leave the gentle, tender-hearted male type feel lacking and without a home in his masculine world. I SO appreciated that statement! I think it's true that people doubt their core gender by the insecurities they have regarding their differing personalities.
I think even Christian culture has put a major problem out there with over defining the genders and tying them to biblical truths. Yes, there are a lot of guidelines in the bible for males and females and their roles, but the definitions are left open to personality types and it's like we have added in the adjectives we think are missing in the scriptures! There are men who are tender and gentle, and there are women who are go-getters and fix-it types.
This topic hit me because for years I felt my husband was not being the man he should be. When I compared him to these Christian culture definitions, he fell short. He is not motivated to fix things in the house, he does not fish or hunt, he doesn't not have a clue what is wrong with the car. Now, when he takes the time to learn something, he is great at it, but these things don't come natural to him, nor does the initial passion to conquer them. My dad was the "manly man" in that sense and even he, though he meant well, added to my discontent with my husband. The things that occurred to my dad to do or take care of, did not occur to my husband and I developed a keen sense of discontent that has taken me years to work back from. I'm convinced now, it was a wrong way of thinking.
On that same note, I've been frustrated for years that I AM the one with passion to conquer projects, broken things, and I have a heavier dose of common sense as to how to do it. Some of that comes from hours with my dad doing what he did but a lot of it is personality.
So, after hearing that I went into Lowes and walked around with my McDonalds coffee just enjoying my visit thoroughly. Something about hearing that statement set something free in me that has been frustrated for years. I love projects! I love to build, fix and conquer, and I love looking at tools! I swear, if they had had an aqua tool belt, I'd have bought it. My husband joked the other day that I should have one. I won't tell you the rest of what he said.
Yet, that brings me to my next set of thoughts. My husband likes me this way! He was attracted to my "tom-boyishness" when we were dating. He asked me to wear pants again when I went through my stupid Gathered skirt phase! He needs me to be a go-getter on stuff that does not occur to him! Christians are in danger of creating their own version of Stepford Wives.
I'm not saying there are not biblical gender goals that we have in our marriage. I struggle to not control him, and he struggles to lead. Yet, beyond that, I think we have let people tell us more what our relationship should look like rather than relaxing with who God made us. I'm not butch, and he's not a wussy, nor am I Michelle Duggar and he Davy Crocket.
I just think we spend way too much time in our lives measuring ourselves up to standard made by men and in that we loose the joy of who God made us to be.
Ironically, last night, Rick and I watched this episode of 3rd Rock that talked about what was "manly". The main character Dick has been accused of being "whipped" by his lady and he is grasping to be more manly. Harry is trying to help him. I could not find one that was just the excerpt I wanted, watch up to 2:14 for what I was getting at.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The "I Hate Carpet" Chronicles

So, yes, our carpet was getting old, ragged, stained.....gross! I'm not talented in carpet maintenance or clothing either when it comes to stain fighting. I'm relaxed with my kids too which does not help. I love family picnics in the living room on Friday nights as much as they do (though I don't spill my drink as often!).
But, it wasn't really the living room that started this adventure, it was the dinning room. Our modular had a carpeted dinning room. When we moved here, it had all ready lived through a family with two small children and our three were no help. Caedmon was 2 when we moved here, Emma near 5, and Victoria near 8. These are not the years of throwing food from the high chair, nor are they the years of fine linen cloth dining.
I remember the first big stain like it happened yesterday. The
kids were homeschooled at the time and I read on the paint bottle before art to check and see if the paint was washable. It said it was. So, I let them paint at the dinning room table. Well, the black paint spilled on the carpet and say what it wanted to, it did NOT come out. It may have smudged to dark grey but this was not enough to appease me.
As the years went by, the real culpret were those black spots that appear seemingly out of nowhere. We would stain treat them, and like some evil magic marker, they would come back again. My hatred for carpet began in those days but each coffee spill that would not come out, each playdough drop that made it's way to the carpet (despite my best efforts), each glance at the muck that came out of my vacuum, fed the carpet monster in my mind.
So, one day I think in September, 2010, I just ripped up that dinning room carpet. I was willing to live on whatever was under there, as long as I could sweep it.
To shorten my long story, I'll dive right in.
We decided to start with Caedmon's room. It was to be our trial run. We had not intended on doing his room this soon but when we bought our vinyl, it all was on clearance for 44 cents/sq.ft. and there was just enough parque vinyl to do his room. I figured being a very sim
ple square room, would make the job eaiser and I'd practice for the rest to come. I'm very glad I did, I did learn a lot.
Step one, put your son's room in your dinning room. Step one/a, go insane trying to live normal life around it
Step 2: Get little man set up with his homework on top his moved out dresser next to his guinea's who had to be put in a temporary cage with treats to keep them busy.

Step 3: Rip out all carpet,and remove closet doors.

Step 5: Get yourself geared up with an empowering Facebook profile picture, and proceed to hammer out all the staples and carpet wood trim in the room. Make sure to get a cute picture of your husband helping you in his Hanes.

Side step: take requested photo of little man's creation he moved onto after homework was done. :)

Step 6: log the event well with photos of the very first vinyl tile going down. Ignore terrible hair.

Step 7: continue on until you can't do anymore that night. Take picture next morning before proceeding.

Step 8: Complete! In great joy, take final picture.

A few days later, on President's Day, Rick and I started ripping the living room carpet.

I decided since this was the last stretch, I'd get a picture of what lies beneath, the food of my hatred.....THE DIRT!!!
THIS, MY FRIENDS IS WHY I WON'T EVER DO CARPET AGAIN! To think, that I lived on this, sat or lay upon it to play with my kids, allowed babies to crawl upon it, vacuumed it often and called it "clean". Yikes.

In order to get rid of THIS ABOVE you have to go through caous EVERYWHERE, for a LONG while, grab corndogs for easy dinners, and dream of the "now" pictures to come when you are done!

Looking for brighter days ahead.

My Husband Passed The Edward Fantasy Test

Yes, I could be blogging about the wonderful things I'm leaning in 1 John right now. Or, even the photos I have and the telling of the house remodeling we are doing. Nope, I'm hear for an Edward moment, and yes, I do mean Twilight's Edward. So, bite me. (ha,ha,ha, that was good...)

It's just too funny and I don't want to forget it. I think my husband will be amused and pleased when he reads this as well.

After a few years of liking Twilight's books and movies, I've NEVER had a dream about Edward. I've never had a temptation to fantasize of him either or anything from Twilight for that matter. Yes, it's possible to enjoy something w/o having issues. So, last night when I dreampt of Edward I found it ironic that it's taken my subconscious this long to bring him on the scene.

In my dream, we were at a theme park. Not sure which but it was comparable to Disneyland, though the rides were not anything like what is there. Robert Pattinson was there for the day as a visiting celebrety. I was able to seem him approach and Rick was closer to where he was in my dream, so Rick was saying hello to him first. I was nervous and thrilled to actually see him (okay, wouldn't YOU be too!) but even my dream me was much like me in that I hesitated to go up and say hello. I decided this was too good to pass up so I came up to him as he talked with Rick and said some type of hello and that even though I was old (ha, ha, I find this funny too), I still loved Twilight. He was gracious and the dream phased out there like they do.

The next part of this I remember was that he came back to where we were in full Edward costume. My first reaction was complete girlie, stupid, butterflies, infatuation heart attack. He looked good approaching. As he got closer I started to feel nervous because he had an intentional look on his face and kept coming closer and closer to me. Rick was standing next to me.
He came up to me, put his arm around my waist and leaned in to kiss me! Before actually laying one on me though I remember saying, as his face got closer "Your makup looks a lot worse up close"....LOL!!!
He didn't seem to care. He leaned in further and put his thin, cold hard lips on me in the most passion-less kiss I've ever had in a dream, EVER. I could see Rick looking at us from behind him. SO, here is the great part.....

He was still leaning into me, and I was leaning way back, when he stopped and I said:

"You don't kiss near as good as he does!" (turning my gaze to my frozen husband)


I don't remember any more and the dream fell off there, but I just found this soooo funny!
Had to tell.
Ah, good stuff.
I'm sure my husband will be pleased he has my subconscious heart as well.

OH, and those who know me will find this funny too. Later in the dream he was back to his British Pattinson self, and he was enjoying a good conversation with Rick on European history!!!
Oh, dear.

Don't worry though Edward, this is still my favorite part of all things Twilight, these short few seconds:

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Do We Have The Power To Move God's Heart?

Okay, this has been eating at me. Someone I know and love (and who is very smart, wise and spiritually mature) put this quote on FB and it became inspirational to many. Why then, did it have to eat at me? I'm such an odd ball I guess.

Here is the quote:

"Prayers that do not move the heart of the one praying will rarely

move the heart of God."

Now, I just tend to dissect things and not just take them, it's an impulsive brain response for me. Here are my issues with this quote. Or at least my questions.

Do I have the power to move my own sinful heart?

Do I have the power (even more startling question for me) to move God's heart?

Does "rarely" mean that sometimes my sucky prayers will move God's heart and sometimes they won't? Does this fit with the consistent character of God? Why would he be moved at some of them and not others? The word rarely bothers me in this.

I'm not coming at this to be mean or spiteful or just troublesome. I really care about what people think and what makes them accept it, be inspired by it, or reject it. I think that chewing before swallowing is a good idea. If this quote is referring to the fact that insincere, religious, prideful prayers won't convict us and will not honor God then, I can agree.

IF however, it means that by simply being sincere I can move my heart and impress God enough to move his by my doing so, then I find it a little troubling.

I find more often that my heart is rock hard ugly. I can't move it. God's Holy Spirit moves me to repent and pray or it moves me to pray out of obedience. Then, God's peace is given and conviction (alluded to I'm presuming by the "moving" expression) will follow.

Yet, to EVER, EVER think that by my sincerity I could ever move the heart of God I just won't accept. I could NEVER have power over God that way. His decision to move is based on His own desire for His glory in all things. If moving is in his glory plan, he will be moved.

On the same note, God being moved (which I'm presuming means responding to the prayer, hearing, acting upon etc) is unpredictable then I am valid in developing insecurity about my God. He promises to hear the prayers of His people, and inhabit them.

So, that leads me to think this quote must be intended for the unsaved who are just saying things out their mouths that will make them feel more spiritual. Still though, the unrighteous prayer will NEVER be responded to by God. Rarely cannot apply.

More than anything in this, I would just like to research biblically if we ever have the power to move God's heart. Perhaps this is one of those strange things that are His will and yet we have our part. I just think it's dangerous for Christians to think that their holy sincerity will move God's heart.

Trust me, I wish my brain did not do this as often as it does. However, after years of swallowing a lot of theology whole and finding later that I had to puke it up and start over because it was not real food, I've developed a reflex of chewing. I may be over-chewing but I'd rather do that than swallow it whole. Just sayin.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Salmon Falls Hike 2011 Photos

We did this last year and loved the spot. This year the kids were challenged to go further than they did on the mountain hike. They made it way above the falls and trail kept going. Caed wanted to continue but the girls were done. So, next time we can see what is further. Just sharing some pictures. I have some video too but I'll have to do that another night because my husband bought me and him some ice cream! Yeah. Time to veg out now:) We started off by stopping to see the famous Elephant Seals that come in this time of year. IT was a GORGEOUS Cali day!
The lighthouse in the distance.
A beach full!
I LOVE THIS! I want to make it into a Mother's day card or something....awe!
Baby nursing....
My son has issues with smiling properly at the camera.
Or being annoyed by his sister.
Yep, that be us all...

Now up the coast a way at Ragged Point.

Great picture except for the little boy who is sad he is NOT being allowed to try to climb down the cliff side. Gee, you think we might love him or something.
Salmon Falls, full and gorgeous.

Nothing tastes better than a sandwich on a rock.

Caed brought something to put water in. He enjoyed looking at what he gathered.

Cold but refreshing!
Sticks to collect for homemade bow and arrows. I'm not sure she's made those yet but she had fun finding them.

Somewhere down there I think is our car or at least the road.

Rick showing Emma talc stones.
He was all into this. He just wanted to keep going and going and going!
This is where we stopped, we had conquered our mountain!
Shadows of goodbye:)