Friday, May 27, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
I have been at a loss for where to start with this post...for a few years. I kinda don't want to talk about it at all but at the same time I want to share because it has become who I am.
You might hate me after this or think I am nuts. Well those of you who really know me think I am nuts anyway so what does it matter! If you still choose to be ok with me I am honored.
I don't want to drive any of you away, I love you all but I think it is time I came out with it.....I am emotional saying this because I feel like I am opening a little window into a very fragile place.
I guess it is a little soul bearing and it makes me feel really vulnerable. Like I want to shut down e-mail and comments and twitter and instagram and fb and no more texting either because I am afraid what people might say. I am so far from perfect and that is why. I am on a journey and keep failing and slipping and don't want everyone saying, "Look at you, you screw up, you are all talk, look at what you are doing!!" I know it, all the stinkin time, I guess it should keep me more humble the deeper the holes I dig.
Anyway, I am going to share.
I have been on a spiritual searching kind of trip for a couple years now. Asking myself questions, searching the scriptures. Figuring out what I really believe. I have done this before, well I thought I had but it is different this time.
The first time around was 10 years ago. I was 20 and
was ok thought I was ok to explore and check out everything around me. I wanted to get a feel for the world and a feel for God and wanted to figure out what I really wanted. I read the Bible and prayed and did the opposite too, complete opposite. I wish I hadn't, I still have hurts and experiences that haunt.
In the end I decided to live for God and that was that, I felt empty and fake without Him there.
Now it is different. I still believe in God but my soul has longed for a deeper connection. To know God. I started to read the Bible as if I had never seen it before. I pushed away all the quotes and teaching that I have learned over my life time. I wanted to really see what it said to me. I studied what went on around the time that the Bible was written and then the time that it was put together. I wanted to know what influences might have spurred on certain words in translation. Who where the people that translated it and the history behind them. I studied holidays, and customs and traditions. I have a really hard time with Christmas, Easter and everything in between. Christmas and all the stories that you hear of how it started, bawh!! Dig a little deeper! Will this change how I celebrate it. Yes, it has. I thought I could not celebrate it at all a couple years ago but we are working on what is ok or not for us still. that is a trip in itself!
So I still have a ton of questions but the more I read and pray the more the Lord reveals to me. I have to be quiet and listen for His voice. I hear it, something I only dreamt of. I am pretty good at missing it too.
The funny and strange thing about this journey is that it has made me less inclined to go to church or be a part of any group. I want to just be. I get discouraged going to church...I have for the last 15 years. I think that we don't hold each other accountable and hold God back. My questions have been swept under the carpet.
I want to go for the fellowship and to encourage and be encouraged. I enjoy the time to worship God but also feel dragged down by those there. Not saying I am perfect, ha, I am sure I am the same way to those there. None of us are prefect so I can't expect anything more. I just feel like we all get a little fake when we go to church. Not raw.
Then I started to question why I hung out with certain people, were they influencing me in any way? I also questioned Bible teachings.
I became disappointed in institutions and people. I should never have looked up to them in the first place and maybe I didn't really but I still had expectations.
Am I confusing you yet?
I feel like I am talking in code to spare feelings and I probably make no sense.
Anyway, I wonder about passover and keeping the sabbath. I wonder about the breaking of bread and how loosely it is interpreted by many. I wonder why more women don't cover their hair to pray...is it not also for the angels sake?...the hair is not a covering, reread the passage....it is a veil mentioned as a covering in the original translations. I wonder why some men don't cut their hair. I spent a year studying this passage and digging history on hair and coverings and then I wondered why paintings of Jesus always depict him as white with long hair. According to history he would have had a bowl cut as that was the custom then and of course he was a jew. Then I wonder if I need to get less vain and wear a covering all the time, we are to be praying without ceasing aren't we? Some people say that that was an issue from that time period....well then if we can say that expired then we can choose to disregard anything else in the Bible right?
But that is neither here or there and my struggle with the issue is not anyone elses so I will move on. It does not affect our salvation and that is what matters the most. We also are no longer under the law so why do I get so trivial?!
I wonder why we put so much emphasis on the cross when He was most likely crucified on a steak. Crosses in history were satanic. I question symbols that people hold onto. Every cross pendant or charm I have ever owned or been given has been lost or gone missing. I don't normally ever lose things. Just these seem to disappear. Does it become an idol or what is it for me, a place of pride? I thought it was a small proclamation of faith at one time but I don't know now.
I wonder about the way pastors are lifted up in churches above other gifts. I wonder about true heart worship and the leading of the spirit. I wonder if we could have less tradition and worship from a deeper place within. I wonder why we don't get real with the Word.
My dear husband has been on a journey too. He became a Christian after we met and has had a lot of soul searching too. For him with a fresher perspective he has struggled even more. To him Christianity is black or white, there is no room for grey. I have searched out the grey my whole life!
But that grey area is also the most dangerous...it can also be lukewarm.
So things have changed in our home. We no longer have TV, well no signal or cable. We have the actual TV but it is only for movies and they have to pass the test.
Are they glorifying to God? Is His name being lifted up or cast down? Will I be encouraged or be dragged down? Does it show something that I would be embarrassed about if Jesus was in the room with me....He is in the room so I should think about this.
I never realized how much the little things drag a person down until we cut ourselves off. I was so terrified of loosing TV and before we moved in January I watched as much as possible so the withdrawal wouldn't be so bad.
Ha, dumb! I haven't missed it at all. And I feel lighter and more at peace and we were pretty careful about what we watched already. It was like we took a big chunk of the world out of our home. Weird. I am by no means saying that everyone needs to ditch their TV, this was an issue for us...it was one of our grey areas so it went. So did certain music and books. We still have a long ways to go though, we are always finding that we need to let something go to strengthen our walk and sometimes it is really hard. We still hold on to things that we know we need to let go of. And there are probably things that others might question that we haven't even thought of!
So then we come to friendships. Everyone is on a different journey and going through different things. Some people are spiritual and some are not, what do we do?
Are our other Christian friends dragging us down and discouraging our walk with the Lord? Our call to separation? It is easy to look on the outward appearance and forget that God looks on the heart...we don't know what might be going on below the surface. Sometimes it is easy to get wrapped up in other peoples problems or issues and what they are or aren't doing. Or are we encouraging and lifting up those around us?
To be friends with the world is enmity with Christ. Where do you draw the line? Do you draw the line?What is your testimony...do you have a testimony? Do you love your neighbor as yourself and judge not lest ye be judged? It is sometimes easier to be friends with the world because it is clear where they stand. To be friends with God's people is a bigger challenge because we are stumbling blocks to each other more often than encouragers of the faith.
Harder to say than do and it has been something that I have been learning for the last few years. Just to love and not judge......just love love love and shut up already! And you know what, after a bit it starts to stick and despite what you would want to normally think you just start to see things in a new light and see things just as they are and be ok with it. It is not my place to judge people, their actions might be something I don't agree with but I can still love the person and not the action. Christ loves us even when we are the most unlovable and wicked and dirty. He takes us in His arms and forgives us and cleanses us. I need to be the same. His light needs to shine through me.
And you know what....I kinda suck at this. I forget that I am to love and not judge and say stupid stuff I wish I could shove back in my mouth. But then I remember and pray. I am learning. Slowly.
Am I doing things for my approval, my friends, my family or co-workers....God?
What about fashion? Modesty? What is modest and what isn't? What is socially acceptable and what is God acceptable?
I struggle with this....I really do. I believe I can be modest and still seductive so then it becomes a matter of how I act as well. Where people struggle is on different levels and I still want to please my husband and not be frumpy....we have been there before and he NEEDS me to be kicking it up a notch for him...and truthfully I find it fun to do so! But how do I do this without going overboard? Is this something we need to work on big time as a couple?
At the same time I wonder if all these things that I wonder about could just be a big distraction. We live in the day of grace and what matters is the salvation of souls.
We can be distracted with a million things that take our focus off the Lord. Where should our gaze be? How do we refocus?
The pleasure of dabbling in sin is short term and the consequences are often forever. Pain that can last a life time and into eternity if we don't get right with God. And what have I learned? That living for God actually feels better, I am happier! You might think I should be miserable, sin can be so fun right?! But I am more fulfilled and at peace than ever. I am surprised too....I can only imagine the deeper I get how much better it could be!
I am finding that my faith demands more. But at the same time I feel like I am still at the beginning of a huge journey, like the Lord has so much more in store and I am holding him back by all the little things I let get in the way. I want to be more like Him but I know it takes time too. I am learning little by little as I go on.
You might laugh when you read all this, you know how I am and might wonder why I even think all this stuff. Ya, I told you I have a long way to go!!
And I fight myself on it too! I am rebellious by nature and want to do what is the opposite to what anyone thinks I should do. I find it hard to give in and submit yet at the same time care enough about what people think to also get held back. I am a conundrum!
Now I am going to quite writing. You can see a glimps of what has been going on around here
lately for a couple years. There is so much more still too. When I look around and it seems that most other Christians are fine with anything I think there might be something wrong with me. Have they been through this already and have come full circle and found out that everything is ok? Do I have a lot to learn or what?
So far I am learning that my faith....
And I will leave it at that.
If you feel inclined to comment please remember this is just what I am going through. I know we all are on different journeys and wherever you are is fine with me.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Oy vey! It just took me three shots to log in! You know you haven't blogged for ages when you can't remember the correct username/password combination!
Ok, so here are five more shots from my phone, hence the grain and then the rest are off my old handy dandy point and shoot which never seems to die and is so stinking handy since it fits in my pocket that I often use it over the big heavy duty good camera. I still love that lil ol thing. Anyway this post is not about phone or point and shoot photography or wannabe photography so I'll shut up about it now and get on with what I really wanted to say!
Thanks everyone for the comments and fb messages about my last post, the one about one of THOSE days, you guys (gals) are awesome! I know we all have em and we get through them and then the next day, week, month feels like bliss and all is hunkey dorey again!
Like one of you said, THOSE days are but hicups in life. And they are but they do make life sweeter in the end because they make you appreciate the good days even more.
OK, now I have to admit that I wrote a post to follow up that last one and then forgot to post it!
Obviously the days since THAT day have been a whole lot better, normal...whatever that is.
So what you are about to read was written a month ago now. And I am going to now get to work on what is really going on now!
So here is how the next day went. We woke up early again but I knew that it was going to be fine. Still no hot water but this time I knew it already so I didn't even try to run a bath. Ha, steps ahead! Coffee, well I planned an outing so I didn't have to try to make it eventually either, rather I would get it while we where out, now I was already way ahead of the game!
I washed my face and put mascara on, and felt like a million bucks! If I put that effort in, even to just put on a smidgin of make up I feel so much better. (Note to self, DO THIS MORE OFTEN!)
Maybe lip gloss tomorrow, ooo, and looking at this (really grainy-makes my skin look funny)shot I think I should cut some bangs too, we'll see. I definitely need a tan!
I think the fact that the sun was shining and the snow was melting might have helped a little too but truth was that I was in a different mind set. I had prayed and was settled and determined that we were going to have a better day. We would have an adventure, that is what life is right?!
We hit the road to a local town up the highway where my aunt works at the gas station coffee shop. We stopped in for coffee and met a few locals before venturing back out to check out the regional library.
It was funny, not in a ha ha way but just so different than the ones we were used to in the city. The kids were so excited until they saw it and then they asked to please go to the big central library downtown in the city next time. Can't say I blame them. Not that anything is wrong with the little library out in the small town but they like the toys and computers and activity boards in the city. It is just different.
By the time we were done checking it out it was noon and the whole town shut down for an hour so we went home for lunch and then headed out to take advantage of the warm day.
I thought a walk up or down the road, maybe around the village might be nice.
We never made it past the driveway.
And instead explored the yard.
OK, now that was as far as I got with writing that night a month ago.
Fast forward to tonight, posting night. Not sure where I was going with that now but hey, I was having a better day!
Now I want to get back to editing and cruising photos for the post in my head!
Here is to a great...super wet and flooded muddy spring!
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Yo, sup? (I don't know why I just said that , I never say that!) Really though, there is a lot up. Always is isn't there. And today was no exception.
Ever had a stupidly rough day? Not bad rough, just stupid. The kind of day that starts with your kids getting up an hour earlier than normal. Hmm, not so bad you think, I can make coffee right. OK, so I planned to make coffee, that took a few hours but hey, it's not bad just slow so far. A bath would be great and then we will be back on track. So I ran a bath. Hmmm, cold. I am guessing the element in the water heater blew again, this happened last week so I am guessing that is what it is. Still a bath would be nice. So I boiled water and added it to the cold bath and had a very short luke warm bath. Not so awesome.
But hey, the sun is shining and my kids are
running around nearly naked so I have less laundry to do cheerful and awesome. The day is looking up!
We are raising super heros you know!
They will wear the full armor of God and be prepared to ward off the whiles of the devil when we are done with them. Or so I pray. That is my job right? To prepare these little people for the big adult world. That is what I signed up for without even thinking about it 5 years ago. I am growing and nurturing future citizens here. Educating and leading. Not babysitting and entertaining as some might think. It is a big job and one that I feel like I fail at on so many levels.
Today I feel like the day kicked my butt. I set a few goals. Got half of one done, yip!
We were going to do school in a timely fashion. But we unschooled today. De-schooled.....didn't school, whatever. We started to do a project on building robots and were going to learn about setting goals and planing and following through and then seeing the final product while at the same time honing some skill with cutting and folding and gluing and taping and coloring and counting and writing. Anyway that all got derailed when halfway through the project Hudson spilled his juice box all over the table and we had to set everything out on a towel in the sun to dry for a few hours. We never got back to it. Tomorrow.
Some days we don't get to school until late.
And it is for the better, we are out on adventures and then at the end of the day with all the energy worn off we sit down and calmly get it done. Not today. Not tonight though.
Today was a run for my sanity. Well one little monkey gave me a run for it. The first two kids have been pretty content and happy to be pretty obedient kids. They fight and do normal kid stuff once in a while but they have always listened after being disciplined .... or maybe I am blocking it out but I sure don't remember getting the go around that I am getting with Huds. He is the biggest charmer and flirt and also the mischief maker.
Then again I never had a 1 1/2 year old with a half finished home and very tempting holes in the floors and walls. I have no idea how we will get all the toys out of the heat vent without taking all the pipes apart.
And the walls.
Oh the poor beautiful walls.
Seriously. You are busted. Again. Every stinking day.
Yes, I know why the Lord made you cute.
It is a very redeeming quality but it doesn't change the trouble in his wake.
I am so glad that Ronin has yet to be any trouble but the guy is on the move.
In no time flat now he goes from laying on his stomach to sitting up.
And is for the most part a happy camper, which I need since apparently I cannot turn my back for a moment or something happens. And if you are wondering about all the nearly naked pictures it is because it is so very hot in our house. Although it is frigid outside our furnace doesn't kick in all day with all the south window exposure. This guy was sweating up a storm.
Anyway, as I was saying something always happens the moment I am not looking. Toys and shoes and clothes and books thrown in the bath. Or maybe like tonight, a box of crackers and a box of cereal dumped in two seconds flat.
And I do think I should have been more in tune with what was happening behind my back but with Dave working late tonight I decided to let the kids watch a movie so I could get this painting done and shipped already. We would all be in the same room so I could watch them out the corner of my eye as I worked. However with no cupboard doors yet apparently the loot on the shelves is a little tempting.
And with me taking way longer to get orders out lately than it should (or maybe not) I was trying to get something done and wasn't looking for a just a few minutes. Two minutes!
After today I think that I really have to give up doing custom work for a while. I am behind and I have 10+ orders to get out in the next few weeks. I realize that this gives me some stress and I hate stress. I like that mellow non stress feeling all the time and when I am crunched with work I feel that icky tight stress ball creeping back. I rather like watching the kids pretend that the paint tubes are people and they play house as I do real house stuff. Then again this is just begging for an accident too isn't it.
Thing is that I love to do the work once I get started, I really love it and that is why I keep doing it. But isn't it true that sometimes you have to give up doing something you love to keep things going smoothly every where else. Something always has to give and it can't be the kids or the house or the meals. Of course now that they are in bed I can do some work and it is ok. I just CANNOT try to sneak moments of work in during the day again.
And did you know that trying to vacuum crackers and cereal from a shag carpet is a huge pain. Of course I was not too pleased and was vacuuming rather vigorously trying to get it all out and ran over the corner of a blanket. It jammed the machine and when I pulled it out of the powerhead I lost power. No spin action. Grr. I fiddled and turned it on and off and unplugged it and tried again. Dead. What should I have expected?! It is my lucky day right.
I was glad that Dave had left his shop vac in the play room and brought it to the rescue.
Only problem was that I had to use the nozzle. 35 mins later it was clean. That felt good.
Something got done today!
OK, so more than just that got done today but for some reason I just felt like I was 10 steps behind where I needed to be. I did figure out that there was a reset on the Dyson though after the fact. At least my vacuum isn't really fried after all!
Time to brew a cuppa tea already! Hello that can't go wrong can it?!
Oh ya. Guess who just brewed a cup of black tea instead of green without thinking and is now totally wired!
I might as well paint now!
But it is that weird kind of wired, when you can feel it in the pit of your stomach and you are kinda jittery. And I really need to
So anyway since my mind is spinning, wanna know something?
Well maybe some of you know this already since you might have formal art training but I don't have any so I will share it with those of you who don't know.
When I was a little kid we once visited this elderly woman in a town close to here and she took me into her basement to show me her art. She had (from what I can remember) some really stunning portraits and then she showed me how she painted them. Upside down.