Wednesday, September 12, 2012

always wanting

My husband, the wonderful guy that he is, sends me out of the house this morning to have a breakfast date with me, myself and I. And, more importantly, my Bible.

I drive down the street to vi and order some breakfast, hot tea, and crack open my Bible and journal.

I'm overcome with relief. Peace! I'm going to enjoy this moment. Truth is, I've been a little down in the dumps.

About two weeks ago I posted how delightful things have been going... so of course, leave it to the enemy to come and steal my joy when I'm enjoying it the most.

I've been a little -- okay, a lot -- impatient with my children, feeling stuck in motherhood, confused with  certain relationships, and just plain ol' tired*.

 *Sleep training a one-year-old-co-sleeper-breastfed baby is not fun.

My Bible is opened to continue my read through Psalm 119. If you don't know, it is the longest chapter in the entire Bible with a whopping 176 verses of scriptural goodness. Today I tackle another clump of those verses.

Back to the point, right? Down in the dumps.

Beside the children and sleep deprivation, something that has been festering me is the need to purchase.

"What?" you say? That's just it. I want to buy.

New shoes.
New shirts.

Ok, well mostly just those two item are the ones I really want. But when I set foot in any store I just feel the need to spend. Of course, I don't have the funding to just spend for spending sake... so I leave the store with my intended items.

And I'm left discontent. Always wanting.

I'll justify my thoughts with the fact that what I want is not ridiculous. I'm not just going to go buy a whole new set of towels because I want to switch the colors, even though the ones we have are in perfect condition. No, but... I need to replace my mixing bowls. I've been wanting a better bag. I could use a new jacket. I only fit into two of my pants (going cold turkey on dairy months ago made me shrivel to a bean stalk), so a third would be great. I want to start some art projects, so I need this, that, and the other thing.

Money, money, money, money!

       I hate you, money!

---- I am going to tie these two stories together, I promise. Right now.

Lord, why am I always wanting!?
Incline my heart to Your testimonies, and not to covetousness. Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way... The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of coins of gold and silver. 
Those are words I read, enjoying my breakfast and tea; hungering for Truth.

My love of the words of my Creator and Savior should be more precious to me than things. What comparison is there between eternal truths and shirts that tear?

In reality, what I want is not a new wardrobe, but what I want is to know my Lord more. King David loved God's word; they were his comfort, stronghold, hope, defense, satisfaction. So when I think I'm in need of something this earth offers, my lack is actually a devotion to the Word. There is a richness in those pages that no amount of money can buy.

I check the clock: it's time to get home so Jason can go to work. I chug the last bit of tea, pay my check, and pull my hood over my head before leaving. It's raining outside; a perfect, steady fall. The living water that is quenching the thirst in my soul is even more satisfying than the drops that fall upon me.

Don't you love when the Lord speaks something directly from the letters on that thin page of your Bible to the depths of your heart?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

the battle

A few minutes ago I finished reading Acacia some stories from her Bible. Today we read about the Israelites crossing the Jordan River and battling over the lands that God had promised them. As God's chosen people were in a quest to inherit the Promised Land, the victory was already theirs.

After we finished, I sat staring into the breeze swayed trees pondering war. Mostly, my gratefulness that  I'm not involved in one. I watched Braveheart this weekend for the first time since I was a little girl. It's a very gory movie. Probably realistic. I'm amazed that men would line up, run, and attack each other; risking harm and death by arrows, swords, spears, and the like. It makes me shudder. Says the girl whose heart rate skyrockets when receiving a shot.

I'm so very thankful that we don't live in times like that anymore. (At least... for now.) No, our world is NOT in a state of peace; and yes, some of us (bless her heart) must sacrifice our dear ones to serve our country and fight for freedom. But, in general, Americans live in peace.

And I think we take that for granted far too much. We've become lazy.

I notice the same issue in the spiritual realm for this country. We've become lazy. We've said the "sinner's prayer"... then we live happy (or not-so-happy), forgetting Him day by day. We lose sight that we were saved from a world of sin into a heavenly Kingdom, the promised land.

The battle isn't over.

The enemy is on the prowl. He is out to steal, kill, and destroy - just like King Longshanks to the Scottish people. Souls are being lost to the enemy. Lives are being ruined. Marriages torn apart. Children abused. Citizens murdered.

And are we fighting for our Kingdom? Are we sitting and watching our neighbors, deceived by the enemies lies, form allegiance with him? Do you observe -- and not take action?

       Beloved Saints,

You must fight with me. I want to wake up and be prepared for battle. Put Truth around my waist, Righteousness for my breastplate, prepare my feet to walk by the Gospel of peace, using Faith as my shield, Salvation as my helmet, equipped with the Sword of the Spirit - which is the Word of God, and most of all, to cloak my life in prayer. I will go in the name, in the love, of the King.

The victory is already won. Christ, the Righteous, has conquered death. But the battle for Life is not over. Death awaits many of those we love. The King must reign in all our hearts.

I'm tired of being a lazy soldier.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints
Ephesians 6:10-18

Saturday, August 18, 2012


New Year resolution: Simplify.
Status: Underway.

Give me a moment to debrief you on the past eight months. 

My family has approached a more natural lifestyle -- we've significantly reduced our processed foods, meat and dairy products, upped our fresh produce consumption (organic, when it fits the budget), and I've started making many of my own household cleaners and toiletries with natural ingredients. Every nook and cranny in my house is almost completely organized and purged of uselessness (last space to tackle is the basement *insert BIG fake grin here*). We even did the unforgivable! -- got rid of our TV and DVD player!

All these things have helped my home life feel so much more... simple. Natural. Easy. Happy, even.

Honestly, the one thing I miss the most, the very most, is shampooing my hair. The luxurious lather of thick bubbles foaming on my head and the house-consuming fragrance of it all. Think... Herbal Essence commercial.

But that's it, really! 

More recently, I've had a wonderful change in the way I do things around the house. Following the link posted by I read an article called 10 Things That Will Make You Happier at Home. I love all ten points and some I already follow; but there were three that I've newly embraced. 

1) Making my bed everyday. I know what you're thinking: What a nasty little thing she's been! Well, sorry to disappoint but, I lost my OCD in this area when I was preggo with #2. I'd make my bed to impress my husband and maybe a guest -- but mostly I'd just close the bedroom door. 

2)Bring every room back to "ready". Ingenious. Take a few minutes to return things to their place before leaving the room. Easy peasy -- and what a world of difference it makes! Lastly, 

5) If you can't get out of it, get into it. As the article quotes, "The dishes are not going to clean themselves, so you will do it, and you will like it." I think Mary Poppins says it beautifully [note: must be read in a charming English sing-song accent] "In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and snap, the job's a game. And every task you undertake becomes a piece of cake....!" You get the picture. And you're still singing the song. That's ok, so am I. Go ahead and finish it off, "... in the most delightful way!"

Maybe you are happy-go-lucky: you already make your bed everyday, tidy up after yourself [and your husband, and child(ren)], and you merrily accomplish the mounds of dishes and laundry. I still think you should read the other seven tips. 

Now, I've saved the best for last! The most exciting change of the year has had nothing to do with natural, simple, effective, or efficient living.

It has been the change in my heart. 

I've chosen to delight myself in the Lord. To turn my constant grumbling into honest thanking. He has filled me with purpose and joy. 

And practically? - He has empowered me. 
      Patience: with the three year old. 
            Selflessness: with the husband. 
                  Desire: for godliness. 

It is a "simple" change of lifestyle. And I'm so glad I'm underway!

Monday, May 14, 2012

project: simplify - week 5 complete


Five weeks of Project: Simplify c.o.m.p.l.e.t.e.

P.S. I got last week's before-and-after pictures up!

This past week was Free-For-All - which meant that I got to tackle any area that I wanted to.

I chose the linen closet and bathroom cupboards... Let's take a peek!

 Top of the linen closet, before and after.

Bottom half of the linen closet. I threw away two grocery bags of junk (half empty body wash, shampoo and conditioner bottles -- since I don't use that stuff anymore).

 Bathroom vanity.

 Under the bathroom sink.

Hair tie drawer.

 My Honey tackled the bookshelf! :-D (p.s. that one on the left is a before picture from when Jason did the Paper Clutter week three.)

Now that I am complete with Project: Simpify, I have quite a good pile started for my yard sale that is coming up soon. There are two more large areas of the house that I would like to sort through though: the crawl/storage space under the house and.... the garage. Dun dun dun.  I'm hoping that Jason will help me with the crawl space and I will help him with the garage. I'll post before and after pictures as I continue my quest for a de-cluttered home!

Monday, May 7, 2012

project: simplify - week 5

Project: Simplify week five begins today.

And this weeks mission: free-for-all!

That means I get to tackle wherever I please.

And it would please me to clean a few areas. To start, I'm hitting the linen closet. Then the bathroom vanity and beneath the sink. If possible, I'm going to persuade Jason to spend some energy on either the bookshelf or garage - the, eh... "choice" is up to him.

As you know from last week, my camera is broken, so before-and-after pictures are contingent upon it being fixed. Otherwise, I may just have to resort to using my crappy pixelated cell phone camera, what-a-pain.

Wish me luck! :)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

project: simplify - week 4 complete

Woot woot!

I've said that the past three Project: Simplify "complete" posts, so I figure I'll just keep it going :)

It was really refreshing to get my kitchen cleaned out. I set aside a counter-ful of items for the yard sale, filled a paper bag with old medicine bottles, and filled half a trash can with bad food. 

I've got a bunch to show you!

Top half of the pantry.

Bottom half of the pantry.

Fridge. I'll give you a dollar for every difference you can find...


Spice cabinet.

Random big cabinet. I love this change.

Lazy Susan thingy-ma-bob.

 This medicine cabinet was awful. Disgusting, truly. I'll show you all the junk I pulled out of it:

All that stuff was overflowing into the other side with my teas.

There is my tea cabinet. The red box got organized, but I didn't take a picture of the teas inside.

Well that's it folks! :-D

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

what to do with all those bags

During this weeks Project: Simplify, I dealt with a giant trash bag full and overflowing with grocery bags. I had it shoved in my pantry for easy access. I took it out, tied it up, and hauled it off to the grocery store for recycling today. But I don't want that much space to be invaded again.

I'm going to show you a little trick that I learned from a mother-in-faith about a year ago -- but I've disregarded it until now.

Is this what your counter looks like when you get home from the grocery store? Of course, only when you forget your reusable bags and forget to ask for paper bags, right?  ;)
Well, I forgot to do both, but I won't forget to avoid the pile-up of unused bags.

First of all, lay the bag out flat. Start folding the bag up by about the width of one of the handles. I run my hand over each fold to push out the air - from closed end of the bag to the opening.

It will probably take about five or six folds until you have one strip of bag.

Grasp the closed end with your first three fingers and start rolling the strip of bag around your first and middle finger. Not too tight, but not loose either.

Once you get a few inches from the end, grasp the tail and push it in between your rolled up fingers, pinching it in your finger tips.

Pull the bag through so that the end is shoved into the roll. 

Tada!!! And you can even do it with the produce bags...


Now go back up and take a peep and that heaping pile of air and bag.

Much better use os space, wouldn't-ya-say?

I'm putting this little pile of bags in a small box in my pantry for use during the week. Next week when I go grocery shopping, I'll just take whatever is in there and drop it in recycling. Unless I know I will be using my re-usable bags; in which case I will make sure to leave about 8 folded bags, for whatever.

Easy, peasy.

A special thanks to Mrs. Lopez who taught me this trick. Sorry I have ignored it for so long. I now know better!