Thursday, March 31, 2011

a project... with a story...

I don't have a lot of time to spend on here right now. But, I wanted to share this quick story with you all!

Here are the facts:
-my husband is in Haiti on a missions trip
-I tend to lack the ability to sleep well when he's not home
-so, I like to take on home projects while he's gone... it's something to do when the boys go to bed... fun to learn how to do new things... as well as a great feeling of accomplishment!

In the past, I've painted rooms, changed tile flooring, replaced light fixtures, etc...
This time, I decided to replace a bathroom sink!

This is my first attempt at a plumbing job, and, so far so good.

Just like any project, it has become a little more laborous than I originally gave it credit. Part of that is my own fault, as I decided to paint the bathroom as well. (right now I'm waiting for the coat I finished to dry, and then I have to get back to work)

When I was at the hardware store a couple of weeks ago, I picked up some paint samples for the bathroom, just to give them some thought. The one I kept leaning towards was a strawberry color... kind of pinkish. My boys were not thrilled.

I had sort of let the idea of painting the bathroom go to the back of my brain... that is until today. HA!

I began the plumbing part of the project last night, detaching the water supply (yes, I turned it off first), and taking out the old sink. In doing so, I snapped one of the "nut attacher things" (my own plumber lingo) in half. Yes, that's brute strength right there! So I had to go to the hardware store today for that, as well as a new faucet, and... some other things. hehe.

While I was there, I thought of checking the oops paint area. You know, the $5 paint color mistakes nobody else wants. When I looked where the section usually is, there were no paint cans there. I walked up and down all 3 aisles that have paint supplies, thinking they may have moved them. When I got to the last aisle, with no oops paint in sight, I actually said outloud, "Lord, I'd really love to get some reddish paint, but I need it cheap...?" We'd been at the store for a while at this point, and the boys had reached the point where they were looking at me with those begging eyes of "can we please go home now?"
I asked the worker at the paint counter where the oops paints were. She told me that just this morning, someone had come in and bought ALL of them, there were no more. Bummer! But, then she asked me what color I was looking for? I told her a reddish, somewhere between a strawberry and red clay. Her eyes lit up, and she ran over to a gallon of paint sitting on the counter. When she brought it over, I saw that it was almost the exact color I was describing! She went on to explain that she'd JUST mixed the paint, and the customer who'd asked for it decided that they didn't want it afterall. I ended up getting a brand new, just mixed gallon of paint for $5! Don't tell me God isn't into the details of our lives!!

I couldn't help but to laugh! I looked at my boys, and asked them if they realized what had just happened? D  (11 yrs. old) responded. Laughing.. (I'm pretty sure at me... in a respectful, loving way though) "Yes... God gave you the paint you asked for. Now, can we go home?" haha

I went on to tell the worker what a blessing it was to get this paint, and how God had shown Himself in this little detail. She agreed with some things I said, and hopefully seeds were planted.

As my boys and I were walking away from the paint counter, she stopped us just to compliment the boys on their outstanding behaviour. :-) Makes a Momma's heart proud. But, even more importantly, it was a great lesson for the boys. Not only were we able to testify of our great God who loves us, but they'd been an example of His love in how they'd obeyed me while we were there. The boys were keenly aware of the fact that if they hadn't been obedient, that their behaviour would have marred the name of Jesus.

When the Holy Spirit lives in us, we have the capability of sharing His love and light wherever we are. Or, we can choose to hide it, and miss great opportunities to see Him and share Him.
I'm glad He met me and my boys in the paint aisle today :-).

 I must get off of here and get back to work!
Here's a sneak peek of what's up in my hall bathroom...
the old sink...

I am NOT going to miss that yellow sink... it already looks better :-)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 rest

I'm just gonna' be honest with you all. I am TIRED! So, you're thinking, go to bed... Normally, I would agree. However, right now my husband is in Haiti. And, when my husband is away, sleep seems to elude me. Seriously, I can go to bed at my normal time, and lay there for HOURS. Tossing and turning, checking the clock, certain that it has to be morning by the next time I check... only to find that 45 minutes has passed. So, I find that if I stay up very late, when I do finally hit the pillow, I'm able to fall asleep.

(On a side note... I don't know how you military wives, and wives of men who have to travel for their jobs have energy for anything. I would live with huge, saggy, dark bags under my eyes, and an IV drip of coffee. You have my admiration.)

It's not that I'm anxious about him not being here. *Although, there was a time when I felt that way. He's been on many missions trips since we've been married. For many years, I wouldn't even stay home by myself.*  I am keenly aware that I'm the only one who is listening for the boys during the night. Normally, I'm a very heavy sleeper. There are many nights that one or more of our boys have gotten up, Dave has helped them stumble to the bathroom and back to their beds, and I've never known they were up. One of our boys is a sleep walker too. (I could tell you some stories about that one!) So, that fact alone keeps me more "awake" than I normally would be with Dave here.

Mostly though, I just feel "out of sync". My world is not complete. Plain and simple, I need my husband.

The house just isn't at rest when my husband is gone.

I don't mean to sound like I'm complaining about him being gone. While I'm not thrilled that I get to survive the week on a caffeinated level of sleep deprivation, I am truly grateful that he gets these opportunities to go to other countries and minister to the people there.

It's also been neat to talk with my boys about the part we play in this missions trip. With each passing year, and each trip Dave goes on, they become more aware of the work he's doing on the trips. They are also more aware of the fact that he's not home, missing him greatly. In the past few days, I've had the opportunity to share with my boys how the Holy Spirit can put someone on your mind, and it's a great idea to contact them or pray for them right then. As they've been missing Daddy so much, he's come to their minds often. Yesterday, Isaac (6 yr old) was sitting on the couch with his head bowed. I asked him if he was okay. He quickly looked up and said, "I thought about Daddy, so I'm praying for him." I love to see glimpses of faith being put into action in the lives of my boys! It was so neat to talk to Dave that evening, and find it was close to the time Isaac was praying for him, that he was assisting one of the other team members (who's a PA) with a gentleman who'd accidentally amputated some of his fingers on a motor chain. I'm sure that Dave did everything he could to help. But, it's definitely a first for him! There's no doubt that God was comforting Dave during that event.

I am thankful for a husband who loves God so much, and is willing to go to the ends of the world (literally) to tell others of His GREAT LOVE. I am also thankful for my boys, who are here with me, praying for their Daddy, and the rest of the team. I am thankful for the lessons we've learned together about prayer, and the prompting of the Holy Spirit when He lives in us. And, I will also be very thankful when my husband arrives home later this week!

He will walk in, and our home will be as it should be... at rest.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

to Blog, or Not to Blog?

So, I pondered doing this blog for months, and have now been writing and publishing it for 4 months. I have to admit, I had second thoughts while deciding to go through with this blog. While I've kept a journal for many years, and have written many things down, I doubted that sharing things would be "worth it"... or at least that's what I kept telling myself.

With the knowledge of a persistent urge on me to write and share, I finally had to ask myself.
What exactly was holding me back? Why wasn't I being obedient in this? Who was I trying to protect?

The answer was swift... as well as a wake-up call.

I was trying to protect myself.

Protect myself from scrutiny, and perhaps criticism.

See, I knew that I couldn't publish a blog without sharing a piece of my heart. I knew that some of my inmost thoughts would surface. Those who read it would begin to understand me better. And with that, there would be an increased vulnerability.

The possible whispered thoughts and reactions of those reading rang in my head...
"Why is she writing about this? Who really cares?"

But, I was quickly able to quiet the clanging voices, and push forward with publishing my first posts. I was humbled and thankful for the responses from so many of you. Countless numbers of you have either commented on here or FB, or shared with me personally how the stories (albeit serious or silly, long or short) I've shared have been an encouragement to you. I am SO GLAD! Thank you for your sincere feedback.

 I personally love reading the blogs that I follow. I look forward to signing in, see who's posted a new entry, and gaining insight into the lives of those who've shared. I enjoy hearing about other's adventures, trying new recipes that are tested and highly recommended, enjoying a funny or serious story that happened in the life of a dear friend, and reading how God is teaching them, even if it's just what a verse has meant to them that day. I've found this "community" to be one of great encouragement and nurture. The blogs I read bring me joy.

God's Word tells us to be an encouragement to each other, always considering how to push each other to love and do good.
I find that blogging (as well as other social media tools) can be used for just that.

Hebrews 10:24-25 "And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more, as you see the day drawing near."

Of course, this is possible as we meet in church with each other. But, I find it's also possible as we share our hearts on here, uplifting each other through what God is doing in our lives. It's not a replacement for meeting with each other face to face, please don't misunderstand me. But it is a wonderful avenue by which to encourage and be encouraged.

With all that said, I'm gonna' keep on bloggin'! :-)

And, I'd like to encourage you to as well!!

A special tug to those of you who blog but don't publish (you know who you are :-) ... Don't be afraid to share. You don't have to publish everything you think and write. But, I, for one, am interested in what you have to say. You matter, and so do your thoughts.

Love you all!

Monday, March 14, 2011

"Lettuce Alone"

I know, I've been a bad blogger. I haven't been on here to write in over 2 weeks. But, we are alive and well.

I've been busy with some "extras" around the house. One of them is painting my kitchen.

Ever since we moved in, our kitchen's been a dark brown color. Honestly, I never terribly disliked it. It was neutral, but it really didn't exude any personality. I LOVE bright colors! Seriously, sometimes I wonder why I wasn't born in Mexico, or somewhere that uses bright and warm colors in all of their decorating.

Thoughout the years of my marriage... ever since I've had my own house to decorate, I've clipped out magazine pictures or kept articles with pictures of decorating that I like. One thing is very consistent in all of them. NONE of them have white walls. In fact, most of them stay in the red and orange families. Staying with this theme, I have a red wall in my dining room, and my living room walls are orange, along with 1 yellow wall. I love the cheeriness the colors automatically lend to the rooms. So, as I picked a color for my kitchen, I kept cheeriness in mind. I ended up choosing a bright green, called "Lettuce Alone".


....and after!

I'm very pleased with the result! My kitchen is bright and cheerful! Dave says that you can still see in there at night when the lights are out. HAHA.

I found the name of the color kind of funny. "Lettuce Alone" seemed very appropriate, as I've been preparing to get a garden in this year. Some of the seeds I want to plant I've had since last year. So, before I went to the trouble of planting them and then figuring out that they were no longer viable, I wanted to check them to make certain they would germinate. This became a fun little project for me and my boys. We took a styrofoam egg carton and placed 2-3 seeds from each packet in to seperate sections of the egg carton. We placed the seeds on small, folded pieces of paper towel. Then, we made little flags to label the seeds. We've watered them every other day, and kept them underneath a small flourescent, over-counter light during the day. After only 1 week, this is our result! Looks like we're good to go with our seeds! I'm getting very excited about our garden!!
Lettuce sprouts :-)

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