Going nuts.

The kiddos are driving me NUTS. Grace has been irresponsible with our DVD collection, and leaves DVDs out of the case on the floor. Imagine her surprise when her favorite, “All Dogs Go to Heaven,” is skipping in several places. Then she starts screaming, b/c she just can’t bear it. Then she pushes AJ, who starts screaming. Then the two dogs start playing with each other, knocking everyone over in the process.

 Today is not a knitting day. We’re packing up and going to the park to feed the ducks and the swans. We need some nature. My favorite author, Anne Lamott, says that she was advised, “God is in creation and that if we want to be closer to God, we should get outdoors as much as possible”.

 It makes sense to me. And I really need a God-dose today.Grace and the Swan

Eve loves birdwatching.

My climbers.

They really do love each other.
AJ didn't think the bread was stale!

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Kimono -part 2

Well, the yarn was bulky (no label, so I guessed it was worsted weight) and I needed worsted weight. So I had to buy 2 more skeins of yarn, but they’re self-striping and oh-so cute. I didn’t finish it in time for the baby shower, but I gave my friend a card and told her it was in the process. . . and she had already seen the yarn and commented on how pretty it was at Bible study so I knew she’d be okay with that. I finished the knitting part, now am sewing the seams. They’re trickier and taking longer than I anticipated, but I really want this to turn out nice.

Baby Kimono

I’m knitting a baby kimono for my friend’s shower this weekend. I thought one skein would be *just* enough, and I had the cutest color that I got out of the bargain bin with no label. So of course I’m not going to have enough, now that I’m about 40% of the way finished. I can’t start all over–no time. I’m going to have to add solid color panels that coordinate, I think. It’s time for a trip to the LYS!

How long?

Yesterday in church our pastor touched on something that I’ve suspected for a while. We’re studying the book of Habakkuk, and learning how to pray during hard times. The first lesson is: Express yourself. Don’t be afraid to complain. God already knows, so you’re just being honest and authentic with God.

We also learned that God doesn’t always answer prayer the way we’d like, expect or hope. When I was a camp counselor, I heard a pastor say, “God ALWAYS answers prayer. Sometimes it’s yes, sometimes it’s no, and sometime’s, it’s WAIT.” Waiting sucks, to be sure.

Anyhow, during yesterday’s sermon, our pastor cautioned us, “Never pray for patience!” 🙂 Meaning that God’s way of building our character is to make us “earn” those attributes and work for them. Typically you don’t wake up one day with a huge amount of patience. You learn patience by dealing with trying situations.

I’ve been suspecting that with regards to finances, God works the same way. I’ve been praying that God will make me more responsible with money, and will help relieve our financial burdens. I had hoped that would mean winning the lottery or inheriting a large sum of money from some study I didn’t know about or making my crafty business a huge overnight success.

Instead, we have the added pressure of losing money on our rental home that we can’t sell b/c the market in FL sucks. Then the a/c in the rental home isn’t running efficiently and the tenants are displeased–there goes over $4000 at last count. Then I broke our dining room table glass cleaning it this morning. What’s next, God?? Huh?? I’m so frustrated. I’m a bookaholic, and instead of buying books (I can’t remember a month ever going by where we didn’t spend at least $50 on books) I’ve been using the library. I haven’t had a haircut and highlight since May. I haven’t bought new clothes for self, and the kids are wearing handme downs and consignment shop bargains. I’m sewing. We cloth diaper. We don’t have cable or satellite television–just DVDs we already own and we subscribe (for $12/month) to blockbuster online. We are renting a home currently because we don’t want additional expenses of home renovation/plumbing problems/etc. I haven’t been to the optometrist yet to get more contacts so I’m stretching out the ones I have as long as I can. So is Terry.

We’re not eating out nearly as much. Cereal, oatmeal or pancakes for breakfast, spaghetti or grilled cheese for lunch, and a homemade dinner. I’m baking bread in the bread machine (bought years ago at a garage sale for $5) instead of buying loaves. I’m simplifying, Dammit! I AM!!!  We had hoped when we moved to Utah that we’d be able to fly back to FL every few months. Many unforeseen expenses have popped up alone the way, and I just don’t think it’s EVER going to happen now.

And we’re still losing money every month!! How long can this go on? Our savings is dwindling and I Feel so hopeless. How long, Lord? How long will be too long???

Sunday School

I teach jr. high Sunday School at our church. Most people look at me with awe and say, “you VOLUNTEER to teach teenagers?”  Yep, I sure do. Jr. highers are so funny, and so open to new ideas. They’re not stuck in trying to be uber mature, like sr. highers and they’re ready for some higher levels of thinking, unlike their elementary school counterparts.

Well, I had a lesson planned out for today. It was pretty good, IMHO. But last night (amid AJ throwing up several times!) I dreamed about a completely different lesson. Different method, different topic. So I went with it. Was it God? Or was it my subconscious? Who knows? But I really do feel like God led me to teach this lesson. I had the students number a piece of paper and write:

1) The number of Bible verses they have memorized

2) The number of hours they spend helping others and participating in local missions every week

3) The number of people they have brought to faith in Jesus Christ as personal Savior.

Then they drew a line separating number 3 from 4 and continued with:

4) The number of times they sinned this week

5) Did you honor your parents all the time?

6) What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?

Things were pretty quiet at this point and I was afraid I had scared the new guy away!

We talked about earning our way into heaven and feeling completely hopeless about our behavior.

THEN

We looked up Bible verses pertaining to being saved by faith: John 3:16, Philippians (I’ll come back later with specifics!), Romans 8:1-2, etc.

We talked about being saved by faith and grace. There is a different religion in our midst that requires one to complete good works in order to make it into heaven, and I think the teens really needed to hear that Jesus died for their salvation–that they were created because God loves us. They needed to hear that the Bible teaches that all who believe in Jesus and accept him as Lord are saved!

Then we discussed loving God with all our hearts, and how out of that love comes a natural desire to please Him with our actions.

I was really pleased with the students’ comments and questions, and I DO believe that I was led to teach that this morning.

What a morning.

It’s 10am and the kitchen floor is covered in oatmeal. My shirt is covered in oatmeal and AJ’s blue longies are covered in oatmeal (thankfully his pants have white flecks thru them, so it looks ok!). My glasses have oatmeal on them. The dogs have been eating oatmeal. AJ’s shirt has oatmeal all over it. It’s an oatmeal day, I guess. AJ refused to sit in his high chair, choosing instead to sit at the table, as has been his custom for the past week. He couldn’t see over the top of the bowl and accidentally spilled some oatmeal. He was frustrated and dumped the bowl upside down on the table. I scooped the oatmeal back into the bowl. Finally I put him on my lap to eat. Hence oatmeal all over me.

Meanwhile, Grace is whining, “I want more oatmeal. I want more oatmeal.” There isn’t any. She’ll just have to wait.