Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You.
Psalm 63:3

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

...a bit of a mood swing...

I just read that last post and in the dark of night as the exhaustion of the day sinks in, my words seem so flippant. I am excited to travel, maybe, but will so be here, too. My default decision -making process would be to ask everyone around me what I should do...let's try this...where do You want me?

My mom has a new mountain to move. And I stand ready with grubby clothes and a shovel in hand. Or does He want me to just get out of the way and watch Him work? Where do You want me to be?

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Call

Some of you may know that I don't make a habit of answering my phone when it is 7 inches away, much less leaving one ear open at all times, leaping over small people, jettisoning toys, pillows, etc. But we've been listening for ringing phones frequently of late. And Sweet Man's "work phone" rang Monday at 3:15 pm and we both stopped and looked. 

It seems that some folks in Wichita, KS need the company's help...he boarded a plane today at 9am. (I make it sound terribly thrilling, don't I? Have I mentioned I'm itchin' to hit the road?) Now I need to gather all the belongings I've squirreled away in three houses, sort, and pack. Oooh, and complete the important task of tracking down a Kansas charm for my bracelet. Meh, not crazy about it really. You can laugh, if you wanna...but not too much...take a peek at our accommodations

Don't know when we're leaving...it's a 14 hour drive (so much different then that 20 hr trip before,) so we will be back and forth a bit more so we can keep up with Mimi. 

And of course, pieces of my heart will stay here. 

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mom



Lots of you have asked about my mom. So, mom, I'm gonna out you some more. The way I see it, the more who know, the more will see God glorified.


My mom has been diagnosed with lung cancer. She says she's waiting for the doctors to prove it to her...and we know God can heal her at any point with a touch or with medicine. May His will be done. She begins the medical part of this journey soon, but I can tell you that her spiritual quest is well underway. Go, mom! I'm right behind you.

Op. Ed. Part II

Taxing business to build revenue?

History teaches us that government does not ever make money; it spends money and at this point it is spending money it doesn't and may never have. When government implements a new program, it goes on whether vital or obsolete. Government agencies are not shut down. They go on in perpetuity. The current administration and Congress are not the only to hold accountable...I get it.

Only ideas, services, industry generate revenue. But we have fostered consumption instead of creation. And developed greater dependence on the government. 

Higher taxes do not help businesses. When a business adds an extra expense for nothing in return, it must cut some other expense. The quality or quantity of the goods/services must therefore suffer. Employees must either be paid less or downsized.  Increasing taxes on businesses can only weaken them.  Further taxing limits growth, drives away business, and debilitates a company's fiscal health. If excessive tax drives a business out, where then do we recover that revenue?

(Also on my "to be read" stack is more info on the Fair Tax and the Flat Tax, 'cuz I don't get that stuff at all.)


Bottom line: I'll keep my babies, my Bible, my (husband's) guns, and my money (to paraphrase Hank Williams, Jr.) I'll support your right to disagree and continue to worship the One who is in control.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Things are different


This week has been a series of hazy, distracted days...you know, those days where you look around and wonder, how can people be acting so normal? (well....at least I wonder....) They're just doin' what they do, driving their cars, picking up their kids from school, shopping for dinner. Other days I've had life-changes, I watch the mundane enviously and wish I could have that kind of day or that they could at least recognize that my world is shaking. I've half expected to see my momma's face on the evening news. She's sick and things are different today. But she and I worship the One who is in control and will praise Him during and after this. (Really, her idea...I'm going to try to follow her lead.) Please pray for her and the decisions she needs to make.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Op. Ed. from AV

Today's post is not fluffy nor particularly funny, because I'm mad and a little worried.  And hang on, 'cause I'm not too eloquent and a little all over the place here. I'll split into parts; maybe it will be easier to chew on in bits.


Okay, ummm....I never intended to make this blog a political commentary and this may be the only time, but here is my stepstool soapbox. My elementary understanding of the workings of this country should prevent me from writing. But I'm trying to soak up, sort out, and assimilate information. On my current "stack" of "to be read" is the Constitution. This is an invitation to reasonable, respectful discussion - but please no heated debate or cyber yelling - I'm not cut out for that.  


For those of you who have known me since forever may think that my political ideology is inherited. But I am confident that I have considered alternatives and have tested and proved that conservatism resonates with me. I am a pro-life, crunchy conservative who is becoming more confident and tiptoeing out of the closet. I am a single-issue voter; I am not a right-wing extremist.

I have spent delirious driving days listening 8+ hours of talk radio. I am a frequent listener otherwise, but that was a bit much and I don't recommend it. My rants may have been conceived then. In an attempt at wisdom, I kept my mouth shut. But they are coming to full term and I must share some thoughts. My head hurts from the glaring inconsistencies in today's ideologies. 

And of course, then my momma invited me to a Tea Party which fired me up even more.




Spending our way out of debt?

There is culture of entitlement that has developed in recent generations, mine included. It must be some inherent, insidious, sin-nature thing, because my hard-working parents certainly didn't operate under nor perpetuate this worldview. We had enough, but not too much, and I directly or indirectly understood that family, faith, and hard work were the treasures in this world. But as I became able to make more of my own decisions, I've had to work hard to recognize and fight against a sense of entitlement. Consumer debt - yea, I know what that is and have waged my own war against it.  I've ratcheted up and chipped away at many a balance. Maybe some of you can relate.

I remember when Sweet Man and I applied for our first home loan while I was still teaching and running the learning center. The bank approved us for a loan much higher than we expected. Very tempting - but we tried to be wise. We were thinking ahead to a time when I would not be earning an income. We bought our house knowing we could make payments on his income alone and did not max out the value of the loan. I'm sure others were just as enticed by inflated numbers, believing the banks and feeling their families deserved more. I have felt entitled to a certain way of life and want to provide that for my kids. I have tried to live happily on borrowed money and it doesn't work for me. And I still have to fight the urge to overspend.

Now we face this economic crisis/challenge in our country. We see banks and other foundational industries failing because of the same overextension. The house of cards has begun to collapse.

But bailouts? Borrowing money from a not so friendly country to save companies that made poor decisions? Warning: broad generalization coming...some of the same individuals who support the bailouts are evolutionists and believe in Darwin's survival of the fittest model. Doesn't that apply to business and industry? If a company's goods and services are not satisfactory or needed, shouldn't that wasted effort be allowed to "die off?" Or if that company's leaders have not made sound decisions, should those individuals' careers end at the very least? Why are we propping up the weak with borrowed resources? Where are the consequences? 

And the stimulus money slated to "rescue" homeowners puzzles me. I understand that there are legitimate times when people (and maybe even companies) need compassion, help, advice, whatever...I've needed it. Thank you for grace. I have made poor decisions where I was fortunate enough to have someone to bail me out. Those events evoked enough stinging humility that I pray I will not soon repeat those mistakes. Just like with children, we do not do them any favors by excusing or ignoring selfish behaviors...we need to feel the sting to remember the lesson. 

So I will continue to pay my mortgage...and not expect anyone else to.

Yea, I'm blowin' right past that proverb of the wise man saying little - I never have been accused of being wise. I'll keep working on it. 


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

In the Valley





We've been spending much time at Sweet Man's parents' house. They take good care of us there.

We interrupt their usually quiet days with laughing, cartoons, cap guns, and tantrums. Sometimes we chase the noise outside or to the big basement. They say they don't mind the busy-ness of us...I'm trusting them to tell us when it's too much.

When I go to a home with a beautiful view, I want to make a cozy nest and spend the day staring...the Valley has that kind of view. I can see a worn red barn surrounded by green winter wheat fields and a creek that is in no hurry to get anywhere. Yes, I could sit a while with a cup of coffee, but that would mean someone else taking care of my babes and that happens enough anyway.

My day begins as I hear footsteps in the loft above my room. Grandpa opens the gate...yes, really, I barricade my children at night...and makes chocolate milk and coffee for us. I can't vouch for the milk, but the coffee is fantastic. Bean usually stomps down the stairs, across the living room, and into the room to jump up on Grammy's bed...SLAM! Good morning, Bean....

Fox News, breakfast, my shower and getting dressed all happen...and the day unfolds...

We often do school in the basement or hang out in Grandma's office watching Noggin. Sometimes we throw a little housework in, but never enough to earn our keep. Bug might help Grandpa outside in the shop. Bean helps Grandma in the kitchen and may share her warm yummies with the boys in the shop. Grandma always has yummy meals for us...mostly I try to stay out of her way.

The Amish store is a fun trip down the road. Much Word Twist is played on Facebook...no names, thank you. There is a nearby pool house for swims. There is the spring and the creek to plunk rocks and play Pooh Sticks (thank you, friends...now I understand the magic of Pooh sticks.) Keen eyes are always spotting wildlife - deer, turkey, groundhogs - and the field glasses are passed around.  Walks and naps take place in the afternoon. And then evening...dinner, little TV, few games. And maybe best of all, I have my own room - aaaahhh. I let Sweet Man share it with me when he's home, of course.

All in all, it's a great place to be.

I need to do a better job taking pictures. But here are some.  

Going to a Tea Party today...stay tuned for political ranting....







Thursday, April 9, 2009

One more thing



Please, Lord, give me (and my children!) just
one more thing...



...a grateful and content heart.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Easter


Our celebration began March 28th and hasn't stopped, yet. We've colored eggs, gone on two hunts, played with cousins, and participated in the church's Easter Cantata...well, Bean did. (So did Mimi and Opa - hooray!) I think we might have one more celebration still. 




Bug won a prize at the Vineyard's hunt. He found a slip of paper in an egg and turned it in to claim "1 Medium Bunny." Our friend, Miss Rachael, declared, "Well, that must be his name...Medium." And so it is. It's bright pink and sparkly and is a good snuggler.



Best of all, we've had some talks about Jesus. Mean people killed Him, He went to the tomb, and when His friends looked for Him, He wasn't there. He had gotten up and walked away. Miracle #1. He was so strong that death could not keep Him.  We are sad because we sin, but He can clean our hearts.  It gives us the chance to know our God and be with Him...miracle #2.

And to bring the peace of heaven into our lives here. Miracle #3. Extravagant. Yes, please...more peace. 

Have a wonderful Resurrection Day! (click for Resurrection Buns recipe.)


video


Why is it...?

...that I am a better momma/wife/friend/person when others are watching...and even sometimes then I'm not so great. Wandering hypocrite heart of mine. Whose turn is it to watch me? Heaven,  help. 

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Watch

Don't mean to be so commanding, but it gave me goosebumps to watch...love that. And someday I may actually post again....blessings to all.