Next is a recent development in him showing off his knowledge (taken 9/20/07).
Next is a recent development in him showing off his knowledge (taken 9/20/07).
We have officially begun one of many (down the road) projects on our 27 year old house that has yet to be updated. The kids spent Friday night and Saturday at Mike’s mom’s house so that we could have a date night (what’s that?) and get started without them under foot.
The current project is the living room. It has wood floors that are still nice and a beautiful huge stone fireplace which we love. The thing we don’t love is all the wood paneling on the walls. We’re talking floor to ceiling wood paneling. Oh, and long tubular fluorescent light fixtures. Oh, Oh, and in case anyone is interested in my opinion (which I’m going to share even if you aren’t), grass/hay/raffia/jute type materials are NEVER acceptable mediums for wall paper. Along with the wood floors, stone fireplace and not very many windows, the whole combination makes for a very dark room. And, the paneling is a picture frame design that is pretty prohibitive when hanging pictures. It puts me in too much of a box where that’s concerned.
So, our plan is to:
This weekend was “demolition.” We were not very encouraged about how much we would get done when the first pieces of paneling and particle board were extremely difficult to get off because all the nails that had been used. Mike said it looked like whoever did it had just gotten a new nail gun and was showing it off… 30 times in an approximately 3 foot long by 8 inch wide piece of particle board. He was so frustrated.
However, after we got past those couple of pieces, there were not as many nails and the rest went pretty quickly. We started at about 8:30 or 9 am, and we were done by 4 pm. This is how it currently looks:
Posted by Donna @ Way More Homemade at 10:35 PM
I got an email the other day from a dear friend, Lisa, who recently moved to another city. It was so good to hear from her. And I believe it was not coincidental that I got an email from both her and my dear friend, Sherri, in the same day. The Lord had been putting my name in my friends’ minds and putting me on their hearts on the day of my 2nd interview.
So as I was responding to Lisa, I just referred her here to read what’s been going on lately. She emailed me back and made an interesting observation / suggestion. And it is certainly something that I have pondered from time to time… Is the Lord calling me to ministry?
Wow. What a question. And a valid one at that. And, she is not the first to suggest such a thing. I have had several people recently say something similar such as asking if I would be applying for the open Children’s Minister position at our church (btw – I am SO not qualified for this position). I have also explored this from the aspect of trying to find a job in a ministry related area in recent months. However, none of them have been right.
While I do not rule out the possibility of working in ministry at some later point, as I discussed before, I do believe the Lord wants me, at least for this season of my life, to serve Him in a non-ministry position so that I may have the opportunity to minister to those who may not know him on a real level. I think the Lord has just clearly spoken to my spirit that ministry doesn’t just happen in the church. I need to, as our pastor says on Sundays, go and be the church outside of the walls of our church building.
So to answer Lisa's thoughtful question: Yes, I do feel called to ministry. Just not in a "traditional" ministry related job. I think the Lord wants to show me that ministry is so much bigger than just working at a church or in a para-church ministry job. I think He wants to show me what it means to be a minister in everyday life.
Ameriprise called on Wednesday and wanted me to come back in today to talk about an offer. So, I went this morning and talked to them and they gave me an offer letter that was, if nothing else, very thorough and very professional. It is a very good offer monetarily. However, the thing that has struck me the most is the confirmations that I think are coming from the Holy Spirit on both sides of the table.
Unless the Lord really reveals something unexpected to us this weekend, I do believe this is the road he is leading us down. And I believe that if this is truly where He wants me, then all the stuff with the kids will work out fine and I have no need to be concerned about Nathan being in childcare or my volunteer time at Sarah's school or anything like that.
I actually did some work in the yard yesterday. The weather has been so beautiful (other than the hay fever inducing allergens) that I just can’t stand to waste it being inside doing much needed housework. So, instead, I did much needed gardening.
I trimmed up my 1 remaining rosemary bush. There were 2 of them when we moved in but one died last summer. The remaining one was starting to get some dead spots so I trimmed those out. I don’t know how long rosemary bushes live, but these have got to be close to the age of our house, which is 27 years old. I also pulled a bunch of weeds in the “flower bed” and trimmed up my lantana, which was completely out of control and taking over like they tend to do when left unchecked.
As I finished weeding one section of the bed I came to realize that I had just disturbed and possibly destroyed an entire ecosystem. I know for a fact that I displaced many critters that had been living in the dense weeds and moist soil including (but not limited to – aka these are only the ones I saw): a large wolf spider possibly with eggs or babies, 1 snake, 3 lizards, tons of beetles, and a whole mess of earth worms (1 of which I kept for the kids).
As I always do when I’m pulling up the out of control weeds in my beds, I begin thinking of the spiritual implications of what I’m doing. First, I thought about trimming the rosemary bush and lantana. John 15:1-2 says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” This is exactly what I did… the dead parts got completely removed from the rosemary in order to hopefully preserve the rest of the plant. I ask myself, who is the branch that does not bear fruit? Is it the one who does not know Christ, or is it the one who knows him but is not living the life Christ wants them to lead? What if it’s the one who has always heard of Jesus, has a belief in him, but never has come to a saving knowledge and faith in Him? Is it the one who chooses to deny him Lordship in their lives when they have clearly been shown the path? I’m just thinking “out loud” here so if you have any insight on this, please share.
And I pruned the lantana so that more shoots would produce more flowers and hopefully draw more beautiful butterflies and hummingbirds to my back yard. I think about how out of control my life gets with me stretching my arms and legs out too thin like that lantana. I begin to wonder, “What does the Lord need to prune out of my life in order for me to produce more beautiful flowers to draw people unto Himself.” I did recently back out of one commitment that I had made as I felt that I was stretched too thin. I felt like I was going to be doing things only half-way. So I asked the Lord what needed to go. He was very clear in his revelation to me and it went.
And then there are the weeds. I had a difficult time finding a scriptural reference for this, and maybe it’s just an illustration I’ve heard over and over again, but I always relate weeds to sin. There is the Parable of the Weeds in Matthew 13:24-30 which may be where I’m getting this relation in my mind. But as I’m pulling up these weeds and I see how they have just taken over several beds, I think of how sin can truly take over our lives when left un-dealt with. If I would be faithful to ask God to reveal sin in me and to confess it and ask for forgiveness regularly, then it wouldn’t get so out of control… just like the weeds in my yard that I need to regularly pull to keep under control.
And what about all those critters? Getting all those weeds out of the way brought light to the underlying soil and the bugs went a-scurrying just as sin can only do when it is revealed in the light of His Word. What critters can live among the weeds of sin in our lives? The critters that come to my mind are people that are unhealthy for us to be around, situations that put us in danger, among other life situations that can all be displaced once we begin to deal with the underlying sin that allows those unhealthy situations to flourish.
Today was the first day of a new year of BSF (Bible Study Fellowship). This was Nathan's first time to attend and he was so excited this morning, saying "bible tubby" all morning. He was excited, that is, until we got to his room and he became overwhelmed with an overly exuberant teacher. I actually had to tell her that she was overwhelming him. You could just see it in his face... most of you know the look that I'm talking about. He went in screaming, but calmed down shortly and I actually made it in to the worship center for our opening time of hymns. I can't remember the last time I actually made it for that. We had a great morning and I am so excited and expectant of what God is going to show both of us this year in our study of Matthew.
I remember where I was, as I’m sure all of you do, when I heard the news – in the car on the way to help my sister do some things around her house. Mike called me and just told me to turn on my radio.
He answered, “It doesn’t matter.”
I remember us just being on the phone together as I listened and we learned at the same time that the Pentagon was also on fire.
“What is going on?” I asked quite distressed.
Can you believe it’s been 6 years? I can’t. I’m sure just like much of the country, I feel like it was just a few days ago that the events of 9/11 rocked our world and shook the foundation of our great land.
I recently encountered a situation where I felt like one thing right after another just shook my life. I was coming apart because there’s only so much shaking we can take. The circumstances drove me and the Lord drew me straight to His word with a heart that was pleading, “God, give me a word from you right now. If I don’t have a word from you, I am literally going to fall apart.”
As I sat down with my Bible, I pulled out some notes from a Beth Moore teaching session I had attended just a week or so before. The Lord led me straight to this passage:
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire.’ ” Hebrews 12:28-29.
Just let that soak in a moment. We are receiving a kingdom that CANNOT be shaken. Oh what an encouragement that passage was to me on that day a few months ago when I felt shaken to the core. The kingdom that I am a part of as a child of God cannot be shaken. I can stand firm on Him.
Let us all remember that fact as we also remember and pay tribute to those who died that fateful day 6 years ago.
On a similar, but separate note (quite literally), there is a song that we have been singing in choir recently that has really been speaking to my life situation and the place I have found myself spiritually recently.
God (You are my God)
Oh, Thou who knowest my beginning,
Thou who created the plan,
Who orchestrated my life’s journey,
God, You are my God.
God of decisions, creator of answers,
Thou who ordained my way,
Through my transition, held my position,
God, You are my God.
I will forever give You praise.
Honor and celebrate Your Name.
God of the past, present and who is to come,
Oh, God, You are my God.
Whatever you do with me is alright,
You have my total trust.
All glory and honor, dominion, and power,
God You are my God!
Let those words just fall and rest on you for a moment.
Some of them were very revealing and eye opening to me. He knows where I come from. He created the plan. We all know how much I love a plan, but I've always viewed it as my own. To understand anew that He created it, was a fresh revelation to me. He has orchestrated my life’s journey and put me exactly where he has wanted me each and every step of the way.
The Holy Spirit has just been speaking to me about this as He has been re-revealing Himself to me as sovereign over my life, which is one aspect of His character that got many of us through the events of 9/11/01. It’s something that I know, but I suppose it’s been mostly head knowledge and not something I have truly had to live out and depend on Him for. So, for me to be able to sing at the top of my lungs in my car (and you know I do – and pretty well imho) but also from the depths of my being that whatever He does with me is alright and that He has my total trust… well, that’s huge.
And that’s just what I did today as I was on my way to my 2nd interview with Ameriprise. I had such a sense of peace as I entered the building that felt completely relaxed and I feel that the interview went well.
My dear friend and fellow sahm, Cristel, asked me if I had any brain freezes or lapses, and I said surprisingly, no. She felt encouraged that I could still have an intelligent adult conversation. We laughed at the thought of me reverting to my current role and reaching across the table with a tissue and telling him to blow, or asking if he wanted me to tie his shoe. I’m picturing the wife in the movie Mr. Mom as she reaches over and begins to cut up her boss’s food when they are on the company jet.
So, I guess I’m just in the waiting phase right now. I continue to pray for patience and clear direction where this job is concerned. I still have so many concerns: for Nathan’s care, for my involvement at the school, for my poor pitiful house. I am confident that if it’s where I’m supposed to be, that all those little details will work out, but they are just concerns that I have.
Lord, calm my fears and concerns. Give Mike and I a clear indication if this is truly what You have for our family at this time.
What you see below are a couple of recent entries to my personal journal. As you may or may not be able to tell by reading, I have been doing a lot of personal self-examination recently. To be perfectly honest, I have been in quite a dark time in my life recently dealing with a sense of purposelessness and finding my way through times of depression. I’ll not post all of my journal entries from the summer in order to spare you the gory details – although I will always reserve the right to do so. For now, let’s just leave it at this… it was a difficult summer for me spiritually and emotionally.
However, my God and Savior is good. As the Psalmist says,
I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.
Psalm 40:1-3 NIV
Indeed I pray this to be true. That my feet would remain on the Rock and that many would see and put their trust in the LORD.
The Plan. Has the Lord revealed it to me? Have I found what it is He wants me to do? I have the sense that this is it, but I guess it still remains to be seen.
I submitted my resume to Ameriprise Financial in Hurst a couple of weeks ago after finding a job posting on KCBI’s website. However, I had just decided I was not going to pursue it. I was pursuing my Lord. Working to live out my purpose of knowing him better. Then they called and wanted me to come in for an interview.
So, I interviewed with the guy, Mike Lord, on Thursday. I felt like it was a pretty good interview. They even want me back in on Tuesday to interview with some of the other people I would be working with. The position seems to be a good fit so far; part time, flexibility in schedule, and close to home. But I have still had reservations.
Then I attended the Ladies Conference at church where Esther Burroughs was speaking last night and this morning. Last night she spoke on the topic of one of her books which was basically showing Christ to people in everyday life. She talked of being so full of Him that He just “splashes” out on everyone around you… especially as you are in situations with non-Christians.
I could just feel the Lord speaking to me as I listened to her. I could sense the Holy Spirit reminding me of what I sensed Him telling me a couple of weeks ago… that maybe I was supposed to work in a “non-Christian” environment to have maximum impact for Him. That perhaps this job was that opportunity that He was giving me to “splash” all over a new set of people in a different sphere of influence. And yet, I still have reservations.
I got home and began sharing some of this with Mike. I began asking a lot of questions to Mike and myself. How will it be with me working? Will I be able to keep up with the house? Will my time with the kids suffer? Will I still be able to volunteer at the school? Among others.
Mike is so encouraging. He said that our financial situation aside, even if it is a break even proposition financially, he feels like I do need to work. But, I don’t want to be so focused on getting house-work done when I’m home that my time with Sarah and Nathan suffers. We can hire a housekeeper to come a couple of times a month if I’m not able to keep up with things. So, what about volunteering at the school? Well, maybe after a while, you can switch around your schedule some every once in a while… stay later on other days to have a Friday off for a field trip, etc. Okay, well… I began to run out of questions.
So, is this it? Like I said, it still remains to be seen. I still have an interview on Tuesday (which I may need new clothes for) to meet the other guys with whom I would be working.
Lord, be very clear to me this week. Give me a clear vision of your plan where this job is concerned. If this is not where you want me, then give me a clear sign at the interview on Tuesday. If it is where you want me, then also show me that clearly. Lord, I want to follow your plan, I want to be in the very center of your will for my life. Please show me clearly what that is.
Purpose. My purpose on this earth. This is something I have desperately been trying to figure out these last few weeks and I’ve finally had a breakthrough.
I’ve been meeting with some friends on Sunday evenings to do a Bible study on the Virtuous Woman (Proverbs 31:10-31). It’s been so nice to meet especially with Keal through this time as she has been experiencing and going through many of the same things, feelings, and emotions that I have lately.
During our last meeting of the summer on Sunday, we made some meaningful discoveries. As we were talking about the chapter on purpose, I mentioned the booklet that I had read by Beth Moore about purpose. As we were talking through the points that were being made, we were both nodding and saying, “Yeah, but what is my purpose?”
I couldn’t help but think that the idea that our purpose is to live for His glory and pleasure and to know Him and make Him known is an overall purpose for any Christian. But I was also thinking that there would be a specific purpose for me. And then it hit me.
Maybe that’s just it. Maybe that is my purpose. What if that truly is my purpose in life and the rest is just specifics… the plan (so to speak)? Now, maybe this is all just semantics and doesn’t make a bit of difference. But it’s very liberating to me to think that I have discovered my purpose and now I can agree with God about it and simply ask that He reveal His plan for me in this specific time.
My purpose is…
My plan is (as I know it right now)…
Another ground-breaking discovery that I have made recently is concerning my job search. I have been thinking that I needed to work in a church or ministry; and for good reasons. I think that a ministry based job would hold more satisfaction for me as well as they would probably be the most reasonable as far as me being a mom and taking care of my children. However, as I have considered the fact that finding that type of job would likely include a church change, I have had to seriously consider if that is what I’m supposed to do. And it has occurred to me that it may not be what I am supposed to do.
When we first enrolled Sarah at her private school, we determined that we would have to search out ways to minister to non-Christians if our child was in private Christian school. We would not have that constant contact with non-Christian class-mates and their families. So we decided that we would have to play sports and do other things outside of school so that we and Sarah are exposed to those who do not know Christ. It has occurred to me that this might apply to me and my job search as well. It is possible that God wants me in a non-Christian environment to make an impact for His sake.
So, as I discovered this possibility, the job at a Bible church across town that I have been pursuing became less and less attractive. That is until they called and emailed me on Monday wanting to set up an interview. For so many reasons that job was not a good fit for our family: the drive, the logistics involved with Thursday evening hours, changing churches, difficulty getting involved there if we did change because of the distance, the lack of peace there would be in our household if I took that job. And yet, it was so difficult to reply back to them and say no to the interview request. My flesh kept saying, “This is what you’ve wanted. The exact right job for you. Just go to the interview and see.” And yet, the Holy Spirit kept prompting me to say no, to deny my flesh, to honor my husband’s opinion and wishes. It was incredibly hard. But that’s what I did. And I indeed have peace about it.
So, I ask, dear Lord my Savior and Friend, continue to reveal your plan to me. Help me see clearly what you have in store for me. Be extraordinarily clear about my working outside of our home. Make it so that I absolutely cannot deny your hand. And help me to give you the absolute glory for whatever happens.