Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Writer's Block

Maybe I'm having writer's block because I'm exhausted. My daughter, almost 11 months, decided for the last 2 days to go way off her schedule nap wise, which of course makes her cranky, which of course makes me cranky...and the cycle is vicious! Today she refused to take her afternoon nap and so she slept a total of 45 min. all day! We did everything we could to keep her awake until bathtime at 7 and then she only took half of her milk before she was as floppy as a wet noodle. Seriously, carrying her upstairs, the washing machine kicked into geer and made me jump from surprise, then a bumped into the door causing another bang, and none of this phased her. I laid her in the bed and raised the rail and that was that. It was great. And now it is 8:13pm and I could crawl into bed without getting ready--that's how tired I am. Amazing. I refuse though. I have nothing of much relevance to say today, but I am going to accomplish something before I crawl into bed dog-gonnit!

Monday, May 29, 2006


Hallelujah for a four day weekend! Of course it makes the week that follows just fly by. That used to be a good thing, but now it seems a little sad. I know that I have party plannin day with my mother-in-law tomorrow which is likely to be an all day event. Wednesday, I have to work childcare that night which severely shortens my day. Thursday, I have to work childcare during the day for a VBS meeting. And Friday? Hopefully no scheduled events. Then it's off to the races again starting on Sunday with a lovely membership class (finally found a church we can get at least a bit excited about). Monday is childcare all morning, a drive to Montgomery to see two college friends and their babies. Then Tuesday through Friday of that next week is everday childcare from 9-12:30pm VBS!

Just writing it all down makes me tired. I promise my life hasn't been this "busy" in I don't know how long. And truthfully, I prefer a slower pace. I used to pride myself on all that I could accomplish in a short amount of time. It sort of made me feel superhuman. Now I see how stupid that was, and whether or not that makes me feel older or is that way because I am older, I don't care. God says that we are to live an abundant life. How can life be abundant if it's flying by so fast we can't even remember what we did when and with whom.

I know that my husband would think that I had absolutely lost my marbles, but I wouldn't mind living with so much less. Everyday I think he would be less surprised by this statement. I am so satisfied with having the necessities and my family. Sure it's nice to have some things, but sometimes having so many things is not so nice, more like overwhelming and chaotic. Truthfully, I have learned how to create alot from a little, and I like doing it. It is challenging and fun! I think it's funny that I feel like I have to be so secretive about this wanting less stuff, and less expensive stuff. I guess that's not at all in sync with society, so it somehow feels unnatural and strange. Regardless, people that live this way tend to be much more content and peaceful.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Nitty Gritty

So, there is a lot of just nitty gritty stuff going on in my life right now, and I realized that I never really write about that. I guess I feel like I've always got to have something insightful and mind boggling or inspiring and such. Well, maybe this will inspire, or maybe you'll just think that me and mine are simply nuts. Who cares. Here it is.

We are poor. Really, salary wise we are smack dab in the middle of average American. However, following our friend "Katrina," we made some dumb financial decision and plummeted ourselves into deeper debt. Now we can't blame everything on "Katrina," but I will say that prior to that event, my husband and I had a very specific plan and were hacking away at our debt. Granted, at that point, we really were poor. We were on the WIC program. We both worked. We had free childcare, one car, were breastfeeding (saves moola), student housing ($400/mos), tuition (which was cut in half by scholarships/grants), and who knows what else.

Then "Katrina" blows through and suddenly we've got to provide basic necessities with no income for 6 weeks until we can get back to our house to get these basic necessities that we already owned but had no access to. We have a day, two tops to get it all and get out (we know we are blessed to have had most of it still retainable). Then we scramble to get a "home" to rent (deposit, app. fee, etc.) for 3 months till we know better what the future holds for us--and this with no secure employment. Finally a job! It's not great, but it's something! It's boring--alot like Office Space the movie--but it is income. I still haven't figured out if I'm supposed to work. I loved work! Really! But I have a child at home who needs me, not to mention childcare is expensive and makes working seem like not enough money for the time put in. So, if we are now living 28 miles from Jason's job, not to mention the frequent traveling he does to and from his various facilities, and I am stuck at home with an infant, it seemed that we needed a second vehicle.

Here's our biggest boo-boo. Instead of graciously accepting the freely offered vehicle from his brother, we take on the responsibility of another car note; a van-sized car note.

We are lamenting that decision now that we are trying to go the Dave Ramsey route and get ourselves out from the financial pile that is smothering us, to the abundant life of financial freedom.

We are doing well as is and finally have a budget that at least works. We are trying the envelope system, and we have managed to pay off the Taurus! Still besides rent, our biggest issue is the lovely van-sized payment. So!!! Here is the crazy part. Jason and I, and my brother's family, are praying for a $4,000 vehicle. We are not picky about make or model or year. We do want it to be reliable since my child will likely spend a decent amount of time in there. But after much prayer, debate, and discussion, Jason and I have decided that we are on the same page and will pray in agreement, and we are excited to see how God answers this prayer! Can't wait to tell that story.

So there is the nitty gritty. Hope you didn't get too bored. Maybe it even inspired you to get you finances in order, communicate with you spouse, or even to pray. Who knows, but there it is.

Saturday, May 27, 2006


Sweet day from heaven! I got to leave my house with no responsibilities other than to pamper myself and try to ignore the fact that I have dependents. Now I know that anyone else out there who has a spouse or child knows exactly what I'm talking about! The last time I got to leave my house alone and just for the sheer purpose of doing something just for yourself was November! And it had been way before that in November. In fact, when I left for my outing in November, I had less than 2 hours and I cried on the way to the mall cause I was so relieved and overdue for the break. Then I get into the mall and have no idea what to do. I barely shopped. I felt like I needed a personal shopper or something.

Today I knew right what I wanted. I wanted to escape into storyworld in the dark in front of a big screen with one hand in a tub of greasy popcorn that cost more than a kidney, and the other hand gripping the icee I'd craved for a week! I didn't even care what show I was watching (disappointed that most of the movies I wished to see weren't even out yet). So I hunkered down and watched Over the Hedge. It was a cute movie with a moral, although the storyline at least thematically seemed repetitively familiar. At one point I began to comment out loud because I had forgotten that I was finally alone. Ahhh!!! Thank you God and Husband for relieving me of my never-ending employment for those few precious hours. You may never know how much those times mean to me. They seem to somehow restore a small sense of my humanity.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Soul Patrol!

whoopie!! GO TAYLOR HICKS!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Water's Edge

"Come and listen. Come to the water's edge all you who know and fear the Lord. Come and listen. Come to the water's edge all you who are thirsty. Let me tell you what he has done for me, he has done for you, he has done for us. Praise our God for He is good! Come and listen. Come and listen to what He has done."

As I was on my way home from work last night (alone which is rare), this song began to play. I had heard it maybe a few times, but it had been quite a while at that. It gripped me...enough to eject my husband's CD and take it in so I could further inspect this song. Sure enough, I woke up early this morning with no desire to return to sleep. I peeked in on Mercy (my daughter) who was sleeping soundly though upside down. I covered you up a bit with a blanket, and then headed downstairs. I wasn't hungry and my husband in all his kindness, cleaned up last night, so there was no busyness to attend to. So, I sat in my favorite chair with Jason's ipod, found that song, and listened. His bible was laying out from where he had obviously been reading it last night after I had gone to bed, so I though why not.

Now this is not the first time I've picked up the book. At minimum I have a masters degree from a Baptist Seminary, but it's been a while. Yesterday in church I was thinking about the reason that I felt as if God were there but silent. Honestly in my mind's eye he was hovering over me observing with his arms folded and absolutely not participating. Now I know that is how some believe that God works (or doesn't). But I traditionally believe that He is very involved if not responsible for the goings and comings of everyday in everyway. However, it has felt as if He had removed His hand from such things in my life at least for a time. I knew He was there, but He seemed uninvolved, uninterested. So, I was pondering how that could be. I wondered if I might be mad at God after all I had been through. I wondered a lot of things actually until I came to the realization that I'm not mad, I'm indifferent. No maybe scared. It's truly as if I've been ignoring, avoiding God because I am afraid of what He'll say or do next.

I find all of this a little strange, because logically I think, how much worse could it get than where I've been? I know that God is not out to get me or my family. In fact, it is more likely that God wishes to bless us tremendously and yet I'm trying to avoiding doing my part. God gives generously, but He also asks of us our participation. And I am tired, weary even. I am not very interested in further change. So, I think these are the reasons why God has seemed indifferent.

So I'm sitting in my favorite chair with my new found friend, this lovely song worded above, and I just listen (as the song says) to God. Now I don't hear God audibly, but it might as well be because usually if He is speaking to me that "still small voice" is pretty clear. This morning, he gave to me Chronicles. Whenever I'm picking up the bible for the first time in a while, I find it difficult to know where to start. So today, I started in Chronicles. I thought it odd to start in an Old Testament book, but as soon as I found it, I didn't think it odd anymore. Sure enough, I opened it to chapter 15 where David is organizing the return of the Ark of the Covenant (significantly the presence of God). The whole thing was done so precisely and yet with such excitement and jubilee! So I'm listening to this song (above) on repeat and here are the words that I read, "Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderous acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the lLord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always...Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Then all the people said Amen and Prase the Lord."

Needless to say I got the connection. Church, the questions, the song, His word. God worked today even if this moment is all my feeble mind can grasp today. He was present and active--and so was I even if the steps were small. I have come to the water's edge.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Still Unpacking

You know...we moved here in December and I have spent the last two nights unpacking and would you believe there are still 4 or so boxes to go! It's like a never-ending cycle for us. For one reason or another my husband and I have moved just about once a year since we've been married! I wouldn't be surprised if there was another move in our not too distant future. See, we didn't choose this last move, it chose us. Won't you know as soon as I get the last box unpacked, the last picture hung, the last decoration in place, it'll be time to pack again.

It has its advantages. Newness is exciting and adventurous, but if you are leaving so soon there seems to be a lack of motivation to get involved, to build relationships and such. That is sad. My friend, Kelli, reminded me that we need to seize every moment because it is all we have. I may be here a long while or not long at all but these moments however long or short are equally important. I know in my mind that is true, but my heart hasn't wanted to hear that yet. After all I've been through this past year, baby, Katrina, loss of jobs, change of environment, increased debt, and loss of support group (friends and family), I think my heart can not yet gear up for attaching and separating again. I guess there are some other figurative "boxes" still in need of unpacking.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Even though I know it was just days ago that I wrote, it seems like ages. I actually commented on another person's blog about how their life seemed to move a lot faster than mine, and sure enough the momentum in my own life has begun to pick up. Not that I've figured out which direction I'm headed ! ha !

My lasagna for Mother's Day was a big success! I have decided that I never wish to have another Mother's Day like that again. I barely even noticed it was my day, and it was my first one. I got 5 1/2 hours sleep trying to get the baby bag ready for nursery, the presents wrapped and cards created, and the food ready. Then I had to prep the lasagna at 6am so that it could slow cook while we were at church for baby dedication. Mercy was a hit at dedication. She looked like a magazine add or something. Of course, I can't forget how adorable my nephew was also. However, my unsolicited opinion is that if I had a boy I would put him in one of those handmade, heirloom, froo-froo things. He would only be so little for so long. I know that whole subject is as touchy a debate as politics!

The large 15 person gathering was not bad. Everyone was on their best behavior, or as best as can be expected! There were a few negative comments here and there, a lot of over-eating, but for the most part it was pleasant. My lasagna was so good it reminded me of my mother's, and my sister-in-law's cake was not only beautiful, but tasted fabulous too. It created quite a buzz which should drum up some business for her.

The best part was a reward, a gift if you will, for me from my daughter, Mercy. She is just a hair over 10 months old and she took her first steps that day! Happy Mother's Day to me!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Family Lasagna!

I love my family...all extensions of them, but boy is it tough when we/they all get together. It seems like something always goes array, as if the stars were stacked against this gathering of minds and mouths. Tomorrow is mother's day and the day that my daughter, Mercy, and her cousin, Stone, are being dedicated. This event dictated that all of our mutual family, along with my husband's entire family of origin get together in the same room for the service and for lunch afterward. This should be interesting in any light due to the culture differences from the various family groups. Among them all are very wealthy, very poor, stingy, generous, loud, quiet, positive, negative (and the list goes on) individuals that span several different generations. We've got some in their mid 60's, some in their early 50's, several in mid to late 30's, one in early 30's, the other adults in their mid to late 20's and two infants not even a year.

I am anxious on so many levels about this shindig, and sure enough, murphey's law strikes again. We had plans to have this function at the largest house, then it was passed off to my husband and I (we have a small 2 bedroom townhouse)! So I purchased $100.00 of food for the occasion only to get a phone call that it is back on at the other house. This is ok because it's bigger, but now I have to bring the food since I already planned and purchased.

My planning was centered around two crockpots, which I thought to be a pretty ingenious idea. I borrowed my sister-in-law's pot and went to pull out my own only to realize that I haven't seen that thing since before Katrina! Needless to say, it is the night before I have to throw this together and I'm trying to figure out how to make one batch in the oven, one in the crock pot, and still get me and my family ready for baby dedication! People should get medals for this kind of stuff! I guess that's why they have Mothers' Day. Wish me luck. I should have some great stories tomorrow!

Friday, May 12, 2006


At what point do dreams have to give way to reality, actuality? I was confronted with the question yesterday, "is there a passion or dream that you have not pursued for fear or any other reason". I had to honestly answer yes. The irony is that I would never have admitted this in the past and people would never have guessed, but I have avoided certain situations that may have led to further success for fear of rejection. That is not the only fear I have in regards to my dream. My dream, you see, is to be a professional performer, to do what I love and was made for as my career, my income. I sing, but I would venture to say that is not all. I worship and lead worship, and feel whole and complete when doing so. I don't believe that God gives you gifts so you can bury them.

This dream is no new thing to me. It has been around for decades. Yet my job right now is bringing up my daughter, Mercy and keeping a neat house (the latter of which I'm not so good at). I must say that it is not so outwardly glamorous a job. My other fear is not of failure or rejection, but actually the fear of success. So what if I do become "famous" per se? What will happen to my priorities, my family? I've seen so many relationships go bad because of the stresses of the biz. I don't want that.

So where are the battle lines? How far do I go to follow my dreams, and where do I sacrifice for my family? This is the never ending tug which I tune out and ignore so that I don't have to make any decisions. I believe they call that denial and it can't last forever, but honestly the problem might solve itself in this case if it's left long enough. So, still I wait and lie dormant, possibly stagnant until I'm ready for God to really deal with me.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

What's Today's Date?

The life of a stay-at-home mom... I have asked the above question several times today. And except for paying bills, what reason have I for knowing the date? I am a stay-at-home mom by default and sort of by choice. Hurricane Katrina blew my family to Alabama and pulled the carpet of employment out from under me. It being 8 months later I am coming to grips with it all, but still find myself missing adults, and being bored. I know that this is a trying time in my life and that life will not always be this way, so I wait.

I'm beginning to wonder really if waiting is what I'm supposed to be doing. I remember a few years ago when I would take nothing for granted. Every new thing was an opportunity. What happened to that girl? Did she drown in the flood or get lost at the hospital when I was giving birth. One of my friends said that I was simply trying to find my identity as a mother rather than an individual. That sounds logical to me, but isn't there room for both. I mean isn't it better to be a balanced combination of these things? I really liked Gini as an individual. She was fun-loving, spunky, outgoing, attractive, smart, and so on. Can't I still be these things and be a mom? What a cool mom I could be if I figured this balance out! I hope I find me soon so I can be the wife and mom that my family deserves.