one of those times

Sometimes it just does me good to talk/type. Since I have already confessed to being a loner…. my blog has historically been the place that helps me talk out my feelings.

Tonight I just need to confess… sometimes… I get crazy! Sometimes I read into things. Sometimes I take things personal. Sometimes I get aggravated…. even angry. Sometimes I think I know things… and guess what… I don’t always.

I say what I feel and what I think and what I have found is…

The combination of all of these things…. does not work out well for me most of the time.

I am thankful for a God, a husband, and a little boy who know me and love me anyway.

I am thankful for a God who shows me my faults and helps me heal from damage I cause to myself.

I am thankful for a God who can help me raise my head everyday and keep on moving because He has helped me understand that no one is perfect.

I am thankful for a God who helps me to see my imperfections so that I am not walking around everyday blind to them and satisfied with who I am.

I am thankful for a God who is helping me… with every mistake… learn the importance of speaking less and listening more.

In the times that I like myself least… I am thankful.

I refuse to let the devil convince me that I am unworthy of love and forgiveness.

I may be unworthy… but I am loved and forgiven!

On Friends and Relationships

I have been thinking on this blog post for a long time. I have been thinking on it for so long … that I am not really sure where to begin or what exactly that I need to share. I just know that it has been on my heart for a while to write it… and quite frankly… I am tired of thinking about it. It is time to just write it. So…. here goes nothing!

Friends and relationships… that can be a touchy subject and I am pretty sure what I have to say is likely to be misunderstood. I am pretty sure that some people who would read this would not agree with one word that I am saying. What I would have to say to that is…. “I don’t care!”. Let me explain….

Over the past few years, I have had some pretty significant changes in my thoughts and feelings about those that I love. Friends and family!

For way too many years I had a messed up thought process (I feel) on the importance of family/friends and their role in my life. That sounds really harsh I know. To provide an example and an admission of my own immaturity…. for years… Michael (my husband) wasn’t ‘my family’. He was my husband! My parents and my brothers, etc…. THEY were my family. Pretty messed up, right?

Thankfully…. the Lord helped me get that one figured out after a few years of marriage. I will spare you the story of how I had to learn my lesson…. let’s just say that I have historically learned best… the hard way.

Since then… I like to say that the Lord has helped me to ‘break chains’ in areas where my thinking has continued to be wrong. There were several relationships that I valued the other person enough to let them have influence over me and my decisions. Is that always a bad thing… no! Is it a bad thing if it keeps you from seeking God’s will and ONLY listening to Him. I think yes! I mean… we all wonder… when making a decision that could be considered controversial… ‘what would so and so think’… insert any family or friend name that you want. Whether we realize it or not… that can have an influence on our decision… potentially holding us back from doing something God is calling us to do. (and I don’t mean homeschooling… not pushing that agenda … thought I should go ahead and clear that up)

Friends…. hmmm… I am probably considered an introvert. I love people… I love a lot of people… but having friends or family to my home on a regular basis is just not something I do. Would I like to be the kind of person who has people over a lot? Yes. I have come to accept that fact that… it just isn’t who I am. I have always been independent and a loner. Anyone is welcome in my home at anytime. I may not always invite you over for a dinner that I cook… but if you drop by I would be thrilled to see you and spend time with you.

I see a lot of posts on FB, etc… about ‘true friends’ and it just gets on my nerves. When I see them… depending on who it is from… will determine the response I want to scream like… “quit being so needy” or “it is time to get over it already”, etc. But… then God does what He does and reminds me that not everyone is like me and I shouldn’t expect them to be. And then I feel bad and feel the need to remove the log from my eye for thinking that I have it all figured out!

Friends come and go! People change…. hopefully… some for ‘the better’ and some… not so much! You grow apart… you live different lives… sometimes a friend relationship has just run its course and there is no good reason to keep it going. Maybe it is bringing you down and it just needs to be let go. Does that make you a bad person? I don’t know! If so…. I am probably a bad person. I am okay with it.

I have friends…. I feel like I have a lot of friends. Do I have friends that I hang out with on a regular basis? Not really. Do I need to do better about getting out and having some ‘friend time’ ….. probably. I feel like I don’t dwell there. I don’t know why friend relationships are of such importance to us.

I have had a lot of people ‘gently remind me’ that because we are homeschooling… Carver needs to make sure and get that social interaction. I just laugh a little inside. Do I want my boy to know how to interact with others? Of course. I want him to know how to share and how to get along with others. I just find it a little amusing that when our children are smaller we are so concerned with making sure they have friends and have that interaction with kids their age… and then when they get to be teenagers and all they care about is their friends (I know… I was one of them)… we can’t understand why and it becomes a problem. Maybe I am not seeing something but I feel like we just put too much thought and worry and pressure on ourselves and others… in relationships… that shouldn’t be so important to begin with.

God said to love Him above all others! How many of us really do that?

Family and friends… they will always let you down. Even with only the best intentions in our heart… we are human and sometimes even the ones you love the most and who love you the most can do nothing…. say nothing… to comfort you and bring you peace. In my own experience… the Lord is the only One…. THE ONLY ONE… who can comfort in times of need… who can love you unconditionally when you don’t deserve it. As a wise friend once said “He is the only One who can make you feel like you are the only one”! Amen to that!

What I am finding to be true, for me, is that in the process of God making me new… I am loving people in my life appropriately. Instead of loving people ‘too much’… I am learning to love everyone the same… which means for some… less. I feel so much freedom in that. I worry about doing what God is calling me to do… not about what my friends and family might think. I don’t care if I look like a religious nut when I talk about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit… I simply don’t care. There is a joy and a peace in this place that cannot be explained. Or maybe it can….

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

Am I saying I don’t think we should have friends or love our families? Absolutely not. I am not saying that I don’t have friends or family that I love a lot because I do. What I am saying is that there is a freedom and a power that comes from putting our relationships in the proper perspective. I would almost bet that if we did…. people wouldn’t let us down nearly as much. How could they when you are looking to God for every answer, for every healing, for every comfort… do we really need anyone else?

It Started With A Seed

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Carvers Kindergarten teacher had all of the children in his class plant a seed, in a cup, toward the end of the school year. The cups sat outside so they could get sun and water…  you know… all the things they need to grow.

We had a lot of rain in May which meant the cups were toppled over… or flooded… on several different occasions.

On the day that the cups were sent home, I learned that Carvers seed did not sprout when most of the others did. The teacher had given up hope that it would but she wanted to send it home anyway… along with an extra that she had planted for ‘an emergency’ like this.

I also learned that day that while waiting in the car rider line… to make matters worse… Carver spilled almost half of the soil out of his cup.

I was pretty certain that his seed was not going to sprout after getting all the info on the poor thing. However… in an effort to avoid a potential melt down (because my boy has a big heart)… I placed them both in the windowsill.

Before long, Carvers seed DID sprout. It proceeded to grow straight and tall… standing right out of that cup. The other seed continued to grow… with some twists and turns… which caused it to stay inside the cup.

One day as I was looking at the cups, in the windowsill, I felt like God was telling me… “Carvers seed did not grow at school…. but look at how it has flourished at home”. While those words may not be the exact ones I heard/felt in my heart at that moment…. I got the point. For a month I couldn’t get peace. I was wrestling with what I felt like the Lord was telling me to do because it was different than what I felt He had been leading me to do previously. When I say I couldn’t get peace… I mean… I felt like God was constantly talking to me and revealing things to me…. so much so… that I had trouble sleeping at night because I couldn’t shut off the chatter in my brain and in my heart.

Fast forward to present day. While most children are back in school at the local elementary… this is what we are doing….

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Yep… we are homeschooling!

I have no doubt… not one single doubt… that I am doing what the Lord is leading me to do.

Last year…. I was threatening Carver with homeschooling if he didn’t quit getting W’s (warnings) in his agenda for talking, etc. When I would ‘threaten’ it… he would say “Oh no… I don’t want that!!”… with this horrible look on his face. I can still see it!

This year… we are both so excited!

Carver is excited to sleep later and not have to go to bed so early. He is also excited about being home everyday. I believe if given the option… he wouldn’t leave the house 6 out of 7 days each week.

I am excited about having that time back with my little boy… even if we get on each others nerves daily! I am excited about what the extra time is going to mean for our family. With a youth minister husband/daddy… it is hard to spend time together when all the kids are out of school. This will allow us to have family time or take trips when Michael isn’t so stressed.

While I am excited about all of those things … none of them had an impact on my decision to homeschool.

My reason for homeschooling is plain and simple. I feel like this is what God is telling me to do at the present time.

We plan to take it year by year…. constantly seeking and obeying God’s will for Carvers life and our lives.

When I tell people we are homeschooling, a lot of people are supportive.

However… a lot more look at you like you have two heads, or they ask you why with a look and a tone that screams “are you crazy?”, or… they proceed to tell you why (in a not so subtle way) your child needs to be in a school/classroom with classmates setting.

Some people homeschool because they had a bad experience with the local school. Some want to shelter their children. Some people homeschool because their child has difficulty in school with learning or behavior. I don’t know all of the reasons that people choose to homeschool. I just know why we have chosen to.

Our boy is so smart! Too smart actually!

I was told recently, by a friend, that Carver understands sarcasm on a 15 year old level. I am not sure that is a good thing but…. he understands a lot of things on a 15 year old level. He amazes me on a daily basis… that is for sure!

Carver had a great Kindergarten year…. we had a great Kindergarten year. His grades were great with the exception of penmanship and conduct (he likes to talk). We have no problems with his school. In fact… Michael and I are still on the PTO for this school year.

There just isn’t enough time in the day, when he is at school, to teach the most important lessons of life. The ones that center around God and growing that relationship.

When school was out for the summer and we had time to sit down and breathe… I felt like it was revealed to me how quickly these next few years were going to go by. Carvers Kindergarten year was over in a flash and I felt like all we had time to do was…. go to school. I felt God telling me not to let this opportunity pass. This is the time to teach him what is important in this life and what isn’t. It is our job… as his parents… to teach him. It is the job that God has trusted us with. And for now at least, this is how He wants us to proceed with that job.

I am excited for what God is going to do in our lives this year! I know we are going to have a lot of challenging days ahead but I know who is going to be carrying us through everyday!

I am so thankful!

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The Story of Stuff

The Story of Stuff

Check out the link above. Very informative video.

I should also share this blog post about raising kids who aren’t entitled! I found the link to the video on this post.

Entitlement is not only a problem in our children and teens… but in our adults too.

The Blog Name

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I have been thinking on a new blog and a new blog name for a very long time now.

We have had a very busy year with Carver having started school. As soon as school was out, I took time to finally sit still. I realized then… how long it had been since I had sat still and been able to hear God. Michael was gone for a week on a mission trip to Peru and the entire week I got very little sleep at night because I had so many thoughts running through my head. I felt like God was revealing to me what His plans are for our family for this next season of our lives.

One of the things I felt the Lord telling me was this name for a new blog.

I want to live a life that is intentional. I want to LIVE my life and live it how God has planned it to be.

I think the phrase “it is the thought that counts” is mostly said when you meant to give someone a gift or call them on their birthday or on a holiday.

While it may be true in that case, I feel there are other areas of our life that we act like that phrase applies. It may be because what needs to be done or what we want to do or feel called to do is scary or too hard so we choose to go with the flow and do what everyone else is doing. The bad thing is… in those cases… it is not the thought that counts. It is a lot of times …just too late. We have missed important opportunities to learn, grow, teach, help, etc etc.

I choose to not live in fear of what others may say. I choose not to listen to the world because the world is broken and deceiving. I choose to not quit because something is hard or comes at a cost. I choose to live a life that is pleasing to God and that He leads me through step by step. I don’t want to ever look back and wish I had listened to God and made a different decision and think “well… I thought about it” because ….thinking about it is not good enough!

A Fresh Start

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I started my blogging journey several years ago.

I started on blogger with My Front Porch at a time when I was just starting to make handmade cards and other crafts as a full on obsession/hobby.

My life is different now… my passions are different now… so it is time for a different blog. A fresh start!

Saying goodbye is hard. My Front Porch has served me well. I made a lot of new friends. I shared my journey through cervical cancer. I learned a lot about myself through blogging and crafting. I grew … in a lot of different ways.

I pray that you will serve me well too! I pray that I will use you as a tool to share my experiences and what I believe to be true… and that something I say may help someone out there with something! I pray that God will use me, through this amazing and wonderful technology, to show His love, His grace, and His mercy!

Good bye My Front Porch … Hello It’s Not The Thought That Counts!!

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