Saturday, March 27, 2010

My Community

The number one question I get asked when talking to other mom's about my blog is, "Do you feel like blogging is a way for you to let out all your frustrations from the day?" I quickly respond with an emphatic, "Yes!"

I am constantly surprised at the community I feel I have through blogging. Even though I don't personally know most of the ladies of the blogs I follow I am consistently encouraged by the passions and struggles we share. Through pregnancy, labor and delivery, potty training, and nasty attitudes you guys are here sharing your stories. We share recipes, homeschooling tips, and humorous stories. I look forward to sitting down and reading from you everyday.

As a SAHHM (stay-at-home-homeschooling-mom) my world sometimes seems limited and lonely. I am realizing now that my community is far reaching. From my family, my friends, my church, and my blogging community I have the support I need. But sometimes I need to reach out to let these people know that I need them. Something I'm sure we all struggle with.

I am speaking at church tomorrow about this very thing and wanted to share my message with you. It's long so bear with me. Let me know if you have any questions. And comments are, of course, always welcomed and appreciated. Also, I didn't type out the scripture passages so you might want to look them up so this makes more sense.

Message for Sunday, March 28, 2010

Last week when I said I had something to share I was referring to a word of thanks that's been on my heart for you all. As I've prepared for today, though, it has become a word of thanks plus what I pray is a word of encouragement to us all.

Just For Me Brownies Story

A few years ago our dear friend Becky sent my mom a recipe for Cookie Dough Brownies (recipe at the bottom of the page). On the recipe card in the space where you write how many servings there are Becky had written, "Just for me! :) She told my mom that she makes these brownies and keeps them in her freezer and would keep them for herself. It was her emergency stash. I'm sure most women have one of those. I know I do.

I also know that one of the only times we women do share our stash is if a girlfriend comes over and we're gonna sit down with our coffee or tea and have a little treat while we our struggles and our hearts with each other.

These brownies have three layers. To make the brownies correctly you have to give each layer time to cool and set up. But with each layer the brownies get better and better. I see that in relationships too. The more layers we get into with each other the better the relationship gets.

Keep this in mind as we talk through these verses.

Mark 10:46-52

Blind Bartimaeus wants to receive physical sight.

Jesus, being all knowing, could have healed him. *No questions asked. But Jesus stopped and asked, "What do you want me to do for you?" Not what do you want or what do you need, but what do you want me to do for you.

*( ie. Woman with the issue of blood - Matt 9:20-22)

For Bartimaeus to say he wants to see is him committing to what seeing means.

What did receiving physical sight mean to Bartimaeus? What was he now aware of?

What does it mean for us to receive sight spiritually speaking?

I heard a clip from a Bible study video today that explains this well. It's like God is saying to us, "You think you are here. Let me show you where you really are. then let me show you where I want to take you."

Seeing the bad is hard. And while seeing the good is relieving, most times it's hard because it's like the war is on and sometimes the fight seems harder than being ignorant of the situation. (example: finances, weight, a fight where you realize you are the one at fault) And sometimes having the faith to get through your circumstances is a fight on it's own.

Now lets look at Mark 10:47-49 specifically.

It's like a typical high school movie.

The unpopular kid is picked on & mistreated until the cool kid in school pays attention to him. Then all those who had just been ignoring and mistreating him turn around and now act like they've been friends with the unpopular kid forever.

But they aren't his real friends. Just like these people around Bartimaeus. They shove him out of the way and ignore his pleas for help. Until Jesus calls him out and pays attention to him.

What a contrast to the story of Luke 5:17-20.

This paralytic man was close enough to these men that they would carry him to the place where Jesus was.

They were close enough to him that when they couldn't get through the doorway they carried him up on a roof, tore the roof apart, then lowered him down in the middle of a meeting right in front of Jesus.

They had the faith and the ability to do what he couldn't.

Romans 1:11-12

When I first read vs 11 I assumed that the spiritual gift Paul was talking about was prophecy, teaching, tongues, ect. I also thought it seemed a little bold of Paul to say he would be imparting these gifts to the people.

But when we read vs 12 Paul clarifies what he means.

He explains that the spiritual gift is "you and I being mutually encouraged by each others faith".

Not just Paul encouraging them with his faith, but them encouraging each other. I know that for me sometimes I don't have faith for my situation but I can for my friends and vice versa. But we have to let each other into those struggles in order to be encouraged by each others faith.

TVBC is really good at loving each other. We bring meals, and visit the sick, and go to the hospital to be with each other. And I love it. Being on the receiving end of this love a few times in the last year has given me more of an appreciation for this ministry. And hearing from friends and family who have never seen this kind of love from a church before has opened my eyes to see how rare it really is in our culture.

Today what I want to encourage all of us to start doing is to go deeper. We all need stretcher bearers in our lives. People with whom we are so close we let them get in on the nitty gritty parts of our lives and hearts.

I'm sure we all have a friend or two that we share some of our private thoughts and struggles with. But how close are we letting each other get to our hearts and deep struggles.

We all need these kinds of relationships and we need each other. I'm not saying that these relationships don't exist. I want to encourage us to have more of them.

I tell Nathan almost everything. But there are times when I need advice in my marriage and I need to seek out other women to counsel me. When it comes to being a mother and struggling with my kids advice from a women who's been in my shoes is so helpful. I'm not necessarily going to find these things in just one person though.

Older women need the younger just as much as the younger need the older.
ex: raising kids, relating to husbands, help around the house, advice on growing up, mentoring, commiserating

Younger men need the older men and vice versa.
ex: raising kids, relating to wives, help with projects, financial advice, commiserating

Couples need each other
advice, commiserating, children

How big is your personal community?

How close do you let your community get to the issues of your heart?

Who is in your community?

It's time we pull out our Just For Me stash and let each other in.

Also, here's a list of books I've been reading lately that have ministered to me in this place I am right now:

Battlefield of the Mind - Joyce Meyers

When I Lay My Isaac Down - Carol Kent

Get Thin, Stay Thin - Arthur and Judy Halliday

Just For Me Cookie Dough Brownies

1 tsp salt, 2 C sugar, 1&1/2 C cocoa. Combine. Then add: 1/2 C oil, 4 eggs, 2 tsp vanilla. Mix well. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake for 20 minutes at 350. Cool completely.

Filling: 1/2 C butter, 1/2 C brown sugar, 1/4 C sugar, 2 Tbl milk, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 C flour. Cream together and spread over cooled brownies. Chill (about an hour).

Melt: 2 C chocolate chips, 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 1 tsp vanilla. Pour over chilled brownies. Freezes well.

I store them in the freezer so they last longer. :) Enjoy!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

More Kid Laughs Plus A Hubby Laugh

If you remember Hazel is potty training. Today we've had great success. She's been in undies all day (except nap time) and she went #1 &#2 in the potty today.

Trying to encourage this I told her I am so proud of her for going poo in the toilet. Then she told me, "I to proud you, mom, going poo poo in da toiyet.."


Hazel showed me an "owie" on her finger the other morning. Then after sticking her finger in her mouth she let me know, "It not owie. It boogah."


Tonight Nathan and I went on a grocery shopping date. We had a great time together. We don't get out together much and this was a very laid back evening for us. It's amazing how grocery shopping changes when the kids aren't around.

Anyways, on the way home we decided that we needed dessert. Instead of going to a restaurant for ice cream we'd got to a sore a get a gallon that would last longer.

That's what we call frugal spending people.

Well I had to make a detour to the lady's room. Which meant that on the way to the ice cream we passed the bakery. And that's where Nathan forgot about our ice cream mission and got lost in the cakes.

All the cakes looked wonderful so he had a hard time choosing which one he wanted. I didn't really have a preference which made it harder for him. After he narrowed his choices down to two cakes neither of us could make a decision. So we did eni meeni miny mo. It didn't work for Nathan. So he had me assign each cake a number between one and ten. Then he chose a number, which was two, which was the exact number I gave the Oreo cake.

The lady in the bakery place our cake in a box, placed a removable price label on the top, and sent us on our way. Then Nathan remembered the ice cream. That choice was easy though. Vanilla.

So after 10 minutes of choosing a cake and getting ice cream we went to the self check out line to pay. Then when Nathan went to scan his precious, 10 minutes to pick out cake, instead of peeling the REMOVABLE price label off to scan it, he tipped the cake on its side!

I slightly freaked out. In a "I'm laughing at you because I can't believe you just did that" sort of way. The cashier at the register next to us started laughing too. Nathan's comment? We're just gonna eat it! And he was right. And only the top was a little smudged.

Friday, March 5, 2010

25 Random Things About Me

Awhile ago this survey was being passed around on Facebook. I enjoyed it so much I thought I'd share it with all of you.

And just to stay completely honest with you about my OCD problem I had the hardest time reading other people's 25 random things only to find that they would reword 2 or 3 things about themselves over and over. Example?

1. I hate these kind of things.
2. I don't know why I'm doing this.
3. It surprises me that I'm filling this out.
4. I can think of a million other things I would rather do than fill out a survey like this.

Correct me if I'm wrong but those are all the same thing.

So, here is my list of 25 random things about me.

1. The way my husband smells in the morning makes my heart skip a beat. The smell of a newborn baby makes my uterus skip a beat.

2. I believe that if I don't understand something it's because that thing is stupid. Not me.

3. If I could be guaranteed my sanity, I would have 10 kids. I enjoy being pregnant. I LOVE giving birth. Jury's still out on the nursing thing.

4. I hate clothes shopping for myself. I could shop for others all day.

5. I love grocery shopping especially at Costco.

6. I can have clothes picked out for my family in less than 5 minutes. It can take me an hour to find something for me to wear and I probably still won't like it.

7. It doesn't matter if it's a lake on the top of the tallest mountain, there are still sharks in it. And you can't convince me otherwise. Unless the water is clear AND in a pool, there are sharks.

8. When Nathan and I first met I thought I could never marry someone like him. Now I can't breathe without him.

9. I could live in a bookstore or long as there is a coffee shop nearby.

10. My kids are the most beautiful, smart and imaginative. And I tell them so.

11. Besides being a mom, my dream jobs would be: author/journalist, fashion designer or marine biologist working with whales. (Of course I may be rethinking this last one since the latest whale troubles at Seaworld!)

12. I have 23+ journals. All of them have been written in. Two of them are full. As a kid I always wanted to journal but was too afraid my sisters would read them.

13. I've always admired: Amber's confidence in style and her talent with hair and make-up, MaShayla's quick wit and sense of humor, and with Summer, well, she's my older sister and I always wanted to be just like her.

14. When I was young I wanted to grow up to be Tippy. Tippy was a homely looking dog who belonged to a good friend of ours. I'm glad I'm not Tippy.

15. I dream of singing the National Anthem at the opening of a major sports event someday. Public speaking, however, makes me want to hide behind my mom's skirt like a little girl.

16. I like country music. and sometimes it ministers to my spirit more than worship songs.

17. My mom is the ultimate hostess and has taught me well. I enjoy having people over and putting her teaching to good use. However, I am also probably the biggest recluse in my family. I love to be alone.

18. I own all 10 seasons of Friends and all 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls. I'm only slightly embarrassed by this.

19. I knew Nathan and I would get married 3 years before he did.

20. I love de-cluttering my house (and others, too!) But I don't enjoy cleaning. My mom used to tell us to say "goodnight" to your house and it will say "goodmorning" to you. Mine usually has mean things to say at me.

21. I love museums and sightseeing.

22. Food tastes better when someone else makes it...and I add salt.

23. I love getting lost. Especially with Nikki. I think it adds adventure to a trip or outing. And it's funny.

24. My mom and my mother-in-law are two of my closest friends.

25. I like going to Catholic services because of the traditions and rituals. I think it's interesting and regal.

I hope you've enjoyed my randomness. I might just come up with a new list soon. Do you have a list like this? Leave a comment with the link.