Friday, March 27, 2009

Love is Kind

Love Dare day 2: Love is Kind.

We always tend to think of love as a feeling. But, I am learning very quickly that love is so much more than a feeling. It is not a noun. It is a verb; an action. Patience is a reaction to a negative situation, and kindness is an action, or the creation of a positive situation. While I do have the feelings of love for my husband, I fall short of the "showing love" department. It is so much easier to pass the things I hate the most off to him, like laundry, cleaning the litter box, dishes...and I very rarely do things to surprise him. Yet, I expect those things from him. Lately, I have found myself missing the days when we were dating. I found some old emails from one another, and our feelings were so strong for one another. We said all the right things, and did all kinds of random things for one another. But, after 3 years together, we have gotten comfortable, and those things have kind of dissipated.

So, for today's dare, I'm going to do the one thing I hate most: laundry. From start to finish. All by myself. When I do laundry, we usually end up dressing out of the basket or dryer all week. So, I'm gonna work on that.

The point of loving someone actively is not for a pat on the back, or something in return, but to love them with no expectations in return. That is the hardest part. I find myself telling Brandon, "I cooked, so you clean up," or things like that. I tend to think that because I did one thing, I should expect him to do another. While I do believe household jobs should be shared (and Brandon is good about that), I need to learn to take the initiative and do it regardless. Because I love him :-)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

"Love is Patient"

I started "The Love Dare" today. I know, I'm behind.

Day 1 is all about patience. How ironic, huh? The thing that probably 99% of us struggle with the most is the very first thing addressed. I know that this is definitely an area that I need to work on. I was a very patient person all my life....until I got married. Funny how things change after you get married. The things I am most impatient about are:

-I HATE waiting for people. I know when I need to get up, and what time I need to leave, and it angers me to no end when Brandon is running late, or if he stops getting ready to play a game or watch tv, resulting in us leaving late...and me waiting on him. To me, it is very simple. Get up. Get ready. Leave. And I have very little patience for that. I need to realize that Brandon is not as "punctual" as I am (I tend to be super early to everything), and that it's ok! There's no need to me to get in a bad mood over that. I will work on that.

-I get impatient about Brandon leaving trash all over the house. I come home to chip bags, coke cans, and food wrappers on the coffee table and counters, and it drives me NUTS. And, he almost never puts his cheese wrapper in the trash! He is not a dirty person by any just takes him a while to clean his messes up.

-I get aggravated because Brandon seems to never want to do anything fun. He led a very boring childhood, and his idea of fun is playing the Xbox...all day every day. I hate it.

So, I know three things right off the top of my head that I need to watch out for. I am sure after I harp at him every ten minutes about leaving on time it makes him feel like a child. And I am sure when I sit there and beg him to stop playing his games, it doesn't exactly make him want to go do what I want to do.

Isn't it funny how, even as adults, when we don't get what we want, we throw a fit???

"Patience helps you give your spouse permission to be human. It understands that everyone fails. When a mistake is made, it chooses to give them more time than they deserve to correct it."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I need a break

Do you ever get to the point in life where you just think, "Man, I really need a break"? I find that sometimes, we get so caught up in the day-to-day that we forget to stop and take time to breathe, and spend time with God, and just relax mentally. I do get time to "rest" most days, in the evenings, when I plop down to watch TV. But I never seem to want to take the time to turn off the tv, the computer, and the phones, and take a mental break...long bath, quiet time sitting outside enjoying the beauty of Spring that God has given us, or just enjoying some true peace and quiet.

I've always enjoyed having my alone time, mainly because all my life, there has ALWAYS been SOMEONE home with me. Growing up, I never....literally time at home alone. And that hasn't changed a lot since I got married. I love my husband more than anything, and I miss him terribly when we're apart, but I believe everyone needs a break now and then for sanity's sake!

So, I am taking a break. From what, you ask?
1) From trying to get pregnant. I am emotionally drained from the month after month disappointment. So, I am going to continue taking the medicine, BUT I will not be counting days or testing every few weeks. No scheduling sex every so many hours. I want to enjoy that time with my husband, and it is getting to that point where it becomes more like "we HAVE to have sex today." So, I'm going to enjoy my husband, take the medicine, and learn to leave the rest in God's hands. I know my God is capable of giving us a child. And, I know that He will...when it's time. I am learning to wait on God, and that is a very hard lesson to learn. So, I will wait, and in the meantime, I will live and love my life, and draw closer to Him.

2) Work. Next weekend we are going to Sparta to visit Brandon's grandparents. I plan to use that time to TRY and get some peace while away from home. I'm going to take a good book with me and enjoy their beautiful patio.

3) We are planning a vacation in September to the beach. Probably Panama City, and I could not be more excited! I cannot WAIT. I look forward to spending time each morning on the oceanfront balcony with a cup of coffee and the Word of God, just taking in that beauty. Something about the ocean just makes me remember how great and powerful God really is.

4) the "every day." I am going to try and start scheduling one day a week where my Facebooking/tv watching/ texting is minimal. I'll use that evening to sit outside, go for a walk, read the Word, pray, and focus on my heart.

If you're like me, then I challenge you to do the same. Cut out some TV and computer time, and spend some time with God. :-)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Baby Caden

Yesterday, we got to go meet Baby Caden, Kimberly and Doug's son. He is only 5 days old, and just a doll! Congratulations, Kim and Doug, and thanks for letting us come meet him!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

We belong in a zoo

Today we enjoyed the afternoon at the Nashville Zoo. We got a membership, which I am really excited about! We can each take a guest whenever we go, so if anyone wants to join ,us sometime, let us know!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Romans 4

We are anxiously waiting for a call from the doctor, to tell us if we are pregnant or not. I have tried not to get my hopes up, because I am too familiar with the disappointment. But it's too late. I can't help myself! Yet, while being anxious and really hoping that there is a little baby in there, I still get overwhelmed with negative thoughts. "It's probably nothing, again." "It's never going to happen." "What's wrong with me? Why can't I do what is supposed to be so natural?" "What have I done wrong for God to punish me?" These are very human thoughts, and Satan is using them to his take my eyes off of Jesus.

A wonderful friend gave me a passage to read today (Romans 4). I actually cried as I read it. Sometimes I forget how it feels to read scripture and feel as though God wrote it JUST for me.

Romans 4 speaks about Abraham's faith. We all know Abraham was a great man of faith, but he was also just that...a man. Human. Just like us. He, too, struggled (and with infertility of all things!). He questioned God from time to time.

13 Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith. 14 If God’s promise is only for those who obey the law, then faith is not necessary and the promise is pointless.

This verse was so reassuring. There is nothing I have done wrong to cause this. It isn't a punishment. And, when the Lord chooses to give us a bundle of joy (if that time is not today), then I must realize that it is not a reward for doing good, or obeying. If all we had to do to get good rewards in life was do as we are told, then what would we need to trust God for? What good would faith do if all that was necessary was to be obedient? Then we would just follow the rules and our lives would be wonderful! But, that is not what God intends for us. He wants me to TRUST him...fully and completely.

We are on fertility medicine. And when you take these, sometimes it is very easy to put your faith in the medical aspect. "Well, the pills aren't working, so I can't get pregnant." "My body isn't working, so I can't get pregnant." And, if the medicine DOES work, and I get pregnant, it would be very easy to say "The pills worked! Praise God, the pills worked!" What a contradiction that would be!

While I am taking these medicines, I am going to choose, from now on, to trust that God will be faithful. He will come through! He is much stronger than medical science! And, when he does come through (WHEN, not if), I will praise HIM that HE alone has fulfilled his promise and blessed us. The pills won't get the credit.

Lord, I am sorry that I lost faith in you. It is easy to get down and disappointed. Lord, I would absolutely love it if I am pregnant. But, God, if I am not, I'll still praise you, for I know you have plans for us. I love you, and I choose to trust you, and you alone.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Date Day

Thanks to Mandy and Ashley Gorley, who so graciously gave us a Visa gift card for Christmas (but forgot to give it to us till this week!), Brandon and I were able to enjoy a nice date together yesterday afternoon...dinner and a movie. We saw Mall Cop, which was pretty hilarious, and then headed to the new Cheddar's in Smyrna. This was our first time eating there, and I am pretty sure we'll be back. Great food, good prices, and an awesome Chocolate Chip Cookie Monster!
cheddars menu Pictures, Images and Photos

Friday, March 13, 2009

Words of wisdom in a failing economy

We see it every day when we turn on the TV. More jobs lost. More government debt. More foreclosures. More people losing everything.

I have been trying to figure out what God thinks and says about all of this. So far, this is what I have, and it's pretty simple.

We have big heads! We live in the richest country in the entire world, yet we lose all of our joy when we lose our homes. Many of us live in big, elaborate, fancy homes, we drive expensive SUV's and sports cars. We wear the finest clothing. We go to the salon regularly and spend an insane amount of money on hair cuts, colors, and highlights. We spend an average of $30/meal to eat out at a restaurant, some of us every day! Women are wearing high heels that cost hundreds of dollars. Our kids are dressed in expensive clothing that they will only outgrow and get dirty. We take elaborate vacations to the beach where we spend a few thousand easily. Our weddings cost thousands, and that's for a cheap one! We'll spend a crazy amount on name-brand make-up and skin products, like Clinique and Mac. We pay for granite countertops and crown molding for our homes. I could go on and on. Bottom line: we are proud. Our standards are set so incredibly high that the thought of lowering them is devastating.

Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with having nice things! But, did you know that the percentage of adult Christians who tithe dropped by 62% last year alone? Yep, that's right. we have all these nice, expensive things, but most of us don't tithe. And I, too am guilty.

So what is God trying to tell us? I think he's telling us that our priorities are messed up. We put more stock into our homes and cars than we do into our neighbors and the Gospel, and our morals. Where have our morals gone? Where is our joy?

Ezekiel 28:1[ The Money Has Gone to Your Head ] God's Message came to me, "Son of man, tell the prince of Tyre, 'This is what God, the Master, says: "'Your heart is proud, going around saying, "I'm a god. I sit on God's divine throne, ruling the sea"— You, a mere mortal, not even close to being a god, A mere mortal trying to be a god. Look, you think you're smarter than Daniel. No enigmas can stump you. Your sharp intelligence made you world-wealthy. You piled up gold and silver in your banks. You used your head well, worked good deals, made a lot of money. But the money has gone to your head, swelled your head—what a big head!

We need to get our priorities straight, America. We need to stop buying huge houses we don't need, and stop paying tens of thousands for a car we don't need, and most of all, we need to learn the difference between a WANT and a NEED. I need to learn this myself!

I think God is trying to wake us up, and it hasn't worked yet. We're losing everything, yet none of us seem to have enough faith in God to believe that He CAN take care and provide for us! He is fully able to restore us! Do you believe that?

Monday, March 9, 2009

What a weekend!

This past weekend was great! I hope you all got to get out and enjoy the weather! Saturday I started the day with a good workout at the Y, and then Brandon and I had a picnic in the park and spend the afternoon throwing a football around. Then, we went to his parents' to see his Nana and Poppy, who were in town. It was nice to visit with them. It was soooo beautiful outside - almost 80 degrees - and we stayed outside all day! Then, we went to my parents' house for a cookout. That was fun, too. Yesterday after church, we went downtown to Tootsie's to see our friend Russ play. His band was really good! We walked around downtown for a bit, and then went to the lake on our way home and walked around, watched the ducks, and talked. Then we headed home and rested for the evening. I was very sad to see the weekend end! I love this weather, and it puts me in such a good mood!

Friday, March 6, 2009

A Yummy, Healthy Lunch

I have a REALLY hard time finding things that I like for lunch that are remotely healthy. I am so picky that there are very vew frozen meals I like, and I get so tired of sandwiches!! So, I thought that as I try new things for lunch, I would share them with you. Today I discovered 2 products that I actually liked!

One is the Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers, and the other is the Green Giant veggie steamers for one. I am typically not a Healthy Choice fan (I like Smart Ones better), but this was actually good! A little spicy, but good. (I had the ziti with meat sauce.)

The veggie steamers were really good, too. (I had carrots and broccoli in Italian seasonings) And best of all, this made for a healthy, filling lunch with plenty of veggies! I could barely finish it all! The HC Mixers are actually quite big, compared to frozen meals which seem to fit better as a snack for me, unless I add something with it. So, happy lunching!

My Husband Rocks!

It's My Husband Rocks Friday!

For those of you who don't know, Brandon works third shift (11p-7a). This schedule is extremely tiring, as I can only imagine, and sometimes he has a very hard time sleeping during the day. Such is the case this week. He has had such a hard time getting to sleep the last several days. BUT, he still manages to go to work like a trooper, AND he even got up yesterday afternoon to go to the grocery store with me! I absolutely admire how he always makes it to matter what. I have only known him to call in twice since we've been together...TWICE! In 4 years! Me on the other hand, I am fond of calling in when I get sick. Of course, I get sick time and he doesn't, which has something to do with that, but still. He is a hard worker, and I appreciate and admire that in him :)

Thursday, March 5, 2009 CHURCH?????

This is a really cool video I found on Pat Hood's blog about Sex in the Church. Check it out!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

No Cussing Club!

Some of you may have seen this on the news over the last few days. This 15-year-old kid has started a "No Cussing Club" in his high school, encouraging other kids not to use foul language.

I think this is absolutely amazing. It is awesome that a teenager has the guts in today's world to stand up for what he believes, even if he is considered "uncool."

Good job, McKay!

To see McKay Hatch's website, go here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Have you called your Senator lately?

Of not, maybe you should give them a shout. This came to my attention this morning.

President Obama has nominated four people into the Justice Department - think law enforcement. Here is the scoop on these people.

1) David Ogden - "Ogden opposes restrictions on abortion and pornography, and has represented Playboy and Penthouse in court. He has filed a brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in support of child pornographer Stephen Knox, who possessed sexually explicit videos of children. Ogden argued that, because the children's genitalia were partially covered by clothing, such exploitation is protected by the First Amendment." In other words, Obama wants to put someone in our LAW ENFORCEMENT department who doesn't think child pornography is wrong!!! Sickening, if you ask me.

2)Dawn Johnsen - pro abortion. Attorney for NARAL Pro-Choice America. Equates an unwanted pregnancy with slavery -YES, SLAVERY!! Can you believe that? Correct me if I am wrong, but Slavery was something that the slave had NO control over...they didn't make a choice to get there. A woman (unless raped, of course) makes a CHOICE to have sex, thus becoming pregnant.

"In the papers, Johnsen said that any restriction that makes abortion less accessible is, in her view, tantamount to “involuntary servitude” because it “requires a woman to provide continuous physical service to the fetus in order to further the state’s asserted interest [in the life of the unborn].”
In effect, a woman “is constantly aware for nine months that her body is not her own: the state has conscripted her body for its own ends.” Such “forced pregnancy,” she contends, violates the Thirteenth Amendment, which prohibits slavery." (click here to see this article)

3) Thomas Perrelli - This man represented Terry Schaivo's husband as they fought to have her starved to death.

4) Elena Kagan - Simply has no experience. Has never argued to the Supreme Court, which would be her job.

Seriously...we (not really we, because I didn't help) have put this man in office, and these are they types of people that he wants to run our country? That's change for ya.

To find out who your senator is and their telephone number, go here.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Got debt? We do!

If you know me, then you know that I am completely opposed to the big fat "stimulus" package that Obama has started. (In this case, if you look up stimulus in the dictionary, it should read "spending; unnecessary debt used to cover previous debt")

"Why?" you ask. Well, the same reason these protestors are opposing it. Let's put it this way. Hypothetically speaking, let's say Brandon and I get a credit card. We go shopping on it. We go over the credit limit. Uh oh. What do we do? We're in financial crisis! Well, if you're Obama, you would simply take out another, larger loan and pay it off. But, wait. Oops! Now I have to pay THAT loan off! What to do? Repeat the cycle until you are millions of dollars in debt!! Yay us! Thumbs up! (yes, you can sense sarcasm here)

We won't see a DIME of this money. It isn't coming to us. None of it. But, who do you think is going to pay it back? The government? Not a chance. They'll raise OUR taxes and force US to pay it back. So, we get to pay off someone else's stupid, immature, irresponsible debt that we didn't want in the first place!

The last "stimulus" didn't help...what makes him think this one will?? And, I have every right to complain...I voted against him. So now I get to say, "told you so."