Monday, August 31, 2015

He loves us.

This morning as I sat on the front porch for a few minutes alone with my coffee I looked up and noticed my Sedum plants. They are in this absolutely beautiful stage where the green buds are opening up into dark pink and purple blossoms. It only happens in late summer and by autumn they will dry out to be a pretty violet color. But something else caught my attention - the dew. It was covering everything. As I scanned my eyes over the plants, admiring the early sign of the new season coming I saw him. The bumblebee. Completely covered in dew and not moving. And as I looked more I noticed it wasn't just him, but several bumblebees sitting like this. Motionless. Dew coated. Were they dead? Asleep? So strange. Normally these sedums are swarming {literally} with activity so to see them silent and still was abnormal. My little girls joined me and we took some pictures and looked up bumblebee information online. Intriguing! Nothing like an early morning science lesson on the front porch.

After a few minutes another bumblebee flew in. He hadn't been on our plants and wasn't dew coated. We watched as he went from one bee to the next and he seemed to wake them up. It was so captivating to me. He would walk over to the motionless bee, prod him with a leg and like magic the wet bee moved. Then moved some more. Then was frantically walking all over the flowers again as if it had been doing it all along. I've never seen anything like it! It was beautiful.

Now, I'm not a scientist or apiarist by any means, but that was incredible to watch and study this morning. And after a very difficult and trying day yesterday, it was an awesome start to my Monday. Some would look at those crazy bees and think its just a bunch of bugs - but I totally see the hand of God at work, and animals under his reign doing exactly what He created them to do. It was encouraging as I was reminded that all things are under God's sovereignty and BY Him we are allowed and given this beautiful life. He is our God.

Psalm 95 -
Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;
    let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
    let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! 
 For the Lord is a great God,
    and a great King above all gods. 
 In his hand are the depths of the earth;
    the heights of the mountains are his also. 
 The sea is his, for he made it,
    and his hands formed the dry land.
Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
    let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For he is our God,
    and we are the people of his pasture,
    and the sheep of his hand.

This week and upcoming new month brings some new challenges to our family. I'm going to call them opportunites. :) What a blessing to know we are loved, cared for, and that the Lord directs our steps. Be encouraged today, friends. Rest in His love for us.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Call me Flip Flop

Oh, it has been awhile on here, eh?
I'm working through some heavy thoughts lately and 50% of the time I feel like my head is on straight, I'm thinking biblically, trusting the Lord, etc. but then the other 50% of the time I'm like an indecisive, mopey monster. That's where I am right now. To be honest, I feel that I've been here for a year now. It comes and goes... my heart and mind arguing and feeling all flip flop. Because I'm a woman and most of my readers are too, I assume I'm not alone in this. We aren't alone. So I'll share today some of my common struggle and we can encourage one another.

Since becoming a wife and mother I seriously DO dream of a simple, satisfying, uncomplicated life. Ha! Writing that out sounds absurd so let me explain.
I, want to honor my husband.
I, want to do special things here and there to show love to him.
I, want to raise my children to respect and love.
I, want to be a fun mom.
I, want to bless my family with all the homemade memories. 
I, want to have a beautiful and comfortable home.
I, don't want to hassle with chore charts and arguments.
I, DESIRE comfort and beauty.

But, sin. It's everywhere. It's my marriage and rears its ugly head through selfishness and pride and anger. It's in my parenting as I seek my own way, answer harshly, or give in too easily. It's in my home as I often find myself lacking contentment for what we have (so much, too!) and pining for the newest, prettiest, whatever. (or in my case, the chippiest, shabbiest, antique) Sin, it's in our world and it affects everything. My family is not excluded. So I have all these desires and ambitions to be a blessing, to seek the Lord and just ooze Jesus in my home - but I get in my own way, quenching the spirit, letting pride ruin things and discontent sour my joy.

Some days I wake up and think - "this is it!". We are going to be grateful, eat what we have in the house, create beauty in our spaces with things we own, etc. But then 11:30 rolls around and in lieu of homemade soup I just want Chick-fil-a, a starbucks and that new bookshelf from Pottery Barn. I loose steam. I forget that God is good, all in a few hours. Because being frugal and wise with money is HARD and shall I even admit that sometimes I get WEARY of it. As if having more would make life easier. Newsflash: it doesn't.

So, I went to bed last night and as I lay there waiting for sleep to come I was literally flip flopping between two schools of thought:

1- I look forward to opportunities to be frugal. Grocery shopping, looking for deals and ways to stretch a buck intrigues me and challenges me. It's good! I've gotten really good at patching holes in kids clothes and watching the Lord blow us out of the water with his provisions in all things. I love this school of thought and I love being in it. I thought through budget meals and how we could cut out this and that to free up more money, reviewed in my mind the trip earlier that day to Goodwill where I found a beautiful Banana Republic sweater for $1.49! Yea baby! Frugal living, I love it! Bring on the challenge! Let's rock this budget.

But then. Almost simultaneously.

2 - I am SO tired of driving ALLLL that way to Aldi. I'm weary of pasta meals and generic diapers. Would it be SO bad to just have a descent new car? Will we ever be out from under these student loans? How long is seminary again? I hate the challenges of budget living, I want freedom, I want more. Stuff, stuff, stuff. Seems like all we do is pay bills. No vacations. No date nights. Blah.

I'm thankful that Lord is quick to draw to my attention His faithfulness in our lives. How he cares and loves and provides. He gives us work! He shelters us with a roof. We aren't promised and don't deserve more. And really it's not even just money that gets me all flip-floppity. It's most things: raising kids, keeping a home, who I am three kids later, what I like, etc.
The Lord is doing a work in my life and I have much to learn. For now, I give thanks! In all things give thanks, my friends. Fellow budget masters: You are loved! Moms feeling like failures, you are loved! Indecisive homemakers, you are loved.