Apr 26, 2010

I take pictures of everything...

Are you seriously going to take my picture right now?

You really are! Can't a girl eat her yogurt in peace?

Ok, well, you asked for it!

Apr 25, 2010

Plant killer!!

See my new babies? Aren't they cute?

I got them at the Ag Fest yesterday, and i'm on a mission to help them grow! I hope I don't kill them. :( You see, I don't have a very green thumb, unfortunately. I can keep kids alive and even a cat, but plants...no such luck! That's too difficult for me, for some reason. Yipes!

I've always wanted a garden. Well, not always, but...for awhile now. And not so much that I actually did anything about it, but it was a good thought to have. What supermom would be complete without her own garden to tend? And I really do like the thought of growing some of your own produce, save on the old grocery bill and all. But that's as far as I ever got with the notion. Then we went to the Ag fest and the kids could plant things and it was free so why the heck not! All I really gotta do is transplant them and feed them and pray that they survive. Lol. Is that all?!

So here goes nothing, I'll keep you guys posted. I KNOW you're on the edge of your seat with this one. Hah! Oh and we also came home with these:

Marigolds! My babies planted those too. Awwwww...
The lady said they are easy to care for, they don't need a huge pot and you just give em sunshine and water and they won't get too big, so we'll see. And I am also adopting some baby peas from my friend this weekend as well. She pawned them off on me, she had too many and I thought I needed them for some reason. I don't even eat peas! BLECK! But Russel does and the girls eat them out of a can, so heck, why not!? While I'm killing things and all. :)

Wish me Luck!

Apr 22, 2010

Silly Willy

Today Maddie had the silly willies...

Did I ever mention how dreadfully much I love her!?!

Apr 13, 2010

Lessons Learned

I don't like change, I like predictability.
I find it extremely hard to tolerate a something or someone who is not dependable. I close to loathe it actually.
And I am VERY much a creature of habit.
I load the dishes the same, exact way every single time without fail.
I do not do anything without previously planning to do so, except on rare occasion.
Fly by the seat of pants I am not.
I have cut my hair maybe 5 times in my entire 29 years of life. I find it easier to just keep the same style that I know (which is NO style, btw) then possibly cut it off and HATE it and have it take forever to grow back.
When I go to a restaurant that we frequent I order the same thing that I always get because I know it's good and why mess with that? What if I order that dish off the menu and it's gross? Then I'll have to pay for it and I won't like it!
I do not take risks and I do not act out of impulse.
I follow my head, not my heart, in most cases.
I stick to the straight and narrow, the path that I know and that is worn and familiar.
I guess you would call me BORING.
So when life throws changes my way, I freak out!
I mean, I do NOT deal with it well.
Major stress...

Along with being boringly predictable I also have this insanely annoying need to be (or feel) in control of something or a situation.
Now don't get me wrong, i'm not controlling to the degree that I am impossible to live with or deal with controlling everyone and everything around me. I just like things a certain way and when they aren't...I just don't know what to do. Because that's definately not how I planned things to be.
But guess what?
In spite of all my efforts to remain on top it all I'm not in control. Like, never in fact. Because you know who is? GOD is.
Is this news to me? Of course not. But have I always willingly conceded that fact? Unfortunately not.
I mean, I know he's in control, but I have never let him have control. Those are two very totally different things. TRUST ME.
Because I guess for me, personally, giving up control meant being weak.
And I am anything but weak! Psht!

The past two years of mine and my families life has been a test of obedience to God. And trust me, it hasn't been easy. But it also hasn't been as hard, as I thought if that makes any sense.

Beginning of 2008 we did something, as a couple and individuals, that we have never done in our spiritual journey. We gave something completely to God: Our future! Instead of taking it into our own hands and deciding what WE wanted to do, we prayed. And we waited. We seeked him and we asked God what HE wanted. And if you've never done that, I suggest you do. Don't get me wrong, it was hard, and it was scary, and for someone who craves control and has zerrrooo patience, it was at times excrutiating. But at the same time it was surprisingly...FREEING! I have never felt such confidence and peace in my entire life about anything. When we made the choice to move 3,000 miles from home away from everything we ever knew, it was the hardest yet easiest choice we ever made. We knew with 100% confidence that it was the RIGHT decision, because we watched as God opened every single door with his own hands, through no work of our own. We watched as God provided us with the life that we had been waiting for and praying for, for years. And we watched as he blessed us beyond what we thought we'd ever be blessed.

I had given God my heart when I was 12, but giving up control of my life!? Walking blindly and letting HIM direct my paths? Never. I am 100% ashamed to admit that I had rarely, if ever, consulted with God on one, single decision that I made. Don't get me wrong, I loved him, I believed in him and had faith in who he was, I lived my life so that he would be proud, I prayed, I cried for help, I asked why, but I gave myself the control, not HIM. And what's sad is that I didn't even realize I was doing it until recently. But you know what's amazing?

He loved me regardless and unconditionally.
He waited patiently for me to figure it out on my own.
He opened his arms and showed me that he is GOD.
That I could never mess up so much that he wouldn't be there.
That he wants what's best for me, always has, always will.
Just like a parent, he had to sit back and painfully watch me make my life difficult, in order for me to one day finally open my eyes and see what was in front of me all along. All those times I cried to him, he wasn't ignoring me.
Did he want to sweep in? Oh, i'm sure. Could he have changed things for me at any time? Absolutely. But then I wouldn't have learned...Ouch! Such a humbling lesson to learn.

And you know what, life is still hard, just not as hard. Not when you have hope. Not when I finally have the peace within myself of knowing that it's not in my control and that even though it might not always work out as we plan, it's HIS plan and it WILL be ok, in the end. Giving up control is a daily struggle for me, still to this day. But there is no better place to be than on your knees.
And I expect that life will still throw us curve balls from time to time.
He didn't promise us that we wouldn't have pain, he promised us that we would have HOPE.

Two months ago we found out that Russel was losing his job.
The job that we moved 3k miles away for. The job that HE provided almost 2 years ago, he was now taking away? It just didn't make sense. I immediately went into familiar territory. Freak out mode. Oh my god, what are we going to do? We have no one here, our "safety net" was 3k miles away. What if he can't find another job, what if we can't feed our kids....This is NOT the economy to be faced with this.." Freak out mode! Then I realized what I was doing and I did the only thing I know how to do, I prayed. A LOT. And I don't know if you've ever wondered if God gets tired of hearing you pray, but I sure do. Because the only way a former control freak can try to get over being a control freak is to pray any and every single time she tries to control the situation. But I was immediately filled with peace about the situation and a familiar verse came to mind.

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own". Matthew 6:25-34

Why am i freaking out, he's got this! So I prayed. And I gave it to him.
I acknowledged that he gives and he takes away. That he is the all knowing.
And if he takes this job away it's only because he has something better in store. And I prayed for him to provide in HIS time and HIS will. Lead us where he wants us to go.

Of course this ushered in a lot of confusion and doubt. Was this really where he wanted us to be, or did we just want this and just assume he did? Maybe it was just a stepping stone, like we thought? Is this our chance to finally move closer to home? Etc, etc.

So Russel became proactive in looking for jobs. Texas, Florida, Georgia, Colorado, North Carolina, South Carolina. Resumes, resumes, resumes. Praying, praying, praying. "Lord reveal yourself...where do YOU want us to be?" Waiting, waiting, waiting...

And Russel gets an email from someone he drills with for a job opening in Portland.
Oregon? Really? You want us to stay here God? Point taken.
So he applies.
He gets an interview immediately. They scheduled his 2nd and 3rd interview at the same exact time. Then he gets a 4th. And we wait some more..
Then we find out that we have to move, the landlord wants to sell his house.
Jobless? Homeless? Freaking out againnnnnnnn...
Praying some more.
Two months later we find out Russel got the job. HE GOT THE JOB!
In this economy where people try so hard everyday to find a job, God provided. He proved that HE is bigger than this economy. And we found a new home and will be moving May 1st!
And it's amazing how you can still be truly amazed by God even when you completely trust in him.

I'm excited for the plans that God has for us.
I'm excited for what else he's going to reveal.
WE are truly blessed, beyond belief and can't wait to share the rest of our story with you as God lays it out for us!