Monday, June 30, 2008

Disbelief or just an analytical thinker??

Faith. My husband amazes me because he can be totally relaxed 99% of the time no matter what is happening. He says to relax & just have faith.
I am more of a panic person. I will stress & freak out. I think this comes from a childhood that was completely stress free. I never heard my parents fight, I was an only child, lived in a fairly small quiet town & went to a very small private Baptist church school until my junior year. Everything was dandy. I don't think I ever really even had any real problems or stress until I was 22 & had my first baby. When she was four months old Hurricane Andrew struck & my home was destroyed completely. My life has never been the same since. It has been filled with turmoil ever since. I don't think I had ever learned any stress coping lessons due to the fact that I had no stress. If I told you all the events of my life from the moment the Hurricane hit land around 1am on August 23, 1992 (yes I'll never forget that date) up to even just one year later you'd never believe me. I think so much has happened to me in such a short amount of time that I just still never had the time to learn stress coping lessons from the Bible even because I was too busy being a single mother & fighting off the horrendous things that just kept coming at me. So now here I am at 38 trying to rest in Christ & it is going to be difficult. I wrote earlier that I didn't feel any different yet or moved by God yet except to pray differently. Well, I have to say that on Saturday I did begin to really be aware of God in me, his convicting presence in me. I used to curse like a sailor when I was single, it took me 2 years or so to stop. When something happens to irritate me to this day I will fire off a d*mmit. I don't like it, I don't even think about it, it just flies out. I even have my own special way of saying it, ha , like it's something to customize & be proud of. Well, since Saturday I have felt very convicted about the 3 or 4 d*mmit's I have said in 2 days. I also felt some strong convictions about how I was interacting or not interacting with family. I was happy about that because God is at work in me, very good. So I guess a heightened awareness of His presence is at work in me. I'll take it. But back to faith again, hubby says I don't have enough faith. I am not sure it is that, maybe it is. I am like my Dad. He is very analytical & so am I. My first time baking brownies as a little girl, the instructions said to stir by hand. I asked my mom if it was okay if I used a spoon. You see, I am also very literal. Very literal. My 10 year old son is like me too. My husband was trying to tell me how he always cleans up the job site before he leaves everyday, he has had our son helping him. So he says, Brandon, what is the last thing Daddy does before we go home and Brandon says, close the trailor door. Hee hee. Hubby looks over at me and says "That's your son.". I was so proud. Well, that's the last thing he does. So I think very hard about things & it is difficult for me not to worry. Hubby says when I worry it is a lack of faith. He is probably right. I just hope God has a learning curve for me. I am trying. When I say I am going to just give it all to God there is a small part of me that like a computer will quickly review stories in the Bible where people still had to suffer & go through terrible hardship & then I begin to say well, sometimes God does withdraw his protection from us. Either to correct us or teach us or sometimes He just needs to bring us low so we have only Him & can work through us instead of us letting him rent us for awhile. My Bishop that just quit is bankrupt. Now I don't know what God's purpose was in that, but I get scared becasue they have to live with family now, they have no home. I see things like this & it is hard for me not to be scared, God let it happen to them, what's so special about me. Why would I just be able to lay back & say well, I gave it to God & I am going to seek him more so it's all gonna be okay. This is the thought process I must rid myself of. I have done quite well with it lately. I just keep telling God it is all His to fix. I am waiting on Him. I speak only positive things about our finances with the occassional slip. I am learning with God's help to rely more on my faith & less on my analytical mind. That feels good. I don't like to think I have disbelief or a lack of faith, that is rather painful. I say about everyday that God could bring in enough paying customers to make everything great at any moment if He wanted to. He could bring hubby enough jobs to pay the bills & then some if He wanted to. I know He could heal our finances at any moment if He so choose, I don't doubt whether He can, I just worry if He WILL. So resting in Him means not worrying about that so much now. I just shrug & tell him I am waiting on Him to move. That feels much better than a panic attack.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Georgia Humidity Will Kill Your Hair

How can it be that when I left my bathroom mirror this morning, only 2 hours ago my hair was perfectly coiffed, curly & somewhat big hairish & now it is flat & droppy. In my eyes even. Oh yes, Georgia humidity!!! It's so hot here, in the 90's everyday already. I am thinking about chopping off 2 or 3 inches. Boy, my face sure has gotton fat. I really need to get back on the fitness schedule. Where did that mole over my lip come from too? That wasn't there a year ago, boy getting old is weird. Everything sags & things pop up you wish wouldn't & what you'd like to pop back up droops down. What's that all about?

So as I expected, I am impatient & struggling with resting in Christ. It is so against my nature to just give up and try to do nothing about something. I am waiting until I feel moved by God to "do something". Wednesday I had a negative day in sales, someone returned something for $20 & excahnged it for a $17.99 item & it was my only transaction. Thursday I had one sale 1 minute before I closed for $9.99. I had decent traffic both days & it was about 95% new people who have never been in before. All of them told me they like the shop & that I had pretty things but nobody bought anything. Highly unusual. Is God testing me to see if I freak out? Here I just totally surrendered all of my life & family & things to him & things get worse financially, the baby has been a complete terror both days also & up for 2 to 3 hours in the middle of the night, etc. Nothing got any better, it got worse. Confusing. I almost lost it yesterday for about 2 hours, I struggled but thankfully today I am overcoming that. Hearing from other wonderful ladies & reading their blogs is sooooo beneficial to me mentally & spiritually. I hope no one thinks I am some crazy weirdo stalker needy person. There are plenty of crazy people in the world for sure, but alas, I am not one of them. I am just seeking friendship & encouragement & a few brief moments of fun & laughter. I had my very first customer that I ever had come in this morning, she was about to get her hair done at the salon 2 doors down from me. She said she would be back when she got done, she is quite well off & always spends a lot when she comes in. So I was hopeful but I saw her get in her car & leave 30 min ago. ??? Sigh. I am re reading the book Grace Walk. I am still not sure completely what it means to rest in Christ. Do I really just seek only him & not worry about my bills personally & business ones? How do I not worry & yet the Bible in many places tells us not to. So I am really trying & having quite a few frank conversations with God. I am confused as to how to pray anymore. I used to always begin with thanking God for the day and then giving thanks period for anything I wanted to say thanks for & then praise him & then move along with any requests & petitions. I feel as though it was too much of a routine now after reading Grace Walk and I have just basically had one big conversation with God and several mini's throughout the day each day now. I am confused because it is a big deal to completely surrender your life to God. I mean, I didn't rent myself to him, it wasn't a lease/purchase option. I GAVE my whole self to Him. That is a really big deal if you mean it because that is for EVER. He could ask me to do anything! I was a little scared when I did it because having NO control of your life is scary. But I meant every word & I did it. I don't really feel any different, I haven't had a word dropped in my spirt, I haven't felt compelled to do anything different except pray differently, my baby is worse, & my business is worse. My hubby's doing several little jobs & thankfully it's cutting the mustard sort of. We had to ask my Dad to pay the mortgage again but he can't do it again for a few months becasue of my mom's medical needs & her poopy medicare/extra (not) insurance which pays for nothing. I would love to pay my own bills again. So anyway, I am confused because it was a big deal for me to give myself to God like that & nothing is really happening that I can see. Maybe I am not ready yet for Him to use me but I tell you, I just can't mentally take anymore. I am broken, completely broken. I will have to be patient & keep resting in Him because if He's going to use me He's going to have to do something with me soon. It is weird to be seeking God in this new way & also needing a miracle at the same time becasue I don't want to confuse the two. I am genuine about both things. I really do want Christ to live through me. I want my life to be victorious. I also don't want to be homeless. I also don't want to lose my store & be sued by the landlord for the rent I said I would pay for the next 2 years. Fun fun. I am still confused about the whole God/Jesus thing. The author of Grace Walk writes like God & Jesus are one and the same if I have read it correctly. I am always confused by this, my pastor says a lot that God was Jesus in human form. But if that's true why does Jesus talk to God? Why is Jesus sitting on right hand of the throne of God if they are the same person. I have always considered them to be 2 seperate people. You know, God's actual son. Someone he had known in heaven & then sent down to earth in human form to accomplish his task of salvation. So who are we supposed to be praying to? Jesus does in the Bible say to come to him and he will give us rest. So resting in Jesus is biblical, I just get really confused about all that, can you pray to Jesus? I know we can pray things in the name of Jesus but can you pray to Jesus? Is that in the Bible anywhere? I don't know, I am going to read my Bible some now. Hopeing for a restful & busy day if that makes sense.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Christ In Me

Here I am. But wait, it isn't just me. God is in me, Jesus is in me, the Holy Spirit lives within me. Here we are. Someone gave me a most wonderful book to read called Grace Walk. It was really powerful for me. I have always known I am "saved" & that "God lives in me" but I guess I never really knew exactly what that meant apart from knowing the Holy Spirt tells me the things of God & directs me. That I knew, but there is so much more. The approach of what the author is telling us to simply rest in Christ and let Him live through us & the rest will come seems so unbelievably simple. And yet of course although it seems simple I am sure is is harder than it seems to me now having just finished the book & hoping to apply it to my life. No, I will apply it. I am going to go back & slowly re read the book to digest it slowly. I started it yesterday & just finished it. It was that good!!!!! I have been struggling & trying so hard to live my life for God. It seems that God doesn't need for me to do that. Well, I should say it hasn't always been a struggle, I enjoy my relationship with God, but I should say that I was frustrated that even as "good " of a girl I was it was impossible to measure up & I so wanted to be pleasing to God. The author says to simply surrender to Christ. Let Him live His life through you. Give it all to God & if you really mean it He will do what needs to be done through you. God doesn't need us, He wants us. He doesn't expect us to work for him, He wants to work through us. He wants us to simply seek HIM. As we put our lives in His hands & seek Him He will do what needs to be done through us & supply what is needed. I am really exicted that it could be that easy & I have missed it completely. God doesn't need me to be strong, He needs me totally reliant on Him so He can work through me. I am sure this is really not that easy to begin to apply for me atleast because I am a doer. I am a very strong person, I will get myself through anything. I have had to be strong & instead of being strong through God I relied on myself to be strong and do what needed to be done. I once heard someone say that they knew a man who woke up every morning and said to the Father, "Good morning Lord, where are we going & what are we doing today?". I never have forgotton that & now I know why. That man was putting his life totally in God's hands, I believe he was serious with this statement & whatever God moved him to do he did. I really loved that thought & I have tried saying it to God many times over the last couple of years but it never felt right & I always wondered why. I want to serve God. So God doesn't need us to serve him. He needs us to know Him intimately, love Him, seek Him & then be totally surrendered to let Him live through us to glorify his name. He works through us so others can see Him through us. So I am now at the bottom of myself, I have nothing left for me to do in my life or for my family or for God because I am always working or fulfilling my family obligations or worrying about my financial crisis that I have "no time" do things for God. I believe that is where he wants me now, he has completely broken me. I am broken. This is my lowest point. A year and a half ago I had plenty of money, the bills were paid, my hubby made six figures, I made plenty but quit to stay at home with the baby but even then we had plenty. This time last year I was at the Walt Disney Resort staying in the Resort & going to several parks & then we went to Daytona Beach for a few days in a condo. Do you know how much that costs for 2 adults & four kids???? I had it to spend. Now I am broke, no health insurance, I have $80 a week to spend for food for six people, I have always been able to be a whiz in business & my business is failing, people used to offer hubby jobs all the time and bid for him because he does such a great job & now he can't find anything steady. This is a pretty low place to be in a small amount of time. I am completely humbled. I must say though that I was never conceited about what we had, I have left churches because of an attitude of the "better thans". You know we're better than them becasue we are or we have..... oh & where do you live & what do you drive?". I can't stand that. God is not a respector of persons so we should not be either. But still, it is quite horrific to not be able to pay your bills & feed your family properly. My son called me yesterday in pain & was crying because of severe stomach pain. My second thought was Oh no, I have no insurance, how will I pay for the doctor? Pretty Bad. So God has brought me low to show me that I can't do anything without him. I am still not 100% on what exactly my lesson to be learned is or if it is just simply that alone. But I am excited about this "exchanged life". I give my life to Jesus & I will let him live through me. I give him everything & I am willing to do as he pleases. I know God loves me & does not desire my unhappiness. Right now I do not believe anyone can see me & see Jesus. So here I am again, letting Jesus live through me to glorify the Father. Can you see him yet? I see a little excitement in my eyes & as Martha Stewart says, "That's a good thing."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My Rooster Fettish

I am convinced this beautiful rooster arrangement would look fabulous in my kitchen on the bar.

I love my roosters. My husband doesn't love roosters & to appease him I had to let him have a couple of eagles (yuck) around the house. My kitchen/breakfast area which is now the baby's playroom has a French Country feel which of course means ROOSTERS!!! I can't stand to walk by this little guy and not take him home with me. But alas, he is $149 & I don't need to bringing anything home from the store. I have black granite countertops with specks of green & gold throughout. Oohh, I want him so bad. I just know he would be wonderful. I hope somebody buys him soon so I can quit salivating over it.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

When Mimi Is In Charge

This is what happens when you leave your mom in charge of the baby so you can take a bath.

Oy Vey.

What you don't see is his entire lap covered with cake crumbs.

How many times do I ask her not to give Mr. B cake to eat by himself? Yet here he is. Now Mr. B needs a bath. I'm not mad...... it's cute...... just wish she'd quit doing it. Rice too. She knows I don't let him feed himself rice because it ends up in his lap and then all over the floor of my family room. My breakfast area is no more because it is his play room. So he eats in the family room. I'm not sure but I think my mom is secretly mad at me because she keeps putting rice on his plate. Even after I have already made him a plate she will sneak it over. Atleast he has enjoyed himself. Stinker.

Okay I just noticed my barely has any water in it green pool behind Mr. B. Forgive please. My Dad was out there uncovering it and cleaning it & getting it ready for swimming in. Which it is now and we have enjoyed it everyday since.

It is Saturday today, I have my 16 yr. old out at the entrance to the shopping center holding a sign for my store. I am hoping she will bring in traffic. People are just on vacation or broke & not coming in. Which I really don't understand because store's like mine have plenty of really cute things for under $10. A lady just came in & bought a hostess gift for $7.99 & left with a beautiful gift bag all tissued up with a pretty bow (wrapping is free). It was a really cute linen guest/kitchen towel. It was really nice . It was a dark brown & was embroidered with pink stitching that said A.S.A.P. As Southern As Possible . Actually I may have a pic of them in my post about moving the store around. The point being she got a good quality gift that the person will love for $7.99 & didn't have to wrap it either. Another lady came in yesterday and bought a totally girly girl pic frame in hues of pink/black/white. Really girly girl & a fun pen that has feathers all over the top and a flower coming out of the feathers made up of big plastic petal looking pieces. Really cute. She left gift bag in tote for $10.52 including tax. Another lady bought 1 of my $1.99 girls bracelets form Molly & Me (really adorable!!) & a best friends necklace set for $6.99. She spent $8.98 & her daughter will get a neckalce out of it too because the best friend neckalce set gets split between the two of them. One for her, one for the birithday girl. I wish people wouldn't forget about us. Yard sales galore today on the way in. I hope they don't hurt me too much today.

The bright side being that I feel positive today, don't know why but I do so I will run with that. I have been praying a lot lately. So it is hard to be negative when you are in prayer most of your day. I just have to be careful not to mix my worship & praise for God with my pleas for His help in our lives. I still have to worship, I cannot just beg for His help which is hard because I need Him to help us so bad. What a whinner. I feel bad for those poor people flooded out of their whole towns. Praying for them too. I have also been praying for people who have hurt me in my life. I am still concerned my sin is inhibiting the blessing's of God. Since unforgiveness is the one mentioned the most concerning the prohibiting of the blessings of God I figure if I am praying for someone & praying for their happiness & a blessed life for them I can't not like them & harbor anything left over. So, it has been quite freeing actually. I have done it for 2 days now. Even a couple of ex boyfriends from WAY back who really hurt me. A lady in church who made fun of my weight, etc. It has been very freeing to pray for them. Jesus sure is a smart guy.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Birds & Wolves

You have to click on the picture to see the baby bird real good.
Please pardon my rose bush that needs pruning. This bush is on a steep incline & I don't prune those.
So, I feel like this bird. He has 2 siblings you can barely see in the nest too. Little birdy is hungry, so am I. Not just for food, I am hungry for God in my life. I am hungry to be useful to God. I am hungry to be a better Christian. I love the song "Hungry", it is one of my most favorite Christian songs EVER!! I have a post with the lyrics to "Hungry" in the archives. So like the little birdy I look upward for my daily bread. I look to my Father for daily sustainment. But the little birdy must beware for there are "wolves" who would love to devour little birdy. What could happen to the little birdy if danger comes & it's father does not come to the rescue? Surely the birdy's father will not let the "wolves" come & devour it. The birdy only knows it is hungry. I am so hungry to be filled with God and live in victory. I am not hungry for material things although they are nice. I am so hungry to be of use to God. I don't have a problem volunteering, I always have. I LOVE to help people, I love to help in general. I don't know what my calling is except to help people. So I am still hungry like the little birdy. I haven't heard from the Lord since May 30 & 31, it was a Saturday. God told me to be happy BEFORE he bails me out & trust in Him. I really did try, I was pretty happy all that first week. I struggled the second week. I am flailing about this third week as I try not to panic. I really am trying hard. I have heard nothing from God since then & since that day my finances have severly tanked. My business is in dire jeopardy also now too, I am broke and penniless. I pray still and worship still but I feel so far from God. I am studying God's blessings, I can't earn them, I can't believe what a wretch I am that I cannot rid myself of this anger, resentment & bitterness. So I am afraid God has taken his blessings & protection away from my life. Do you know what happens when he does that. The "wolves" come in. I feel like I am at the mercy of the wolves, I am fighting off the enemy who wants to devour me. Surely my Father will not let me be devoured by the "wolf". Wouldn't He save me? I remembered Nehemiah, God sent his prophet to let him know that he would die, God would not heal him. God told him to get his house in order & to prepare for his death. Nehemiah prayed to God to remember him and that he had been a faithful servent & always tried to follow his ways. Then he wept bitterly. God sent his prophet back to the king to let him know God heard his prayers & saw his tears . He said He would add 15 years to his life. I too have always tried to follow God & serve him, I have asked God to remember me also. I don't know if He will or not. SO, back to our little birdy & his siblings. Two days ago, the "wolves" came in & devoured this little birdy & his 2 siblings. Although his father is never far from the nest, he either would not or could not save his babies. Now the nest is strewn about & feathers lay on the ground. They are gone, devoured & lost. Will my Father in Heaven save me from the "wolves"? I don't understand.... Surely He will provide an escape, His word says so. Can you serve God & love him & be a good person and still have everything taken away from you due to no fault of your own and be left homeless and penniless? Does that actually happen? God has mercy on whom He chooses. Why do I feel like He is so far from me when I know His spirit lives within me?
Well, I've sold a $40 purse this morning & I am grateful for that. Better than the $16.99 I did yesterday. I am hopeful for a blessed day in sales. Mostly I will just continue to praise God, Paul & Silas praised their way out of jail & lead the guard & his family to God on their way out. So I will use praise as my weapon & pray for strength & sustainment. I hear "wolves" don't like to eat praise like our Father does.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Oh, Baby!

This is what happens when you leave the kids in charge so you can have 5 minutes to yourself. Heaven forbid. So I am grateful he did not swallow the chess pieces but instead chucked each piece across the room.
We switched my two oldest kids rooms & now we are getting the boys room unpacked. Hence the boxes and chaos around the room. Not that it wouldn't be messy ordinarily but atleast the bookcases will be unpacked. Hopefully minus the baby.

I am shameless, I will ask my mom to dress up in a bunny suit to attract people's attention to my sidewalk oil painting extravaganza. I have no pride. It was the biggest Saturday I have ever had. Everyone loves a cute bunny.
In my It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful post I talked about the slide now in the breakfast/play room. Wah la, here it is in all it's glory. He loves it.
And now for the news:
So my hubby and I have made up. He came to the store & put up a bunch of signs along the street leading to the shop. He knew I needed help doing that & it was his way of making up. I thought it was nice of him. He then suprised me by telling me he signed up on to do their "Read the Bible in a Year" program. You do everything on the computer, you even get to pick the translation you want to read. I was impressed. He has never expressed an interest in reading the entire Bible. He has really been seeking God. He is confused about our circumstances too. He says the same thing I do, in his whole life this is the hardest & most darkest time & he can't deal with it. We are both looking to God for help & peace, guidance & wisdom. I think what we are going through right now is the worst we have dealt with. The thought of declaring bankruptcy makes me want to vomit. The thought that we could very possibly be homeless soon is too much to bear. The thought that we would lose our kids if we were homeless is too much to bear. Not having money to buy groceries is too much to bear. We are raiding the pantry pretty good. I don't understand still how this happened to us. We lived within our means, we made plenty of money, we had some put aside. We had a nice life. Then the housing market collapsed. Now we have no money, no health insurance, we are beside ourselves. I pray for strength.
So hubby put on a Christian channel last night & it was all about receiving God's blessings & also why you may not be receiving them. Is this a theme? Creflo Dollar was preaching about that too yesterday morning, my pastor at church has been preaching on it. I guess they know a lot of people are hurting financially right now. So it was a great night because I was happy he watched a couple of hours of teaching shows on God.
I failed miserably last night. I was so stressed because I had not one single sale yesterday. I just wanted to cry. Only 2 people even came in. Then on the way home a bill collector calls & I can't pay the bill. I got so stressed, I tried not to, but I did. They baby was being really whiny, I just got in a bad mood big time & found myself apologizing almost constantly to my kids for snaping at them. I hate when I get that bad. I need to remember what Creflo said about speaking positive things into existance. I have to bite my tongue, try not to say anything negative.
Oh, I almost forgot, my sweet Amber kitty watched the programming last night too. It was so sweet, she prayed aloud for God to please remove the curse of the devil, the curse of sin in her life. She told God she wanted to be good, then she laid her hands on me and prayed for me. Man, my little 8 year old can pray. I was touched & I behaved myself after that. Humbled by an 8 year old.
Today I have had 2 sales already. I am happy for every dollar. I have sold 3 items for a grand total of $16.99 in sales. I don't care, I had no sales yesterday & the day is still young. See, positive. I am praying hard today for God to help me be a better Christian & to help de stress me. How useful to him can I be if others just see negativity & defeat in me.
I am also still confused about the whole "blessings of God" in your life thing. The rule seems to be if you want God to bless your life then you must also be seeking Him & following his commands, etc. You know, following him, worshiping him. But then I see Saul nowhere close to being in the will of God have a direct intervention with Jesus on the road to Damascus, anyway, he was annointed & blessed to be called directly by Jesus & he didn't do anything to deserve it. Yes, God appointed him for a reason I know. God also saves people in total crisis who have never served him & they cry out to Him to be saved & rescued & I have seen God do it. So we are all wretches too, none of us can measure up, I don't understand..... If I can't seem to rid myself of this anger, resentment & bitterness does that mean that I will not be blessed by God again. I thought we were not supposed to have to "earn" God's blessings. Very confusing. I am trying I promise to change, I have so much against me it's hard to even breathe sometimes. My chest hurts many times a day. I can't do this on my own. I don't know what else to do. Am I being tested? I don't understand.... those three things are the only thing I can see in my life that would be so displeasing to God. Is that why we are no longer blessed? How can eveything be okay & one year later we can be penniless, about to be homeless, & unable to find steady work for hubby. He is the most honorable man I know. He is honest & principaled. He doesn't deserve this. I don't know....... I am just praying for strength & to be sustained. I have bills to pay at work and personally & I keep thinking about that. It has to end sometime.
It is sunny & beautiful as usual in Metro Atlanta. I shall go outside & breathe in our lovely smog & pray & give thanks now.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What's With Kids & Cereal?

What's up with kids & cereal? They are always sneaking into the pantry for cereal. At nite for dinner what do they want? Cereal. I don't get it.

Soooo, anyway, I had a good time yesterday over at the Nesting Place Blog. What fun visiting the "imperfect" homes of everyone over there. I loved one ladies porch, she had drapes on her porch, I LOVE it. If I wasn't poor now I would have gone out yesterday to find something. Gorgeous. Another site had me in tears. I was sobbing like a little girl. It was about her daughter, it took me back to my baby girl shown here almost dying. Well, she did die several times. They were just able to bring her back. One time she was already blue. After all that, I learned to see beauty in people differently. Life is beauty. My little Amber cat is so beautiful to me. Have you ever known someone who was so beautiful on the outside & the more you got to know them they became uglier & uglier. The same for someone not great looking on the outside & they were so beautiful on the inside that as you knew them more they became beautiful to you. I remember a girl named Angela in middle school. When I met her, I felt a little sorry for her. She was soooo tall. She had a big face. It was very angular and very unsoft. I could tell when I met her that she was very gentle & kind. She became a good friend at school. She was not pretty at all. A good while into the year I remember looking over at Angela in class and thinking how pretty she was. Her eyes were pretty. Everything about her was so pretty & beautiful to me. I remember thinking, how could I have ever thought she was ugly. There were a lot of babies/kids in the hospital with us, after Amber, they all just looked beautiful to me. To quote Forrest Gump, that's all I have to say about that.

I am fighting with my husband. I hate that. We are both under stress. My Bishop who just resigned the church may be getting divorced. They have declared bankruptcy, I would be willing to bet it was the financial stress hurting that marriage. Because I know their story & if they could survive all they have gone through in past..... financial stress is a real killer. The worst. We will avoid each other for another day or so & then it will be better. We know it is the finances eating at us, so we just let it die.

I got a post yesterday from someone who really hit home some things. Then this morning as I was having my blessed morning coffee I came across Creflo Dollar preaching about God's blessings. He said a lot of the same things in the poster's comments. He is really an annointed preacher, I love listening to him. He said a lot of the things my pastor has been talking about concerning why your prayers may not be answered. Things that can prohibit God from blessing you. Unforgiveness, strife, not following God's will for your life, not following Him & seeking Him and His kingdom, an unpure heart, etc. I really struggle with this. I do have a lot of anger, resentment and bitterness in my heart. When I ask God to show me my sin, this is basically all I get. Well, I know already I need to work on these things. I have been trying for MONTHS to rid myself of these things. I don't have any unforgiveness that I am aware of, I have forgiven a child molester for pete's sake, so I don't think it's that. I gave him to God. I don't have any "BIG" outward telling sin in my life. I don't smoke, no drugs, I drink 2 or 3 times a year so no drinking, I have never cheated on anybody, I don't lust after other men, most people think I am full of crap about that but I don't, I am faithful mentally to my hubby too, I dress modestly, you get it. I am a goody goody. So my sin or bad acts are inward. I am seeking God, I have been saved since I was a little girl, I desire God in my life daily. I desire to be used by God and know him personally, I study the word everyday, I have read the Bible twice front to back, I pray everyday more than once, I am emersed in seeking God. I go to church 2 times a week, sing in the choir. Blah, blah, blah. So narrowing it down in my little mind, I guess we are back to my big problem of anger, resentment and bitterness. I am almost never happy. I am stressed to the max! I don't like being this way. I have begged God to heal me. So I have begun to take baby steps again. Creflo said this morning that we must be walking in love, basically to be under the blessings of God. He is right. I was focusing hard on walking in love a couple of months ago but then things got even more dire I guess I lost that. So I must begin again. My family was really responding to my efforts so I must do it again. I am wondering though if there is a grading curve on this whole walking in love and becoming less stressed. My point being..... I have a husband who is great, don't get me wrong, but he does as he pleases around the home. He doesn't clean or do laundry. He cleans once a month maybe. He comes home and does not consider what I may need to do, he just goes about his business leaving me trapped with the baby. A source of anger and resentment leading to bitterness. I discuss this with him to no avail. So I can't change that. I have 4 kids. I don't care how good your kids are four kids is a lot especially when one of them is the most frustrating whiny baby I have ever known in my life. More stress. There is always someone talking in my house. It is never quiet. Someone wants your attention constantly, someone always needs something. There is no calm & quiet. They fight, they chase after each other loudy through the home. They baby almost never stops making noise and getting into things. So with just these two factors alone I am behind the curve say comparing my ability to walk in love and not be stressed and resentful with a woman who is married to a wonderful man who helps around the house and they have no kids or one or two kids. So by being married to a guy who's not very sensitive concerning my needs for him to participate in the household chores and having made the choice to have a big family make me LESS succeptable to receiving blessings from God because the more kids and the less helpful the hubby is causes you anger and resentfulness leading to bitterness. Get my point. So are people who have less aggrivation in their life more blessed? I am still confused. I want to change, but I have to also change my lifestyle to do that. I cannot change my husband. I cannot change how many kids I have. My kids are good kids too, they aren't unruly or anything. But there is a lot of us & it's going to be crazy a lot. They all play sports too. There is almost always never time for me to work out downstairs or do what I want to do, causing resentment leading to bitterness. How do I change that? I find this to be an interesting question, does having issues with a spouse and dealing with a large family & extreme financial stress cause you to lose your blessings? Surely God sees what is going on in our lives and gives a grading curve so to speak to honor that. I want to live in victory, doesn't that count? How am I not resentful when I want to go downstairs & work out so badly but no one will watch the baby for the time I need to lose weight. If I don't work out atleast 3 times prefer 4 a week, 30 min on the treadmill and then 30 to 45 min on the workout machines I will not lose weight. No one will let me have this. This is a big resentment. My extremely critical financial circumstances are stressful and lead to anger. Cooking dinner and cleaning and laundry is a lot for six people, he won't help. He helps cook dinner sometimes, the rest is a no go. This leads to anger and resentment. Bitterness. I hate to be that way. Something has to give, I guess I will be thinking how to make my life better to rid myself of the things that cause my anger, resentment and bitterness. All I can do. Still curious if having a more supportive spouse and less kids makes one more able to stay in God's will and be blessed.

Monday, June 16, 2008

It Doesn't Have To Be Perfect To Be Beautiful!!!!!

First he took over the furniture....... then the breakfast room! My imperfect little baby has taken over the house. My once beautiful "French Country" breakfast area a.k.a. the place we eat is now the baby's play area. The table & chairs are gone, replaced with a huge soft rug to soften the blow when he falls over. I have toys galore in this room right off the kitchen & family room. It is not pictured but I even now have one of those big slides in there too. It is almost always messy!!

His royal heiness also enjoys lurking in the kitchen & opening the baby drawer so he can throw all of his bottles & sippy cups all over the floor. He can open gates or climb over them. He has also been able to figure out every single baby proofing device to keep him out of drawers & cabinets. Stinker. My mom likes to sit in this rocker that is supposed to be in his room but is out here now because this is where he likes to be. So..... it is now very imperfect but it works so beautifully for our family.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Best Is Yet To Be

The best is yet to be.

I spent a good part of yesterday quoting God to God. Quoting the word of his apostles & prophets.

So I am born again. Therefore God is with me, his Holy Spirit lives within me so I cannot be alone. If He is with me his word says he will not give us more than we can bear. He will not forsake me. If He is with me & He knows me then He will bring me through. Right? That is what his word says. The bible says if we are seeking God and love him and try to follow His ways always, he will bless us. I can't help but wonder still if there is sin in my life that I am unaware of that could hinder God blessing my family. That is biblical. So I have prayed for God to reveal this to me if it is that. So far nothing there. I sin of course, we all do. I ask daily for forgiveness for all that I can think of and I ask for forgiveness for what I have sinned & do not realize it. I ask for conviction so I can repent and not repeat. I have cried out to God, I read Psalms aloud to God & myself yesterday. King David sure was something, if he was alive today & feeling & writing about these things most church people would stay away from him because he was a negative whiner as they would probably put it. I think David's psalms are wonderful, they are so beneficial for everyone. I can't hardly get my husband or any man to properly communicate how their day was much less pen multiple psalms of praise, worship, prayers, & raw emotion.

I am feeling desperate. I am confused. My husband is sick of me being depressed & negative. He barked at me today to be happy. I want to. I need God to heal me. I am not a person who can function with this much stress. Mostly, I can't function with financial stress. I am a security driven person. I need to be secure. I am a very responsible person. I am orderly. I NEED to know the bills are paid on time. I NEED to have a savings account. I don't need to be rich, I just need to know I can live within my means. Unfortunately, I have 8 people in my home so it takes a lot to house us. I own my home and the home market is in the pooper so I can't sell my home for what it is worth. I am stuck. I need to get rid of the suburban, but we owe $8,000 more on it than it is worth. The only people willing to trade it for something cheaper & put the negative equity on the new loan puts my payment for the same amount I am paying now so we gain nothing. I am desperate. We aren't people to just shirk our debts. We are trying to do things right. I see now why people declare bankruptcy. Sometimes you just can't do it. I don't want to ruin my credit, I don't want to be someone who just doesn't pay what they owe. Definitely not biblical.

So I cry out to God. I have given him an amount I need to do in the store today & tomorrow to pay the bills due as of the end of business Sat. Only God can bring in this amount. I have prayed all evening and all morning that the store would be filled & people would buy all day long. I am alone in here. 2 people have come in, one bought one didn't. It's getting late, where are the people? I pray for God to have mercy on us, I am hoping someone calls hubby with a basement to finish. He has estimates out. I don't understand why sometimes God moves & sometimes not. He has helped us financially, he has helped me with mega days in the store just in the nick of time to pay bills. Now for 2 weeks nothing. I am WAY below normal the past 2 weeks, ridiculuously low in sales. I feel cursed, I fear that God is angry with me & will not help us. What can I do to show God I love him, I want to be a good servant, I want him to use me. It is my desire to never leave Him again. I musn't. I won't. Why doesn't He respond to my cries? Why does he sometimes and then othertimes not? I don't understand. I cannot take this stress. I want to tell myself to be optimistic, I am so trying. It isn't easy. I need God to help me. I am not blind to my faults, I am trying to change. Will he hear me? Will he honor that I am trying to be as good as I can & help all who I can help? Will he? I don't know what He wants me to do? I ask him what His will is for me. I don't know, I have prayed that for years & I have never really felt an answer. Just helping. Maybe that is my calling. To help people. It's the only thing I have been felt to do other than choir. I am praying for His mercy, I need it. Oh, I need it to get really busy here quickly........ My chest hurts. I was up all night long, too stressed to sleep. God I need you.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My Boys

My two little men told me to get out of the bathroom. The big one is watching the little one throw all his toys out of the tub while he reads his book. I just swapped out my two oldest kids bedrooms to make way for the little one. Now my sons have a pinky/purpley bathroom to share. We have stripped the walls bare to help de-girl the bathroom. NO flowers they say. I don't know what to do with the bathroom now. I am stuck as to what color to paint it. I am having a mental block. This is our only "guest" bathroom so it can't be manly. I am looking for inspiration. I have a huge long wall across from the tub. It is a very long bathroom. I think it would be the perfect place for a mural of course. But I am poor now and cannot afford one. I may just stick it out & wait for the mural. But what would the mural be. Nature, a waterfall? The ceiling is 9 feet. We could fit a waterfall on that. I don't know how to paint murals, I really want one now. It's hard to be poor.
I am stressing. I am trying not to but I am stressing. Why is it so hard to not stress? Ephesians says not to have anxiety,to pray & present your requests before the Lord and the peace of Jesus will rest on us. The Bible tells us of Jehova Jira, Jehova Nessi, Johova Shalom... God our provider, God our healer, our God of peace, the God of many things. Speak light into your darkness, God's promises are yes & amen. We are struck down but not destroyed, I am blessed beyond the curse for His promise will endure & His joy's going to be my strength. The Bible also shows us that God does not like complainers. Look at how mad God was at the Isrealites in the desert for all their complaining. He was really really mad at all their complaining. Great!!! I have become a negative complainer, so does that mean God could be mad at me? I don't want to be that way, I have asked God repeatedly to mold me and help me to change. I have prayed so many many times to help me rid myself of this stress & anxiety. He has helped me. I do know that. He is helping me. This is a daily struggle for me. I really want Him to HEAL me of my negativity. I believe I do not know how to de-stress. I need His help,in a big way. I was really wowed today in studying prayer when it took me to Numbers 11 where we find the Israelites complaing in the desert. They wanted to eat meat. They were tired of eating manna. They wanted meat. Now, I am a reasonable person & I always try to insert myself into these Bible stories to see what I might have thought, felt, etc. Now I can certainly understand how they could have been tired of eating manna. We are poor now & have been eating a lot of cheap meals. Costco has cheap cheap ground beef. A staple meal lately has been cooked ground beef seasoned with taco seasoning. We take nachos ( We like the Scoops ones ), put the ground beef on top & sprinkle liberally with Mexican blend cheese and nuke it for 45 seconds. I feed 8 people for $10 to $12. I have a big family. We eat so much ground beef as it is the cheapest that my family is sick of ground beef. We eat a lot of breakfast for dinner meals too. Way cheap. Anyway, they are sick of it. Imagine if we ate ground beef everyday for every meal. They would be complaining up a storm. So were the Isreaelites. Now of course, they should have seen what God was trying to do for them. He was delivering them for pete's sake. But they could not see past their immediate circumstances like most of us & they wanted meat. They were riled up & beating Moses up about their wanting some meat. Moses of course goes to God and asks him what he did to deserve this. Kill me now or rescue me. Moses speaks so boldly and a little harshly I may say that I was a little frightened for Moses. Why I don't know, I've read this story & I know God doesn't come down & spank Moses for talking to him that way. But every time I read about Moses praying to God because the Isrealites are up in arms about something he speaks quite harshly to God sometimes. Put up or shut up God so to speak. You did this to me so now fix it. I think it is quite telling about God's character that He lets Moses get his frustrations out in such a way without disciplining him. So, Moses tells God they want meat and they are way mad about the manna situation. So what does God do. He sends tons of quail. They have enough meat to be sick to death of meat. Then he sends a plague. The Bible says that Moses could hear the wailing from every family at the entrance of his tent. Then it says the Lord became exceedingly angry. Not just angry but exceedingly angry. Can you imaging making God exceedingly angry. That is sooooo bad. Their complaining made him ticked off. He gave them manna, he saved them & was bringing them to the promise land & all they cared about was variety in their diet at that moment. But while the meat was still between their teeth He killed them. Then the people who craved other food were buried. I have become a big complainer. I can admit that. It scared me to read this. I also know my anger & bitterness grieves the Holy Spirit within me because the Bible tells me so. So I am grieving the Holy Spirit & possibly really ticking off God with my complaining. The thing is that I can identify it & I am trying to change. It is really hard to be positive when you can't pay your bills. I can't pay them personally and paying my business bills is really really difficult. In order to pay my credit card bills for the business I will have to do more in sales in 5 days than I have been able to do since I opened up. Practically impossible. It will take an act of God for me to pay the bills due on the 15th. Before I could just barely pay the store's bills. Then God gave me a revalation to be happy & trust in him before he helps me. Not just when he saves me and gives me a huge day to pay the bills as He as always done in the past. So I have been obedient as much as I can. I slipped up a couple of times this week, I just got really depressed as the baby has been especially whiny & the kids are fighting so bad. So anyway, I was really positive all last week since that revelation God gave me. Then last week was the worst week in sales I have had since I opened. What???? God told me to be positive and have faith. I did, I was pretty happy all week just trusting in Hin and knowing it would be okay. Then I have the worst week in sales ever. Plus, I lost the remote control that turns on my open sign so I have no way to have a flashy open sign. Just the sign on the door. Everyone seems to have left town and my shopping center is deserted. My sales are practically nonexistant. What am I going to do? In the natural I am screwed. Only God can help me pay my bills. Only God can bring in enough customers to save me. What a time for me to be focusing on becoming a more positive person. I must become more positive. I am just so tired of struggling. I just want to be happy so bad. I just want to be happy. I am not asking for the world. It's ridiculous that I can't seem to accomplish happiness. I know what it is like to watch your baby laying in a hospital bed dying, I have held a lifeless baby in my arms. It's the worst thing you can imagine, it's the worst thing in the world you can hold. God took my dead baby and let her be brought back to me on more than one occassion. Can you imagine holding your baby dead in your arms? He gave her back to me, everything else should be a piece of cake right? What is the matter with me? This is why I ask God for healing, I'm not mentally ill or anything but I just can't do it on my own. The stress of a business beginning to fail & it hasn't paid me in almost 7 months, the stress of the hubby continuously getting laid off & unable to find work regularly is killing me. I just can't take anymore stress. I see all the promises in the Bible & yet people name it and claim it & never obtain it. They blab it and can't grab it. I am confused. My daughter & I prayed the prayer of agreement yesterday. We agreed in prayer that God would show us where the remote for the open sign was & that business would increase & meet our needs from the moment we finish praying. The bible shows us the only place in God's written word that you can receive a commanded blessing is during the prayer of agreement. We didn't find the remote & business is still horrible. Sometimes I pray & receive an immediate answer & sometimes nothing. I don't understand these things. I am studying prayer now. I am very confused. I wish God would heal me of my anxiety. I just want to be happy. I need more customers and I need my hubby to get more construction jobs. #@#@#@. I can't believe my most difficult thing to get over is my inability to be content & happy.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Still Moving The Store Around!! Almost Done

Here are some pictures of the store. I have been busy all week moving the entire store around! I am not done yet but I needed a break, so I
thought I would take some pictures. If anybody has any ideas feel free to let me know. Sometimes you can look at something for so long you lose perspective. A fresh look is always helpful.

This is part of my baby section.
Oopsies.... I just sold the pink blankie with the horses on it. Yea....

I sell a ton of these large picture frames with the phrases on them. I am so so low on them. Have more coming.

Looking out from my cash register.

For some reason
women around here love to give each other cutsy martini glasses so I am more than happy to accomodate them. I have these awesome coasters that are flip flops that fit on the glass like a shoe. TOO CUTE.

The blue bookcase is a Goodwill find, $15 and some blue paint.

This area is still a work in progress. I love the fabric, I just don't like how it's coming together. I think maybe more white tulle on either side. I am thinking maybe someting hanging on sides of the blue fabric to make it more like a cubby. It's just such a bright shock of blue. I am still working it all out. I wish I had someone in here to help me sometimes. Two heads are better than one. I was inspired by the Nesting Place and the Sparrow's Nest blogs to create a "Nature/Bird" section in the store. I have the most adorable salt & pepper shakers coming & they are birds. So so cute. Well, I am only half way done with this area but I hope it comes out well.
p.s. the blue fabric was a Goodwill find, $4.60 for a ton of it. I asked God to help me find some Robin's Egg Blue fabric while planning to go to Goodwill for a week, low & behold..... A TON of Robin's Egg Blue fabric just waiting for me. God is so nice to me sometimes.....

Too much of a shock of blue!! I won't give up, I'm keeping the fabric.

Added in some black plates I love!!

Had to walk away.... What does it need? Still have more product to add in too.

Love the sailboat lamp! Love the robin lamp!

Us Southerners are proud of our heritage!! I have matching aprons too, mother & daughter sizes.

I paid $3.60 at Goodwill for this chair. Black paint with a touch of Robin's Egg Blue smattered about.

Getting low on purses! I need more. I hate hate hate the Vera Bradley purses. I will carry anything but those, women around here love them but I get a headache looking at the patterns.

There's more.... Gotta Go.. Customers and all.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Moving The Store Around

I have been so busy this week!! Let me start off by saying that on this past Saturday I did more in sales on that one day than I had done all week!! Wow!!! I was having a kinda slow day which I was expecting because it was the first Saturday after the last day of public school. So I just began to pray to God, I needed a certain $$ in sales to pay the store's bills and Saturday was the last day of the month, so I needed to do A LOT to pay my bills on Monday. Well, I just began to pray, not out of frustration as I usually do, I just prayed. God as usual knows what we need before we ask of Him and only a minute or two into prayer I had people just come in one after another and they all bought!!! I got so busy that I never did get to finish praying!!! How awesome is that? He knew what I needed, knew that I would pray & had people on the way to the store before I began to even pray. I like how He timed it out to start just after I started praying. It was like Him saying, Yes, I know your needs. Here is your blessing. Trust in Me. It was enough to pay all the bills & a couple of hundred left over. That got me to thinking, always before it was just enough, this time it was enough and then some. I had been wanting to go to a couple of Goodwill's & buy some new bookcases & props for the store. I didn't want new stuff, old & worn so it has character. I was going to sand & paint some things as soon as I could afford it. Well, God was so good to me. He gave me enough extra to go to Goodwill & what a coincidence, my hubby & kids were far away helping his Dad move & wouldn't be back til late so I had the freedom to go out after work & do just that & I did. The neat thing was that as I was driving I wasd praying & thanking God for the fantastic day of sales that I had. I was really happy, it's always been my dream to have my own home decor & gift store so it was just so much fun to be in there and have been so busy & laughing & talking with all the ladies. It was just so much fun to help everyone that came in! Then as I was praying, God just dropped a word to me, (How does he do that by the way? It's soooooo cooool! In a speck of time a whole idea or "conversation" is just deposited into your thoughts). I was just thanking Him for basically bailing me out again for the month and at the very last moment too. Talk about a Hail Mary for you sports fans. The word He dropped said, that I should not worry, just focus on being happy & having faith enough not to just believe but to also be happy in advance, not just when I receive the blessing. He will provide, He always has these last few months. Do not worry, be happy and He will continue to provide. He has shown His blessings on my family in a huge way in the last couple of months, my business so far has received the least of the financial blessings, thankfully hubby is pulling in some $$ for a couple of months atleast. I have just been so frustrated that sales have been soooo slow. So the amazing thing is that God has helped me because I am so anxiety ridden that I just am incapable of being happy without His intervention. I have begged him to heal me of this stress & anxiety many times for weeks. So anyway, Saturday turned out to be fantastic & oh me Sunday was great too. Monday & Tuesday were very nice and golly gee, I have had my 8 year old at the store all day with me ( usually a bad thing) and today I am happy too!!!! This can only be from God because I am generally a stressed out mess as my blog archives can reveal to anyone. I can't even hardly stand me sometimes. I am truly perplexed by this nice week I am having. Why????? I have had some moments of aggrivation but I am assuming this is normal?? I don't know, I am usually in a state of high anxiety & stress. That is what is normal for me. So this is fantastic, I am not having a good week in sales and I am not letting it bother me. How's that? Church is tonight!! Always a good time. Yea God!!