Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Crown Of Strife

Don't let her fool you.

Amber seems to love her new crown. In my zeal to eliminate strife from our home I had the great idea one day to come up with some new way to identify the strife maker in a particular situation. Not only that but I had the idea of something that they would have to do or wear that they would not like to dissuade them from creating arguments or making rude comments to siblings. So I said I'm gonna make you guys wear a dunce cap on a particular day of major fighting between the two middle kids. One of them said what's a dunce cap? At that moment after feeling old I said, okay a crown. The crown of "Strife". If you are being particularly naughty and being a strife maker you will have to wear the crown of strife. Amber quickly made a crown for all three of them but to my sadness, they seem to enjoy the crowns and of course Amber being my biggest strifemaker was the first to wear her new crown. Do you like the SM she put on it? It stands for "Strife Maker". Brandon was wearing his green crown and he said to me he wears it with pride to let me know it didn't bother him. Now these crowns are something cool??? Oh, boy. Maybe the novelty will wear off. I'm still making them wear the crowns....
I am having the time of my life being at home. I heard the best words from my husband last night. He said Jenn, I have noticed a big personality change in you this last week. You seem much happier, I like it. Whooppee!!!!!!!! That was the absolutely nicest thing anyone could have ever said to me. EVER. I am loving every moment of the day. I am loving being at home with Braxton. I am very very busy. I hardly have time to eat, which is odd because I am at home most of the day. Even today I am booked out doing secretarial errands out of the home today for hubby's business until at least 1pm. I haven't hated cooking dinner too terribly much which is a great improvement. I am just so happy to be at home and enjoying my kids and my home and everything else I have missed working 6 days a week for the last year and a half. This is where I have always wanted to be and I hope it is where I am meant to be.
I visited my mom in rehab yesterday. She is coming home on Friday and there is a lot of work to do before she arrives. New handrails have to be built for her entrance, a chair elevator needs to still be installed in our stairway,etc. Dad and I had family therapy yesterday to learn how to help her walk and get in and out of the car. I am still nervous that we will mess up her care.
A funny side note: Speaking of Crowns, I still maintain my "Crown of the World's Most Forgettable Person". Yes, the glory is mine. The pastor of my "old church" came yesterday to visit my mom. They still attend there. Do y'all remember when my husband decided he wanted to start going to Church again and he wanted to go to one where he had friends? So he asked me to switch with the kids over to the Baptist Church not too far away where some of our friends go and of course I did it.... I had to leave my nondenominational Church of 8 years which I love love love but hey, the man wanted to go to Church again, yes I switched. It was a difficult move for me and speaking to the pastor is not easy so I talked to his wife and I talked with my Choir director and told them both why I had to leave. It was sad but they understood. I still email with my choir director. Okay, back to the story. Well, I switched Churches around September I think? Not too terribly long. So Pastor Seth walks in and I was excited to see him. He is a great Pastor and really funny. I have talked with him several times and of course you know I would see him on Wednesday evenings during Church and after service I had choir practice with his wife so he stayed late too. My daughter plays with his son and I have interacted with him many many times. Sunday mornings I was always early at Choir practice with his wife and said hello every week. So he comes in and says a group hello and I was just so happy to see him because I miss his preaching and miss seeing my old friends so much. But to my dismay he didn't speak to me or really even look at me. I was trying to figure out why he wasn't talking to me or acknowledging my presence. It was kinda hurtful so then it hit me. Maybe nobody told him why I left!! Oh, no, he's upset with me because I left the Church and didn't say why. Oh, no, maybe he thinks I didn't like his preaching and left!! He had only taken over as pastor a couple of months from being assistant pastor when I left. Oh, pooh, he thinks I didn't like his preaching and that's why he's not looking at me or talking to me. Then I started to feel bad and I was like, do I say something? Thoughts were racing in my mind thinking I had inadvertently offended and hurt my pastor when a therapist came in and said mom had to leave for a therapy session. Pastor Seth starts to say his goodbyes and shakes mom and dad's hand and turns to leave. He puts his hands in his jacket and I was like, oh no, he hates me. He's not even going to shake my hand!! Why didn't somebody tell him why I had to leave?????????? Then as he passes by me, he says with a nod. " Nice to meet you.".
Crushed was the word I would use to describe how I felt after he walked out the door. As usual, I used humor to recover as this is pretty funny. Nobody EVER remembers me and when somebody does remember me I am shocked. My family has always said I would make a great spy. The pastor that Pastor Seth took over for... I went there 8 years and for over a year even I volunteered one day a week working in the Church office where he would see me several times on that day every week and he never once remembered me when he saw me. You know, it's really bad because I sang in the choir too in the front row and at the center. I also sing alto on the microphones when the regular person is out. You know, I'm not just sitting on a pew in the back and not talking to anybody. So one day the previous pastor was walking through the Church on Sunday and as he walks by me he shakes my hand and says, " Is this your first time here?". I just said, Yes, it is and walked away. Then 15 minutes later I was in my choir robe singing on the stage front row center like always 25 feet from him and I'll bet he didn't even notice. I was just a little hurt, okay maybe a lot. I really liked Pastor Seth and his wife and I thought they liked me but now I realize he doesn't even know I exist. How can you see someone twice a week and talk to them twice a week and not see them? Sheesh.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

One Proud Mama

My sweet lamb chop is growing up. She will be 17 in just a couple of months. I am so proud of her. She is driving now and becoming independant and her own woman. She is amazing, I really mean that. Lexi is amazing to me. She is so sweet (except to her brother and sister!!) and rooted in her moral code. I love that she knows who she is already and does not let others sway her. I could not be more proud. She is respectful to us, her parents and for that I am so grateful and adore her. Of course, a lot has to do with how we raised her but still, a lot of teens are mouthy but my sweet lamb is respectful. One of the things about Lexi that has amazed me recently:

She has had a gigantic crush on this "boy" since 7th grade. He is just simpy "IT" for her. For years she has yearned and dreamed of being his girlfriend. Two years ago it seemed like it may happen as he was asking around about her and one of the football coaches let it slip to her. She was overjoyed and walked on water for a week or two. She lightly flirted and was crushed to have a friend who inquired directly to "him" tell her that the boy said she was not his type and he didn't like her. Well, she is finishing her junior year now so it's been a long sweet crush. The family often brings up "his" name to tease her. Well, two weeks before Christmas the boy tells one of her friends that he has liked Lexi since the 9th grade. Of course she tells Lexi and Lexi said she just about fell out of her chair in history class. This boy is adonnis to her. So conversations ensue between the girlfriend and the boy and Lexi as to who likes who and for how long. He has been shy and busy with his sports (he has a full scholarship to UGA for a sport) but he now I suppose cannot contain his liking my daugher any longer and has let the cat out of the bag. The problem? Lexi already has a boyfriend. A very nice boy. A nice boy who does not try to make her have sex like the others as she does not want to do it she always gets dumped. She also really likes this boy she is dating, nowhere near as much as "him" but she likes him. She walked on water again for 2 weeks dreaming of "him" and how it could be. I fully expected her to dump the poor sweet boy that worships the ground she walks on to date "him". She asked for my opinion but I did not give it. I told her it was an affair of the heart and her own personal ethics. It was time to let her start making decisions on her own. I told her that I would not allow her to cheat, that's it. So she pondered and pondered. Do you know what? She is still dating her nice guy and told the "it guy" that it wasn't fair to dump her boyfriend because he has been good to her and he is sweet and he does not deserve that. She did tell him that she has liked him for years and still does and would go out with him in a heartbeat but she could not bring herself to treat her current boyfriend like that. She said he didn't deserve that. They would just have to wait to be a couple if it was meant to be. HOLY COW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She's only 16, are you kidding me? Dude, I hate to admit it but....... looking back at how I was at 16. I would have broken up with the skinny nice guy who was good looking and sweet and totally gone out with the very tall muscular drop dead gorgeous jock who was also sweet and nice with a rockin car and who was also one of the most popular boys in school. TOTALLY. Well, we always want our kids to be better than we are and I guess I got that in Lexi. I'm so proud of her. I'm proud for lots of reasons but this one..... well, ethics and kindness. I'm just so happy she did the right thing by the other guy and made a decision that allows her to be free to live with herself and not have guilt.

Monday, January 19, 2009

More Tidbits from The Book.

I'm at home right now so I only have old pictures on this computer. This is from Animal Kingdom in 07. I like this picture. Scary big lizard!! If only we could recognize Satan so easily!!
So this morning I thought I would browse through the book Living Without Conflict by Joyce Meyers through the parts of the book I have already read at least and show some of the scriptures she gives to show that if you don't have peace in yourself and your relationships you are essentially blocked from receiving the full blessings and power and happy life God and Jesus both promised us. First I wanted to show the definition of strife. Strife- fighting; heated, often violnet conflict; bitter dissension; a struggle between rivals; or contention." Other descriptive words that describe strife are quarrel, wrangling, debate, provocation, and factions. Joyce says she defines strife as a bickering, arguing, heated disagreement, or an angry undercurrent.
So here goes:
Psalm 37:37 Mark the blameless man and behold the upright, for there is a happy end for the man of peace.
James 3:16 For wherever there is jealousey (envy) and contention (rivalry and selfish ambition), there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion) and all sorts of evil and vile practices.
Hebrews 12: 14-15 Strive to live in peace with everybody and pursue that consecration and holiness without which no one will see the Lord. Exercise foresight and be on the watch to look (after one another), to see that no one falls back from and fails to secure God's grace (His unmerited favor and spiritual blessing), in order that no root of resentment (rancor, bitterness, or hatred) shoots forth and causes trouble and bitter torment, and the many become contaminated and defiled by it.
Insert : Strife leads to resentment, rancor, bitterness, or hatred. Says in book.
Proverbs 17:1 Better is a dry morsel with quietness, than a house full of feasting with strife.
Obadiah 3 tells us "The pride of your heart has deceived you."
Prov. 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
Prov. 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger
Prov. 15:4 A gentle tongue (with its healing power) is a tree of life.
James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire. (The tongue is a ) world of wickedness set among our members, contaminating and depraving the whole body and setting on fire the wheel of birth, being itself ignited by hell.
2 Tim. 2:23-24 But refuse (shut your mind against, have nothing to do with ) trifiling (ill-informed, unedifying, stupid) controversies over ignorant questionings, for yhou know that they foster strife and breed quarrels. And the servant of the Lord must not be quarrelsome (fighting and contending). Instead, he must be kindly to everyone and mild-tempered (preserving the bond of peace); he must be a skilled and suitable teacher, patient and forbearing and willing to suffer wrong.
Insert from Book:
Dave and I often talked about power, prosperity, healing and success in those days, but we did not possess those things. It was as if we were window-shopping. We could see what God said was rightfully ours, but we didn't know how to get those blessings into our hands.
We even tried praying the prayer of agreement, because it says in Matthew 18:19, "Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever (anything and everything) they ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven."

However, even after praying this prayer, we failed to see the powerful results we had been taught that we could have. Then God revealed to us that He is not pleased or satisfied with religious sacrifices in a house full of strife. "Better is a dry morsel with quietness than a house full of feasting (on offered sacrifices) with strife. (prov. 17:1) . He is not looking for phony Christians. He wants the real thing- not just people who "talk the talk," but those who "walk the walk."
God responds to the prayer of agreement when it is prayed by people who agree. If Dave and I have been fighting all week, there was no power in joining hands, bowing our heads, and coming togehter in order to move God. The prayer of agreement is only effective when prayed by those who "harmonize together, and make a symphony together."
Once God exposed the strife in our lives, I began to see a pattern. Not only did our family tend to get into arguments on Sunday morning while we were on our way to church, I also noticed that Dave and I would often have some kind of conflict just before a seminar where we would be ministering. It became obvious to me that Satan was stirring up dissension in order to keep us from hearing God's Word and moving forward spiritually. He was using strife to block the annointing in my life and ministry.

James 3:18 And the harvest of righteousness (of conformity to God's will in thought and deed) is (the fruit of the seed) sown in peace by those who work for and make peace (in themselves and in others, that peace which means concord, agreement, and harmony between individuals, with undisturbedness, in a peaceful mind free from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts).

Romans 12:18 If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Galations 5:14-15 For the whole Law (concerning human relationships) is complied with in one precept, You shall love your neighbor as (you do) yourself. But if you bite and devour one another (in partisan strife), be careful that you (and your whole fellowship) are not consumed by one another.
Eph. 4:26 When angry, do not sin; do ot ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down. ( Stress over time kills your health)
James 1:19 Understand, my beloved bretheren. Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry.
Proverbs 14:30 A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness of the bones.
Prov. 4:20-22 My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings. Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh.
Prov. 3:5-8 Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; reverently fear and worship the Lord and turn (entirely) away from evil. It shall be health to your nerves and sinews, and marrow and moistening to your bones.
1 Peter: For let him who wants to enjoy life and see good days keep his tongue free from evil and lips from guile (treachery, deceit). Let him turn away from wickedness and shun it, and let him do right. Let him search for peace (harmony; undisturbedness from fears, agitating passions, and moral conflicts) and seek it eagerly. (Do not merely desire peaceful relations with God, with your fellowmen, and with yourself, but pursue, go after them.). 1 Peter 3:10-11.
So this book is still really confusing for me but I am undertanding it more and more. I mean, I understand what it is saying, I understand the verses but I don't understand how to apply it to my life. I HAVE been pursuing this peace as it says I should but it does not come. I have repeatedly told God that my stresss load over such a long drawn out period of time has made this deed of peace impossible for me alone to do. And doesn't his word also say that not of my own fleshly works but his? You know, we aren't supposed to be "doing" but letting God "do" in us. He changes us inside and if we surrender He will form us into his likeness and such?? I know I am a stressed out fool who has no clue how to even relax. I know my family life is jacked up. Arguing constantly from kids and such. A angry stressed out hubby. But, it's just simply too much for me alone to change. So if I want to and I am trying and it's a documented fact that I have been pursuing this peace and change through this blog from at least April of 08 to this day why is it not coming? So far, what I see is only things being revealed to me but no help in fixing them. Which is really confusing, how the poo am I supposed to change four kids and one adult not to mention the 2 adults downstairs causing conflict of their own doing. If I acknowledge our jacked upness and my own and I ask for help shouldn't it come? I'm confused. So in order to be happy and blessed I have to manage to "fix myself, each one of my four kids and my husband"?? Man, just fixing myself is a mamouth challange. I bought stuff to make smores last night over our fire pit on the deck. What a hoot, the 2 year old was trying to crawl into the fire the whole time, Amber was striving to create the perfect melted marshmellow with no fire marks or it was unacceptable so she kept crying and throwing away her marshmallows, Lexi was yelling at Amber, Brandon was a dofus and all six of us were standing around the fire barking and complaing. I just laughed my butt off. It's gonna take a freaking miracle to get rid of strife in this family. HA!!!! Well, I may be confused but at least I am freaking trying. What more can I do, I am just a little resentful if I am honest that I am earnestly seeking God and peace and asking for help in accomplishing this task and it certainly is not evident to me. I am not needing quiet behind the scenes help, my family needs a bold and evident move. So anyway, I thought I would share some verses from the book. She has some excellent points that is for sure.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Big day

Big day today.

First we have to leave no later than 8:30 for our three kids having karate testing. It's a big day for Brandon because he is doing all of his low ranks. Which is basically him doing all of the forms for white belt through brown I think. Anyway, it's a lot and I know I could not do it. If he passes this test he will be a black belt in four months. We have been doing this for 3 years now. I am worried about Amber passing her test. She is a blue belt right now and for the life of me I can't remember what she will be next!!

Then we are moving hopefully everything out of the store today. All this with a 2 year old. I am hoping he will be good for us.

We moved all the fixtures out of the store yesterday. The lady was mad at me like I said yesterday and then she doesn't even show up. We had it loaded up and were ready to go and so I finally had to call her. She was running around paying vet bills and stuff. I just about laughed out loud, she's mad at me for not confirming the confirmation I made 24 hours in advance before 2 when I called but 30 minutes after we should have all been there she was still out running errands. What a hoot. People are funny..... so we met her at the store and then it was fine from there. She was really sweet to me after that and I was glad she was not mad at me anymore because I wasn't sure why she was mad to begin with. People kept coming up to me at the center to see if I was okay when we moved out a lot of the store displays. That made me glad because it is important to me that people care about me. Why? Because I want to be a nice person and be well liked and my thoughts are somewhat jaded and sarcastic and I always so hope that it doesn't show in my actions at least. You know? So I was glad they came to check on me because it means they like me. So I smiled big and told everyone I was okay and that I was just trusting in God to take me down the path he wants me on. Only this time God, you be a little louder because I really did think I was on the right path before. I made a decision in advance to say nothing negative and also because nobody wants to hear it. Reading Joyce's book Living Without Conflict has really impacted me and it's still sinking in. But I have this stuck in my head. "Only peaceful words in my mouth.". That is what I keep telling myself. I let one thing slip that was not peaceful and I immediately felt convicted of it and guilty. A lady in the center asked if the person buying my stuff was the lady who had been planning on opening a children's boutique right beside me in the center. I told her yes. She asked why she didn't open and I told her that the lady met with the leasing agent and when the leasing agent started bad mouthing all of "us" she was put off and signed somewhere else. Now, the funny part was that I wasn't gossiping or talking badly about anybody, I just gave a fact. But the reaction of the person I was talking to was to scrunch up her face like you would if someone told you something you don't like and you are done talking to them. Then after the face she just walks away. I was stupid stupid stupid, only peaceful words in my mouth. I regretted it immediately but I wondered if it was God turning her off like that to show me a lesson or I don't know.... what did I do? So once again, only peaceful words in my mouth. When I have some time, maybe Sun. or Mon. I need to do a good post on what is in the book so far. But I can say happily that I have caught myself and stopped myself from saying things that were not peaceful and not necessary to say several times yesterday alone. So hurray for that. I am making progress. I really do want to be positive again and peaceful and I would love for my blog to turn into a pretty blog about family and God and great stuff that I cook. Okay scratch the cooking, I hate cooking. I am having a hard time praying again. Why does that happen? I don't know what to say to God, isn't that weird? So I just start talking to him what I am thinking when I get like that. Better something than nothing. My mind starts wandering when I am praying meaningful prayer and I can't stay focused. So I just talk. I 'm guessing he doesn't mind. Will I ever get this right? I'm not a bad person, will I ever have peace??? I sure wish somebody could tell me what to do. Yeah, I know I'm not supposed to "do" anything but there sure must be some reason "stuff" constantly is happening.

Guess who had a heart attack yesterday? That's right, my mom. Hard one for me. Saved it for last. Her defibrillator went off yesterday morning. Dad said it sounded like a shotgun going off and he was touching her legs when it happened and he said it shocked him too. He screamed involuntarily too. He said it was pretty bad. Her heart rate had been over 200 beats per minute when it happened. She would have died with out the machine in her body. Oh, God, PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please please please don't take my mom right now. For the love of You, please. Please, it's all I ever say anymore and I don't mean it in the nice way, I mean it in the begging for no more kind of way. Please please please let it stop. She is still in rehab for the stroke and trying to learn to walk again for poos sake, do we really need a heart attack on top of it? Huh?????????? Flarf. (Back to weird words instead of cursing.) Going to call her in a second and then get ready for karate. I am in my detached I'm not Jennifer mode right now. I like this mode because I am in my survival functioning and I really don't have any feelings, I just do what has to be done and I do it. Period. It is quite useful to me when I would otherwise fall into a heap of emotional poo poo on the floor. I can almost feel the switch over in my brain when it happens and I am quite grateful for this strange ability. I just "do". So I have alot to "do" today and I hope I shall "do" it well and peacefully.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

More Great learnings from Joyce Meyers

Yesterday was interesting. I had a roller coaster day of emotions early on but then thankfully I settled in to a peaceful harmony. Walking in love has been a focus of mine since I started this blog and I have talked about it often. Stress has created some tension in the family and my kids get on each other's nerves more too and walking in love the way Jesus meant has been harder lately not easier. Don't get me wrong, we are a huggy kissy family. We are usually cuddling and we tell each other we love each other a hundred times a day. We say thank you and help each other out and stuff. I am talking about the person who is stressing and snaps at somebody type thing. Which happens a lot lately so we hear sorry a lot too around the house. So after I read the first couple of chapters of Joyce Meyers book Living without Conflict I was really confused as I have posted a few times this past week and I have asked God to convict me when I am having or giving strife in my family life. WOW. Has He ever shown me how bad we have become. I mean just for me, my stress level has caused me to be panicky and highly unable to deal with chaos and noise. So I have been astounded by how many times I have heard myself yelling Please stop to my kids or waving my hands in the air saying stop stop stop because I am overloading. Or just freaking out in general because we are at the Chick Fil A drive thru and I can't find my wallet in the car and the entire car goes into stress panic mode before mommy blows. Sheesh, I should be ashamed to admit it but hey, maybe some other nice Christian soul who lives a defeated life can come here and identify you know? If I ever get out of this my little blog can be a road map maybe. Hopefully not like the road map to peace in Israel , what a joke that one was!! Anyway, Joyce in chapters 3 and 4 which I read last night continues to give more insight on how living in strife especially in your home will keep you from receiving the power and blessings of God. She said the power of God cannot be just claimed. I had to stop there because I have heard that it is ours but we just have to have the faith to use it. I have had a HUGE problem with that because I myself and others who have great faith don't have the "power" of God behind them. I have always thought there was something more to it. You know, I really think Joyce may have something there. Which brings me to the prayer of Unity. I may have even blogged about this once, my pastor at my old Church did a big sermon on Wednesday about the prayer of Unity. Where 2 or more gather together in my name there I will be and whatsoever they ask shall be given unto them. Did I quote that right? If I wasn't in a hurry to finish packing I would look it up. Anyhoo, there are scriptures in and around it that say the people have to be in UNITY for this to work and then Joyce goes on in the book to explain how we must be at peace with our families, our friends, our co workers, our fellow church mates, etc. We must not only be in UNITY with the prayer or the person we are praying with but we must be in UNITY period. The Bible gets translated a little funny so sometimes a little digging is required to get the full meaning of a word's intent you know? (For instance where Jesus says on the cross "It is finished." Was really a term that the merchants would say to the person paying there debt when they had paid in full. They would say to them, the debt is paid and that is what Jesus did and that is what he truly said. Sometimes translations loose the whole meaning." ) So what she is saying is that we must be living in harmony with our fellow man, but especially in our home. God is not pleased with a home filled with strife. She defines strife in the book, I will come back tomorrow and explain all of that I think. But strife is not only not getting along but an UNDERCURRANT of anger or resentment is strife. This is unpleasing to God and according to the Word Joyce is presenting in the book it is also keeping us from the unity required to acquire the true blessings and power of God AND unable to receive the fullness of answered prayer due to our lack of unity with those we connect with. Remember the part of the Bible too (THIS IS HUGE!!!!!!) that says if you come before God with your sacrifice and you have anything against your brother leave your sacrifice there and go and make things right with him. THEN (HUGE!!!!!) come back and present your sacrifice to God so that it will be pleasing to him. HOLY COW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ha, I just made a funny, sacrifice, cow, holy, get it? Anyway, that Joyce sure is anointed. Wowser. That is really huge, why after reading that scripture a bizillion times did that not ring a ding dong in my head? So if we have a feeling of anger or unforgiveness or a relationship not in harmony our sacrifice is not pleasing to God. My how we have skipped over that one. So I am really trying hard not to yell at anybody, to stay calm, etc. Even the 2 year old was screaming and crying all morning and hitting us and I managed not to yell once. Hurray for me. Obviously I have a huge problem in this arena. I took my 3 oldest kids and read several parts of Living with out Conflict to them and told them we had a problem as a family and we needed to fix this. I can't do this one on my own. My hubby thinks Joyce is fully of poop on this one but he is just really stressed right now so I give him a pass. If we start doing better maybe he will join in and see there is something to it. So, I guess I really need prayer for help creating unity and harmony within my family. She does give several examples of families including her own who after having the realizations that their constant problems were directly related to their strife in their family and Church family and once the corrections were made, the blessings came and the fullness of the joyful life God wants to give us were available to them. Unity in a family of 6 plus 2 parents and a terrible 2 year old with lots of added stresses of being sued, closing a business, trying to grow a business directly related to home building/remodeling won't be an easy task. So I ask for prayer and Lord knows this won't be an overnight accomplishment but I am going to say that I am going to give it my best. If that isn't good enough, then I don't know what else to do. I can't control everybody, but I can pray for help and I can ask others to pray for help. Lord knows we need it, and after all, I'm Still Learning.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Mr. Butthead

I would like to confess that I have been lying about my identity. I have been calling myself Jennifer but really I am Mrs. Butthead, my husband is Mr. Butthead. Yes, he is the original male butthead, making me Mrs. Butthead. Jennifer Butthead.

Tonight my husband informed me he would like me to go back to work at the place I hate more than anything in the world and left after 18 years of indentured servitude. His big plan is that I work a full day Saturday and Sunday (bye bye Church) and Monday Wednesday and Friday evenings. I can be off on Tuesday and Thursday so I can run our kids to karate. Isn't he sweet. I can go to work at 5pm until late. You know, after the kids are all in bed. I was so taken back by this, he was so excited about it. He had it all planned out and when my reaction was not positive he blew up on me. He wants me to work someplace where we can get health insurance and I have to work weekends and evenings so there is no daycare as daycare is $135 a week. I was so shocked, I don't even understand it. I have not brought one penny of money into our household or made a single dime since December 2006. So for two years now he has paid all of the bills. Why now is it so imperative that I have to work all nights and both weekend days? Why so many hours? I'm so pissed off I want to scream!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Why the flarf can't I just have a life like everyone else? I worked at that hell hole for 18 years and the last 12 I had to work 50 plus hours. I was never home and I missed EVERYTHING!! Then I got to stay home for one year after Braxton. I was so tired of that hell pit I worked at but had to because they paid me so much. I quit my job. Then my husband tells me that I am going to open a store six months after he gets laid off. So six months of that one year was spent planning to open the store and all that stressful stuff. Then I spent the last year and four months working six days a week. I am fucking tired!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, I cursed. I feel better. Now the motherfucker wants me to hurry up and close up and go back to the hell hole I crawled out of (over my dead fucking body) and go work all nights and weekends so I can once again never be home and miss everything. Miss all dinners except 2, but I am sure I will be expected to have it cooked and ready for them to eat. Miss all weekend activities, all sports games, you know, basically miss out on my family. I guess I am just truly a big pile of dog shit. And he can't understand how I could not have a positive reaction to that. So he yells at me, like he does a lot now. I can't keep on paying on the bills he yells. Okay, yes, I know that. But I'll be damned mother fluffer if you are going to pimp me out and make me miss out on my life. I am so fucking tired of not having a life. I have to be a fat pig because my fucking family won't let me go to the gym. I have tried to go in the mornings, yes, now suddenly hubby has too much work to help me get the baby ready too and I could go on. Needless to say, I can't ever get there. Another wasted membership. I am hoping to go when Lexi gets home now that she can drive the kids to karate and I can pick them up after I work out and she can watch Braxton. But of course if Mr. Butthead gets his way as soon as Lexi gets home I will be off to work and not the gym. I never get to do anything or have any friends because I am always working. When I do get to go to a sporting event, people see me with Mike and they are like, are you related? Yes, I the freaking wife. So now I have to go work nights and weekends? I'll lose this flippin house first before I go back to work at that hell hole and you know what? I'll lose this flippin house and everything in it before that mother fucking asshole makes me do something else I don't want to do. I am so sick of being bullied. Bullied at work, bullied at home. I want to drive to a mountain and scream as loud as I can, then cry and then throw myself off the mother fucking mountain. MOTHER FUCKER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can't I just have even ONE mother fucking good week even? ONE fucking day? Guess not.

Friday, January 9, 2009

HOPE, Part 3

Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

This scripture keeps coming to me. First I found it and I want to say I even did a post about it? Did I? I think so.... too rushed to look now. But I want to say it was no more than 2 weeks ago and since then it has been put in front of my face countless times. Either I keep coming across it myself or my wonderful friends send it to me and this morning there it was on my Facebook page from a friend who really doesn't know me that well. Obviously God is trying to tell me something do ya think?

I never really thought much about this scripture before two weeks ago when it just jumped out at me. I think it was in a devotional. (Please forgive scatterbrained Jenn, I have too much in my head and if something new comes in then something has to come out. The parking deck is full!)But is sang to me. I have experienced the renewing of my strength. The first part of the scripture. I am ready to soar like an eagle!! I want to, but shouldn't all this bad poop stop so I can leave the runway? They will run and not grow weary. I have experienced that for certain through many trials. Divorce, rape, a dying child (she's 9 now!), and through this last year. I know how that feels, God's grace is a gift. They will walk and not be faint. I have experienced this in the past and have felt this gift since the last of November. I don't know that I have ever soared like an eagle. I guess you can interpret that in a few different ways. Since I am not sure what that means I am assuming I have not soared. I want to. What is God trying to tell me? Is it not to lose my hope in him and He will take me through this poo and it will be okay? Okay, I'm doing that because what I am walking through could be just devastating. My body hurts from the stress. Bankruptcy? Are you kidding me? I always pay my bills. I've been fighting this for a year now.... I just want it done. I can't help but be a little cynical about this scripture being in my life. Why you ask? I don't want to be cynical..... but...... something obnoxious just always seems to be happening to me/us. That's why. Is this scripture like the carrot dangling in front of the horse to get it to move? Does the horse ever get the carrot?

I've said it before, about the only poo I haven't had to endure is hemorrhoids, drugs, and alcohol abuse. Please, Lord, no hemorrhoids. I'm like.... okay, Jenn you can do this one more time. Hope, it was a huge theme for me awhile back as anyone who reads this blog may remember. I was blogging about how themes of HOPE kept coming up. I even posted a note on my Facebook about it and I know several posts about HOPE. Now that God has worked on me with having the hope what does He show me next? This scripture:
" Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

So it's like He told me to have the hope and then he showed me how to have it again. Now I have the hope and now He is trying to tell me what to do with it. Is that it? Did I get it right? Somebody please tell me!! I want to get this right.

I keep thinking I have to continually go through poo because maybe I'm not getting it right. But then I know the word says I don't have to deserve his love, he freely gives it. I know He has done works in me and I do what I feel God is compelling me to do. I just still have a nagging feeling that I don't have a peaceful life because of something I am doing wrong and I don't know what it is. If somebody knew what I was getting wrong I sure wish they would share it with me so I could have some peace finally. I'm not rotten or anything. I tell you what.... I'm gonna do this hope thing. I'm gonna fight, but please God. Can I have the carrot when we are done traveling down the road you are trying to move me down? Please please please.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Ha Ha Ha

That's what I hear. Ha ha ha. The jokes on me.
I don't know why I was stupid enough to think that after the end of November and the first of December all the things that happened and God was definitely moving in my life and things had so drastically improved. I don't know why I had just stupidly assumed that it meant that me and my family were coming out of a long and terrible stressful season. I had been praying so long for a season of hope and joy. I had prayed and prayed for a time of things just being okay, you know, like other people have. Every day problems yes, but for the most part everything is okay. Ha ha ha. You know the funny thing is that when I went to make my post yesterday in early afternoon I knew something horrible was still going to happen. The entire day had been filled with stress and horror. Horror, yes. I knew it was too good to be true that it was all over. I told my husband and he just told me I was being negative again but I said, no, it's not over yet. I told him I had a feeling my mom was going to go to the hospital again. She didn't look good to me. I just knew, I knew I knew I knew that there was more torture in store for us. My life is always under attack, it never stops and on that particular day yesterday it was coming at me like white on rice. No way was it over. Of course the call came at 4:30, I was waiting for it. I helped my mom into her van for a doctor's appointment just knowing they would find something horrible and she would be back in. She just got out 2 weeks ago and she has been horrible since. I assumed it would be a lung thing as she was having a hard time breathing. WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The call came at 4:30, my dad informs me that while at the doctor's office mom had a stroke. A STROKE??????????????? What the heck? Where did that come from? She already has heart disease. She already has kidney disease/kidney failure, she already has a horrible case of diabetes, should I go on? Where the flip did the stroke come from? A stroke? So I cried my way to the hospital and spent most of the night there. She is going to live, she is partially paralyzed on her left side of her body. She can wiggle toes and barely move the left leg. She can only wiggle her fingers on her left arm. She can't walk or use the arm. She will have to have physical therapy to walk and use the arm again. She has a droopy mouth on the left side but it should improve. Luckily she had the stroke on the right side of her brain so it affected the left side of her body and did not effect her speech. Can you imagine not being able to talk? Thankfully she can. I am glad she had the stroke in the doctor's office so they could rush her to the hospital. They took her to North Fulton Regional Trauma where apparently they specialize in strokes. That was a real ride too, a trauma hospital is filled with what in the emergency room? Moaning and screaming people that's what. Car wrecks, bad traumas cases. It was really hard to listen to the screaming kid as the doctors worked on him. I watched a family being told that their loved one wasn't going to make it and see them carted off to say goodbyes. Man, that was hard. Another family had the police interrogating them to see if an accident was homicide or just an accident. I was like.... get me out of here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am really pissed off today. I really am. What the fluff? What the hell is happening? This is why I am such a good actress. Nothing ever goes right for me and if I let anybody around me know all the poop in my life I would have nobody to talk to. So I have this blog to let it out and none of anybody who physicallyknows me knows hardly anything about me or what goes on. Everybody blabs around here, you can't trust hardly anyone. I have two ladies I can physically talk to but I know them well enough to know they would tell each other anything I said and their husbands. Even if I begged them not to tell, they would tell their husbands. Their husbands are friends with my husband and they would let something slip or say something trying to be helpful and my husband is extremely private and he would be furious with me. So everyone around here thinks my life is just so wonderful and I live in a nice big house and have everything going beautifully. Some loonies look up to me and I heartily tell them NOT to look to me for any kind of model. They look at me like I'm nuts. I guess it's because they see me at Church and I know lots of stuff. I can quote you anything. Give me a problem and I can tell you what the Bible says. What a joke!!!!!!!!!!!! If I know all this stuff how come I can't have it? Why does a quiet life elude me? I don't want to be rich, if it came to me great. I don't need expensive stuff, I just crave a simple quiet life. I drive a 2002 Dodge Caravan with roll up windows, no power anything, no cd's, only cassette, no XM radio, just the most basic you can get because I am a cheapo and don't want the debt. You know, I'm not trying to have it all and my cake too. I just want a quiet life, bills paid, and a some happiness. Is it really too much to ask? I guess so. I'm rolling my eyes. I didn't put eyeliner on today so when I randomly cry throughout the day I won't have raccoon eyes. I am going to put up my going out of business posters now. I can't wait for everyone to come in that has never come in before to tell me how horrible it is that I am going out of business. I always wanted to come in but never did. I will hear that a thousand times before it's over. I'm not mad at them, it's their money, there are a bizillion businesses I pass by every day that I will never enter into. I just don't want to hear them tell me how sorry they are and how they always wanted to come in. Just come in and buy your stuff at half off and leave. Don't rub salt in the wound please.
Anyway, enough bad stuff happened yesterday so I may be okay today. But I'm pissed off that's for sure. A freakin stroke, she's not suffering enough!!!!!!!!!!!!! Pissed pissed pissed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

How To Pray For Others

Hello my wonderful bloggy friends. I was having fun with the camera and decided to take a picture of myself today too.

Sunday service at Church was so wonderful! It was like he was preaching right to me. Some of it was a little uncomfortable, you know, I'm not "there" yet. Ha, preacher taught on 2 Timothy 1:7-8. He had the King James translation, it was For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and of a sound mind.
Wow!! Is that me or what? How long have I battled fear? Most of 2007, that's for sure. I conquered the spirit of fear in the last week of November. Planning a post this week about that one!! Can't wait. Anyway, the Life Application Bible which I read out of says it a little differently. It says " For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. That is only verse 7. But it was powerful you know? So I have put down the fear and now I must take up the power that is mine already, I have to only have the faith to use it and pick it up and actually "use" it and then get that love, and sound mind down. These things are what I have been blogging about for months, how I want so much to walk in love and have peace again, to not have all of this stuff in my head. Wow, great sermon. Upon reflection, I think it is ridiculous how we have made out lives so complicated on this earth. We rush around like fools, do we really need all of this "stuff"? Why do we live this way? Sometimes I just want to pack up & move to the mountains and live so simply. We make it hard, not God. Simplify, simplify, that seems to be a theme with everyone in blog land and with my friends around town here. We are all a little sick of our business I think? Maybe a little homesick for God too? Do you ever just want to run home to God? I know I do. I just had to mention it. Good sermon.

I wanted to share something in my Life Application Bible. It is a model for praying for others based on Paul's teachings on prayer. This language just simplifies what Paul is saying & makes it easy to remember to pray this in our common day language.

Paul says to pray these 7 things when praying for others:

1. Be thankful for their faith and changed lives.

2. Ask God to help them know what he wants them to do.

3. Ask God to give them deep spiritual understanding.

4. Ask God to help them live for him.

5. Ask God to give them more knowledge of himself.

6. Ask God to give them strength for endurance.

7. Ask God to fill them with joy, strength and thankfulness.

I found this a few months ago and wrote it down on two sticky notes and placed it by my cash register at work so I could look at it every day until I had it memorized so I could pray it every day for all of us. Basically I tell God I am asking for the following things for myself, my husband, children, mom and Dad, family & friends and every person who calls on His name and His son Jesus. I think it's a great prayer concerning praying for others. I still pray at least once a week for every person who has ever hurt me too, I ask God to bless them and always speak this prayer just for them too. Guess I need to include dad in this list now too, ha ha.

There are so many unknowns in my life right now. The business still teeters on the brink of closing. But you know what? I don't worry anymore, I don't want it to but I have put that behind me. I know that God is taking me down a road He wants me on. As long as I know that, the fear is gone. It has been a long hard road to say that & have it actually be true but I am there. I live for today and tomorrow will take care it itself. If it closes will the landlord be awarded future rent causing us to declare bankruptcy? Or will I just have to pay what I owe still and close up and keep the online store? I sure hope so. My husband needs a secretary bad!!!!! I could do that for him and keep the online store so I could make money from home. Whatever it is, I know God will protect me. Good heavens, it feels SOOOO GOOOOD to be able to say that and mean it. A place of peace. Geeez louise, who would've thunk it? Work could always stop for my hubby's business, or it could keep going. I can't think about that, God has provided and his faith has always been much stronger than mine so who am I to worry? I am loving my peace about our future. For that, today, I am thankful. The day is young here at the store. I could ring up nobody or I could do hundreds, thousands even. I put no limits on my blessings, but I do know I will have a happy day and that's good enough for me.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Calling All Decorators!!

I want to paint the back of my bookcases. I don't even like what is in them much either. I want to get around to re doing them finally. I can't decide what color to paint the back!! Argh. The dining room which is open to this room ( I am actually standing in the dining room while taking this picture) and has only 2 walls is the exact same color as the two redish urns on the mantle. It's called a chili pepper red, like a burnt red. Kind of a cross between burgandy and red. Should I do that color or black? Or even something else? I can do anybody's home but MINE. Then I get confused, as you can tell. I need to do the whole mantle over. But I want to start with the paint in the back book cases. Any ideas? The clocks I already gave away to a friend so the mantle is really empty now. What to do?? I love my urns though, I'm keeping those bad boys.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Blast from the Past

For some reason I am always looking back at old photos every New Year. I found these and I laughed so hard. Here I am pregnant at 37 years of age!! Are you kidding me? I was about to pop here. One more month to go. Well, Braxy is two now. My poor rose bushes took a beating during the pregnancy as I was sick in bed or working through most of it.
Here is Lexi going to her Freshman Homecoming. She is a junior now and will be going off to Prom this year as she is dating a Senior. She looks so young here. Don't we make a happy family?

Okay, okay this is more a true reality. We have lots of fun in our home and my husband and my oldest daughter have a running joke of insulting each other and making fun of each other. Turkeys.
Edited in:
I had talked about my dad in an earlier post but I have felt really bad about it. I figure if it is still bothering me like 5 hours later I needed to get rid of it. I feel better now. Yes, I am still trying to forgive my dad. Not going so well.