Thursday, February 26, 2009

Our Father, Janitor in Heaven???

Let me start with this:

Proverbs 19:3
A man's own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the Lord.

"How could God have let this happen to me?"

"I've prayed and prayed but God hasn't done anything to make things better yet!"

"I'm done with God. I've been a believer all my life and look at what a mess my life is."

"If God loved me, He wouldn't have let this happen."

Oh Dear. Haven't we all heard these statements or even said some of them. I am personally guilty of statement number 2. My daughter for instance is dating a guy whose 15 year old sister doesn't believe in God anymore because she contracted a disease in 8th grade and almost went blind and the medication made her gain about 80 lbs and she was made fun of and suffered a lot. So if God was real and loved her....... he never would have let that happen. Oh boy, how do you handle that one? At least we have the boyfriend going to Church with us. Hoping the family comes too some time. Sometimes you should just say nothing and let your life be the shining beacon that says "Come." This is where the personal relationship with God comes in....... lean not on your own understanding. Listen for what HE says to do.

One of the hardest lessons for me to learn about my walk with God you ask....... Free Will baby. Yep, I have free will to mess up my life and God is under no particular obligation to rescue me when I make bad decisions. What? So true though, we make bad decisions sometimes and things go wrong and in the middle of our mess sometimes we only look to God to be our janitor and clean up our mess and make it better. God is not our personal janitor, he is our Lord and to put him in the position of being our life's janitor is really insulting to HIM who wonderfully made you and loves you. That being said, since the hubby's lay off almost 2 years ago I have really reflected on how much of our mess is our fault and how much is the bad economy's fault. I have been crying out and crying out for help but it was only just recently that God has really dealt with me on claiming MY bad decision making and confess them to Him. I don't treat God like my personal janitor, I have a daily relationship with him but I sure do demote Him sometimes and hope for a clean up on aisle Finances. Or clean up on aisle impatient mom. It has been hard to recognize mistakes I have made and know that they have contributed to terrible things that I and my family have had to go through. But I realize now that God has been teaching me some personal accountability and maybe just maybe I might learn something and not you know, not repeat the same mistakes by asking God for his guidance in everything I do. Wow, what a concept? Ha ha. Well, it was a hard lesson for me at least.

I know a few people going through some pretty horrible times and lots of them are mad at God for not taking it away or making it better quickly. Sigh. Should I repeat it again?

A man's own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the Lord.

Sometimes our mess is our mess and we get mad at God for it? Sometimes we need to look at ourselves. We run up our credit cards, take out home equity loans to pretty up the place and take vacations we can't afford with out the credit and spend frivolously. Okay, but so what I can pay my bills. Oops, my hours got cut, oops, the company says I have to take a pay cut, oops, I got laid off. Now we can't pay all those bills and little to nothing is coming in and we are looking to God, and we totally should look to Him, but if nothing happens we just get mad at Him. Why are we getting mad at God? I know I got mad at him. God didn't tell us to run up lines of credit. I'm fairly certain the Bible tells you to pay as in cash for your stuff. I'm just using this as an example because lots of people have huge credit card debts, that wasn't my issue with God. But it is with lots of people I know. I found that I needed a good dose of getting mad at myself before I got mad at God and then a little humble confession to Him that I had messed up and repented. I just read the passage in Proverbs this morning and it just made me laugh because God has so dealt with me on this issue lately. Looking in the mirror is not always easy when it's under a microscope. Not so pretty eh? Yeah well, I'm glad he dealt with me in this and I am glad I confessed my bad decisions to Him who I feel confident will teach me a new thing. My heart did indeed rage against the Lord for a short time last year. He did nothing to me, we did it. And God is not the janitor in Heaven. Thank you Lord for letting me see my errors.

Why is it always God's fault when things aren't going our way???? Hmmmm........

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bye Bye Garage

Courtesy of these guys...... okay, it's my husband's construction company.

I'm joining in the linky party at Remodeling Guys Round Up. Please click on this link to see all the great remodeling projects going on.

This is my old garage turned office/new entry area for mom. I really like it!! What do you think?

All of my entrances have at least 3 or more stairs and it was just too hard for mom after the stroke. Hubby has been dying anyway to get out of the house to do his work. He had taken over the dining room and it was kinda out of control. Mom couldn't hardly get into the house and so hubby came up with this idea!!

This is my parent's van. Now mom can just come out of the van and into her new entrance. Just a couple of small steps with new handails put in and this entrance into the home puts them right at the top of the stairs to the basement where her elevator chair is waiting. The bonus of this for us is that hubby now has a huge office he can move into. But mostly we had to do it for her. It's still junked up from construction on the outside but I couldn't wait to take some pics.

Braxton wanted to help too.

Okay guys, let's get started!! They are putting in wood strips on the bottom of the garage floor to begin framing. Very loud drilling into concrete. My man is in the white shirt inside the garge.

Can you believe it looked like this when they started and it was finished in the same day!! All in one day. Good golly!!

Boy, it was fun watching them work. I sure could never do this.

Here's a picture of the work trailer. Pretty neat huh?

I really like the pictures. People can drive by and see his work and get all of our information at the same time.

Brandon and Brownie were playing.



The man did pretty good huh? The siding was left over from a previous job and so was the framing wood. The insulation was left over from when we built the house. All I had to pay for was a few things like the doors and I am broke now. But, it had to be done and we will recover shortly. Surely? I hope. Money is tight now but mom was suffering and what are ya gonna do?

Some really neat things are happening around here still concerning struggling with the sinful nature of man and the fruits of the spirit. Wow, it's just amazing to me. I watched church on TV this Sunday again. I watched Pastor Jentzen Franklin (wow is he annointed!!) and he was talking about the very same things!! The fruits of the spirit and living them out will defeat the sinful nature in man.OOOHHHH!! Yes, that's what I was waiting for. How, do you defeat that sinful nature? Paul was talking about it and then he said to live by the spirt instead. (To recap my latest adventure with God) Then I said, God I still don't understand what that means and I asked him to show me. Closed my eyes again and thumbed the book 'til my finger got caught up in a page and of course it was in Galations this time instead of in Romans where He just had me. It was the page that contained what the fruits of the spirit are. Oh, pooh, I guess I should say what that was again but I am really short on time but I promise if you look down a couple of posts it is there. I am trying to memorize them.... You know, because I need to live them. Oh, I am a dork. I was still a little confused as I blogged about but then God sure finished it off for me this weekend with a double whammy!! First Pastor Jenzen Franklin said it, it was just so simple. He just said it. You defeat the sinful nature in man by living by the fruits of the spirit. I was like are you kidding me? Boy, Paul, couldn't you have just said that in your letter to the Romans? Sheesh. Pastor Franklin was like nailing it man. So I was thinking hard on this and I said well, living by the fruits of the spirit (okay, I'm gonna have to go pull this up!) Galations 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindnes, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Does anybody remember me saying that I feared it was going to be the last part of that scripture being self-control, that was going to be the key to that scripture?? Because that is coming and it is HUGE.) I can see how living that way can defeat the sinful nature but how do I start off? I mean, if anybody has read this blog for awhile, especially when I first started back in April I think, then you know I battled some serious depression and negativity! So that is my battle with my sinful nature right now, it all started out of prayer to God as to why I continue to be negative (although much less now!) and freak out and go off in my home and do not act like who I want to be, why I prayed am I doing what I do not want to do and continue to do what I do not want to do and then God takes me to Romans where Paul is talking about the sinful nature in man making him do what he hates and not do as he wants to do!! Totally God taking me there.... So to tie all of this in..... now Pastor Jentzen has told me how to defeat that sinful nature by living by the fruits of the spirit and if I live by those fruits listed above I will be able to do what I want and not do as I hate and have the victory. Only one little problem..... how to begin? How do I actually live that way? After all, if it was easy woudn't we all be doing it and y'all I'm behind the eight ball with my issues. Oh, boy did I become negative Nelly!! So here's the double whammy part. Then I click over to Joyce Meyers later in the day, I so love her. She is talking about WHAT? Controlling your emotions!!!!!!!!!! Yeah, that's right. controlling your emotions. She preached a whole big nice sermon on what????? Self Control. Oh sweet peas, nooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!! Dang I knew it. I just flippin knew it!! I blogged about it a couple of posts back, I just knew that last part of the fruits of the spirit was gonna bite me in the booty!!!!!!!!! Lordy lordy. I had made an excuse for myself although I didn't realize it was an excuse. I can't control myself Lord, please help me I have prayed a farkzillion times. Help me not to flip out!! Help me not to say I hate my life anymore or I wish I was dead. Well, I may as well be real here if this is going to actually help anybody. Do you know what Joyce said? You see, Joyce Meyers is a lot like me. We have a lot of the same personality traits and we have some same issues so I really look to her. So she says that she would just go off sometimes at home, okay alot, and she wouold be upset at just whatever and just start going on and on and it wasn't nice and she just couldn't stop it. She had no ability to control herself basically. Then she said she was praying about it one time and she was telling God that she wanted to stop but she just couldn't. The Lord told her she could and she said no Lord, I can't control myself, I can't. Then she said he showed her a kinda vision where she just began to picture in her mind another occassion where she was going off about her life in her home and the doorbell rings and it's her pastor. Suddenly when she sees her Pastor she is all smiles and calm and collected and so gentle. Oh, come in Pastor and talking softly and just being as sweet as can be suddenly to him. She is talking sweetly to her family instantly and totally under control as the Pastor is now in her home. Boom, vision over. Just listening to her vision was very impactful. She said instantly she knew that could happen and if it did she would be under control in a matter of seconds. So now I know I would too if my pastor came over in the middle of one of my why my escipades. Well now, the Lord said, I guess we have established that you do in fact have the self control to stop. So stop it. Get youself under control. Oh, poop. I just knew that self-control thing was gonna bite me. She said but God, you could just zap me and make me better but he did not do that for her and I have asked too ( I type laughing this!) and obviously he wants me to control myself without his zapping me. Dang. Later on in the evening I took a bath and took Joyce's book about living without conflict into the tub. She put the final nail in for me with this one. If you can live by the Spirit/ living by the fruits of the Spirit you will have consistancy. The consistancy of your worship and life attitudes will be what defeats the enemy in your life. If you consistantly live this way you will be able to defeat the sinful nature inside you that makes you do what it is that you do not want to do. (Didn't that just answer my original question to God that started all of this!!). You will then be victorious and will be able to live as you desire. Ahhh, sigh of relief, Amen.

To recap:

1. Lord, why am I living and doing the things I don't want to do. Why am I unable to do as I want?

2. God takes me to Romans Chapter 7. (Struggling with Sin) Specifically versus 14-24. and into Romans Chapter 8. These are the two chapters on the pages I was lead to.

3. Next day, still confused Lord, please show me more. Takes me to Romans3 and I feel led to read on through chapter 8. Ah, much understanding on why we sin and how.

4. God, I am still unsure of how to defeat this.Please show me more. (same day). Takes me to Galations 5. (Freedom in Christ and Life by the Spirit) BTW, Galations 5:22 is the last scripture of the second page and it was already underlined by me previously so it jumped out on the page.

5. Pastor Franklin and Joyce Meyers wrap it all up with showing that living by these fruits of the Spirit will defeat the sinful nature which keeps us from living the life we want. Self-control.

6. Jennifer finally gets it. Ta da!! It's a lot so I am gonna write down the fruits of the Spirit on paper and put them on my mirror in the bathroom and on my fridge even though I hate stuff on the fridge, this is important!! Okay, I have to CONTROL MYSELF and make myself stop ranting about my poopy circumstances. Just stop. Focus on consistanly living by these fruits, (which ties into the devotional I posted one or two posts ago!! Remember she said it takes atleast 21 days of doing something for it to become a habit??)Consistanly living these fruits which are all the things I desire for myself and my family so greatly will defeat the enemy and give me victory!! Could it really be? I am so excited to think victory can be mine! Wow, I sure want all of those qualities in Galations 5:22 to describe me. I am just beside myself at all that God has shown me and it is really just a miracle in my opinion. I can't wait to see how I do. Anyone want to join me? Living life by the Fruits of the Spirit.

I really encourage everyone to read those chapters and follow along. Start with Roman Chapter 7 and Eight. Then take a dive back into Chapter 3 and read all the rest of Romans. Then hop over to Galations Chapter 5. Really beautiful all tied together with the help of a devotional and Pastor Jentzen Franklin and Joyce Meyers. I had a big question for God and he just answered it for me. That was a lot to answer and it was complicated and He answered it. Wow. I am amazed at how He led me through that whole process of learning and understandin WHY I do what I don't want to do and then learning how to NOT do it anymore. Incredible.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Come See My New Family Room Redo!!!

Ta Da!! After posting on my work blog about wanting to re do the mantle and bookcases in my family room one of my real life friends and a great interior designer Misti ( you've got to check out this post ) had some great suggestions. Some I have done, some are in progress. Then the nester over at the Nesting Place did a 10 minutes to a room you'll love post and I had to re do!! All of this furniture was reversed before the re do. The couch was against the wall of windows. I flipped everything and added some decor touches.

The Before mantle. It was bare and crying for help.

The After mantle. I still need to paint the back of the bookcases the same color as the dining room turned home office. I know I know, but the man has to work somewhere. Misti also had some great ideas for what I should do instead of the picture of the lady but I have to wait on that one. I shopped the house for what I had. Too much red maybe? Needs tweaking but it's better than what I had and it was FREE!!

A view from the doorway of our living room/kids gone wild area by the kitchen.

This is what you see when you walk into the door. I love it, it looks peaceful to me. Hate the column. Dang thing has been in the way from day one.

A view from the dining room turned home office. The candle is lonely over there on the table by the french doors. I put a picture frame there but Braxton already broke it. Sigh.

Yep, my work here is done for the moment 'til the cash flow improves and I can do a little more. Me likey.
I feel dumb posting this since all of the chaos with my mom but I needed a distraction so here I am instead of doing my secretary work. I'll have to double time it now!!
Thank you so much for your prayers.


These guys were at my house yesterday. One big truck and one ambulance for mom. She had been doing badly all day. I am pretty sure I blogged about it previously. But she just kept going down hill and the care she needed was more than constant and I was certain more than we were capable of monitoring. My dad left to buy a drill bit so he could install the bars in the shower. Mom was dying for a shower but while she was gone mom was not able to breathe enough oxygen anymore. I sensed her breathing becoming more labored and I think she was suffering so much she was just in the moment and struggling and it never occurred to her to ask for help. I had been rubbing her back for over 2 hours at that point, she kept begging me not to stop and I though my hands were going to fall off. But when I could feel her struggling I stopped even though she didn't want me to and I told her I was calling her doctor and she needed to go somewhere right now. I guess it shocked her a little and she said within a minute or two as I was searching for the lung doctor's number for me to call 911, she wasn't getting enough air. So I tearfully called and the 5 helpful paramedics arrived within 5 minutes and they were wonderful to her. My nine year old Amber cried hard, it was hard to see mimi taken away in the stretcher but I let her stay because I really wasn't sure mom wouldn't make it through the night and I wanted the 3 bigger kids to be able to say goodbyes, which they did. I really hate it for her, nobody should have to suffer a bad case of diabetes, heart disease, congestive heart failure, stage 4 kidney disease, and a freaking stroke. Her blood thinning levels are at 6.2. Normal is 3.2 to 3.5 so basically if you even touch her she bleeds out inside. She is covered with hemotomas (red bruising all over) because that level shot through the roof yesterday too. If she falls, basically she will probably bleed to death internally. She is bleeding internally now into her urine. I can see it in her catheter bag. She looks so miserable, oh yeah, and she developed a fungus on her tongue yesterday too. This is ridiculous for one of the most kindest people in the world to suffer like that. It makes me so angry for her. She keeps fighting and I'm like, inside, please mom quit fighting so the suffering can end. But she loves my kids and she will fight for them. I sure hope they keep her a long time so she can gain strength and they can finally figure out a proper medicine regime to get her levels normal again and get all of the fluid out of her lungs. Very sad day yesterday, I guess today too.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Superbowl Sunday

Daddy and Braxton snuck in a nap late in the morning. I went looking for them and there they were....
It happens every time...... I asked the big one to help me clean the family room which houses the treasure box of photos and memorabilia. I was cleaning the kitchen and came to see if I could help her out and here she was...... digging through the photos. We love our treasure box.
Superbowl Sunday was a busy day of decor change in the Family Room. I took the Nester's advice from her post last Monday on 10 minutes to a room you'll love. Only it took me longer than 10 minutes because I kept shopping the house and the basement for stuff for the room. I love my changes and although I need a few more items, it looks great. Everyone in the family loves it too and the kids are even trying to takeover what has traditionally been the adult room in the house. It is so much more relaxing and pleasant to be in here. I am going to take some pictures today and post them tomorrow. It is really dark and rainy here today so the room may not photograph too well as most of the room is glass open to the outside. Well, we'll see what happens.
Mom is having a tough time today. She is really struggling and I wish she was back in the hospital. This is harder than I thought due to Braxton not being able to go down there. My dad is about to collapse and he is close to losing it. But, my mom doesn't trust anybody but him to walk with her or be her back up for anything. So I can't take her to the bathroom, shower or to any appointments. She is constantly needing something it seems and she cannot get any of it herself. My dad never complains but from what I can see it is more than he can handle. She is so weak and I go down as much as I can to help. I was doing the dishes for them earlier but Braxy started to cry and it was upsetting to mom so I quit and I guess I will go back down later to finish. I don't know what my role is yet but I am trying to do what I can. I think she needs more daily therapy. Her blood and sugar levels are through the roof. She needs a full time nurse that's for sure. I sure hope she continues to improve quickly. It is such a struggle for her. Strokes suck.
Did some Bible study this morning. Didn't go to church on Sunday. Watched Pastor Jentzen Franklin instead. I'm still not sure about my role with God. I want to be close to him and I know the manual. Give me a question, I can give you the answer. I totally know the manual, generically speaking. Of course I am still learning and there are passages yet to still scream out a new meaning to me. But in general, I know the Bible pretty well and yet I do not have the peace of God in my life or the power or gifts His word speaks of. I get pretty confused as to what I need to fix. Joyce's book I am reading says it may greatly be caused by the strife in the home and marriage. I thought it was funny (kind of) because I had determined to make my hubby's day yesterday. I was going to pamper him and be a real help mate and especially for that day a man spoiler just to make him feel special. It was working until the afternoon when he became increasingly agitated over family and business finances. To file for bankruptcy or not? To file just me or both? What to do? He got very angry and it got directed at me. I handled it pretty well but later on it got really ugly over an incident and he would not even speak to me and even this morning I barely got a word from him and I am pretty sure no eye contact. Which is weird because he is one of those I let it go in the morning people. Have the argument, get mad and get over kind of people. Odd for him to stay angry and I did not do anything, he was just directing it all at me and I became the evil one. So I am still confused that every time I try to further my walk or better my life there is just one road block after another. Why doesn't God show me the way? I've asked. Why doesn't He show me a clear path to His will? I've asked. I am so confused, still. But at least I never give up. Like yesterday, I have been determined to rid our home of strife as I have posted several times lately and yesterday I make it a point to direct that at the hubby and on that day in particular is the day where we have the most strife? What was that about? I mean, if God is with me and He is, then He knew what I was up to...... why would that day be the day my husband would decide to just basically hate me. I was spoiling him and loving on him and suddenly I'm the evil had ruining his life? What? I'm like, hey up there, can I get a break? Huh? Some help down here please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I still don't understand what happened.
A nice note to end on:
Mom went to Church Sunday. When she got there the pastor came down and prayed for her and he was touching her head and praying over her. Some elders were there too praying. They said my 9 year old Amber got down on her knees and laid hands on mom's legs and was praying out loud for God to help her and everyone started crying and my mom who never cries was balling like a baby. Pastors were crying, people in pews were crying at the sight of Amber kneeling and praying over her out loud like that. I could just imagine it and I almost cried too. My sweet kitty. Well, at least I'm teaching the kids right.