March 31, 2011

Fragrant Life

While sitting out on my back patio today, the fragrance of orange blossoms kept visiting my nose. I love that makes me close my eyes and breath in deeply. It was like God was illustrating the passage I was reading right then,

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2

I love it when that happens! I want to be an orange blossom...

For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. 2 Corinthians 2:15-16

March 25, 2011

Anxiety and contentment

I relaxed today. The tension went out of my jaw and I didn't look around with a panicky feeling (like someone is coming up behind me) once!

Charles got home from his trip to Africa this morning. So for two weeks I've been on alert, on guard, watching my own back. I can't help the natural tendency but it does bother me a lot.

I have already admitted it to myself in the past, but I have to say it out loud and type it out there to you. I think I put more trust in my husband than I do in God sometimes.....especially with daily, practical security. My feeling of contentment in life leans more toward my tangible partner.

I did stay all by myself in the new place one night while he was away. A few nights ago Maggie was spending the night with a friend and Bethany could not come over (even though I kind of whined to her) because of work. As it turned out though, I was glad I did it. The ladies in my Bible study that evening prayed for me and I gave my anxiety about being alone to the Lord before heading back to bed. And then I had to trust.....forced myself not to think about any anxious thought and went about my routine. The next morning I felt like I'd had a break through spiritually.....a small one, but it was significant for me.

I guess feeling incomplete when your husband is away is alright. It's kind of natural. And I am glad he makes me feel more secure when he's here. But I know I can do it if he is not. It was a step of faith to not let the anxious thoughts develop because I have a very vivid imagination and my mind can invent some scary possibilities.

I just thought I'd share my little faith/trust building event because I know it is a common problem. Trust Him and then squelch the chatter of the anxious thoughts.

The verse I have always gone back to for setting my mind straight is Philippians 4:6-9. Here it is in The Message paraphrase. I like it!

6-7Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

8-9Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

March 24, 2011

Excuses and stuff

So I guess you can tell by my last entry why I have not been blogging lately.

My husband left for a 2 week trip to Africa on the 11th and my life was complete busyness until today, when I finally had time to relax and do some things around our new place. Maybe someone was praying that I'd be kept busy so that I wouldn't worry or that time wouldn't drag by while Charles was gone.

Uhhh, thanks....?

blahblahblah: I had my own kids coming and going from Texas and California, my brother and his daughter coming for a rare visit from Maryland and Georgia, a wedding to go to, events to cook for, meeting one of my daughters' boyfriend for the first time, along with running realtor errands and emptying out our former home. Oh yes, and the kitchen sink fiasco....and figuring out how to move our old refrigerator to the neighbor's, which they bought from us. (Special thanks to friend Larry who helped me with both of those!) And while we were moving the fridge over, the neighbor said people had been at our old house and looked like they were having a party there, which explained why the doors were all unlocked.

So....very little time to process here on the blog. And when I did have time and came here to my blog dashboard, I would just sit here and go "duuuuuuuuuuh".

Yay: Charles comes home tomorrow morning *sighs of relief all around*, I met 2 of my neighbors, who were outside chatting tonight when I pulled into the driveway, and, of course, the shower curtain dilemma is over. I would jump for joy if I weren't so tired.

Laying it down

I think I've finally decided on a shower curtain. I am such a dork.

I promise you I have looked at every shower curtain on the internet....or at least all of them on Overstock,, Linens and Things, Bed, Bath and Beyond,  Kohl's, Target, Walmart, Sears and Penney's internet sights. That is a lot. And I barely liked any of them! I finally went back to one that I liked and stood in Target looking at for an hour one day. It's a Shabby Chic brand from Target. The the jade green tile in the hall bathroom. An ugly medium tone milky jade. bleh. So I chose one that is white with some pink flowery design on it and has some green stems and leaves.

My life is so hard, I know but that is what my week has been.....endlessly analyzing shower curtains.

Two hours later: I picked out a different shower curtain.

My daughter Hannah influenced me. (I am easily influenced) pink flowers/french country look. Now it's this curtain with these wall decals. It should be cute and different. It is ordered from Amazon and should arrive by next Wednesday.

My search is over.... This is big! Now I can move on.

March 15, 2011

Catching up

I can't believe I haven't posted in almost a month! Sorry mom...;)

We got our big move done and I feel pretty settled into the home we will rent indefinitely. So far the girls all feel like it feels homier than our last house. I have to agree. It's more of a have a  garden, bake a loaf of bread, open the windows kind of home.

The main problem with living in an older (built in the early 50's I think) home is the maintenance. You never know when an emergency home repair will be needed. Saturday night I had the kitchen all cleaned and ready for company that was coming the next afternoon. I just had to get the carrots peeled and onions cut and ready to accompany the roast in the crockpot the next morning. I washed the peelings down the disposal and turned it on. Wow, that was a mistake.

Water and bits of carrots sprayed violently all over the cupboard under the sink. The pipe had come loose. So I mopped it up and put buckets under all leaks. Sunday morning our friend Larry said he would come over and fix it. Charles is gone on a mission trip, of course. I have used that disposal several times since living there and it waits until the husband is gone to explode.  Murphy's Law or something I guess.

It is all repaired and the pipes are tight and non leaking now. I already had 2 buckets under there for various drips that we thought we could wait on....sometimes we are not so wise.

I put in some flowers under the front window. Hopefully the neighborhood cats who have been using that area as a sand box will move on now if I keep it muddy enough. (any suggestions?)

Maggie and Emma even helped me put in 2 tomato plants and 5 different herbs in the backyard. I love a garden and didn't have space for it in the last house. For those of you in cold climates, yes, it's garden time's been in the 80's and even supposed to be up into the 90's this week before cooling off a little again. I even had to dig out my flip flops from my stored box of shoes.

Less than a week after we moved, we saw Charles off on a trip to Mozambique, Africa. He and David Johnson, seminary director for Phoenix extension of Golden Gate Seminary, are teaching pastor training classes there for the indigenous pastors the missionary, John Dina, has raised up. They are a great bunch of God appointed men who are serving the various villages and churches in towns there around Quelimane, Mozambique.

If you pray for them, pray that they will sleep at night. It's warm and muggy right now and it's hard to sleep, for strength and for God given understanding of Scripture foundations and pastoral care issues that the men are teaching. Thank you!

And if you want to read about our trip to Mozambique with David and his wife Diana last August it is here.