Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Unloading

OK, I hate to be a complainer. Who wants to listen to (or read of) a complainer? It might be a good idea to not read this blog if you don't want to hear it, because I feel like unloading, venting, casting all my cares upon the computer....get the picture? I am so tired of being POOR. It seems no matter what we do to try to get ahead, something happens to push it back again. We started a pretty good little savings account when we moved to Texas, but this month, things happened that depleted our little account so we just closed it. First off, I got a speeding ticket. No excuse, except I was in a school zone and didn't realize it (even though the light was flashing on the speed limit sign). I can remember exactly what I was thinking--Christmas is coming, will it be any easier this year? And whamo--I earned a nice little piece of paper that says pay $178.00 in 15 days. Can you hear the "cha-ching"? My fault.

The very next day, I have an eye appointment. We got a voucher in the mail for $99--includes exam and 3 months supply of contacts. I'm starting to have headaches and eye aches so we decided now is the time to get some new gloves for my eyeballs. To make a long story short, the visit turns out to be $333.00 smackaroos. That comes to a grand total of $511.00. I guess I should be thankful that we had it in savings.

I love Christmas. I get immense joy out of picking out the perfect gift for the people we love in life. My dear husband, he would be perfectly content if Christmas only came every five years. I don't understand this--if he had bad experiences or if it's just the fact that Christmas = spending money in his eyes (he would rather walk across hot asphalt barefoot than spend money). Every year it is like pulling teeth with him. There is minus some joy. (Did that sentence make any sense?). Plus, our insurance is going to go into effect in December--$500.00 a month. Subtract more joy from my Christmas joy account. His job will probably end in December--not much joy left to go around by now. Plus, he is probably going to take another job in Monroe. I wouldn't want this to get back to some people, but I would rather walk across hot asphalt barefoot in July for the rest of my life than move back there.

My son, bless his heart, is not helping my current state of blues. He has decided to go through a defiant, rebellious stage where he is in charge. He tells me and his Daddy "No!" at any command. He gets at least one whipping per hour for flat out, in your face disobedience. He refuses to take a nap, potty, or eat what I have fixed for him. I am about ready for him to be tired, covered in waste, and hungry if that is how he wants it (not really). I reaaaaaaally need wisdom and patience with him right now.

Also, I am so worried about a situation in John's family--can't discuss here but please pray for this little unspoken request.

I hope this doesn't make any of you feel awkward about Christmas gifts. Like I said, I love it and want to do it. I have been getting pretty creative about making things and so I am going to apply my craftiness for practical purposes this Christmas. I hope y'all are not depressed after reading my blog.

Love,
Amy

Sunday, October 21, 2007

My Delightful Children

I am breaking up my blog into two sections. I guess I'm a little long-winded! :) I thought it would be easier to keep the flow of thought focused if I did this and maybe it won't seem so long! I wish I had some new pictures to post. The batteries our dead in the camera, and I bought some new ones but they seem to be duds. We will get new ones soon, I am sure.

My little boy is beginning to act so grown up. He is doing great with pottying, and when he is finished, he pulls his step stool up to the sink, turns the water on, washes his hands with soap, dries his hands, and then turns the water off. He does the same with brushing his teeth--puts his own toothpaste on the brush, brushes, rinses the brush, and puts it back in its holder. He does this all very neatly without making a mess. I am so proud of him! He is a very neat child and does not like for his hands to be dirty. He also loves music! John plays his banjo every evening, and Elijah will pick up the broom, a whisk, or a hanger and sit beside his Daddy and "pick". When he is not playing a pretend guitar or banjo, he is playing with his drumsticks--a real genuine pair I found for $1 at a thrift store. His favorite song right now is "Old McDonald". Here is his version: "Old Nicknonal hada farm, and on this farm he had a Connor, e-i-e-i-o. And on this farm he had a Mama, e-i-e-i-o. And on that farm he had a Gracie, e-i-e-i-o. And on that farm he had a Mr. Brent [John's boss] e-i-e-i-o! " Old McDonald has lots of friends and family on his farm! Tonight at church while the men's quartet was singing, he stepped out into the aisle and using his drumstick as a mic and tapping his foot, sang right along! He also knows all of his ABC's, can count to 10 and is learning his colors. We are currently working on memorizing Psalm 23.

Grace, on the other hand, is changing so fast! She is getting tall and her hair is so long! I can put it all in a ponytail now and she is only 1 1/2! She is very friendly and will go to anyone. She always has a "hey" and a wave for people we meet, whether it's the grocery store or church. Last week we were in Wal-Mart (we go there a lot). Grace was sitting in the buggy clapping and singing "Deep and Wide". This man walked by, then turned around and came back. He said, "That's the first happy person I have seen all day" and walked off. I hope she is always that way. She talks so much more than Elijah did at this age, but they say girls are smarter. I like to believe that is true ;). Like most little girls, she is a Daddy's girl. She wakes up calling for him from her crib every morning and with every sound at the door runs to it squealing and calling Daddy with hopes that he is home from work.

We are looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas because we will get to visit with family that we don't get to see much anymore since we live away from both sides. It's time to start making Christmas lists--to buy for others and to have bought for myself :). I hope you are all enjoying the cooler weather and anticipating the holidays. Love ya.....

~Amy

Airing Out My Laundry

Wow. It's Sunday. The weekend is over already. Tomorrow will be day 8/10 of revival. I wish I could describe to you the enormous size of my laundry pile. Huge, gigantic, monstrous....get the picture? I don't think my hubby even has clean undies for work tomorrow (gross!). Two sets of clothes per day x 4 people x 8 days = A LOT OF LAUNDRY. We have all worn repeats, of course, and probably will yet, but it is a challenge to keep up.

The laundry is monumental, but so have been the services. Some of the most convicting services I have ever been in. One night, conviction was so strong that there was an atmosphere of complete stillness and reverence. So still that 15-20 kids (5 and under) did not make a sound. Not a peep. Our kids sat quietly and played and did not cry when corrected. No piano was playing, no one was singing. But people were weeping and groaning in prayer. God has done a great work in my heart this week. He has pointed out things in the deepest recesses of my soul and said it has to go. And I am so glad. Woe is the day that God no longer deals with me, no longer takes my carefully set mold and crushes it and makes it all over again.

I have been thinking about how people are so scared to go to a Holiness church because they are afraid they are going to hear somebody preach against something "outward" or some "standard" that they don't believe is wrong. It is interesting that in the last 5 1/2 years that I have been attending a "mainstream" Holiness church, I can count on one hand how many times I have heard something like this preached about. The emphasis has always been more on the state of the heart. You can have it all right on the outside and still be rotten in your heart and go straight to hell. A bad attitude, a critical spirit, a gossiping tongue, a lukewarm experience, a hap-hazard prayer life, these are the sins most warned against. The absence of these is true holiness, without which no man shall see God. I think the devil magnifies the outward appearance of "holiness" people and makes it seem like a ball and chain, when we do not believe that it saves us, but it we adhere to it because we are saved. The outward part is the easiest part to master, but the inward things, the matters of the heart, are the things that are the hardest to give up.

This week, God has dealt with me about several things, but mainly about my defensive spirit. It seems I am always wanting to retaliate at my husband for things he often says in jest or innocence. I often interpret them wrong and come back with a sharp retort. I can look back on ways I have handled conflict with others and I am ashamed. Where is the gentle spirit of Christ? The love your neighbor as yourself and turn the other cheek? Our responses to conflict reveal our true commitment and conformity to His nature and I am afraid I have gotten a big, fat "F"! Oh, how I want to change! I come from a family who are proud of their outspoken and independent natures. But I am so ashamed of it! I want it gone.

As I look at the large pile of laundry, it doesn't look so bad because I can wash, fold, and put away with a lighter heart and a renewed spirit.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Country Sick

Well, here it is October already (thank goodness). We have been in Texas for 5 months now. It doesn't seem that long, but it is. I have been pretty content here, except for occasional bouts of wishing I could go home (Alabama) for a visit. But those bouts have come a lot less frequently than when I was in Louisiana. I think I could probably go anywhere now, as long as my family is with me. Although, the thought of moving to a completely new place again is unsettling. It is work getting settled somewhere, making new friends, being accepted. But that is beside the point. With the fall weather being so nice, it has made me realize how much I miss living in the country. I can close my eyes and picture that quaint little country dirt road in Barrytown. I imagine a pretty little white house with a porch all the way across the front, complete with porch swing and rockers. I could open all the windows and doors, and let the kids outside to play without worrying about them getting snatched or ran over. They could have a tree swing, a dog and a cat, and room to ride their tricycles and maybe even a four-wheeler. The only sounds would be distant traffic and those of nature. Aaahhh...
Those of you who enjoy this type of lifestyle, don't take it for granted! You could be in the middle of a subdivison listening to trains and airplanes and with nothing to look at but your neighbor's house (15 ft from your door) and concrete. Yes, city life has its conveniences, but I am and always will be a country girl. I can't say that I am "homesick", but I sure am "countrysick".