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I Am... Mama and Writer

First Mama.  Then Writer.  Though, of late, the latter has consumed a great deal of time as I work to get things in order to potentially be ...

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thankful Thursday Week of June 23, 2011

Head on over to EDUCATING EVELYN to participate in a Thankful Thursday Link-Up!

Thursday, June 23, 2011:  I'm thankful for a day at home without outside obligations.  I'm grateful for my girls hard work and their tolerance of me on my bad-mama days.

Friday, June 24, 2011:  I'm thankful for all the sweet guys and one sweetie lady who stopped to buy some orange-ade and other goodies from my girls today.  :)  They made some good money and had some really good experiences.  It's SUCH a pleasure to fascilitate this learning environment for my girls!!!  I'm SO grateful for the work Jess was able to occupy himself with today (working for a friend) and earning some money.

Saturday, June 25, 2011:  I'm thankful for the work Jess was able to do.  I'm grateful for the sweet friends who are using him as much as they can (and maybe even a little more)!

Sunday, June 26, 2011:  I'm thankful for a wonderful Ward family, for wonderful hugs (especially one from a dear sister I Visit Teach!), and wonderful Sisters who are so very supportive and loving.

Monday, June 27, 2011:  I'm thankful for a sister.  She had her birthday today and I cannot remember how old she turned... either 28 or 29...  I was either preggie with my #1 or had only 1 one year old at those ages respectively.  She has 2, exactly two years apart and is an amazing woman!  I'm thankful for the work Jessie was able to do to earn money today.  I'm so grateful for those of my Sisters who were able to come over and help in specific ways to lift up my hanging hands.  Because I only just learned some upsetting news, I'm especially grateful for their presence and loving service.  I'm thankful for the understanding and compassion of others of my Sisters who go to Park Day for forgiving me my double booking myself.  I'm not with it, ladies.  That's all there is to it.  I'm thankful for FHE with Gramy and Grampy Marks.  Their FHEs rock!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011:  I'm thankful for the sweet reception we received when we called to wish an Uncle a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  We hope it was a joyful day!!!  I'm grateful for the blessing of being able to help a friend with something she cannot physically do herself.  Today it was particularly special and gratifying to be of service after feeling SO needy and being SO served yesterday!  I got to spend lots of time with my friend, which is a huge gift to me!  I'm grateful to know of some of the inner workings of Ward leadership who have worked together to Love one of our own by providing temporally.  It's such a gift and blessing to me to know SOME of the work of those leaders AND to know their effect on the wonderful person who received of their Love!  I'm so GLAD and grateful that Ria enjoys baking classes with me SO much.  I'm beginning to feel a renewal of my enjoyment and even Love of baking (and kitchen creating) that I experienced as a young woman as a result of my sweet Ria joyful Kitchen demeanor!!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011:  I'm thankful for the kindness of strangers and some who are becoming friends.  We had FOUR repeat customers today and are beginning to learn their names.  What FUN to enable my girls to have a business!  They are blossoming in totally new ways and SO excited about their prospects.  :)  I'm thankful for Jessie's hard work.  He found a spot where he will be able to collect wood.  Right now (as of today's work), he has collected enough wood to get another couple fence panels up AND build out some (if not all) of the girls' first rabbit hutch.  HOW EXCITING, right!??  :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Giving Even When We Lack

My Mom said it the other day in Facebook.  She was responding to someone when she quoted one of our favorite songs: "Because I Have Been Given Much," which goes:  "Because I have been given much, I too must give.  Because of thy great bounty, Lord, each day I live.  I shall divide my gifts from Thee with every brother that I see, Who has the need of help from me."  I've been thinking about this theme a LOT more in the last couple or few weeks.

Almost two weeks ago we picked up food from our church.  It doesn't feel good to be in such need.  I've been struggling very much with being so needy lately.  But there is a certain comraderie among those of us who are struggling to obviously.  One sister and her daughter helped me load my van and commented on the pineapple.  She mentioned that she hadn't ordered a fruit in season cause you never know what you're going to get, but they love pineapple and she wished she had.  I figured it was God's food anyway (and isn't ALL of it!), AND I had two, so why not give her one of 'em!  So, I did.  She was SO happy!  And she told me that she'd given one of her milks to someone who had inadvertently not placed an order for milk.  How NEAT is that?    And we're all of us there in some pretty serious financial LACK.  But we're still givinging and sharing with one another!  What a joy to know and experience!!!!

Not only have I been in financial need (and it's getting more alarming as we keep on cause though Jess has had some work (I pray the Lord will BLESS our friend who has employed him so frequently!) we're getting further behind), but I've felt rather beat down emotionally and some mentally, too, as a result of certain... events.  I cannot explain here because I would end up speaking poorly about another person.  Feeling the horribleness is far too much.  I should not have spoken any, I am trying NOT to speak any more of it.  The result is the same, though... I've been feeling like pooh.

Well, remember how the Lord figuratively cornered me and told me I had to ask for help otherwise the pretty words I'd spoken to a friend who needed help were just pretty words and not me living the truths I was speaking?  Well yall, I'm living 'em!!  Seriously.  It's probably one of the most emotionally difficult things I've actively done.  And I totally had a way out of actually DOing anything.  But the Spirit kept prodding and pushing me to SPEAK my need.  Let me tell you... NOT easy.  NOT comfy.  NOT...  LOTS of things.  But I did it.  (pouting child that I am)  And the help came.  FOUR sisters and one young man who ALL worked to help me.  They did it with cheerful countenances and sweaty brows and upper lips (cause we don't AC 'round here ya know!).  *sigh*  And they were SO kind and so VERY loving in all they did!!!  I'm so very grateful and feel an ever stronger urgency to serve so that I may Love others in kind!!

So, I did some today.  I helped with something that was not urgent, but was desired.  I did something my friend could not physically do and it felt GOOD.  Of course, I also got to spend time with a wonderful person and talk and learn.  So, really, I think I benefited far more than any good I did (which was FAR less than it shoulda been cause Jimmy was a bit needy).  And I gave from my lack.  I've been lacking cheerfulness, but I feel cheered after receiving and giving!  I've lacked feeling the Hope I had been feeling before the really rough patch of last week... but now I feel truly LIFTED!

There is a song I love on z88.3 that says, "Before my God fall on my knees, And rise, I will rise."  It's a God thing: how such seeming contradictions happen.  They can.  They DO!  Like the whole: in giving you have more.  That's not as obviously possible in the temporal world, but in the Spiritual... it's almost (if not) immediate!!!  What a GIFT to experience it!!!

So, obviously, I believe that giving is important even if I think I'm the needy one.  In giving I'm more, so I can handle more... or, more likely, it's handled for me by virtue of the death-to-self thing.  Our God IS an AWESOME God!

And since I've been sharing some of our favorite songs, I figure I might as well share some more!  ^_^  HERE is another one.  It is another worship songs we love to hear on the radio entitled: Our God is Greater.  Apparently we really like Chris Tomlin!  ;)  I had no idea until now that we so thoroughly enjoy SO many of his song.  And HERE is another of his, which we enjoy on the radio.  And LEAD ME by Sanctus Real is still a huge fave on the radio!  And THIS one is the one I think of when I think the phrase, "Our God is an Awesome God!"  Another GOOD song.  :)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

On Requesting (or accepting) Service

So, the other day I was speaking to a really wonderful lady.  She has just had a surgery and must take some time to rest and heal.  I'm Compassionate Service Leader in my Ward and so I was asking her what I could gather our Sister (the ladies in our Ward) together that we might do to help her while she is less able and in recovery.  She welcomed meals, which is kind of standard operating proceedure when someone is going through a rough patch.  We of the LDS faith LOVE to bring in food.  Well, at least I do!  It just makes everything more endurable, doesn't it?  Good food.  Delivered by a smiling Brother or Sister!  It's basically LOVE in physical form!  :)

Well, during the course of the conversation I was trying to ascertain any other need and did.  But when I asked for permission to schedule Sisters to come in and meet those needs I met resistance.  And I feel that same way!  But I spoke of what I believe.  What do I believe?  I'm glad you asked!

I believe that Father God blesses us with weak times so that those around us may gather together to strengthen and fortify us.  In my mind I see it as a chain.  Each link gets a chance to be weak.  What is meant to happen is that when the chain knows a link is weak, they bunch up around that weak link and give of themselves until the weak link is strong.  Then, the chain is stretched out and it is ALL strong.  Now, this wouldn't work QUITE this way in the solely temporal world, but Spiritually, when we give Love away (in any of it's various forms, including Service), there is actually MORE Love in the giver than there was before the giving.  I know you know it.  It's a God thing.  ;)

So, I said all these nice words.  And I TRULY believe them.  And my Sister was slightly swayed.  I told her I would give her about 2 days to think about it and get comfy at home and then let me know when she would allow the "cleaning party" of Sisters to come.

During that same time the Spirit was working on me.  Almost constantly for 2 days.  You see, I'm having a hard time myself.  Things look just fine from the outside.  I'm able to feel Peaceful and even happy out and about and even at home when certain things are where they should be... namely one person I will leave unnamed.  But if you come to my home... some days everything looks good.  Generally, the livingroom is in order most of the time.  The kitchen and dining room are, too, for the most part.    Even the kids' toy room is quite ok.  Sometimes toys are out and about and all, but that's what a TOY room is for, right!?  The computer room is a bit messy, but that's really only because I haven't figured out where to put things... where they belong.  However, if you were allowed to walk down the hall and into my bedroom, which, for the most part, is not allowed because we have a thing about bedrooms... you would see my need plain as day.  My need is, currently, in the form of MOUNTAINS of laundry.  Literally.  Okay, maybe they are small mountains.  But mountains they be.  Especially considering that I was keeping laundry COMPLETELY done for a good while (including after Jimmy's birth).

Having a hubby unemployed and home really just sets a girl off track.  It just does.  Maybe it doesn't for YOU.  But it HAS and DOES for me.  I'm not proud of this, but it is what it is thus far.  I'm hoping to overcome this problem, but it has not happened thus far so I just have to deal.  Right?

Well, that's the subject about which the Spirit was working on me.  Finally toward the end of the second day, I realized that my words were pretty words, but until I did something different than what I was doing, they were just words and did not reflect who I really AM in deed.  So, I'm feeling Led.  I am going to get permission and all, but my plan is to stand before my Sisters in Relief Society tomorrow and invite them to a cleaning party at my house.  Mostly it'll actually be a laundry folding party.  But I do also have a really pretty couch and chair, new-to-me, which are dirty and with which I need help (I've already scrubbed the chair at least two times and it still need scrubbing and I've only started on one arm rest on the couch and it still needs SCRUBBING)... so I'll be asking for help with cleaning those, too.  Father has laid it heavy on my heart that if I expect others to ask for and/or accept help, then I need to do what I'm asking them to do.  Now, generally, they will not have to do what I'm being told to do.  They will not have to ask for help for themselves.  And let me tell you.  I am completely dreading it.  I've got my Pride.  But Father is saying I should not.  So He is guiding me to submit and humble myself and ask for help with that which I cannot seem to manage currently.

And why can't I manage it??  Jess is home, afterall!  HE should be able to help, shouldn't he?  Well, one would think so.  But, you see, there are ALL these jobs around the outside of the house that need done.  And I literally canNOT handle all of it.  So, he's either been job hunting (computer or out and about) or working on the fence or working outside in some other way.  Also, it's much better for him to NOT be in the house.  Especially lately.  I'm not going to go there, but TRUST me.

Heck, I should be doing it right NOW instead of writing.  In my head, though... if you were or could be in my head, you would understand why I do this and not that.  :(  Not a good reason, but there it is.

Others, about other people, might say: They have a husband and an older/adult child at home.  Those two (or however many) can totally handle it together.  Yes, they SHOULD be able to handle it, more than likely.  BUT, wouldn't you acknowledge that, even in YOUR life, SHOULD and what really DOES happen are really far divergent over some things at some time or another?  I mean, I SHOULD exercise EVERY day and I SHOULD eat mostly veggies.  DO I do those things?  Ummm... I want to.  I mean to.  But no.  I do not.  Isn't there something in your life like this?

I can say, unquivolcally, that we canNOT know what is going on with those others who SHOULD be able to carry the burden that they are not carrying well.  So, do we allow our Sister to be burdened in an unweildy weight, or do we step in and lift up her hanging hands?  Do we sit in our currently comfortable life and think. "She should be able to handle it.  I've handled the very same situation in my life just fine.  She'll be able to handle it.  I did.  I'm sure she can!  I'll let her handle it."  I know, and you know, that we have been charged with doing some lifting rather than judging.  So, let's get to and DO!  Let's identify and then step in to make life easier for someone else.  I'm sure that our own life will be easier on our mind and heart - even if our difficulties truly ARE greater than those we perceive in another.

About Birth

Women are made to make babies and give birth.  We just are.  Period.  End of story.  But not.

The etablishment has brought uncalled for amounts of fear into the process because it LOOKS for problems.  Problems that are, admittedly, possible, but not necessarily probable.  Labor to get our baby does not have to be painful.  Mine have been to one degree or another, but that was not necessary.  I know this absolutely because in my last experience I had discomfort (the kind resulting from hard work), but not pain through the majority of my laboring to birth Jimmy.  I ended up in pain because I stopped working hard on maintainging my Faith OVER fear.  The pain came furious then and I had a good bunch of hours of almost constant pain (since I was stuck at 8cm dilated because Jimmy was acyclitic).  Birth is not MEANT to be painful.  If it was, then men would be MEANT to have pain in eating... and/or in doing all that is required to get to the point of eating.

We're good strong women, aren't we?  We can handle basically everything that comes our way.  We desire to keep our temple bodies clean and pure from all the things that we could otherwise use to make our way easier... UNLESS, of course, you're talking about labor to deliver our babies... and then so many women say: "Give me the drugs, give me the epidural!!  I don't know and I don't care what kind of effect it could have on my child!  I don't care that I could end up parlayzed!!  I just don't want to have any pain in labor!"  And I say, then focus on God and use your Faith to push out fear and become an overcomer!

I am in awe that SO many STRONG women are so willing and ready to "give up" when it comes to labor.  They even desire to give up before they've begun because they don't WANT to experience what they've heard it could end up being.  WHY!!???  Even if the process was a nightmare of constant pain to get your baby, you know that pain will end at a very specific point: BIRTH!

And don't you know, the more interventions, the more likely there will be more and greater interventions.  C-section anyone?  That's FULL ON surgery.  And I truly believe that deceiver has in mind that C-Sections become THE way to have children because then he wins in limiting family size right off the bat.  There are not many uteruses that can handle being cut more than three times.  Regardless of how many Spirits the Mama and/or Daddy promised to bring to the earth in their pre-existance.

Finally, giving birth is part of fulfilling the measure of our creation.  Giving birth under influence of drugs does NOT satisfy.  Look at it how you will, you do NOT know how much you can do until you have given birth completely naturally (and especially true if birthing in Hospital because at home it's SO much easier!).  Even a marathoner, who has run several, will be amazed and empowered by her womanhood when she endures and comes successfully through natural childbirth.  I'm sure of it cause I know one.

I know labor is difficult.  Trust me.  I KNOW.  But it DOES end.  The trickiest part is that we don't know WHEN it will... that's the kicker that makes it most difficult.  But neither do when know when lots of things will end.  But we still do 'em.  Like life.  And, for the most part, we don't go around in a drug-enduced pain-free short-term paralysis to avoid the difficulties and trials we encounter in life.  Sure, plenty do.  Both legal and illegal.  But I truly believe MOST of us do not.  So why do it for a MUCH shorter difficult period: labor?

Of course, I DO understand that there are extinuating circumstances: like emergent C-Sections after extended labors.  My Mom had one.  The baby came out 11 pounds 13 ounces.  Yeah, maybe that was really necessary.  Perhaps, though, that babe was simply acyclitic and could've been born naturally if the Doc had known to suggest certain positions during contractions.  Who knows.  Under the circumstances of the birth that was, it was an emergency C-Section.

However, if our Heavenly Father has directed you to have #1 a planned C-Section, or #2 an epidural... and you are completely assured that your discernment is clear AND your husband has verified this plan of action under guidance of the Spirit... then THAT's ALL you gotta tell a girl like me.  Cause if Father God says so, HE's the last word any of us needs.

But make sure your hubby is completely supportive.  Perhaps he feels powerless to advocate for the child you carry because you carry it in YOUR body.  He may not be thrilled with the whole "automatic drug acceptance and even request" that may be your plan.  Unfortunately, we live in a time and culture that does not cherish and esteem our Patriarchs.  But we have commited, by marriage, to hear our husband's council.  And, I believe, to hear the word of the Lord through our husbands when they are in righteousness and speaking under Guidance of our Father.

So, that's what I think about that.

If you got all the way to the bottom here, thank you for reading.  There will be a test later.  ;)  not really

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Thankful Thursday Week of June 16th

Make sure to pop over to EDUCATING EVELYN to join Thankful Thursday Link-Up!  ^_^  It's such a pleasure and joy to keep track of the things and events for which I need to be thankful.  And to share it here is, to my way of thinking, just another way I might be able to shine forth the Light of Christ and draw others to Him!  You know ya wanna do it, too!!!  ;)

Thursday, June 16, 2011:  I'm thankful for the gift and blessing of being able to go to the temple as a family.  The afternoon of this day was a big test for me.  I was accused of thinking I'm more righteous than everyone around me.  This is also something for which I'm grateful because I have been very introspective and watchful of my motives since the accusation (writing a few days since the experience)....  I have also prayerfully considered this accusation.  I have come to understand even more fully the truth of the sin it is to rely upon the arm of the flesh.  Also, I have come, once again, to experience the truth that when someone hurls an accusation at me in anger, the accusation really has more to do with the accuser (in some way and on some level) than it has to do with who I am and my character.  Certainly didn't help to think and know this truth when the accusation was hurled, though!  But the Peace in my heart and mind has come in much fuller and faster than ever before.  Also, though, the Peace has rushed in in large part, THANKS to a WISE friend's words spoken in the Spirit.  Thank you, sweet Friend.

Friday, June 17, 2011:  I'm thankful for food.  I'm thankful for a second day of work for Jessie.  I'm also DEEPLY thankful for the test that resulted in the timing of the offer of work to Jessie.  We were planning for him to go pick up our food.  I received a phone call offering him some work. 
we were supposed to be in place to pick up our food at 9am.  The call arrived at 8am.  The decision for Jess to work was made and I was up and getting 4 kids and me ready to go at 817am.  We were only a tiny bit late... and the truck was later, so it was sorta like we were on time!  ;)  I'm so thankful for my girls' continuing desire to earn money for their homeschool supplies.  I'm amazed by the blessing of and thankful for the opportunity I have to go and do Visiting Teaching.  I'm grateful for the sacrifice my sister (and her family!) made tonight.  My sweet sister works outside of her home and enjoys (and needs) quiet evenings to rest and even sleep, but she allowed me to come visit her.  It ended up being a delightful family visit!  She and her family are just WONDERFUL!

Saturday, June 18, 2011:  I'm thankful for a third day of work for Jessie this week.  I'm grateful for the opportunities Father is providing to make me ever more flexible.  It's very difficult for me (in my natural self to have things changed up without notice), but increasingly it is becoming easier.  I attribute this to the changes Christ is bringing about in my very nature as I turn to Him with desire to truly BE His!  It's hard work (this letting go of "my" dross!), but TOTALLY worth it!  :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011:  I'm thankful for the opportunity to honor Jessie on this day in an even more focused way than we try to do each day of the rest of the year.  I'm grateful that he's really so easy to please and willing to support me in the things I feel Led to do.  His "gift" this year was two cans of saurkraut.  Some of which kraut we ate with chili cheese hot dogs with onions and condiments on em.  He was well pleased.  :)  He also enabled me to go to my friend's home to work on compiling her life story.  I was there for 6.5 hours and in that time we almost doubled the writing I'd done over the two previous times we'd been able to work on it!  ^_^

Monday, June 20, 2011:  I'm thankful for Jessie's hard work to become gainfully employed.  I'm so grateful that he is striving to understand the Word of the Lord.  I'm SO glad to have such sweet girls as I have.  (Of course we DO have our problems.)  But they were just really WONDERFUL about going to Park Day and ending up as the only ones from church there.  They still had a wonderful time and they were wonderful together.  I'm grateful I'm their Mama and they are my daughters!!!  Jimmy was wonderful, too... he slept both ways in the van, which was a huge gift cause he didn't fuss or scream at all!  He's a darling boy!  ^_^  I'm thankful for the lovely evening we spent with a friend and the awesome dinner she made all of us and the sweet gift she gave us for FHE!!  We will enjoy leftovers from dinner and making use of her gift to us FOR SURE!!  I'm also thankful for a heart-felt apology from the person who hurled the accusation.  What a sweet added balm to the healing I'd been feeling as a result of turning to and relying on Christ Atonement.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011:  I'm thankful for Jessie's determination to pursue the job leads he learns about and how very diligent he has been without any coaxing!  I'm thankful for the visit with friends and our Missionaries.  It was an unexpected visit in which they delivered green beans and a cucumber.  Yum!  We're so grateful to be so loved!  And I continue to feel thankful for the "difficulty" of learning to be flexible! :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011:  I'm thankful for Jessie's hard work in the blistering heat to put up our fence, his efforts to figure something out to contain our roosters so our neighbors don't kill 'em, and then his endurance in heading off to work for a loving Sister who have provided Jess with some work (lifting and moving heavy stuff after his hard work at home, WHAT A MAN!!!)!  I'm also grateful that my girls love their business so much.  They were SO excited to get to do an extra Orange-ade Stand today!  I'm so glad because they made more money today than they've made at any other single orange-ade stand!!!  I'm so thankful to all those individuals who stopped by to purchase orange-ade and other goodies from our girls.  :)  We had a REALLY enjoyable time!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Fire; My Fire

Burning hurts.  I'm not even talking about the burns I've experienced in my tabernacle body.  But I'm grateful!  I'm thankful that the Lord knows my strengths and weaknessses and knows the exact temperature to which He raises my purifying fire so that He may burn out of me the dross that I've only ever thought was part of me.  Part of me, it surely has been, but it should not there remain.  And He knows it.  I'm so thankful for a Loving Father in Heaven who is guiding my life journey and providing all.  God is GREAT!  He is the Master of my Story!  I praise Him for His goodness, His guidance, and His tender care!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I Believe In Christ

Thankful Thursday Week of June 9th

Thursday, June 9, 2011:  I'm thankful for the blessing of being able to do Visiting Teaching without kiddos.  I'm grateful for all the work my Sisters do without any acknowldgement in the world.  I'm grateful for the Restored Gospel of Christ in my life!

Friday, June 10, 2011:  I'm thankful for Jessie's hard work in our home and in efforts to find work to sustain us as we seek to fulfill the Lord's plan for us!  I'm so GLAD that my girls are excited about this week's orange-ade stand after last week's REALLY poor sales!  I'm prayerfully hoping that things will be better this week!

Saturday, June 11, 2011:  I'm thankful for our annual Primary Water Day Ward ACtivity!  What FUN!  I'm grateful for friends and fellowship and the opportunity we had to enjoy it together as a whole family (unlikely if Jessie was working full-time in a restaurant!).  I'm so GLAD I got to meet some really neat ladies who I hope to see in the future at Park Day and maybe even church!

Sunday, June 12, 2011:  I'm thankful for Home Teachers and Missionaries and the opportunity to have them over when we're together as a whole family.

Monday, June 13, 2011:  I'm thankful for Jessie's diligence in trying to find work.  I'm also grateful that I was able to take a nap with Jimmy today.  The last couple weeks have been taking their toll and I'm so glad to feel more rested after my nap AND to have a happier baby after he got the sleep he did!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011:  I'm thankful for the gift and blessing of spending time with my sisters in the Lord at a great park down the road from us.  What a blessing!  And even more, a seemingly unlikely blessing: running into the girl I met the last time we were there.  I think this is not just a coinkydink.  ;)  And I'm thankful!  I'm thankful for the gifts of phone calls and emails Jessie received about possible jobs, which helped him bear up under the burden of being the primary/sole provider (though currently unemployed) for our family.  I'm SO grateful for prayers for him for I feel certain that they have made his way easier than it would've otherwise been!  THANK YOU for praying for him/us!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011:  I'm thankful for the blessing of a friend having extra work in her business and giving Jessie the opportunity to do the work.  Everything helps!!!  I'm thankful for Relief Society Activities.  It was so fun to learn yogurt making from a pro.  I'm so thankful for the Gospel of Christ in my life and the amazing people with whom I get to associate because of it!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Become a Host Family!

If you have a little "extra" space in your home and heart, you might consider hosting a Foriegn Exchange student.  They are flying in during the month of August.  In my area, they stay 10 months.  Elsewhere they may be able to stay one semester.

Are you interested?  Curious?

If you have little ones at home (not quite teenagers), you'll need a room with a bed for your student for the duration of his or her stay.  If you have teenagers of high school age, your student can share a room with your child of near age and same gender.  They simply need their own bed.

Our students represent countries all over the world including: Brazil, Germany, France, Korea, China, The Netherlands, Sweden, and more.  Your student will come with their own insurange and money (you do NOT have to pay for any of their extra-curricular activities).  They are NOT allowed (under any circumstances) to drive their Host Family's car.  If the school will allow it, they may take a driver's ed class, but cannot drive any other vehicle.

You will provide breakfast and an evening meal during the week and all meals on the weekend and holidays.  They either purchase a school lunch or pack a lunch to bring.  They can shop for their own food to pack or you can let them choose from what you have.  Exchange Students are meant to become another member of the family.  So, they should have chores just like your child(ren) and abide all house rules.

If this sounds interesting to you, let me know.  We'll talk more about it and if you decide you'd like to Host a student from somewhere else in the world, we'll get you in the system.  :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thankful Thursday Week of June 2, 2011

Thursday, June 2, 2011:  I'm thankful for Jessie's willingness to continuously support me in temple attendance.  This trip made three weeks in a row to meet our current goal of once monthly temple trips and twice monthly, once each quarter.  What a great guy, right?!  ^_^

Friday, June 3, 2011:  I'm thankful for sweet girls who love their work even when they make very little money.  Their Orange-ade Stand is going up this coming Friday, not because they did well this time, but because they have HOPE for the future!  I'm grateful that my sweet friend came over to spend some time with us.  I love my friends!

Saturday, June 4, 2011:  I'm thankful for the yearly Nathaniel's Hope Buddy Walk.  What a great way to teach my girls that those with special needs are people who are more similar to us than it may appear!  We especially loved that Daddy came with us this year!

Sunday, June 5, 2011:  I'm thankful for the opportunity to help a friend with a project.  The blessing of serving her is a gift in itself!
Monday, June 6, 2011:  I'm thankful for Jessie's hard work to find a job and work to build an alternate stream of income for our family.  I'm grateful our girls and their patience with us as we fumble through parenting them.  I love my family so much!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011:  I'm thankful for quiet days at home during which phone calls can be made.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011:  I'm thankful for the opportunity to work on a writing project with a friend and to give service to another friend and work to fulfill my calling!

Monday, June 6, 2011


So, Jessie found out last night (Sunday), when he called to see when to come in to work today, that he wasn't needed.  The boss knew Jess was looking for employment that would meet our needs better, so he  (the boss) was looking for someone to stick with him and replace Jessie.  Unfortunately for us, the boss won that race.  Not surprising, really, but it's still upsetting and stressful.

I confess that I was feeling SUPER down today as a result of this turn of events.  I was trying to keep my head up while furiously "doggy-paddling" in my mind.  The doggy-paddle amounted to some circular thinking that wasn't helpful to my situation.  I called my Mommy.  I sobbed, cried, verbally vomited, cried, confessed some feelings of resentment, cried some more, confessed my frustration with the situation and the repetition of it, cried, sobbed, and finally got myself together.

Before that 'fessing time, I was really down.  I read two emails that were lovingly sent by sweet sisters, but which I interpreted as negatively as possible in the initial reading of them.  I was feeling dark and projected onto the senders dark intent.  After the confessings to my Mama, I was able to think clearly about those emails and send responses that were loving - or, at least, which I was hoping would be received as loving because I was FEELING loving when I wrote.

My Mom, before our conversation ended, said she wished there was something she could do or some direction she could give to help our situation.  But, really, just listening with no judgement (as my Mom is GOOD for) was exactly what I needed!  I needed to just let go of what I was harboring in my mind and heart and not feel like a horrible person in the letting.  That accomplished, I was free to be me... the better me that I want to be.  What a GIFT and BLESSING to have such a Mama as I have!  What a tremendous example to me!  I sure LOVE my Mom!!!

Later in the day I tried calling one of the three contacts I'd made at the Boy Scout Round Table at which I spoke about the ICES Host Family opportunity.  As a result, I'm hopeful that I may have 1 Host Family lined up.  At the very least, if the family doesn't end up hosting, the Lord is giving me a "bone," as it were; something to extend my hope that I might be able to find a host family or a few before the students need to fly over here.  I yearn to serve my Lord and God and I know that He has directed me to this work.  He desires that I should have contact with whomever ends up in my care, for whatever reasons He has.  I yearn to fulfill His plans for me.  Yet I'm reliant, in this circumstance, upon others' desires.  It seems that those with whom I have contact do NOT have desires which include hosting a foreign exchange student!  ahwell.  God's Got It!!!  :)  I'm working to Let Go, Let God!

Last week we began singing HOW FIRM A FOUNDATION (you can hear and read the hymn at this link!)for our main practice Hymn in devotionals.  It has been SUCH a blessing and a comfort to ME in these past few days!  (I felt REALLY tremulous Spiritually after coming home from the Buddy Walk Saturday and sang Hymn 85 to myself and Jimmy in the van and I felt SO much better afterward!)  I'm so grateful for the truths available to us through the Hymns and in the Scriptures!!  God is our perfect provider, I bless His name!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thankful Thursday Week of May 26, 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011:  I'm thankful for the swimming get-together hosted by a sweet friend.  It was so nice to see my sisters in the middle of the week!

Friday, May 27, 2011:  I'm thankful for a quiet day at home during which I was able to "bake up a storm" as Ria has been heard to describe such days.  I'm ESPECIALLY thankful that Jimmy was so much more willing to allow me to NOT hold the whole time and to allow his big sisters to entertain him.  They love the "job," but he doesn't always welcome it.

Saturday, May 28, 2011:  I'm thankful to Mr. Sam for being such a kind boss to Jess and a super sweet business dealer and ice provider to the girls for their Orange-ade Stand.  I'm thankful for all the strangers that bought Orange-ade from my girls.  I'm thankful Jessie was along to feel out the situation and act as our bodyguard.  I'm thankful to Randy for being our favorite customer of the day (he bought 4 cups!), a kind business owner who sent business our way, and who (with his wife) gave us a bunch of awesome produce for free.  We did give them some Orange-ade, but they gave far more!

Sunday, May 29, 2011:  I'm thankful for really wonderful phone conversation!  What a gift and blessing telephones can be.  :)

Monday, May 30, 2011:  I'm thankful that Jessie is determined and working hard to make our financial situation better.  He is such a great man!  I sure do love him!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011:  I'm thankful, so VERY thankful that Jessie works so close to home currently!  He was able to rush home to help me when I couldn't move.  What an awesome husband!  I'm also thankful for an awesome piano teacher for Ria who is SO flexible!  She is so very good to us.  And such a good friend!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011:  I'm thankful for the opportunity to spend time with some of my wonderful Sisters, to get to know them better, and spend time at a great playground my girls enjoyed thoroughly.  I'm grateful that our missionaries don't mind that we can rarely have them to dinner.  They are always some good guys and I'm so thankful for them and the work they do!

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