The Story of Harmony's First Year.

11:43 AM Posted In Edit This 0 Comments »

It's hard to believe (and yes, I always say that!) that my oldest child, my sweet Harmony will be 6 years old next week!

If only I had known when I was pregnant with her what I know now!

Harmony Michelle was born at 8:14am on February 4th, 2004-- her Uncle Bubba's (her great-uncle Tommy) birthday! I spent more than half of my pregnancy alone: Josh was at basic training and got the news that he was going to be a daddy during a weekly phone call! He claimed he already knew.. but I still claim that's hogwash- lol!

It was really rough on me, then. My momma lived 450 miles away and Josh's family thought we were making a big mistake getting pregnant so soon after getting married. It didn't really matter to us though. We'd lost a baby a mere six months beforehand and desperately wanted to be parents. I quit my job as a NA at a local nursing home almost as soon as I found out I was pregnant, I couldn't handle the smell of butter, much less the myriad of smells that come from a medical facility and I was terrified that lifting as much weight as I did each day would somehow hurt the baby. (I wish I still had
that particular luxury! During my last pregnancy, I was moving homes and hauling toddlers around!)

We moved to a bigger rental house, and I endlessly re-arranged the nursery, and re-folded clothes, and re-made the bed.
There wasn't much more I could find to do! Going from a 40-70 hour workweek to a stay at home prego is a HUGE change! I had horrible morning sickness well into my seventh month, and horrible heartburn and back pain afterward. It wasn't a pleasant pregnancy, physically, but I still loved every minute of it.

We were planning to wait until she was born to find out her gender, but at the last minute, we realized we couldn't wait a minute longer! We started throwing out names immediately and couldn't decide on a single one. My favorites were Olivia and Charlotte, and Josh loved... well he couldn't make up his mind, but he didn't like mine!! One day, in my eighth month, we drove a friend of ours to the hospital for a doctor's visit. Josh and I decided to peruse the gift shop while we waited. We were still at a loss for a name and had come down to tossing out crazy ones: "How about Book? How about Sunshine? How about Bear? We'll just call her Mountain!" I shuffled through gift store merchandise and suggested the name of each as I found it. "What about diamond? How about Cubic Zirconia? I know! We'll name her Turtle! No, no, no! We'll name her Peace! Love! Harmony!"

I remember like it was yesterday! Josh stopped in his tracks. "What did you say?" I looked at him. "Harmony?" He smiled and asked "Where'd you see that?"

I called him over and showed him the virtue stones I'd been picking through. "Right here. Harmony. I was kidding but I actually like that!"

He laughed and said, "We've found a name! Hi, little Harmony!"

I went into labor at 1:30 on February 1st. We were visiting with Josh's grandparents for the week, and staying out in their camper. I was so excited! I just knew before the next night I would be holding my baby!

Of course, it didn't work out like that. 31 hours, and 3 trips to the hospital (because of a terrified husband and great-grandparents) later, Harmony finally joined us!

Less than a week after she was born, we got the news that Josh had been transferred to Mississippi. We packed up all our baby stuff and whatever else we could fit into the u-haul and headed out when Harmony was only a month old. We moved in with Josh's father (who luckily lived less than 60 miles from base!) until we could find our own place. When we moved, Josh lost his second job and I went back to work to try and make up the difference in living costs. We never were able to rent our own place there before he was transferred to Fort Benning, GA six months later.

Shortly after we moved to Georgia, we bought a piece of property from my dad, and I found a good job. My mom, who lived next door, took care of Harmony while Josh and I worked 10-14 hours a day and made our hour long commute to and from work. There were days that I didn't even see my baby. We would get home so late that Harmony would already be asleep and we would crash on Mom's couch until we got up the next day to do it all over again.

It wasn't a way to live, and I am so glad it's over!

Josh was discharged from the army because of a serious back injury, and we could finally come home to Tennessee! We announced to the world on Harmony's first birthday that we were expecting our next baby (and of course, we all know now what happened there! We got two instead of one; but that's a whole other post or two all by itself!!)


I think I will close there for now! That's the story of how Harmony came into the world and the sad craziness surrounding her first year: a mom and dad who worked long hours and left her with her grandmother, four moves into different states and different homes, and the journey from only child to oldest child.

I will continue this later, on who this wonderful girl has turned into and how incredibly blessed I am that I have her in my life!

Yucky Winter Weather

11:32 AM Edit This 0 Comments »

We are finally out of the 'winter weather warning' but I am afraid we are going to have several more days of this yucky winter weather after the storm! Josh came home yesterday after squeezing a couple of hours worth of work in before it started snowing with a story of a 16 car pile up on Interstate 40. Yuck Yuck Yuck! The wind is still howling like a banshee through the trees outside my window.. but i did take some cute pictures of the kids!



I was planning on going dress shopping with BJ again today. Only this time, for the dress- her wedding dress. She's like me and lives at the end of a dead-end road which is covered in between 5 and 8 inches of snow. But she sent her man out to check the main roads, because we would brave these back ones, and they were still nasty... the snow plows hadn't had their rounds yet, and the salt was basically useless
.

I salted our front porch, steps, and sidewalk twice yesterday to try and keep the snow and ice off of them, but it didn't work. I looked out the window this morning and there is almost 5 inches of snow piled up on the steps. Although it seems like the rest of the world is out playing; we aren't going out to play in the snow! (I personally really dislike snow and according to the weather, it feels like it's 17 degrees outside!!!) We will wait until it at least feels a bit warmer to go out and freeze our tootsies off!
In our house, we all spent the night watching the snow blow down through the picture windows, while it swirled fiercely around the trees and house. Some spots in our yard are almost bare, and other have snow piled up almost to my knees! Round about 10:00 last night, we built a huge tent in our living room out of extra sheets and a generous contribution from the crocheter in the family (ME!!lol) and we all went camping over night- snacking on pickles and ramen noodles and drinking way-too-sugary drinks while watching late night cartoons. I'm thankful in one way for the snow- at least we didn't get ice that would shut off the power! We heat our house with electricity... that would have been really bad trying to load up enough stuff in this mess to go and stay with family until the electricity was restored

And thanks to the snow, and yucky wind, my normally very active family is stuck inside on Saturday. We have no where to go and probably couldn't get there if we were to try and find somewhere to be. We've spent the day curled up on the couch or in the tent under blankets. The kids watching tv and drawing while I read 'People of the Mist' for the hundredth time, and put off washing dishes. I don't know what it is, probably some kind of biologically induced modified hibernation instinct, but none of us have very much energy today.



So, in lue of actual family activity (since I've sat down to blog all seven other members of my family have gone to sleep!!) I figure I will spend my afternoon working on Facebook and trying to figure out the Php for this website I'm working on without my hunny to help me...

*sigh* Spring just can't get here fast enough!

An Extra Post Today: My New Cabinets!!

8:12 AM Posted In Edit This 1 Comment »
I realized that I had made this big to-do about getting new cabinets and then never shared the final result! This will be a blog in pictures, since I am stealing time while the older children are in the bath and the younger ones still in their beds!!


Well... Here they are!! LOL


Step#1- Empty the kitchen!
(See I told you my kitchen was TINY!! It's 12 x 12!!)



My Dad and me (just because I love him!)



My husband, Josh, measuring to *gasp* cut my nice new linoleum!
But they had to replace the floor under it, so I wont be too mad!



The yuckiness hiding below several layers of flooring
(that got tossed out the kitchen window!)



Out with the final layer!




And in with the new!



Grandpa (my step-dad) took over the hard part:
Watching the kids!!



Nana (my Mom) riding a stick 'horse' with the kids- LOL


Nanny (my step-mom, Kathy) watching the boys!


The backsplash and counter top!



It's starting to look like a kitchen again!



Putting the finishing touches on the sink!



Harmony getting to use my cabinets before I do!



Installing the child safety latches!



All finished!



If you want to see a better picture you will just have to 'stay tuned!' I plan on going in depth when I finally get around to my blog series!! LOL

My Thorn

6:30 AM Posted In Edit This 1 Comment »
And lest I should be exalted above measure
through the abundance of the revelations,
there was given to me a thorn in the flesh,
the messenger of Satan to buffet me,
lest I should be exalted about measure.


For this thing I besought the Lord thrice,
that it might be removed from me.

I've been thinking a lot about Paul's thorn in his flesh here recently.

When I was 13 years old, I was practicing for a dressage competition on a horse named Charmin, like the toilet paper. :) She was an albino Paint, solid white with only off white discolorations where her spots should have been, and ice blue eyes that always watched every move I made as if seeing where she could thwart my intentions.

She stood just over 16 hands tall, but was so huge and round that if you weren't limber, you couldn't hold your seat on her, even with the saddle. She was an absolutely beautiful jumper, and smooth and skilled in the dressage but she had a mean spirit, and needed a gentle but firm hand and an empathic rider. She wouldn't tolerate a hard hand or a stiff leg at all. We had our ups and downs getting to know each other, but after almost a year of riding her, she and I were poetry in motion- we were the favorites for the regional title.

I was supposed to be the only one exercising her. I worked for a boarding farm and earned my horse back time in hard labor scrubbing and feeding for the 50+ horses that lived there every day after school and all day Saturdays. She wasn't mine, but she'd been promised to me for a big regional competition that I had coming up.

One Saturday, I took her out on the trail to lead a ride with a couple of teenagers who boarded their horses at the farm. We were just playing around, but Charmin loved showing off. We jumped everything in sight, out ran the other horses every time I gave her head back to her. She was fearless. The other horses would spook at water, or bright colors, or the wind, but Charmin knew I would take care of her, and she didn't shy from anything.

We should have never shown off like that.
We made the other riders jealous, and she didn't even belong to me.

The next Monday, I came and did my chores, as usual. I called Charmin up for a ride and she wouldn't come. I went and got her, just wanting to run a few drills that I wasn't confident on, saddled her up, and headed for the ring.

I knew immediately that something was wrong with her, she wouldn't respond to any of my directions and snorted, tossing her head at the slightest touch of the reins. I was about to give up for the day and take her for a rub down, when one of the girls I had been riding with that weekend came and stood at the rails.

Charmin panicked. She took off at a full gallop and while I tried to get control back of her, she head straight towards a jump standard that had been left in the center of the ring. She side-stepped just as we should have made the jump, and she threw me (for the first time for her, and the first time in three years for any horse!). I landed full force with my shoulder into the wooden jump standard.

You always tend to your horse first, so I caught her and rode her back to the barn. As I was untacking her, I noticed she was shaking- like from a spook... although she NEVER spooked. When I took the bit from her mouth, I opened it and for the first time noticed scabs on the inside roof of her mouth that were just beginning to close.

I calmed her down and let her out to pasture and went to report that I'd hurt myself and call my mom. I found out that the girl who was watching us, who we had shown off for that weekend, had taken my gentle, but obstinate Charmin out for a grueling 5 hour cross country practice that morning, and had beat her, and torn her mouth open and bruised her sides with her spurs. Charmin would never be the same, and neither would I.

I had fractured my left collar bone. Luckily the fracture was a 'hair line' that wouldn't require a huge brace for six months, just wrapping and a sling, but the doctor told me when the x-rays came back that it would never fully heal... it was too crooked, too out of alignment to ever make a full recovery.

That didn't mean anything to a 13 year old girl who only heard "You can ride again in 3 months".

I am discovering how much it means to a grown woman though. It means that lifting my children will cause a shot of fire through my shoulder, folding clothes will be akin to torture, and it means that sitting at the computer desk typing will set my shoulder aching and throbbing.

It means the sustained activity of riding a horse will be almost impossible from the back-wrenching pain emanating from my shoulder.

It means I can never lift as much, carry as much, swim as long, or garden for as long.

I wonder what Paul's thorn was. Was it an old injury that he brushed off when he received it, only to have it follow him the rest of his life? Some people say that the thorn was in his side, others just his flesh. Mine isn't in my side or my flesh, but it is way down deep where no one can see it- I have no scars or bulges in my skin, I look healthy- but I'm not.

I spend the day cradling my left arm to my side, using it only when necessary, or when I work out so that the muscle stays strong. If I work with it too much, it aches for days and nights on end, sometimes to the point of stiffening my arm into uselessness.

I hate not being physically sound- my life requires so much of my body and strength that I feel incapable of giving. There are times that I get so depressed after folding a couple shirts that I fall into a 'pity party' and refuse to do anything.

But Paul didn't let his thorn hinder him. He worked through the pain and reached so many people with his testimony that he's revered as the great apostle. He prayed to be healed and God told him flat out, "No. You need the pain."

In this feel-good world we are told to avoid pain. Take drugs for it. Ignore the activities that cause pain. Ignore thoughts and emotions that trigger pain for
our minds. I don't think that's the right thinking. I think maybe we should embrace our thorns... face them head on and scream, "YOU WILL NOT DEFEAT ME!"

After all, our strength comes, not from our body, not from our mind, but from the Holy Spirit, who is perfect and infinite and strong enough to get us through anything... even a throbbing shoulder. He gave Paul the strength to change the world, and He can give me strength to get through the day. And when I open a drawer and see piles of neatly folded clothes and swing my children high in the air just to hear their ringing laughter, then I am pleased and I will praise God.



And He said unto me,
"My grace is sufficient for thee:
for my strength is made perfect in weakness."
Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities,
that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities,
in reproaches, in necessities,
in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake:
For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Just A Cup of Hot Coffee!!

5:55 AM Posted In , Edit This 1 Comment »
And he arose, and rebuked the wind,
and said unto the sea,
"Peace, Be still."
And the wind ceased,
and there was a great calm.


I've always envied my dad and brother... they are up every morning by 4:30, dressed, showered, and wide awake- ready for the day.


Let me clarify that-

They. Are. Up -Showered-Dressed-Wide-Awake- Bright-Eyed-and- Bushy-Tailed BY 4:30 in the morning! The alarm doesn't go off AT 4:30, they LEAVE the house BY 4:30. Every day. Rain or shine.

*sigh*

I
never inherited that particular trait, but it's one that I dearly wish to cultivate.

T
hink of the benefits! You do your most private chores in the morning, before anyone else is awake to walk in the bathroom. You can watch whatever you want on tv or spend an hour catching up on emails (which are NEVER behind because you always have time to send them!) You sit and drink your coffee while it's still hot (oh luxury of luxuries!). You could spend hours communing with God without being interrupted by earthly pursuits. You could sit on the front porch and watch the sun come up and the listen to the bird's salute to the day. (Did I mention HOT coffee?!?)

I
am, unfortunately, NOT a morning person by nature. The lure of soft sheets, fluffy pillows, and toasty blankets is one I battle daily, regardless of the hour. They're just so inviting and cozy I just want to cuddle up under them! Except for 15 minutes here and there to guide Harmony through her school-work, I don't sit down during the day, I am rarely in one room more than 20 minutes at a time! Then it's rushrushrush off to the next chore, chasing the next child, cleaning the next spill, or working on the next project. My life is rushing by so fast, and I don't claim any quiet time for me to slow it down some.

Another thing I've always envied is the amount of stuff my dad can get accomplished everyday. You would NOT believe his to-do list! I write phenomenal to-do lists, and his still leave me staggered under the amount of work he expects himself to accomplish each day.

But
, at any time, day or night, he can and will stop what he's doing for a phone call with a friend, or to teach a grandchild, or to sneak in some kind of loving act whenever he sees the opportunity. He always welcomes unexpected guests, happily, and entertains them as long as they have the need for entertainment, then sends them off and gets right back to work. He's very rarely overwhelmed by his heavy workload (he builds custom cabinets all around the South) although he sometimes has to work late into the night to complete all his other chores.

I don't know how he does it!


I never seem to get ALL my to-do list completed. I have an afghan 1/3 of the way finished that I haven't worked on in over a month! I have a partial lesson plan worked up for the next month, but it doesn't include anything besides the Three R's! My sister called me yesterday to fuss at me because I promised her 6 months ago I would finish clearing out the storage room to make it into a playroom for the kids so I wouldn't call her complaining about spraining my toes or ankles tripping over toys scattered all over the house. (Sad to admit, this, but) I have had our old living room suit sitting beside my house for two months because I haven't loaded it up and carried it to Goodwill yet! I've been to Goodwill several times, but I never seem to have the time to carry itI've got an outline for a 14 blog-post series on organizing a small house to fit a large family, and it's been sitting in my house journal for three months! I mean, come on! I can't even drink a cup of coffee while it's hot- how do I expect to accomplish anything else?!?

AND
if I am being truly honest with myself and you, there are many times during the day that I dread hearing the knock on the door because I was raised to put your guests above your chore list, or can't contain a sigh when a friend calls me just to chat, or give them some encouragement or advice.

I feel so rushed, I get frustrated. I make my children and husband frustrated, then I get angry. Then I make my children sad and my husband angry, and then I get sad. Then I make my children feel guilty and my husband frustrated. Then I get contrite. Then I coddle my children, and am afraid to face my husband because of the stress I've caused him. Then I face him, and I promise to try and slow down. Then I slow down and I don't get anything accomplished! Then I rush around, trying to catch up and the entire cycle starts all over again and leaves us all miserable and caught in a cycle that revolves around ME... my ability to control myself... and I am ashamed.

A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh him ashamed is as rottenness in his bones. (Prov 12:4)

ouch. double ouch.

I
don't want to be a rot in my husband's bones! I LOVE him. I want to be a crown, a jewel for him. I don't want to hurt him. But he that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls... vulnerable, a prime target for attack from enemies, anyone could sneak right in and chop off the king (or queen's) head and no one would be any wiser. That's not the way to live. I wonder whether something so simple as controlling my body, bringing it under submission, to such a simple act as getting out of bed could really help me.

Every where I turn in my bible, I find that the simplest answer is always the one given. Your hand sins, cut it off. You have a sharp tongue, control it. You have a lazy body, bring it under submission.

Is it ever really that simple?!?


I do good by getting up by 6:30 when my husband drags me, sometimes literally!, out of bed before he leaves for work. I start my day (usually) cranky, tired, nursing the beginnings of a migraine, and almost 'looking for a fight'. I spend the next several hours 'hoping' to get into a better mood, and sometimes I even succeed! Most days, though, I find myself faking it until about 30 minutes before my husband gets home, when the kids are in bed for their afternoon naps, and the house is finally looking like a grown-up lives here and I can drink my cold coffee in peace, until the cat knocks over the trash can or Gabe kicks Forrest out of bed, anyway.

I don't want to be one of those people who wake up one day, old and decrepit, their children grown and gone, and nothing but a clean house to show for years and years of life that should have been spent in the service of love and devotion, full of happy memories and loving relationships.

Maybe
today will be the day that I start to slow down. That I leave the to-do lists on the counter and play instead of worrying. Maybe tomorrow will be the day that I wake up early enough to spend some quiet time with my husband in the morning, to get all my on-line work, and daily housecleaning chores finished before my children get up so I can really mother them, so I can really be present.

Maybe I will go make a fresh, hot pot of coffee and sit on the front porch with the kids and watch my cardinals begin their day for once, and not worry about what I think I have to do and get on with the business of doing what I need to!


Blessed is the man whom thou choosest,
and causest to approach until thee,
That he may dwell in thy courts;
we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house,
even of thy Holy temple.

By terrible things in righteousness wilt thou answer us,
O God of our salvation;
who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth,
and of them that are afar on the seas.

Which by His strength setteth fast the mountains,
being girded by power:

Which stilleth the noise of the seas,
the noise of the waves,
and the tumult of the people.


(Psalms 65 4-7)



My New Year's Resolution for 2010

6:21 AM Posted In Edit This 0 Comments »
I suppose it's finally time to think about the infamous New Year's Resolutions!

I am not a fan of common resolutions: I don't want to point my focus on losing 15 pounds, finishing the remodeling, or buying a new car. That just seems so superficial! What good is it going to do for me to lose 15 pounds if I am miserable while I do it?

I also can't really set my resolutions to what I would like for them to be... I can't guarantee that my four-year-olds will learn to read this year (although I intend to do my part in that as much as I can), I can't resolve that my husband will attend all the services at church (although I would be thrilled and continue to pray). I can't resolve that my kids will keep their rooms clean (although I will certainly keep on top of them), my brother will come out of his depression (although I pray for him constantly), or my daughter will make the competition team in cheerleading (although I will do my best to make sure she practices).

Then I think about things I can control. I won't resolve that my house will stay clean (because it won't!), I won't resolve that our laundry will always be done (because it won't), and I can't resolve that I will have the most impressive garden (because I might not!). I won't resolve I will always look picture perfect (because we
know that won't happen!) or 100% of our meals will be completely healthy and organic (because my husband is a junk food junkie!).

Where does that leave me?

I don't know what the year will bring: physically, emotionally, spiritually, or financially. It's pointless to waste time I don't have to spare to worry about resolving to fix those things.

Well, let me amend that: I do have goals for this year (I am a checklist, daily, weekly, monthly, semester-ly goal writing fiend!!), and will have more, but they are always changing day to day or week to week. I can't put a specific goal that I KNOW I will want to have accomplished by the end of this year... I want something that will have more lasting impressions for a resolution.

So, as I listen to my favorite song by Caedmon's Call (God of Wonders), I am forced to think about what really matters; what I can dedicate my 2010 to achieving, and my resolution becomes clear:

Early in the morning,
I will celebrate the light.
When i stumble in the darkness,
I will call your name by night

God of wonders beyond our galaxy,
you are holy, holy.
The universe declares your majesty,
you are holy, holy.

I resolve to live each day, in whatever specific role I am required to live it as (be it wife, mother, housekeeper, daughter, sister, friend, grand-daughter, or stranger) to the glory of God; to deepen my relationship with the Lord of Heaven and Earth; and to study His Word more fully and deeply than ever before.

I think that's a resolution I can commit to!





Although I am a little late; Have a blessed New Year to everyone out there in Blogland!

The Search for Contentment

8:15 PM Posted In Edit This 0 Comments »
Every time I have to make a trip into Nashville, I thank God more and more for my little slice of heaven out in the 'boonies'. Cities are just not my cup of tea! The crush of cars, of people, of noises and noxious smells is just overwhelmingly depressing for someone so used to open fields, empty roads, and the smell of trees and grass. I much prefer to see people I've known for years at every turn then be crushed into a couple dozen strangers with every step! I don't think I could be happy in a big city, or even a small city for that matter.

My house isn't the newest, biggest, most fashionable, or even cleanest you would ever encounter. It's small and cluttered (despite an entire year of decluttering- FLYlady style). It needs a new roof, the yard needs all manner of construction debris removed... half of the yard and property still need to be cleared of underbrush! Our swing-set is nestled beside our roofing supplies and the trampoline is sitting beside the front porch waiting to be assembled. The majority of the rooms in my house need to be re-painted, or the floor replaced, or the windows trimmed.

My neighbors (and there is a grand total of six households within a mile of ours) are a bunch of back woods loners: the type of people who live their lives and want to be left alone with their chickens and dogs and are perfectly happy to let you live yours as well. There's no neighborhood watch, and no block parties but there is also no one snooping out their screen doors, complaining because we have company that's blocking their driveway, calling us first thing in the morning to tell us our children are being too loud and they can't sleep.

Sometimes I despair because I don't live in a model home. I am beyond frustrated because I pick up the same set of trucks and blocks a good five or six times a day. I never have a break, and I have to work in stuff like brushing my hair, putting on jewelry, and reading in amongst a million questions about everything under the sun, cooking, unending dishes and laundry, changing diapers and wiping noses. I forget...


"Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through HIm who strengthens me."

So, when my spirit gets down, I can always breathe, and think of the good things. My peace in God, my children are around me, happy, healthy (for the most part!), curious, loving, and oh-so-adorable. My husband loves me and goes out of his way to show it. I have friends and family who care about me and call me just to make sure my sanity is in tact. :) I go to the store and run into a friend or acquaintance on every aisle. We often gather at the check-out, chatting and holding up the line, and making new connections.

My house is warm and cozy, inviting to those who need a dose of family love. The repairs give my husband, children, and me a chance to bond together and make the absolute best memories. The sense of pride and accomplishment that comes in the spring of seeing flower beds bloom and sweeten the air, and going grocery shopping in my own back yard is beyond words.

I can sit in any room in my house and watch the sunrise or sunset. As I sit here and type, there are at least six different birds' nests outside the two windows my desk is nestled between, and the birds' song and shows are spectacular at every time of the year! The sound of the rain dripping from trees is loud and musical through unfinished windows in the hollow with almost no other sounds.

I don't worry about my children wandering into the street- we know everyone and every vehicle that drives past our home! The deer scamper past our picture window and sneak tastes of leftover veggies in the garden. We have more to fear from the bobcat that lives up the hollow than from a deranged stranger... there are no strangers here.

I begin to understand that although I don't have that pride in my house that comes from it being better or nicer than the next persons. I don't have pride that my kids are perfect, my husband is richer or more powerful than the next, or I will always be immaculately dressed and manicured, I have more than pride. I am happy. What a shock to be able to write that sentence.

I don't think that I've arrived at CONTENTMENT. I still want new things, I still worry about how my house looks, and how cute the kids look, how messy the yard is, the baby weight on my hips and the stretched out skin hanging from my middle (the oh-so-NOT-fantastic side effects of having six children in under five years!), how my nails always seem to be dirty when I have to go out.

I always prayed fervently for contentment. Ever since I heard my pastor speak on it when I was 15 years old. "God," I prayed, " Make me content! Give me this or that and I promise I will be content because you are powerful enough to make me so!
"

I didn't understand. We must "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."


Contentment is much more than mere happiness, much much more than pride.

I love this definition I found of contentment: a state of mind in which one's desires are confined to his lot whatever it may be (1 Tim. 6:6; 2 Cor. 9:8). It is opposed to envy (James 3:16), avarice (Heb. 13:5), ambition (Prov. 13:10), anxiety (Matt. 6:25, 34), and repining (1 Cor. 10:10). It arises from the inward disposition, and is the offspring of humility, and of an intelligent consideration of the rectitude and benignity of divine providence (Ps. 96:1, 2; 145), the greatness of the divine promises (2 Pet. 1:4), and our own unworthiness (Gen. 32:10); as well as from the view the gospel opens up to us of rest and peace hereafter (Rom. 5:2).

What a great quest for us to embark upon!

Even Lao Tzu (the same man who said "Give a man a fish...") says "
Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. "



And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. (1Ti 6:8)

Amen

Oh, it's so cute...

9:31 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
And I want to win it so bad! See for yourself!
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