Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Desire of my Heart

One of my favorite verses in the Bible, selfish as it sounds, is the one about God "giving us the desires of our heart". Not because I think He has a magic wand, waving my whims and desires into reality, but because I believe He "gives me" the desires of my heart, as in, plants them in my heart so I will know which dreams to follow to be on His perfect path for my life. I think it also means that when my desires line up with what He desires for me, they come to fruition, and my life is blessed. So I love this verse, this proof that God has my heart on His mind.

I struggle with it though, because my greatest desire, my only real dream, is to be a stay at home mom. Oh, sure, I would also love to home school, flip houses and travel with my family, but the only burning desire I have had for the last 12 years is to be home with my daughters. Admittedly, as a working Mom I am exceedingly blessed, since I work from a home office and have a flexible schedule. When the girls were little I had a sitter who came to my house 3 days a week so they were still in their own home with their own things, and she was with us for 7 years. There is no doubt that God provided and blessed our situation, and I give Him so much praise!

Yet, as good as it is, it still is not the desire of my heart. I have struggled over the years, first faulting my husband for not wanting it as much as I do, then faulting us both for wanting more than his income provided for, then faulting myself for being ungrateful when I was so, so, very blessed already. But the reality is that noone is at fault, the facts are the facts. Rusty was a teacher, and no amount of sacrifice would have provided us with life in our area on his salary. Moving wasn't an option, we felt called to be here, and so I have learned to accept that God is using our situation, and blessing us despite the less than my-ideal circumstances.

I still pray, asking God to allow this change in our life, but truthfully, now that my girls are in school, it doesn't make much difference in their lives. I am home when they are, albeit exhausted from spending 5 hours in a car per day, shuttling to clients over 2 states, skidding back home in time to meet the bus. On the days I'm not back in time Papa greets them, and the time together is a special treat. Everyone is fine, except for me with the hurt in my heart from not being in my favorite place on earth- my home. But I have accepted that this is the life we have lived, and it is such a full and wonderful one that it must have still fallen into the plan God had for us.

My working has allowed Rusty to stay in the field we feel he is called to, and minister to kids as he was by coaches and teachers. He has been able to give back some of what saved him, and make a difference. I am so proud of him, and honored to have been a part of his journey. But sometimes I will read something on a blog, or have a conversation with someone who stays home, and a sharp pain will pierce my heart. The pain of truly not having the desire of my heart, and trying to reconcile that with the heart so full of love for the life I have led instead.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Good Reading

I grew up with my parents reading "Organic Gardening", which, trust me, in the 70's was unique. Most of my friends parents read "Southern Living" and "Redbook", so I found my parents unbelievably weird. However, what they say, is, in fact, true, and I have become my mother and love all things organic and healthful. I also adore beauty and cooking and decorating, so I was thrilled to stumble onto this magazine last summer. I love everything about it, and keep a copy in the car at all times, to have handy for reading at the bus stop / practice / rehearsal/ orthodontist appointments. It is one of those magazines that makes me feel more virtuous for reading, even if I haven't implemented a single thing, I feel better for just knowing:-)

The only good thing about being sick, in my book ,(no pun intended) is the opportunity to relax, guilt free, and read a fictional book from beginning to end with no interruptions. So while the girls and I recovered from strep this weekend, I took full advantage and picked up "The Help", which I had been hearing so much about.

Several friends had recommended it, praising it as a late night page turner, and it didn't disappoint! I loved the story, first of all, because I enjoy any fiction set in the south. This South, however, was far different from any I have ever known, and it was very hard for me to reconcile the aspects which I know are true (racism, maids in every white house, segregation) with life as I have known it. It's hard to believe how different our world is now from the early 60's, and I am so grateful that I didn't live in that time and have to see the blatant unfairness of life for people solely because of the color of their skin. I think this is a book everyone would enjoy, and I am eager for this author's next book (this was her first).

On a completely different note, I am loving this book in my daily quiet time. Oh my goodness, it is chock full of fabulously helpful nuggets on creating a Christian home. There is truly nothing on earth that matters to me more than the little people we are raising in this household, and I seem to have a never ending stack of parenting and marriage books by my bed at all times. This one, however, is at the top of the stack! It is so good, in fact, that I am having it spiral bound (Kinko's $4.50 by the way, and my first stop with every Beth Moore study book) so I can mark it up and refer back to it more easily. Love, love, love it, and think every family should have it to offer encouraging and godly counsel on the foundation of a Christian home.

I love it because it is anecdotal, biblically based, and NOT dry. I'm not a fan of the deep, dry stuff, but adore real life God loving advice, and this is full of it. Another benefit I have found in it, is that I find myself pausing to actually pray specific things for our family as I read it, triggered by the scriptures used throughout. Really good stuff.

So there you have it. A few of the things shaping my world these days. There is a steady hum of rain on the skylight above my head, the perfect day to curl up with another book, if I only didn't have to work today!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

I'm Dreaming...

I don't really write resolutions, but I do journal my hopes and goals for the new year (I know- that's what resolutions are, but if I don't call them that then I don't feel so bad if I don't follow through!).

As this years list was getting longer and longer, I realized I may not be "hoping" for success as much as "dreaming". If I (by some 21st century miracle) meet my self imposed challenges by the end of 2010, I will be an absolutely amazing person, albeit probably ostracized by my friends.

Not only will I be thinner, but I also will be a better and more consistent cook, preparing all meals with organic and locally grown whole foods that have never touched plastic, shop only with a list for items that fit our new and religiously adhered to budget, be patient with my children, whom I will be playing more board games and reading aloud to on a regular basis, while we all serve the community on a consistent basis, in the spare time we have left over from our newly recommitted family devotional time.

Since I will also be finishing everything I start, my house will be painted, toys and clothes purged and taken to goodwill, thank you notes current, bathroom and kitchen renovated, scarf completed, and next years Christmas cards actually mailed instead of dreamed of . My pictures will be printed out and scrap booked instead of languishing online year after year, and I will also finally frame current pictures of the girls to replace the toddler ones, no longer appreciated by my pre-teens.

Whew! Just writing this out has made me tired. I think I need a nap. Which is good, since when I am sleeping is clearly the only time these dreams will come true. Oh well, Happy New Year anyway!

Friday, January 01, 2010

We Made It To mIdnight

We have some friends who are so dear to us that "friends" doesn't do justice to our relationship, so instead we refer to one another as our chosen family. Although we aren't related by birth, we certainly are related by our shared faith and love for one another!

We have so many fun memories with the Brammer's, and New Year's Eve is one of our annual traditions, that we look forward to throughout the year. 2009 didn't disappoint, as we laughed our way into the new year amidst noisy, sugared-up children and their equally hyped parents thanks to some red bull energy drinks!).

The Boys

The Kids ages 9, 12, 11, and 6
The Girls, blogging and facebooking each other, side by side.

My Favorite People on Earth

I am so blessed. I can't wait to see what 2010 holds.