Showing posts from February, 2010

Lightening Your Load...

I've been doing a lot of decluttering in my life the last few months: spiritually, mentally, and especially in my physical living space. I'm finding a lot of joy in finding new homes for my stuff at The Salvation Army, Freecycle , other people's houses. I am finding some mental peace in reorganizing things so that it has a better place (you know, "a place for everything and everything in it's place?") and is not so prone to being strewn across the floor. And what precipitated all this, you ask?  Well, I hold the A&E show, Hoarders , directly responsible.  If you've seen the show, you probably are nodding along with me right now. If you haven't, you definitely need to watch an episode. One is all you need to scare you straight.  Why?  Because we all deal with stuff -- excessive amounts of it.  In America, we are pretty much bred to buy it, trade it, and hold on to it. We hoard it. Just the sound of that word makes me shiver. It's an unattract

Joy Comes In the Morning

This post has been brewing inside of my soul for a few months. Even now, I'm not sure I'm "ready" to write about it, but I figure that it will probably continue to trickle out as the year continues on. Without being trite, I have to say that I really feel that God is making this my theme for 2010. It all started Christmas Eve of last year. Adhering to our Christmas tradition, we were finishing the last-minute packing of our gifts and overnight items so that we could spend the night at my parent's house, along with my sister and her family. And, j ust as I was grabbing my purse to head out to the van, I heard the tell-tale whoosh and felt my right ear close up and pop. And, just like that, I turned right around and went and to the medicine cabinet to get my ear numbing drops. In that one minute, I saw what that Christmas Eve would hold for me -- pain, and lots of it.  For some reason, I started having problems with ear infections after the birth of my first ch

The Meanest (Cheapest?) Mom Ever

Yep...that's me. The Meanest (Cheapest?) Mom Ever. Why, do you ask? Because not only will I not pay extra money for friendship grams, grade-school (or preschool) yearbooks , but I also won't pay for school photos. I know...oh the horror! I'm not against the concept of school photos. It's nice to see those subtle (and sometimes not so) changes a year will bring. It's more that I object to the bland background, uninspired poses, and assembly line approach to them. And, then, just let me be honest here -- the expense. (Retouching $7! Name on wallets $7!) Believe me, I tried once. I laid out my daughter's clothes the night before, woke up early so I could get her hair perfect, and sent her off with strict instructions not to muss it during recess. I grudgingly wrote out a $22 check for the most basic photo package - a 5x7, 4 wallets. And then we waited with anticipation for a several weeks. Finally, I saw the telltale white plastic-windowed envelope in her hands

Too Much is...well, Too Much!

Alas, I have entered the world of one of those older curmudgeon types who sit around and say, "back in MY day, we didn't...".(fill in appropriate wording). Is it just me, or is there a lot more superfluous fundraisers and opportunities to waste money at your child's school? ***Disclaimer before I begin ranting. I'm all for public school. I am a succesful product of the institution, and I see a lot of value in it. Disclaimer over.*** However, I am not a fan of the continuous fundraisers that seem to perpetually occur at my daughters' school. I get that we are in troubled financial times and that schools seem to be on the short end of state funding (especially in my state!). However, in the six or so months that school has been in session (minus vacations), we have had as many (and probably more) fundraisers. Let's see, we've had two (maybe even three) McDonald's fundraisers. There was that candy bar fundraiser they handed out the FIRST week

Enjoy the Ride (or Stop Gritting Your Teeth Until It's Over)

Several years ago a car company (Nissan?) started using the phrase, "Enjoy the Ride," with their marketing campaign. You know...don't just get in your car and speed off to your destination with your foot on the pedal and hand on the horn.  Sit back and enjoy the journey there.  Great sentiment. One I totally disregard as I'm pinning kids down in their carseats in the morning and racing (in a totally non-illegal manner) to school at 7:42 a.m. However, still nice. Anyway, this slogan came to me last year as I had one of those God-revelations through a Bible study we were doing in our ladies group (that Beth Moore gets me every time). And this time, I attached that thought on my role as mother. Okay, confession time. I have always liked kids. After all, they are cute, little version of people. They say funny things. I was an established babysitter at age 13.  However, I did enjoy collecting my money at the end of the night and leaving those "angels" at ho

Living the Enough Life

Maybe it's the failing economy, maybe I'm reading my Bible a little closer, or maybe God is just reminding me of something that He showed me years ago when I read an amazing book and then later even as a newlywed. Maybe it's all three. I'm pretty sure that it also has something to do with my 7-year-old daughter asking me one day recently, "Mommy, are we poor?" I want to live the "Enough" life. The "Enough" life is one where I am grateful for the things (many, many things) that we have aquired, and the one where I don't need to constantly yearn for the next thing -- the next, bigger house, the next newer and nicer vehicle and yes, even the next (and better?) phase of my life. This is where I am. Yes, it feels like we are jammed into every available inch of this 1340 square foot house, but it's our house. We've sweated and worked to make it truly a haven for the six of us. Families in Africa live in a 1-room hut with more f