Thursday, July 31, 2008

Pulling Weeds

My husband and I have a fairly traditional (some would say old-fashioned) system when it comes to ‘duties’ around the house. Generally (since I quit working), I handle the cleaning, laundry, care of the children, etc. and he takes care of the home maintenance and all things outside (in addition to putting a roof over our heads and food on the table…those things alone are huge!). This is not to say we don’t share duties. Yet, when it comes to crossing over, he definitely gets the short end of the stick. My wonderful husband is often found vacuuming, doing laundry, cooking, etc. This past weekend alone, he cleaned all the floors, did the laundry, grocery shopping, yard work and everything for the kids while I was away. How blessed am I? I can count on one hand (and I don’t even need the whole hand) how many times I have jumped in and helped with ‘his’ work.

Several weeks ago I did attempt to give my husband a helping hand. While he was at work, I set out to pull some weeds. I ended up with cracked and bleeding hands and a sore and sunburned back. I got the weeds out (mostly), but I was pulling with all my might and still struggled to make progress.

The next week, I watched my husband pull weeds in another area of the yard. He turned on the hose, put it in the flower bed and let the water soak the ground before pulling the weeds out in what seemed an effortless manner. Aha! A light went off.

So, the next week, I set out to help once again. It had only been two weeks, but I had to begin where I had worked before – I left so many roots with my previous weed-pulling endeavor, they had all grown back with a vengeance! This time I was all the wiser and made sure to soften the soil with water before beginning my extractions. As I worked away I began to see the spiritual application in my life. I later found this great description of weeds:

“Because weeds are found where we don’t usually want them, controlling them is a serious matter. Many of us spend untold amounts of time and money to eradicate unwanted greenery. Weeds are invasive and, in many ways, noxious to our garden. Typically weeds destroy the habitat they dwell. They reduce the opportunities for the grass to grow and cause displacement of plants. Weeds usually reduce options and diversity in the garden by over taking the entire area with one species of plant (them). Thus, weeds can disrupt the natural flow of an area and can ultimately be costly. In essence, a weed can suck the life out of your garden if kept unchecked.
As with our garden, we have weeds in our personal lives – bad habits, inappropriate or misguided opinions of ourselves or others, procrastination, or even lack of organization. Such weeds can manifest themselves through lack of motivation or passion and can be found in our belief system in how we see ourselves. They can suck the joy out of our lives and cause us to live in an environment that is otherwise foreign and uncomfortable. Like weeds in the garden, our “life weeds” consume valuable resources, energy, and emotions that are otherwise essential to living a joyful and productive life. In order to get rid of the weeds, we must uproot them and replace them with positive thinking, accountability, resources and opportunities that will ultimately help us blossom into a productive and joyful life.” (
Philip A. Foster)

In reading the Word, I see that basically, anything that does not follow the guidelines of Philippians 4:8 (which addresses thoughts, but also applies to actions and attitudes), is a weed growing in our lives.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

So often it is painful (sometimes murderous!) as those weeds are removed from us. Regular watering (feeding through the Word and time with the Lord) is important not only for preparing and maintaining the ground needed to produce fruit, but also to allow for easier extraction of those things we should not be growing in our lives. How often is the soil of our lives as hard as a rock, hanging on to the weeds that are imbedded so deep? For me, more often than I care to admit.

Lord, please remind me of the importance of regular, daily time with you. Order my time, my schedule and my life so that I will make time spent with You my first priority. Keep the ground of my life pliable, soft and fertile so that that it can produce fruit and maintain an environment where you can remove that which is not healthy or pleasing to You.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Weekend Crop!

Friday and Saturday was the quarterly scrapbook weekend held at our church. As usual, it was amazing! It is so nice to get 'away', spend time with other women, meet new friends, visit with old friends, and be creative! It was 27 hours of food, fellowship, workshops, give-aways....and loads of FUN! I am so blessed that my wonderful husband was willing to make adjustments to his schedule so that I could be a part of it!

Savannah.....Daddy's Sunshine

Card from one of the workshops...cute!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Summer Time is VBS Time!

Wow, it has been a while since I have last posted. My thoughts of, "what on earth are we going to do with ALLLL this free time over the summer?" have been obliterated as each day seems so busy!

Our kids (2 out of 3) have been at Vacation Bible School this week. They are having the best time! There is so much work that goes into the event each summer - everyone does such a great job and all are blessed - kids and parents alike! Kylie is enjoying seeing her friends from school, along with her friends from her former Sunday School class (young and old alike!) She is also showing Savannah "the ropes". (This is Savannah's first Vacation Bible School at CCSV, and Kylie is making sure she is okay and knows what to do) It is so cute how protective Kylie has been of her "little sister" who is not much more than a year younger!

I have more to say (go figure), but that will have to wait until I can keep my eyes open better!

Kylie and Savannah on Day 1 of VBS

Friday, July 11, 2008

To Love, Honor and Obey

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my marriage lately. More specifically, I have been thinking about my self-centered flesh and how that affects all areas of my life, including my marriage and the tone of our home. Did you know that the people in my house (big and small) are not responsible for my happiness? And the world does not revolve around me? Thankfully, my wonderful husband did not point these things out to me (although he would have been justified in doing so.) But, boy is it effective (and convicting) when God points it out. There are some lessons that I need to learn on a quarterly basis. It is July….I’m right on track.

Out of curiosity, I started reading “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands” (not billed as a Christian book, but as of yet I haven’t found any admonitions to wives in it that go against scripture.) I’m only about half way through and get a little beat up each time I pick it up….in a good way. As wives (and some of us as mothers also) we have a huge responsibility and our role plays a monumental part in the lives of our families. How well are we handling it?

This can be daunting and make some of us want to crawl under the covers and never come out. (You mean I have to do all of my daily tasks and be nice too? –sin nature speaking) Let us not forget we have the God of the universe in our corner and not only does everything that we face go through Him first, He desires the best for us: abundant life. (John 10:10; Jeremiah 29:11) The crazy thing is, God does ask things of us, but will give us the ability and strength to do those things (Him doing it through us) and then blesses us on top of it! I believe this is so evident in our marriage relationships and family units. If we are willing to give up our selfish notions, concerns about “me”, and put others first, we are the ones that end up blessed. It is win-win for everyone!

I found this great article in Christianity Today about Respect (submission) and Love in Marriage and thought I’d share it. Definitely worth reading. Here’s an excerpt:

“Submission is not an event following a disagreement when my husband uses his 51% vote to break the stalemate. Submission, according to Paul, is a life-long orientation towards all people I love, my husband topping the list. It’s a command for all women and all men, a major theme of the good life in Christ threaded throughout Scripture.”

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Our Patriotic Journey

Well, we are back from our trip and deep into the craziness of life at our house! We spent 5 days in Washington D.C. – just the two of us! We actually returned very late on Monday night, but have been consumed with catching up with the kids, work, housework, laundry, celebrating the Fourth of July and church this weekend. My husband's mom came into town to keep the kids at home while we were gone, so we were able to spend a few days with her upon our return also.

A dear friend of ours (Kelly) was married last Saturday and it gave us the perfect opportunity to go to D.C. to attend the wedding, spend some time with our goddaughter, Alexis (Kelly’s daughter) and be tourists in our nation’s capitol. There were so many great things about our trip, it is hard to say what was the best part or what was the most meaningful…it seems that all of it was! We tried to fit as much as we could into 4 days of sightseeing. Without the kids we were able to be non-stop tourists from dawn til night!

In addition to our sightseeing, we drove a little bit south of D.C. to visit where my family lived 30 years ago. It is amazing not only how things have changed, but the difference in how childhood memories match up to what we see as adults. The HUGE hill I used to “fly” down as an eight year old on my first bike, was nothing more than a flat street with a very slight incline!

One of the highlights of our trip was definitely Kelly and Jason’s wedding. It was great to see old friends, meet Jason and get to know him a little over the weekend, witness how God has blessed them and be a part of the beginning of all that He has planned for their family. We are so excited for them!

We visited so many places rich with history and were continually reminded of the prominent role God played in the founding of our country. We are truly fortunate to live here. One of the things I enjoyed most at the various sites and memorials were the inscriptions, quotes and stories behind each location…..I found myself in awe over and over again. I hope to be able to share some of the great things we saw and learned……we’ll see how organized I can get!

The Capitol Building

Visiting the White House

At the Museum of Natural History with Triceratops

View from George Washington's House at Mt. Vernon

Lincoln Memorial The Capitol Building
"Washington" at the Washington Monument

"Washington" at the Lincoln Memorial

"Washington" at the White House

At the Wedding Reception

Looking up the VERY steep hill in our old neighborhood :)