Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Bench restored then distressed.  

This is a bench that I've had for about 12 years.  It was looking forlorn and forgotten.  It had it's share of weather, and had been sitting in the sun and rain which caused the wood to become rough and begin to splinter in places that did not welcome anyone to come and sit.  Lately I'd been passing it by and saying to myself, "Restore it or get rid of it."

So I gave it some of my time and a little leftover black paint that I had sitting around.  I sanded it down, painted it and then distressed it by sanding down the edges and places where people would sit, just to give it that well worn aged look.

I'm pleased with how it came out and am so glad that I decided to restore it.  But even after I'd finished this project the phrase that I kept repeating to myself took hold of me.  "Restore it or get rid of it."  Hmmm.... I guess I could use a bit of restoring myself. 

So in talking to the One who makes all things new I shared with Him about How I've seen my share of weather, How I'm getting all rough and splintery in places and I asked Him if He would Please Please spend some time restoring me.

And He said Yes. 

Could you use a bit of restoration?

With loving thoughts,


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spinning My Wheels

Do you ever feel like your just spinning your wheels?

Spinning and spinning but not getting anywhere?

Yeah we all do sometimes. Whether it's in the workplace, at home, with our exercise routines, with our bank accounts.  It sucks.  Since this is common to the human condition it makes me think, hmmm .....  If this is something we all go through, then we must gain something from it.  Right? But what?

So let's check out our little friend the hamster, he spends most of his days spinning away, so maybe the answer lies in him.  Cuz if he benefits from it, then, since we are way more valuable than a hamster we can figure we should gain something as well.  So what does Mr. Fuzzy Pants gain from spinning his wheel?

One obvious thing he gains is health benefits; stronger muscles, increased blood flow, and he's flooded with endorphins etc.

Another thing he gains is he's occupied; it gives him something to do, it keeps him from going crazy and it bides his time, all of which help him get through until his Master takes him out of his cage and spends some time with him.

Well I don't know about you but I'm finding I have a lot more in common with my little furry friend. Except I'm a lot less furry.  Really, I promise.

Anyhow, there's a lot I know that Mr. Fuzzy Pants doesn't.

He doesn't have the cognitive abilities nor the spiritual depth to know there's more to the picture.  That life isn't just about him and his little wheel in his little cage.  He doesn't know that there are others like him, that there is a big world out there full of hopes, dreams, heartaches.  No little fuzzy man doesn't know any of that.  He can't see past his cage.  But we can.

We can gain everything that Mr. Fuzzy Pants does and then some- if we're open to asking the Master: What else is in store?  What else is there?  And by the way what are we training for?  See we can actually talk to the Master while we're busy spinning.  And He listens.  And He answers.

When we ask these questions, we start to see beyond our little wheel and our little cage and we start to dream big dreams.  We don't even realize all the little changes that are taking place within us.  See our wheel is really a Big Ole Training Wheel.  It's getting us ready for what lies ahead.  We just sometimes forget that.  Sometimes we think we are just like Mr. Fuzzy Pants.  But we are not.  We are so much more.

And when the time is right and we are ready, our Master will take us off of our wheel and bring us out of our little cages and let us do our thing.  Because we do have a "thing" to do, we just sometimes lose sight of what it is, most likely cuz were so dizzy- you know -with all that spinning.

Let's keep spinning,


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Taxing Lesson

Well it's April and many of us are busy finishing up our taxes.

This year looking at my taxes and reviewing my finances for the year was a real eye opener. While we were happy to see that we pretty much broke even, (that's good it mean's we are not giving too much of our income to taxes throughout the year nor are we getting too little taken out), so we have things set up correctly, although it would sure feel nice to have a lump sum coming our way.  But this is not the case and it was no surprise.

What was surprising though was what I found after I took a good look at our income and financial state for the year.  I was surprised to find that although we made much less (due to income reduction at both of our places of employment) than we did the previous year and our expenses went up drastically (due to a tuition increase as our middle child entered into a private high school), we faired well financially.  By that I mean we did not incur any extra debt, and we actually payed down much of our consumer debt.  So in sum we lived on approximately $12,000 less last year and our financial picture doesn't look any worse for the wear.  It's actually better.  Not by much but better, still.

Of course I know this didn't happen on it's own.  It took  a lot of work, planning, strategizing, self control and prayer.

I still would like to be able to save and put money away for things I've mentioned in previous posts; kids college, retirement, vacations, replacement vehicles.  But so far that has not been possible.  And looking at our income to expenses ratio it may not be possible.  It appears that we are living beyond our means in one area- our childrens' private school, but we're not willing to give that up, we've made a comittment to it and to them.  In every other area I can feel confident in saying that we are living within or below our means, which takes daily sacrifice.  So realistically it will be very difficult for us to save.  But hey, who knows, God is full of surprises.

So in the end it means that we will have to continue to depend on God's grace to get us through and that's fine by me, because grace is really what has gotten us this far, and it's enough.

How about you? Is His grace getting you through?

With loving thoughts,

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Battle Worth Fighting

I've been battling over writing this week.

As with most writers I find that I write best when I'm inspired to write.   When that something just bubbles up out of my soul and there's no containing it. When the words that come are invigorating and full of life.  There's nothing like that feeling.

But when inspiration doesn't come the words seem dull and lifeless, and sometimes I begin to question whether I'm a writer at all.  Flooded with self doubt I find myself fighting over whether or not to continue to write.  What's the point?  Who will read it?  and so forth.  I console myself with the thought that I am many other things; a wife, a mother, a career woman.  Maybe a writer isn't one of them.  That wouldn't be so bad, would it?

But despite my efforts my heart remains unconvinced.

Sometimes I pray for the desire to write to leave me completely.  I pray and I wait.  But it doesn't leave.  The desire to write remains and grows even stronger.  What does it mean?  What should I do?  My questions remain unanswered.

So I write.  Even if I don't have a reason.  Even if it will not be read.  I write just because.

Because there's this longing and a knowing that lies beneath all of the questions and doubts.  A push and a pull towards something.  A knowing that is both familiar and mysterious.  The rest to be revealed in His time.

And listening to this knowing brings peace.

So I write.

How about you, do you struggle with your calling?

Let's keep fighting and moving forward,