Apr 30, 2011

A Greener View

Please bear with me as I write this...sometimes what I feel makes complete sense until I write it out. I would also point out that what makes sense for me doesn't have to make sense for you...God gives us each a particular passion in this life; He doesn't make a one-size-fits-all list of convictions because we each are different and deal with life differently.

Anyway, now that I have made no sense at all and you're totally on the edge of your seat (right? Or am I missing something?) let's talk about stewardship.

There are two different ways that God addresses stewardship in the Bible: one is stewardship over money and possessions and another is stewardship over the earth and its creatures. Jesus talks about using your money and talents wisely in several parables and teachings. God told Adam and Eve that they had dominion over all in the Garden (Genesis 1:26. Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, and let them rule
over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the
earth and over all the creatures that move along the ground."), and Paul reminds us that because Christ is in us and Christ has dominion over all things, that we also have dominion over all things [1 Corinthians 3:21-23"So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future--all are yours, and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's." (emphasis mine)].

As a housewife, I take my "job" seriously. (Though, honestly, you wouldn't be able to tell from the way my house looks today...ahem...) One of the most active ways that I "work" is in trying to find ways to save my family money. No, I'm not into coupon clipping, even though it might help. Sometimes. I do look for the best deals for my money, though, even when I spend it on me. I'm not much of a budget-maker, but we do live within our means. When I find a new way to save money that makes sense, I get really excited. Ridiculously, even. :)

I guess that's why cloth diapers make sense for our family. We really don't have money to spend each week buying disposables (other than the packages we received at baby showers, we have bought one extra pack of newborn diapers...and hopefully we'll be able to donate two packages of size 1's to the Smithville, Mississippi, relief effort). Instead, we spent just over $100 (again, money from baby showers) for Abby's starter stash...and it looks like we might be spending a little more from our tax return for a few more diapers. Yes, the starting prices are a bit much compared to buying a pack of diapers a week, but overall? I know that I'm spending less on something that would only be thrown away.

This isn't just a plug for cloth, I promise, but since I began cloth diapering, I've realized how much we buy that we throw away. How much we buy that, in reality, kills the grass and the insects and makes the animals sick. I'm realizing more and more what I can do to save money and be a better steward of this world. I'm realizing that I do have talents, gifts and that I can do...better. I'm definitely one to use 3 or more paper towels for any small job, but I'm finding that I feel convicted when I do. And I don't think it's just because I've been reading stuff online.

Honestly, beyond using cloth diapers, I haven't made any other major changes in my family's lifestyle. (Yes, I breastfeed, but in my mind, that's hardly an issue.) We still buy paper towels, toilet paper, nursing pads, etc. I started washing clothes in cold water in college, so that hasn't been an issue either. I don't buy organic or eco-friendly cleaners on purpose (let's be real: Mrs. Meyers just smells heavenly!), and I don't use "natural" soaps (though, after a sample of Yester Year Soaps...I might...just because it smells great, cleans, and moisturizes without breaking me out).

But. I am seeing the reasons why a Christian would care about the Earth. Why Christians can (and maybe should) start taking notice of these "green" issues without feeling or becoming pagan. Whether Jesus comes back this year or in the next hundred years or a millenium from now, our mission hasn't changed. We are to spread the gospel. We are to take it to the uttermost parts of the Earth. And. We need to do our best with the resources that God has graciously given us: time, money, talents, gifts, and this Earth. Not because we want the Earth to be around for generations, but because we want to be able to hand it back to God in a manner that is worthy of our calling.

Apr 29, 2011

If I knew I could, I would...

"It's Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday..." with Lisa-Jo! Five-minute Friday is here, and it's a doozy of a topic. Seriously, I've been thinking about it since last night, mulling it over in my mind. And I'll tackle it in five minutes, no editing or reworking or anything. Promise. ;)


If I knew I could, I would write. I would write in such a way that you could relive it, understand it, and apply it. I would write about the things that inspire and the things that totally suck. I would write in such a way that you wouldn't have to live in the black, in the darkness, in the mire.

Because I've been there, I've lived there, and I hate watching someone else go through it. It's the kind of mire that, yes, you know the way out, but that way has disappeared, is no longer passable, and you can't tell someone how to get out because they have to live it for themselves. They have to face the darkness, the abyss, and you can encourage them from the other side, but how much do they really believe you? How much can they trust you?

That's the kind of writing I'd do. I'd mark the paths so that I could pull you out quicker, sooner, less messy. Or build a bridge so that you wouldn't get caught at all. But that's not the way that God made us, and that's not the way He works. He doesn't just let us live out the struggle for someone else because we have to experience them for ourselves. Otherwise, we wouldn't remember the lessons. We wouldn't grow.

Though I'd love to do the growing for you, I can't. But I can encourage you from the other side.


I definitely added one more sentence at the end...but I think it was needed. If you're inspired to take five minutes and write, go here...

...and link up! 

Apr 27, 2011

When the Storms Rage

Seven days of not counting. Seven days of being busy, of being annoyed, of giving all that I can without filling up first. Seven days of that evil self-talk, that self-doubt and self-mutilation that destroys my perceptions and weakens all resolve. Seven days of just making do...of just getting by. Seven days and counting.

Because the truth is that I don't want to count. I don't want to write, to remember, to resolve. I don't want to...I'm tired. So tired.

The paradox is that the more that I try, that I count, that I resolve, that I find and I search, the less stressed, empty, hurt, bitter, annoyed, and even alone I feel. If I truly seek, if I truly knock, then I can truly find.

I'm still counting days, not gifts. I'm just not there yet. I want to want to count...I know it's best...but I've hit that wall, found that stumbling block. And I'm not certain that I am ready. Not yet.

Outside, the storms are raging. The tornadoes have destroyed the good and left the broken. And me? I'm still dealing with the inner storms, the whirling emotions and the devastating words that I'm tired of battling.

Apr 22, 2011

Good Friday

I read about the loss of words this Holy Week, words unable to rightly describe the holy God Who came down and loved us with His death instead of burning us with His wrath. I too am made low this week, searching for anything that relates or makes more of God. Searching for words, more words, to share and open up. Instead, this weather has made me lethargic, and I have been letting everything in the house go. Letting it go and focusing instead on relationships. Letting go and simply being.

Counting His blessings, His faithful ways, praising His goodness and provision, yes. Loving on my husband and my daughter and family close by, yes. Laughing and enjoying life and trusting Him to provide jobs and take care of bills and feed and clothe us, yes! Celebrating the resurrection, the hope, the joy that this Sunday reminds us of, yes!

The weather reminds me that this week Christ was made low, that Christ prepared Himself and His disciples for the crucifixion. He also prepared Himself for the joy that was to follow, though. The author of Hebrews reminds us that we should be, "...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2). He endured the cross for the joy set before Him. He endured the shame for the promise. Likewise, we endure this life, the daily grind and the uncertainty and the sickness and the death and the pain, because we set our eyes on the greater joy that is to follow. This week, too, with all of its planning and preparing and gloom, can be endured because of the joy that comes with the Resurrection. And oh how that joy penetrates and permeates this life! Good Friday brings us low, but Resurrection morning reminds us of the reality of our faith, brings sight to what we believe! It is hope, ever renewing, ever igniting, in the life to come, in the promises that God made, in the sweet surrender of our lives to His will!

He is risen!! He is alive!! And our hopes are justly founded in Him!! Praise the Lord!

Apr 20, 2011

Soon and Very Soon

"I will be with the One I love
With unveiled face I'll see Him
There my soul will be satisfied
Soon and very soon"

"My soul will be satisfied." I'm not going to lie: my soul is very unsatisfied right now. It has been for a while now, but I really began to notice it after I lost my babies. And I thought that the soul would be satisfied with being pregnant...with having a baby...and now I want to be pregnant again because it is the best feeling in this world in my opinion (of course, I didn't have morning sickness...). But, no. None of these will satisfy me permanently.

Being a mother satisfies my desire...to be a mother. Being a wife satisfies my desire...to be a wife. But neither satisfies my soul. Having graduated college satisfies the desire to be out of school...yet I miss it and wish I were still there. I love being married and having children...but I miss my family. I miss the special times we had growing up before I married Drew. And though I have a beautiful baby girl, I just want to be pregnant again because it is the most awesome feeling when you are being used by God as He is creating. (Yes, I am a weird one.) And I may eat and satisfy my desire for food, but I will be hungry again. I may write, but my desire to be heard and to say what is fully on my heart will always be lacking. I may have children, but I will always miss the ones I have yet to meet.

Isn't that the rhythm, the song of Creation? Desires that are never fully satisfied?

"Though I have not seen Him, my heart knows Him well." My heart does know Him well. It knows that the soul was made for much more, that these desires should be met. That one day, my greatest desire will be met, and I will be with the Lord in Heaven. My sin will be erased, my shame forgotten, my hopes and dreams finally fulfilled to the fullest. And my heart knows Him well. My heart knows that He is the only One who can fulfill every need, every desire, every hope, every wish. And one day, one glorious day, I will be with Him, face to face, in all of His beautiful glory.

Soon and very soon.

Apr 15, 2011

I Can Go the Distance!

Woohoo! It's Friday again! Beautiful, wonderful, sleep-deprived-at-12-AM Friday! Almost makes me think about the song by Rebecca Black...almost. Crud. Now I think it's stuck. The almost didn't work. (Please remember...sleep deprived...) Anyway, once again it's time to join up with The Gypsy Mama and ignite the creative juices. This week's topic: On Distance. (By the way, sorry about the misleading title. Hercules just popped into my head...I told ya: sleep deprived.)

The rules are the same: just write for five minutes, no editing, no worrying about making it perfect (ahem...), and hit publish whether it makes sense or not. This is going to be fun for me tonight, I can already tell.


Distance. I immediately think of driving 6 hours from Blue Mountain to Picayune, home to my family after being in college. That incredibly long, boring drive after a full day of classes. Yawn. Now, I'm a little closer to my family. It's only 3 hours or so, but with gas prices, it might as well be Alaska.

That's the funny thing about distance: it can seem so much further than it really is. After all, it would probably take me maybe an hour tops to get home by plane. Or if I sped the entire way there. Then again, hiking or driving a wagon to Jackson would take days or weeks. Distance can be relative.

Now, there is definitely a marked amount of mileage for a certain route. Yet there are always pit stops along the way. Gas stations and restaurants. Stores. Eating up time, making it take longer.

Lately, I've realized more and more that the distance that I put between myself and God is also relative. When I was depressed after the miscarriages, it seemed like there was a huge, devastating hole between us. In reality, He was there the entire time.


Boo. Maybe it's good that the timer went off, though. I could go on for ages about this "relative distance" idea, so only five minutes gives a much quicker read. ;) Happy Friday, friends!

(update: apparently my sleep-deprived self didn't see the connection...but I guess the title actually does make sense!)

Apr 13, 2011

Psalm 13

 Psalm 13 by Nate Hale

"How long, O Lord, will You forget me forever?
How long, O Lord, will You hide your face from me?
Long enough, long enough, have I carried this load of sorrow.
Long enough, long enough, have I lived with this heart full of pain.

I want to look life in the eye.
I'm tired of falling down on my face.
I'm throwing myself into Your loving arms
And now it's time to celebrate
Your rescue... 

So, I will sing at the top of my lungs.
Yes, I will sing of Your unfailing love.
For You have delivered me
From the worst of my enemies.
So, I will sing to the Lord

For He has been good to me."

These lyrics describe the feelings I had (and have) about the miscarriages. The depth of despair, the heartache and grief...but also the joy of learning how unfailing God's love really is. The feelings of rejection and the realization that He had been there the entire time. And the joy, the peace, the rest that comes from knowing that He hasn't and won't leave me. Us. How He loves us!!

So, I will sing at the top of my lungs.
Yes, I will sing of Your unfailing love.
For You have delivered me
From the worst of my enemies.
So, I will sing to the Lord
 For He has been good to me!

Apr 11, 2011


It has been one of those days.

Okay, I lie. It has been one of those weeks. Last Monday, the weather was stormy and my daughter was fussy. When she wasn't sleeping or eating, she was mostly upset. She had an okay rest-of-the-week even though she preferred fussy over content. (Let me pause here to say that she is normally a VERY content baby. It is pretty rare for her to go beyond fussy to wailing, thankfully.)

Saturday and Sunday were busy. We spent Saturday afternoon with her cousins. Since she is our first, she's definitely not used to other children playing. Loudly. During her naptime. She slept, but ever so barely. Sunday morning we went to a rather loud church. She isn't used to drums waking her up at all during the week, and I don't think that we've ever been to a church that actually played drums. (As in with an actual drum-like sound...as opposed to the '70's light rock drum sound that is normally played in churches around here...) I really hoped that she would get some actual sleep today. Ahem.

Enter stormy weather.

At least she gave me some big smiles a couple of times today. I don't think I could have made it through otherwise. Even when she was asleep, I had to hold her the entire time because she woke up crying if I didn't.

And then I remember that I haven't been counting. I haven't been writing.

No big deal, right? I can just write them for the week, right? Yes, I could. But. My attitude had already gone sour. It took much longer to even write the ones that I normally flew from my pen. I had gotten so mad at my husband for nothing. I was so annoyed with my Little. And I ended up getting incredibly upset because of something one of my friends said on Facebook...something that didn't mean anything at all.

Those smiles? The fact that my husband takes care of our Little after working so hard and being so tired? The sun after the storm? Safety during the storms? My Little learning to laugh? Precious, priceless gifts. Each should be counted, needs to be counted. And I need to write them to remember.

21. Big smiles from my Little during diaper changes
22. Breaks during hot baths
23. Getting things done despite my fussy Little
24. Watching The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe on a rainy afternoon
25. Diaper laundry done for another day
26. Sweet comments on pictures of my Little
27. Stuffed crust pizza sent from my husband on a day when he would be gone all day
28. Spending time with cousins
29. Little having someone to play with during church
30. Sweet tea filling the pitcher again

Apr 7, 2011

If you met me...

Linking up with Lisa-Jo again! This time, it gets personal...


If you met me, you'd probably notice that I'm shy at first. I like to look, to feel it out, and then react. You'd notice that my husband takes over the conversation, that I tend to interject and then become more of myself after he has warmed up. You'd notice that I can't seem to get away from my daughter, that I show her off more than I'd probably like to admit. At some point, I'd probably seem confident. Trust me, it's mostly an act that I end up believing. I'd most likely correct your grammar a few *hundred* times and then blow your mind by making references to Stargate, Lord of the Rings, and Disney. I just might talk about my favorite bloggers or cloth diapers, depending on how the conversation steered. But you would also see me trying to figure you out, learning you and your favorites. Your heart. How you relate to the people you love, how you relate to God. If you even believe in Him. And maybe my heart would open just a little...maybe you'd get a peek at what really makes me who I am. Ya know, if I actually get over my little girl. :)


Confession: I restarted my timer after the first sentence or two because my husband was reading over my shoulder. And I got terrible "stage fright." But I finished before my timer went off the second time, so maybe it doesn't count? ;)

Apr 4, 2011

Sweet Sweet Spring (Multitudes on Mondays)

She wears bright colors: pinks, whites, greens, purples, yellows, reds. She, the spring-reminder, the day-bringer, the sunrise, the bloom. My young one embodies her role, reminding me and the few who usually see her of the vibrancy of life. How life looks when the sun is shining on a spring day.

While I wear darker colors, feeling most comfortable in blacks and grays, sometimes dark purples and maybe a stripe or two of white. Me, the caretaker, the observer, the one who watches, laughs, and wonders anew each day as she grows and unfurls a little more from her womb-cocoon.

The beauty is that she needs me. She needs me to love her, to protect her, to care for her, to play with her. She needs all that I am to survive. The bloom needs the thorn. The spring needs the winter. The sun needs the clouds. Snow, rain, dark sky can be beautiful too. Beautiful and beloved. A mama's dream-come-true.

Starting to count the grace-gifts here:

1. Abiella, blooming with the spring
2. Flowers to pick and hold
3. Butterfly flitting about in the yard
4. Warm days and cool nights
5. Reading Bible stories to my 8-week-old girl
6. Learning the new steps to the dance of life
7. Laundry that stays unfolded for several days
8. Cousins seeing each other for the first time in weeks
9. A nephew who is RSV-free!
10. Family being healthy again
11. Brothers playing online computer games
12. Syrup on pancakes for lunch on Saturday
13. Sweet daughter nursing
14. Soft, sweet infant skin
15. Memory verses reminding me of God-promises
16. Sunday afternoon naps
17. 8 whole weeks of wonder
18. Washing cloth diapers and laying them out in the sun
19. Mommy sandwiches
20. Preparing for her first Easter

Linking up with Ann Voskamp today!

Apr 1, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Things

Since Lisa-Jo posted this Friday's topic, Julie Andrews has been singing non-stop in my head. Seriously. It's been slightly annoying, especially since the things on Julie's list aren't on  mine. Anyway, it has got me thinking about how many of my favorite things have changed in the past, oh, 7 weeks and 5 days.

The rules:
1. Write for only five minutes. Don’t edit. Don’t over think. Don’t stifle your creativity.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Go leave some comment love for the five minuter
who linked up before you.


For so many years, my favorite things have definitely included the slow beginning of spring. When I lived in the balmy south Mississippi, it was the highlight of February. (Again, BALMY south Mississippi.) Once I moved all the way to north Mississippi, it became the highlight of March. I love seeing the first blooms on trees, the very first leaves opening in a sort of golden light green. It's just amazing how early these blooms begin...and how long it takes for everything to turn truly spring green.


This year, I've been preoccupied. I've been busy watching another being unfold, grow, and become "green." It's truly amazing how early it starts, how little time it takes for a person to grow up. To go from needing every little thing to being able to need less and less. How little time a newborn is a true newborn. My daughter is almost 8 weeks old. And in those very short 8 weeks, I have already bemoaned the loss of her newborn wardrobe. I have already watched in amazement as she begins to smile, coo, and laugh. I have already watched her grow from a newborn who sleeps most of the day to an infant who wants to be entertained. I am loving every single second of this new adventure!

Even if I am missing the start of spring and the old friends who I used to long for.