Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Election Day: Reasons I Considered not Voting for my Husband (and why you should consider voting for him)

Most of my blog posts go unwritten in the busyness of life.  However, some days come with events too special to go unnoticed.  Today may be one of those days.  Two years ago, my husband, Preacherman, decided that he wanted to attempt to make a positive difference in our community and he filed to run for city council in our city ward.  At that time there were a lot of things that hung on the results of that election.  We were in the process of looking for a home to purchase to pursue the adventure of foster care.  The results of the election determined whether our new home could be located anywhere in the city or limited only to our ward, approximately one-quarter of the city.  As it turned out, he lost the election by 10 votes to a long-time Augusta resident and city council incumbent.  He accepted the defeat (not something either of us do exceptionally well).  He is probably extremely grateful that I worked that fact into today's post on this special day.  We moved forward with the roller coaster of events in life and bought a house in a different ward of the city. Then last fall happened.  Our city mayor won an election in November and prepared to make a difference at the State level, turning her mayoral duties over to the city council president, one of our ward 1 representatives, thus vacating a seat on the city council in ward 1, the ward we now reside. Preacherman received the appointment to the city council seat in December and has been actively serving since that time.  That brings us to today.  Election Day.  Today he is on the ballot again for city council.  Today across our city voters will take to the polls and make decisions for the future of our community, hopefully in record-breaking numbers.

Later today I will make my way to the voting place and I will cast my ballot.  Many of you may find it odd that I would even consider not voting for the man I pledged my life to almost 16 years ago.  Let me explain.  The same reasons that have expanded my love for Preacherman are the very reasons that I would consider not voting for him.  The very things that drew me to him are the things that people will use to attack.  We can all agree that personal attacks hurt.  There are many people that look at my husband and make initial judgments based on his size and his lack of a smile.  (Hint:  Guys that play offensive lineman don't shrink to a punter when they walk off the college football field into the real world.)  I see his size from a much different perspective.  It is the man that holds me tight each day and promises to love me with tenderness for a lifetime.  It's the man who envelopes his children with a father's love and protection.  It is the man that offers comfort to hurting people.  People mistake the lack of a smile for evidence that he isn't happy or he is mad. But in reality, he is a very genuine guy and has never felt comfortable in his "picture" smile.  I promise if you hang around him for any amount of time, you too will see the genuine smile that he possesses.  A smile far better than any "picture" smile.  The smile that lights up his face, his eyes and the world around him.  Especially my world.

Preacherman is passionate about the things he loves and cares about.  He is passionate about Jesus and it shows everyday as he seeks to be light and salt to the world around him. He is passionate about truth and integrity, even when it's hard.  He is passionate about his family.  He is passionate about the success and the forward movement of our community. That passion produces a deep preparation and consideration of issues.  That passion and preparation produces a confidence in his stance on those issues.  In college, Preacherman would be the guy at the library on Monday night preparing for the test next Monday.  The desire to be prepared didn't change when he left the college campus.  Whether it's preparation for a sermon, a presentation, a meeting or simply the gym the next morning, he excels in making it priority.

I've come to understand in life no matter where you serve there will be people that do not like you. There will be people that would rather see you fail than encourage you to succeed. There will be people that will take joy in your pain instead of sharing in your grief. There will be people that will make initial judgments and spread information based on more rumor than fact.  There will be hurt. Most of us prefer to avoid situations that may cause hurt to us or those we love.

If I were to not vote for my husband, it would be for purely selfish reasons.  A lot of them. Raw. Real. Reasons.

Several years ago, I stood in a church kitchen and presented an idea to my husband - in the midst of a couple friends - he responded, "I'll support you whatever you decide." I still remember the look of unbelief on the faces of our sweet friends.  It was a mix of unbelief and confusion trying to assess whether he was serious in his reply.  I think they still look at each other and use that line with fond remembrance.  The same holds true today.  Only today, it's my turn to say, "I'll support you." Tonight we will gather with friends to celebrate the future of our great community.  Tomorrow in victory or defeat we will look forward to the positive differences we can make in the future of our family, our church and our community.

Monday, March 30, 2015

2015 Reading List

1) Clutter Free - Kathi Lipp
2) A Dream to Share - Irene Hannon
3) Her Valentine Hero - Gail Gaymer Martin
4) Small-Town Dad - Jean C Gorden
5) Sweetheart Bride - Lenora Worth
6) One Special Christmas - Irene Hannon
7) Home for the Holidays - Irene Hannon
8) Leaving - Karen Kingsbury
9) Learning - Karen Kingsbury
10) Longing - Karen Kingsbury
11) Loving - Karen Kingsbury
12) Jenna's Cowboy
13) Emily's Chance
14) Megan's Hero
15) Sabotaged - Dani Pettrey
16) Mission: Motherhood - Martha Perry
17) Taken - Dee Henderson

Book Review: Clutter Free by Kathi Lipp

There are a lot of resources available on clutter.  I've skimmed some, read some and left it at that.  Kathi Lipp's book Clutter Free is a well written handbook on clutter, not just to address your current state of clutter, but to address the issues behind WHY you have clutter.  I have found the techniques and insight in this book to be life-changing.  If you are a tub-buying stasher, you may want to avoid this book.  It will challenge your tub buying stashing efforts in a BIG way - i.e. stop buying tubs!  By the time I reached Chapter 6, I thought Kathi Lipp had some sort of secret access to the thought processes of my mind and shopping experiences.  The book is 25 chapters long with three worthwhile appendices.  The first appendix provides you information you need to get started with Kathi's Three-Box, Two-Bag System.  No, you are not going out to buy new tubs for this system!!!  Although I actually found I had some empty ones that work nicely for the process.  I'm an easily distracted individual when I'm cleaning an area.  The three-box, two-bag system helps me to stay focused and in the same location as my clutter I'm attempting to clear.  Appendix 2 helps you address paperwork clutter and Appendix 3 helps you learn to pack for vacation and business trips without more luggage than you can carry, pull, load and check at the airport.  The 25 chapters will help you identify how much your clutter is costing you, why you buy the things you buy, why you keep the things you keep and approaches to get rid of stuff.  I've recommended this book to many friends.  I don't plan on giving up my copy anytime soon.  If you are ready for a life-changing read - order this book today, it may save you from multiple more costly purchases later. Find it today on Amazon.

I received this book for free in exchange for this review.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Book Review: For Women Only, Revised and Updated Edition by Shaunti Feldhahn

I received a copy of the revised and updated edition of Shaunti Feldhahn's book, For Women Only.  I've been to numerous women's events and marriage retreats so I was familiar with the author's name and the line of books she has previously produced, yet I had never read one.  I was pleased to find that the information is well researched and is well presented throughout the book.  The research is eye-opening and could be extremely beneficial to understanding the men in your life.

The author had opportunities to survey and interview a variety of men to get gut-level, honest answers to the questions that men feel unable to explain in day-to-day conversations.  The author writes, "after interviewing and surveying thousands of men, I can tell you the answers to common perplexities are all related to what is going on in your man's inner life.  Most are things he wishes you knew but doesn't know how to tell you.  In many cases, they're things he has no idea you don't know."

I thought this book offered good insight to the man's perspective and explained the differences between how we are wired to process in various areas of our lives.  I have already recommended this book to friends.  I would highly suggest it to women in all stages of marriage and I think it could be greatly beneficial to the newly-wed or soon-to-be wed woman.

This book is relatively short, however, I found the information in it to require additional processing time.  I have already purchased her book, For Parent's Only, waiting to be read on a rainy day and I have also considered buying her book, "For Men Only" as a gift for my husband.

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

2014 Reading List

1) A Hickory Ridge Christmas - Dana Corbit
2) The Heart Remembers - Irene Hannon
3) Freefall - Kristen Heitzmann
4) Deadly Devotion - Sandra Orchard
5) The Unexpected Gift - Irene Hannon
6) Silenced (Alaskan Courage Book #4) - Dani Pettrey
7) Trapped - Irene Hannon
8) For Women Only - Shaunti Feldhahn
9) Undetected - Dee Henderson
10) Fame - Karen Kingsbury
11) Forgiven - Karen Kingsbury
12) Found - Karen Kingsbury
13) Family - Karen Kingsbury
14) Forever - Karen Kingsbury
15) Redemption - Karen Kingsbury
16) Remember - Karen Kingsbury
17) Sunrise - Karen Kingsbury
18) Summer - Karen Kingsbury
19) Return - Karen Kingsbury
20) Someday - Karen Kingsbury
21) Sunset - Karen Kingsbury
22) Rejoice - Karen Kingsbury
23) Reunion - Karen Kingsbury
24) Deceived - Irene Hannon

Monday, April 14, 2014

All in my head

I enjoy lots of hobbies.  At least I think I do.  I have a sort of eclectic collection of interests.  One of those is writing, but you wouldn't know it by my blog or my journal.  Life seems to catch up to me quicker than I can get it all done.  Anyone else have that problem?  I have multiple blog posts written in the twists and turns of this crazy head of mine.  They are probably as numerous as the books waiting to be read on my bookshelf. 

I love to read too.  A few years ago I took off in a race to see how many books I could devour in a year.  It was really eye opening that it was possible to read that many books and enjoy them.  Lately, that too is just waiting for a moment.  A moment to read and enough energy to stay awake for page two.

I enjoy doing crafty things.  I have a variety of them ready and waiting.  Things like cross-stitch, jewelry making and cake decorating.  On occasion I even break out the sewing machine for a few simple projects.  For Christmas I received an acrylic painting set that my husband was so hesitant to buy because of this hobby delay disorder.  I'm super excited to use it...but it rests, not yet used for the first time.

I enjoy cooking and creating new things in the kitchen also.  Although I must make time for cooking, it is rarely any of those new and exciting pin-worthy super mom creations.  

I enjoy clear and organized space.  Something that really doesn't match the creative side of my mind.  It also doesn't match the current state of my life or my home.  If given ample amount of time, I might find what I'm searching to find.

I LOVE to date my husband. To sit and talk, laugh and enjoy each other and maybe even eat food I did not cook.  Life really takes over this one.  Miles away from family and living on a limited budget, it's not always easy to find that date night. 

I enjoy spending time with friends and welcoming them into my home.  But to get to the enjoyment part, I usually struggle with the rant and rave, dirty looks and exasperated fit-throwing get it clean part.  Because I know ALL my friends live in super clean, white glove homes where never a piece is out of place.  Did I mention that they NEVER rant and rave or give their children dirty looks?

I could tell you that I enjoy exercise especially running, but that would be a lie.  I wish I enjoyed exercise even running because I know these really awesome mom friends that I hang out with and they run - not walk - 5K's, half marathons and even full marathons in all their spare time. 

I'm sure you are wondering where this blog post is going...because I am beginning to ask myself.  Did I mention it's all in my head?  Yes, the things that hold me back most - are all in my head.  Many of them are lies.  Lies that lead to fear. The fear of failure. The fear of imperfection.  The fear of not living up to someone else's standards.  The fear of doing it wrong, all wrong.  

Thankfully, God did not call me to live in fear.  He has given me a spirit of power, love and self-discipline. He has created me to do the things that he prepared in advance for me to do.  He promises me wisdom when I ask, strength when I am weak and hope beyond measure.

In the midst of unwritten blog posts, unread books, incomplete craft projects, repeated meals, store-bought cookies, piles of papers, dateless months, failed-to-issue invitations and never to be ran 5K's resides the heart of a family. My family.  My live in chaos, beautiful mess family. A family not to be defined by the undone.  A family to be defined by the love and grace of Jesus and his mornings filled with new mercies.  Here I will choose to search for truth.  Truth that sets me free from those lies that are all in my head.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Dynamite Song

A few nights ago I laid down with Little Princess at bedtime to snuggle for a few minutes.  She was listening to a CD and asked me if this CD had the Dynamite Song on it.  I tried multiple times to ignore her since I did not have any clue what song she was referring to; however, she just couldn't let it go.  I'm glad she didn't or I wouldn't have this funny memory to record.

Little Princess:  Mom, you know, the Dynamite Song.
Me:  No, I don't think I know the Dynamite Song.
Little Princess:  Yes, you do.  It goes like this:  "This little dyn-a-mite, I'm gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine."
Me: (refraining from hysterical laughter) OH, you mean, "This little LIGHT of mine"  OK, I do know THAT song.  Let's sing it.

I concluded my snuggle time singing "This Little Light of Mine" with my Little Dynamite.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."  Proverbs 17:22