Sunday, September 19, 2010

I'm Back....

sort of....

I just felt the need to write, felt the need to get it out.

The big news?
My grandmother, who will turn 100 years old October 10th, is coming to live with us.  

God slapped me upside the head last week and told me to quit being selfish.  (I paraphrase of course).
I believe I am doing what He wants, what He wanted me to do all along.  It's amazing how selective our hearing can be, like little children.  When God gives us good things we take them readily but when He wants us to take on a tough task or stand for what is right......we start humming and covering our ears. 

How often do we turn away from what is right and ignore the wrong for our own comfort? How often do we not approach people in the wrong for fear of hurting their feelings? Or for fear we will sever relationships and be hurt ourselves? I know I am guilty. Most of us are to some degree I'm sure. 

Above all else, I hope God's will is done and not my own. (as someone wise reminded me the other day ; )

I'll share more of my story later on.  Just wanted to write what was on my mind and heart today. 

 Thank you so much for all of your comments! 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hold Everything, Stop the Press!

Here I had a series of posts going and life got in the way!

I went to write another post today and just couldn't, my mind is elsewhere. 

I have a feeling the next few days, weeks, months are going to be different.  There are decisions to be made for our family (between us and parents and grandparents) that have been put off for far too long.  There are things transpiring that will change relationships, change living styles, change everything.

Have you ever felt called to do something?

I have, I believe I was called to have children.  I felt and still feel like bearing and raising children for the glory of God is my purpose in life.

This calling I am facing now is different, way different.  But none the less the idea has plagued me for almost 2 years, slowly eating away.  I would push it to the back of my mind and say "its too hard"  and "I can't do that"! But like Jonah, I believe the will of God will be done whether I'm on board willingly or have to be drug, kicking and screaming (or swallowed by a fish) to do it! 

I apologize for being so cryptic but I don't want to put the cart before the horse, let the cat out of the bag, etc

Needless to say, posting will probably end for quite a while if this "calling" does come to pass.  We have planning, discussing and most importantly, PRAYER to occupy our time.  All the while I will have to keep myself in check, be sure that I am putting God's wishes and those of my husband before my own.  *sigh*

Side note:  I have ABSOLUTELY LOVED all of your comments!  So many of you have inspired me through your blogs and your comments to mine.  I will miss that and promise to return, just not sure when.  Thank you so much for brightening my day, Love you and Lord be with you!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tough Topics: Submission Part 2

Often used as a symbol of feminism, poor Rosie.

To recap:  I was going over the evils of feminism and how it has affected me as it has many of other women.  This is more about my story and some example about how we are choosing to live apart from God's word.

Now, I don't think I ever chose feminism.  Until the last year or so I never saw it's subtleties all around us.  TV and radio are givens, but what about your church? What about that seemingly harmless "Christian" film you just watched? 

"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12: 2

When searching for a church the hardest hurdle we faced as a family was finding a church that stood apart.  They all bragged on their extravagant buildings and many programs.  None bragged on their close knit fellowship and how they believed in the infallible word of God.  None bragged on how they follow the mandates in 1 Timothy on how to find a suitable pastor/elders.  What we tended to find in many churches was that they used the bible as sort of a loose guideline.

It was subject to their interpretation and that is dangerous folks. 

Afterall, after being barraged with the "values" of the world day in and day out, we believe ourselves to be righteous enough to use the scripture how we see fit?

 One of the main examples I would like to point to with this is 1 Timothy: (strangely enough this was part of our pastors message this past Sunday and this post was thought up before then)

Chapter 2 Verse 11-
 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.
I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. 
For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived and became a sinner. 

I'm not really sure how much more plain this could be.  So how is it that women feel they can become preachers, pastors, bishops and ministers?  How do we approve of this? 

Society tells us to bar women from occupations, even that of pastor, is "wrong".   Who should we be listening to?  The Word of God of our culture?  It's as simple as that to me.

This is just one of the many examples of how we can bring what we have learned outside the church into it

I like this passage because Paul also gives us the reason we should not teach in the church.
For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived and became a sinner. a

I don't know about anyone else but I know in my heart that this one is true.  I know that women, including myself, tend to be sinful, manipulative and deceiving.  I used to play the feminist part very well--treating my husband as incompetent and manipulating him with my emotions when I could not have my way. 

I saw it happen every day in the house I grew up, in the school where I worked.  Professing Christian women laying out their game plan on how they were going to deceive their husband into doing something they wanted that weekend.  We would all laugh and wait for Monday when we got to hear how it turned out.  The woman would return a conquering hero after she used tears or even full blown tantrums to get what she wanted.  And then why was it a shock when that woman came crying to us not a year later about her husband filing for divorce? 

Every day I thank God that he showed me the error of my ways before I tore down my house with my own hands. 

I pushed my husband to move, I begged him to let me spend a little more money to make our business a real success.  I cried when he wouldn't let me do something, I gave him the silent treatment when he stood firm.  A man can only take so much, and our husbands want to see us happy above all else.  So against his better judgment he let me have my way.  We went into debt, moved the business..........and failed miserably. 

There is no doubt in my mind that God let everything take place so that I could learn my lesson. Sometimes he has to tear us down to build us up.  He used this opportunity to open my heart to His Word.  Now that I was away from all of the feminist influences telling me to control my husband, to make decisions, I was free to see where God wanted me.  Tucked safely under Jason's arm. 

My husband is incredibly intelligent and has a great head on his shoulders.  He is slow to make decisions but only because he thinks through everything carefully.  He got us out of the pickle we were in, he paid our debt, he forgave me in the blink of an eye and has never held it against me. 

God was working a change in me and Jason could see it, I wasn't the same.  It was as if a blindfold had been removed.  It was painfully apparent that I had been lied to by everyone.  My family, friends, the media, the few churches I had attended.... they were all telling me the same thing.  Not only was I supposedly in charge of my husband, I was in charge of my own life, not God, not the creator.  Just me.   I was the King of the Hill (or queen rather) and let me tell you, that is a lonely place to be.

Satan's plan was obviously working.  Not only in the world, but in each and every woman.  The enemy gave us what we wanted, power and vanity.  We were ignoring our Father and taking a big ol' bite of the apple. Now, we must face the consequences of our decisions.

So, I could see submission was what God wanted, but I still had questions.  How do I go about this?  Does this mean I have to be a doormat with out an opinion?  What about the husbands out there that aren't good to their wives? 

I'll cover what I discovered in the next post:Part 3.

*Along with the Bible, during this time I read many books and blogs that helped.  Feel free to check out my sidebar and blog roll for a listing.* 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tough Topics: Submission Part 1

Okay, lets just put it out there, shall we?  If you want to ruffle some feathers at your next dinner party just throw out this statement "Wives submit to your husband's as to the Lord". Eph 5:22 And then duck and will no longer be popular; not just in the local school or at the office, but the church.  This will be a series of posts about my background in feminism, the why of submission and ,the hardest part, the how.  All my opinions, backed up with what I have read in scripture.  Don't take my word for it, BYOB (Bring Your Own Bible).
"Hmmm.....submission....that's a toughie!"
My grandmother will be 100 years old next month and she is the most loyal feminist "Christian" I know.  Feminism didn't start at some bra burning, it started long before in a beautiful garden....(Gen 3:4)
Since then the feminist movement raged through history and the word "submit" in relation of a wife to her husband has joined ranks with many other 4 letter words in our culture.  The terminology is not cool, politically correct or even accepted as decent. 

Why, to reaffirm God's word through Paul by quoting Ephesians 5:22**** will get you everything but a pat on the back.  Funny looks, hateful words and such are the least of your problems.  Think how many pastors have lost their jobs for simply standing by God on the subject!  How sad is it that our culture is dictating what our pastors teach in place of our God.   No wonder so many people today (I used to be one of them) think Christianity is phony baloney.  When the church resembles the world what's the big deal of getting up early on Sunday morning to watch what you've been looking at all week?

I want to let my stance be known about the topic, because saying you're a follower of Jesus Christ does not mean that you believe in a wife submitting (even though it should).  While I may not be as well spoken as most of the anti-feminist bloggers out there (Stacy McDonald, and the many contributors of Ladies Against Feminism, just to name a couple)  I will take a stab at it, so let me start with a story....

Once upon a time..I was a feminist.  I feel like I am at one of those AA meetings.

"Hello, My name is Melodie Holder and I am (was) a feminist."

I was brought up believing that the key to a woman's happiness was choosing her own path in life.  Marriage and children were like a ball and chain dragging you down....slowing your ascent of the corporate ladder. Feminism has two basic principles 1) Women are god's 2) Men are scum.   

I was not just a passive feminist, oh-no.  I bought the whole bit, hook-line-and sinker.  I was pro-choice (read pro-murder), I believed men were dumb and should be manipulated.  I believed abstinence was a silly and overrated concept.  I believed I was in control of my life because I was a woman.......because some men in suits said I had the right to vote, the right to choose, the right to be free of men.....

Anyone who has walked down this road knows that its is not freedom, this lifestyle-these beliefs are a prison.  You are angry at the world because you have been taught that it is against you, that men are out to get you and force you into marriage with the cooking and cleaning and baby raising.  The churches (most) echo the culture to pull in more members, more $$$.  It's sad but undeniable.

The true, awe-inspiring power of God is that His Word, His Truth cut through all of the politically correct, satan inspired mumbo-jumbo.  Through everything wrong that I believed, everything evil that I held dear--His light found me.  And I became new again.

Part 2 coming soon

**** Lest you think I am taking this "out of context" please consider the following:
Ephesians 5:22
Corinthians 11:3
Titus 2:5
Genesis 3:16
Feel free to read the entire chapter around those verses, it supports the verse.  The verses are not taken our of context. Can you list any more?

Hello?! Is anyone still there?  Come on....I didn't scare you off yet did I? : )

Friday, September 10, 2010

I'm done fiddling.....promise.

I am, really.

I won't mess with my blog anymore.....until after Thanksgiving.  : )

I just needed a change. Fall is in the air!

Can't you smell it?  

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"Over the River and Through the Woods.......

….To Grandma’s house we go!”  Except to get to the grandmas house we have to drive 5 hours, across Texas without an a/c in our van, to a place filled with sand, sparse vegetation and high winds….yuck.

Calling his "GiGi" to let her know we are on our way

This post was written before our trip but I didn't get to post it : ) so now that we're it is.   

We will be leaving Friday at around 5:30am, the weather will be nice and cool then.  So this week is preparation for our trip.  Yes, it takes me that long to get everything organized.  We usually follow a set pattern when we are ready to go on an overnight trip and it usually follows these guidelines:

5 days in advance

We get the house ready by doing any monthly maintenance we need to do.  Nothing worse than coming back home late one night and having to fix something we should have already done.  In the summer this is simple, changing the a/c filter etc.  In winter if we miss wrapping pipes etc, we could have a problem on our hands when we get back.
This includes getting things set up for our animals.  We feed the reptiles weekly so we bulk them up good at this time and then feed them when we get back.  (we’re never gone more than 4-5 days) We set up auto-water systems for chickens and dogs as well, we don’t want them running out of water in the middle of the day.
 Then, we meet with the pet sitter.  At this house we have  kindly neighbors.  Where we used to live it was hard to get pet sitting companies to even drive in the neighborhood simply because of the color of the skin of most of the residents (rolling my eyes).  People can be so stupid. 
If they looked past the neighborhood demographics they wouldn’t step foot in our house.  “Don’t worry the 10 foot python is in a locked habitat”  “Y’all said you would care for “any animal”.  *sigh*

3-4 days in advance

I clean the house.  Now that I have implemented my new schedule the house stays pretty clean but I make sure all of the cleaning and laundry is caught up.  I also use this time to print out our packing check list, trip itenerary, any maps we need etc.  I put everything into a folder for easy access.  I also start using my freezer meals at this time.  Less cleanup at meal time and little brain power to put a meal together. : )

2 days in advance

I run any last minute errands.  I go to the bank, pick up last minute things to take on the trip.  Since we are a one car household, I clean out the van on this day since I have it all day after taking my husband to work.  I also try to go ahead and put things in the van that I know we’ll need like our ice chest etc.  I also refill our “emergency kit” for the kids.  This has a change of clothes, diapers, wipes, and an (empty) extra bottle and sippy cup.  My husband checks all of the fluids, tire pressures and makes sure the jumper cables and tools are still in there.  He also checks our “van kit” which has things like jumper cables, flashlight, fluids etc. 

Father and son checking the van...How cute!

The day before

I spend all day packing.  With only 2 children taking me all day I can only imagine if we have more! : )
And really it doesn’t have to take all day but I try to take my time and go through checklists ( I LOVE checklists) to make sure we don’t forget anything.  After packing everything we go ahead and load the van the night before our trip which saves hassle the next morning.  I set the coffee pot up and make breakfast-to-go like muffins or burritos.  We keep our toiletry bag in the bathroom so that in the morning, when we’re done brushing our teeth etc, we just toss everything in there and take it to the van. 

The boys share a suitcase on wheels for their clothing and then I have their drinks/snacks in a small cooler.  Jacob gets to pack 1 small backpack with books and toys. That's what we used to do.  This trip I implemented yet another "kit" in the way of a box between the boys seats that holds a permanent collection of colors, paper, books and other assorted toys.    Both grandmas keep a supply of toys on hand and if we’re going camping etc Jacob busy’s himself with his environment. 

My husband usually gets gas after work so we don’t have to start in the morning.

That leaves departure day stress free.  We get dressed, throw last minute toiletries into our bag and head out to the van. 

While traveling Jacob entertains himself with things in his back pack box or he takes a nap.  Lately he’s started talking to us and we have conversations about where we are going and what’s going by outside our windows.  Spotting different color cars is a favorite little boy past time.

Mikey sleeps mostly.  We stop as little as possible.  It seems harder to get them back in the van if we get them out.  And leaving so early they sleep a lot and we arrive before lunch. 

What do y’all do special to get ready for a trip?  How do you pack for or entertain he kids?
Believe me, it took us A LOT  of trips to get it down this smooth.
See y’all when we get back!

We had a lovely trip.  It couldn't have gone smoother.  We were sick the week before but were all well for the trip, the van held out, the pet sitter did a fabulous job, Jacob had a wonderful birthday and there were no knock-down drag-out fights between family members......who could ask for more! Praise God for his many blessings!

My baby boy turns 3 September 18th.  My, how time has flown.....