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Five Minute Friday – Ordinary

pyrex

Ordinary?  Wow, do we even know what that means anymore?  I consulted the Holy Grail of words – the Merriam-Webster dictionary – to see just how they define ordinary.

The definition was this:  a common quality, rank, or ability.

Common, ordinary … I mulled this over in my mind as I was putting up the groceries today and stumbled upon some ordinary things.  My glass measuring cup, the spoon I was using, most of the appliances in my kitchen, etc.  But, what burned in the back of my mind is how poorly people think of ordinary things.  Possessions for the most part.  People really enjoy things that are a little more special, than ordinary.

I was raised by parents who were frugal and held some strong beliefs as to conservation, waste, and needs before wants.  And they believed these things so strongly that they carried out certain practices for all their years of parenthood.  It would be the same rules for me growing up – even though I was the late-comer to the family of five children.  This was a difficult pill to swallow when I was in high school in the 80’s.  Materialism became a very strong influence in my life as a high schooler.

As I became a military wife and mother, there was only so much money to go around and I successfully employed what came naturally to me – I was frugal.  I’m now very thankful for this, but pray that my children will also see the wisdom in this way of life.

In my opinion, I think “ordinary” is who we are.  I also believe in a God who makes us extra-ordinary when He is the one that influences us, and not the world.

1 John 2:17 says this …The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

I think that ordinary sounds free, and unfettered by the world and its trappings.  And I think God needs us to be just that – ordinary – so that He might shine brighter than our possessions. 

Curious about Five Minute Friday?  It’s like a Flashmob for writers.

A bunch of us, with a one-word prompt, write fearlessly for FIVE minutes and link up together. Join us!

http://lisajobaker.com/

 

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Writer, Revised

writing with a pen

{I love to write}

 I discovered this WAY beyond my school years. I attempted journaling and some free-floating penning exercises about 11 years ago. I have even received a book on journal writing and a pen and a look from my sweet Christian sister that said – “Write.” She knew me inside-out after 3 years of living overseas as military spouses.  She knew it was something I needed to do, even if it was only for me to be able to “hear” myself amongst the noise and chaos of my life.

I dove headlong into books during our time in Germany. I read so much, that I started going through the Fiction section alphabetically and reading everything they had by each author. Truly, this voracious reading was something new to me.  I started to find a few authors that would eventually reflect so many similarities in my own life that I felt like they wrote like I spoke.  Maybe their characters thought or acted just like me.  Maybe the setting was familiar.  “I know these places, I’ve lived here, These are my people.”  It never occurred to me to write.  For myself, or for others.

This week, I felt disappointment and defeat in writing. On paper, on a computer or on a blog.  I felt I had no purpose or something like that …  I was inching towards this pit somewhere in January, but I stepped fully into the earthen darkness of it this week.  I could smell the dirt and I didn’t like it.

Last Fall, I was encouraged to write and to use a blog and join in with the Five Minute Friday community. I started doing that very thing, right here, last September. I felt freedom. It felt like someone untied the tethers of a hot air balloon and I was ascending quickly to join in on a journey that so many have chosen before me.  It was kind of a rush, actually.

The first time I hit “Publish” I realized that I had longed for the words in my mind to tumble off my tongue and make their way onto paper. I long to finish, click publish, and let go of something that is meant for someone else. A gift.

Writing has become a satisfaction that I can only compare to quilting.  It can be like a finishing a quilt – I love it – I want to speed up time to the point where I get to toss it over a bed, hang it on a wall, or give it to a friend.

Words, stories and writing are different from quilting though – they need a little more patience. A little more nit-picking – but I’m still just as anxious to share them.

I write because {I} love to write.

I want life to be all straight and aligned and logical, but it’s not.

I’d like this love of writing to be a banner of confidence in myself, but it’s not.

I’m not all straight and logical anymore.  My life is messy, funny, painful, hap-hazard, and ALL OVER THE PLACE.  I’m just figuring that out and trying to embrace that – or claw my fingernails in and hold on for the ride.

I occasionally make sense of life – but most days I’m clueless and left amazed by the sheer chaos that I have been oblivious to for so long.

I WANT to live without SpellCheck.

I WANT to spill my guts out on the page.

I WANT someone to “get it” and feel less alone because I’ve spit out a life issue and shared my heart …

I WANT someone to hear …   {You Are Not Alone}

I’m a Writer, revised – Changed, amended, shifting, adjusting and perhaps edited and/or strengthened.

For {God’s} glory and because {I} love to write.

**Many thanks to my encourager who sent me in the direction of this site and if you have any desire to write, or need some purpose or redirection in your writing, I suggest you read the E-book “The Writer’s Manifesto”  http://goinswriter.com/writers-manifesto/

*Call it a ladder for climbing out of the pit …

*Call it a hand reaching in to pull you out …

*Or maybe, it’s the newly painted trail marker that makes it clear how to get on a better path – For being a writer, or whatever else God is directing you to be… 

trail marker

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2013 in Life, in general, Writing

 

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Housework and the Thoughts It Sparks

growth

On more than one occasion I have had my hands elbow-deep in the dishwater – only to have to quickly drag them out and towel them off (semi-dry) to go write down something that traipsed across my mind.

See, when you get somewhere {past} 40 years old, your brain decides to leave you guessing as to “What was I just saying/thinking/doing?” Also, famous is the “What was I in here for?”

You forget stuff…quickly and easily. Except for a few things that are utter nonsense – and those get stuck permanently.  (Just ask anyone in Tucson about the Bill Ellis Datsun song that’s probably still stuck in their head – complete with the ball bouncing above the repetitive words)

So, since this rapid memory loss happens quite frequently, I look forward to some of the more mundane chores of the day and keep something handy nearby to write down those fleeting thoughts.

Today it happened…with the new washer. (If you need a refresher on my recent washer flood – click here: https://theunfinishedchild.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/washers-and-fleas/

Laundry duty today seemed incomplete.  Fun, but strange.  It’s the new washer – it’s cool, but maybe too simple?

Gone are the days of starting the water, pouring the soap, letting it mix a little, piling the clothes around the agitator, choosing the water level …

Now, it’s {One click} {One pour} {One heap} {One button}

Kind of un-ceremonial.  No drama, just a little instruction reading and the next thing you know, you’re 2 weeks into using a {fabulous} machine.

Today it reminds me of saying “Good-bye” to some complicated things. Every new gadget that I’ve purchased lately seems to be getting simpler to use. But I know too well that just before Christmas I was saying good-bye to another complicated part of my life as a Mom.  I said good-bye to the school parties. (especially the unexpected occasions that get thrown your way without much warning)

In the blink of an eye, I just said good-bye to the years of birthing, breast-feeding, milestones, walking, talking, Girl Scouts, school clubs and the marching of 3 girls through the K-12 grades. Soon will arrive the graduation of the baby, and the end of a very complex, strenuous, time-consuming, life-in-the-minivan period of our family history. Toss in the military lifestyle and the occasional single parenting and you have the {blink of and eye} – {hindsight is 20/20} timeframe that only occasionally slowed down enough for me to see the beauty that was their childhood.

Fast and furious was what it felt like… which is not unlike my personality. I guess I thrived on it, but I am ready to move forward.  I think.

Yes, today it was something as silly as a washing machine, that has become so simple to use, that sparked some reflection on the pasts and the futures of our three girls.  This stretch of the road we journey as parents might turn out to be the simpler part of parenthood.  It seems like everything is slowing down, but each new thing seems bigger.  Their education and career choices – all in different stages – bring fascination…especially as they leave the nest.  Sort of… they’re welcome to stay as long as we can still afford to feed them…

So, they grow, they change and they blossom.  Right under our noses, and before we know it, they are adults… moving up and beyond the nest we call home.  I know many will tell me “they’ll be back some day,” but I know, it will never be the same.  This chapter of their lives rapidly draws to a close … and I’m just basking in the time we have left.

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Life, in general

 

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A New Kitten

 

We adopted a new kitten this weekend and as we have done in the past, my husband is the “official cat tester.”  He tests them by holding them and seeing if they trust him enough to lie on their backs.  It’s a proven method, really…and I’m glad to let him be in charge of this because it pays off in the long run.  Right now she’s hiding under the bed trying to figure out if she trusts US!

8 years ago I had a huge lesson in trust.  Actually I’ve had many experiences with “trust issues”, but this was the one that concreted my trust in God and what He might have in store for me and my family.  This was on my mind all last week and wouldn’t you know … that kitten that was looking at me from under the bed like she was wondering if she could trust us and it propelled me to the journal to write it down.  Please allow me to share.

I didn’t know what trust really was until it was broken.  I didn’t know what trusting in God was until I was drowning in my own stress and far outside my own abilities to do or fix the situation.  It was all about a move…. Well, actually, it was about my husband’s impending Army retirement, job hunting, job finding, selling a house in under 2 years of ownership, picking and buying a new house, living simultaneously at either end of the state, taking care of the 3 kids, fixing a roof, etc.  Get the picture?

I have lots of experience in all those areas.  I knew how to do it all by myself because I learned as a military wife how to navigate the world of a fixed income, close on a house alone (well, ok, the kids WERE with me), how to fix stuff and how to call for HELP… but this move hit me like a ton of bricks.

One dear friend and fellow sister in Christ called me in the midst of my chaos and started blathering on about this scripture (blah blah blah) (roll my eyes) and I was absolutely not interested in what she offered.  (that, by the way, was a FIRST for me)  It was 2 Chronicles 20. 

Part of my stress at the time was that I was on a committee organizing a small retreat and you know…I was packing when she called and I thought “my ducks are in a row, I’m ready to roll” which means my childcare was covered and I was ready for a weekend at the beach with my lovely ladies before we all part ways for the summer moving season.  I did NOT have time to listen!

So, don’t you know, God shows up BIG TIME at the retreat.  By the end of the first night’s session with the speaker, we were in awe.  Trust was the topic and three-fourths of the ladies were dealing with that very issue.  Talk about thirsty, broken, soul-wrenched beings gathered together…

2 Chronicles 20 tells of the Moabites and the Ammonites  coming to make war with Jehoshaphat.  He was “alarmed.”  (I know, all I had was this big, looming relocation ahead)

VS 4  The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord.  (good time for a retreat – get together and seek help)

VS 6  The prayer Jehoshaphat spoke to God over them “O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven”  (Yes, we felt very small in the presence of that big God who wanted us to ask for help)

VS 13  They all stood before the Lord with this prayer he spoke  (We women were also ready and willing)

VS 18  Jehoshaphat bowed and all the pople of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord  (Some ladies did that as well)

VS 24  The armies anhihilated each other… God did all the work and when the men of Judah came, they saw only dead bodies!  God took care of it all!!!

Ok, so I trusted God – mostly because it was a financial immpossiblity for me to do it – and He did it all instead.  Every time I turned around that weekend there was a penny in front of me, on the pool steps, falling out of my menu… I just kept telling God, “thanks, that’s a great reminder.”

He never leaves us or forsakes us… I believe in my heart that every cent that we needed, He provided.  He had done it before, (another amazing story years before), but I guess I needed a new reminder that no matter how hard I try, I have to give the task to Him first or I’ll struggle with it.

I know it won’t take long before our new kitty will be running wild and hanging from the curtains – trusting us completely for food and water and a clean litter box with no question in her little mind.

We humans?  We sometimes need a little reminding, a little prompting, a little encouraging… or just an opportunity to trust Him for the first time. ;

John 4:13, 14  Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2012 in Life, in general

 

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