Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving fun!

Things are different this year, so it stands to reason that Thanksgiving would be different too. But I really enjoyed it!! The day was supper relaxing and simple, and I thought it was just about perfect! Faline and I got up SUPER and went to Butterfly to set Friday's sale so we wouldn't have to work the rest of the day. After that the kids and I headed to my parents for the day. Audrey and Nathaniel got to hang out with their uncle Grady, and it's been far too long since they got to hang together!
Uncle Grady, aka the Lego Uncle, and Audrey played on the floor building armies and staging battles for a long time. It was so sweet to see them together and hear her giggles!!!

Grady has always been the one to play with the kids, even Bri & Jo when they were little too, but Audrey has missed out on so much of that kind of time with him since he lives so far away now. This was really special to me to watch.

Speaking of Bri.....
I am not sure how this picture snuck it's way in here.. but it's too cute to delete!! Love those twirlers on her headband!!



Anyways... back to Thanksgiving..
In the past my kids have gotten bored with all the "big people talk" and watching TV, so I packed them up some of their favorite games to play. I know that Uncle G has a soft spot for boardgames, and thought it would be a fun way to spend some time! And it was!! We played Nathaniel's favorite board game, Disney Sorry. Nat the Great won that one :)


Then it was off to Uno. This was a great game for both of the little ones, and made for lots of giggles too!!

We played it over and over and over. But it was lots of fun!
To me, one of the most special things was how little yelling there was. I hate yelling. I hate having my children yelled at, especially when the person yelling is just taking their anger of not understanding the child out on the child. Yes, Nathaniel is special. Yes, he takes time to understand his little "things". And yes, Nathaniel gets way over stimulated with too much activity or too many people. But really.. he has no control over how God made him! Instead of yelling he needs taught how to behave in more socially acceptable ways and he needs grace and understanding. Only once really did Nat get yelled at for just being Nat, and that has to be some sort of record!! And I was really proud of Grady too, because when he had had enough of Nat, Grady just took a time out in the other room and came back in a better mood a little while latter. It was so much less stressful for me than usual!

And of course the day ended with a feast to beat all feasts! Yummy food, fun relaxing company and bonding time with children... what better way to spend Thanksgiving??

And we did have much to be thankful too. One BIG thing that I was thankful for was the food gifts that my children and I were given that week. One gift came from a dear customer, who I didn't realize is also a blog reader. She came by the shop with two huge boxes of produce and bread goods for us. What a surprise and blessing! And the other gift came from a great organization that has been helping me with my legal work, they gave our family a few bags of canned goods, boxed goods and a fresh turkey. How sweet hu?

The only downer was at the end of the day, when Nat and Audrey realized that their father was not keeping his word about seeing them that day. As we were getting ready for bed both of them suddenly remembered that daddy had "promised" that he would see them on Thanksgiving. (I had remembered earlier, but no matter how many times I called for a time of the visit I kept getting put off. Put off right up to bed time.) Both of them went into full melt down mode. Crying, tantruming, feeling sad and abandoned. It was awful, and it was so hard not to show them how mad I was at their father for causing this. It took me almost 2 hours to settle them down and get them to sleep, which was a bit much for me after I had gotten up so early to work that morning (they got to sleep in since Bri was at the house with them and we just let all of the kids sleep in). But in the end, I am the one that was blessed, because I got to share this wonderful day with my children and once they were asleep I got the sleep next to the sweetest children I know while their father did not. I wold choose the blessing of being with them, even when they are sad and hurt, over not being with them ANY DAY!
I hope that you and your family had a blessed day and many blessing to come :)





owies & cars

I guess that writing a blog post after working an 12+ hour day AND having to deal with the reality of a BADLY damaged car does NOT make for a clear and coherent Gretchen! So to clarify a thing or two from my last post....

No, the damaged tire had NOTHING to do with the accident. He pulled out into oncoming traffic (that he claims he didn't see) and then swerved to avoid a collision (which obviously did not work!). The tire had nothing to do with this one. BUT I do think that it would NOT have happened if the car was parked until fixed like I asked for it to be. I mean how can you be in the wrong place at the wrong time if the car is parked in the driveway. And I DO think that his medical issues played into this whole situation. Dose it make me less angry? No. Does it excuse it? Never. Dose it reinforce my belief that he needs treatment and is not safe until he gets it? Absolutely.

Point two that I didn't make. I am thankful that the kids and I were NOT with him in the car, and that for the most part my kids have not been affected by the the ugliness of all of this. I love my children so much and am trying to keep them out of all of this as much as possible. Their little hearts do not need burdened by all of this!

And for those of you who inquired.....

Here's my dear car.....
the whole ugly thing...

close up of impact number one.

wide angle of impact number one.. ugly hu?


Impact number 2. He hit the front, pun and hit the back on the same other car...


And impact number 3. I don't even understand how this one happened....



My poor car.. taking a nap. It is so sad.

I continue to pray that the other people are ok. That they don't have lasting injuries or nightmares over this. That the Lord watches over them and protects them.

So that is it... I think. Until the insurance company rules on all of this and we find out what comes next. Until then I am putting it away. Not thinking about it, not dwelling on it. There are so much better things to do with my mind! Like go play at Butterfly and snuggle my sweet children!! Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

keeping it real...

So if you know me in real life you know how mild mannered and laid back I am right? At least in my dreams right? Yea... controling my .....ummmm..... wicked tongue! is sometimes a HUGE struggle in my life. One that I don't always win on either. But REALLY I have been working on this!! Seriously. But yesterday REALLY tested me.

For the last few weeks Mark and I have been having some pointed disagreements about the condition of, use of and treatment of a vehicle that we jointly own. I have felt that he was treating it with complete disregaurd and misusing it. He has felt that it is his to treat any way he likes. I have at various times felt that it was not safe to drive and therefore he shouldn't be driving it. We have gone back and forth for what seems like FOREVER. Just yesterday we were back there again.

Around 5 pm I called Mark to check and make sure that the tire that we had agreed needed fixed had been taken care of as agreed. The converstation went something like this:

Me: Hey, you get that tire taken care of?
In my head: Yo, you. You told me that you would take the car to the shop this MORNING, it's now 5 pm, that tire had better damn good and well be fixed by now!

Mark: Nope.

Me: okay, why not?
In my head: WHAT??? Are you freaking kidding me??? You PROMISED. Can I not trust a SINGLE promise you make??

Mark: It cost too much. I didn't want to do it.

In my head: ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Just last week I had the first tire fixed at the same tire shop it was FREE. They told me that since I bought the tires there fixes were FREE. HOW is free too much??? Give me a freaking break!
Me: Ok. Your choice but if that is the case the car needs PARKED in the driveway until the tire can be fixed. It's just NOT ok with me to drive around on bad tires!

Mark: No, I am going to my meeting first.

In my head: WHAT?? I don't think so! Your meeting is 30 miles away ONE WAY. What the hell are you thinking driving all that way on a bad tire??? NO way in HELL. You are going to go too fast, have a blow out, wreak the danmed car and KILL some innocent person in the middle of it all! NO. NO. NO. I don't thinks so buddy boy.
Me: No, that is not ok with me. The car is half mine and I do not think it is safe to drive. Please park it and find another way to group.

Mark: It's fine. It's safe. I have been driving with it like this for weeks. I am going to group. Goodbye.

In my head: What a freaking JERK. He thinks NOTHING he dose has any consequence at all. He can do whatever he wants because someone is always going to take care of it for him. I HATE this. It is NOT ok. I am sick of cleaning up his freaking messes. I am so done with this. I am going to that meeting as soon as I get off of work and doing some creative disabling RIGHT THERE in the parking lot of the meeting. I am NOT letting him hurt some innocent person because of his selfishness.. no way no how. Ugh. Men!

Calling him back...
Me: I need you to know that I think it is DANGEROUS to drive the car in this condition. I am NOT ok with it. I want you to park it NOW. There are going to be consequences to driving the car in an unsafe condition.

Mark: No. I am going to meeting. Bye.

In my head: OH. MY. GOSH. I HATE this. I am sooooo done. He is not going to know what hit him when that car won't start for him after meeting. And it serves him right too. UGH.

About 15 minutes latter the phone rings and I see that it is Mark. I answer:

Mark: I am alive... but there is a BIG problem.

In my head: NOW WHAT????
Me: And the problem would be?

Mark: I was in an accident. A BAD accident. (then his phone cuts out and drops the call.)

In my head: Can I say I TOLD YOU SO!!! Ok, so HOW bad? Is anyone dead? Seriously hurt? Oh shit, is Mark seriously hurt? He doesn't have medical insurance. I wonder who's fault the accident was. Well his of course.... it is only my lick that it would be that way.... Ugh. Why the hell isn't he answering his phone now. If he hurt someone else he is going to WISH he were dead by the time I finish with him. I am SO going to hurt him. And NONE of this would have happened if the car was in my driveway like I said!!! Gonna hurt him, gonna hurt him, gonna hurt him!

So I finally find out where the accident is and head on over there. It is BAD, just like he said. Somehow he managed to get THREE points of impact on our car .. and there was only ONE other car involved. HOW???? I don't get it. And the driver of the other car was taken to the hospital too. AND the other car looked just as bad, if not worse than our car. AND it looks like Mark will be found at fault in causing the accident. AND mark IS actually hurt, but refusing medical treatment. I had SO MANY thoughts floating around in my head... and almost NONE of them were nice.... but all I said was:

Me: It's good to see that you could walk away from all of this. I wish you would get medical treatment. Where would you like me to take you now?

So many times I just wanted to THRASH him about this. But to this minute I have held my tongue. I have been SO GOOD and SO GOLDY with my words. And has he noticed??? Not that he's said. Ahhh.... but I know HE (God) has noticed... and my reward will await me latter!

So, if you are the praying type, PLEASE pray for His hand in the dealings with this situation. Please pray that the other driver wasn't hurt too badly, or even that she was taken to the hospital and found to be fine! Please pray for His guidance when it comes to fixing the car or not (at this time it is looking like a "total") Please pray that God deals with either Mark's injury OR Mark's thoughts about it. And please pray that I will continue to hold my tongue!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

thankful day 2....

Today I am thankful to waking up to this:
Beautiful, sweet, cuddly, healthy children. Snuggling in bed with mommy so sweet this morning!

And I am thankful for the Sweet and Salty Fairy!!!

See, Nathaniel signed up to bring his favorite food to his feast at school today... Sweet & Salty bars. There was just one MAJOR problem. Mommy was OUT of S & S bars, and they are mail order, so I couldn't get them here that fast.... But the Sweet & Salty Fairy made a delivery EARLY this morning at my house. Bless You!!!

And that makes me thankful that I was able to send this tray of treats to school with Nathaniel this morning to share with his class. The yummo cookies I made last night AND his Sweet & Salty bars :0)

And I am thankful for this beautiful, sweet princess today. And my camera to capture sweet moments like these with her! They grow so fast, I am so thankful that I can freeze time occasionally in pictures!!

So in this day, what are YOU thankful for??
Blessings!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Can you believe it's Not Me Monday again so soon?? I can't! This weeks seem to be a big ole bluer!!

This week I did NOT make supper yummy Cream of Asparagus soup, only to have my children take one taste each and say "Oh gross, we do NOT like Cream of Asparagus soup!!" And even if it had gone down that way I would NEVER have gone back into the kitchen, banged the pots and pans around for awhile and then reserved them the SAME BOWLS of soup proclaiming, "Ok, mommy made you Asparagus Chowder this time." And they most definitely did not eat two whole bowls each, proclaiming to LOVE Asparagus Chowder.... yea, I so don't do things like that!!

My darling son, Nathaniel, did NOT wear shorts both days this weekend because mommy was so far behind on laundry that he didn't have any clean pants. Nope, not me! I know that a load a day keeps the laundry monster away, and I ALWAYS do my load a day... no matter how crappy the day has been! And, even if I skipped a load a day now and again I would NEVER have skipped it so many days in a row that there was a weeks worth of laundry piled up!! Nope, Not Me, NEVER!

This past week I did NOT have to pin down two screaming, tantruming children to get their H1N1 shots at school. No way, my children are angels when it comes to getting shots. And they would NEVER have made a scene like that in front of all of their friends. And I did not seriously think to myself "Do they REALLY need this shot, even though their doctor told me it was absolutely necessary?" No, I would never consider giving in to tantrums that way....

Oh, and for sure, my daughter did NOT tell the guy she was sitting next to in church that she needed a new daddy. And if for some unknown reason she had done that, she would NEVER have followed up with "And you look like a cute, fun, crazy dad and you go to church like a Christian, so will you move in with us?" Oh. My. Heck. My children KNOW better than embarrassing mommy like that!! Oh my, he may NEVER sit next to us again.....

And finally, we did NOT have a conversation that went like this in our house this week:
N: Mommy I need a goodnight snack.
Me: Ok Nat, what do you want?
N: A go cart.
Me: A go cart?
N: Yes.
Me: We don't eat go carts honey, we ride in them.
N: You don't know anything, of course we eat go carts.
Me: Well...... what exactly is a go cart??
N: Like a stringy yogurt.
Me: A stringy yogurt? You mean string cheese?
N: No Mom, I mean a GO CART.
Me: Ok, I give up. Show me.
N: (in the kitchen standing at the fridge pointing up) See mom, the red box. Go Cart. Can I have one please.
Me: OHHHHH... you mean GO GURT!!
N: No MOM. GO CART. Can I just eat it already?

Yea, such is my life!! What have you not been up to this week? Head on over to MckMama's and check out what everyone there hasn't been doing!! And have a great day! We will chat again soon :)

Blessings!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

thankful....

Today at church Pastor Randy asked some among us to stand up and say what we are thankful for... And I am so glad he didn't ask me! Seriously, the ONLY thing I could think of sitting there was the song, Grace Like Rain, that we had just sung. Had he called on me (if he dared!!) he would have got "Gary and the guys singing Grace Like Rain." as an answer!! But it did get me thinking about the blessings in the middle of the MUCK that is my life these days, so I thought I would write tonight, and perhaps throughout this week on some of the things that I am thankful for right now.

I am thankful that on Friday (payday for me) I was able to pay ALL of the utility bills!! AND I was able to purchase bras too. Now this might seem silly to you, but when you are a 40GG in bra size it is NOT cheap to buy bras! I broke my last two this week and it's just not socially acceptable to go to work without, so being able to buy some was a HUGE blessing to me! We might not eat much this week, but we will be warm, the lights will be on and mommy will be able to go to work dress appropriately!

Today, as I TRY to do every Sunday, I prepped the meals for the up coming week. I am SO THANKFUL that I had enough food to make all the meals for the week! I even found the ingredients in the fridge for the kids favorite veggie pasta salad, which was a huge blessing since they will only be in school 2 days this week, and I will have to feed them lunch way more often than I am used to! We are a bit short on fresh things and snack stuff, but I KNOW that God will provide all of this for us, He always does! And I am thankful that I have FAITH that God will provide the food my children need so I don't have to stress over that, even when my cabinets are as bare as they are!

One of the ladies at church today was sharing that Salvation Army needs help right now in our area, and it reminded me that I am thankful that there are organizations around us that can help families like mine. Thankfully we haven't had to use SA's services this year, but there have been years in the past that we were blessed with their assistance in paying some of our utility bills. I am thankful that people with extra share so that those in need can get help.

And I am SUPER thankful that God takes care of us in ALL things, as He so pointedly proved to me yet again this week. We have been facing foreclosure in our home. I have been fighting so hard trying to hang onto our house in the midst of so much and it has made me SO TIRED. Finally I hit my knees and GAVE UP. Seriously, I gave up. My prayer was something like this: "I am done fighting this God. I am done trying so hard to hang on to this structure. Yes, it means a lot to me. Yes, it makes me cry knowing that we are loosing it. Yes, I have no idea how to explain this to my kids. But I know that YOU have a plan. YOU are in control and YOU will be with us no matter where we go. I give it all to you Lord. Guide my feet on this path, since I can't see it through the tears!" Then I got up, went looking for rentals for the kids and I. It SUCKED!! I HATE rentals, but this is what needed done. I finally found a place, still in LO, but cheap enough that I could afford and big enough that we wouldn't go stir crazy. The landlord was a down to earth guy, and offered it to me that day. It was trashed, and I was sad about it, but it was a house. A roof over our head. And I could afford it. I said it looked great, but could I have 24 hours to pray over it. He was down with that. So I went home resigned that this would be our new reality. I don't know why I stalled, but I just did. And AMAZINGLY that night I got a phone call that changed everything! I have NO IDEA what changed, but something did, and the kids and I have a chance to stay in the house!! For sure through the holidays and into the new year! This is a total miracle, since the house was scheduled to be sold in a foreclosure sale on Dec 14th, but now we have till Jan 20th AND there is a possibility that things will work out even better than that in the long run. I am still totally dependant on HIM to work this all out, but He again has shown me HOW AMAZINGLY he cares for each of us, especially when we give it all up to Him!

And lastly tonight I am thankful that I got all 4 of my kids a WONDERFUL surprise for Christmas before everything went topsy turvy. There are still many details to work out, but I have faith that they will all be smoothed over and this will be a trip to remember forever for my children! Just tonight another of the details got worked out in an amazing way that I was not expecting!

So what are you thankful for this day? What are the bright spots in your muck, if you have muck? And if you don't have muck, what can you do to bless those that do?

Blessings!!

Sale over at BB!!

I thought I would let you all know that we have a FABULOUS sale going on over on the Butterfly Boutique blog!!

Check it out HERE!

And please pass it on to your friends and family for us!! It's been a rough month and we NEED to move some merchandise!!!
Blessings!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Oh My Heck!!

It has been QUITE a day around here....

This morning I woke up SUPER EARLY to paint a bunch of tee shirts for a rush order that I took for this week. Then I got ready for work and was scheduled to leave at 715... that is when EVERYTHING fell apart! Faline came in to get my kids ready for school only to report that Brianna was home with super swollen glands and we were afraid she had strep throat. Josie was at school drugged up (on legal drugs of course) because she had broke a tooth last night and was in big time pain. And there was still Nathaniel and his funk to deal with... Oh and I got a great phone call from Mark.

Yea, Mark, that husband of mine that I am having VERY limited contact with these days called me with one of those interesting phone calls. "I have a problem" he says. Ummm yea, I am SO NOT touching that one I think to myself. It turns out he had a flat tire and he drove the tire right off of the rim of the car. Smart move, buddy boy, hu? But I was so nice about it. So Faline and I threw fixing the car and getting Mark to work into our crazy busy morning. (Yes, Faline and I both know how to change a tire, while Mark does not AND don't feel too sorry for us, there was a benefit for Faline and I too...). Needless to say THAT car is out of commission for a while until someone can afford to buy a new rim and tire for it....

Late last night we FINALLY figured out Nathaniel's funk (you know the one that got me THREE calls from his teacher yesterday AND a call from the principal too! and the same funk that had us pulling our hair out all afternoon and evening with him.. yea, that funk) Yep. he is so funny. You can ask and ask and ask that child what is bothering him, but he won't tell you till he's good and ready! So he's sitting there playing on his computer last night and I am talking to a friend. Nathaniel looks up and says to me "I was so worried all day. Someone was going to walk into my class any minute and shoot me." WHAT???? Well after talking to him for a bit I FINALLY figured out that he was stressed out about the H1N1 shot that he is getting at school THURSDAY! He had over heard some other students talking about it and internalized his stress over it. We saw the stress in the form of him acting out big time.... THANK GOD we have that figured out, and he had a WAY better day today since we all knew what was bothering him and could remind him that it wasn't today. I also talked to the principal and he is going to let Nathaniel get his shot EARLY in the day so he can mellow out over it!

Then it was off to drop Nathaniel and Audrey at school and get Josie a dentist appointment. I LOVE our dentist. He is SO AWESOME!!! They got Josie RIGHT in and got her treatment started. So the kid with a broken tooth needs SEVEN cavities filled AND a root canal!! Ugh.... there is like $2500.00 worth of bills on that child. You know, the one WITHOUT dental insurance!! Wonder if I can take up a collection to pay for that.... :)

Once we finished there it was off to CHC with Brianna to see why her glands were so swollen and hard. Good news... NOT strep throat. Bad news... she does have a cold and she is SUCH A BABY when she is sick!!

Then it was back to Butterfly to finish EIGHT cheerleader costumes (a rush order I took on Sunday) AND a woman's sport coat AND five pairs of pants... all due today! Yes, when it rains it pours! But I can't afford to turn any work away so I work crazy hours :)

Right now we are sitting upstairs at Butterfly and I am sewing madly trying to make a bunch of BIG deadlines that I have. Because I am really busy Josie has been delegated to help Audrey with her reading homework. The conversations that I am overhearing are cracking me up! Now remember, Josie is a little..... ummm... OPINIONATED! Audrey is reading her sight word flash cards for her homework and you have to listen to what we are hearing...

J: J.U.S.T. HOW in the heck did you get "chip" out of that Audrey???? It's JUST!

another word....
J: T.H. Audrey only makes ONE sound... how is the ONLY way you are allowed to spit at your parents?.... ttthhhh... ttthhhh... that 's the sound and the ONLY way you are allowed to spit at your parents!!!

next word:
A: (in sing song voice) How, oh how do you say this work? How, oh how do you say this word? Anyone? Anyone? Is ANYONE listening to me??

yet another word:
A: T.I.M.E Oh this word is "tit"... wait isn't that a bad word for breast? Why is that one of my sight words??

After a bit of this Faline decides that she really can't take anymore of this and she really needs some caffeine so she sends Josie to get her a soda and takes over the reading with Audrey. After a few attempts at words that Audrey totally butchers Faline says to her:

"Audrey please sound the words out backwards. Start at the end and sound out in reverse."
A: "That is silly Aunta. That would make my words wrong!"
F: "But you are getting them wrong sounding them out the right way, so why not try it!!"
And low and behold... the next five words she sounds out backwards and gets them all five RIGHT!!
Oh me Oh my!!

Costumes now finished and on their way to be delivered. All alteration orders are done and picked up. It's time to go sort out the fresh free food, bake a strawberry cake, and change that tire that still needs dealt with. Oh, and there is still Nathaniel's homework to deal with too....

Yup.... wish me luck on this night!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

On Job

Here's your fair warning.. I am DOWN today. I have tears that won't stop. And a dear friend of mine suggested I go blog about it... so this is my bare heart bleeding onto the page. Don't want that right now? Move on! Because I am going to bleed it out, just like he said to!

Have you ever read the book of Job? I FEEL like Job felt these days!
Like this:

On my right the tribe attacks;
they lay snares for my feet,
they build their siege ramps against me.

They break up my road;
they succeed in destroying me—
without anyone's helping them.

They advance as through a gaping breach;
amid the ruins they come rolling in.

Terrors overwhelm me;
my dignity is driven away as by the wind,
my safety vanishes like a cloud.

"And now my life ebbs away;
days of suffering grip me.

Night pierces my bones;
my gnawing pains never rest.
Job 30:12-17

I feel like this. Like I am under constant attack. Like I am being destroyed beyond repair. Like there is no safety in my life, no place to hide from the storm. It just rages on, pelting me with every drop. Only my enemy is one that is called to love me. Called to cherish me like Christ cherished the church. How is this possible I ask. I seriously want to know God, how is it possible that the one that you blessed me with is the ONE that is killing me with his actions, with his words? The one telling me that I am nothing. That beats me down and leaves me dry and empty? Is this what my life on this earth is to be God? Really? This is what my Father who loves me has for me? For my children?

In Job it goes on to say, that in the midst of all of this agony it only gets WORSE!

"I cry out to you, O God, but you do not answer;
I stand up, but you merely look at me.

You turn on me ruthlessly;
with the might of your hand you attack me.

You snatch me up and drive me before the wind;
you toss me about in the storm.

I know you will bring me down to death,
to the place appointed for all the living.

"Surely no one lays a hand on a broken man
when he cries for help in his distress.

Have I not wept for those in trouble?
Has not my soul grieved for the poor?

Yet when I hoped for good, evil came;
when I looked for light, then came darkness.

The churning inside me never stops;
days of suffering confront me.
Job 30:20-27

Great.. it's going to get worse? I can't stand it now, how in the hell am I going to stand it any worse?? I mean, aren't I broken enough yet?? But then I read on in Job... and there is a glimmer of hope. A small glimmer.. a barely there glimmer. But a glimmer all the same. Because you see in the end Job prevails, he is given victory, he is made right with God and he KNOWS it.

I know that I am not perfect. Far from it. But I also know that God has been working in my heart for a VERY LONG time to call it further into alignment with His. I know that I am growing more and more Godly everyday. That He is working His will in my life. I am no longer acting out of a need for revenge, but a true desire to live in peace, to be honored and to be cherished. There are those around me that are still acting out in revenge. Causing harm and pain just to feel the rush of the power trip once they are done. And it is so HARD to be Godly when those attacks come. It is even harder to get up once the attacks are over, because I am drained. I have been giving for so long that I m just drained of any reserve that I would usually have.

This morning I was curled up on my kitchen floor (because it was all I could do to just get in the front door) bawling my heart out. I hurt so deep I didn't even care anymore. ANYTHING to make the pain go away. I cried for a LONG time.. there were puddles on the floor! But I am smarter than that, I know that that is the enemy's attack method. So after I had cried the worst of it I started down the phone list. And I had to get pretty far down it to find someone to talk to. But I think that is JUST who God wished me to talk to this time. It never ceases to amaze me that He knows which prayer partner I need at which time.. I do wish He gave better clues about which one to call first though!

I really don't know what was said, I just know that the rhythm of the voice calmed me, the point of the story was meant for me, and the person cared.. that was all I needed.. to know that I was cared for by SOMEONE, anyone. Because it's hard to KNOW that God loves you when so few here on earth show that they love you. It is so hard to imagine that He would care SO MUCH, love SO MUCH and be so involved in my life when I am not worthy of that here. The human mind just can not get around that, or at least mine can't! So here I am..... empty.. sad... crushed... and PRAYING that the storm is almost over and it will be time to see the rainbow soon. Please?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

darkness

As most of you know, I am on a new path in my life with the Lord. It is not a path I would have EVER chosen on my own, only through an EXTENDED amount of time on my knees in conversation with the Lord have I chose to take this path. It's a dark and lonely path, but I feel confident that it is the one He wants me and my precious children on. It scares the heck out of me, and I really want nothing to do with it, but I know better than taking a path other than the one that the Lord ordains. So down this dark road we are traveling. I know that we will NEVER be traveling alone, for He will be with us every step of the way, carrying us when we are too weary to walk ourselves.

And it is that very weakness I am feeling now. A heaviness with each breath I take. A sadness in each blink of my eye. Always fighting the tears, always fighting the enemy that would fill me with lies. It was such a struggle to simply get out of bed today. But I did manage it. Not in the normal time that I would, not even close. And not without help of dear friends. But I did it, and that in and of itself is a victory! Now I am just counting the minutes until my dear children fall asleep so I can curl back up in the comfort of my bed!

Today I was granted a big step forward in this journey. I know it's big. I know I should feel something. But honestly... I just cried when I found out. Not from sadness. No I don't feel sadness. I don't feel relief (which is what I thought I would feel). I don't feel vindication... or anything really. I simply feel like another part of my heart just died. I stand in the bathroom looking in the mirror and wander who the heck that woman is?? It's not me. I don't have grey hair, or these eyes.... or any of it. My dreams are gone, totally utterly crushed. My hopes in what I was gone too. I know that the Lord talks about seasons in Ecclesiastes and I know that there is a season for everything. But I am feeling like this is the season of loosing all that is Gretchen, and I am not sure I can bear that! This step that SHOULD have me feeling Something, only has me feel empty and dying. Not what I was expecting at all....

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build
,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance
,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

In reading this I am so scarred that it is my season to dye, to uproot, to tear down, to weep, to mourn and to search... ALL AT THE SAME TIME !! That is so not fair Lord! Oh yea, but He never promised that life would be fair did He?? I know that IN HIM, I will make it through to the other side... but I wonder HOW and when my joy will return. Such craziness.

I have certain blogs that I read daily. Mostly women of faith that struggle with real, everyday lives and I draw strength from those women, their storms and the way they walk through them with the Lord. I love sharing in the parts of their lives that they blog about. One in particular has been on my hear SO MUCH these last few days. And I just have to give a HUGE praise report and thank you to God for his miraculous healing hand! Such an amazing, painful, terrifying journey THIS family has been on, and God has SO FAITHFULLY answered their greatest prayer for the last YEAR this week! If you want to read about an amazingly strong woman of faith in an unbelievably trying time check it out. And THANK YOU Lord for the miracle you provided to this family.. you are SO AMAZING!!
I just got a SUPER COOL email!!

For Halloween, one of the things that we did was stop off at Sea Pines Golf Resort here in Los Osos and have our pictures taken for their Halloween costume contest! Now I know that think our costumes were super cute and cool, but I am probably partial since I made almost all of the costumes we were wearing! But...
We found out today that Nathaniel won for the *Most Creative* category!!! I am so excited to show him his picture (the one above) in the email with all of the other winners and take him over to pick up his prize!!

Yahoo Nathaniel!!

Oh.. Gary, now you can tell him that you actually saw his costume next time he asks :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

May The Words Of My Mouth
by Tim Hughes

May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart
Bless Your name, bless Your name, Jesus
And the deeds of the day and the truth in my ways
Speak of You, speak of You, Jesus

For this is what I'm glad to do
It's time to live a life of love that pleases You
And I will give my all to You
Surrender everything I have and follow You
I'll follow You

Lord, will You be my vision, Lord, will You be my guide
Be my hope, be my light and the way
And I'll look not for riches, nor praises on earth
Only You'll be the first of my heart

I will follow
I will follow
I will follow
You
You know how sometimes, when you are walking through a certain season in your life, there is a song or a saying or something that speaks DIRECTLY to your heart? Well I am in a season, it's been a really long season, but it's changing. I feel the Lord changing my hear. I see the Lord revealing lies that I have believed to me. I see the new path that the Lord has before me. And it scares the HELL out of me. I am not one that says that often, but I am so scarred right now! But this song... this song the Lord keeps putting before me, on my heart and in my ears. And I LOVE IT! It is so perfect for this season!!
In this season I don't want my human and weak nature to control my actions, I ONLY want to do what the Lord wants me to. I only strive to act in a way that blesses the Lord, that pleases Him. My prayer is that in ALL THINGS, no matter how difficult, I will follow ONLY HIM.
I was blessed today that this song was included in the worships set at church. The words cut deep into my heart and refreshed me with a renewed strength to set my feet to the path that He has before me. Actually, I was totally blessed with the whole worship set today, which was a good thing because the kids were far to squirmy for me to hang out much beyond that. I also had a brief conversation with a dear friend of mine in which the Lord used him to reaffirm the path I am on. There is nothing like telling a friend something expecting one reaction and getting another one altogether! The Lord is so amazing!! I walked away from the house of the Lord with a renewed heart and spirit. Thank you Lord for that gift!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

techincal difficulties!

Okay.. so I am a bit technically challenged at times. The NEXT post is the video clip of Nathaniel singing Barking at the Moon with his school choir. I had issues uploading it on blogger... so I did the next logical thing and loaded it on fightback and posted it here... but then I guess you can't type anything else or it all disappears ... so here is the explanation, next is the video and finally you see the post... geesh! What this momma does to share her blessings with you all!! But you know I do it because I love you and know that you love my kids too right??
Have a GREAT day!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

bear hug time!!

Yesterday was a REALLY BAD day for me in so many ways. But my children are EVERYTHING to me, so I was blessed to have some super sweet moments and memories with them to offset some of the horrible that was everywhere else!

At the school that my children attend student recognition is REALLY BIG. They have a "Bear Hug" Assembly every week (well except we missed the last two weeks because the multipurpose room had storm damage and could not be used) where each teacher has the opportunity to recognize something outstanding about one or two of their students. By the end of the year EVERY STUDENT on campus will have received a Bear Hug! How cool is that? I really like that they work so diligently to encourage the students and point out their victories!! This week Audrey received a Bear Hug from her teacher!!

She jumped right up, so was SO EXCITED for her turn to shine!

She found me in the audience pretty easily and posed so cute through the rest of the kids getting honored for me to get pictures of her, sweet girl!

One of Audrey's dear friends Francesca also got a Bear Hug from her teacher. Aren't they just so sweet together??

At the end of the assembly each time the whole group of kids who got Bear Hugs gets their picture taken and it goes on a special board in the office. By the end of the year everyone in the school will be on that board somewhere! This is a really big group this week, but keep in mind it's really three weeks worth of awards because of the damaged Multi Purpose room!

But this was a double special Bear Hug Assembly for me! Nathaniel is now in the fourth grade, which means that he is old enough to sing in the choir!! And this was the first time that the choir has performed together this year, so it was the first time I got to see and hear Nathaniel singing with his friends. How sweet to this momma! I had the hardest time not crying from the sweetness of seeing my special boy up there with his friends, most of whom are not SDC kids! I LOVE how inclusive our school is, that SDC kids are right up there with all the "normal" kids, and that every accommodation is made for them to participate in all of the activities! God Blesses our community so much with this school, these fabulous teachers and administrators who make EVERY child important and the sense of community that they work so hard to faster. I thank God all the time that I have such a wonderful school for BOTH of my children to attend TOGETHER!


So here is the whole choir, made up of 4th, 5th and 6th graders that choose to be in it. Nathaniel is in the front row, third from the right.. the one NOT looking at me, of course!


Here he is singing his heart out!!

And here is a quick video of them singing a song from the movie Shrek. (Don't forget to mute my play list so that you can hear the video!)


video

I am amazed over and over again at the COMPLETE blessing of my children, and am so thankful that God chose ME as their mother. How lucky am I?

We are off to our final TOPSoccer game today. And then a busy day at Butterfly. I am praying for God's peace and strength to endure it all.

May your day be BLESSED too!


But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD;
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in Your hand;
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies,
And from those who persecute me.
Make Your face shine upon Your servant;
Save me for Your mercies’ sake.
Do not let me be ashamed, O LORD, for I have called upon You;
Let the wicked be ashamed;
Let them be silent in the grave.
Let the lying lips be put to silence,
Which speak insolent things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.

Oh, how great is Your goodness,
Which You have laid up for those who fear You,
Which You have prepared for those who trust in You
In the presence of the sons of men!
You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence
From the plots of man;
You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion
From the strife of tongues.

Blessed be the LORD,
For He has shown me His marvelous kindness in a strong city!
For I said in my haste,
“I am cut off from before Your eyes”;
Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications
When I cried out to You.

Oh, love the LORD, all you His saints!
For the LORD preserves the faithful,
And fully repays the proud person.
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the LORD.
Psalm 31:14-24

My heart is heavy today, and my Spirit tired. The battle I fight is a righteous one, but my human body is overwhelmed with it. I feel surrounded by evil, liars and the unrighteous. It is time for the tide to turn in my opinion, but I wait on the Lord to show me the path of my feet today. Won't you join in me in praying for clarity, peace and grace abounding for my precious children and I? Won't you tuck us close to your heart today please?