Monday, August 9, 2010

Directions, Directions...

Up to this point, I have basically been an aimless blogger. Sure, I have big dreams about where I would like to go with my blog, but unfortunately they have yet to make it out of my head!

I'm currently working on a new site that will allow me to do more... Blogger is amazing, but I can only do so much with adding pages. Once I get moved to the new site, my plan is to start blogging more regularly (at least once a week) so that whoever is reading my blog actually has something to read! ;-) I'm so excited to see where this is going to go and what God wants me to do with it!

So, keep checking back and I will let you know when my new site is ready!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Less is WAY More

Oh my word! I had no idea what I was getting myself into with this closet-cleaning business!

It was out.......of........control.

I pulled clothes out of EVERYWHERE. Closet, drawers, shelves, laundry baskets, dryer... and this is what I found:

Blue Jeans: 10 pairs (7 of which I rarely wear, 1 maternity)

Athletic pants: 2 pairs (1 of which I rarely wear)

Comfy Pants: 6 (4 of which I rarely wear, I maternity)

Jammie Pants: 14 pairs!!! (8 of which I rarely wear)

Skirts: 14 (12 of which I never wear, but partly due of a lack of matching shirts)

Shorts: 20 pairs!!! (12 of which I rarely wear, 4 maternity)
Slacks: 8 (4 of which I never wear, 4 maternity)


Total Bottoms: 74!!!

Tank Tops/Camisoles/"Beaters": 25 (14 of which I rarely wear, 3 maternity)

Long-Sleeve T-Shirts: 13 (10 of which I rarely wear)
Blouses: 25!!!!! (18 of which I rarely wear, 4 maternity)

Button-Up Shirts: 11 (9 of which I never wear, 2 maternity)

Dresses: 5 (3 of which I never wear, 1 maternity)

Coats/Jackets: 10 (6 of which I never wear)

Sweatshirts/Hoodies: 10 (4 of which I never wear)

Nightgown: 1 (1 of which I never wear)
Sweaters: 14 (10 of which I never wear)


T-Shirts: 42!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (22 of which I rarely wear, 1 maternity)
Total Tops (incl. dresses, nightgown, and coats): 166!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is so ridiculous! Look at this mess!!!

Isn't it terrible???

Hey look! A baby!

So after pondering whether or not I have enough clothing to dress the entire population of a small country (which I think may be possible), I proceeded to put all of my maternity clothes in one Rubbermaid container and winter clothes in another, then I piled up all of the clothes that I never wear so I can figure out what to do with all of it! I have creative uses for some, like my yet-to-complete plan for making a quilt out of old camp t-shirts, and using other ones to make up some cloth diapers. Maybe I can find a resale store and get some money out of the rest, that way I could move on to Project #2 and start replacing some of the clothes I do have with ones that are in my color scheme (which I also need to figure out). Oh, things to do!

Project #2 will probably be put on hold for a bit though, because right now I am more focused on my experimentation with organic/natural foods. Strange as it sounds, I am having a blast trying new recipes (currently working on some home-made granola...yummy!) and learning about what foods and ingredients are or aren't good for our bodies. I will talk more about my food experimentation at a later time though, because I have a grumpy baby boy that just woke up from his nap and is wanting my attention...

Oh, the joys of being a mommy! :-)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


My goal for the rest of this month? Simplify!

Why? In order to cut the stress along with the clutter! To spend less time looking for things I've misplaced and more time doing things that matter, like spending time with my precious family and serving others!

Americans have so much STUFF! Women pride themselves on how many pairs of shoes they have, men on how many cars, kids on how many toys... I'm beginning to realize that the "stuff" is oftentimes what makes our lives crazier and more stressed out! In my last post I talked about how I think God may be trying to teach me valuable lessons about the difference between "need" and "want" and the joy of contentment. Maybe this is another lesson...that too much stuff can cause stress and get in the way of what is really important.

My first project is to simplify my wardrobe. I have SO much clothing, it is ridiculous! The worst part is that I probably wear 1/4 or less of what I own! It is time to do some serious evaluating of my clothing!

I plan, first of all, to get rid of things that I simply never wear! After that, I am wanting to try to organize my clothes around a color scheme in order to ensure that everything I own (clothes, jewelry, accessories) can be used in some way. If I can't use it, it has to go!

I have gleaned some valuable "simplifying" tips from Lindsay at Passionate Homemaking and I am excited to try simplifying other areas of our home in the near future.

Stay tuned for a detailed description of my wardrobe-simplifying adventure!!! ;-)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Faithful In the Little Things?

"He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.

Luke 16:10 (NASB)

Jonathan and I have had an interesting time of things since we moved to Springfield. When we first moved here last August, neither of us had a job or any promise of one and I was pregnant. We felt that we had come by God's leading and we waited to see how He would come through for us.

And we waited.

And we waited.

And we got on food stamps.

And we waited.

Finally, in October I believe, Jonathan started a job answering phones and enrolling people in medicare. It was only temporary though, maybe through December, maybe January... That job payed decently and helped us get through that time. Then as the end of that one drew near, Jonathan searched for another job.

And searched.

And searched.

And another food stamps application.

And searched.

"Coincidentally", he met the ink supplier for our church while he was there working on ministry stuff for church, they hit it off, and Jonathan was offered a job with their company... would pay $600 a month! (Just FYI, our rent and bills at the time totaled a little over $900 a month).

Jonathan took that job since he had no other offers at the time and we needed some source of income, but we struggled a bit because we "needed" more money that.

The business he works for is a small one and he has flexibility so that he can take college courses, be involved with ministry at our church, and still see Noah and me in the evenings. It has been a tremendous blessing in that sense, but him and I have both struggled with the money aspect. What if our car breaks? What if we get pregnant again soon? What about when his Pell Grant refund runs out?

And then our church offered us the opportunity to live in a small house next door that used to be the food pantry. God works in such amazing ways!

And now I have begun to struggle again. Don't get me wrong, it's amazing to be earning more than we spend on a monthly basis. But what about extra? Just a
little teeny weeny bit... pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease, Lord? I don't need like a million dollars! Just a little extra to put in savings, save up for a house, save up for emergency situations, save up for a mini-van, buy curtains, buy a bookshelf, buy our own dining room table, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc. Okay, so maybe a thousand or two :). But that's not too much, is it God? Just a little teeny bit!

The things I want aren't outrageous. I don't need a BMW (which is too small) or a 14 bedroom house (which is to big to clean) or even to win the lottery (which is rather hard to do when you don't gamble and don't have money for tickets even if you wanted to do so!) Just the things that "normal" people have. Just the things that other people I know have. Just little conveniences. Just things to make my home and my life more home-y and enjoyable.

"He who is faithful in a very little thing..."

Am I faithful where I'm at and with what I have? Do I put God first every day? No. Do I intentionally seek to bless the lives of others with the little that we have? Not really. Do I wake up every morning and thank God for what I
do have? Not consistently at all! Then why would I expect to have more? Why would God have reason to give me things that I want if it will bring no glory to Him and His biggest priority (because He's God and it's okay) is His glory?

I'm not saying that if I consistently do the things I just mentioned and become a flawless Christian (do those even exist?) that He will most definitely give me more stuff. He may just decide to challenge me even more! Who knows but Him? What I'm saying is that He provides everything that I need and I, as His child, am commanded to be content and to be faithful regardless of whether He ever decides to bless me with more or not!

"And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus" Philippians 4:19 (KJV)

What do I NEED (in order of importance)?

1. Jesus
2. Water
3. Food
4. Clothing (although amount and styles are not of great importance when considering NEEDS only)

God doesn't ever even promise us a roof over our head, I don't think. (If you find a Scripture that says differently, let me know!) Ultimately, we need Him, which the Bible confirms over and over and over, and in Matthew 6, He addresses the issues of food, drink, and clothes. Period!

Looking at it from that perspective, I have WAY more stuff than I actually need!

Maybe we as a culture should begin to re-evaluate the word "need" in our lives and how we use it. "I NEED a new car." "I NEED a bigger house." "I NEED that shirt." "I NEED those $50 tennis shoes." "I NEED a Pepsi." "I NEED a 42-inch plasma, surround sound, high-def TV." "I NEED a Blackberry."

What do you NEED? Is it really a want? Is it something that you need to surrender to God and be content without? Not that having things is wrong, but if God knows that you'll be closer to Him the less things you have, doesn't He have good reason to limit your stuff?

I believe that is what He is doing in my life, and when I really think about it, I am grateful! He has blessed me with food, water, clothes, my sweet husband and baby, and most importantly, His precious blood that gives me life! So I will learn to be content and faithful with little. I may have to relearn this lesson 5 kajillion more times over the course of my life, but by God's grace, I
will learn it, and I hope you will too!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Potato Salad and Book Stores

It's been a few days since my last post...not that a whole lot has gone on since then, but I found myself kind of missing it after originally posting two days in a row!

Friday was an intensely stupid day. It was one of those days that you get less than halfway through and you already wish you could erase it from history. Jonathan and I were at odds with each other, it was rainy all day, and Noah wouldn't stop crying for anything. The only thing that's really worth mentioning on here is that I went to a Catholic mass for the first time ever with Jonathan and our friends, Brandon and Kari. It was really neat; a little different than a Baptist service, I must admit! It's fascinating to observe the differences between denominations/religions and how they all have positive and negative aspects to them.

After the mass, Jonathan went to a movie with Brandon and CK, another good friend of ours, and Noah and I came home and watched "Funny Girl" with Barbara Streisand. That's when I decided that we have similar noses (except mine isn't quite as Jewish) and I think that Barbara Streisand is very pretty (although uniquely so) so that made me happy! Maybe one day I'll come to peace with my nose.

I digress.

Yesterday started out on a much better foot than Friday. Jonathan helped me get some much needed housework done and then Noah and I went grocery shopping. The latter half of the day seemed rather useless considering that I spent most of my time between 3pm and 8pm making potato salad. No, that is not a typo...I seriously spent the better part of 5 hours just making potato salad. The reasons for this are that 1) Noah was apparently very hungry and needed fed multiple times and 2) I didn't make enough potato salad in the first batch for everyone who would be there for Easter lunch on Sunday so I had to make more. Bleh. I was pleasantly surprised that it even sounded good for lunch today after looking at it for so long yesterday! But seriously, who can say no to potatoes??? Exactly.

Today was better than Friday AND Saturday! No rain and no potato-salad-making. Jonathan and I ACTUALLY made it to Sunday School on time without pestering each other to hurry up getting ready (I'm pretty sure that's only the second time that has happened since we moved to Springfield almost 8 months ago!). The service was really good this morning and then we joined our dear friends/adopted family, the Dodds, for lunch (ah, potato salad). We were super lazy this afternoon and just visited until church tonight. Jonathan and I had nursery duty tonight and ended up playing "Red Light/Green Light" and "Mother May I" for most of it. It was Noah's first time and he won once at each game, although he did so vicariously through me!

After church tonight, Jonathan, CK, Noah and I went to Barnes & Noble for a while. Now, book stores and I have a love/hate relationship. I love books, but I HATE that I can't just buy out the whole store! I see so many books that I would love to read, such as Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, basically any book by Beth Moore, giant ones about Rome and other places with amazing pictures and facts, and this book called The Omnivore's Dilemma about the history of meals and food and such things. And cook books! Oh, I never truly appreciated cook books until after getting married and realizing that I actually really enjoy cooking. Now the cook book section is almost my favorite. Honestly, I don't even know what my favorite section is. Like I said before, it is a love/hate relationship of the worst kind. Next to chocolate,that is. Nope, just kidding! There's definitely no hate in my relationship with chocolate. It's all about love...

Oh dear! I just looked at the clock and it is 12:01 in the morning. For Pete's sake! Noah is asleep on the couch and Jonathan has been in bed for a while now. I should be sleeping too! Silly me! I guess it is time...

Goodnight world! I will see you on the morrow!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Spring has Sprung!!! Or is it summer?

My favorite season is spring. I love how the grass and the flowers start growing back. Everything is green and alive, and typically a mild temperature. But why is it that the weather likes to skip spring? It goes from 40 degrees to 90 degrees almost overnight? I disagree with this plan! Poor Noah, our little January baby, isn't so sure what he thinks of this whole heat thing! I've had him stripped down to his skivvies (a diaper can be categorized as skivvies, can't it?) for three days in a row now because he gets so hot! He's pretty cute that way though, I must admit! Behold:

Looks pretty content, doesn't he??? ;-) And look at this belly!!!

Ok, so maybe I don't mind that part of this whole 90 degree thing! I need to find out when the pool opens so we can see if he likes cooling off that way (...mental note...).

I suppose I had better go for today...dinner is about ready and we're going to hang out with some friends from church tonight. TTFN!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

To Blog or Not to Blog...

The apartment is a wreck. I can never get the dishes completely finished, the carpet has been vacuumed for a month, and I haven't gotten a chance to scrub out the tub since before Noah was born (btw, that was in January!!!) I still haven't managed to get thank-yous sent for the baby showers that were thrown for me in October and November. I am SOOOOOO behind in EVERYTHING!!! So what am I doing right now? Blogging.

I must be crazy.

Am I blogging so that I'll have something to do? That's a good one! Definitely not. I'm blogging because I need an outlet sometimes. Whether anyone reads this or not - well I suppose that doesn't matter so much as the fact that I can dump everything out here. Or a lot of things anyways. Since I know I probably won't get caught up on all of my housework for years either way, I might as well invest some small amount of time in sharing all the crazy things that happen around here! Life for me and my boyz can be very unpredictable, considering the fact that we try to live it under God's control, but it is definitely AMAZING! I wouldn't trade my life for any other life in the whole world! So if you hear me complain, feel free to remind me that I just said that! :-)