When God is First and Home is Second

When things are in this proper alignment, God first and home second, you have peace at home. You have peace in life and contentment in any circumstances. God being first is actually the key. That means God comes before everyone. My time and conversation with God is first priority, His Word is first read of the day, His worship is first priority of life. This is clicking into the power source of truth and appreciation and love and, well, power. Then family in the home is next, those entrusted to your personal care. They get first dibs on your time and energy, and because of the time spent recharging with God, you have more energy and proper perspective and outlook for them. Then what is left of you goes to help serve those around you and the church. There should be many to help there, so that is lower priority for me personally. And when things are difficult, what you give up first is the outside world, never time with God. You cannot run long on high power without recharging, so you cannot fight a difficult battle without recharging with God daily. Just a thought.

Home Improvements

I am not an excessive person. I am artistic and live beauty, especially nature and what God made but also what other people make that glorifies what God made (other artists). But when you have a home in need of repair, then home improvements can be made. You have to replace things anyway, so might as well make them a little better, newer, nicer, whatever if it falls in the budget. So when the ugly flourescent light fixtures died in the bathrooms (apparently their life expectancy is 28 years), we switched over to an LED fixture that is more reliable, more light and less energy required. Win win! So it is a little more work to take down an enormous dinosaur and space and paint, I love doing those things anyway and it looks phenomenal! So bring on the broken and we will repair them pretty! 🙂

A Farmer’s Life

Let me start by saying that few people on the planet are better people than farmers. I am not saying that because my dad and most of his family are farmers or because I grew up breathing the fresh air on a farm or because I never had better vegetables and fruit than what I grew up eating on the farm. But a good farmer grows much more than he needs as a business to feed people but few know how little he really makes or how few appreciate it. My dad used to say he felt sorry for city folk who think food comes from stores. No, food comes from the love and hard work of a farmer who tilled and planted and babies and waited then harvested that food all for months with a resulting pay that barely kept up his tractors and supplies and a little left over for the taxes on the land if we were lucky. But farmers do it because it is their passion to work the soil, produce food for people, raise cows for milk or beef, raise chickens for eggs and meat, etc. They know how and are good at it. They were in a long line of farmers who shared their knowledge, it is a part of them. They believe in America, the most patriotic people around. They love their families and it all starts and works for and with them. They know and love God because He surrounds them in the nature, talks to them in isolation for days on a tractor, is with them in the fresh air, the soil, gives them rain at the right time, provides for them. Farmers are ingenuitive, keeping things going, rigging things up, getting function where others would give up in tears. Farmers are businessmen, getting the most of every rare dime. Farmers are the strongest people I know in mentally tough ways and physically tough ways. I watched my dad move full oil drums himself, no equipment to help him. Just picked it up and moved it. Farmers should be studied as roll models and industry leaders, though most would never want that kind of glory. They are humble souls, doing what they know are nd loving what they do, resting up for the next thing on the schedule. Farmers a render beautiful people and you need to learn from them and hug them and thank them for the food. I am proud of that aspect of my highly respectable daddy. And I hope to go back someday and work the soil. It is in my blood and lungs, after all.

The Journey Home

Remembering Daddy was good in Florida with friends there and my mom. But there is something beautiful about being in Michigan on soil he farmed that made remembering Daddy with family and friends and soil who knew him that made this broken heart heal more and start to mend. I have two homes now, far away from each other and my heart resides in both places, one with the love of my life and my kids and friends and one with my dear family and friends and soil that tugs my heart. My homeland recharges me, heals, calms my mind and soothes my soul. And there, it was good to share Daddy’s memorial with those who knew the greatness of the man who cared for me all my days and protected me all my nights. And the soil of my birth and my Daddy’s toils and triumphs released my tears and soothed my wounds. I felt his love there and the God who gives life to us all is to be praised and glorified and I thank Him for allowing this blessing to wash over me. Being in that space where things grow was healing to my soul. I am renewed after a fashion and the fire in me rekindled to a degree. As I move on down the road on this journey, I take this new joy with me, to have been home and been hugged and loved by those I hold so dear. Thank you, God!

Days Like This and Home

On days like this, I make a lot of mistakes. I focus on the wrong things, thinking too much about those I have lost in life versus happy moments now. And this lack of focus cycles down into a lot of little blunders, like leaving the interior light on in my car we were working on and running the battery down to nothing, like cutting myself on Jasmine cutting sheers, like tripping on broken flip-flops like a champ, being yelled at for all these things, showering just to get dirty again, getting stuck in traffic, etc. Days like these resulted in a sorrowful me driving down the highway with tears streaming down my eyes, trying to conceal that from my little daughter in the back singing merrily to the music. If that is how the story ended, I would be so sorry for the day. But it did not end that way. Let me tell you how one thing helps so much. My daughter and I arrived in Orlando to pick up my son and he came up to me and gave me a huge hug and huger smile and said, “I am so glad to be home.” And I immediately changed my tone. A smile replaced those tears and I was good momma again, my daughter’s “favorite momma” (out of one lol), my children’s home. Our house is not their home. I am. Wherever I am with my kids is our current home. So, why should we have a sad home, one gloomy with grief? I want my kids to have a happy home, one filled with great memories and happy thoughts and maybe some grief so they can empathize with those who grieve, but not live there. So we took a detour to the hopping Florida Mall and had a blast. We walked, people watched, sang crazy with the music, sang opera style in the Disney store to applause from watchers by, druelled at the Godiva chocolate and laughed at its price tag. (I have got to make a fortune in my handmade boutique chocolates. Lol) Then we got stuck in traffic on the way back for absolutely no reason at all, but then it didn’t matter because we were playing our favorite car movie game. And my husband calls with concern for us and an apology for yelling at my stupidity. Close enough. And all was well with the world. And all that reminded me, as only my Heavenly Father can remind me, that He is my home. He wants me happy too. He wants me to remember that I am always home with Him, warm and cozy and having opportunities to live life home cozy and assured and unafraid. Nothing is better than that. Home is best.

Choosing the Hope of Marriage

When friends are no longer in your life, you necessarily cling to those who are left who still care about you and love you. They are more appreciated. Although a big fat zero of us are perfect, and some are downright hateful at times, we share a bond, a step in the same direction along the journey, sometimes tighter with children. Through trials and bad choices and ugliness and missteps, we walk together through the clumsy and  make our way together to the smooth sand beach where there is lime in the coconuts and hammocks to rest. The way may be wrought with threatening things we each might bring on the journey: bad experiences, bad habits, really stupid choices, addictions to other fake 2D women, unforgiveness of the past carried over, awkwardness, defensiveness, passwords unshared to foster mistrust by protecting secrets, many awful very real things that threaten to stop the journey together that marriage is. These are very real threats so many face, everyone I know about, actually. There is heartache every day sometimes and blue skies other times. Reality is so much harder than the Brady Bunch and much much more complicated. That is, until both travelers let down their pride and ego and work on the marriage, really pour into it. Love despite the return level. Love to the fullest degree. Really try to understand their spouse and harmonize with their song instead of insisting on a different song all the time. If both spouses actually take God’s advice and submit to each other, what a difference our journeys would look. When spouses obey God together and stop gratifying and fulfilling themselves separately and selfishly, apart from their spouse, you see harmony in the home, balance, trust, hope, and the fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control). Imagine such a home where secrets cease to happen and bonding takes over, taking strides together on the journey in this happy way, celebrating each other. Both spouses must be on board for such an experiment in harmony. But how magnificent such an relationship would be! Perhaps I am a dreamer, perhaps two imperfect people can not drop their pride enough to care that much. But I choose to believe there is hope in every union God puts together. And I find hope and comfort in God’s design rather than man’s. When God is invited in, He will take the wheel and all good breaks loose. He is the glue.

On the Return of School at Home

We Homeschool our children, which is very big and well supported where I live. And a teacher’s kid asked me accusingly why I Homeschool, implying that something dreadful must be wrong with my kids or something. Lol It is simple. I want my kids to have a great, well rounded education and not be worried about bullies or persecution for their faith or learning things that have nothing to do with school or testing and stressing about testing all the time. If the school system has failed to even teach basic math for heaven’s sake, much less anything else, and seems more politically agenda driven rather than education driven, time for everyone to withdraw their kids and force reform. But I digress. Simply, my kids need an education and home seems the place nowadays they are most likely to get one. So, we are getting ready for school, as is everyone else. And I feel very good about this school year. We are simplifying and leaving room for serving people in our week. We are going to help serve the elderly, clean up littered areas, help trim bushes or mow lawns of people who can’t and that is a healthy part of education. Also, for home economics, my son will pick one entree to make for the family once a week and will have to make a grocery list of what we need, budget the money to get it, buy it from the store and cook it. Part of teaching our kids is teaching us parents out of a job. They need to know how to live on their own. I think 11 is a good age to get that thinking started. And of course all the other school studies we normally do with Kathleen officially in school now. And my husband retires in a couple months so we can do more field trips and vacations to supplement. So this should be fun and keep us busy. I am so excited.Looking forward to a wonderful school year.