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Thursday, June 19, 2014

It's Summer!!!!

Can you tell it's summer?  I'm just not here as much as I want to be.  But our days are full.  We had VBS last week, which was a blast and had a great turn-out.  Then our youth group did some concessions for two night - there were over 500 people each night.  And this week so far, I've been playing catch-up in the garden and that gives me a lot of time to think.

#1 on my list to think about is excuses.

Excuses people have for making their choices that drastically and most of the time negatively affect those around them.  But they have their "reason" and so that makes it all o.k.

Right along with that, and maybe at the top of the list, are my excuses.  Slowly over time, I'm realizing that I've thought all along that I was submitting to my husband and that "I'm good." in that area.  But what I have come to realize is that I haven't been putting his desires for our family before my own. 

My own aren't necessarily bad, but over and over and over again.  I see times throughout our 17 year marriage where he was asking me to do something - the dishes at each meal time, keep up with the laundry, etc.  And when he asked, it was with this motive, "Life would be so much easier for you and less stressful, if you could do these things."  His heart was tender toward me.  He wanted what was best for me, but I didn't listen for so many years. 

First it was the dishes, I would let them pile up all day and maybe get to them that night.  And I hated dishes.  Hated them.  Why did I hate them?  By the time I ever got to them, they were stuck on tight and took forever.  I don't know how many years ago, I made a commitment to do them after every meal.  Now that I have help from the kids it's a bit easier, but even during the school year when the kids were gone so quickly, it was not so bad.  Now, although dishes are not a joy, there are times when I do find joy in serving my family.  And now, I do not hate them.  I do not dread them.

Then it was the laundry, and the pile to wash would be as high as the washing machine from the floor.  It was so discouraging.  I hated to think of laundry.  And then one day, I made a decision to do laundry every day, set the buzzer on the dryer and change loads immediately, until I had all the things done in the laundry room.  Oh the freedom, I do not dread laundry. 

So while working in the garden many hours in the hot sun this week, I was thinking about the things he suggests that I still have not done.  He wants us to work in the garden for an hour to keep up.  It's a fairly big garden and has much to be done.  To me, it's a daunting task.  All he wants is for me to have a lighter load.  He doesn't want me to have to pull huge weeds, because I let the garden go for a week.  After being in the garden for over 10 hours in three days, in the hot sun, I think he may have something here. 

Why does it take me so long to figure out that Carpenter isn't out there looking for things for me to do?  He wants me to enjoy life.  He sees that it would be best if things were organized and then I wouldn't have to run around like crazy to find things. 

And in the same way, I think God must at times shake his head at us.  His desires for us are that we would enjoy life and yet we choose not to do things his way. 

Keep pressing on,
Steph

Monday, June 2, 2014

Who's first?

I'm a little humbled.  I haven't gotten it right yet.  Next Saturday, we'll have been married 17 years.  And I still don't have it right.

You may have heard all of this before from me, if so you can find something else to read.  I don't do a very good job of keeping track of what I have and haven't written about.

Here's the thing.  When he casually mentions that he'd like something done, I need to do whatever it takes to get it done as soon as I can.  For me that usually means writing it done on a to-do list, because with all the things I'm working on, it usually gets relegated to the back of my brain and I may or may not remember it again.

Usually, I remember it when he walks in the door, or goes to the spot that he'd mentioned he'd like cared for, or when he asks about it.  Too late.

He's my number one guy, besides God who is in fact the most important one - I forget that priority all too often as well.

So if I remember back to when I was dating - and yes, I know I'm not now and therefore the relationship is very different - but back then I wanted to remember everything he suggested.  I was diligent to remember, I didn't need a list.

Last week, as he was preparing to preach on Sunday, he asked if I could pick something out for him and have it ready by church. I did put it on a list, and then got into my busyness and the list ended up somewhere, but not in front of me.  Still the thought crossed my mind several times, but I was waiting for the shirt he'd thrown into the laundry basket to come through the dryer, because I knew I would do it then. 

Saturday and still no shirt and he asks about it.  Ugh, where is that shirt?  Sitting in the now-full laundry basket in my room.  Oh no!!!  But I still have time. It's not Sunday yet.

I take the laundry basket downstairs and send one of my helpers with it to the laundry room to start a load.  In my mind, it was a full load of wash and all needed to go in, but in his mind it was two loads.  So the shirt ended up still sitting in the laundry basket the next morning when I went to get the wash out of the washer to put in the dryer. 

I was somewhat panicked but simply set aside that load to be dried and started the washer.  The shirt is finally getting clean.  Later when the washer was done, I put only the shirt in the dryer and it came out of the dryer with minutes to spare. 

My goal is to quickly and diligently do the things that he suggests need to be done so that I'm not left in the pickle of trying to get it done last minute.  It will save a lot of stress from my mind. 

Keep pressing on,
Steph