Saturday, December 31, 2011

Resolution or No Resolution?

Today is New Years Eve of 2012 (and we are obviously not partying)!! I began thinking about what I was expecting in the next year, which brought me into thinking about New Years Resolutions.  IF I was going to make a resolution, what would it be?? Then I started to wonder, have I ever kept a New Years Resolution? Has anyone? I'm sure there is a percentage who has- but if you weren't going to change it yesterday, what makes you think you'll change it today. Like when people say, "..on MONDAY I'm starting my diet..", well- why not just do it today? Does that make sense? I'm not innocent, believe me- I have made that comment, and more, many many times!
But, there are some things I'd like to change, some things I'd like to accomplish, some things I'd like to improve on, and some new habits I'd like to establish. If I were to put all of those things on a New Years Resolution list, I would go into 2013 a failure- heck, I'd go into March 2012 a failure!
I am only 5 pounds away from my goal weight, so I can't use that one this time (for the first time in 8 years)! I really do want to work on/at something, I am having a hard time narrowing it down- but I must!
For Instance:
  • I want to (and have for a long time) run a 5k!!
With all reality, we will more than likely be moving in the next few weeks and with the energy packing, moving, unpacking will take- I don't know if I will have the energy to kick that one off until mid-February or March.
  • I want my girls to see my pray and read my Bible.
Not that I don't, but they are typically not around when I do. I think a major impact is made when children visualize (and then imitate) what they see. That's something that I can and will do- but it shouldn't take me making a New Years Resolution to kick that off.

  • I've been wanting to do a Biblical Study on the Names of God.
Again, does it really take a New Years Resolution to cause that to  happen? That's something that once I start, it will drive itself.
  • I want to start making more individualized time for my family.
Lupe and I can't really afford to do a lot of "dates" lately, but that shouldn't stop us! I need to cook a special dinner/dessert for us after the girls go to bed, or a movie on TV, a game night, a "Staycation", etc. The same for the girls, I want to set aside time to do special things that are individualized and specific- it doesn't take a lot to make my girls day, even more of a reason to make it happen.
  • I want to be a better friend.
Going over and beyond the "call of duty". A handwritten note- not an email/facebook one, a just because phone call, little gifts and such.
  • I want to find my "Mt. Everest".
Have you had something you wanted to conquer? Accomplish? Something major you had to work toward? I am talking about the type of thing that is life changing- not just for you, but for everyone in your life. Something that defines you and gives direction- not just for you but for everyone around you. I want to make a difference, do something that is bigger than myself- not just for me, but to impact everyone around me- my "Mt. Everest"!
I remember a friend I had awhile back, he helped to walk me through a very difficult time many years ago. He told me about a situation he was facing that he could not get away from. One day he was straight up tired and exhausted from fighting it. He began to tell me how he turned all the lights off in his room, laid down on the floor with nothing but his Bible and began to pray. The first thing out of his mouth was, "God, I'm not leaving this room until this situation is gone... I will not let go until it's completely done..". By the time he left that room, God had taken care of the entire situation, and he was free.
I kind of feel like that going into 2012, "God, I will not let go until you accomplish ____in me!".That, of course, is going to depend much on myself. What is that saying?- What you put into it, is what you're going to take out of it.
I'm not sure what, if any, of those things I listed will be focused on in making my "New Years Resolution". But, I am determined to be stronger and more established- in God, my Faith, my Family- as a Mother and Wife, my home, in "Me".
The Best is Yet To Come in 2012.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Poor Me....

Well, we had a very nice Christmas- I love being surrounded by my family. Almost the whole family was there except for my sister, Tara, and her family (Happy 20th Anniversary to them today). In the midst of taking down decorations, I have found myself fighting to give a smile or an optimistic outlook. It hasn't really set in that 2012 is right around the bend, because I'm so focused on dreading the next few weeks.
Every time Lupe and I have had any type of discussion regarding having to move, I can feel my mood change (I'm sure he feels it too). The other day, I tried to figure out exactly what it is, specifically, that has me so worked up about it. I think I was able to find a little clarity, there are a couple of reasons. The fact that I despise change is probably at the core of all of them. I, or we, did not want to move until it was buying a home. I do not want Tenly to have to change schools (we are going to see if she will be granted permission to attend outside of our zoning- PRAY). Both of those reasons I think come from how much I moved as a child and I do not want my girls to have that same experience. I'm sure that, like me, my parents did not want to or like it- but sometimes "life happens".
These reasons are valid, and also very selfish. While I am focused on not being where I want to be, how I want to be there, when I want to be there, why I am not there, who/what is standing in my way- I must realize that I do have a home, Lupe does have a job, my children are healthy, and I trust a God who has not and never will forsake me. Do a have right to have little "poor me pity party" for a moment? Sure, but my moment has long past and in the words of Dr. Phil "'s that workin' for ya..?" At this point it aint workin' for anybody...especially me!
Although, I do realize all of these things, I still find myself unable to embrace the thought of moving out of here (even though we don't know where we are going yet) on January 28. Not one box has even been attempted to be packed- well, except for the Christmas decorations. I think, deep down, I keep expecting this miracle phone call- not that it is impossible, but at this point I think it's time to embrace the boxes and wherever our new home will be.
Even as I type this, telling myself all the reasons to snap out of it, suck it up, put my big girl panties on and move on- I just can't seem to do it.
Standing on Jeremiah 29:11 again, and praying. Also asking all of you to pray, not only for the perfect home at the perfect $$$, but for my attitude and that I will have a peace- not only for myself, but for my family.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Refocusing My Perspective

This has been such a wonderful Christmas Season for me. My girls really, REALLY get it this year and their excitement is absolutely contagious. That's why I'm determined not to let the circumstances we are in cause me to lose my joy or my perspective.
We have to decide within the next week whether or not to resign our lease at our apartment. But, truly- the decision is made- we don't have a choice. With all of the financial changes over the past couple of months, we just cannot afford to live here anymore. We really only wanted to be here for a year and then buy a home, but the reality is, we are not in a position to do that either.
It is very important to me that we find a place within Tenly's same school zoning. I only want her to have to change schools one time (if at all) and would like to reserve that for when we buy a home (my dream). I moved around to different schools so much as a kid and I do not want that for her at all.
The timing of when we have to be out and having the money is just not falling into place.
I have a tendency to fall apart in these situations- I am just not wired to deal with the logistics of a timeline/change/money- especially when they are all combined! When we bought our last car, it was so stressful I literally shut down on more than one occasion. So, the last couple of days I have begun to do the same. I don't even want to look at another house/apartment/condo/townhouse until I know all the logistics are worked out.
I cannot allow my "wiring" to excuse my behavior, emotions, moods, and reactions. Because I am aware that I am "wired" this way makes it even more my responsibility to change it. Things are so much worse for so many, and I must go back to that place of being thankful. Thankful that we are having a wonderful Christmas with our family, and can do it the way we need/want to without asking permission. Thankful Lupe has a job, and it's now 7 minutes down the road. Thankful that, although I need a job, I am home with my girls for these couple of weeks. Thankful that my family is healthy. Thankful I have wonderful doctors. Thankful we have a car and it has gas in it.
I am also trusting God for Divine Opportunities and Appointment concerning a home and a job. This is the hardest thing before, but if I look back on history, God has always been Faithful.
My Sister in Law, Debbie, gave us this adorable interactive Manger Scene a few years ago. We have done it every year (except last year it was in storage), but this year my girls get it. It has been so wonderful to see their eyes light up as we open 1 box a day (the week before Christmas), each box reveals a character in the Christmas story and tells of the role they played in Christ's Birth, ending the story explaining that each of us is what God wants for Christmas. Tenly and Gianna's excitement to this story has helped me, yet again, to regain my perspective...

I am Thankful for Mary and Joseph being so obedient and giving birth to the Saviour of The World who took my sin and shame and provided me with Grace and Mercy and Unconditional Love.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Appreciating the Exhaustion......

The Last 2 Weeks of My Life..............

Our Christmas Decorating Begins With The Girls Pink Princes Tree.
Next, We Decorate Our Fun "Memories Tree", The Girls Are In Charge Of This One.
"Memory Tree" Completed.

Mommy's Tree.

My Collection Of Nutcrackers, My Favorite.

An Almost Forgotten School Project for Tenly! Not To Shabby for Last Minute.
An Inconvenient Infection That Did NOT Fit Into My Schedule! It Reached The Size of A Golf Ball By The Time They "Fixed" It.

Made A Gingerbread House For Our CCC Women's Event.
Had To Make "Snow Trees" For Our CCC Women's Event.

Was Given The Opportunity To Play a Part In The CCC Women's Event Drama. Wont Even Try To Explain The Time Memorizing Lines and Rehearsals Took. Was So Much Fun, Though! 
Part of The Set. Somehow, I Missed Getting Pictures of All The Decor We Did Upstairs for Brunch!
Now, The Important Time Doing a House With The Family.

The Ornaments I Was Crazy Enough to Make for Tenly's Christmas Party at School.

"Reindeer Food" Gifts for All of Tenly's Classmates.

Still Wonder, WHAT Was I Thinking Making This "Fruit Tree" for That Party??!! The Kiddos Did Love It Though!

The Classroom Christmas Party Spread! Came Out Great, but The Time it Took To Make it Happen Was CRAZY! Being a Room Parent is a Full Time Job, but SO Worth Every Minute!

Tenly's Ornament She Made at School!

The Girls Made The Wrapping Paper for Mrs. Cross' (Tenly's Teacher) Gift.

NOW, Just Enjoying The Extra Enthusiasm and Joy My Girls are Bringing to Christmas This Year, in Anticipation For What Next Year Will Bring.
Before I begin to sound like I'm complaining....All of these pictures and projects are the reason I have not blogged in about 2 weeks!! As exhausted that I was majority of those 2 weeks, and although I did say on more than one occasion "..I cannot wait until all of this is over..", I truly do consider it a privilege and incredible opportunity to have participated and helped with every event. I squeezed so much in between life, children, cleaning, laundry, picking Lupe up from work, Bible Studies, Mommy time, and my poor neglected Husband didn't get much Wife's no wonder that I collapsed Thursday afternoon and Lupe practically commanded me "home".
I did so much, and learned so much, and ACHED so much- but I love that God chose me and used me!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Reflections of A Year...

WOW- a YEAR! Monday, December 13th, marks 1 year since we left Texas...and what a journey it has been!
November '10- I remember getting the news that we had 2 weeks to be moved, it was both relief and panic, excitement and complete fear.
Thanksgiving 2010 was saying heart felt goodbyes to Lupe's brothers and family, it was very bittersweet.
Nov/Dec '10- a blur of boxes and mad an organized fashion, or course. Making arrangements....trying to focus on the details helped not to focus on the uncertainties, while at the same time magnifying them.
December- A few days before we left, Lupe scheduled a promising job interview at the time when we really needed an extra dose of hope.
Friday, December 10, was Lupe's last day of work at BMI.
Sat, Dec 11, we picked up the UHaul and trailer and reserved our storage unit in Katy.
Sun, Dec 12, was our last service at BWOC, ending a 15 year legacy. Where Lupe grew by leaps and bounds, where my relationship with God became "real", where Lupe and I began, where we started our family, where our daughters were born, where life long relationships were developed, where painful and joyous growing and learning took place. I remember driving up to the house after picking up my dad and having such anticipation mixed with the uncertainty ahead of us.
Mon, Dec. 13- As I drug myself out of bed after my 1 hour of sleep, there were people already showing up with breakfast and taking the day off work to help and send us off. As we drove down the camp road, watching our first home grow distant behind us and driving past my friends homes and the camp sign for the last time, I cried and cried remembering the memories and our beginnings.
Wed, Dec 15- The day after we arrived in Florida, staying with my parents, Lupe was immediately hired by a company which would have us relocating in Ft. Lauderdale- it was SO God!
January, we were in Ft. Lauderdale trying to find a home and a church, 2 big priorities. We found ourselves committed to Community Christian Church where God connected me to a Bible Study for Mom's that changed my life with incredible friends.
In February, after some very difficult circumstances, we were in our new apartment and FINALLY had our stuff here with us! Looking back, that was a very difficult time, but we made it! Gianna turned 3!
March, my purse, identity, and a ton of money was stolen while in Miami. That situation haunted us for months, but we made it.
April, we finally had all the money back and I also became a working mom. I really grew through that transition and overcame Mommy Guilt Syndrome.
Summer, Tenly started VPK preschool and turned 5, Gianna became my little "assistant" at work every day.August, Lupe hit a difficult time at his job and found himself looking for a new work. This is when I really saw that I was learning to trust God. I was also asked to serve in the Women's Ministry at church, felt myself needed and useful again. Tenly started Kindergarten.
September, the opportunity to serve and speak at a CCC event and lead a Bible Study, it was a pivotal moment for me.
October, Lupe had a great new job...a pay cut....but his happiness was a great price to pay. Opportunity to Trust a bit more, and it came easier.
November, Lupe started his new job and I lost my perfect job. Another opportunity to Trust my Daddy God. A major infection in my eye hit me really hard physically, emotionally, and spiritually...but I made it!
December....1 year later...and we made it! My girls are flourishing and happy, Gianna is so tender and sweet with a personality to match- she starts PreK next year. Tenly, my little Kindergartner, growing like a weed and I can't keep up with the clothes. Although, Tenly is having a few opportunities in school (being the youngest in her class, she may have to stay back...mommy guilt!)- God has blessed her with a teacher who is patient and dotes on her. She is so compassionate and loving. Lupe, he is as amazing as ever, I told his supervisor the other day that I think it is impossible for anyone not to like him. He gives selflessly to our girls and I daily, I am beyond blessed that he is mine. And, Me,  I am trying to continue to see every situation and circumstance in my life as an opportunity to grow, learn, and help others. I continue to learn to Trust and have Faith. I'm on the brink of something bigger than myself and am excited to see it come to fruition...
I know this is a long blog...but I wanted to take this anniversary to thank my God, my Family, my Friends for loving us, holding us, carrying us, praying for us, believing in us, encouraging us, walking with us through this situation. God is so good, believe me, if you doubt God's love and ability and faithfulness- the last year of my families life is absolute proof of it. Now, I am ready to embark on the second year full of more anticiaption and hope and less fear and uncertainty.....

Monday, November 28, 2011

Forgiving "The Church"

Let me begin by saying, it has never been about The Church needing my forgiveness- but rather about me forgiving. This is not about 1 church in particular, but rather as a whole.
My family is coming up to an important anniversary (I will write about next week), reflecting back on this past year has caused me to reevaluate my heart and my attitude. I've realized I have forgiven "The Church"- this has been a long process......
I guess forgiving has come in stages for me..2 steps forward, 4 steps back at times. I remember when I started getting bitter and angry at "The Church", I was around 13-14 years old and was a "PK"- Preachers Kid.
It was a very hurtful time when all I really understood was that the actions of "The Church" were not what I had been taught. After that, I became jealous and angry at the time "The Church" took my parents away- sometimes justified and sometimes not. Then came a horrible situation that hurt my parents, and thus my whole family, so badly it seemed to take away my Fathers spirit for a long time and it was a long journey back for all of us.
It could be argued about who was right and who was wrong, but the only thing that matters is that people were hurt on all different levels- and I had to watch my parents struggle to recuperate for a very long time. It was during that time that I decided what kind of relationship God and I would have. I believe my initial statement was, "If THIS is Christianity, I do NOT want it.".
After awhile, my heart softened and I guess I forgave a bit and then decided, "Okay God, I will serve and love You- but I will never be in the ministry so You cannot ask or require that of me." I thought that was pretty reasonable, and it worked for quite sometime. I volunteered for things at the church, was a youth leader for awhile, and just served where I was comfortable.
THEN, God directed me to go to Texas Bible Institute, I clearly knew that was where I was suppose to be. It was during that time, I had some spiritual heart surgery. After awhile, I began to let God tear down the walls I had built up- it was then that I truly began to choose to forgive. My heart was lighter, and I was happier.
Many years went by, and I found myself engaged to the man of my dreams- it was almost comical that he was an ordained minister in full time ministry. Before we were engaged, we had conversations about our future, and we both knew that Lupe was not suppose to leave the ministry he was at yet- which meant I was going to be a ministers wife and in full time ministry. I have written before about some of my struggles throughout those years, some of my struggles came out of my past anger towards "The Church". Some of those struggles also came out of fear of what could be, and because those possibilities loomed in front of me, I made issues where I probably shouldn't have. I was just so determined not to let the past repeat itself with me and with my husband and children.
Once we left the ministry and moved to Florida, I found myself more calloused and angry than ever at "The Church". I had to finally draw boundaries, that may have unintentionally hurt others, but it was to help me and honestly protect them from being on the receiving end of my anger.
I say all of that to say this, I am beyond it. I love "The Church". Although, "The Church" has trampled and scarred my heart at times- it has also repaired my heart and carried me at others. I have had to realize, that as much as others have hurt me- I have also caused hurt and have been forgiven- how could I dare expect or take something I cannot give. I even feel ready to let others back in that I have pushed away, and except responsibility for the times I have not acted as God requires me. I mean, really, I will never have to forgive more than God has had to forgive me.
This has been a painful and tough road, but I'm so blessed and happy to be walking beyond the hurt others have caused me and the hurt I've caused others. Forgiving will not change the past, but it will enlarge my future.
 Visit Rediscovering Domesticity to see how others are dealing with "The Mess In My Heart".