Thursday, January 20, 2011


Does anyone else have a huge list of labels for themselves that they don't actually live up to?

On diaperswappers, and other forums I read, everyone has a signature that is tagged on to the end of their replies. It usually has names of husbands, and names and birthdays of kids along with a list of things this woman advocates: cloth diapering, breastfeeding, cosleeping, etc.

It's a new way to define oneself. It's also a bit like girl scout badges. There are little emoticons for several popular categories. "Have you earned your co-sleeping badge?"

Some of these titles I feel I have earned, in other areas I have a long way to go. With a baby who cries when put down, and a house that's a wreck, I really want that babywearing badge, but I have a long list of failed attempts.

The same is true for other areas of my life. I feel more and more called to modest dress, but my sewing time is beyond limited (by aforementioned clingy baby). I have the fabric and pattern making know how for a whole new wardrobe, if only I had a time turner.

I put my Etsy shop on vacation last night. I just can't imagine selling covers to others, when my homemade ones are still the last I reach for with my own boys, and Bekah's are being finished in 5 minute increments. it looks like they will miss my shipping goal of tomorrow.

There's theologian, real food chef, tidy housekeeper, playful mom, fertility awareness expert... I could go on and on.

What do you "wannabe"?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Belief: What am I doing wrong?

I feel like this is my whole life story.

In high school our pastor preached that in order for God to answer our prayers we must believe that he will answer them when we pray.

I started going to youth camp that summer and saw all around me people so passionate about God that it oozed out in everything they did. You could see, like I'm sure it is said somewhere in scripture, the Spirit of God on their countenances. I came home praying for this desperately, believing that of course, since it was God's will that I be closer to him that he would answer this, but pray as I might, nothing came. After a year of praying this way, I began having a serious crisis of faith that lasted for years.

Repeatedly during my life, people have told me that they were praying for my healing, and that God would heal me. Yet for some reason God has chosen to let me live with my illness.

Eventually I reached my breaking point, and God revealed to me that it wasn't my ability to believe intellectually in who he is, but my willingness to continue following him anyway. (John 6:69, played a huge part in this.)

I continue to pray for healing and closeness, but have learned that in some mysterious way, God is glorified more when I am weak, and so it does not mean he doesn't care for me when he does not say yes to these prayers.

But still something is missing. I believe that God is powerful, and I see him acting powerfully in other people's lives. I believe intellectually that God loves me and can do incredibly powerful things. I would say I even believe this in a deeper way, in my heart, but I have never experienced it.

So right now at our church we are talking about inviting he Spirit to work among us. We are talking about becoming a believing people.

and I want this so badly.

I have been praying again for months, seriously, and hungrily, for that power of the Holy Spirit in the things that I do. For him to be visible on my countenance. I pray often that, like 1 Corinthians 10:31, I will do all I do for God's glory, but not only that that will be my intent, but that my life will actually bring glory to God, like it was created to do. We are created for his glory, and I believe that he has orchestrated the circumstances of my life to give me the exact ministry he has intended for me to do, but it will only actually bring glory to God if people see in my life that he is the reason for it all.

So I pray for this, but I never feel or see anything happening.

So tonight at Planning Meeting we talked about how this study of the Holy Spirit was introduced, but there has been a lack of response and feedback, just a feeling that the congregation was hesitant about this. And while this is exactly what I have been dying to do together as a body, I can't help wondering, is this hesitancy me? I don't really know how to respond, what feedback to give.

I want the Spirit more than anything, and I believe that if the Bible says he will give it to us freely, which it does, that it is true, beyond any doubt, but I don't see it. I want to be a believing person. I am starving for this; to feel his power and glory showing through my life, but where is it?

My deepest belief is that God has the power to do all things, and because he loves us infinitely he chooses to do those good things in our lives, but my experience is that he repeatedly chooses not to do them for me. Whether this is in some ironic way also to his glory or not, where does that leave me as a person of faith? What am I missing. What am I doing wrong?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

January Goals

I am copying this idea from Jessica on Making Home. Instead of making large sweeping resolutions for the year, I am going to make about 5 measurable goals/month, since short term goals are usually easier to keep than long term ones. I may elaborate on some of them, and at the end of the month I will report on how I did. Even though January is half over already I will start there.

1. Tackle at least one organizational project each day.
Our house has become more and more messy since the addition of a cute boy November 4th, not helped by several illnesses and the Holidays. Today I finally organized and put away all of the gift wrapping things, which were scattered across the end of our room, before I sat down to write this.

2. Calculate our gross lifetime earnings, and current net worth as per chapter one in Your Money or Your Life, a book given to us by our special friends the Kimery family, who have become so dear to us as mentors. This is supposed to start us on a path of changing our perspective on and relationship with money.

3. Meet with Chris Smith, the Small Business Grant manager at a local credit union who helped my sister, Rebekah, get a $2000 grant to kick start her Mary Kay business, and who thinks I will be eligible for the next round of grants available in July.

4. Start developing the worship aspects of Breakfast Church, the small group hosted at our church's community house, where RJ and I live.

5. Get back on the (mostly) no sugar wagon. The holidays through me for a loop, and I am so addicted to sweets, but I know it is poison for me, and I want to teach our boys better habits.

6. Finish reading A Generous Orthodoxy.

Okay, I realized as I typed the above that these all pretty much have to do with larger resolutions, only this breaks it down into manageable chunks. So I will also share what my long term goals are for this year.

1. I realized when reading the Duggar's Book, which my mom got me for Christmas, that I have to quit riding the fence about organization and simplicity if we are open to the possibility that God might give us many children. He may choose to give us only the two we have already, but since I believe that simplicity is best, now is the time to get it together. This isn't so much a new year's resolution, but wake up call to quit procrastinating.

2. Your Money or Your Life has nine steps to becoming more financially solvent (or having a better relationship with money as they say). My plan is to take it slow and tackle one per month so I don't get overwhelmed. I wonder if later down the line it is going to say "Step _- Get a job that does not involve selling fast food for near minimum wage, you dummy."

3. I have little assignments like this every month to help be get my business up and running by July. The strategy keeps changing, but most of the important tasks stay the same.

4. We really want to be the best stewards we can of this resource for our whole church, and use our time here to really develop our own philosophy of ministry and getting our hands dirty (which will be literal once RJ starts digging the garden).

5. The first goal I thought of for this new year was that I wanted to take baby steps in reforming our families diet, meal plans, and shopping. I have done lots of real food research, but am alwys lazy when it comes to applying it. There are things we don;t have access to, like raw dairy products, and it can be overwhelming on the whole, but I hope I can take little baby steps to improving our nutrition. I so wish I could afford this E-Course by Kristen at Food Renegade. No doubt my boys will have her book for home school curriculum one day.
This idea first struck me when I read Jessica's article about how her homemaking skills have improved gradually through the years. It was really awesome to realize that it takes time to master the whole house, but I can make constant progress.

6. We have a lot of theology books I haven't read yet. Usually I have read to unwind, so these are the ones I skip over when looking for a new book to start, but I am ready to start stretching my brain in these ways again, and think about something besides cloth diapers and breastfeeding. Maybe I'll be able to read one a month?

Anyway, Efrim is waking up so I'd better go.