Friday, March 26, 2010

3/26/2010 life today.

It's crazy and boring in the same breath..I feel like I am sitting in a room and waiting for my name to be called - where I'll be given a task that needs to be done NOW (well, yesterday actually) and I have to sprint to get it accomplished...and then I go back to waiting and boredom. But that's life for me right now. It's just a season and I know that it will go from here to frantic in a moments time.

We are buying a house. For now we are living, Mark, Abbey the Wonderdog and I, in a 2 bedroom apartment near to where we will be living once we're IN the house. It's just a few miles away and I have to resist driving by there every day. I want to know the rhythm of the neighborhood. To see where traffic backs up and if people urge each other to go ahead of them at intersections. I want to see who walks their dogs in the morning, who walks in the evening, and who does not have a dog. I want to know where water puddles up and who works in their yards. Who leaves their trash cans at the curbside an extra day. I want to know community there.

Our larger community is our church life. It too is starting to grow. We have joined Crossroads in Evansville, IN and we feel like it's a great fit. There is no buyer's remorse in joining here, however the dust is settling and we're looking forward to see where we land. I have met one time with the mission's minister, and have an appt. with he and his assistant next week too. I attended one women's luncheon (the end of their Bible Study) and am signed up for the next study which starts in 2 weeks. I have volunteered to help, yet no one has called yet, to sell tickets to the next few women's events. Perhaps after Easter things will work into routine and we'll find a place to serve, or many places.

Mark's job is going crazy. It's overwhelming to him, and to me, and I try to remember that this is just Mark learning a new job, that it was like this before - but I was so distracted with 3 little kids and finding my own feet back then that I didn't realize how lonely it could be. So I'm lonely. I miss him not calling me several times a day. I miss him not being home for lunch and beating me at backgammon over last night's leftovers, I just miss him. He leaves early in the morning and comes home 10, 12, 14 hours later. Then he gets phone calls from work, texts from his boss (who is not a bad guy), and I ask questions. We talk about the movement on our house, what the bank asked for today and what needs to be signed, and work. For now it's all our life consists of.

I spend my days taking care of the needs of the bank for our loan, and walking Abbey. She wants to play, all day if I would, but I hold her off to a few walks a day and a few rounds of ball, tug of war, whatever she brings me. We've had to remove anything made of rope from her toys - she tears it apart and eats it up - and within a few days she demolished a whole batch of new toys for her. The nylon made things work better, and the tennis ball materials work the best. So I'm a new authority of dog toys : P . 

I do have a part time/on call volunteer job - as the "official photographer" for the John James Audubon State Park just down the road. It's a lovely park, with lots of hiking trails, a museum, nature center, golf course, and a few lakes - it's really beautiful with the wildflowers creeping out now. I took my first batch of photos the other day, and will go out again tomorrow to catch pics of the egg hunt that they'll do for the area kids. Fun stuff and they appreciate my eye for photography. It feels good to give to community in a city way.

I also spend a lot of time watching HGTV, which is not bad, except Mark is SO tired of it - so I turn off tv when he gets home. There's so much I am itching to do, but there are constraints - first I need to be living in the house! Then I need unlimited talent and financial resources - so I seriously consider applying to every show on HGTV to get it all done - but know that I won't get selected for any of them - then I think about applying for a job at Lowe's just down the road...but don't want to deal with someone wanting me to be at work on a day that Mark can get off...so I'll stay at home and be a dreamer for now. I am slowly considering inviting all my friends over that have done any kind of home improvement in the past that turned out halfway nice. Thankfully a few have volunteered before I got around to asking. I'm sure that we'll learn how to install flooring and put together tile backsplashes and make a lot of memories in the process. Perhaps I'll document it and sell that to HGTV...the perils of Marina's home renovations....would that make it a comedy or a tragedy??? Comedy - for sure!

Well,  that's what's going on here....I don't think that there's anything else worth mentioning...oh, the guys that live upstairs are very heavy footed, and the guy upstairs and across the hall is obnoxious - he barks or whistles to get Abbey going whenever he walks by our door, he leaves his cigarette butts on the ground outside our door or on the grass, and his candy wrappers and chewed gum! Just rude. I would count down to the number of days I have left to deal with this - but I have no idea when we'll get to close and move in the house...so I just grumble about it and move on. I AM loving having a little K living next door - really! Her mom is a single woman and K is almost 2 and she loves Abbey - so it's a match made in heaven!! We are friendly so that's a comfort, and one sunny afternoon we all played outside in the sunshine! It was nice to have a friendly face to talk to, and I have prayerfully invited mom to come to the women's study that starts in a few weeks ("Me, Myself, and Lies" by Rothschild). She currently doesn't go to church, so it might be a nice infusion for her life right now...seems she works a lot, and has little social life (me?). There's always room for God in our lives, so I'm praying that's why God put us here. SPECIFICALLY.

OK...that's life. I'll try to keep y'all updated on what's going on whenever I find something else blog worthy of mention.

Grace and peace,
marina

Monday, March 8, 2010

Humility - a great little devo

Every now and again I will read a devo that will just really teach me something, or bless me in a new way. This morning I read this, and thought that it needed to be shared.
It is actually from the Blessings Unlimited newsletter that my friend Tammy Carroll shares with me monthly. Tammy is a long time friend from high school, and is a representative from Blessings Unlimited, which is a division of DaySpring. They sell GREAT home decor and so much more, all with a Christ centered theme!! You can find her in my "friends" listing on Facebook, and link to her site here: http://tammycarroll.blessingsdirect.com/ .
Here is the devo that was sent out:


"I recently did a series on my blog and knew one post needed to be about my strengths. But more than anything I’ve written, I avoided it. Why?
The "good Christian girl" voice inside kept saying, "But that's not humble."
Finally, I had a little chat with her...
"Girl, what's your definition of 'humility'?"
"Being insecure, thinking everyone else is better than you."
Something about that didn't sound quite right. So I decided to check out God's definition of humility. And the happy tears started.  
Y'all, "good Christian girl" may be a sweetheart but she is so wrong on this one.
Get ready, I'm about to go Greek on you. And I thought that was done when I graduated college.
Moving along...Most of the time, the word "humility" is from the Hebrew word "Kana" which implies submission to another's will.
In the New Testament, it's a Greek word formed from two others - "Tapeinos" (low to the ground) and "Phren" (our hearts/minds). Put all of that together and humility means bowing our hearts to God.
Or in other words, submitting to His will. And what is His will? That we agree with what He says and live out...including what He says about us.
He says we're loved, accepted, and wonderfully made in a way that’s just right for His purposes to be fulfilled in our lives.
And what does God do after we humble ourselves before him?
Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up. James 4:10
Here's the process: We come before God and say, "I bow my heart before you in love. I embrace that you are God and I am not. All I am, all I have is yours."
Then He takes our hearts by the hand, lifts us up, and says, "Stand tall, my daughter. You are loved. You are of great worth. Do my will."
(When our hearts beat with God's, then we also stay in rhythm with others and"love them as ourselves." Speaking unkindly about each other or ourselves is the same in His eyes. Either way, one of His girls gets hurt.) 
Whew, who could use a chocolate break right now?
It's time to see ourselves differently in our stories. We're going to look at our strengths tomorrow. For today, enjoy a big, gooey, wonderful piece of humble pie. With whipped cream AND a cherry. Yes, ma'am.
It just may be the sweetest thing you've ever tasted.

Holley Gerth
Holley Gerth is an award-winning writer and Editorial Director for Blessings Unlimited® and DaySpring Cards® with over ten years of experience in the publishing industry. She’s the author of over 2,000 cards, as well as several devotionals, articles, journals, and children’s books. Holley has a masters degree in counseling and she’s passionate about bringing hope to the hearts of women. You’re invited to visit her online at Heart to Heart with Holley (http://holley.dayspring.com)."
I hope that you are blessed too!!
Grace and Peace,
Marina