Jonesy and I are in week Five of the Financial Peace University classes. We had incurred some debt we were not happy about--medical bills and such and really wanting to prepare our family finances to make sure bringing in our new little ones would be a smooth financial transition. We have been kicking some Medical Bills to the curb and saving money, but we also have been selling a ton of stuff to make our goals more obtainable, quicker. We are going to be listing a ton of stuff on craigs list this next weekend, when we can move the stuff to photograph it and we are participating in a FPU yard sale the first weekend of October.
As I have been preparing for these sales, I have looked at my house with fresh eyes. I really love our house although it has current scars from wall removals and a need for some new floors. We have such great plans for this, our FOREVER home, but right now there are a lot of things in this house we don't love. I have thought about this a lot. Why do we buy things and bring things into our home when we don't love them? I think for me, it is impulse and lack of planning. Some things are things I loved once upon a time, but have moved away from loving.
I think I am going to write on my wallet, "Buy only what you love." Or maybe, "Do not settle to purchase something you like, if you can save and wait for something you love." How divine would it be to turn and in every cranny of your home you saw only things you LOVED--not liked, not functionably ok, but LOVED? I imagine you would have a lot less stuff and you would smile about 80% more than you currently do.
Married to this idea is being in love with what you have. Oh how I long to be content. I thrive on change...a gypsy living in middle class suburbia. I think if I surrounded myself with things I love and only the things I love, then I would lose my wandering eye a bit. BUT, I must also work on maintaining my love affair with the things I have. I am incredibly blessed before you get to the stuff in my house by having an amazing husband, children to write books about, a roof over my head and enough food to keep me from being the size I want to be. All the other stuff is just stuff--and why I have to admit I love stuff, I am refocusing my life to love what I have and only have what I love.
Day one: Assignment: You meet a man in a bar in a strange town. He has a cat on his lap, and he orders a cup of coffee, slowly spoons sugar into it. He strokes the cat's black fur and says, "This contact is illusory. The cat and I are separated as though by a pane of glass, because man lives in time, in successiveness, while the magical animal lives in the present, in the eternity of the instant." What do you say back to him? And he to you? What does the cat do? What happened to this man before he came into the bar?
The cat twists his neck into the man's hand and leaned its head back satisfied at the rhythmic touch of skin to fur. The man distracted by the hot sweetness of his coffee continues to speak to no one in particular, "What divinity to live just in the moment." As I pull out the stool beside him, he turns recognizing for the first time I am there. He forces a grin that fails to manifest in his eyes and he looks at my bags and back at his coffee.
"Traveling?" "Yes, heading out west for a job interview." "See what I mean. You are heading somewhere. Always moving forward. Never stopping. I assume you are moving away from something too." This was not a question, but a statement of understanding. He had walked a similar walk before.
I looked at the single page menu and ordered a coffee and two slices of toast.
"You see this cat does not care what will happen in the next minute. It knows right now it is happy. It is drunk in the now. It will stay and its inners will vibrate in a contented purr. It remembers nothing of the moment before and refuses to care of the moment to come."
"Well, I, uh, I never really thought of what a cat is thinking before," I stammered out words not knowing what to say, nor really feeling inclined to pursue the conversation. "I guess it would be nice to live in the moment....but I would not know how to start."
"What if your destiny lies in this minute."
I turned to look at him and realized he no longer was looking at me, talking to me, but was instead lost again in his own thoughts. His face flat and lost in the what ifs of days gone by. He was destined to never live in the present because of regrets of not embracing moments years before.
"I think I will take this order to go." This was my destiny. I did not embrace the words of this sage, but would learn too soon how important his message would prove to be.
Well, this blog seems to have just died. Not because I have not wanted to sit and write, but because life has been so crazy. I am also keeping an adoption blog and it is taking precedent--that is what is going on the most right now.
Just for myself and to keep perspective on our family history, we went to Indy last weekend and were able to go to the National Championships. It was a lot of fun. The children were able to meet Michael Phelps. It was awesome!
Check out the other blog if you are following along...www.jonesjourneyoffaith.blogspot.com
As I sit in my cozy home their are high winds ripping down trees and the lightning that pops outside of the windows fizzle in a sizzling sound and then a boom of noise that is shaking the house. Inside we are sitting with the news on so we can track the tornado warnings that are surrounding the area. It is dark, lik it should be a few hours from now, and I am sitting thinking of what a great day it is!
Noah has decided to give his life to Christ today. I have been making arrangements for his baptism tonight at 7:00. He will be getting baptized in the pond of a neighbor and we will be having a reception afterwards. I am hoping this storm blows over quickly so I can run to town and get the things I need to pick up.
It is an amazing thing the feelings I am feeling as my son is making this decision. I am humbled that Jesus has offered His life for my son. I am full of praise for God who is willing to have a relationship with Noah. I am full of wonder at my beautiful son and his beautiful heart, who is searching for it's place in this universe. I am full of tears in the goodness of knowing my son will be wearing the robe of the Creator.
Praises be to God for such a day, praises be to God for giving us hope and light in the midst of the storms. Praises be to God for the joy of Noah and my love for him.
My life has gotten in the way of my blogging lately. I have notes and scribbles written in the journals I have lying around the house about all manner of things I find worthy of sitting a writing about--things like the kids leaving for camp for the first time, a special day and some change with my favorite six year old little girl, and some hither and yon thoughts I have had lately, but those will have to wait for another day, when my head is not foggy from lack of sleep.
However today I received the news that a dear friend Mike Oswald died this past weekend after having a heart attack. I remember very clearly the first time I ever lay eyes on Mike Oswald. He had a full head of curly salt and pepper hair and he had a very distinctive swagger as he walked. He and his wife Vicki began to worship with our church group in Tustin, California while I was in high school. Mike became an acquaintance to my dad and Vicki a friend to my mom. It was in their interactions I began to know Mike and Vicki. I found Mike fascinating, a VERY intelligent man, a great story teller (his stories were always punctuated with a nervous tick of some sort) and a person who was genuinely interested in the going ons of my often silly life. Vicki had the best laugh I ever heard and her story telling is great with a vivid arsenal of expressions and hand motions. I loved sitting at their house hearing their stories and having a willing audience to the stories I had to tell.
I would house/dog sit for their dogs and would gladly give them their cheese nip treats for good behavior. I was often an invited guest to dinners with them and loved sitting at their feet learning of travel, theater, and books. After their New Year's trip to New York City and a viewing of Miss Saigon, Mike burned me a tape of the soundtrack. I played that tape over and over learning the story of Kim and John and falling in love with the music. It still is my favorite musical and the movie haunts me.
Mike believed in me. He would tell me how much he thought I would accomplish. I think he was amused by my confidence especially in relation to my naivete. He would write me notes and he would hand me riddles on Sunday mornings. He talked with me and made me feel special. He knew that there were times I felt I could not please anyone and in those moments he would always find ways to build me up and show me he had a huge amount of faith in me.
Mike collected books--signed first editions--and he shared several books with me. When I graduated from high school he gave me a book by Thomas Payne. He wrote me a very great note that started out "To one fiery revolutionary to another." I kept that note in the book and it stays there still.
Mike would send letters and cards while I was in college. He was one of the only men I have ever known who signed his and Vicki's names to Christmas cards he picked out, addressed, wrote notes in.
About 12 years ago his heart gave him a scare. He was a high strung man living a high stress life and it was catching up with his health. That year he traded his NYC New Year's trip for a Hawaii trip and he adopted the Hang Loose philosophy of life, wearing Hawaiian shirts from then on.
It means the world to me how he insisted on taking Nathan and I out to dinner each time we would make it to California to visit. I loved how he really wanted to get to know Nathan and would spend hours around the dinner table asking him questions about his thoughts on God, life, being married to me, and etc.
It will always be a blessing to me to have had Mike Oswald in my life. Every young person needs a Mike in their life to tell them that the world is their oyster. He challenged me and made me feel special. I look forward to hearing his stories on the other side of the Jordan.
Thanks for stopping by. I am a disciple of Christ striving daily to reflect His beauty, a child of an Amazing God, the fortunate wife of Mr. Perfect, the blessed mother of three beautiful blessings whom I homeschool. I would say I was a housewife, but that seems to connote cleaning and such, and well that is not my favorite thing. I am currently making my future dream home into my actual dream home and loving every project. I am an Independent Demonstrator of Uppercase Living products-let me know how I can help to make your home an inspiration!
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