Sunday Reflections: Looking through Other People's Windows

Every single person on the planet has a story. Don't judge people before you truly know them. The truth might surprise you. ~~ Unknown

I had a conversation this past week that has left me reflecting.  The conversation was centered around my staying home and the woman I was conversing with was looking for work. The ending sentence was, "Well, you are very blessed to be able to stay home and do those things, but a lot of women don't get that privilege." The spirit of that sentence left me with the impression that I was being judged.

You see, I am blessed. I know I am blessed and I know I live a blessed life.  Looking from the outside in I seem to have it all, a great life where I get to stay home and enjoy my freedom, a wonderful, loving! husband, great kids, beautiful home. Sounds great on paper doesn't it. But the truth is when we look from the outside in we miss the struggles, the inter-turmoils, the self-doubts, and the hardness we place on ourselves, especially mom's who are raising children. We see perfection and things are never perfect.

The truth for me is that being blessed by the world's standards is lacking when compared to the blessings that come from God. To me being blessed has very little to do with my geography and even my environment, it is an inward truth.  

You see, I try to walk in God's promises daily. I try to be obedient. I try to stay focused on His Words so that when decisions need to be made or actions need to be taken, I can try to remember the Godly way to act. But, the truth is I am a sinner. I can be irreverent. I judge. I stumble and fall daily. I know the way to act and I act improperly anyway.

Yet God still offers me grace and forgiveness and the promise of eternal life. I am blessed.


On Being Alone

Being solitary is being alone well: being alone luxuriously immersed in doings of your own choice, aware of the fullness of your one presence rather than of the absence of others. Because solitude is an achievement.- Alice Koller

Greg is going out of town tomorrow for two weeks.  He will be in Panama where they are building an orphanage in the northwest mountains.  He usually goes for a week three or four times a year, this summer just worked out that two of his trips are back to back.  On a side note, one of those trips is a troop of girl scouts.  So proud of them.

Two weeks is a very long time for me to be on my own. I get very antsy and very out of routine when he is gone. Here are a few things I know are going to happen:

  • I will browse food sites on the internet, then go to the grocery and spend way to much, to make way to much to keep myself occupied.
  • Dinners I like, like Thai Steak Salad and Asian Noodle Bowls will be on the menu. Grilled Cheese for boy.
  • We usually try to go out for dessert only twice a month.  We will probably go out at least twice a week.
  • Chocolate intake will increase.
  • My prime sleeping hours will change from 11:00p - 7:00a, to 11:00a - 3:30p.
  • I will stalk facebook, instagram and websites at odd hours.
  • The house will slide to "oh, my goodness, look at this mess." status.
  • My favorite phases will become, "I don't care, just don't get hurt because Im got going to the emergency room." and "Just Stop!"
  • Wine intake will increase.
It's funny to me how when he goes out of town, my mind turns to food. I try a whole bunch of new things then cannot wait for him to return so I can make them for him. This year, Josh will be going to summer camp the second week his dad is gone.  That will take some of the pressure off.  I'm actually thinking about scheduling a spa day.  I wonder if I have enough pennies saved?


Menu Plan Monday

We are always doing something, talking, reading, listening to the radio, planning what's next. The mind is kept nagging busy on some easy, unimportant external thing all day. – Brenda Ueland

Do you Menu Plan?  Shop with a list?  When I use to blog before I always linked up with Organized Junkie's site, it seemed to always help me start my week off with a plan.  The Hub and I decided a few weeks ago that we would really like to start planning, shopping with a list and use coupons again, so I thought it would be fun to add my plan.

This month will be hit or miss, as The Hub is going to Panama for two weeks soon.  Plus, we really only end up eating "home cooked meals" three or four nights a week.  The Pork and Swiss Chard is a roll over from last week.  As a bonus, except for Saturday and Sunday and fresh produce this week will be pantry dinners.  Great for the grocery budget!

My Weekly Menu Plan:

Monday:  Pork with Swiss Chard and Polenta -
      except I will use this polenta recipe, without the marjoram

Tuesday:  Angel Hair Pasta with Basil Pesto, Salad, Bread

Wednesday: Ummmmm..... Let's Decide at 5:00 pm ***

Thursday: Daddy's Taking Mommy Out ;)

Friday:  Let's Do Pizza Night - Homemade Pizza. Scroll down for the sauce.
      I use basically the same sauce but use lots of fresh basil and a lot less tomato paste.

Saturday:  Hamburgers on the Grill, Grilled Corn, Fruit

Sunday:  Ham and Cheese Panini, Fruit
     Thick crunchy bread, ham, provolone cheese, mayo/mustard mixed, basil, olive oil. Yum!

***I'm hoping to go out and see our new granddaughter on Wednesday which means dinner will be on the fly, or out, or at or son's house.

What are you eating this week?


Sunday Reflections

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because I see everything by it. — C.S. Lewis

How do you explain to someone who may not get it that you are Christian? Especially when the world has put such a negative image to the word, Christian. I am slowly becoming addicted to Pinterest, I actually only allow myself to be on there once a week because boy can it be a time suck. The one area I seem to always gravitate towards is the inspirational posts. I recently ran across one that said something like:

When I say...I am a Christian, I'm not shouting I am saved, I'm whispering I get lost. I'm not trying to be strong, I'm professing that I'm weak. I'm not bragging of success, I'm admitting I have failed. I'm not claiming to be perfect, my flaws are too visible, but God believes I'm worth it. I do not wish to judge, I have no authority. I only know I am loved.

To me admitting I am Christian is admitting that I totally do not have it all together, that I struggle daily. That I am a sinner, but a sinner who is desiring to live a life that honors that Jesus died for those sins. I want to live my life in such a way that it works through those daily struggles with Grace. I want to step out of the world and imitate the good I see, not the evil that seems to surround it.

Beloved, do not imitate evil, but imitate good. He who does good is of God; he who does evil has not seen (discerned or experienced) God [has enjoyed no vision of Him and does not know Him at all]. -- 3 John 1:11

Life is hard. Knowing that I am loved, knowing that there is always someone in my corner, knowing I don't have to do life alone. It is why I am Christian.


By Way of Introduction

“When I'm good I'm very, very good, but when I'm bad, I'm better.” ~~ May West

So, I'm blogging. Again. I haven't touched my little part of the web here is about three years. Then one day not long ago I thought, hum, maybe I should blog again and here I am.

I thought it would be fun by way of introduction to do my first little meme. That way you could get to know me a bit. I would love to have comments so if you come across here, will you stop and tell me something about yourself?

Four Jobs I Have Had:
* Bakery Sales
* 18 Wheeler Leasing Agent
* Office Manager
* Church Secretary

Four Places I Have Lived:
* Tampa
* Atlanta
* Dallas
* The Beach

Four Movies I Could Watch Again and Again:
* My Cousin Vinny
* Dear John
* Shawshank Redemption
* Anne of Green Gables

Four Television Shows I Like:
* Fairly Legal
* Scandal
* Heart of Dixie

Four Places I Have Traveled To:
* Jamaica
* Cozumel
* Costa Rica
* Cancun

How I Spend My Time Weekly:
* Wife and Mom
* Bible Study
* Volunteering at Hospital
* Working

Four Blogs I Visit Weekly:
* Sorta Crunchy
* Pioneer Woman
* Fluid Pudding
* Simply Sassy

Four of My Favorite Foods:
* Thai
* French Fries
* Fried Eggs w/ buttered toast
* A Good Cupcake

Four Places I'd Rather Be:
* Out in the yard gardening
* Crocheting
* Reading a good book
* In the Kitchen