Monday, November 30, 2009

Do Less...Be More

I read this post by the Nester today all about being so much more intentional about the holiday season. Instead of trying to do it all, making some conscious decisions about what is important and letting the lesser things go for the sake of enjoying the best things.

Now that being said, I have just ended the busiest week of my year in a while so I am doubly motivated to make sure the rest of the season is festive and meaningful, not just crazy.

So I make my lists here so that you can keep me on task and provide me a little accountability.

Things I will do this Christmas season:
1. spend time with 10 little girls making gifts.
2. spend time creating a special gift for a very special friend.
3. leave early enough for every errand, that I can pass by a parking place or let another driver into traffic without having to threaten him with bodily harm. Have enough time when I am out, to let someone in line, help someone carry something, and have a purse full of candy canes to offer every child I see.
4. plan a nerts party for after the pitcher gets home, cause I miss his friends.
5. plan a Christmas gathering for some girls, cause I miss my friends.
6. make a Christmas budget
7. stick to the Christmas budget eliminating the post Christmas credit card bill, stress & regret
8. make room in the budget to surprise perfect strangers with something and keep my eyes open for just the right opportunities.
9. spend several occasions snuggled under a blanket reading a book in the living room where the Christmas tree is, with carols playing in the background or if I'm lucky while Dann plays his guitar.
10. plan a brunch for a special group of mommies where they can share and hear about each other's family traditions, and provide childcare for them so they can have a few hours off.
11. bake something yummy when Dann is home, so he remembers his mom and her holiday baking.
12. bake something yummy when my kids are here so they have similiar memories.
13. See the movie "Everybody's Fine" with as many of my kids as can make it.
14. Wish everybody Merry Christmas, everybody.
15. I will put my amazing husband at the top of my list of people to give my time to and thank him for being so patient when I let my life get out of control.

So the list seems long, but I think it is doable. I plan on making merry this year. Merry for others which makes merry for me.

How about you? Have you got a plan to Do Less and Be More? Will you be intentional about the things you want to accomplish this year or just let each day, with its urgencies take over our holiday? 15 things for me, some activities, some attitudes and perspectives. I'll end as I go get my calendar and put down a few dates so I can send out some invitations and begin my planning to be more and do less. Bless you, can't wait to hear your list.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Where in the world???

Where have I been. Haven't kept up with emails, haven't gotten to the mail box, meals consist of a scoop of peanut butter and constant intake of coffee & diet coke. I am craft obsessed that's where because when you say "how about a Christmas craft boutique to help raise funds for the Uganda Missions trip?" you think it will be so fun to have all your friends come by your home, completely decorated for Christmas way earlier than normal, carols playing in the background and all dressed up in a darling holiday outfit sipping on warm cider and sharing in the spirit. I can't wait and the girls are working their own magic creating some darling things too. Here is a preview, just to help you begin planning your Friday evening. We'd love to have you stop by, sip some cider and share in the vision for Uganda! December 4th, 6-9pm, The Plum's.

You can check out some of Kristen's stuff on her blog

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Uganda 2010

Kristen, Shannon, Susan, Cristin & Me! Heading to Uganda in April to partner with an amazing group of men doing a Pastor's conference. We will be ministering to the women & children of that area. We are really excited and believe that God is calling us to go. More info to follow as we step out to serve the One we love!
Please join us at a Holiday Boutique!

Holiday Boutique

FRIDAY DEC 4th, 2010



We are heading to Uganda to minister to the women and children there.

The trip is scheduled for April 2010 and we have been working like crazy to create some unique holiday gifts that will help us begin to raise the funds needed.

Please plan to stop by, share in the holiday season and do a little shopping!
Sneak peak!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gotta love the garage sale!

I'm not quick on the projects, but eventually I get to them and I think D is beginning to have a little more patience with my makeover schedule and is starting...just starting to have a little more understanding about the "trash to treasure" mantra. He whole heartedly holds to his own OCD routine called "trash to trash cans".

The rub? We disagree on what defines trash. Well, truth be told, we occasionally disagree on a couple of other things, but we're both still in training in the married arena, so the things I drag home from someone else's driveway only occasionally raise an eyebrow. Asking him to carry each piece upstairs to the spare room for storage, then to the patio for painting, then back upstairs to their resting place...well I'm sure he loves showing off his muscles that way.

Anyway, I did a crazy (by crazy, I probably mean illegal) U-turn on the way to church over the summer and bought this chest for $30.00...sanded & painted it, then distressed the edges a little and ta da!

Then I found this trunk on Craig's list and drove up to the innerds of Ojai and bought it from a lady who slept on the floor next to it. After I told her I'd take it, she told me she really loved it, but it was now too small for her.....ALTAR! What? I just bought someone's place of worship? Ugh! As I glanced around I realized that she now had a much larger place with dozens of little candles and little wooden idols of this and that. I hightailed it (do you ever picture where that term "high tailed" came from? I'm picturing the far side of a deer or rabbit flying over a hedge...tail high in the air, which means the description really doesn't at all describe my exit moves in this case) and got the heck out of there. Do not worry about me or the got a good praying over and extra sanding. Leaving so fast did get in the way of me getting the key that actually opens this baby up for storage, but I am so not going back to the altaress looking for the key to anything.
Why is it that people expect little wooden things to have any ability to do anything but gather dust, is beyond even the lowest level of my reasoning, and I'm wondering what the real God question is all about.

Little wooden figure vs. living breathing man alive after being dead.

I'm going with the live guy over the wooden guy anyday, bet my life on it!

Anyway...old trunk...white as snow I might add.

And then forgive me if it ever seems like I am anything other than completely shocked when something turns out well. This is the Pitcher's old-old room. Largest person in the house always had the smallest room, but that's because back in '91, a 3 year old has limited negotiating skills when it comes to picking out your bedroom in the new house.

Plain old builder's grade closet doors...filigree trim added to the top.

Leaded glass from a garage sale, one of 2 for $30.00...hanging 75 pounds of glass, not so easy. D and his macho to the rescue.

I am very not-good at the wall and accessory stuff and blank walls in some houses means they are still moving mine is means...I'm stuck for what to do. So feel free to leave some advice on finishing touches.

Anyway, I just need to say...Home complete me!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Latest project...

Don't you just know God's got a list like that for me, the latest thing he's working on. Sometimes I wonder if I'm not just a little bipolar in my relationship with him... there are days that are higher than high and I could say "yes" to anything and days when, with my eyes closed, I want to lift just one finger to his suggestion and ask "could ya hold that thought till I feel like it?"

Hindsight can show some mighty amazing happenings in the heavenlies. Last week about this time, I wanted to quit...well, most everything. At least the things that were causing conflict and pain. Without all the gorey details, let me just say that volunteering for or agreeing to anything ministry-related was the last thing I wanted to do.

Someone spoke two lines to me last week that I will fight for a long time. "You have no right to be a Bible Study leader" & "Your work in ministry gives brings you credit or accolades" (I think that meant I do it for my own glory & attention). Though these words came from a person, flesh and blood to begin with, the enemy has used those statements to grind me to an emotional halt.

Just ouch... I can't even tell you that is what was said exactly, but given the option, I feel things in the most critical way possible. Because who can do a better job of beating me up than, well, me.

On the other side of my world...
an opportunity to go Uganda in 2010 with a team that trains pastor's and ministers to women and children. Like a dream come true...even recently expressed publicly, I could go to a place my heart has always been drawn to, where my Compassion child lives, serving God without any fluff. Gettin' down and dirty to the heart of loving, serving and ministering to a people hungry to even hold a bible. Um kind of people, my kind of place, a God sized opportunity.

BUT...I was wounded, deeply, for seizing these kind of opportunities.

Wounded where I am most vulnerable, my aching to serve the One that pulled me out of the gutter and set me back on my feet.

I am reading a book with a couple of girlfriends. "In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day" by Mark Batterson.

LIFE CHANGING book about surviving and thriving when opportunity roars.

So here I was with a mightly roaring...all excited by the possibility, yet two statements haunt me "You have no right ... & your motives are selfish".

Whew, is that a battle!...truth or lies? me or You? safety or risk? stay or go?
I believe scripture when it talks about the Holy Spirit's job of testifying to the truth. So I wore those statements like a heavy cloak while praying for Him to reveal to me where my thoughts, motives, and desire to serve him fall short of glorifying Him. Where my excitement and enthusiasm serve me rather than others, when I am moving ahead on my own path rather than His, leading others when maybe I should only follow.

So God and I spent some time and tears wrestling through truth and lies. Afterwards, I got to humbly take the cloak off. Corrections noted, throw my hands in the air and feel the freedom again, that I am set free to experience and use for His cause.

Against, my protective instincts, I believe I choose to walk on.

I believe Uganda will probably put another target on my back if someone doesn't understand, but if my savior can carry the cross on his and take the beating he did for me, I believe I can take a few correcting lashes for Him.

Thank you, Lord, for keeping me on your project list. Corrections noted, humbly bowed, can't wait for Uganda.