From The Mud Puddle

Saturday, December 25, 2004

'one mediator' original artwork by me-muddy . This is how the card turned out in the end. Posted by Hello

Monday, December 20, 2004

Happy 18th Wedding Anniversary to my Husband! I love you!

Friday, December 17, 2004

1 Peter 4: 12-13 Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad--because these trials will make you partners with Christ in his suffering, and afterward you will have the wonderful joy of sharing his glory when it is displayed to all the world.
A few weeks ago, I heard this verse somewhere as some sort of cross reference verse most likely from my pastor as he taught on Jonah. (those details are foggy, since it seems that God wanted to show me more here as this passage applied to some other thoughts)
After many of our trials of different kinds, when the babies died, after my surgery 2 years ago, after my husband lost his job, and many other trials we've endured, as the dust has started to clear-we often celebrate under a cloud of wondering. We wonder when the "other shoe" is going to fall. We find ourselves not letting us be happy and in praise with abandon. We do so on a limited basis, because we know that as soon as we get settled in the "new normal" that something else terrible will happen to devastate it all. We stop trusting life, we stop trusting anyone and everything. We just start looking over our shoulders for that next bad event, and we refuse to live at the fullest . We are robbed of our life lived abundantly as we refuse ourselves the joy of the calm and peace.
Why do we become surprised when bad things happen to us? God's word tells us to expect it-and well not to be surprised by these things, these trials of different kinds we endure.
Here after my husband lost his job, depression was a hard thing to deal with through it all. We kept wondering why, and what God was doing as He taught us new lessons in provision and trust. Even after my husband got the job he is at now...even as we knew it was not ideal, we were thankful, but we didn't trust it. We didn't trust the peace that had arrived, for wasn't this just a false peace? It was the last time he got what was his "dream job" ...exactly what he wanted ....that ended up being one big lie. This one was so much less than "our" ideal-but we were ready for it, and it IS God's provision and plan for us right now. We are fine with all this now-but in the whole situation, as we sit here and the dust is clearing, God had something new to show me in living freely ...knowing new troubles will come....but taking time to enjoy the now-the rest we are in between troubles, as He works His will out in our lives. It's not His plan for us to worry about those future troubles now, but to know that it is Him that provides for us now, and will again and again when those dark days come along again. We don't even know why God is taking us on this different road from the one we thought He had set us on in the first place, why the detour-but we trust He knows why, and that what we are living in at this moment is far better than what life would have been like any other way.
Somewhere in all of this, I am learning that I do not want to be robbed of my life abundantly found in Christ because Im waiting for that next "shoe" to fall. I want to live in the joy and praise that is the Lords, KNOWING, EXPECTING that the other shoe will indeed fall. I know it's going to happen, it's not IF, it's WHEN. When it happens, may we be found faithful in praise, and prayer....relying on the trust that we have in the Lord, steadied by His hands under us. Men and circumstances WILL let us down, but God will not.
It is well with my soul
John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world" (Jesus speaking)

Thursday, December 16, 2004

One of the interesting things about doing books, is seeing all the Christmas decorations that are out on peoples houses. Im sure you've seen one of the most popular items (well is at least here in NC it appears)...the blow up lawn decorations. Well, we were riding by this one house, and the santa was laying in a heap....all deflated. Hannah, my daughter's comment was that perhaps he was "sleighn" (as in slain). She's becoming a very punny person! (and yes, she made that up herself)

The silence has a reason and purpose. It is called phone book deliveries. Each December for the past five years, my kids and I (and often my husband as well) deliver phone books in the Greensboro area. We started when my daughter was 9, my son was 7-and back when we had a station wagon. Now we have progressed with this to use a cargo van, and it's so different from those first couple of days. One thing remains the same. God blesses our efforts because we realize we are working for Him and not man. It's how we got this computer I type on afterall. Anyway-that is why my thoughts may seem a bit limited. Oh they are there, but Im just too busy mostly to type them out here.
Oh and for some reason, I just had a fall on the sidewalk. Why does THIS always happen during phone books? Last year it was because of some ice on our steps two or three days before we stopped . Then there was the fall during the winston salem books this year...and now this. All I can reason is that I am pooped most of the time we do this. Its good work, but definately is draining. In fact I probably should be sleeping rather than typing, especially since each word hurts my hand...
If looking to make a bit of extra money....look to see if the talking phone book people have a directory for your area. They were recently bought by the Hearst(sp) co...and plan on expanding 250% according to our distribution manager. Its a great way to make some extra $$'s on the side-if you dont mind hard work. We've done it both with just a plain car, station wagon and now the van. Of course we make more with the van-but didnt do too badly with the car or station wagon if you ask me! We do three area counties as they come this way each year. April and June are the other phone book months (and times when we take some time off of our homeschooling as well.) Those are shorter times though. It's also been nice since the kids are able to be right there with me. For this stay-at-home-mom...that is a blessing. Many wonderful memories have been made on these phone book jouneys. Perhaps a few might end up here....
God bless and take care!

Saturday, December 11, 2004

My Christmas Card Painting for this year. It was done with watercolors, and lot's of prayers. I printed it on some cardstock that had the appearance of a paperbag (not shown here) This is the digitally redone picture that I then printed off and constructed. I may share more on this later... Glory is God's. Posted by Hello

Friday, December 03, 2004
Just an interesting devotional about Christmas.

Day 2 at the model home...
So far today, after eating a breakfast/lunch , I have surfed a bit, wrote a bit, read some and sifted through some magazines I brought. A friend stopped by to see the model and to say hello. That was nice. She didnt stay long though. There is this vanilla thing that plugs into the wall that is obnoxiously smelly. The walls are painted a pale yellow....wonder if they also painted the walls in it too? My husband suspects so.
Sifting through the magazine has been the thing though that has brought me a few thoughts. There for many years, as we looked to give nice gifts to our friends and family, I would make things . I gathered ideas from everywhere and searched for many months to be able to buy the materials at the cheapest price possible. I would make various holiday items, cooked, just different things, or sometimes a collection of smaller items. I remember one year I even taped big paper onto the wall for the kids to make our wrapping paper . I bought them some glitter crayons and they had a lot of fun. Just last night or the night before I saw the picture of my daughter sitting there with crayon in hand . Sometimes the gift ideas came from some of the crafts we did at MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) Wherever the idea came from, it always had my touch to it, as I was the one handcrafting it from scratch. I would use everything available to me, from my glue gun, my sewing machine and my paints to carefully bring together what my mind had conceived. (there might even be a theological lesson in that-but for now I'll stick to what is on my mind) It was a joyous way of giving, giving from my hands , without breaking our budget for Christmas totally.
So looking through this paper crafts magazine, I was inspired, and thought back to those days when I took the time to make things. Some of that went to the wayside when I got sick a few years ago. I just didnt really feel very creative...and then of course somewhere in there we started doing phone book deliveries in December which really crunched my time. It afforded us to be able to buy gifts, but the thought of making much just was practically out of the question.
So I wonder , how I can feed this creativity in me practically and perhaps start making things again. Oh I may not have much time this year-but perhaps I need to save this issue for the coming year to refer to it, and prepare for another time. Perhaps part of the whole reason I enjoyed making things was that it was like giving a piece of myself away each time. A part of me was in each and every creation. And it was just plain fun. Hectic, yes, but defiately was fun-and fun watching people open that year's gifts from us. I do make things other times of the year (sewing, card making, etc) ...but there is just something about the mass production (aka the sweatshop as my husband affectionately called it many years back) about making things this time of year.
Im sure a lot of this is coming to mind from my prayers to God-especially as I try to retrace my steps back to the beginning, of the hows and whys Christmas is done as I mentioned in my prior post. Just pondering thoughts,
God bless you everyone!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

So its December 2nd. This day is significant to me, it was to be the day of the coming of our 4th child, Malea Hope. She also died before she was born at 16 weeks along. She would have been 10 sometime about now. That was a very sad time, for see we had looked forward to her. She was our answer to our prayers as we prayed with hope that God would once again give us a healthy baby, especially after our third baby, Grace, died before he/she was born. Our hope and excitement turned to deep sadness to which words cannot explain. Our hope for her to live with us was gone. What we didnt realize at that time was that God had indeed answered our prayers for her, and gave her much more than we ever could here on Earth by allowing her to escape the pains of this world and taking her on to heaven. Oh that she would have lived, we wanted her so, but what a gift to me and her earthly father as we slowly realized she was in a better place and KNOWING we would see her again one day.
I mention all of this, because for the past few weeks, my prayer to God has been that He make this Christmas season what He wanted it to be. It's Jesus' birthday afterall, and what a strange thing that we so often celebrate without asking Him how He would like to be celebrated on His birth. I have with my kids taken efforts to build Christ into our celebrations at home, but I kept having nudges things needed to continue to be different. How though, well we didnt know, and so I prayed. I also prayed God would show us once again WHY we even celebrate His birth. I mean, were we told to somewhere in scriptures as the Isrealites were told to celebrate Passover, or us as believers were told to celebrate communion? I asked, expectantly knowing God would show me, in His time and way what the answer was to my questions. They are such simple questions, but I am not afraid to go back to the beginning if need be to rediscover truths and answers that God wants me to see anew.
God brought to mind the first Christmas, as I pondered and prayed, and how the Heavenly angels celebrated in the sky as they made the declaration to some simple shephards. God brought to mind the wise men who brought Him gifts from afar. God brought to mind even the simplicity of Mary and Joseph as they, in their own quiet way took Jesus to church the first time-Amazingly (I am constantly amazed at God), God, through a song (God often reaches my heart that way first) , showed me once again why we celebrate it, and that it is pleasing and right to do so.
You know how we all have problems from time to time. Often it might take weeks, months or even years for the solution to come....for the beginning of the fix to be started...for us to realize what is really happening, and that the answer is at hand? This is what happened when Jesus, the long awaited savoir came. They celebrated, we celebrate because Jesus, the answer to our greatest need, had finally arrived. Much looked towards, much anticipated, Jesus was here-and so we celebrate His coming, the advent. His coming isnt the whole picture, His coming is just a part of the whole, but was the solution arrived, perhaps not totally understood, but He was finally here, and there was and is much to celebrate!
So now what is left is the how, but I think those are these stirings I feel in my heart that are growing today. God has set this in motion, and I am excited to see what He has in mind as I am mindful of Him . As we celebrate the coming of the Lord as a baby-the answer to ALL of our problems, the solution to ALL we encounter.
Thank you Jesus for coming. I would be nothing without you, and this would would be hopeless. Because of you, we celebrate and lift up songs and hymns and praise in your honor. Amen.

I am not at home today. I am at a temp job, one of the model home jobs. This is the one that I wrote about one time, the one where there was no key, and it was rainy and blah. Today it is sunny...and ta da...the key! The key let me inside to the warmth and my day here began. Last time I was here, the guy said I could come on his computer if I knew anything about computers, but I didnt come...I just sat here reading and eating my cold soup. Today I went to chick-fil-a first and got a biscuit (not on my list) so I could have something warm first, then could have a snack lunch thing later.

Another thing of note, is that I removed comments. Not that many of you that might read my blog will care or notice...but I did it for now anyway. I didnt have them at first, and seemed that once I added them, it was like checking email to see if anyone had left a comment. To me (and mind you this is my running opinion of the moment) the comments were kind of prideful. If what I was wanting was a comment-then I wasnt writing for the right reasons. So decided maybe I'd just add an email address to here instead...that way if you want to talk to me sometime, you can do so via email. I don't want or need comments, I just know how fustrating it is when someone writes something cool, or that touches my heart and I cannot find a way to talk to them in return. So I will add my email to my profile as a curtesy to you the reader..and continue writing as I can. Part of my problem was trying to figure out which email, but then I remembered this one that used to be just for the contests I would enter for graphics, and well since it matches the name of my blog kinda, I will use it. OK now am rambling...I need a life...or perhaps to share somethng else on my mind instead. So happy blogging, email me anytime...just be nice!
Slowly this blog is feeling more like home...and that's nice :)