Friday, April 26, 2013

Five Minute Friday - Friend


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This summer, on the 12th day of July, my husband and I will celebrate five years of marriage. Somewhere in the last five years, I stopped seeing my husband as my friend. It's not that I saw him as my enemy. He was "just" my husband. I became focused on my duties as a wife. Sometimes, when we can't look past our duties, we forget the gift that we have.
Last weekend my husband and I attended a homeschooling conference together. My son and I started our homeschooling adventure before my husband and I married. My son, although my husband completely accepts him as his own, is mine. I'm learning that "mine" and "yours" are words that should not enter a marriage. Last week I felt my husband come beside me in this adventure. It's not that he'd never supported our schooling from home but I had never fully allowed him into the realm of our family life. I may still be the teacher but my husband is my support and my encourager...my friend.
Last year my son and I began the new adventure of beekeeping. Yesterday, with the arrival of my bees, I invited my husband into our beekeeping world. My husband, since my son was not available, helped me hive the bees. He took an active interest in  my our bees and asked many questions. As we walked up the hill (a little jaunt from the apiary to my parent's farm house where our van was parked), we talked. We laughed. And as I drank in the warm, spring sunshine, a new warmth filled my heart as I silently thanked God for this man. My husband but more importantly my friend.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

SPRING HAS ARRIVED

It has been a lllllllooooooooonggggg winter here in Minnesota. But today? Today gave me hope that spring will indeed return to the Minnesota tundra. Here's what I saw today:



Tulips!







Bleeding Heart!





Searching for bugs! 
The kids love moving my landscaping blocks to search for bugs. :)




Turning the dirt in the garden!





Baby Sedum!










My bees arrived (shipped from somewhere warmer than here). Thankfully sunshine and warmer temperatures arrived just in time to make today the perfect day to introduce my bees to their new homes. 

It was a lovely day and I am so happy to see signs of spring! 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tax Season: the Dark Period

22 days since my last blog post......I'm not sure with what I've been busy with.

Oh yeah. April 15th occurred during that time. I've decided the time period of January 30th (or a little later if I've decided to proclaim a full fledge denial) until April 14 is my "Dark Period". You see, I'm a procrastinator by nature. I'm also self employed and for some dumb reason pay my taxes only at tax season (again, out of both denial and procrastination). I mean, really. Doesn't it make sense to procrastinate giving the government money?



[Side note here because I find it humorous....maybe you will too. Every year, during my Dark Period, while I lamented, my husband reminded me that paying taxes is my duty as a citizen of the United States. Until last year. After finding out that HE also owed I decided we'd file separately. Since becoming responsible for filing and paying his own taxes, he no longer brings up that little "duty as a citizen" speech.]

So anyway........what was I talking about? Oh yeah. Taxes. Procrastination. Denial. Dark Period. Deep-Dark-I-don't.wanna.leave.my.bed.ever.again-Period.

Whew. I survived it. I did my duty. Paid my bill. Promised myself over and over that I'll make estimated tax payments throughout 2013 so that I can skip the "Dark Period of 2014". Hiring a tax professional would probably take a little stress off of me too. We'll see. I learned this weekend at a homeschooling convention that females don't fully remember painful events, such as child labor. I'm afraid that this is both a gift and a curse.

Meanwhile the cloud has lifted. Metaphorically anyway. In Minnesota we are still waiting for some sunshine and spring-like temperatures. Haven't had snow in the forecast since yesterday so I guess we are moving in the right direction. 

My Dark Period when my daughter was young and in elementary school was August through October. I hated sending her off to school and would become a bit depressed at the beginning of each school year. This Dark Period disappeared when I began homeschooling my son. :)


How 'bout you? Do you have a Dark Period - a time during each year that you dread?


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Redeemed

It began a few weeks ago when the Five Minute Friday prompt word was "HOME". At reading my prompt word I had no inspirational feelings towards my heavenly home. I had no feelings of gratitude for the earthly home that God had provided for me (this is an amazing story that I will save for a later time). Instead I was careening into a pit of self pity, feeling overwhelmed and alone in the responsibility of keeping and caring for my home. 

I started to write that day however after being interrupted several times (which I allowed to irritate me and push me further into the deep, dark pit that I had dug for myself), I gave up. The next day I returned to finish my writing. Reading the words I had written the day before all I could see was bitter anger.
A continual dripping on a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike  Proverbs 27:15

Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife. Proverbs 21:19

I hung my head in shame of the bitter, angry person that I was becoming and silently cried out, "Oh, God, when will I ever learn?" 

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. 
Matthew 6:14-15

I can't cry out, "Forgive me Father for I know not what I do!" I KNOW. But my old habits, my old sin-filled self somehow clings...well, quite honestly it is clinging to self - self-righteousness, pride, stubbornness - all of which results in a bitter, ungrateful woman in which I am ashamed of. A woman whose role I have unfortunately played well. 

That shame has kept me from writing. I was ashamed to allow anyone to see the dark pit the I had created. I was scared of what I could spew out. I was scared of being a "bad influence", of contaminating the thoughts of any who may read my words (often times when others begin complaining it's easy to join in). 

So I've been quiet here of late. Last week's Five Minute Friday word was "BROKEN". Yes. Yes, broken. A word that describes me well.
I am broken but in Him I have been set FREE! I can grasp tight to have control of my life, my way but if I loosen the grip and let go, HE carries my burdens and fills my heart with joy. HE FIXES MY BROKENNESS! (can I hear an AMEN!?)

At church on Good Friday the congregation was invited to write on a slip of paper the sins, the obstacles that we needed to lay at the cross. I listed many words and prayed for God to remove each from my life.
After taking communion we were instructed to tear the slip of paper (torn like the curtain at the moment of Jesus' death) and throw it away. This was powerful for me. Jesus died for my sins...even these sins in which I daily struggle with. I felt humbled yet so loved by my savior. Without Jesus I'm just a broken, worthless sinner but in Him I have been REDEEMED!


Ephesians 1:4-10
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. 

In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—  to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 

In him we have redemption through his blood,the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. 

With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. 






HALLELUJAH! 



I'm linking up with Lisa Jo's, Five Minute Friday since this was inspired by her word prompt of "broken" however I didn't follow any of the rules. Five minutes just won't have covered everything I needed to say. :)
Five Minute Friday