Friday, July 15, 2011

Being a female

In this day in age, I sometimes think it's so tough being a woman. Women tend to dress without any regard to modesty or self respect. When I was younger I wanted to be a mom so badly that when people asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, that's what I told them. I wanted to be married, have kids, and that was my goal. When I had Alaina Pat and I talked about how important it was to teach her modesty and self respect. I truly believe that much of the problem is that women aren't told enough how special, beautiful, and important they are. This morning I watched the VeggieTales Sweet Pea Beauty with Alaina. It teaches girls that beauty is not only what's on the outside, but what's in your heart that is important. How you treat others is much more important than what clothes you wear or how you "fix" yourself on the outside. I posted a song on my facebook page, but I will post it on here as well. This song is by Nichole Nordeman and is called Beautiful for Me. More importantly, the verse mentioned in that particular Veggie Tales is Proverbs 31:30 but I find the entire section to be important:

Proverbs 31:10-31(MSG)
Hymn to a Good Wife

10-31 A good woman is hard to find,
and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously
all her life long.
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,
and enjoys knitting and sewing.
She's like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
and brings back exotic surprises.
She's up before dawn, preparing breakfast
for her family and organizing her day.
She looks over a field and buys it,
then, with money she's put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She's skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
diligent in homemaking.
She's quick to assist anyone in need,
reaches out to help the poor.
She doesn't worry about her family when it snows;
their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
She makes her own clothing,
and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
Her husband is greatly respected
when he deliberates with the city fathers.
She designs gowns and sells them,
brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.
Her clothes are well-made and elegant,
and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her;
her husband joins in with words of praise:
"Many women have done wonderful things,
but you've outclassed them all!"
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
Festoon her life with praises!

Our goal is to teach our kids self respect, respect for others and modesty. I hope that this is helpful to others as it was/is to me!

Here is the song

When you don't feel like you quite measure up, just remember this verse:
1 Samuel 16:7b
7b God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart."(MSG)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Twice in one day!

So here I am writing twice in one day. You all are probably sick of me but hey you're the one reading this ;o) Anyway I am writing to say that God always has a way of humbling us. Pat had an interview this morning and was offered the job. They asked him to come in tonight and I was doing childcare at church tonight so he told them that he couldn't come in until 9:30 because we only have one car. Normally this wouldn't be a problem except I do childcare until about 9. So as I am thinking about this position that Pat has been offered, I was thinking of all the negative things about it. The hours aren't ideal, the pay isn't that great, blah blah blah. When a friend came in, gave me a hug and said that she was just glad that we have a house. It 1. made me take a step back and think, what am I worried about? We have a roof over our head, food to eat, and clothes to wear. This friend and I had gone out a while back ago and I told her that I was looking forward to having a house because at the time we lived on the third story of an apartment building and I couldn't wait to have a garage and a yard for the kids to play it. It really humbled me because it wasn't that long ago that it was something that I desired. In Psalms 37:4 it says "be happy with the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart."

After reading that verse it became very clear to me. I've heard it a million times before and we try to live our life by it but sometimes the problems in life seem to overshadow the blessings. Put God first and he will take care of everything else. This job that Pat was just offered is for a Human Resource position which is a field that he's wanting to get into. Even if this isn't permanent, this could be a major stepping stone to where God is leading him in the future. The place is only about 15 minutes from our house, so that's a blessing. So many times people get mad at God for not giving them exactly what they want, but that's not the way to go about it. Maybe God is trying to teach us something, or lead us somewhere else but we have to take this step first. Pat was a little torn when he was offered this job because as I mentioned in the last posting, he has wanted to play soccer for so long and he finally got the opportunity, was signed up to do it and all the details were worked out and this job came along. He knew that we needed it, but was sad that once again his dream was put on hold. It reminded me of a time whenever Declan was about 3 months old. We had very little money, Pat was unemployed and was desperately wanting to be a painter. He had always told me that he would NEVER work in fast food. We have learned never to say never because when we do, God has a funny way of proving us wrong. So anyway, we were in need of money and there was a Dairy Queen across the street from where we were living at the time. Pat finally gave in, applied at Dairy Queen and got hired. He worked one day and got a call from a painting company that he had been trying to work for for months. When Pat finally gave in and humbled himself enough to do something he didn't want to do, God turned around and blessed him/us in a HUGE way. We were living with our Pastor and his family at the time and when he got this painting job we were able to get our own place! I know that God has something great planned for our family even if we don't see it at the moment.

Something I feel that God has laid on my heart lately is to just be content with what we have. We would often catch ourselves saying: when we get good jobs we're going to buy this, or go here, or take a vacation, or whatever it may have been. Whenever we'd catch ourselves talking like that we'd remember that God wants us to be content with what we have. We shouldn't be thinking about all the ways we can spend HIS money, we should be thinking about how to be good stewards with his money. One of our ultimate goals has always been that if we made "x" amount of dollars or more per year we wanted to be able to annonomously help people in need. If someone called up to the church or something and asked if they could pay their electric bill or whatever it is, we want to be able to help them and not tell them it was from us. We have been blessed with some amazing people in our lives that have helped us every step of the way and without them we wouldn't have made it financially. We want to be able to do the same for someone else because we know how hard it can be sometimes to make ends meet. I am just rambling on, but this is me being completely transparent, which doesn't happen too often.

I will end with this verse. This is what I try to live my life by, to always be content no matter what the circumstances. I know there are times when it seems so overwhelming and Satan is trying to trick us into believing that God isn't going to come through this time but we know that is not the truth.

This is what Paul has to say about being content:
Philippians 4:11-13
The Message (MSG)
Content Whatever the Circumstances

10-14I'm glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you're again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it. Actually, I don't have a sense of needing anything personally. I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. I don't mean that your help didn't mean a lot to me—it did. It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles.

Thank you to everyone that has been praying and continues to pray for us. I know that God is always watching out for us and for now, we are content just where we are!


Just when we think things are starting to pan out something changes and we're back to square one and confused. Pat has wanted to play either ice hockey or soccer for as long as I have known him (10 years). We either had the time but not the money or vice versa. He finally got the chance to be able to play soccer and then BANG...he gets an interview for a job where he would work the night shift and be unable to play. With as upset as he was he said he would take the job because of obvious reasons. I feel terrible because I feel like he has put his desires aside for as long as I have known him so that I could persue mine. I'll inform you all of the outcome of his interview!

On another note, I have started doing childcare at church for different events in order to bring in a little money, along with my photography. Today I was extended an opportunity to take pictures for an event that is going to be published in the St. Louis Magazine with some of the top executive chefs in the area. Unfortunately it's on the same night that I am supposed to be doing childcare. It seems like God is opening some doors for us but at the same time we are so confused on what we're supposed to do and which direction we're going. I am so excited about the opportunities we've been given and I know that something GREAT is coming, I can just feel it! I just ask that you all pray with us about direction and priorities.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I know there's a plan

Have you ever felt so confused about what you were supposed to do with your life, or where God is leading you? I am just overwhelmed when I think about where our lives started together and where we are now. Even though Pat and I have been together for 10 years and married for almost 7 years, I feel like we are in the same boat we were in when we got married. I'm not throwing a pity party for myself, I am just reflecting on our past and our current situation.

We got married in December of 2004, I was 21 and Pat was 22 years old. Everyone told us we were too young to get married but I never believed that. If you're willing to love and forgive, I don't think there is such a thing as too young. We both knew we wanted children so we started right away. A month after we were married, I found out I was pregnant with our first! I always heard that the first year of marriage was the worst and I have to disagree. It was a change, figuring out how to start a life with another person, but it was a fun change. I enjoyed it so much. Then in March of 2007 I found out I was pregnant with our second child and we were both really excited. By this time, I was no longer working out of the home and I was babysitting out of our home. When we found out we were having a girl, it was even more exciting and we were soooo blessed. People gave us so many clothes that I don't think we bought any clothes for Alaina until she was almost two years old. After she was born we had a very difficult time. Pat had just started going back to school, he was working a lot of overtime, and Alaina proved to be a difficult baby to care for. It was very stressful on our marriage as well as us individually. When we were going through some trying times, I thought to myself, this is probably the worse thing that would happen to us. Things were bad and in the midst of it all, it seemed like it would never end. It took us about a year but we finally pulled through and I honestly believe that if it wasn't for God and some faithful friends in our lives, we wouldn't have made it. I love having friends that don't just tell you what you want to hear but the things that you need to hear even if it makes you upset, you know they're right.

Since then, our life has been pretty uneventful (in a good way). We found a great church, met some great people, changed job situations quite a bit, Pat finished school, I am about to finish school, and Declan's getting ready to start kindergarten. Up until this year we have had a few rough spots, but overall, things have been great! When Pat lost his job back in March, we were excited to see what God had in store for us. We had enough finances to get us through a couple of months and we were fully trusting in God to show us the next step. It has now been 4 months that Pat has been unemployed and both of us have been looking for jobs. I have interviewed with three different places and Pat with one place and it seems we can't catch a break. We are trying to be as humble as possible, applying to any job, and not thinking that we're above doing anything. Things are really tough right now and I have learned and am learning how to trust God more and more, little by little. As the time goes on, it gets a little more intimidating and scary and we are starting to question everything. Are we doing all that we can do, are we looking everywhere we can, are we willing to do what needs to be done. I honestly believe and feel that we are doing everything we're supposed to be doing. It's becoming so frustrating to feel like you're doing everything you need to do and nothing seems to be happening.

Above all I know that God has a plan. I know that God does not have a plan of destruction for us but a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11). I know these things in my head and in my heart. I keep thinking of the song by Josh Wilson called Before the Morning. This song has gotten me through many times that I felt discouraged or disheartened. I know that good things are coming, I just have to trust that God's timing is ALWAYS perfect.

Thanks for reading!