Saturday, July 28, 2012

Better Days

Did you know that butterflies usually rest with their wings open, but moths rest with theirs closed?  Or that most grasshoppers have wings?  Have you ever seen a helgramite? Did you know ticks that land on your body usually take up residence where you have hair, or along a hairline?

Well...if you lived here on Moraine, you would learn all of these things, and more.  You see, there are more bugs here than should be anywhere - ever. EVER.  And, if you get really lucky, you could visit on a day after several days of rain.  Then, you wouldn't even have to leave the couch to witness all of God's miraculous multi-legged creatures.  Seriously. There are so many bugs here. It keeps me up at night.

Send help.

D sprayed the circumference of the house today, and explained that the bugs are a result of the recent heavy rains.  The ant's homes have been flooded and now they're looking for a new place to live. Not here, guys. Nope. I did see an immediate improvement in the number of crawlies around the house after he sprayed, so that should help me sleep.

Speaking of sleep, poor little brother has been sleeping like a log all day long.  He took one morning nap, and then a random 3 hour long nap this afternoon.  He woke up and had dinner, drowsily read some books with dada, crawled around, and fell back asleep 2 hours later.  He is in full-blown teething baby mode and it's so sad.  The bottom right tooth has finally broken through and the one directly above it is making it's entrance, too.

He really just wants to sit on someones lap and snuggle all day.  I broke down and gave him something for the discomfort yesterday, and it seemed to help.  Today, all he's done is chew on things and whine.  I pray he finds some comfort and rest soon.  It's hard to watch the happiest babe feel not-so-happy.

D and Big brother have been watching the Olympics all day. It's nice listening to them discuss sports and teams and countries.  I like the gymnastics, but only for a little while before I feel like I need to go lift weights or do cartwheels or something.  The Olympics make me feel lazy.  Especially when I watch them while eating brownies. Tasty, tasty brownies.

We have been busy preparing for Big brother's tenth birthday.  Trying to decide what the perfect gift will be, trying to budget and make sure he knows what a celebration it is to have him in our lives every day.

Money is tricky, always, for us.  While I do feel like D and I are making leaps and bounds when it comes to our finances, it's always a struggle to keep to our plans.  I personally handle the finances for the family, D gets stressed out and worried very easily.  I feel like we're finally in a position to handle money the way we should.

In the Bible, there are so many scriptures about money.  It think it's safe to say that Jesus thought it was pretty important.  I think we were meant to steward our money wisely. In fact, it isn't our money at all.  I believe that God graciously gives us His money to use and live and to bless others.

Even with all this instruction about how to be wise with money, dealing with it still remains the number one problem in marriage and the number one cause for divorce in the U.S. I don't want that to happen to us.

Somewhere along the way, with the help of a consumer-driven culture, we've lost sight of what it means to handle money wisely.  The self-discipline that the Bible talks about so much is difficult to find...Especially in Target.

"For God gave us a spirit, not of fear, but of power 
and love and self-control" - II Timothy 1:7

If we follow our budget, as difficult as it can be, we are intentionally setting forth our goals each week. I sit down and see what we have coming up and how much we can spend, save, and give.  Just this little bit of planning goes a long way in our relationship.  When we fail or make mistakes, it is so much easier to solve these problems when we know we are doing it together and with self-control and love.

So, that's how we get through it. Sometimes we need help, or we have to re-prioritize things, but we get through it, and we learn from it, and we try really hard to go back to the plan.  I think D and I have both learned that you can't serve God and Money. It's nice to be realistic and hopeful together. All of the Dave Ramsey books have helped me keep things organized and simple, too.

We have gone on a few hikes the last few days.  Trying to soak up as much of this beautiful weather as we can.  D has been working very hard cleaning up all of the trees that have fallen after several days of intense storms.  We were without power for one entire day, but we just spent the day at the bookstore and had pizza.  By the time we came home, it was back on.

Tomorrow is Sunday, my favorite.  We don't have any specific plans, except to take a hike.  I feel good about our efforts to keep things simple and positive around here.  It's taking work and sacrifice (some sacrifices that I didn't foresee having to make), but our lives here on Moraine are more peaceful than they've ever been. We have family that genuinely loves and cares for us.  Family that stands behind us, even when we stumble, that speak kindly and sincerely, that know what family means.  We have warm beds and happy children and snuggly cats. Things aren't complicated or dramatic. We are truly blessed.


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