Gossip is BAD

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about gossip. I have a love/hate relationship with gossip. Gossip has caused me a lot of pain. Gossip has gotten me in lots of trouble. Gossip has made me say things about people that I don’t even mean. I really mostly just hate gossip.

Gossip seems to slip into our lives so easily. There we are, just hanging out with our friends, when all of a sudden we realize we just spent an hour tearing people down. Gossiping.

I use to really struggle with gossip. It’s not like I never gossip, I gossip and I wish I didn’t and I try really hard not to. I really do. But that’s one of my weaknesses I think. Several (several, several) years ago, I was sitting at a table in Applebee’s with some friends and our youth pastor. About an hour or so into dinner, our pastor pointed out that the entire time we were eating, we were just sitting there gossiping. She started “the challenge,” a challenge to not gossip. I never really thought much about gossip before then. It was one of those sins that you do without even realizing it.

Gossiping is bad. It’s not just kind of bad, gossip is really, really, really, really, really bad. Like super duper bad. Here’s some scriptures that you’ve probably already heard to just back me up.

Proverbs 16:28 A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.

Proverbs 21:23 Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.

Proverbs 20:19 Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.

James 1:26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.

Matthew 12:36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak

Psalm 101:5 Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly I will destroy.

Titus 3:2 To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.

 

That’s just a few. There’s a ton more, but I couldn’t put every verse that tell us that God hates gossip. One of my favorite verses that I posted is Proverbs 20:19. It tells us not to associate with a simple babbler. I don’t know about you, but I know that there are certain people that when I’m around them, I can’t seem to not gossip. Several months ago, I started to slowly get away from those relationships. I don’t want to be in a friendship with someone that will cause us to both gossip all the time.

Here’s the thing that I’ve learned in the past 5 or so years. Gossip is stupid. It’s a big fat waste of time. Not only is it a huge fat sin, it makes you frustrated and angry about things you can’t change. Gossip doesn’t do anything. You know what does do something? Building up your friends. Telling your friend that you gossip with that you don’t want to gossip anymore. It’s not easy, but usually the other person will agree and you can both work on not gossiping together.

Sometimes you just have to cut relationships off completely. If you’ve done everything you can, and you can’t seem to not gossip with certain people, cut them off. Is it really worth being destroyed over? You will one day be held accountable for all the careless words you say. That’s heavy. And scary.

I often find myself repenting for gossiping. I think it’s something we should probably all do.

Here’s one of my big fat pet-peeves. When I hear people gossip about their friends. I was a big gossip and I’d run my mouth like no one’s business. The one thing I didn’t do though, was gossip about my friends. Why would I do that? I like my friends! I’d gossip about people I didn’t like. I don’t understand why people gossip about their friends. That’s one thing I’ll just never be able to wrap my head around.

Please don’t gossip. God hates it. It ruins your friendships. No one wants to be friends with a gossip. Be nice.

1 Thessalonians 4:11 aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs

Blessing post #1

A few months after Josiah and I got married, I started keeping track of the random blessings God had given us. I figured instead of keeping these to myself, I’ll give God glory by sharing them with the world. So I’ll start with the blessings I got today.

Today I was at the church doing some stuff for the cafe when my brother called me. Long story short, he gave me a bunch of juice. I love juice!

Later today a friend of mine gave me a pair of pretty much brand new shoes that are an awesome expensive brand that are great for people with jobs that are on their feet. I wanted some when I first starting my midwife apprentice but they were out of my price range. I had sort of thought to myself recently how I wanted some for when I go back to my apprenticeship in June.

So, today’s blessings are juice and shoes.

Dishwasher Detergent Recipe

For some reason, the thought of making dishwasher detergent always freaked me out, but also always seemed the most important thing to switch over to non-toxic. You know, since it’s washing the very thing we eat from! Anyways, here you go! It’s simple and works.

  • 1C Washing Soda
  • 1C Oxygen Bleach (I used Biokleen)
  • 1C Citric Acid

Just mix at all up, store in an airtight container, and use 2tbs per load. If you notice a white film, add about a cup of kosher salt to your mix, and add some vinegar to your rinse aid section in your dishwasher. If you still get a white film, well, I don’t know what to tell you.

The Way You Parent Matters

I grew up in a church that has a strong focus on family. But also a strong focus on teaching people. Not letting people sit in the pews for 30 years and not know a single thing about the Bible. I really love that about my church. We have classes all the time. Classes for new people, classes for people that are wanting to be leaders, classes for people that want to know more about the Bible, heck, we even have a Bible college for the really serious ones!

One class that my church teaches is a parenting class. I grew up learning how to be a parent. My entire life I’ve heard pastor Steve and Kim talk about it. In Armor Bearers they talked about it. I thought I knew all there was to know about parenting. When they offered the parenting class at church a few months ago, I figured I didn’t need to take it because I knew all there was to know. But we took it anyways and we learned a lot of new stuff!

Basically, I’m excited to raise kids. I’m excited that I’m raising kids. I don’t want to just raise them without intention or purpose. I know how I want them to be when they grow up. I want them to love God and serve Him passionately.

Often times when Josiah and I are out and about running errands with both the boys, older couples will smile at us and say things like “enjoy this season. Its a pain in the butt once they’re teenagers.” It always bothers me. It really bothers me. It bothers me that people think that no matter how hard you try, it doesn’t matter. No matter what you do as a parent. it doesn’t matter because teenagers do whatever they want.

I think how you parent does matter. I dont want to get myself in trouble by saying this, but I’m going to anyways. How you parent does matter. The way you live and the way you discipline your children affects how they turn out as teenagers.

I like to look at people that have teenagers that are serving God. I want to parent like them. I really listened and I tried to soak up every single word pastor Kim taught during our parenting class. She has 4 out of 4 kids serving God. That says something about the way she raised her kids. She raised them with intention and with purpose.

I feel like the main theme of the parenting class was communication. Talk to your kids. Talk about everything. Tell your two year what stamps are when he asks. From the time they’re little, let them know that you can talk with them about anything. If they have that strong relationship at a young age, when they’re teenagers and struggling with whatever it is they struggle with, they will be able to talk about it and get help.

I’m not saying I’m a perfect parent. I’m not saying you’re a bad parent if you have a teenager that is being dumb. But I am saying that I do think those things can be prevented. And that how you parent does matter. Young parents, don’t listen to the older parents that have backsliding teenagers that tell you nothing you do matters. It does matter. It matters a lot.

 

What you really need for a baby

I keep seeing these lists of like a thousand “must-haves” for babies. Seriously? Why the heck do I need a baby bath? And why do I need a swing?

Here’s my simplified list of must-haves for a baby.

  • Diapers (unless you are doing elimination communication!)
  • Boobs (you know, to feed the baby)
  • A few outfits would be a good idea too.

There you have it, that’s about it. But here’s a list of things that I really like having for my baby.

  • Baby carrier (I have an ergo)
  • Carseat (so you can take baby places)
  • Crib (for when you don’t want a baby’s foot in your ribs)

People make raising babies too complicated. You don’t need all the stuff that they advertise to you. Your baby will live if he has to take a bath with his momma. It’s better for them to snuggle up with mom instead of be stuck in a swing all day.

Seriously? Why do they even make baby shoes? Those things never stay on. Plus babies don’t walk. So why do they need shoes!?

I bet the proverbs 31 woman was better at staying caught up on laundry than I am

I keep my house pretty tidy. I’m not a crazy clean freak and it’s not super crazy organized in color coated baskets. But it’s livable and not nasty for the most part. But I really suck at staying up on laundry. I like to blame it on Stan peeing on every single blanket we own within 2 days, but really I’m just lazy and really hate doing laundry. That’s a lie, I don’t hate doing laundry. Putting dirty clothes in the washing machine is easy. Switching it from the washer to the line or dryer isn’t bad either. But what I suck at is when it’s dry. Like, am I suppose to fold all this and put it away? Wait! Now I have to iron my husbands button ups? Man, I really hate laundry. I can clean dishes all day. I can scrub my bathrooms from top to bottom and side to side. I can vacuum my entire house 12,422,34,532 times, but please, for the love of all things good, don’t make me put clothes away!! I hate it!

Seriously though. I hate folding laundry and putting it all away. I think that if I got all completely caught up on laundry, then did an entire load everyday (wash, dry, fold, iron, put away), it would seem bearable. But I probably won’t ever do that. I’ll live in a constant state of worry and frustration. I’ll always be stressed out not knowing if my husband has any clean socks or undies (because he likes to tell me that he’s completely out. I mean like, hello? Couldn’t you have told me when you were running low!?). I just had coffee. I feel kind of crazy.

I should go do some laundry.

Do you have a secret amazing laundry system? Please tell me that there’s hope and tell me how to stay up on it!

I’m Glad I Have Friends

The other day I was telling Josiah (my awesome husband) that I was sad that I don’t have a best friend right now. I got married young, I had a kid even younger. I sort of got thrown into this whole adulthood thing. My entire life I had a best friend. I’m a best friend type of person. I have lots of friends but I have one that is extra special that I spend most my time with. That one friend that you think of when you’re bored and want someone to come over and chill.

I was that way pretty much up until I got married. Obviously my husband is my best friend. But that doesn’t count for what I’m talking about. I was thinking of it more today. I may not have a best friend, but I have dozens of good friends. Friends that if I needed someone to come over and help me not lose my mind, would be here in a heart beat. Friends that bring me coffee and friends that know me. Really know me. I love that I have tons of friends. My pastors wife has talked about having a bouquet of friends.

When I was about 15 my very best friend in the whole entire world left the church we were both going to. I was heartbroken. Growing up in the same church, I know that friendships don’t usually last that long after someone leaves the church and I knew that would happen. And it did. I really miss that friend. But when I was going through that, someone that was a leader in my life told me that I needed to work on having a bouquet of friends. Not just one best friend. I didn’t totally get it at the time. I didn’t realize why. I still don’t totally. But I know that right now I don’t have a best friend, but I have tons and tons of really good friends. I have tons of people that have my back and I have theirs. We might not hangout everyday and go shopping every Saturday, but we love each other and would help each other out at the drop of a hat. That’s something not everyone has. I take for granted way too often the community that I have.

It’s really amazing growing up in a church. Things that aren’t normal seem normal (speaking in tongues?). Like having friends that you’ve known since you were babies, having a great community that steps in and makes you breakfasts and lunches everyday for a month because you’re on bedrest in the end of your pregnancy. That’s awesome. I’m so thankful for the community that I have. I love all of my friends and everyone that I go to church with. I love the security that comes with it. It truly is something amazing and something that too many of us take for granted. So many people are loners. It’s scary being a loner. If you’re a loner, no one will know that you are hurting or lonely or dying or on bedrest and need meals. Having community is so wonderful. Thank you to all my friends. I love you all!

How I Save on Groceries Without Couponing

We don’t spend much on groceries. It’s kind of nice. I hear of people that coupon and spend more than we do each month on groceries. I don’t need 27 boxes of cheerios so I don’t coupon. I menu plan every other week for 2 week. This includes breakfasts, lunches and dinners. I write them all out and then make a shopping list and get the ingredients for all of them. I try to make my first week have more fresh meals with fresh veggies and fruits, and the second week has more frozen stuff (mostly like meat). I avoid anything pre made. It is way cheaper to make stuff yourself. I cook everything from scratch: spaghetti sauce, alfredo sauce, soups, chili’s, fried potatoes (apparently you can get pre-chopped, pre seasoned breakfast potatoes), hash brows. If you don’t know how to cook, it’s not that hard to learn. Just try different things out and read a lot of recipes and reviews.

I don’t buy organic. I wish I could, but if I bought organic food we couldn’t pay our bills. Our budget is tight and we choose paying rent and gas over organic.

I buy from the bulk section my salt (I’m a salt snob!) and a few other things. Be careful buying from the bulk section though because of moths. I like to get my seasonings and salt, croutons, oatmeal and quinoa from the bulk section. It’s especially nice with spices because you only need a tiny bit and it ends up being super cheap.

Buy off brand products! They seriously taste exactly the same! Even A1 sauce.

We shop at food4less. It’s pretty much the cheapest most ghetto store in our town. Some people don’t like shopping there because it’s so creepy. But they have really amazing cheese and meat and super great prices. They do have terrible produce though, so we buy that at Winco.

In the summer we try to get all our produce from the local growers market. It’s much cheaper to get organic (or at least local) produce this way, plus it’s tons of fun for the kids. I usually just bring $10-20 with me and I’ll be set for the next 2 weeks with produce.

I avoid wheat. This is just for diet reasons but I’ve found that it’s saved us lots of money. We don’t buy bread, potatoes, rice. Anything like that. We eat mostly veggies and meat and lots of fat! Please don’t use margrine. That’s just nasty. And probably killing you.

That’s about all that I can think of. Feel free to ask me any questions. I’m sure there’s a ton that I’m forgetting.

Being a Mom

Being a mom is really, really hard for me. It didn’t just come naturally and I don’t always love being a mom. I wish I did but that’s just not me. I think that being with 2 kids 2 and under sometimes makes me want to run away. But I don’t, because I’m a good person. I understand that kids can be psycho and make you feel like your brain is going to explode out of your skull. I understand that it’s insanely hard to keep a clean house (well, for me it is), and that laundry becomes a small mountain inside your laundry room. I get it. I really do. I understand that all you want to do is take a nap and mentally check out. I know why some moms want their job to end the moment their husband walks through the door. I understand. Being a mom is hard.

But all those feelings of being overwhelmed, and feeling like you may lose your mind, really all come down to just being human. I’m human, you’re human, even Pastor Steve is human (I thought he was God until I was about 6). But the Bible says that we’re suppose to die to ourselves. That’s hard! It’s hard to be selfless! It’s really hard to not think about myself. It’s hard to put my husbands and my kids needs before my own. It’s not normal! But the Bible says to do it, so I try my stinking best to do it. I’m pretty bad at it most the time, but I feel like I at least deserve a sticker for trying.

I realized last night that every decision I make in life is influenced by the Book that I try to read everyday. The Bible. The Bible tells me that a mother rises early to take care of her family, the Bible tells me that a mother has a good attitude, that a mother talks good about her husband. The Bible tells me that a good mother is a hard worker and is a giver.

Sometimes I find living up to the Bibles standards a little hard (okay, more like a lot hard). But that’s the golden standard that God Himself set. Instead of thinking about being a mom as a drag and how hard it is, just realize that being a mom is one of the most rewarding jobs ever. Your kids won’t be little forever, and if you mother them like the mother in the Bible (I like the Proverbs 31 woman), you will raise kids that become amazing adults.

Sometimes when I’m feeling overwhelmed by motherhood, I think of all the great parents I know, and I think of their kids. Specifically, my pastors. They have 4 kids, and each of their kids serve God and are all pretty awesome. They all work in the ministry and one of their kids is my brother in law! I just imagine how awesome my kids will be one day. Maybe they’ll end up as good as my pastors kids. Hopefully.

Moms, your job never ends. I’m sorry to tell you this. It’s true though and you know it. I wish that when I lay down in my bed at night, that I could just sleep all night and not be a mom. But kids have scary dreams and babies need to nurse and I find myself awake more throughout the night than asleep. It’s hard sometimes. But that’s why I got an espresso machine!

Moral of the story: being a mom is hard. The Bible gives us a great example of an amazing mother in Proverbs 31 and we should all try to be more like her. When we parent like the Bible tells us to, we’ll end up with children that grow up to change the world.

I like us

I love my husband. He’s really cool. Today we drove around looking for flowers on the side of the road. We drove for a couple hours. We like drives because usually the kids are good and we are forced to talk. We always talk about our future and we dream and we drive through the country and look at big houses and talk about what we want our dream home to look like. I love that we never seem to run out of things to talk about. I really like being with him, he’s my BFF.

I love that he and I have dreams for our future. We talk about it a lot and try to live like we should live to achieve that future. We both know what we want to do and are working towards it. We don’t just aimlessly get jobs and do college and go through life with no destination in mind. We asked God what He wants for us and we started working towards that at a young age. I dont want to live with no purpose. That thought terrifies me. Just living with no end goal. No vision for our lives. I love that Josiah and I know what we want for our family and are making it happen. I love that Josiah is a hard worker and has vision and doesn’t just know what he wants to do, but actually does it. I just really love us. We’re a great team. We love each other, we love Jesus. We’re in love. We have the same goals and dreams and are both working together to achieve them.

I like where we are right now. The other day Josiah and I and the boys were walking on a beautiful trail through the woods and I was telling him how I feel like we’re about to finish one chapter in the book of our life and move on to the next. I dont know what’s in that chapter but I’m excited for it! I dont know exactly what God has in store for us, but I know its good.

Love is a choice

Being a mom is crazy. I get it. It’s hard and sometimes doesn’t feel “worth it” like everyone claims it is. But I still get up everyday, make my kids breakfast, put clean diapers on them. I love them whether or not I feel like I want to love them. I love them when I’ve been kept up all night with them. I love them when they poop all over everything. I love them when they’re being a big poop head (I think I like the word “poop”), I just love them. As I’m typing this out, I am totally changing the entire theme of this post because I just thought of something different.

What if we chose to love everyone? What if instead of getting this groovy lovey-dovey feeling, we chose to love? Maybe love is less of a feeling and more of a choice. When I clean poop off of the toilet and bathtub and floor and my 2 year old, I don’t really feel like loving Stan for the rest of the day. But I do. Because he’s my son and I choose to love him.

I hear lots of ex-couples talk about how they got a divorce because they fell out of love. That must be easy to do when you don’t choose to love. If I could divorce my kids because I fell out of love with them, I would have a long time ago. But I don’t just love because it feels good. I love my boys because I choose to. Because they’re my kids and I know that love as a feeling doesn’t mean much. Especially when I’m tired and emotional. What if couples decided to change their perspective about love? What if instead of viewing love as a feeling, they viewed it as a choice? What would relationships look like? I don’t always want to love my husband. Sometimes he makes me mad. Sometimes I’m just being a jerk and don’t want to love anyone. Not even Neil Diamond. But I don’t decide that I fell out of love with my husband just because sometimes I don’t feel like I love him. That’s crazy!

This post was going to be about being a mom and how your job as a mom doesn’t end the moment your husband gets home. But I changed my mind as I was typing. Now I’ll go write that post and get it scheduled to post.

PS. I’m not saying that some marriages aren’t hard and have their issues, I just think that a lot of people view love as a mushy gushy feeling that is only a feeling. If you hate your spouse, please seek marriage counseling.

No Matter The Cost

The other day I prayed a scary prayer. I said “God, I want to do your will, no matter the cost.” I felt like God asked if I was sure and I told Him I was. I know that some people die for the sake of the Gospel. I know it wont be easy and I know sometimes it will he easier to not do His will. But I also know that by doing His will, more people will be saved. My reward in heaven will be great.

Josiah and I just finished watching a recorded class series about missions. The man that taught it was Steve Saint. You may have heard of his dad, Nick Saint. He died as a martyr with 5 other men in a tribe in Ecuador in the 50’s. There was movie made about it called End of the Spear. Steve Saints aunt Rachel went to that tribe and brought them the gospel. The wife of Nick (one of the men who was killed), when she was 19, told God she’d do His will no matter the cost. That cost her her first husband. And then her second husband was also martyred. But because of it, a tribe in the amazon now serves Christ. They teach their children to follow Christ. If Nick hadn’t been willing to die for the sake of Christ, this tribe would have never been saved.

What could happen if we just decided to do Gods will, no matter the cost? I just can’t get that out of my head.

Have you really surrendered your whole life to Christ? Do you serve God on your own terms? Or will you serve Him no matter the cost? I want my life to be used by God. If a tribe in the amazon needs to kill me so that my family can bring them the gospel, then I want to die for it. There’s no greater way to die. Except maybe peacefully in my sleep.

Praying for things

A few days ago I realized that God provides for us a bunch of things we need for free. Mostly food. It’s really cool. My awesome husband Josiah wrote a blog post about how we don’t pay for food. You should go read it!

I recently realized that I’ve been limiting God. Every time we’ve been broke and needed food but didn’t have a lot of money, I would pray for money for food. Why not just pray for some food? Why do I always feel like I need God to provide me with money, when He is perfectly able to provide the exact thing that I need? I have been limiting God. But God is limitless! There’s no reason God can’t provide food for my family, or provide gas for our car. Why do I always beat around the bush with God? I feel like He’s been telling me to pray for my exact needs. I always pray for more money, but I need to just start praying for what exactly it is. If the boys need new clothes, why can’t I pray and ask God for new clothes for the boys instead of money to buy the clothes with? I don’t know if this makes any sense to you, but it does to me.

I guess what I’m saying is that within the last few days I’ve realized that I can pray for the exact things that I need/want, instead of praying for more money.

The weird things I think of when I look at the ceiling

My house was really messy yesterday. It was awful. I feel like I can’t breath when my house is messy. My two year old needed a nap. I went and snuggled with him in his bed. I was thinking to myself “I like looking at the ceiling. The ceiling is so clean and I forget about the mess that my house is.”

Then right after I thought that, I realized that when my focus is higher than myself, when all my attention is on God, the messes of life seem much smaller, almost like they’re not there. When I turn my focus from the mess to the ceiling, the mess doesn’t go away, but it seems like there’s hope. Hope of the house one day being clean. When we look at God, our problems seem to get smaller. They don’t go away, but they just seem to somehow not matter as much. It’s really cool. I love that God dropped that really strange and weird example into my heart yesterday. I’ve had a really hard week. The boys are both going through really hard phases and I find myself questioning my sanity often. But when I look to God, the boys being naughty, my house being a mess and me being exhausted, just seems to not matter as much. Looking at the ceiling didn’t make the mess go away. It didn’t even kind of help. But it changed my perspective. I had hope of it being clean, and it motivated me to clean it. What’s cool is that God can help us clean the mess we’ve made. He can help us through relationship issues, financial problems, health struggles. God is there and He wants to help!

I hate pinterest

I sort of hate Pinterest. I just want to have a normal easy birthday party for my boys. With a store bought cake that says “happy birthday.” I don’t want to make a special beautiful cake. I don’t want to spend hours making stupid cute decorations that will be destroyed by toddlers. I hate Pinterest.

I just wish life was the way it was before Pinterest. I hate crafts. I don’t like making things. I’m terrible at it and I just end up getting really frustrated. I see all these photos of cakes and cupcakes and beautiful decor at a 1 year olds birthday, and I’m over here like “I bought fishy crackers for my kids first birthday.”

Pinterest moms that rock at making parties look like they’re straight out of a Martha Stewart magazine make me feel like a failure. And I shouldn’t! The way my (or your) party looks isn’t a reflection of how we are doing as a mom. You know, I’m a pretty good mom, for the most part. I know that my worth as a mom doesn’t rest in how good of a Pinterest party I throw.

I hate Pinterest. I have a gajillion pins of tutorials that I’ll never, ever, in a billion years, ever do. I have really cute outfits pinned that I’ll never wear. I have craft ideas and science projects that I’ll probably never do. I even have inspirational midwife quotes pinned, and who knows what the heck I’ll ever do with a creepy hippy picture of a goddess with a quote that says “If a woman doesn’t look like a GODDESS in labor then someone isn’t treating her right.” ~Ina May Gaskin.

I’m pretty sure that Pinterest was created just to make me feel worse about myself. The sad part is, I’ll probably publish this post, then go waste my life away looking at pins of things I’ll never do. Ugh. I just really hate Pinterest. I also love it. It’s ruining my life.

My real reason for a blog

Several months ago, maybe a year ago, I had an idea to teach a class. The class would be about the Proverbs 31 woman. My whole life I had been taught that a  Proverbs 31 women is what I should be like. But this class wouldn’t just tell you to be a certain kind of woman, it would show you how. It would include a budgeting class, a roles and relationships class, a cooking class. I wanted to be able to show young (or old!) women what it looks like to be a Proverbs 31 woman, today.

Obviously we can’t go buy a field and sell it and make tons of money. We’re not going to be selling purple or making deals with traders. Times have changed, but principles stay the same.

This blog was originally created to write my thoughts about being a proverbs 31 women. Writing recipes and talking about saving money, and being a mom. It sort of has just become a place for me to write random stuff. I want this to be more intentional, and I’m now going to focus on things that could eventually be turned into a class.

Speaking of classes, Josiah and I just recently realized that we feel like we might be called to be teachers. Not like school teachers, but to teach classes at church and on the mission field and whatnot. I told my mom that and she was all like “I’ve known you’ve had a teaching gift for a long time!” And I was all like “say what!? Why didn’t I know of this special teaching gift!?” Anyways, that’s that. Now you know. My secret intention of this blog is to eventually turn some of this content into a class about how to be a Proverbs 31 women in todays world. There you go. It’s out for everyone to see. It’s not a secret anymore.

I will continue to post recipes and fun things that fall under the Proverbs 31 canopy. So don’t worry (no like you were). But I just want to get more intentional with my blog. I want to be writing stuff for a reason and my reason is to get some stuff to teach eventually.

Mushy Post

So, my husband is really cool. I love him a lot. I love that he is always challenging me to be a better person. The way his brain works is so different than mine and he helps me see things in a different light. I feel like being married to him has helped make me a better person. Thanks Jo. You rock the hizzy!

PS. I’m sorry if you don’t like your husband as much as I like mine. I feel really bad when I see couples that don’t seem to like each other. That must really suck. You guys should start liking each other more and stop fighting.

PPS. I could never be marriage counselor. I’d just yell at you to stop fighting and just get along. Is it that hard not to be a total jerk all the time? No. So stop it!

Stop Complaining

Growing up, my mom use to say “those that complain the most seem to contribute the least.” She was usually talking about a sibling of mine that would complain about the house being messy but refused to clean. But she said it a lot about different people complaining all the time.

Its so true though. Complaining is annoying. Its annoying when someone else complains. But its annoying when I complain and you don’t feel bad for me! Haha just kidding, but not really.

I’ve noticed that I tend to see things that could be done better. I notice that an area in my church needs improvement. Then I complain about it. I remember when I was about 16 and in the internship program at my church, I told the leader of a youth program that it pretty much sucked and wasn’t fun and no one liked it. First of all, I shouldn’t have been such a jerk, and second, I shouldn’t have just complained, but helped come up with a solution. After I told him I didn’t like the youth program, he asked how we could make it better. I had no idea. He then (in my 16 year old mind) freaked out at me and told me I sucked. What he really did was tell me that if I’m going to complain about something and if I see a need, I need to help make it better. Not just sit there complaining about it and not trying to fix it. It was embarrassing that he got upset at me and told me that, but I’m thankful for that life lesson that I learned at a young age.

Josiah and I have both been working on this! I noticed that there were some problems in the church cafe, so I met with the head over that department and told her my ideas and how things could be made better. I didn’t just complain about it to everyone. I did something about it. I don’t want to see things that need to be done and do nothing. I want to do things! I want to help make the cafe better, I want to help make youth center better. I don’t want to just complain and never contribute. I want to see something that needs fixing, and without complaining about it, fix it!

I’ve noticed that this seems to be big issue with young people. I hear a lot of times teenagers complaining about things, and I like to do what the leader of the youth program did for me, tell them to shut up and stop complaining if they’re not going to do anything about it. I don’t want that kind of negativity in my life!

I don’t know what I’m so excited about

It’s Christmas Eve, you’re 6 years old. You can’t sleep. You’re so excited because you know that in the morning, you get to open up tons of presents. You stay up till the middle of the night, finally fall asleep, a few hours go by and you wake up to the sun coming up, you burst out of bed running to your parents bedroom screaming “IT’S CHRISTMAS! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!!!”

I think we have all experienced something similar to this as a child (and possibly a teenager).

Have you ever had that same excitement about something, but don’t know what it’s for? For the last week or so, I’ve felt excited about something awesome that’s about to happen, but I don’t know what it is. I feel like God has big plans for Josiah and I, and we’ve been willing to let Him show us and obedient to say yes.

When I pray, I don’t just say random things and wonder if God hears me. I know that He hears me, and I know that He will answer them in His own time and in His own way. Sometimes He answers our prayers and we don’t even realize it because we were expecting it to look a certain way. I’ve been trying to notice when God answers my prayers in ways that I’m not expecting. I have been surprised at how often He answers my prayers, even unspoken ones, in ways I would have never imagined. I have been trying to be extra thankful for those answers.

Anyways, back to the excited about something. I don’t know why I’m excited. I don’t know if God has something awesome in store for us right around the corner, or if I’m just excited that God is speaking to us and blessing us. It’s a nice feeling, an expectant feeling. I know that God has plans for Josiah and I, and I know that right now His plans are for me to stay home with the kids, raising them to serve Him. They’re for me to learn to be a midwife so I can help other women in my town, and across the world one day. God has Josiah at a job that he loves, making TV and working with godly people. We’re wanting to be more involved in our church and becoming leaders. Not to have the title “leader,” but because we have such a longing and desire to help others. We don’t want to just sit around, living our lives for ourselves, never helping anyone.

On Wednesday night at church, I sat in the youth service for the first time in a really long time. I got to be in there for about 5 minutes before the ushers got me because of my sad baby. But in those 5 minutes Pastor Natalie was talking about how if you read your Bible today, you’re ahead of somebody and you can help someone. Whether or not you read your bible for the last week, you read it today. It was funny, but true. We’re all doing better than someone. Find someone you’re doing better than, and help them!

I always sort of thought that I had nothing to give, and couldn’t help anyone. I honestly think that was sort of selfish of me. How many people could I have helped if I got over my pity party and just helped someone!? We all have something to give, whether it’s a ride to church, teaching someone to cook, listening to someone who just needs to be heard, or giving council to someone that has a hard decision to make. We can all help someone. We just need to realize our worth and that we have something to give.

Back to the beginning of this post, I’ve been praying lots of big prayers lately, ones I’ve been praying my entire life and have yet to see them be answered. Prayers that come from the depths of my soul, the desires of my heart. Prayers that God has placed inside of me. Prayers regarding my future and my kids. Prayers that when they get answered, will be somewhat scary. I feel like the time is almost here for God to answer some of these prayers, to use Josiah and I in ways that we never expected. I could be wrong. These prayers might not be answered for several years. I don’t know. I do know this “11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jeremiah 29:11, KJV).

“Watch And See What I’ll do”

Josiah and I have both felt called to be givers for a long time. We both felt called to be givers before we were even dating. It was something we both knew that we wanted to do as individuals. We both had that dream inside of us sort of resurrect within the last few moths. Can I just say “holy cow!” God is so faithful. We started giving more, to the point where we had to lower our grocery budget. But God has been blessing us so much!

The other day we got paid at a random time of the month, usually we pay the first half of the bills with our first paycheck, and the second half with our second paycheck. Seems simple. Until you realize that your second pay check will come a few days after your second set of bills are due! AHH! As I was making my budget for that month, I put money in my tithe category, then missions, then I realized the craziness. My first action was to take money from my missions category and use it to pay other bills. I mean, I didn’t have to give to missions, that was just extra. I went on and did the rest of the budget. When I was finishing up, I felt like God said to me, “when times are tight, give even more, and watch and see what I’ll do.”

Whoa. I’ve only heard God that stinking clear a few other times in my life, and about what I thought were much more important things, such as who I should marry, what I’m called to do with my life etc… I went and adjusted my budget and gave that money to missions. It’s been close to two weeks and our food has miraculously lasted so long. We have tons of food in our fridge and freezer. Usually we’re running low towards the end of our two weeks before our next pay check, but this time we have more than usual. We had people over for dinner last night and had a ton left over. God just keeps blessing us in ways we never expected. I love that when God says something, he’ll do it. I can put my full trust in Him.

I’m excited to see what God exactly meant by telling me to watch and see what he’ll do. Maybe we’ll get a check for a bajillion dollars in the mail! Or maybe he’ll just subtly bless us and make our little bit of money spend like a lot. I feel like we’re living the story in the Bible where Jesus fed 5,000 people with only 5 loaves and 2 fish. God just makes our food last longer and our money spend like it’s more than it is. I love it. Thank you God!