the post where i whine about charlottesville.

I think I got to the core of my gloom. 
I hate Charlottesville.  Mostly because I feel like it hates me back.

That is the long and short of it.  Ever since we moved here it has been a series of painful events for me.  I feel like I am doing my best to throw things against the wall but nothing sticks. 

We moved here from Radford.  A place where, on every corner was someone we knew.  Someone we went to church with, someone who knew us and loved us.  My pastor was like an adopted father to me...who knew each and every hurt I had and prayed for me on the same level that your best friend would.  I had been at that church since near the beginning and knew most of the souls that came through the door.  Most of them had been in my home...or I had taught in Bible study...or who had taught me.  We were a network of friends and family...a church choosing to build relationships with each other.  There was no end to the people I could call on to help or talk to or be with.  Loving and being loved was easy and effortless...though it still took work.  It was like there was no end to building relationships and there was always room in the circle for more.  It was wonderful.  

Fast forward to Charlottesville.  I have been through a number of churches and Bible studies and mom's groups.  And have nothing to show for it.  I have put myself out there time and again and still have an empty lonely place to call my own.  I have lost the energy to continue to try.  It just hurts TOO much.  I have been told (literally)that what I have is not enough...that there is no time for me...that it just won't work.  Rejection over and over again is painful.    

I was crying talking to Doug about this last night and I gave him this comparison...imagine your blowing bubbles...sometimes you get those bubbles that just stick to each other and build up together and become this huge massive collection of bubbles...still individuals but collectively unit.  That is Radford.  Then you have the other kind of bubbles...the kind that float around alone and when they bump up against each other they pop...unable to group together in a healthy way.  This is Charlottesville.  I can remember the first time I hugged someone was like I passed along the plague...I can vividly remember the look I got.  I have gone from a hugger to a non-hugger.  That is sad to me.      

I have lost my ability to build relationships here.  I have tried and pushed myself and continue to hit wall after wall.  I hate this place and miss (terribly) the place we are from.  I know the answer is not to move back there.  Not that that is even an option, nor something that I would even choose if given the chance.  

I am just at my end.  I am tired of trying and being rejected.  I am tired of not belonging where I live.  I am tired of being at a church where we can come and go unnoticed.  I hate that we are at a church where not everyone knows and loves my kids...which is something we would have had in Radford.  I hate that there is no one here I can call "just because".  I don't know what else to do and I am so. tired. of. trying.  

I long to be part of a community.  A tight knitted one.  Where I am loved and needed.  I am tired of this life in Charlottesville and I am longing for what is next. .   

I also hate that I am not content.  I hate that I am so resentful of the place that Lord has undoubtedly brought me to.  I want to learn the lesson the Lord is trying to teach me here SO I CAN MOVE ON.  I know that sounds ridiculous...but when have you known me to not call it like it is?  This is where I am right now.  This is real and this is my life.  Right now.  

I feel like in Radford I had x but was missing y.  Now I have y and am missing x.  I just want to be where x and y can live together.     
I HAVE however gone from crying "How can I get out of this (here)?" to "Lord, what DO you want me to learn from this?"  I am trying.  I am seeking.  I am still hurting.  I am still knowing that this is part of the process.  That shaping and forming is not meant to be painless. 

I just want to be content.  And done already.

So I am not sure of the point of writing all of this...other than to share and relate.  And document the process so that one day I can look back and say "ahhhh-ha!".  I realize that this may be my most whiny post ever...shining a light on just how pathetic I may be.  But that is OK with me...because at least it's all true and real.  And I am OK with sharing the ugly, lumpy parts of being a chunk of clay that is being sculpted into something better.  

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord,
"Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Jeremiah 29:11


Well, we've been back from vacation for a few days now...and I am spent. 
I feel more tired and worn out now than I did before vacation...not sure what that is about. 
I am feeling lazy and unmotivated.  

And seriously lonely.  Doug had to go back to work today...his first real day since September 7th.
I feel like I am in this weird transitional time of life.  
Though I am not sure what I am transitioning to and from.
Maybe it's just a little funk. 
Maybe it's living in a city that I don't really care for.  Who knows?
I am feeling ill equipped.  Unable and lacking in skill at the moment.  Which is keeping me from a ton of projects that I want to do.  Like spray painting a half a dozen things I have in mind to paint.  And working on Moses' pirate birthday party.  And trying the half dozen patterns that I have bought.  
The only things I am certain of at the moment are my boys and my husband and my Jesus.  Most everything else feels shifty and uncertain.
 So I am in need of some motivation and encouragement.  
And I am off to find it this morning.  
Before Monday takes hold and sets the tone for the whole week. 


a lot of firsts.

We've had a lot of firsts here lately.  And I just don't think my heart can take another... 

 Today was Moses' first day of preschool.  We just got back from vacation yesterday afternoon so maybe it's the exhaustion of travel that has kept my heart in my throat all morning? Yes, I think I will blame that.  Surely it has nothing to do with the fact that for the first time ever someone else will be taking care of my first baby...twice a week until next May.  I am positive that does not have a thing to do with it.  I am sure, also, that it has nothing to do with the fact that he marched into school without a single tear or that for the first time, what I have taught him at home will be put to the test while he is not under my wing.   
I am also quite convinced that I am not mourning the loss of the schedule-less days.  From here on out for the next 18 years my life will be dictated by school schedules...sigh...we no longer can choose to stay home on rainy days...or cuddle up for a movie on the extra cold days.  

 I am definitely NOT struggling with letting the Lord take Him under his wing...not only on the preschool days but always...leaving me is the illusion that I have anything to do with Moses ultimate safety...we are ALL in His hands...and that includes my first born.  

 No, my friends...we are all just fine and dandy here.  No moping mother or heart heavy parent in this house...just an almost four year old's first day of school.  
And just in case I wasn't sure of his readiness for his are some more firsts from the last month...
First trip to the dentist...where he went back all by himself and had a perfect visit.
First time fishing and catching a fish.  In case you don't know what pure joy looks like...see the photo above.
First time on and driving a motor boat.  Does he looked pleased or what?
First time on a horse...which he surprised us all with by not even flinching.  He was so proud.
First time going on a sleepover.  While in NJ he got to have an over-nighter with his cousin.  Once again without looking back...just a quick hug for mom and he was off. 

I can't believe he has grown this fast...but he has grown to be such a great kid.  So funny and smart...lovable and sweet...crazy and wild and brave...and all boy.  I wouldn't change a thing about him...except how fast he is growing.  I sure love that kid.


good-bye summer.

so long making rainbows with the hose. 
So long summer curls.
So long endless days.
So long leaving the house without a jacket on.
Adios, clothing optional backyard parties.
See ya next year, recovering in the AC with your best buddy.
At least we still have dress up.
Come back soon, messy outdoor fun.
See ya later flip-flops.  You were good to us.
See ya later, happy outside for hours boys.
Good-bye almost four Moses and 18 month old Aaron.
Next summer these boys will be completely different.  Four and 2 1/2.  :(
We'll begrudgingly welcome Fall...but we will miss homemade popsicles, and sandbox fun, and playing in the hose and sprinkler and pool. 

It's been a good summer.  We are blessed. 

mini makeover.

Just a random little makeover for you...
Go from this...
to this.  By going to Wild Olive...
...and printing some cute thread bobbins...
and organizing all of your threads.
It makes your sewing basket just a little happier. :)


need a word picture for...

...stubborn? Well here it is.  Next time you think of the word "stubborn" you can picture this defeated tooth paste tube.

This, my friends, is a ridiculous game that Doug and I have been playing...we call it "Who is going to get the "last" of the toothpaste out of the tube and who is going to give up and open a new one".  Otherwise known as "Who is more stubborn?".  

I'm the one who broke out the scissors. 

I totally win.

turn your childs art into embroidery!

Over the summer, Moses' drawing skills and changed by leaps and bounds.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE the cute little smiley faces that he draws and wanted to capture them in a way that was better than stuffing papers in a box.  So...
I collected a bunch that he had drawn...and asked him to draw me a bunch.  I was very careful not to give too much direction...I have learned that that will only change what he would naturally do.  Once I had as many as I thought I would need, I traced on top of each drawing with a sharpie...being careful to keep the original artists integrity in tact. :)
I then cut them out...and taped them onto a piece of paper that was the size I wanted the final product to this case an 8 by 10. 
I taped the 8 by 10 to the (clean) counter and then taped a piece of white fabric on top.
Then I traced each one with a cloth pencil...something that will wash/wipe off. 
Now I've started to stitch away...stay tuned for the finished product. 


on Eve {and women}

(this photo has nothing to do with the post...just wanted to share...and what good is a post with no photos?) 

"It's funny, not really, how the punishment fits the crime in God's economy. The woman took on Adam's headship and now futilely wants it. If she gets it, it's often to her own hurt. Adam, however, passively allows his wife to take charge of the situation. Now all nature fights against his passivity, never allowing him to rest." Sandra-a lady I go to church with...but don't know.  :)

I read this quote this morning and it made my heart sing.  Because it is so TRUE.  I honestly believe that the womens lib movement has done more harm than good...made women more unsafe than ever in history.  (Let the verbal beating begin).  And I have been so happy to hear a pastor preach so many thoughts on the subject that are in line with GOD's plan and NOT with mans.  Many of the thoughts in this post have been spoken from the pulpit of our church where we have been going through a series of sermons on Genesis.  And I have honestly never, ever, loved a series of sermons MORE...because I share so many of the same thoughts.

Each Sunday we would discuss God's original plans for how things should be...and how they are now.  So much hurt and pain through history because of man's disobedience...and the beautiful redemptive love of a God who cares too much to let us fall into the hands of our own destruction, but instead sends a Hope for our future. 

Many will claim that the Bible is not for today.  That times were different then and the instructions were for a different people.  And what do we even have in common with those people?  I say everything.  The more things change the more they stay the same.  They were "yeah, but" people and so are we. 

Let me explain...when I was a social worker, with 30-40 kids on my list of clients that I had to meet with regulary, I had two steadfast rules for them.  1) We never say "shut-up" and, 2) We never say "yeah, but".  As in I ask them a question, such as "Do you want to do better in school?" and they respond with "Yeah, but I can't"...or some form of that. 

We are "yeah, but" people just like the people of Moses' day.

God delivers them from an ugly situation and they say "yeah, but we don't have water"...God delivers us from an ugly situation and we say "yeah, but we don't have the house we used to".  

God gives them water and manna and they say "Yeah, but we want meat". 

God gives us a job and we say "Yeah, but I'm not using my degree". 

You get the idea.  God gives us/gave them good and we respond with "yeah, but it's not enough". 

God set up a plan for how the family unit was to be and we say "yeah, but we know a better way".  We are constant in our correction of God.  I know I am guilty of this.  

It has been my theory for years...for as long as I can remember...that you can trace every social problem back to the breakdown of the family unit.  And you can trace the break down of the family unit back to a break down of trust and reliance in God.  We think we can fix every situation on our our own solutions and do our own we know better.  We never know better.  

I know I am blessed to be in a marriage where my husband seeks God and His plans for our hope and future.  This allows me to trust Doug 100% without fear of my safety or well being.  I know that not everyone can claim such a thing and truly that grieves me.  As much as some may not want to hear it, women were made to be in care of men. Not dominated by or controlled by or bossed around by or hurt by...but cared for and loved by a man who seeks God and HIS intentions.  If every marriage was this way...imagine the love and grace in the world? 

 God created woman to be a helper to her husband.  Some read this as derogatory but it is not so...for God called Himself a helper.  Woman is supposed to be born into the PROTECTION of the family to be honored, served and protected.  Sadly, this is often not the case because of all of our "yeah, buts".

The state of our society today often has me in a whirl of homesickness for Heaven.  I'm weird in that the death of a believer, while it does sadden me...also makes me a little jealous.  Jealous because the worries of this world are behind them and they are now spending eternity worshiping and hanging out with Jesus.  

Someone once commented on one of my posts about how they felt like the world was getting better and better every day.  Can I tell you that no comment has ever haunted me more? No comment, not even the all the ugly ones combined, has ever made me more sad. 

Are we blessed beyond what we deserve? Yes.  

Is God good? Yes. 

Is the world a good place and getting better? No, no, no.  Nothing is as it was intended.  If the world is good...what good would Jesus be? 

If there was good in us...what would the point of a redemptive savior be? 

We are all knee deep in sin.  

We all need the point of life...and that is to glorify God and enjoy HIM.

So that is where my heart is at the moment...swirling and whirling around these concepts and how to apply them to my to pass them on to my children. 

And for some reason I feel compelled to share this, maybe you need to hear it, maybe I'll just look pathetic but...

I have read my Bible for years...13-14 years or so.  And it is only in the last year that I have LOVED to read it.  It has only been in the last year that I can truly say that I savor it...that I miss it when I don't...that look forward to my time reading it because I can FEEL His presence when I do.  That is MY time and I treasure it.  Can I just encourage you to hang in there?  God always shows up.

Never has this been more true:

No power of hell, no scheme of man
Could ever pluck me from His hand

Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I stand

And this is where I am in my learning...I always love to hear your thoughts...and as usual, ugly, anonymous comments will be ignored and not published.

 Thanks to Chris (our pastor) and his thoughts that echoed mine so well. 


a gift for great pa.

We'll be celebrating Doug's grandpa's birthday while we are on vacation. 
He came here from Norway when he was just 14...with almost nothing.  
Since that day many many years ago, he has built a great life for his family through his hard work and started a successful contracting business after retiring.  After having a daughter that was blind and multiply impaired and seeing a need for residential housing and care for this category of God's people he helped to start and fund AMIB.  The agency now has several houses and programs that help people who may otherwise not have access to the care they need.  
 Needless to say...we love great pa (as the boys call him) and we are so proud to have him as a head of our family.  We are excited to see him next week.
And I hope he loves our little tribute to his roots. :)  


a girly little makeover.

Last week Doug and I got to go on a little day date...thanks to my awesome neighbor we got to go ALONE.  Which never happens...unless we are with my in-laws. 
Anyway...while we were out we went into a not so local Goodwill and found this old little beauty...I hoped that I could make it pretty for my niece, who we get to see soon. 
Some sanding, filling and spray painting got us to a very pretty place with it. :)
I made a cute little mattress that fits right inside...along with a cute little pillow and mini-quilt!
So cute, I could nibble on them! :)
Here's a better look at the two sided quilt and the other side of the pillow. :) 
When I made this little doll (that comes in a panel of three from Patty Young) I had hoped she would fit inside nicely...but she's a little big...but I'll just assume that Ky has something that will work.

She does sit nicely inside. :)

I hope she will love her and it becomes a sweet little memory in her childhood. :) 

I've been working on lots more that I want to share so stay tuned!

p.s.  I have two dolls from THIS PANEL left.  If you would like to order a doll/outfit/mini-quilt/pillow combo be one of the first two to let me know and and I would happily make one up for you! :) Email me for details. :)

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