Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Cleaning Domino

OK – I realize I have already posted a blog today. Call me crazy or maybe I’m just trying to make up for lost time. Either way, I had to reach out to other ladies just to make certain for myself (or more importantly for my husband) that I haven’t completely fallen off the wagon.

Tonight I reached into the refrigerator to pull out a bag of veggies to cook for dinner. When I pulled out the veggie drawer, I noticed lots of crumbs and thought I should wipe the drawer out, which lead into pulling all of the drawers out and wiping them clean with my vinegar water. The drawers looked so nice that I thought it would be a good idea to wipe down all the shelves inside the fridge too. As you can imagine, this snowballed into emptying every small shelf on the refrigerator door, wiping them clean and then discarding any outdated condiments - which by the way, I recommend doing as you may be surprised as I was to find condiments that expired in 2010 .Yikes! Now here’s my disclaimer, as much as I recommend doing that, you may not want to try it tonight because the snowball will only grow and you too may have the same crazy looks from your husband as I had from mine. He came in from the grill with his contribution to dinner probably expecting to find the veggies cooked and table set but instead, all he found was all of the contents of the refrigerator lying on the kitchen counter including the veggies in their original package that I had pulled out earlier to cook. Oops! I bashfully tried not to make eye contact but instead justify my way out of the mess and lack of dinner by explaining the “service” I was providing to our family by getting rid of the outdated items. Hmmm…not sure he was really buying it though.

Do you ever find yourself in the same predicament? You start into a room to grab something only to discover another project which leads into another project, which leads into your husband coming home from work to find you still in your PJs and every drawer in the home emptied. Your response, “I know dear, but look my closet is finally organized” or “look honey, I fixed the stuck junk drawer”.

I can't even begin to touch the surface on bedtime routines and what rabbit holes I fall into that put me to bed at least 1 hour later than the original good night vs. Blane who just says, "I'm giong to bed" and walks into the room, drops his clothes and climbs into bed. I know that I can’t be the only female that suffers from dominoitis around the house? Not a real word yet? Hmm, I'm sure it's only a matter of time until a woman coins this word and makes it real. C’mon ladies, I know you have my back on this one. Remember, confession is good for the soul!

Speaking of....If we are truly confessing, then maybe I should be completely honest and tell you what ensued before the refrigerator makeover. The details I “forgot” to include may have hypothetically involved 2 junk drawers in the kitchen being cleaned out as well as one cabinet getting an overhaul…..hmmmm….did I also fail to mention that the dominoitis has been known to have a direct correlation to procrastinating other items on the day’s to-do list? Remember in my earlier post I mentioned I was “trying to get motivated to ‘do life’ today”?

I suppose "life" will have to wait for tomorrow.


P.S. If you think this is bad, never pull out a magic eraser late at night to wipe off that one mark on the wall. Next thing you know you will be cleaning everything from your kitchen cabinets to your kitchen grout until the magic eraser crumbles in your hand. Trust me, it’s happened before. Protect yourself my friends from this very contagious syndrome! J

*Comment from the peanut gallery (a.k.a Blane): I just read this post out loud to my husband who quickly added that the reason I wrote a second blog today was because I was trying to avoid tonight’s dinner dishes that are still in the sink. My thoughts on that one, whatever works to get him to the sink first!

Vacation to Reality

There’s something to be said for just hanging out in your own home while cradling a hot cup of coffee in your favorite mug. The way your fingers lace through the handle is familiar, comfortable and predictable. I have a few favorite mugs I like to switch between and right now it’s my very colorful painted mug courtesy of Cooper. I will admit though that it’s actually 2:00pm in the afternoon while I sip my coffee. Mind you, we have been up, went to church, came home and now I am back in my PJs and sipping coffee.
I haven’t posted in a while as I feel like we have been here there and everywhere and just returned from Manasota Key with my family. It was 8 days of beach living complete with nothing but bathing suits and sand in your bed sheets each night.

Now that we are back, I am trying desperately this morning, or shall I say, this afternoon to get motivated to “do life”. The work before and after vacation that ensues makes you wonder if it was all worth it. What’s the saying about love? “Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”. I have been trying to use that today for vacation. Better to have vacationed and been worn out then to have never vacationed at all. Or another favorite: “I need a vacation from my vacation”.

The first few days were hard to mentally vacation while pondering on the projects, etc. I had left behind at home. God in His infinite wisdom spoke very clearly through my devotional on day #2, when the devotion started off with, “Come away with me for a while. The world, with its nonstop demands, can be put on hold…”. Hmmm, I do believe He knew I needed that one.

I saw many things that made me think, ponder and want to write a blog. You’ll be hearing object lessons for a while about waves, shells, and the shoreline. I’m sure I’ll also be talking for a while about my books I read while away: Fields of Gold by Andy Stanley and Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn. They are both incredible reads that I highly recommend in order to challenge your faith and remind you that all that we are and all that we have belongs to God and we are merely the managers of His gift. So many thoughts and fun/challenging ideas to share.
 Here’s to 1 more month of summer fun!

Sleeping in the Gulf - Betz boys can nap anywhere!

The Whole Gang!


Crazy Cousins: Thing 1, Thing 2, Thing 3, & Thing 4

saying good-bye to vacations and cousins is always a hard thing


Monday, July 11, 2011

Getting Dressed & Getting Jesus!

I just realized how crazy long it has been since I last posted a blog entry. Shewww. Last time I checked summer was about lounging and long days in PJs and lots of playtime. We have been in a whirlwind since the start and I am still finding myself waiting for “summer” to finally begin. All in all it has been fun, just busy. I think if I was the one going back to school and was asked to write about what I did this summer, my mind would be a blur and my response might be something like, “I’m not sure, it was more like a semi truck traveling at a high speed and then gone again”.

Part of our summer plans has been devoted to our church and vision planning. My mom’s church is going through a similar process in the Tampa area. We were swapping stories one day on the phone when she shared an analogy with me that has been bouncing around in my head ever since. Naturally, I had to take it a step further (again, my biggest strength is my biggest weakness) and for our purposes, I am going to us the analogy for our own faith rather than the idea of the church body as a whole.
Now I’m not sure about your children, but mine (if given the choice) would run around naked until the cows came home. In fact, there was a time when they were super young that we finally just started initiating “naked time” so they understood that there were times when it was appropriate as well as times when it wasn’t appropriate (cooper hypothetically in the front yard waving to those driving by). A toddler does not know any better, they want the freedom of being naked and running carefree. One of our jobs as parents is to teach them that it is important to wear clothes, especially when leaving the house. J They don’t know how to get dressed though, someone has to do that for them. As they get older, we continue to pick out their clothes, yet this time the independent toddler sees you coming from across the room and quickly protests, “I do it myself”. I can confidently say, both of my children have left the house with shorts on backwards and shoes on the wrong feet; however, their shoulders were pushed back ever so slightly and there was more of a kick in their step. Why? Because they did it themselves and literally wore it with pride. So naturally, we continue to allow them to pick out their clothes and leave the home in mismatched outfits with shorts that are on backwards. It’s their first steps to independence and fostering that “I do it” mentality.
So where does this idea of getting dressed connect with our faith or the life of the church? The Bible says that we “all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We don’t know that we are in need of something much larger than ourselves. Just like we need to be taught that it’s important to wear clothes, we also need to be taught that it’s important to know Jesus as well. We too, start off running around free and naked until someone comes along and takes us by the hand and leads us to get dressed or as I like to say,  to get Jesus”. As our faith grows and we take it on as our own, we travel down the “I do it myself” road. Our faith is now our own. Is it always perfect and seamless? Not exactly. Like learning to get dressed there will be valleys and hills and you can most definitely bet that our shoes will land on the wrong foot a time a two. But, just like getting dressed, it becomes more comfortable as we grow in our faith and understanding. The shoes eventually find the right foot and the color patterns begin to match better each day.
This is about where I thought the analogy would end until as if the Holy Spirit was using Cooper to teach me an even bigger lesson through all of this. Later that same day after my original conversation with my mom, Cooper came into the living room carrying a large heap of clothes in his arms (and might I add in an undressed body, go figure!). I watched him as he carefully laid out each piece perfectly on the floor and this was his final product:

He then turned to me proudly and said, “I picked out my clothes and now Mommy you get to help me and decide which outfit I’m going to wear”. It may have been the conversation from earlier in the morning, but I practically fell off the edge of my seat. It was a “God bump” moment when I realized, that’s just it! The next step in getting dressed and getting Jesus is bringing someone else along with you. He knows now what clothing items he needs as he had brought out each piece for me to choose from: shorts, underwear and a shirt. In fact, he could have very easily pulled out each item and put them on quietly and by himself in his own room; however, he chose to come out into the living room and invite someone else to participate with him. It’s the next step in our getting Jesus…it’s now time to invite someone along to start their own faith journey.

 I wonder where we might find ourselves in this getting dressed and getting Jesus illustration. Are we still needing to be reminded that “it’s good to wear clothes” or are our “clothes still mismatched and on inside out”. I really want to ask if you have invited anyone to help you get dressed; however, I am concerned where some of your minds might wander.
Allow me to pull your thoughts back and tell you about a childlike faith moment I had this past Sunday at church with Elizabeth. She is a very sweet soon to be 1st grader who had invited her friend to come to church with her after a sleepover at her house last week. Her friend returned the following week excited to participate and was already talking about returning the following Sunday. As adults, we tend to complicate matters when really all it took was one simple question…”do you want to go to church with me?”

 nuff said…