Disengage

You know that moment when you know- as you are making the decision- this one will affect the REST. OF. OUR. LIVES. We’re in one of those. I’ve been chasing the dream for a year now. Trying to provide for the family I so love. Trying to get us ahead of the game. However- all I’ve succeeded at is more turmoil and unrest. So now it’s time to take stock and disengage. I’m here to pledge to the world- but more importantly- my family- mommy is done trying to define herself outside the home.
To my four littles- God has given me one job in this life- to raise you up in his image. I’ve not been great at that- in fact the last year I have STUNK at it. I am going to be better at my God given position in life.
To my sweet hubs- I have stepped on your toes on so many occasions this past year. I have not listened to your concerns, I have put my agenda above yours. I have not trusted you and have not respected your place as the spiritual leader of our home. I am sorry. I will honor and obey you- submit to your authority. Most of all I will be more approachable and seek your council more appropriately.
To my God- I will listen closer to what you are saying to me. I will seek you out in your Word, and in Prayer. I will cleave to the position in life you have given me- and seek joy and fulfillment in purely that place in the home and in the world.
Lastly to the others in my life. I have been stingy this year. I haven’t been available to you all. I haven’t been able to serve as I’m used to doing. I have been busy, flaky, moody, just a general bore. That changes today.
My prayer today is that my heart will be ready to accept where God wants to put me. I’m torn down to the quick and this is where I will stay- silent and peaceful til God shows me where he needs me.
Love to you all!
Ash

Introducing the Jalopy!

I’m not going to say too many words in this post. But lots of pictures! About a month ago- mcD and I got the big to get a vintage trailer. It didn’t take me too long to find sweet perfection in a 1972 Timberline trailer. We lucked out with this baby! It’s in pristine condition!!! I mean FANTABULOUS! So lemme show you!!!

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What a Cool Kid!

It’s spring again, which means, again, we are exploring schooling options for the upcoming year. I was really impressed when McDaddy shared this link with me, because it meant he’s feeling as much anguish as I am about the subject, AND he is really interested in being an active part of the decision making process. Anyway, I officially love this kid! In the 24 hours since I first watched his TEDx talk, I have viewed it three times more, once with Rain.
So without further ado… The TEDx talk with Logan LaPlante:

hack schooling makes me happy

Our Competetive Side Crashes Into the Season

Well, it’s that time again. I have to be honest- with everything going on-much like My Christmas decorating, chocolate making, and shopping before Black Friday- I was going to let our Gingerbread Faceoff pass peacefully and quietly away this year. That is- until I caught a glimpse of Rain’s paper for school. In it she expressed how she looked forward to our silly Gingerbread tradition! So- we just had to FIT it in to the already overpacked schedule!!!!
So without further ado- our houses up for your vote!!!

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So this is how it works! Comment on this post with which one you like best, Hunger Games Tribute OR 70’s Bungalow.
The winners get bragging rights all year.

Thanks all!!!

This is the Way We Clean the House….

By raise of hands how many of us would like to know why our children seem to have been replaced with psychotic alien beings?
We are in some MAJOR discipline boot camp around our house. Today’s video brought to you as a direct result of said boot camp….

Thank God for moments like these. Those little rays of humorous sunshine that ensure these little shits get to live one more day!

Mele Kelekemaka Tornado Style

A little something for the grandparents!!

Where Are You Christmas?

I have been working on a post for a while now-it’s been written, and re-written more than a few times because-to be quite honest with you- it’s quite inflammatory. So I am going to re-blog the following post as a pre-cursor to my weigh in on the subject.

Re-blog:

When I was in sixth grade, I received two Christmas presents I distinctly remember:

1. A coveted “Forenza” tag on a pair of black leggings with a corresponding purple-and-black plaid shirt. (The outfit could’ve been anything, as long as it was from The Limited.)
2. A red football jersey-type sweatshirt.

I loved them both. Loved, loved, loved. I was certain these gifts were my ticket out of Dorkville. My feathered haircut and Bargain Selection glasses would become moot in light of my new stylish garb. The popular kids would wonder what they had previously missed in me. The cute boys I pined for would fight over inviting me to homecoming. I would probably start winning awards.

Until one unfortunate eavesdropping session.

I was supposed to be in bed but was actually creeping in the hall when I heard my mom say to my dad: “Her red sweatshirt? I found it at Walmart for $3.”

Oh. No. She. Didn’t.

And just like that, the sweatshirt lost all its charm. It became something a girl would wear because she couldn’t afford Esprit and her mother refused to buy her Guess jeans. It communicated: I’m poor. (I was in sixth grade, people. It was a very dramatic time.)

And that’s the only thing I remember from Christmas 1985. Not Jesus. Not reverence. Not generosity. Not gratitude. Just a selfish, materialistic reaction because every single gift I received wasn’t from an overpriced store with a name brand I could casually brag about. What a brat.

This sort of nonsense still happens every year. What happened to Christmas? When did it transform from something simple and beautiful to this? How did the enemy hijack Jesus’ birth and serve it on a silver platter to Big Marketing, tricking His own followers into financing the transfer?

Every year we bear this tension. But in the absence of a better plan or – let’s just say it – courage, we feed the machine yet again, giving Jesus lip service while teaching our kids to ask Santa for whatever they want because, you know, that’s really what Christmas boils down to.

I can’t take it anymore. What if a bunch of us pulled out of the system? What if we made a radical decision like: “Our family is going to celebrate Jesus this year in a manner worthy of a humble Savior who was born to two poor kids in a barn and yet still managed to rescue humanity”?

I’m going to throw out some ideas for what I hope is a more meaningful Christmas; you may take some and leave some. Maybe you’ll tweak an idea to fit your family. Good reader, you may take none. Here goes.

Ditch Santa

Because I’m anxious to isolate myself from your goodwill, let me start with a biggie: Last year our family pulled the plug on Santa. Our newly adopted kids were then 5 and 8, preparing for their first Christmas in America, and Brandon and I were just done, y’all. We had spent four years unraveling the tale we presented to our other kids, and we wanted to start this round differently. We gave Christmas back to Jesus. Not a corner of it; all of it.

There’s no longer a fake benefactor my kids can petition to get more stuff. Because honestly, for a 5-year-old, how can Jesus compete with Santa? Will kids choose a baby in a manger or a twinkling, flying character who showers them with presents? Believe me, I’m not here to judge. We did Santa for years! You don’t need to defend your position to me or anyone. For our family, Christmas has gone through several years of reconstruction, and each year progressively becomes more simplified. God is doing different things with different families at different times. Everybody, be cool.

My friend Andrew, a non-believer, explained the conundrum this way: “I always thought it was strange how Christians will tell me they have this giant, awesome truth deep in their soul [that they] want to share with me, but when December 25 comes around, they lie to their own progeny because, apparently, that liberating and awesomely simple truth is somehow just not enough. It may be a good story, but it needs a little something to give it some panache.”

Another drawback to the Santa scenario is that it sets a “be good and you’ll get stuff” tone for Christmas, which becomes so deeply seeded that undoing it is almost impossible. When our children then hear at age 9, “Never mind! It’s all fake! Oh, and stop being so selfish because Christmas is about Jesus,” don’t be surprised if they ask to move in with Grandma. It’s so much easier to make Christmas about Jesus from the start rather than undo it later.

Frugalize Spending

Let’s tackle this one: spending. Brandon and I recently watched a video from Christmas 2004 when our kids were 6, 4, and 2. When we saw the mountains of presents in front of our preschoolers and watched them rip through boxes so fast that they barely registered what they received, I caught Brandon’s eye and mouthed, “We were freaks!” Not to mention our home was burgeoning with loot already, so we had to purge a bunch of toys just to shoehorn in the new stuff.

Five years ago, Brandon and I started this gift-giving policy for each kid: Something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read. (We’ve since added something to give. See sidebar “Give Instead of Get.”)

We can find alternative rhythms to show love to one another. My mother-in-law gives gifts of new memories together. She takes the kids to plays and museums and on day trips. She invites them over individually and spends precious time with them, and they gobble up her focused attention.

How about trying out some gifts of time, experiences, creative talents, and words this year? These will last long after the electric griddle has been forgotten.

Anticipate Advent

Finally, instead of just rejecting old habits, let’s replace American practices with – and I mean this so sincerely – Christian practices. As much as possible, let’s mute the competing chatter invading our spaces. Let’s talk about Jesus’ birth like it’s the thrilling, miraculous moment that it is.

Can we risk difficult conversations with grandparents, friends, and our own children, understanding that Jesus called it the narrow way for a reason, and He wasn’t kidding when He said few would find it?

I’m not trying to ruin Christmas. On the contrary. I’m dying to rediscover what is simple and magnificent about the Savior of the world coming to earth, putting on flesh, and saving my life. I want my kids to marvel that Jesus came, just like God said He would, forever transforming the concepts of hope and peace and salvation. When I create a season revolving around wish lists, frenzy, and mythological characters, I make it difficult for my kids to understand this.

We have the opportunity to show a watching world something truly hopeful this Christmas. We can show them something better than stress, spending, tension, and exhaustion. We can raise children who understand exactly why the songwriter wrote, “O come, let us adore Him.” We can bring good news to the nations yet again, fighting injustice and carrying hope through something as simple as sharing our money. Most importantly, we can render to Jesus the reverence He is owed, pushing all substitutions to the side and making our homes holy ground. This is why:

Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
‘Til He appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

The weary world rejoices, indeed. Thank You, Jesus! Joy to the world.

http://www.lifeway.com/Article/HomeLife-Family-Giving-Christmas-Back-to-Jesus?intcmp=LWMain-Article1-Back-to-Jesus-20121126

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