Wednesday, September 30, 2009

30 Days of Happiness :: Day 14

Go to the ant, you sluggard!
Consider her ways and be wise,
Which, having no captain,
Overseer or ruler,
Provides her supplies in the summer,
And gathers her food in the harvest.

Proverbs 6:6-8

I kept thinking about these verses as Gabe and I stacked firewood today.

After a mini- tornado whipped down our street in the spring of this year, trees were down for blocks around. Knowing a wood stove is our main source of heat, a kind neighbor gave us two dump trucks full of wood; a pile of trees taller than Gabe, dumped right in our front yard. The massive work of making trees, 3 feet in diameter, fit in a wood stove has, of course, and, as always, fallen to Gabe. Needless to say, we have tremendous amount of wood for this winter. It is great to say that we feel really prepared for what is predicted to be a long, cold winter.

Today, I helped Gabe stack the cut wood. The wood, cut and uncut, is piled high, high on the north side of our house. It is a dank, damp, musty world over there where WAAAAAAYYYY too many slugs, spiders, pill bugs and earthworms for my taste. Also: slime, mold, muck and guck. But, you know what? Anything for my man, anything for my man. I stuck my hands into the yuck and I got up close and personal with some slugs.

What has been cut and stacked is about 2.5, maybe 3 cords. We still have at least that much, probably more yet to be cut.

A small portion of what still needs to but cut.

Oh yeah, there was this guy, too.

Monday, September 28, 2009

30 Days of Happiness :: Day 13

I have waited to write about this little bit of joy. I wanted to make sure it was going to stick before I got too excited about it.

I moved Adah into Elijah's room and it has been such a major blessing!!

We are all tormented by her sleepless nights. For months, she woke around midnight and would be completely unable to settle back down for 3, 4 sometimes, 5 hours. She would fuss and fuss, I would try everything under the sun to help her fall back asleep. Nothing worked. She would finally collapse from exhaustion after hours of misery. Only to pop back up promptly at 6:30 or 7 am. Torturous.

I was a wreck. After one particularly grueling night I determined we had to move her out of our room. After trying everything else, I wondered if it was me that was keeping her awake. Was my mere presence was causing her to want to be awake?

Whatever it was, I don't know... but THANK GOD, it worked! The first night I moved her in there and every night since has been bliss. She is sleeping through the night: no tears, no drama. Just sleep. For everyone. She was probably just as exhausted as we were. I don't know why I waited so long to do it. Huge Happiness! Besides the joys of sleeping well, I can read in bed at night again and Gabe and I really appreciate the privacy, too. All good stuff.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

30 Days of Happiness :: Day 12

Today, I was able to help Gabe with work around the house.

Typically, I am unable to help because I am tending to the children and most of the work he does is so far out of my league that I would be more hindrance than help.

Today, however, Adah napped at just the right time; I put on some old clothes and got my hands dirty. I mowed the lawn and painted many boards that will be used for window trim. What I did was minor compared with what he did and does on any given day off work. Nonetheless, I was happy to be able to help at all: to, in any way, lighten his load; to help his day go more smoothly; to spend time with him; to be able to marvel, first hand, at all he accomplishes.

We are so close to being finished with the renovations on our house. We bought this house from an investor who bought it as a foreclosure. When we moved in, it was truly gross. Now, by the sweat of Gabe's brow, our house is actually quite cute. There are days, weeks even, when Gabe is ready to put a match to our foundation, walk away and never look back. I don't blame him. This is hard, frustrating, expensive work. And it is all hanging on a prayer that it will pay off for us. It is especially hard on both of us that every nail driven, every brush stroke, every success and failure rests on Gabe shoulders. He works 40+ hours a week, all the renovation work is done in time off.

Sigh. I will be really, really happy when it's all done. We've been at it for 3 years.


For me, today, happiness is making Gabe happy.

*We are fresh out batteries for our camera so, I have no pictures to share.*

Monday, September 21, 2009

30 Days of Happiness :: Day 11

Elijah's growing up. This is a bittersweet happiness.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

30 Days of Happiness :: Day 10

(she had something to do with it)

Happiness is finally locating the source of the stench in Elijah's room.

(Let's hear it for little victories, folks.)

Monday, September 14, 2009

30 Days of Happiness :: Day 9

Happiness is prayers answered!

Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body
is more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them.
Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?
Luke 12: 22-24, 27- 28

I have been in desperate need of clothes. I am often embarrassed by my ill-fitting, stained, holey, hand-me-down clothes. Occasions like weddings, parties, and even church leave me feeling a depressed and anxious as I rummage through my ragtag wardrobe searching for something appropriate and mildly flattering to wear.

There is no money in the budget for new clothes and even if there was, I hate shopping and being able to buy one new shirt, though nice, isn't going to solve the overall lack of suitable clothes. Furthermore, given the extreme state of need many people the world over suffer through, it feels shallow and selfish to even complain about what I have.

That said, the Lord knows my needs and I have been patiently stalking the Asheville Freecycle for several months now with the peace that God would provide for me through this website. I've seen many offers for women's clothes come and go. Our freecycle is quite active and if you don't catch the post within minutes or seconds of it being posted, you can be sure someone else has already responded with a request for the item offered. I've been disappointed a few times, having really thought that I might get a bag of clothes offered.

Last night the Lord answered my needs, Mightily!! He is SO GOOD! I saw a post offering women's clothes and I made my request to the offerer. When I got the call that I had been chosen, I was genuinely shocked. It is sort of like winning the lottery where you have no idea if what you won is actually of any value. The man told me that these clothes were his adult daughter's that she'd outgrown and he had---- wait for it, wait for it...... 6! Yes, 6! garbage bags full if I wanted them!

I picked them up this morning and I am floored with gratitude. These clothes are clean, in great condition and fairly stylish. They are all in my size!! My size! Wow! I have grown accustomed to wearing too big or too small since the babies came along. The clothes are mostly business casual and dressier than I normally wear on a daily basis and not necessarily my style. (Though, I have to say, I abandoned "my style" years ago in favor of whatever mostly free clothes I could gain. I will wear just about anything and make it work.) I guess I will be dressing a little bit fancier from now on :) It will be nice after a summer of wearing 3 hand me down t-shirts and 3 pairs of shorts 3 sizes too big.

Here is the count of what I given today (basically a whole wardrobe):
19 dressy shirts
16 sweaters and cardigans
15 casual shirts
15 pairs of slacks
7 pairs of jeans
9 pajama type clothes
4 dresses
1 skirt

Can you believe it? I know they are just clothes, but to me, they are more than that, they are the loving provision of my Father in heaven.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find;knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds,and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heavengive good things to those who ask Him!"
Matthew 7:7- 11

Sunday, September 13, 2009

30 Days of Happiness :: Day 8

Okay, so after a week (really more like two weeks) of participating in the 30 days of Happiness project, I have come to realize that my main source of happiness is my family. Nothing wrong with that! I am a stay at home mom; my family are not just my loved ones, my housemates, my best friends, but they are also my job.

I am happy that I have them; they do bring me so much joy. But, seeing that they are the only consistent source of daily happiness for me, I do feel inspired to look for other sources of happiness. Art? Exercise? Friendships?

For today, however.... Oh! it was so cute and made so happy to see my men yukking it up on the couch before bed. Something about seeing Gabe's head in Elijah's lap rather than the other way was so precious to me. Elijah was enjoying the opportunity to tickle Daddy, a favorite game. My son's laughter makes me happy.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

30 Days of Happiness :: Day 7

The children and I have been out of town for the last few days while Gabe worked on our house. Happiness is coming home again... seeing Gabe and seeing the beautiful work of his hands. This photo is for my family ( my mom, dad, sister and brother-in-law) who asked to see a picture of the work Gabe completed while the kids and I stayed with them. For those of you who have never been to our house, the floors are new and they look fantastic!

Monday, September 7, 2009

30 Days of Happiness :: Day 5

Happiest moment of the day.... when Daddy comes home.

Friday, September 4, 2009

30 Days of Happiness :: Day 4

It makes me happy that Adah is trying to walk. She took her first unassisted steps a month ago and she is still mostly crawling. She is almost 14 months old and I am sure that one day soon she really will get up and go. Meanwhile, it is been a lot of these kind of moments, full of cheers and smiles. And this clip makes me laugh ( and Adah, too) because Elijah is imitating her distinctive crawl. This was the first time I'd ever seen him do this. Sorry for the quality-- I accidentally had the camera set on night vision.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

30 Days of Happiness :: Day 3

When Adah woke up this morning, I wasn't quite ready to get out of bed. So, after nursing and cuddling for a bit, I set her down on the floor and let her play in our bedroom while I lightly dozed for a few more minutes. I could her hear her open and closing drawers and shuffling around the room. I knew she was making a mess, but being extra lazy, I didn't care. After a few minutes she came back to the bedside and patted me to wake up. I rolled over to see her grinning wildly all decked out in this funny little get up. She really thought she was something! I could tell that she got a kick out of it and so did I.

For those you counting... its two Christmas ribbons, a bra and a pacifier hanging off of her.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

30 Days of Happiness :: Day 2

Just lovin' this weather! This is actually tomorrow's forecast, but today was much the same. It feels like the beginning of fall. It's not quite time for such weather, I mean this is the Southeast:). I am sure Summer still has a bit more to share with us. Still, it's a lovely little preview of cooler days to come. Who can complain about a lovely, balmy, slightly breezy, sunny, fresh-aired day such as today?