The Millennial Homemaker

The musings of a Stay at Home Mom

Expecting the Unexpected

It is almost December 1st, and I am pondering over this year we call 2009 AD. I usually write an annual Christmas letter that wraps up the details of my year in a one page summary. This year is different, though. There are many reasons to continue the tradition and write, yet there are so many more reasons to stop.

One of the things I have learned this year (and in previous years) is to expect the unexpected. Life can be compared to so many unexpected things like: a fork in the road, the changes of the ocean’s tide, a roller coaster, the change in seasons, the circle of life, and the cliches go on and on.

But, seriously, this year has been, by far, the most unexpected series of events I have witnessed in my lifetime. We started the year in good health, and we transitioned into yet another job change. But, this time, it wasn’t a lateral job move. It was the end of a “regular” job. Of course, there are many downsides to having a regular job, but one of the positive consistencies is the paycheck at the end of every two weeks. No more regular paychecks. Time to jump ship and live on faith! Beginning on May 1st we have been living on faith. Pure, simple faith. No paychecks; just a new path of earning a living through dialing for dollars and pounding the pavement for work.

Another unexpected event was the journey to see family 800 miles from home, and ending up in the ER to pass a kidney stone. No insurance, no problem. Just had to wait two months to see the enormous bill for some morphine and a CT scan. But, everything turned out fine, and I’ll have memories of that trip for the rest of my life. My kids will remember the good moments, too. Making a memory is the best part.

I’ve learned to document the important events through this wonderful tool called blogging. A journey in the year of my life is here on the computer. It’s available for proofreading, for encouragement, for keeping in touch. Some parts are boring; some parts are fun. But, it’s how all about how I get through each day and recognize the miracles, the people, the memories that encompass it all.

As I ponder what to write about my life in 2009 I need to look no further. It’s all here. Happy. Healthy. Blessed. Expecting the unexpected at each new turn. 2010 is a mere 31 days away. Be prepared. Be alert. Be hopeful. Oh, and remember… it’s NOT all about you. Life is short. Life is quick. But, life can be good.

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Truly Thankful

I heard about an interesting way to be thankful this month: make a daily post of what you are thankful for during the month of November. I have tried to be consistent in my posts each day; here you will see a list of what I made for which I am truly thankful.

Thursday, November 26: thankful for forgiveness… “amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.” Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

Wednesday, November 25: I’m thankful for the holidays that remind me of what’s truly important, and all the old-fashioned music and memories that come along!

Tuesday, November 24: thankful for a Sovereign God who knows the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega, the peace the passes all understanding.

Monday, November 23: thankful for fresh starts and second chances in life!

Sunday, November 22: I’m thankful for being a woman, and all of its qualities: daughter by birth, sister by chance, wife by love, mother by opportunity, friend by choice, and child of heaven by faith!

Saturday, November 21: thankful for the hypocrisy of mankind… it enables me to stop looking at the speck in my friend’s eye and pull out the giant log in my own eye!

Friday, November 20: thankful that my husband is still finding new clients and able to retain the existing ones… so, touche’ to this depressed economy! When there’s a will, there’s a way!

Thursday, November 19: thankful for little daily reminders that tell me to slow down and enjoy each moment.

Wednesday, November 18: Thankful for my relationships with people…. othewise this social networking thing would be in vain!

Tuesday, November 17: I am thankful for the sunshine we get 300 days a year, and I’m thankful that the temps are “normal” for 6 months a year. So get outside and enjoy your day!

Monday, November 16: I’m thankful that I can homeschool my kids in freedom. I may not always have this opportunity, but for now, I love teaching my own at home!

Sunday, November 15: I’m thankful for my faith and for the many friends and family who share it with me 🙂

Saturday, November 14: I’m thankful that my children have chosen good friends to associate with… it’s a continual process to teach them that “bad company corrupts good morals” (from Proverbs)…

Friday, November 13: skipped this one… maybe it’s superstition?

Thursday, November 12: thankful for healthcare facilities like Phoenix Childrens Hospital who are taking care of my niece.

Wednesday, November 11: I am thankful for all of the veterans who have served our country. I am grateful to my father, who served in World War II and Korea, and is now resting peacefully in heaven. May God continue to bless those who serve Him through acts of selflessness and honor.

Tuesday, November 10: I am thankful for beautiful weather in the fall in the Southwest!

Monday, November 9: cars, computers, and construction… if the men didn’t invent these things, where would we be today? I am thankful for the men in my life 🙂

Sunday, November 8: had a great day with our new friends and our visit with Papa. The kids can’t stop talking about their weekend. Thanks for the great memories!

Saturday, November 7: thankful for stargazing tonight at the Challenger Space Center! So fun! We all enjoyed looking at Jupiter, the Andromeda Galaxy, The Owl Constellation, The Seven Sisters, The Ring Nebula… and I saw 2 shooting stars for the encore!!!

Friday, November 6: thankful for adoption search websites. My husband and his birth mom have found each other!

Thursday, November 5: thankful for technology, although it doesn’t always have its advantages!

Wednesday, November 4: thankful for the birth of my firstborn son! Can’t believe he is 14 today!

Tuesday, November 3: thankful for unit studies on Egypt history.

Monday, November 2: thankful for the ever-changing clothing industry. From bell-bottoms to skinny jeans… where would we be without denim?

Sunday, November 1: thankful for the wonderful “bondfire” we had in our driveway with our friends and neighbors. We are so blessed!

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Counter Culture

I’ve been thinking about this phrase a lot in the past few days. While I want to keep abreast of the events and changes within our culture, I certainly do not subscribe to many of its appealing attractions. What is the most attracting concept within our culture today? It is the notion of me-ism… living for self. So, if I was going to follow the cultural trend and feed the desires of my heart, what would be the total opposite of that trend? I believe that going counter-culture is to buck the trend, and pursue the alternate path.

Culture vs. Counter-Culture
1. Culture says, “Just do it” … Counter-culture would say to “don’t jump because your friends are doing it”
2. Culture says, “Buy on credit, you deserve it now!”… Counter-culture would say, “Follow the 90/10 rule” and “walk away from any potential big purchase and think about it for 24 hours” (read Proverbs 21:5)
3. Culture says, “If you don’t like your partner, just get a divorce”… Counter-culture says, “Remember your vows; for better or for worse, til death do you part”
4. Culture says, “Send your kids to school. You deserve the break”… Counter-culture says, “You are your child’s first teacher. Why send them off to a group of strangers to teach them when you can do a better job with one-to-one instruction?”
5. Culture says, “What about socialization?”… Counter-culture says, “Socialization is being around and associating with people of ALL ages, not just a predetermined age bracket”
6. Culture says, “Who needs God or faith or anything spiritual?”… Counter-culture says, “Now Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1)”
7. Culture says, “You deserve a bigger house, a fancy car, and a better career”… Counter-culture says, “learn to be content with what you have. A house can burn down, a car can get wrecked. A career can be swallowed whole in one economic swoop.”
8. Culture says, “You should only have one or maybe two children at the most”… Counter-culture says, “the more the merrier, and blessed, too! A man’s quiver is full of arrows (children)” (See Psalm 127:4,5)
9. Culture says, “Take advantage of everything the government has to offer”… Counter-culture says, “Pray for the leaders of your country. Maintain honesty and integrity in all things. But trust in God for all your provisions. Governments can fall at any moment. Look at the old Egyptian and Roman empires.”
10. Culture says, “Be isolated and keep to yourself. Be wary of strangers.”… Counter-culture says, “Yes, keep a watchful eye, especially with young children. But, remember to love your neighbors as yourself.”

I still have a lot to learn about becoming more counter-culture. It’s a change of mindset and of my heart. I can love my community without following all of its flawed principles. But, I must follow my intuition and my faith foremost. If I were to be carried by every wind of doctrine, I would be swept away. I need to know WHAT I believe, WHY I believe it, and HOW I am going to live it. Learn it, live it, love it.

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Go with the flow

It’s been a crazy two weeks. Actually, it’s been a crazy year! I’ve been reminiscing about what I will use in my annual Christmas letter. So many things have happened this year, and the conclusion I have made is to just “go with the flow.” There is no other phrase to describe it!

It seems that life is like white water rafting (a quest I have yet to experience). You get in a watercraft, put on a life vest, and push off downstream into the water. You can use the oars to help guide your direction, but sometimes the current is so strong that it pushes and pulls you however it seems best. Then, you will come to a slow spot in the river, and you can just glide along while admiring the scenery.

I’ve experienced many turbulent waters this past year. But, I’ve also had the pleasure of gliding through the small, calm passages. I am beginning to believe that the calm passages are a preparation ground for the upcoming bend, the unknown path that will most likely bring turbulent waters. But, as the speed increases and more strength is needed to handle the pressure, the result is an exhaustive state of endorphins that get released when the training period is over.

As the year draws to a close, and the holidays pass by, I am thankful for the turbulent waters and the gentle stream that flow into my life. I look forward to another year of training in the water. For without the opportunities of metaphorical white water rafting, I would be stuck in the mud. So, go with the flow!

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Putting the “D” in Bonfire

Fall has arrived. The nights are cool, the days are breezy and getting cooler. What a perfect time for a bonfire! I sent out the evites, and our family began to prepare for some fun. We bought the graham crackers, the marshmallows, and the hot cocoa. We set up the tables, chairs, and the fire pit in our driveway. We waited until dusk, and we began the evening with a kid-friendly movie playing on the projector against our garage door.

The neighbors and friends arrived. Kids began to roast the marshmallows as we talked, laughed, and shared our recent news and stories. The older kids began a game of football toss in the street. There was no traffic, but our yard was bustling with the noise of fun, camaraderie, and bonding.

Our bonfire adventure turned into a “bond” fire. We have the desire to reach out to our neighbors and friends again. It’s too easy to hibernate in our homes, and watch the world spin by as we go about our daily lives behind the closed doors. But it takes courage and determination to step out and say, “hi, my name is … and I want to get to know you.”

I hope that there will be many more bonfires while the evenings are cool. As long as our neighbors are okay with the noise of excitement and the aroma of burning wood, then we are good to go. I challenge you to put the “D” of determination in reaching out to your friends and neighbors. The memories that you create will last a lifetime and have a huge impact beyond all words.

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