Thursday, May 28, 2015

Sneak Peak of wedding Photos

I have a lot of wedding posts I want to make soon, (including how I spent my wedding night in the emergency room.   I am fine now, but I thought I had appendicitis.)  But here's a few photos until I get back into the swing of blogging again next week.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Called to be Amish by Marlene Miller Book Review

FTC disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

I realize I went to an unconventional high school.  There were 16 of us in grades 1-12.  A small Christian school at the beginning of the Christian schooling movement, we were unique.  Mine was the first graduating class.  We were located right in the middle of an Amish community.

We didn't have any Amish students attending our school, but I can remember buying carrots from the lady with the buggy parked in her garage.  There's nothing like a carrot harvested that day.  It was not unusual for another Amish lady to stop by to use the phone in our one room schoolhouse.  

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Weirdest things Happen to May May 2015 edition.

I can't believe that one week from today I'll be married.   Actually with the stress I can.  Stress is at an all time high for me.  The contractors finally finished the kitchen this week.  I told them to be done by May 1st.  So the house is pretty much still unlivable.  I can't find my veil.  My guest book pen is still among the missing, the bulletins aren't done, I still have the slide show to put together, favors to assemble, and that's just the beginning.

The other day I was in Walmart getting some last minute items.  Well, not too last minute, but some stuff I needed.  My fiance saw an older man had been carrying a broken bottle of Palmolive through the store, and my fiance stopped, but I walked right into it.  I pulled a muscle in my back trying to keep my balance.  Then as I stepped out of the puddle my Palmolive covered shoes wanted to send me down to the floor again.  I had to finish the rest of my shopping trip in pain and barefoot until my fiance took my shoes into the bathroom and washed off all the dish washing liquid.

I'm at that stressed out level now that I am having nightmares about not getting everything done for the wedding.   I am looking forward to having as much done as will get done and enjoying everything.  Being out of commission for over 48 hours due to a man carrying a broken bottle of Palmolive through a store is NOT something that was good timing.  Not that it would ever be good timing, but there are times it would be a lot less stressful than it is now.

Seven days!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Making the Most of Your Summer Using iPhone Apps

FTC disclaimer:  I am part of the U.S. Cellular Better Moments Blogger campaign.   I received compensation for this post but all opinions are my own.

U.S. Cellular offers a FREE PRINTABLE Parent Child agreement to help you discuss safety of the Internet, cell phone usage, limits, and courtesy with your teen or tween.  You don't even need to be a U.S. Cellular customer to access this, although I have been for 10 years and highly recommend them. 

My life is so busy right now!   I'm sure everyone can say that, because as summer begins, so do activities.  I remember a Facebook post last year about this time where someone said, "Seriously people, there are other days in May besides this Saturday".   This year I am feeling like everyone chose the 23rd as the day to do things.  After I chose it as my wedding date!   I heard of nothing going on that day when we picked it -- last July.  Since then I've learned of four weddings, a bridal shower, a flea market,

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Day I left Church in Tears

I'm 41 years old, and I'm getting married for the first time in nineteen days.  I never expected to be this old and just now getting married, but my mother had a lot of health problems and once the time was right and I met my boyfriend, my mother asked him to move here and help take care of her.  I had been taking care of her myself but  it was too much for me to handle at that point without help.  She didn't want to live her final days in a nursing home.  I honored my mother's wishes, and my boyfriend did, too.  Between the two of us, we were able to keep her at home.  To me, it was the right thing to do, and I felt I was doing what God wanted for me as well.  She passed away at home, while I was at a small group from church.

Last Mother's Day was the first without her.   I headed to the first service our church holds, and it being on a Saturday I thought I was "safe".  I remembered how my mother said in her childhood church every woman got a carnation -- one color if your mother was living and another if your mother was deceased.  I thought about how difficult it would be the first year to wear the deceased color.

Nothing was said about Mother's Day all through the service.  But at the end.  Oh, how I wish I had left early.  Our church had about 50 in that service, and the mi
nister called all mothers up to the front.  I was the only adult woman left in the pews.  It was all men and me.  (I don't recall any children being at that service.)  I felt so singled out when every woman but me was called to the front.  Every woman but me received a flower.   It was uncomfortable, but I've dealt with that for years.  It doesn't matter how much you may want a child, at most churches I've been to only those who have children either biologically or adopted are honored.  (I've often wondered how women who have no children with them but have given a child a chance at a better life by releasing them to be adopted feel when all mothers are to stand.)
Mom and me after she was on dialysis for a couple years.

I was the only woman who was not given a flower.  I was the only woman looking on at all the other women while the minister did a mini-sermon about how being a mother and raising a child is God's highest calling.   (Isn't the calling God has on your life His highest calling for you?  And my calling is not what someone else's calling is so why should we say what is God's highest calling?)    My fiance tried to comfort me, but that only made it worse.  I was in absolute tears.  So much so that one of the women brought her flower to me, the childless one.

Isaiah 51:4 says it beautifully:

Rejoice, childless one, who did not give birth; burst into song and shout, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the forsaken one will be more than the children of the married woman," says the LORD."   (NLT)

Yet, it sometimes feels that churches forget this verse.  I have a friend named Leslie who is an amazing children's volunteer in her church.  She's still single.  Do you think the dozens of children she has ministered to would not rise up and call her blessed?  (Proverbs 31) I know I feel that way about the children's and youth workers I have had in my growing up years.  Leslie has children -- just in a different way -- their parents trust her with their child's spiritual education each week.  Mother's Day is just as much about Leslie as it is the woman who gave birth.  Let's begin to recognize that fact, and honor the sacrifices people like Leslie make.  We met at a retreat and she said how much she loved the times of worship because it was so seldom she was able to be in an adult worship service.

Last year after the minister finished his mini-sermon on motherhood being the highest calling in a woman's life, church was dismissed.  I want children.  I spoke to my doctor today about the possibilities and risks of trying to have a child.  I'm 41 and have health problems.  From the sounds of things, it likely won't happen.  We hope to adopt.  But until now God's highest calling for me was taking care of my ailing mother.   I couldn't have cared for her the way she needed if I would have had children.

Ours was the first of four church services over Mother's Day weekend last year.  As I left the church, I mentioned to the minister that he might want to be aware that there are women who want children and can't have them and hearing that motherhood was God's highest calling might not be the best way to honor mothers.  I was met with silence and a blank stare.

As soon as I got to the car, I announced I was never again attending church on Mother's Day as it was too painful.  I went home and went to bed.  My fiance had the next day off work and wanted to see me busy so we did a day of geocaching until we were exhausted.

Let's remember that God calls different people to different things.  Mother's Day can be a difficult day for various reasons.  Infertility, singleness, miscarriage.  I'm not saying to not  honor mothers but I'd love to see churches be mindful of the pain this day can cause, and let's also remember the Leslies in our church, the single women who give so much to the children.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Max Lucado: Let the Journey Begin

FTC disclaimer:  I am a Family Christian blogger and received this book and an appreciation certificate to facilitate my review and for hosting a giveaway.  Post does contain affiliate links.  All opinions are my own.

Let the Journey Begin: Finding God's Best For Your Life a great little hardcover gift book, perfect for graduation.  It is more of encouragement as to what the future holds.   While it would be great for the graduate, I think it would make a nice gift to a newlywed couple with a gift card to Family Christian tucked inside.   Why do I say that?  As I was reading this book, I was reminded what my fiance recently asked me.  We are getting in 20 days, and between wedding planning and renovating the house I inherited from my mother, we have had little to no free time.   I think back to the days when we would play a board game, watch a DVD, or participate in other hobbies.  We haven't had time to do anything other than wedding prep and house remodeling.  Add in the fact we each have been sick in the last month and we both work, time has been at a minimum.