Ok, so I saidI didn't abandon this blog, and I did. The blog hiatus was due, in part, to coupon blogs. But, for the most part, it has been due to my wretchedly sinful heart. If you are interested, I will ramble on a minute...
Originally, I began blogging to document my kiddos lives. I am not a scrapbooker, and I had hoped to be able to keep up with the kids lives, the funny things they say and do, etc. The blog came in clutch after our computer crashed earlier this year. It kept the earliest photos of the baby. (Yeah!) I was keeping track of the kiddos and what they were doing, what we were doing...purpose fulfilled, right?
Well, when ya'll started telling me ya'll were reading, I started overthinking what I was typing. "Does this sound good? What can I say that will be funny, cute, or loveable?" Sounds stupid, right? I am embarassed that I am even typing this. My stupid pride.
It isn't this blog that is causing me to be prideful, or boastful, or significant to the world, or any other number of my many MANY other vices. It is just that I am. I am all of those things. I LOVE to find purpose in what others think about me. I love to find purpose in what others think about my family. And, (gasp) my husband and children.
I knew that I needed to step back. Over the last month, there has been so much that I have wanted to put on here. We have been a busy, busy family. But, everytime I would begin a post, that subtle (and sneaky) pride would creep in.
Please don't hear me say that this is anyone else's motivation for blogging. I just know my heart. I know that I want people to see and love the squeak-y clean, neat, fun, and dang near perfect Renfroes.
On a closer look at my heart and motives, deep down, what I really REALLY long for you blog readers to see is Jesus. If I can't portray that we are definite sinners in desperate need of a mighty Savior, then I am doing my family a serious injustice. Because we are...And, if I can't get over myself for long enough to fill you in (non-boastfully) about what is going on in our lives, well, then this isn't worth reading at all, right?
As this school year has drawn to a close, I have found myself evaluating everything. Was I a 'good' wife? a 'good' mom? a 'good' teacher? a 'good' employee? a 'good' student? any changes that need to be made in my time? our family's time? so on...this 'blog-pride is one of the things that I have noticed via-evaluation. I needed to 'confess' this in order to move on. Now that I got that off of my heart and mind, I will post some pics soon.
On another note, I haven't been blogging, but, I have been reading. I read the blogs of almost everyone I know, and those that I don't. I am so so SO encouraged by my friends (both real life and virtual life, bloggers, commenters, and non-bloggers) lives. I am so encouraged by my friend's faith, families, love for Jesus, and love for others. To those of you who read this (often crazy rant) I am grateful. I am thankful that we have had the privilidge of wonderful God-fearing friends and families. You guys are the best.
I am just reading. Last month came in like a lion and went out like a lamb. I had a crazy, CRAZY month with grad school. But, thankfully, I am finishing that up now. I will say, I have really enjoyed reading other people's blogs. So, in an effort to catch up on my reading, I have put the blog on hiatus. Also, I have become slightly obsessed with coupon blogs. Crazy, huh? I used to think it was such a waste of time. You know, that's a whole lot of trouble for 55 cents off. But, after a few transactions in which I walked out of Walgreens feeling like I robbed the place, I am hooked. I may need therapy (not of the retail sort) later.
This is a picture taken this past December (2008) of a home swept away by Hurricane Katrina. Thankfully, my family, my childhood home, and my extended family's homes were safe , but, we all learned valuable lessons about wood, hay, and stubble.
"Wood, Hay, and Stubble" the title of one of the many conversations that I have with my wonderful father-in-law that usually begins or ends with him saying, "This is not a lecture."
This is a picture of my huge, HUGE gas logs. I think they were the biggest they made in 1971. I am talking about things that burn in this post. As you can see from this photo--these do not burn. I am going to go ahead and classify my HUGE gas logs as "wood, hay, and stubble"(triple violation) as they are USELESS, dangerous ,and UGLY!
What he is calling "wood, hay, and stubble" are things that burn.The things that you think or do that do not really matter...Things that take up your time, energy, resources, but aren't eternal...Things that add up and cause you to be and feel so busy, that you don't have time for the things that matter. My father-in-law would say the wood, hay, and stubble tends to "choke-out" the important things. Because wood, hay, and stubble demand your attention NOW, you put off the important things. Because wood, hay, and stubble promise that if you just take a few more minutes concentrating on them, you will be able to focus better on more important things/produce the desired result/have them out of the way. Actually, now that I think about it, wood, hay, and stubble promises a whole host of things. But, the promises burn right along with the wood, the hay, and the stubble.
This is a picture of the playhouse that Al built. Certainly, I am not suggesting that we burn the playhouse down, however, it is wood, and I realized earlier that I have never put these pictures up!
When he begins his "wood, hay and stubble lecture," my father-in-law is usually insightfullyreferencing something that I have said "Yes" to doing that I later have regretted. The "good" things that take up my time and take the place of the BEST things.
Moving the playhouse out of the shop, and to it's current location. Did I mention that Al built this out of lumber that he milled himself out of a log he bought from a timber yard? I probably didn't because that would be bragging on my husband, and his multi-talented & genius self, and that would definitely be wood, hay, and stubble!
(Do as I say, not as I do...just kidding)
Here are some thoughts, and things I am learning about wood, hay, and stubble.
I have been deeply encouraged by Shelli's New years list, and have referenced it time and again.
After Seleta'spost about purpose and simplicity, she and I exchanged a series of encouraging emails. At the conclusion of these, I was encouraged to try to notice my kiddos throughout the day, REALLY learn where they are at right now, and not just pacify them with more wood, hay, and stubble.
My friend Hope, who lost a child this summer, has been a wealth of encouragement for me on this. She has taught me so much about living life, raising these kiddies, and just BEING right now.
I have a host of real life friends from whom I have learned a ton over the past few weeks. My friend that encouraged me to pray diligently for forty days that I might gain deeper insight into the death and Resurrection of the Savior. My friend that reminded me that quality time is the most important time I can give my children. And, my friend that has been so deeply moved to encourage my family over these last few weeks, that she has left her comfort zone offering advise and scripture in a host of encouraging emails and phone calls.
If I knew how to create one of those "Best of the Week" pages, I totally would include some cool picture to represent these things in a visually pleasing manner. These are the things that I hope will take the place of some of my wood, hay, and stubble.
Of course, I have lots of things that I want to take the place of the wood, hay and stubble. These are just in my "Best of the Week" category.
On Sunday, my pastor said something at the end of his sermon that reminded me of the truths of Wood, Hay, and Stubble. He said, "Are you looking around you, are you looking to other's examples to follow and not the Lord?" I do this all of the time without even realizing it, for the most part. I think about how organized I used to be before I had children, and this is what my playroom looks like. Isn't that looking around me instead of looking to Him?
Just Kidding, this isn't my playroom, just a corner of it. I am having to use filed pictures and not current photos as a result of the fact that the playroom is so messy, I can't find the camera cord!!!!
Or, I think about the friends that I have who's jobs have been unaffected by pro ration/the recession. (YIKES!) I won' t even begin to list the ongoing projects that I am doing or re-doing in my mind, and in real life! These are just a few of the million thoughts that keep my mind busy, and off of the things that matter. Any thoughts on this?
For those of you who do not live on my street, the title of this post is in reference to the fact that my boys have a strong aversion to a restroom--preferring to pee off of my front porch every morning.
For my mom's sake, and for the most part, I have tried to tell them that this is not an acceptable practice everywhere.
Their dad chimes in, "Well, it is in Pike County."
Thanks for the support, Al.
In New Orleans, this is a violation that is called, "Contamination of the Water Supply." (I know, that is a weird name, but, only in NOLA do you get weird cop code like that!) You can spend a night in the slammer for it. I know you probably won't be arrested as a 5 year old, but, as my brother would tell you, it isn't as cute to a police officer when you are 17.
Like most of the Southeast, we woke up this morning to snow. Not a lot of snow at first, but, seeing as it hasn't snowed here since 1993, it was enough.
The kids wanted to go outside and play before church.
Every Sunday morning, Al and I begin our day looking for leverage to get these kids hiney's moving faster than a snail's pace.
We offer lots of things: money, cars, pixie stixs for breakfast, "All, if, you will just hurry up and get in the tub!"
Usually we make it to church with only one of us in tears (Al), one of us "not feeling very church-y" (Me) and the dog babysitting 2 of our 4 kiddos. (I said, "Come on, or, I am going to leave you!")
All of it is true but the dog-babysitter part.
This morning the snow was our incentive.
The kids wanted to go outside and make a snowball.
And , they just couldn't resist a taste.
That's the part where Al's "It's-my-house-and-they-can-pee-off-the-porch-if-they-want-to" philosophy took a leak. (pun intended)
The kids were instructed to only eat the snow off of the fence.
When Addie wanted to know "Why?" I told her to ask Daddy.
He explained, "Only that snow tastes good. You know Sadie uses the yard as her potty."
Sure, blame it on the dog. She's the only babysitter that hasn't run away yet!
(Somebody please say something about how pitiful Sadie looks in this snow. If this picture had a tag line it would be: Look at our dog, she's freezing and wet and has been hit by like 15 snowballs. Sadie obviously didn't think the snow was as cool as the kids did. I guess we need to get her one of those dog sweaters for the next snow day. Poor dog. Not only does she have to live with us, and baby-sit for free, we make her go out in the cold snow, sans-dog sweater, just for a picture!)