Word of the Year

My word for 2012 is HOPE.

How could it be anything else?  I hope for wind in my sails, carrying me steadily along.  I hope for days filled with peace and joy.  I hope for new yarn and new projects.  I hope for love and intimacy that knows no bounds.  I hope for God’s love and comfort.  I hope for 365 days of breath in my lungs and steady legs to carry me.  I hope for friendships.  I hope for new beginnings.  I hope for flowers in spring.  I hope for a garden so big.

Hope.  I’ve looked at the word so many times it looks funny.  That’s a lot of hope.


Confessions of an Epic Fail

Well, I didn’t make it.  A thirty day flippin fast from the internet and I couldn’t make it. Sure there were extenuating circumstances, but still.  I failed.  I was sooooo lonely for Facebook.  Sad.  What an eye opener.  I have no tangible friendships.  I live too far away from them, or they are too new for me to call up and whine, thus putting them off.

Jon also had an epic relapse.  I say had but not really.   He is still in the middle of sorting it out.  I jumped into the familiar pattern of sounding the alarm and then curling up into the fetal position.  That was working as well as it has been all these years until my mom called me and told me the problem is me.  I am an enabler.   Yep, after getting hurt and looking up all the definitions (Again, really?  This is like a broken record.) to prove her wrong,  I had an epiphany.  Even though I am not doing most of the things that qualify one as an enabler, I am doing some.  If I am doing some, I might as well be doing them all.  I am making life pretty easy for Jon.  That has to stop.

I make threats.  I don’t follow through immediately.  By the time I am able to follow through financially, Jon is Mr. Golden Boy, so I stay.  Now we are in such dire financial straits, I have no business making them at all.  Unless I am walking out the door with bags and kids in tow, threats are useless.  Threats are especially dumb to make when I so desperately want to keep my family together.  I have created a lot of stress for myself.  Now comes the slow mountain climb of re-learning detachment and how not to enable.  Literally, I have to put first things first.  I have to let go of my obsession with Jon’s drinking and let God deal with him.

I also have to let my obsessions with other people go as well.  I get so hung up on what people are doing wrong.  I want to fix everyone.  I want them to fix themselves.  Good grief.  They don’t need me or my fixing, when I am clearly broken.  I’ve got to let them go and let God deal with them as well.  I read to0 much gossip.  I care too much about what the Kardashians are doing.  I’m trying to fix me, really I am.  So, please, bear with me.  I come from a place of extreme care, not hate.  If I have come off as hateful, I am so very sorry.

As long as you are here, I might as well fill you in on what I have been up to.

We had the best Christmas we could.  See, we have a house fly problem of biblical proportions.  Thousands on the outside of the house, hundreds on the inside.  Believe me, we have tried everything.  Our only option left on the table is moving.  Because. Of. Flies.  It’s so gross.  Several times I have poured a cup of joe, turned to get the milk from the fridge and BAM, a fly is doing the backstroke in my mug!  When a meal is served, we have to cover it in napkins like we are at an indoor July 4th picnic!  I hate to confess this, but I have had to tell Jon that I refuse to cook in the kitchen because several flies flew out of the fridge.  Not eating at home gets expensive.  The flies fly around like tiny drunks.  They end up in my hair, they dive into my eyes.  When I walk and swing my hands like an ape, flies hitch a ride on my swinging palm.  Jon runs the shop vac for an hour when he gets home at night.  Its ridiculous.

For Christmas I got a pitchfork.  Yes, you read that correctly.  My husband gave me a pitchfork and a Case knife.  I am well equipped for farm life. I also received some crafty goodness.  I might have also become a little bit obsessed with a video game involving magic and dragons.  Whoops.  Without further ado, here are some Christmas/Break Time highlights.

Unedited goodness plus pitchfork=merriment!

Imaginext was HUGE this year.  Go Fisher Price!

Gift opening may cause eyes to roll to the back of head.

Naughty or Nice jj’s.  Epic.

A turquoise knife.  Yes.

We foresaw many battles over the Batmobile.  We made sure they had matching ones.  Peace on Earth.

Crafty books.  I can’t wait to dig into them!

Crafty tools to beef up my arsenal.

I may be a little bit cray cray over Skyrim.  NERD ALERT!Been working on this wrap too.  This picture does it NO justice.  It’s unreal.

I’ve been seeing lots of these too.  God is the Master of all sunsets.

Foolish Things We Tell Our Kids: Part II

“Do whatever makes you happy.” “The goal of life is happiness.”  Or “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”  Use any phrase you want that communicates the premise that every decision in ones life  should be based on some sort of happiness-ometer.  I feel it’s one of the most harmful things we tell our kids.  Modeling it for them is even worse.

Making life decisions based on a certain level of happiness is a sure way to wreak havoc on everything you hold dear.  Donuts, brownies and cake make me ever so happy.  I should just eat them.  What?  That’s ridiculous, you say.  Show a little restraint.  Use your noggin!  1+2= Donuts are bad for you!  Well, I never.  THAT doesn’t make ME happy.

The pastor of our church does a little (okay, a LOT of) marriage counseling on the side.  He says you cannot imagine how many people say they want a divorce because they just “are not happy” with the other person.  Sometimes, just sometimes, I’m not happy with my dog.  Most times, I’m not happy with my house.  A lot of the time I am not happy about a lot of things.  Not only should I avoid making decisions at those times, I should probably tie myself to a chair for an hour or two.  Ask anyone you know who left a marriage due to a lack of happiness why they didn’t show the same restraint that I am REQUIRED to show when it comes to my donut. ( Cue crickets chirping in distance.)  We always stick by our children no matter what.  Always.  They are our flesh and blood.  So what does it say to them when we toss aside the one we made them with?  No matter how we try to gloss it over, no matter how many times we convince ourselves that it was for our good and theirs, it rarely turns out that way.

Children are led astray by so many outside influences.  Let’s minimize the pressure they feel to be super awesome by not filling them full of feel good nonsense.  Let’s not tell them that the big things in life can be reduced to snap decisions.  Mommy and Daddy splitting up because they were not “happy” will set a precedent in their lives that they may never overcome. (Hear me out. I’m not talking about marriages where beatings, mental abuse, affairs, or inappropriate behavior toward children is going on.  I’m talking about those that break up over trivial reasons.  Like, a better option came along.  Get my drift?)  Teaching them to seek their “happy” will do nothing but make them a quitter.  If the job doesn’t make them happy-quit, and so on  You’re super smart, I know you follow.  Doing everything that makes one happy will also lead to a life based in utter selfishness.  In this day and age a little more selflessness is what’s needed.

Once upon a time, I was married to Jacob’s dad.  The marriage is a bad example to use, because it was doomed from the start.   But it is a perfect way to illustrate the “happiness” fallacy.  I was very unhappy.  VERY.  The list I could go into would be a mile long.  I didn’t just GET unhappy, I was miserable.  We separated, and I followed my happy into the arms of another man.   The excitement, wonder, and magic lasted all of about 6 months, then I was unhappy again.  I was free of one mess, and tangled up in another.  The guy was not interested in any future with me, he just wanted to play house for awhile with a pretend wife and child.  I praise God every day that Jacob doesn’t remember anything about him.  Unfortunately,  Jacob suffered lasting effects because of my stupid decisions. He has felt out of place and rejected by his dad for most of his life.  For years when I was asked why my first husband and I split up, I would answer, “I just wasn’t happy.”  Would things have been different if I had been following God with all my heart at that time in my life?  Yes.  No doubt.  If Jacob’s dad had been on that same path, it would have made a huge difference.  It is what it is.  Now I know better, so I am doing better in my marriage to Jon.  I think the attitude of a lot a people in second marriages that they will fail at another marriage over their dead body.  They know what following their fairy tale gets them.  It’s a shell game, the hands whip around and you choose the one with the “magic” underneath.  Too bad the magic is always some sort of shriveled up nut.

If you know our situation, you know that I have had plenty of reasons to be unhappy enough to leave my marriage.  What stops me is love.  Love for my Creator, my husband and my family.  Not my happy.  No way.  I lived the first 26 years of my life chasing that dragon.  You may say, “Well love is the same as happy.  Love is a feeling!”.  Maybe for you.  For me, love is not a feeling.  Love is a devotion.  I devote myself to it completely.  Love is an act of my will.  Love is a decision I make every day.  I protect it.  If anyone or anything threatens it, I fight.  My fight, my perseverance and my hope are the best gifts I can give to my children.

That makes me happy.