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. . . you’re doing it wrong . . .

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To the One Who Deserves More / the Best / or just plain Better (i.e. Me, and a few others, maybe):

Let me start by saying, I have been married for going on 11 years this coming April.  That’s not an eternity, but it is longer than most celebrity marriages seem to last these days, so I guess there is some sort of accomplishment in this small fact.  We have definitely experienced some of the best parts of life together and have felt like we are on the mountaintops and so happy to be there with each other. However, that is not to say that this has been an easy road, or that as we go along it somehow becomes less of a chore at certain times; like when the mountaintop takes a turn down into the valley.  No, that would be a fallacy.

In fact, not too long ago my husband and I had a heated argument.  For those that have known us, or I should say, “those who have discipled us” … For a while, our relationship could have been classified in the “volatile” category (for years).  And while, this is not the norm anymore, when we do argue, we still argue pretty LOUDLY.  That might be an understatement.  Am I proud of this, no.  Do I advertise it, no.  But, there is something that I want to share with you, and you have to know that about us to understand it.

So, back to the heated argument.  It got LOUD, and quite frankly I’m getting too tired to be as loud as my husband can comfortably get to these days (and err’body said, Thank God).  Anyway, as he was getting louder and acting a fool, my thoughts immediately went to, that comfortable zone of:

I DON’T DESERVE THIS!

I am a Grown woman, and I Don’t Deserve to be talked to (ahem, yelled at) this way (especially, when I am choosing self-righteously not to do it back)!  This is true.  Nobody deserves to be yelled at, except maybe these people, but that’s a different story for a different day.  But, then I went down that dangerous train of thought . . . of how much easier my life would be, if this person wasn’t in it.  Then the question came, which is always inevitable on this rabbit trail:

https://i2.wp.com/www.conversationsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Deserve.jpegDoesn’t God want me to be a Happy, Functioning member of society?  He doesn’t want me to settle (umm, too late sista, you said “I do, remember?” that wasn’t a settlement that was a promise).

Then, why am I putting up with this garbage, and limiting my “options” here?  Why on earth do I subject myself to this relationship day in and day out?  I am worth more than this!  And it doesn’t help to hear these LOUD messages all the time:

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Then, the other inevitable thought struck me.  Yes, it was bound to at some point, I did invoke the name of God, after all.  Let me just give you a hint, in case you don’t know this already: Anytime you bring God into your thoughts trying to justify those thoughts or actions you plan to do . . . especially under the pretext that God is going to forgive you anyway, because it is in His nature . . . you just get ready for Him to work on YOU.

He starts to work on all kinds of stuff, especially on your thinking (how annoying when you’re wallowing in self pity, I might add).  What pray-tell did He say to me in that moment, you ask?

Warning:  Oh . . . you just opened up a LARGE A** Can of Worms!

He had done said to me:

… You keep subjecting yourself to this other person AND this relationship continuously, because that other person is NOT JUNK.

… Furthermore, I DON’T MAKE JUNK!  (Let me break that one down:  God, don’t make no junk y’all!)

… And, despite your superiority complex, at times, this other person (as you are so disdainfully referring to him as at this moment), is so Equally, UnashamedlyWholly and Deserving-ly LOVED by Me!

Whoa!  That took me a step back.  You mean, my husband Deserves just as much of my respect and Love, or more – as I expect from him?  And all this because, my God loves him with an everlasting love that has, in turn, been entrusted to me while on this earth?!

Yes, It is as simple as that.

So, what is this , “I Deserve More!” attitude?  And, where does it come from anyway?  Pride.  Yeah, I said it . . . P R I D E.

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It’s like this:

When one of my kids runs up to me to tattle on one of their siblings, and they use words like, “I Hate [insert name],” or “They are sooo …. [insert label]!”  Something just stirs inside of me, and it HURTS!  It truly hurts my heart.  Not just because this child is hurting that child, but because both of them are Mine.  They are a part of my being in such an intrinsically basic way, that it hurts me when they hurt.  And all the Mama’s can attest to this!

Well, getting back to the heart of the Father, and His feelings for Us, His children . . . all I can think is that, when I cry and complain about my spouse, I may as well be crying and complaining about God- because it IS His fault.  And by fault, I mean . . . His design.  It was His flesh, and breath that gave my husband life, and it was His plan to so strategically place this man in my life.  I may as well tell God in my Big, Puffy, Arrogant voice:

YOU’RE  Doing  it  WRONG!!  You don’t know what You’re Doing!!

When, in fact, He isn’t and He does.

Who am I to declare in a brazen voice that I deserve More than what I have been given?  Who am I to declare that I deserve Better than what I am?  Who am I to say this spouse of mine is NOT Enough?  Who am I to say this person is not God’s Best Work?

I am nothing.

My life is but a breath (Job 7:7), and every mortal man is only a vapor (Psalm 39:5).

https://i1.wp.com/25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m46szsKwZ01qbatwqo1_1280.jpgWhat is this compared to an Eternal God?  It kinda puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?  No, I’m not degrading who I am , or looking for others to affirm what I already know to be true about my life, that I am Fearfully and Wonderfully MADE… that my soul knows full well (Psalm 139:14)!  I even wrote an entire post about just that!

This is more of a: I am humbled to know that there is a God who knows me better than I know me.  Who knows my spouse better than I know him.  AND, who knows what kind of World-Changing, History-Making kinda possibilities there are because of our love for one another . . . that He would orchestrate and design for us to find each other on this Big Planet.

Here’s what I’m not saying:

I Am Absolutely NOT saying to stay in an abusive relationship!  In the very least, you should leave this situation and get help!  Maybe this marriage can be healed at a distance, but maybe it cannot – but you have to be safe from harm to determine that.

What I am saying:

I am NOT God’s gift to the World, and I don’t deserve something/ someone better than this incredibly talented, and complicated being God put so much thought and care into creating and giving me to hold onto.  You may say, “But, this Dude/Chick is HIGH Maintenance . . . HIGH!”  That may be very true, but I would say (provided they are your spouse): You’re  LUCKY!!

God entrusted you with one of His fine tuned /delicate creatures.  Learn how to steward that gift and responsibility to the best of your ability, because God has shown you Favor.  So, STOP acting like you have been Cursed!  You haven’t.  I haven’t.   On the contrary, You have been Blessed.

I have been BLESSED (with complicated). 😉

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How much trust does it take to give a kid a fish?  Not much, it’s not that big of an investment.  How much more, a horse?

Do you catch my drift?  Now, am I saying you are unfavored if you married a fish (someone uncomplicated)?  No.  You have simply been blessed in another way.

The point is, we are all blessed!  Sometimes, we have to turn off the NOISE, and take off the BLINDERS in order to see it.  But you say, “I would have to search pretty hard to see the blessing in my situation!”  Isn’t it that much sweeter to find a hidden treasure than to partake in one that is open to all?

Bottom Line:

We are all in this life together.  We don’t deserve any more than the next guy, as it relates to the relationships in our lives . . . if you think you do, you are making people commodities . . .  don’t do that, please.  No, let’s all just agree to dismount from our High Horses, and LOVE the complicated mess – we have been privileged to know- while they do the same with us.

  **Peace Out Y’all!**

~ Julie ~

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. . . dear cauliflower . . . i hate you

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Dear Cauliflower,

I detest you.  I hate how white you are, and how you pretend to be like broccoli (not even remotely close).  I really hate how you smell after being cooked/ steamed …ewww!

Therefore, we are Done!  I’ve tried so hard to make this relationship work: raw, steamy, and even creamy … but, No.  You’re not for me.  You’re simply not my type.  In fact, I Hate You.  There’s no use pretending anymore.  I don’t play games.

No, it’s not me … it’s really, absolutely, undeniably … You.

Yours Nevermore,

Julie

**And just for your reading pleasure, some comments from my fb post of this same letter are here below, and to answer your question in advance: Yes, this is how I spend my time, lol:

Friend-1: Have you tried it fried?

Me:  No, not at all. I haven’t tried fried, but what’s the point? I’ve been disappointed too many times to keep trying …and for what? to mask the unalienable truth? No, we’re done, I tell you! lol

F-2:  Pizza is better in bed.  {Too True, friend!}

F-3:  Well, as a cauliflower lover, i will not hold your hatred of one my favorite veggies against you. :=) {Thank you}

F-4:  Awe…I love cauliflower! Steamed…boiled, roasted. My Dad used to always say cauliflower was his favorite flower?

Me:  Look guys, I REALLY, REALLY tried to make it work…I promise!! It just ain’t happening for us anymore… I even tried counseling with other cauliflower lovers…and their suggestions worked for awhile (at parties anyway, when cauliflower was hanging out w his buddies in the veggie tray)…but, I finally realized that not everyone is cut out for cauliflower… like me …at least not in this phase of my life. I’m not against some sort of reconciliation attempt in the future, but cauliflower’s gonna have to work real hard to make that even a remote possibility…that’s just how bad it is between us right now. It’s ok, I will still love you guys too even if you stay friends w cauliflower!

F-5:  My family has made the same declaration! They get so mad when I try the old cauliflower switcheroo… I am done too!

F-4:  Don’t worry Julie…more for me! I am one of those people who love Brussels sprouts too ( my husband hates when he sees me cooking them).

F-6:  Oh man, I love me some cauliflower. Maybe your spurned veggies will come to my house, where they’ll be loved and appreciated lol!

F-7:  F-4 and I take after our Dad…he always said Cauliflower was his favorite flower. I love cauliflower with cheddar cheese melted on top, or raw with thousand isle dressing : )

Me:  F-7, (good memories!!) I’m probably doing something wrong, but I have not had a cauliflower that I thought, “Hmm, that was good!”  Never have, lol.   I basically ate mac and cheese and corn for dinner every night as a child and am now retraining my taste buds with real food (my mom tried, but I was stubborn and picky).  I really LOVE lots of veggies now, but cauliflower is NOT one of them!

Dear Hubby:  Is this in any way directed towards me?

Me:  No worries hun, I have broken off all ties with my would be paramour, Cauliflower… it didn’t work out…you should be elated! 😉

Do you know Cool Girl?

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I do!  Well, we ain’t tight or anything, but we do acknowledge each other with the nod at the gym, and share a step from time to time.  Anyway,  Today I would like to write a tribute to Cool Girl.  Do you know her?  She’s that girl at the gym with the rockin’ bod, and dreads that ACTUALLY look good on her.  She drives that cool car: https://i1.wp.com/brockandbecca.com/files/fj/Wallpaper/Blue_FJ_Right_1600x1200.jpg

And, she can lift the COOL weights . . .

https://i0.wp.com/crossfitimpulse.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/barbell.jpg

And all of this makes her who she is: Cool Girl.  And when you look at her, you might think like I did, “Yeah, I could be cool like that too, if I didn’t:”

Have kids.

Have a demanding job.

Have real responsibilities.

But, sadly, right when you think this, you “happen to” look as she is getting in her cool car,  (Ok, let’s be real, you intentionally look, because by this time you are in full on stalker mode), and you see the most devastating thing in her back seat:

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And, it is at THIS moment when you automatically feel like: CRAP!

Hahaha, the joke is on me! Yep, Cool Girl is a . . . wait for it, no really wait for it, because I don’t want to know this and neither do you, if you’re like me . . . but, we might as well come out with it and face reality . . .

Cool Girl is a: MOM!

What?!  Hold the Phone!  NOooooo!  Say it isn’t so, Bob!!!  You mean to tell me some people can be Cool, smokin’ Hot, AND have responsibilities?????

I don’t believe it . . . No, I refuse to believe it!  Ok, I have to believe it.  Today, I found out her name (I overheard her say it to someone else) , so she is REAL people, really real!  I have told my husband about her on several occasions, making comments like, “Yeah, Cool Girl was at the gym today, so I had to step it up a notch.”  He’s is starting to worry I’m becoming Cool Girl’s stalker.

I’m not, I promise!  I just admire her, and even more than that she INSPIRES me!  I want to Do More, Be More, and Push it harder when she’s around.  Because she is soooo cool!

There is nothing wrong with that . . . I promise! 🙂

So, do you know Cool Girl? 

Now, don’t get this confused with Stuck UP, Perfect Girl, no this is NOT the same girl . . . I wanna know, do you know Cool Girl?  That Girl that INSPIRES you to do more and be more, but doesn’t make you feel like you’re less because of where you are now?

Who is YOUR Cool Girl?

What is SHE like? Better yet, are YOU Cool Girl? Because the truth is we all personify something. What are you presenting the world with everyday, just by being you? Because, one thing I have learned is that people are ALWAYS watching! That being said, what image are you portraying?

Are you Cool Girl? Mean Girl? Snotty Girl? Relaxed Girl? Adventuresome Girl? Nice Girl? The list goes on (and can be interchanged with “boy” 😉 )

Just remember that your life makes a difference not only in your world, but also in someone else’s everyday!

. . .My diatribe against TIME. . .

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Open Letters.  I  L O V E  them!  Although, until today, I had no idea they had an actual term.  Open Letters, are the ones you see on facebook or other places where a person addresses someone or something, by writing them a public “letter.”

If you’re like I was earlier today, and still don’t know what an open letter is, here is a short example:

Dear Sleep,

Where have you been?  I have been looking for you everywhere, and still have no hope of finding you!  I NEED you to come over…like, right NOW.

Sleepless without you,

Julie

Or, really anything to that effect.  So, to my great amusement, today’s Daily Post Challenge, found at : http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/open-letter/ is to write an open letter.

I have actually already posted two open letters on this page, both of them, ironically or not, have been to my mother in law, lol …  and can be found here and here.

And, I find this topic so much fun, I think I am going to create a whole separate category just for open letters!

Anyway, today’s open letter will be addressed to TIME.  Yes, TIME.  We have a few bones to pick 😉

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Dear Time,

Here we are at yet another Tuesday evening, because the World keeps turning, and you NEVER stop . . . not even for a second (Well, there was that one time, but that is another topic, for another day).  And for this and many other reasons, I believe you FAIL, at times (no pun intended).

In fact, you fail at many things, and I’m not the only one who thinks so, or who blames you and finds you inadequate.

Sometimes though, I agree, you may be unjustly accused.  For instance, the phrase, “bad timing,” is such a nifty way to blame our own inability to change and/or our inability to adapt to an uncertain situation or alarming surprise, on you; and that I think is a bit unfair.  And yet, I still find it quite convenient to blame you in times like these.

Now, while you may be unjustly accused in this ONE case, there are many a times when you work against me . . . ahem, US . . . Like when we are right in the middle of a wonderful dream, and YOU decide to wake us up.  So. Not. Cool.

Or, when we are young and carefree, and enjoying every minute of being with nature or our friends, but then YOU tell is it is “time” to leave, seemingly at the most inopportune moments.

But, the ABSOLUTE most unfortunate crime I accuse you of, is that of stealing it away from my children.

The sun comes up and then it goes down on another day — thus, you are rightly accused of passing by us too quickly.

Sometimes, though, it feels as if we are trapped by you- doing only what is necessary for survival, and obtaining the -things- that we deem important, which are in fact, meaningless.

All in all, Time, you may be unjustly accused for lackings of our own, but you definitely FAIL in the important areas.

For this, I’m asking you to consider changing your routine a bit.

Linger a while longer when we are  e n j o y i n g  life, and all it has to offer; and please feel free to speed up a bit in our moments of despair.

This is all.

Julie

Send More “Back to School” Money pLeAsE!!

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Ok, so here we are at the beginning of yet another school year… Oh poop!! (Wait, did I say that out loud??)

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Anyway, as a homeschooling family, we have LOTS to think about at the start of the year, and EVEN MORE to pay for!!

There is curriculum to think about for starters, which can run anywhere from $500- $1,000 per child for new (although, you can always borrow from the library, friends, or buy used to).

Then there’s the array, and I mean ARRAY, of activities you can sign your kid(s) up for so that you make sure you “socialize” your “un-socialized” child(ren), since they aren’t sitting in a classroom practicing being quiet with a bunch of other kids all day.  And those activities ain’t cheap, let me tell you!

And most of the time us homeschoolers are working with one income, which is pretty easy to do if your husband is the average Rocket Scientist, like mine . . . just kidding!  It’s NOT easy for most, but definitely do-able 🙂

Well, this year my husband decided to quit his day job (after much prayer and discussion)  and decided to up and run his own business, and also to get a part time job (which has become more of a full time job, but I’m getting away from the point) to fill in the blanks.  So, he has been blowing and going, at about our pace lately 😉

Anyway, I say all of that to say what I really want to say, which is more of a question that I ask EVERY stinking year:

WHERE is the MONEY gonna come from this year, GOD??

He always provides, and we are always taken care of!

However, since we homeschoolers like templates (mostly because we have to send out so many *pointless* letters, etc. to the state) I decided to make one for those of us struggling a bit to get started.  Below you will find a sample letter that you can copy and send to your “sponsors.”

Just a little public service, I’m HAPPY to provide for our Homeschool community… (ANY donations are greatly welcomed and accepted)!

Dear Magnificent MeMe & Powerful Paw Paw (aka “sponsors”),

As you know, school is starting up again and with it, a plethora of opportunity for our sweet, little angels to get involved in.  On that note, The girls’ ballet teacher switched ballet schools, and is now teaching in Mandeville (more travel = more gas).  The tuition is a little cheaper (but I heard the recital fees may be a bit more).

Anyway, with all of the things we are signing up for right now, volleyball, dance, possibly drama/voice lessons, and/or piano, not to mention the cost of curriculum . . . the costs are adding up very quickly!!

So, I was wondering if you would like to take this opportunity to sponsor a child filled with aspiring dreams of grandeur as a performing artist?  All it takes is one low monthly commitment of $650.

This is a big number, I know, which is why we all need to do our part. You know what they say, after all, It takes a village to raise a child, and we have found this to be true.  At least it takes the financial resources of an ENTIRE village to raise ONE child as a productive citizen in this world.

Now, with the economy the way it is, we at Grace Academy (our Homeschool’s name) know what it’s like to be down on your luck, so if $650 per month is a little steep for your budget, we understand . . . completely.

That’s why we offer all types of giving opportunities. No, gift is too small (well, some are, but we are willing to overlook it just this once).

PLUS! For a limited time, we are offering you a special homemade card by whichever child you choose to sponsor that can be hung on your fridge to show all of your family and friends, and be proud of the work you’re doing to produce change in a young person’s future.

When considering the part you will play, think about the children. Think about where they will be without your generous support. Cold.  Tired.  Crying.  Whining to their parents about all of the activities Sally gets to do, that they will be left out of.

There’s absolutely: No pressure, really.  Just sign up for whatever amount you can do, but remember to think of the SAD faces you will have to encounter at family functions if you don’t.

Thank you for your time and your generous support at this crucial time in our campaign!

The staff and family at Grace Academy

***Just in case, you haven’t caught on.  . .this is a complete JOKE!!  Although, I DID actually send this to my Mother in Law . . . just in the hopes that she thought it was REAL 😉 . . . LOL***

Hope you ENJOYed my momentary loss of reality!

***creative / chaos***

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So, after seeing this situation play out in my house for the umpteenth time, I decided to send my Dear Mother-in-law the following email (mostly for kicks ;-)):

Dearest Mother in law,

Just for future reference, please advise my children that whatever they would like to bring back to our home from yours needs to be dually  inspected and approved by me, their loving mother, first!

Now, I know it wasn’t your intention to sabotage my plans for a somewhat tidy house, when you said, “yes” to the sneaky little dears who asked you kindly for a big ole bag of Mardi Gras Beads (after I had already told them “no” at their Nana’s house for the same request, mind you), but I assure you: having them strewn ab the house everyday, feeling like the bad guy when I pick them up, and throw them away piece by piece, has been no picnic!

I say “piece by piece,” because that is what the whole bag has finally amounted to … small pieces of beads … since the necklaces were all carefully disassembled by my little Corps of Engineers, for the main objective of re-purposing them into “bead pups,” and other “jewelery” items.

While I love their creativity, and ability to keep themselves occupied with almost anything, I really dislike what happened when they got dis-interested in them …  ie allowing Miles and the dog to play with them. 

So now, the once isolated, plastic bead sink whole, which was their bedroom, has now expanded its territory and has grown to massive proportions, in what used to be known as: my home.

Anyway, all of this to say, in all future transactions, I would prefer to be the “bad guy” up front… at your house, which would help me to maintain whatever small sanity I have left,  if EVEN at the cost of their creativity. ; )

Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter, and I think we will both be pleased at the outcome of this compromise in all future endeavors!

Yours ever truly,

Sweetest Landfill-Inhabiting Daughter-in-law

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**By the way:  She responded quite well to this gesture and signed the contract I forwarded to her with delight 🙂 …lol… just kidding!  But, she did encourage me to throw them all out, without feeling any remorse whatsoever,  (that is, IF I can find them all!!…lol) and also that she supports my “authority” in this! Yay! SCORE!!!

Please share any similar experiences and how you handled them! I would be much obliged, if you did!! 🙂

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