Monday, November 30, 2009

My way or God's way?

On my last visit with my little buddies, God revealed several lessons to me--as He always does through the children in my life! This one is especially poignant, I think.

Last year - either for Christmas or for a birthday, I gave the boys two DVD's. One was of trucks-neither of them is spectacular, I don't think, but I bought them on-line and they like them - well one of the twins LOVES them! He's a truck fanatic--loves anything truck-related. Another thing the twins love is watching videos with Mary:-) Part of our new routine when I babysit is to watch all the videos we used to watch every day when I was their nanny.

Now that I only see the children every few weeks, our times together are especially precious - to them and to me. It had been at least 6 weeks since my last visit and in that time mom and dad got a new remote control because they changed cable service. Those who know me well already know where this is going. You see, while I can figure out quite a bit about blogging, HTML code, and on-line "anything" I am like a complete idiot when it comes to all things electronic. If you can't just push the "on" button and have everything work as it's supposed to, I'm lost.

Well, after dinner was eaten, hands and faces washed and puzzles worked on the floor together, the children decided they wanted to watch some movies. Of course the "truck twin" immediately announced he wanted to watch the truck movie. We got it out and placed it in the DVD player and then . . . yikes . . . I don't even know what button to push next . . . this new remote is similar to the other one, but even pushing the buttons labeled like those on the old remote, in what I thought was the same order, I could not for the life of me get the thing to play on the television.

After about 10 minutes, big sister offered, "Here, just give it to me and I'll push all the buttons." No thank you, sister! I can mess up the remote and/or electronics all by myself! LOL! Both boys "worked on" the DVD player. One brother pressed open/close and the other brother took out the DVD, replaced it in to the player and pressed the button again. Then they tried the "play" button several times. (I was quite impressed with their teamwork, but had visions of what that might look like when their 12 and want to do something they're not supposed to do:-) All the while, I'm suggesting they stop pushing buttons so I could try to see if any of the combinations I'm using to unlock the secret code to play the DVD is working.

After about 10 more minutes, I gave up and announced that the remote was "broken" and that I would figure out how to work it so we would have to watch the movie next time. But truck-twin was not to be deterred. He took out the DVD and brought it to me, "see Mary, it's this one," and "It works, I put it in." This went on for about 30 minutes - and I counted how many times a little boy, determined to watch a truck DVD with Mary can actually press the open/close button, take out the disk and put it back in - I told his mom, I was pretty sure it was about 75-80 times!

You know, I didn't get upset with my little buddy though, and I let him continue to push those buttons and work on the problem. He didn't want to hear that something so important to him was just not going to happen this time. He didn't understand that it wasn't about what he wanted -- or even what I wanted. It was about the circumstances in which we found ourselves.

I thought about how much like my little truck-loving twin I am when I take my requests to God sometimes. Even after it is abundantly clear to me that a plan I had made or a path I had chosen is not going to work out, I just keep at it. Sometimes, as sister suggested, I just "push all the buttons" in a last ditch effort to get my way. Sometimes, like my little buddy, I don't get mad or even rail at God--I just keep . . . doing . . . what . . . I . . . was . . . doing . . .

In the end my buddy resolved himself to not being able to watch the movie and we found an acceptable alternative program on television (thank goodness for cable television!) But the lesson of that night is not lost on me. Since that night, I've been praying a lot about some things that aren't really working the way I would like them to. I'm asking God to show me whether I am to persevere and keep at it, or whether I need to turn these situations over to him and allow Him to show me a better way.

"Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long" (Psalm 25:4-5 NIV).

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Clap Your Hands

Oh my! I was long overdue for my "big sister" and "little buddy" fix! Yep, I spent 4 wonderful hours this evening with the children I nannied for two years. Big sister will be 5 (on December 14 as she informed me tonight) and the twin boys will be 3 in January! Oh my goodness I was so happy to see them!

They were excited too, which was wonderful! The boys ran off the porch and into the yard to greet me! I got so many hugs and all three of the kids talking at once, wanting to tell me everything going on in their lives! At one point this evening when we were sitting on the couch watching a show, one of the boys told me, "I missed you, Mary." My heart was full to overflowing at that moment! Both boys wanted to sit on my lap and be near me the entire evening. Big sister is SO big and smart and very busy telling brothers what to do!

I had had a long, long, stressful, tiring, exhausting week at work. I really needed this unbounded, overflowing, joyous time with three children I spent 5 days a week with for 2 years. The boys were only 8 weeks old when I started caring for them. And sister was 2 when we sat on the back balcony of the apartment they lived in while Mom and Dad looked for a house in Richmond, blowing bubbles and starting with potty training.

I needed to be loved on and to be in the presence of those three little ones who just could not restrain their glee and excitement at seeing me. This is how God expects us to approach Him as well! And when you think about it, it is exactly how we should be any time we go to Him in prayer.

No matter what we're going through in our lives; no matter what we're struggling with; no matter how tired or frustrated, beaten down or worn out we may feel, we need to run to God with joy and celebration because we've been promised a place with Him in heaven someday!

Don't wait at the door - run off the porch and into the yard! Leap into His arms! Clap your hands and squeal with glee! We have eternal life already guaranteed! That's something about which to be overflowing with excitement and celebration!

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice" (Philippians 4:4 NIV)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Join me in the journey!

I've just started a second column at, Richmond Working Moms. My "other" column is the Richmond Frugal Family. I hope you'll take a few minutes to stop by. Subscribe to either or both, if you like, so you don't miss any great ideas, tips or suggestions!

These two columns are really ideally suited for me! I consider frugality a spiritual discipline and I strive always to support and encourage other moms in their parenting journey. Times are hard, money is tight, and being a parent is never easy! I'm quite excited to minister in two different venues to parents, and especially moms, of children of all ages and stages.

I've also been given a HUGE vision by God in the last week about the next big thing in my life. I'm not ready to share it yet, but suffice it to say, I am really blown away. I am in continual prayer, and God has sent several folks across my path to affirm and confirm that I am hearing Him correctly! As a woman who believes ardently in the power of prayer, I covet any and all you care to offer up on behalf of this ministry. I will be sharing it with my readers - and the world! - very soon!

I've been revamping this site and trying to find suitable music that reflects the tone I want to convey. If you have a particularly favorite song that makes you feel glad to be an adult living a world full of children, please leave me a comment! I'll consider adding it to the play list.

I also would appreciate your stopping by God's Wonder Woman where I invite readers to share the journey toward capturing the divinely-designed image of ourselves as God's beloved daughters. I publish there twice a month and have been blessed beyond words to share my own journey.

What is going on in your life? Leave me a comment. Are you in need of prayer? Visit my Divinely Designed Blog and register your confidential prayer request HERE.

Finally . . . where are you from? Find out where I'm from at Godly Graffiti.

Come back often! There's always something going on! Join me in the journey!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Let's Go Krogering - November 3

Light shopping week as the cabinets are full and we only needed a few items this week. Plus we'll be getting our Angel Food Order on Saturday, so we didn't much from Kroger.

10 Item Mega Event purchases:

3 Steamfresh Vegetables $1.99/ea - used 3 0.50 coupons (each doubled) - 2 electronic coupons, 1 from 10/18 Smart Source
2 - Ball Park Meat Franks - .99 ea. when you buy 2 plus $1.00/2 from 10/18 Red Plum
2 - Orbit gum - 0.41 each (when you buy 10 mega event items)
3 2-liter - Coke products - 0.79 ea

Some other good deals: My Kroger also had Michelina entrees for 0.79 cents; Weight Watcher string cheese - 0.30 off plus I used 0.75 coupon from; bought a Hawaiian Private Selection Pizza (jumbo size!) for $6.99

Mfg. Coupons Savings: $4.75
Bonus Coupon Savings: $2.00
Kroger Plus Savings: $24.28
Total Coupons: $31.03
Senior discount (5%): $3.66; bag buy back: 0.25 (@ 0.05 ea.)
Total Savings ($31.03+3.66+0.25) $34.94 or 36%

My sales receipt also announced that Kroger is having another special promotion beginning soon! Spend $500 between 11/15 and 12/12 and earn one 10% of total order from 12/27 - 1/9/2010!