Thursday, November 19, 2009

My New Home

I'm dreaming and planning about my new home.

Although my current house isn't even for sale yet (because neither of us have yet filed for the divorce...we're very tortoise-like in all of this), I've released a lot of burdens and will soon start shedding the accumulation of "stuff" as well.

Part of looking ahead is envisioning the life I want for myself in order to accomplish God's mission for me. This will be the first time in my life that I'll be able to take only myself into account, rather than trying to please or be responsible to someone else. It's freeing.

My current home is a tri-level built in the 1960s. It's three bedrooms and about 1450 square feet. I have a fenced-in yard, although the landscaping is awful. The yard in the back slopes steeply towards the house.

I've been logging onto the internet about once a week to look at homes for sale in the area I want to live. The ability to visualize and verbalize my own needs and wants is exciting.

My requirements:

  • Three bedrooms
    • Master bedroom
    • Creative sanctuary
    • Guest room
  • Fenced yard (for Miss Maggie, my beloved boxer/lab pup)
  • One story
  • Level yard
  • Decent neighborhood
  • A maximum of 45 minutes from my mom and dad
  • Central A/C
  • Attached garage
  • No maintenance siding (brick or vinyl)
My desires:

  • Hardwood floors
  • Fireplace
  • Cathedral ceiling
  • Built-in book shelves
I've been pouring over magazines and asking myself what my style is. Do you ever watch "Clean House?" I love how their designer, Mark Brunetz, is able to successfully understand an individual's style and bring it to life.

I can't afford Mark, so I'm creating my own design plans. I like uncluttered modern country. I want clean lines such as found in the Mission style. I love neutral colors with just a pop of an accent here or there. I love the look of natural wood.  Clean surfaces are important to me...very few knick-knacks.

My goal is to create a home where not only I can live contentedly, but my parents, children and friends will all feel the warmth of hospitality.

What an energizing journey this has become!


Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Immune System

I have the flu.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I had an intestinal bug that kept me down for almost a week.

A couple of friends reminded me that even though I'm joyfully creating a new life, there has been a lot of stress as well. And that stress breaks down the immune system.

As a substitute teacher with asthma, I'm particularly vulnerable to any germ that comes down the hallway, wafting its way into the classroom.

So I need to become strong enough to fight off various viruses and infections. Have I been taking my vitamins, eating right, getting exercise and the right amount of rest? No, to all of the above. Today I'm starting back on the proper road of taking care of my physical needs.

All of this got me thinking about my spiritual immunities. There are temptations all around me, and I can rationalize almost anything to myself in my weaker moments. I believe we live in a wonderful and loving world, which has its share of evil in it.

When the demons of despair, envy, sorrow, and unworthiness attack me, how can I fight against them?

Just as I must physically arm myself for battle against illnesses, God's word is the antidote to a spiritual sickness.

I clothe myself in God's armor of love. I've never been a good Bible student. I can't tell you exactly where to find certain verses. However, I do have many of those verses written on my heart.

My blogger friend, Linda of Linda's Lines and Loves has claimed Philippians 4:13 as her own:

 I can do all things in him who strengthens me.

I love the idea of claiming God's word as though He has written it specifically for us. Because in truth, he has. That's part of the gift of having a personal savior.

My favorite verse is I Corinthians 13:13:

There are in the end but three things. Faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love.

This reminds me that there is nothing in this world greater than the gift, the action verb, of love. All I must do is claim it.

At various times I'll find myself reciting The Lord's Prayer, or the 23rd Psalm, or the Great Commandment, when I'm not even aware of it. I happily sing "This is the day that the Lord hath made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."

I find solace in the fact that God uses terribly flawed human beings to magnify his name. When reading of David's lust, Moses' act of murder, Peter's betrayal...I know that God is able to work in me as well.

Vitamin C, B12, and echinacea all have their place in my physical medicine cabinet. God's word is my prescription against much more serious affliction.

Have you been innoculated by God yet? There's still time.