Monday, December 23, 2013

“Almost perfect… but not quite.”

“Almost perfect… but not quite.”

Those were the words of Mary Hume

At her seventh birthday party,

Looking ‘round the ribboned room.

“This tablecloth is pink not white—

Almost perfect…but not quite.”

“Almost perfect…but not quite.”

Those were the words of grown-up Mary

Talking about her handsome beau,

The one she wasn’t gonna marry.

“Squeezes me a bit too tight—

Almost perfect…but not quite.”

“Almost perfect…but not quite.”

Those were the words of ol’ Miss Hume.

Teaching in the seventh grade,

Grading papers in the gloom

Late at night up in her room.

“They never cross their t’s just right—

Almost perfect…but not quite.”

Ninety-eight the day she died

Complainin’ bout the spotless floor.

People shook their heads and sighed,

“Guess that she’ll like heaven more.”

Up went her soul on feathered wings,

Out the door, up out of sight.

Another voice from heaven came—

“Almost perfect…but not quite.”

By Shel Silverstein

Confession time:

I have a complaining problem. My 11 year old daughter approached me this morning and read this poem to me.  She did not intend to cut to the quick of my heart, but the Lord did.

For some reason, whether blessing or curse, my eye always sees the flaws in things. When a wall is presented before me, without even thinking, my eye goes over the wall and finds the pock mark, the chip, the dent, the cob web, the splatter of food. And then my brain says "Aha! Look that!". Now, if God had given me a job as an inspector on an assembly line, this would be quite the gift to have, but alas, He has not.

The trouble is this same eye, sees my kids efforts to clean in the same way and my husband's driving and the walls in my bedroom and the inside of my car, and my kitchen sink, and the list goes on and on and on and on.....

The result is an "Almost perfect, but not quite" attitude. I call this "my critical heart". The Bible calls this discontentment. And discontentment is disobedience.

Heb 13:5
Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,"
Phil 4:11
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.

Not only is discontentment disobedience against God, but it also brings earthly consequences.
Discontentment brings misery. Can one be happy & rejoicing when all they are doing is seeing the failures of people and things? Someone who is so consumed with criticizing things is miserable & unhappy & misses out on all the wonderful blessings God is giving them.

Sometimes when I close an email or letter, I am tempted to write "God Bless you" but instead I write "May you see the blessings of God in your life". Because God is constantly blessing His children. He is constantly working good in our lives (Romans 8:28) It is simply our choice as to whether or not we will purpose to SEE it.

Lastly, discontentment hurts those around us.
Discontent people are complainers. Luke 6:45b  tells us "For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks."   Have you ever spent time with a chronic complainer? I have and here is the result: I feel depressed, I feel yucky & emotionally exhausted. I want to escape the negativity as quickly as possible. Chronic complainers are difficult to be around. They repel people. Instead of drawing people to the Light of Christ within us, when we complain, we REPEL people. 

It is my prayer today that you & I will moment by moment repent of discontentment. That we PUT OFF the old man in our complaining & PUT ON gratitude & joy.

May we see the blessings of God in our lives,


Saturday, April 27, 2013

There is something about the feet of dead people. 

Maybe it is because that is where we would tag them when they died in the ER. Putting the elastic name tag around their cold & lifeless foot. Feet that used to run to their children. Feet that enjoyed pedicures, once splashed in puddles or wiggled upon awakening. Feet that took them on whatever path they chose to tred in their lives. 

Sometimes, I look at my feet. I say to myself, "those look like dead peoples feet"
"One day those will be dead people's feet", I tell myself.

Cold....lifeless....The last person to touch them , a complete stranger as he puts my name on them before zipping me up in the bag.

I love this thought. It invigorates me.
Thoughts of:

I love thinking about it because it reminds me why I live. Life apart from Jesus is futile.

Maybe you will think about your own death the next time you see your bare feet.

I hope you do.

Psalm 49:10-19
10For all can see that the wise die,
that the foolish and the senseless also perish,
leaving their wealth to others.
11 Their tombs will remain their houses[b] forever,
their dwellings for endless generations,
though they had[c] named lands after themselves.
12 People, despite their wealth, do not endure;
they are like the beasts that perish.
13 This is the fate of those who trust in themselves,
and of their followers, who approve their sayings.[d]
14 They are like sheep and are destined to die;
death will be their shepherd
(but the upright will prevail over them in the morning).
Their forms will decay in the grave,
far from their princely mansions.
15 But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead;
he will surely take me to himself.
16 Do not be overawed when others grow rich,
when the splendor of their houses increases;
17 for they will take nothing with them when they die,
their splendor will not descend with them.
18 Though while they live they count themselves blessed—
and people praise you when you prosper—
19 they will join those who have gone before them,
who will never again see the light of life.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tips For Encouraging Your husband in Spiritual Leadership

All the below suggestions should be done respectfully and sincerely.  My husband has read them & given his approval & input. :)

  1. Encourage and praise his efforts to lead & serve.
  2. Don't criticize his efforts to lead spiritually, even if you feel his efforts are simple or weak.  Seek the Lord to change both him & you. 
  3. Pray for him.
  4. Tell him you are praying for him.
  5. Do not boast about your spiritual achievements or make him feel less than you (spiritual pride).
  6. Repent of spiritual pride.
  7. Are you embarrassed of your husband's spiritual maturity?  Does it reflect poorly on you?  Ask yourself why you want him to grow.  Confess & repent of any ungodly motives. (We all have them)
  8. Get out of the drivers seat, so that he can get in.  Sinfully strong women often create passive husbands who do not lead.
  9. Acknowledge the difficulty he has in  finding time to do Bible study due to his full time working.  Seek to assist him, ask "Is there anything I can do to help?"
  10. With sincerity, ask him questions about the Bible ( even if you feel he has no idea) This is right.  First you are going to your husband, which is right. Second, this will allow him to opportunities to purposefully hit The Book, which is right!
  11. Respectfully encourage and assist him in finding someone to disciple him. (this was one of the BIG ways God allowed me to help my husband)
  12. Don't complain about the time he spends with his discipler.  Be positive about it & help it to happen!
  13. Praise his efforts to the kids.
  14. Teach the kids that Daddy is the head of your home & defer to him often when he is home.
  15. Share your hopes & concerns or him with him at the appropriate time in a loving & respectful way.  Do not nag.
  16. Give your expectations for WHAT his leading should look like to The Lord. Each husband will lead in a different way.  Your husband may not look like your pastor or elders in how they leadDaily give your unmet expectations to Christ and leave them there.  They belong at the foot of the cross.
  17. Look for ways he is leading and thank God & him for those ways.
  18. Be humble & teachable. Don't be disagreeable and argumentative about day to day things (this matters: 1 Pet 3:4)
  19. Be an easy person to lead.
  20. Load an MP3 player with sermons to listen to on the way to work and back.
  21. Provide a "place" for him to have his quiet time and study, let him leave his books out day after day and don't chastise him for it.  Praise him for it.
  22. Provide encouraging bathroom reading. Church newsletters, Christian Magazines, booklets, etc
  23. Be patient.  Remember sanctification is progressive. Give him room to be the sinner that he is.
  24. What "little foxes" are in your home?  Netflix? Cable Tv? Secular magazines? Is he ok with pairing down the amount of entertainment available in your home? Sos 2:15 "Catch the foxes for us, The little foxes that are ruining the vineyards, While our vineyards are in blossom."
  25. Do not love him in the way you want to, but rather love him in the way he feels most loved.  What way is that?
  26. Listen to him.
  27. Care for him, about his life, his likes, his worries, his coworkers, his work stories, etc
  28. Be sexually available as much as he needs. (Yes, this matters too!)
It is God who will do this work.
It cannot be brought about through a wive's own will, but God, in His graciousness gives a wife the privilege of being a part of it!   (Genesis 2:18 Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.")

Monday, September 20, 2010

Maddie's Book Review : When People are Big & God is Small by Ed Welch

When people are big and God is small

by Edward T. Welch

Book Review by Madelyn Petta age 11

Was the book helpful to me?

Yes. Very muchly.

If yes, then why?

because it told me how to overcome the fear of man, which is to look at how great and awesome god is and how tiny, helpless and putrid man is. Then you examine the ‘scary’ qualities of god, which makes you push people out of your mind. You also need to examine your fear of man closely and pick out exactly what you want from people. Look at this desire. Most likely it is not a biblical desire but a false selfish lust. People are not love tank fillers.

What I learned

. most of our felt needs are only selfish lusts
. we need Jesus to replace our ‘People love cups’ with ‘Jesus love cups.
. If God is the God who made the whole universe, the whole earth, all the never ending galaxies, planets and stars, if God is the God who made you and I, then why do we fear helpless people and not Him?

Applications (not the ipod kind)

. in my life I need to understand why I get embarrassed of things

. I need to ask God to shatter my pepole love cup

. I need to grow in the fear of the LORD

Monday, September 6, 2010

Get Rid of Rough Heels: Thrifty Mom Style

I have been thinking a lot about rough heels lately. You may be thinking that that is a pretty strange thing to be thinking about, and you'd probably be right, but let me tell you my rough heels story. I used to have the roughest heels in town. My heels were peeling, cracked and painful all the time but especially in summer. They got so bad in the summer time that the cracks would go down deep into my raw flesh and they would burn. I could hardly walk because it was so painful. I would have to crazy glue them closed and wear socks and tennis shoes in the summer. BLEH!
Then one day I discovered this product: Artemis Woman Heel Smoother . For about 35.00 I was the proud owner of a tool that really helped my poor heels. I had to buy replacement head and it ran on batteries so it was pretty costly for a budgeting Mama like me. But it worked. I had no more cracks. My heels didn't get caught on nylons and silky things. They were....... normal again. But, after I was using it for a while I thought to myself, hey I could do this with products from the hardware store for a fraction of the cost. Wanna know how? Read on:

Your Husbands Drill (or if you are super cool, your OWN drill)
Cheap Sanding Heads from the local dollar store ( I paid 1.99)

How it's Done Pay close attention here, this is difficult:

  1. Insert sanding head into drill
  2. Apply to dry cracked heels
  3. Watch dry skin flakes fly into the air
  4. Smile and be happy, you are on your way to Happy Heels
  5. Apply lotion
  6. Repeat process weekly until your cracked heels are a thing of the past.

BEFORE: This is just a "today" before.


After about 3 minutes of sanding

This post is dedicated to my rough heeled friend: ML : ) BTW, ML, I would be happy to do it for you. Stop on by for free heel therapy and a pedicure!

Monday, May 31, 2010

99 Cent Store Find of the Day

First I bought one and thought, "okay, I'll give it a try after all it's only 99 cents!"

After using it and producing deliciously clean and streak free windows and mirrors, I went back and bought 6 more! No more paper towels for me. These babies are reusable and work like a charm.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Homemade LAundry Soap Tutorial

3 Pints Water
1/3 bar (1/2 C) grated Laundry Soap Bar
1/2 C Washing Soda
1/2 C Borax
Hot Water to 2 gallons

Supplies Needed:
Spoon for Stirring
2 Gallon Bucket
Empty Laundry Soap Containers

Mix Grated Soap in a pot with 3 Pints of water. Heat on low until the soap is dissolved. Turn heat off and add the Washing Soda and Borax. Stir to mix well. Pour into 2 gallon bucket and add water to fill. Mix well and let the mixture sit for 24 hours. It will be gloppy and will thicken. Use 1/2 c of soap per load.

Fels Naptha is difficult to find in a store. I had to order mine online. Other suitable Laundry Bar Soap can be found at the 99 cent Store or at Vallarta.

Ideally a food processor that is designated just for soap making would be best, I grated my soap by hand, YIKES!

Dissolve the Grated Bar soap over low heat

Washing Soda is not to be mistaken for Baking Soda. Two different things. You can purchase it online of buy it under the name of Soda Ash at a Pool supply store.

Turn off heat and add Borax and Washing Soda

The finished product

If you don't have a 2 gallon bucket, you can add water and mark the line on a utility bucket.