Hello friends. I hope that you had a blessed Thanksgiving. The week of Thanksgiving may be my favorite week of each year. I love that it is always on a Thursday, so we always have a 4 day weekend to celebrate. And me, being a gal that loves to shop, greatly enjoy that Christmas shopping is an integral part of this holiday weekend.
We had a great time celebrating with family on Thursday and Friday, doing a little shopping on each day, and taking it fairly easy today. We ran errands, and were out of the house longer than I expected, but we started the day by having lunch with our dear friend Jeff, who grew up with me in Irving, but now lives in Tulsa. Jeff is a man after God's own heart. He lives a very intentional life, but he's incredibly humble, never showy, about it. Just being around him is encouraging. We are very thankful that he is still a part of our life, though it's now a long distance relationship, if you will. He comes to town a few times a year, but Thanksgiving seems to be the only holiday where we consistently get to see him each year. Another plus to this wonderful week!
Man oh man. My mind and heart have been quite the battlefield lately. In some ways, it's definitely been a year of growth. I'm so happy about the birth of Gypsy Rhetoric. I'm thankful that I've devoted more time to being creative. There is finally artwork on the walls of this sweet little house. Some of it made by me, some of it store bought, some things thrifted, and a few things made by other artists, which I love. I love walking into this house and feeling like I'm home - like I'm safe to relax and be myself in every way. And I think that other people feel safe here as well, which has always been a goal in our marriage. But even though I've made time to focus on doing some things that I enjoy, I still feel like my priorities are out of balance.
It's always the same three areas that need improvement. First of all my spiritual life. I don't spend near enough time in the word or in prayer. It makes such a significant difference when I start my days in the word and pray intentionally. Why don't I do that every day? I hate my lack of discipline and I really desire growth in that area. Secondly, my physical life. There were periods of improvement this year. I loved going to water aerobics regularly. But that is not happening these days. And thirdly, my social life. I wish I were a better friend. I have so many people in my life that I love, and I'm not always good about taking time to reach out and remind those that I love how important they are to me.
Those desires have been growing constantly. I feel like the older I get, the richer my love for the Lord becomes. It's gone from chocolate milk - delicious and always enjoyable, to Godiva dark chocolate with sea salt - the best chocolate experience I know of at this point. I am in awe of our Creator - of his sacrificial love that is every bit as strong today as it was 2000 years ago when he sent his only son to die for us.
And I really want to be healthier. I have felt the weight more this year. I've always been ridiculously huge, but I can feel now that it's not just my appearance, but my health that is suffering. It's hard to think about without just completely hating myself. But I want very much to be healthier. To feel pretty. To have more energy.
What I am struggling with lately is not knowing if my love is in the right place. A sweet friend this year, told me that I should not be embarrassed by my love to craft. For some reason, I have always felt the need to apologize for it. To make sure that other people know that I know that it is frivolous. I don't feel skilled enough to call myself an artist, so I say that I am "crafty", and that just seems silly. Even to me, who enjoys it so thoroughly. But Kristen told me that it is a reflection of our creator - that I love to create things. To see potential in completely unrelated objects and make them into something beautiful or meaningful. I really do feel like it is a desire that God has put in me. I can't get away from it - this recognition of beauty in things around me, and a want to make things that I think are pretty.
And what about this nesting thing? I LOVE making our house reflect us. It is such a joy to pick pieces that reflect our style together in the place where we live. But lately, I look around us and we suddenly have a lot of "stuff". This is a three bedroom house, and we are starting to not have a place for things. That is just ridiculous.
Part of it came from Brett's trip... I hear missionaries pray often that Christians would grow a distaste for the western world. That we would flee from the west to take God's word to those who are waiting to hear it. Dying to hear it. And sometimes I think that that is happening in our life. In our marriage. Brett has left his job, and taken part time work, so he can look for full time church work. It was a huge step of faith that we prayed about and, even though we're not sure what life will look like for a little while, he is refusing to spend 40 hours a week wasting away in a cubicle doing work that doesn't matter to anyone. Wednesday was his last day at his old job, so this is still very new. But the past two weeks have had several moments where I have been worried and asked God to provide for us. The Holy Spirit spoke very clearly to me early last week and showed me that God ALREADY HAS provided. Who am I to say that this part time job isn't enough? It's what God has given us. So then I started wishing that he had waited until the new year. But whose to say if this job would have been available after the holidays? It's because it's the holiday season that this retail position was even available. God will provide. We will be fine. We will be more than fine.
Sigh. I am not settled. I am the definition of unsettled right now. In my heart and in my mind. But tomorrow is Sunday. I get to leave the world behind for an hour of worship with fellow believers. It's back to work on Monday, and a new life for Brett and I. I pray that I will live it intentionally.
Sorry this post was so long. It's because it was long overdue. I will leave you with a picture of our Christmas corner, taken from a sitting position on my couch because I was exhausted after decorating for three hours. It's blurry. As are most pictures I take on my phone. But I love our Christmas tree =-) It's now standing guard over a slew of presents. Thank you Black Friday, for letting me give gifts to my loved ones.