Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Learning to Dance...

What do you do when your idols are attacked?  (An idol is something we try to find our satisfaction or identity in apart from God) Do you repent and realize how much you depend on other things for happiness instead of Him?  Or, do you get angry at God for messing with "fill in the blank"?

This is a question I feel like I have been answering over and over again for the past 19 months.  That's how long my life has been hugely unsettled through many things... Bryan's job loss, our transition into church planting, a tough pregnancy, quite a few health problems amongst all of us, and recently my cholecystectomy.

This morning I woke up to find our living room floor was buckled and warped from a water leak.  We're still unsure of its source.  As Bryan scooted around on the floor with a flashlight trying to figure out what was going on, I felt the tears start to burn in my eyes and my heart sank.

You see... until this year, we had been debt free, except for our house, and we have had a reasonable emergency fund.  This past year when God asked us to plant Church@The Square, we stepped out in faith and took a huge financial risk.  God has been so good to provide in so many ways.  If you were on the outside looking in, you'd never know that we were walking a tight rope.  However, the past six months medical bills have come in faster than our incomes could provide, and it's been discouraging.

Thankfully, Bryan is now full-time with Church@The Square, and our hardest season financially is over.  It'll take a while to pay off what remains.

Here are my thoughts.

I have to make a choice right now. I can either keep praying that God will provide for our needs and work hard in a Biblical way to honor Him, or I can get angry at God for "letting" this happen.  I can either still believe that God is in control, or I can choose to believe the lie that God is indifferent and that it is up to me to fix everything.  If God has successfully provided so well to keep us debt free through many lean seasons until this point then He has a purpose in allowing us to accumulate debt in this season.

At least in part, I think He has allowed it to attack my personal idol... security.

If I have learned anything in the past year and half, I have learned that my security can only be in Christ.

When your husband suddenly finds Himself jobless, you lose part of your security.  You know you are insufficient to mend his heart wounds and to provide for your household.

When you start to plant a church, you are doing something "uncool" or "crazy."  Your security isn't in your identity as a church planter.  Most people just don't understand.

When you vomit 30 times a day and become too weak to take care of your family well because your pregnancy isn't going well, your security isn't in how good of a wife or homemaker you are.  You just feel exhausted and overwhelmed.

When your new baby is cranky and cries days on end, your security isn't in how good of a mom you are.  You feel like a failure.

When you finally are able to have the surgery you've needed for over a year, your security isn't in being independent anymore.  You need help while you are down to keep life going for everyone else in your home.

So, snap back to this morning... I'm tearing up and breathing a prayer to God for provision again.  As I sit down in my chair wondering how bad the damage is and how we are going to be able to replace the flooring and fix everything when our time is already stretched too thin, my sweet toddler princess comes up and asks me to turn on the worship music.  As I turn it on, she begins to twirl and dance in joy across our warped living room floor, and I am overwhelmed by the realization that God is inviting me to do the same.  He is inviting me to dance with Him in this glorious, messy life and just trust Him to make it all right in the end.

I don't know how my story will play out, but I am not supposed to.  God is my heavenly Father, and He loves me and will provide for our needs.  I don't need security to be happy or at peace- I just need Him.  I need to rest in Jesus and dance.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

You're Gonna Think I Am Crazy But...

So, you're going to think I am crazy, but I am really not.  I'm nuts adventurous. I added these babies to my styling routine today.  Yes, I'm for real.  I live life on the edge.

My long curly hair has been driving me up the wall this week.  I know I should be patient with it.  It's probably not its fault that it's been frizzy.  I did just have a baby.  I am a week postop.  I am breastfeeding a chunky monkey.  However, I do want my shiny hair back, so I have been looking at for tips on fighting summer humidity without harsh products or silicones.

I discovered that agave nectar acts as a humectant.  It grabs onto moisture and keeps it from evaporating.  Coconut oil is an excellent deep moisturizer.  Obviously, if you overuse either, your hair will become a slimy, sticky mess, but used correctly on wavy/curly hair, I am pretty impressed with the results.

Here's how much coconut oil I used.  

I really like the brand I used. It's called Tropical Traditions.  I was sent a bottle as a blogger freebie a while back, and though I bet the company thought I would use it to cook something delicious, it's going in my mane.  A tiny bit goes a very long way.  If you overuse this, it'll be an excellent moisturizing treatment, but it will make you look like you haven't cleaned your hair in weeks.  Yuck.  You'll have to start over (or wish you had the time to...*clearing my throat* speaking from personal experience).

I spooned out a tiny bit then rubbed it into liquid in my hands before smoothing it all over my dry second day hair.  I wanted to make sure I didn't add too much, but I wanted to make sure I got a nice shine.  When I was happy with the shine, I spritzed my hair with a water bottle until it was damp.  Next, I added the agave nectar.

Here's how much agave nectar I used.

Remember, I have long, thick hair that is VERY frizz prone.  You may need much less.  After squirting a little in my palm, I watered it down and made a serum I smoothed over slightly damp second day curly hair.  In fact, I ended up doing that much twice to make sure I had coated all of my hair efficiently.  At the end, I scrunched my hair and waited for it to dry.

Here's the end result.  Excuse my smirking face.  
(Taking a photo of yourself is just plain awkward.) 

I really like how well my kitchen chemistry turned out.  Agave nectar and coconut oil are much less expensive than the high end products I need for great second day hair, and they are actually good for my curls too.  They both smell heavenly, and it has lasted all day through baby spit up and Mississippi heat. And, did I mention, my hair isn't sticky or greasy at all?  It's just lovely.  Who would've guessed?

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