Thursday, March 5, 2015

Southern Hospitality


Southern Hospitality. Sweet tea. Billboards that just say "Jesus". A culture full of "Bless your heart" and big hair. Camo and crosses. Wal-Mart and accents. Real BBQ. Deep fried... everything. And Football. LOTS of football.

    Here we are back in the deep south! So many things I have missed... and some.. well not so much.
How did we get here you may ask? O the rabbit holes life takes us through! We spent about a year in Hawaii! It was grand. We snorkeled. We saw. We beached. ALOT. It was lovely.We took pictures. And for an entire year I enjoyed access to some of the best beaches and most amazing scenery in the world. At the end of our year we came to realize that as much as we love Hawaii and all it has to offer, it wasn't the lifestyle we truly desired. Although we will be going back on vacation. Hopefully often. So the decision was made to move.

    Piggggg Sooouuuueeey! Its been about 12 years since we have lived close to our families. And about 7 since we've visited. It seemed the time was ripe to come home. For so long I was very adverse to ever returning to the south. But over time, and with much growing spiritually, God has changed my heart and we returned with light hearts, feeling that we were directly in His will. My children have cousins and aunts and uncles, grandparents and great-grandparents for the first time. And cost of living is low. The climate is moderate. They have "snow days" ( every things shuts down for a few inches of snow! Its quite a novelty for us!). And its very conservative.

    We welcomed our fourth child in October. We had another wonderful homebirth. Evalyn Plumeria has given us much joy! Moving, homeschooling,toddlers,and newborns! Its been a busy season of life for our family. But in the midst of all of our bustle I seek the solitude that grounds me, the "Be still and Know". Without which I am tossed to and fro.... a small boat upon the waves without a rudder. Everyday I learn more and more what it is to be a Mother, a Christian, a Wife. Wisdom is her own reward eh?

    So life takes us in so many directions that we would never anticipate. If you had pulled me aside as a very silly,ignorant, teenage girl and informed me that in ten years I would have four children, homeschool and live in the south, I am sure I would have laughed. Or cried. But certainly not rejoiced. However. My heart is full, life is, generally speaking, peaceful and I am content.
Most days. Some days I really miss the beach. And some days I am just plain ole cranky. Doesn't every Momma have those days? But with coffee and a little chocolate I can usually endeavor to put on my big girl panties and get on with gettin on.

So now that we have officially passed the approved 2-3 child max per family cultural law we get all sorts of fun, unsolicited advice. But thats a post for another day.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pretense and Subtlety

      A short note on the delicacy of conversation. Your words truly express who you are and where your heart is. " Out of the heart the mouth speaks".

       I, personally, don't do subtlety very well. Not because I couldn't, but because I see it as a way to manipulate people and conversation. I also see it as cowardice. Simply put, if I believe something to be true I should be courageous enough to say so, regardless of the effect it may, or may not have, upon the hearer. I strive to be free from pretense. Pretense is really hiding behind a facade. Pretending you agree, pretending you are something you are not. If you feel the need to do that, I should say that you should re-examine what is really in your heart. I honestly quite despise this particular character trait in people. And I highly prize people who aren't pretentious, and have no need of subtlety.

       If you believe something, then believe it enough to openly state it come what may, because you believe it to be true. Because I think this way.( i.e Logically). You never have to "read between the lines" with me. I say exactly what I mean, and I mean what I say. Some people love this about me! Others... of the pretentious kind... don't ususally stick around very long. Also, I do not communicate well with people of the more subtle variety. Because, quite honestly, it is alot of work, and I have a hard time respecting them much. If I have to ferret out your honest opinion, and pry a definitive statement from you, then honestly it wasn't worth it. Because either A. You dont have a solid opinion on the matter, one that is thought out and helpful. Or B. You don't believe your opinion enough to state it outright. Both of which undermine any contribution you might have had.

      Sometimes I am purposefully candid. Because I almost feel as though I have a barometer that takes in how much artifice is in a conversation or group discussion. I am not purposefully trying to be disruptive. I simply can only take so much of it .. before I feel the need to just speak about the matter openly, decisively, honestly. I hold my tongue quite a bit actually. But I always ask myself... is it out of politeness? Or is it fear? Pretense is really just fear behind a mask of politeness. If I had a dollar for everytime someone says something about my "personal convictions" I might be rich. But all the people I love most are those whom I know speak honestly, about their hearts, about their lives, about their thoughts. I have more respect for someone I completely disagree with, but is candid and intelligent, than I do for a host of polite, agreeable, acquaintances who never truly say what they believe. Who secretly, quietly, judge you without a single word of dispute, or ever give you the opportunity to defend any misconceptions they have formed. So speak up! Be brave and say what you believe. If you don't really believe it, then by all means ... hold your tongue.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Safety is not for sale

            I love music, though not gifted with any musical abilities, I enjoy surrounding myself and the children with it and singing out of tune often. I figure God made me, on purpose, and wasn't looking the other way when He didn't give me an amazing voice. Maybe it was to have a greater appreciation for those who do (like a beloved friend of mine), or maybe to inspire other out of tuners to lift up their voices anyhow, " Make a joyful noise!".  So I joyful noise I do make!

It is always the lyrics that make or break a song for me though. J.J Hellers "In the end" is a favorite of mine.

             This a great song for this time in my life. My husband is working and planning and everyday I feel one day closer to the move. I feel like a pioneer, although I can be sure of running water and electricity in Hawaii, and I am not exactly going to homestead, I am leaving behind my life here. All of my belongings (except a few boxes I can ship UPS of pictures and memorabilia.. and my Bunn!) are being sold. I am leaving the best friends I have ever had and a wonderful church that I feel I belong in. My children have never even flown on a plane! Or been out of Alaska for that matter.

            A million fears and worries crowd my mind. Will I be lonely? Will the bugs drive me crazy?! Am I crazy to leave our comfortable, prosperous life here? My husband has a good job. We have nice cars. We have a big house. I have a yard and a deck. A good neighborhood. I like all my furniture and went through alot of time and trouble picking it out! It IS beautiful here. And safe. We have put roots down here, Alaska and the people I love here will always be in my heart. And I hope we have lots of house guests!

           It isn't so much about living "in paradise". But living the lifestyle I now desire. Simplicity. More time. Less stuff. Smaller house, more family time. Enjoying the creation year round. Learning new things, like surfing (for the children..C'mon now, you know I am NOT coordinated enough for that!) and the Ukulele. It's about warm days spent under the sun, and sandcastles, the small community, and slow pace.

 "Safety is not for sale....You cannot buy peace of mind...earthly defenses fail... there is nothing new under the sky... build your Kingdom all your life..and say goodbye".

            It is a risk.  A big one. But I only have one life. I want to live it, in color, turned up as far as it will go. Bright and beautiful, peaceful. I felt so at home there, as though I already belonged. I am an island girl. I pray, and I wonder if this strong desire to go is because it IS God's will. Maybe it's a result of the long dark winters here. I believe that God gives you certain desires for a reason and maybe He has plans for me there. I am excited and afraid. I feel confident though. As though it is right. I know it will not be a big, long vacation. I don't expect that. I know there are downsides. But the same is true for everywhere. I know lots of people will think I am crazy. I know lots of people think we are foolish. But. Just maybe ... maybe its staying "safe" that is foolish. Maybe it's spending a lifetime working 9-5 to build your empire that is foolish. Maybe it is all Vanity. Maybe we will die in an earthquake or a hurricane or a giant tsunami. Maybe I'll get bitten by a poisonous spider and die a long, painful death. Death by spider. Ewwwww.! Maybe we will come back in a year, when our lease is up, and live in our house, and everyone will say "Told you so". That is Okay. Pride is vanity. And I am not building an empire. And Safety is not for sale." In the end", after my death by hurricane/tsunami/volcano/earthquake/spider. I'll be with Jesus and I will be the one to say "Told ya so".

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Ten years and still married!

       Ten years and we are STILL married. I know. I AM crazy. How the roller coaster has rolled in my marriage. I wont pretend its been an easy ride, or that I didnt want to jump off many times. I wont even pretend its ALL his fault, I now know that maybe some of it was mine too ( Jesus showed me that... in case you were wondering... totally missed that by myself). But through God's grace we have met the ten year mark. I am so grateful for His mercy to my family and I. This is the best year of my marriage yet and I hope for many even better ones to come. I am so glad God gave me the strength to love when I didnt feel like it, stay when I wanted to go, and comfort in all the tears in between. He is working in my husband and I all the time and bringing my marriage to a place of love and commitment I never could have dreamed when I said my vows at 16. David is the love of my life and I am happy to have shared all my best and worst with him.

        Through birth and death, in times of plenty and times of scarcity, we have been together. He knows my strengths and my weaknesses. And I know his. Sometimes I want to throw a mug at him. Or a shoe. And sometimes he deserves it. And sometimes I look in his eyes and think I could forgive him everything and anything, and the confidence of his love fills my heart to overflowing.
     So for our ten year anniversary he announces to me that he has decided to do it. That we are moving to Kaua'i! WHAT?! I mean... I have been dreaming about this for more than a year now. Always with the thought of  "Someday..". And maybe a little winter nagging ( like during the snow storm in May!). After a long talk about lifestyle change, slowing down, minimalizing (yes I just made that word up), and changing the direction and focus of our lives, the decision is official. In less than 1 year we plan on renting out our home and moving to Kaua'i. There are a few job and finance variables that we have to wait and see about, the timeline could be next June or as early as this October!

  Best anniversary gift EVER. Seriously I dont even want a Christmas present. If he forgets my birthday for the rest of our lives he is covered. Its like a "get out of jail free" card for every future date/holiday. And that he is so on board with a complete lifestyle change! He is going to quit smoking, and Im pretty sure he will sell his xbox. We are going to take almost nothing with us. A few boxes of memorabilia, a few suitcases, and a box of school stuff and a few stuffed animals. Amazing. He even suggested we look at houseboats! YA. Houseboat. I'm not so sure about that. But I am open to adventure and I definitely have a "lets try it out" attitude.

   If you're wondering how we can afford to move to Kaua'i, since most of you know we are certainly not rich or even wealthy, we DO have a financial plan. Don't worry. We are not moving with just our paychecks in our pocket and stars in our eyes! Cost of living there is high. But lets not forget where I live now. Its not cheaper here in Alaska. A few things like gas are higher, but other things like utilities and produce are less. Plus, I am pretty good at living frugally. Maybe Ill be one of those extreme couponers! I have always admired them! (Ok... that seems like alot of work actually and would really cut into my beach time).

     So this weekend I am having a BIG yard sale. The first of a few. I am not sure when we are moving, really, well know more in a few weeks. But I do know that we both want lifestyle change. And that can start right now. So the first purge is underway. How many pairs of sheets do I need to live? One. How many purses? One. How many toys? okay.. 5. The kids have shed their tears. But almost all the toys are going. Because I am not going to take all this to Kaua'i. I want less stuff remember? The less stuff I have the more time I have. My time is more valuable than my things. I dont want to love my stuff. I want to love my life. What freedom I will enjoy once I am liberated from all my things! I already feel happier and freeer :) I will use the money I make to pay off a few small debts and start our moving fund.We are selling our second vehicle as well. So its not just a move. Its a lifestyle Re-Do. Its a change in focus. No more materialism, no more consumer lifestyle. Good bye HGTV. Good bye 5th Ave mall. Good bye commercials. Good bye Adds. Good bye big box stores. Dont send me a postcard. Really... dont call me, Ill call you!

    What is it really? Its singing a Good Bye song to the American Dream. The biggest Idol in our country. Maybe the world. I am so done worshiping at the alter of the American Dream, chasing my castles in the sky, and using my time to serve myself. I am convinced that there is a much better way. That I could be richer than I ever imagined if only Im able to give it all away. Its the same concept of dying to self so that I can truly live.

Rom_8:13  For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 

Luke 12:15-21  And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.  And he spake a parable unto them, saying,
  The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:   And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?   
  And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.  And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 
  But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? 
  So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. 

And so our journey begins. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Alaskan summers and paradise dreams part 2


     Some of the reasons people love Alaska are reasons that dont really apply to me. For example, I dont ski, snowboard, or snowmachine. Nor do I desire to, ( I once tried to snow machine.. total disaster). In fact, in all honesty, if its under 40 degrees I just do not desire to be outdoors. And in Alaska its under 40 degrees ALOT. In fact when its -10 or -15 I dread even going to Costco. Its pretty here, beautiful really. But Man O Man. The year before last it snowed 135 inches. You know how many feet that is?! Well my math skills aint real good  (ya I said aint... ) but its ALOT. Actually, I am 57 inches tall (so my suspended DL says) so its more than 2xs my height. And someone has to shovel all that. And I can tell you... as I am a girl.. it aint gonna be me. Sexism totally works for me, I AM from the south ya know, so my husband doesnt do dishes ... EVER, and I NEVER kill bugs or shovel snow. Its a southern gals privilege, if your married to a good ole boy who has clear ideas on the roles of a female, to define his roles for him as well. I dont kill bugs, take out garbage, shovel snow, or do anything with a vehicle other than look helpless at the mechanics. Really it works out just fine (except when he forgets to take out the garbage.. then he must face my wrath!).

    Anywho. The outdoor activities I do love are things like walking ( NOT interval walking!), biking (not up mountains or really anywhere I would need gears), looking at flowers, smelling the fresh air, looking at the ocean, looking at any body of water, swimming ( NOT in glacier fed streams, "lakes" or creeks), going to the zoo, looking at more flowers, sitting and reading in the shade, possibly gardening (if there arent too many bugs and I have garden gloves), riding in a convertible car or with a sunroof ( that counts right!?), going to the farmers market, going to ANY outdoor market, eating food I did not prepare Alfresco (its not as fun if you do all the cooking or cleaning up is it?), listening to music and watching others knit, floating down rivers slowly ( no white water rafting!), picking seashells, and sunbathing. See!? Maybe I was wrong I AM outdoorsy. There is a whole host of things I enjoy outside! Although going over my list... maybe its no surprise I need to loose a little ( ok ..ok.. ALOT) of weight.

    So I spend the majority of the year indoors with my heater turned up to a balmy 70 degrees ( making my gas bill more than my car payment) and waiting for summer. Praying for summer really. Wishing it didnt get dark at 4 pm. And trying to distract myself from the cold, dark , loooooonnnnggg winter. O and gaining weight.. lets not forget that part. I mean really I will never love working out indoors on a treadmill. And I do like pie ( cause who doesnt!?). So combine those two things with an unusually long winter and 3 babies in the last 6 years. Well. See? It could happen to anyone. I mean its not like I eat pie for breakfast topped with bacon. Although I kid you not Village Inn sells bacon topped pie. And Wednesday is free pie day. Just passing along good information for my fellow Alaskans who love pie, bacon, and free stuff.
    Last year I went to Hawaii. It was a life changing experience. By the way... 10 days in Hawaii with your best friend and no kids or husbands is probably the best vacation ever hands down! Did you know ... its ALWAYS summer in Hawaii? And balmy? And basically a lovely paradise, perfect for doing all the outdoor activities I love. Guess how many times you shovel snow there? Or say... you feel your heart jump because you just saw a big black bear run through your yard in the middle of the city .. and your kids are playing in said yard? Or get chased by a cloud of man eating mosquitoes? Guess how many beaches have warning signs outlining the dangers of hypothermia. Ya... you see where I am going with this.
     But really its more than all that. Sometime in the last few years I have gotten tired of the rat race. I only get one life. And I don't want to build an empire. I don't need granite counter tops and a smart TV.  I don't desire to drive a Mercedes, or have an expensive purse collection, or a wardrobe in "season". Its O.K if all my things are shabby chic by necessity. Its O.K if I dye my hair... from a box. Its O.K if I never have matching silverware or fine china.In fact its more than O.K. I don't want it.

    I think the Lord has been revealing in my heart my lifes purpose. I used to think it was this big mystery and that someday Id awaken and just KNOW my lifes purpose. And of course it would be super amazing. Like curing cancer or solving world hunger. But that isnt how God works. And in the last few years His Holy Spirit has little by little been revealing His purpose for my life. AND. wow. It IS amazing. More than I could have ever asked. It basically boils down to this. Follow Jesus. Spread the Gospel. I know... really you can now pick your jaw off the floor. Maybe it shows the shallow deception in my own heart that it took me YEARS to see this. Yes, I have read my bible. But I suppose I didnt think He meant all that literally.

    There is a growing desire in my heart for serious lifestyle change. I have a great life. I have a husband that I love and I am still married to ( after 10 years Im pretty amazed at that) and who works hard (alot!), three healthy beautiful children, a very cute dog, a spacious house with a great yard and deck in a convenient, family friendly nieghborhood. I get to stay home and homeschool, and I also have friends whom I truly love and appreciate, as well as a "bosom friend" who I knew was a kindred spirit the moment we met. And I really love my church. I would be so sad to leave all that. But I crave simplicity. More and more I see the real meaning of life and its following Jesus and loving people. Its not saving for retirement and building your 401k. Or adding to your home until it resembles something on HGTV. I guess what I am getting at is I have become tired of the consumerism. Fed up with it. Really, I think its starting to disgust me.

    The best things in life are free. Too true. So now my aim is to spend my time in a way that glorifies God and serves my family best. Simplicity. I want less stuff. I want less bills. I want more savings.I want less T.V and more books. I want less cleaning and more fun time. I want enough free time to be able to stop and follow the Holy Spirit and serve God in many different ways. I want to enjoy every single sunny day ( we dont really get very many!). I want a different lifestyle. A simple, active lifestyle. One where I'm not so over worked and stressed out that I feel guilty for sitting quietly for a few moments. Where I can play games with the children. Read and write and learn new things. Sew and quilt. Think of new ways to bless my husband. And most importantly grow closer to Jesus.
                                                    (Hanalai bay in Kauai credit~ ME)
  I would prefer to do all of that in Hawaii. Where we can take daily walks to the beach, homeschool outside on the lanai', snorkel, hike, and eat fresh avocados. Its a different lifestyle than what I have here. And why not? When you only have one life... and I'm not building an empire. Its ok if the cost of living is high there... its high here too. Ill drive less and live in a smaller house. Really with daily trips to the beach I think Ill cope. So its a goal of mine. Drop everything and move to Hawaii! Sounds nuts huh?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Alaskan summers and paradise dreams part 1

 Our first summer in a single family home with a yard has been fairly spectacular so far. Is this what we've been missing all of our years in duplexes and condos, living in our concrete jungle? I have to say condo living in Alaska has to be even more magnified, as your already indoors 9 months of the year. But waking up each morning to the birds and a surrounding of greenery does wonders for my spirit. I love summer, and I love having outdoor space to enjoy it. Alaska summers can be O so amazing. With more than 20 hours of daylight it seems the greenery springs up overnight and before long your yard looks like a jungle!
     By the time summer here arrives I am so desperate for green and warmth I rejoice with every bud on every tree! Of course I have to wait till mid May. But by golly come mid May, my sweaters are packed and my flip flops waiting by the door! The children the other day ask "What is spring? Why isnt it just winter and summer?" , because the in between seasons are so short it seems they hardly exist. I remember long falls that linger and springs that start at the end of February and carry on till May. Growing up in Arkansas I experienced each season in its glory. Fall in the Ozarks is astounding. Spring and Fall are so short here, you have to be careful not to blink. But if you love watching the snow fall and frost cover the trees, if you enjoy roasting fires in winter and cool summers, this may be the place for you. However, after 8 years I am not so sure it is the place for me.
    I am not a very outdoorsy kinda gal. Even growing up in Arkansas with my Dad ( who is an outdoor fanatic and believes camping isnt REALLY camping unless you sleep on the ground under the stars) and spending countless summers camping and "exploring", I still would never camp in a tent willingly unless it was World War Three. In an RV maybe, possibly even a pop up camper or cabin. Really it depends on the bathroom situation.  I want a toilet not located on a tree. And a sink. Preferably a stove ( I mean really.. I can only cook hot dogs and s'mores over a campfire people, and Im pretty sure Ill be sick of that fare after day 1) and most importantly the Bug Factor. I need a homebase that is basically guaranteed bug free. So I can sleep knowing no bug is secretly creeping on me. Otherwise I am just anxious, and as my Dad always said "Taylor is NEVER a happy camper".  I once read that statistically everyone has eaten like 5 spiders in their sleep. This really means that there are people who have eaten 10 and people who have eaten 0, then they average it out see? So. I am one of those that have eaten 0. And I plan on being ever vigilant to keep it that way.
    Living in Alaska has been an adventure, I have had 3 children up here and bought two homes. My husband has had several career changes and I have built deep loving friendships. I am part of a church that I love and am so involved with homeschooling families I am now surprised when someone says they are in public school! BUT. Deep down in my heart.... I long for change.
    Its like a quiet whisper. Well, in the summer its a whisper, in the winter its a resounding YELL. Part of me loves our life here, I wish I could just change the climate! But although alot of things may come and go here in Alaska... the climate (contrary to a popular global warming theory) isnt going anywhere. There will be more snow and more darkness next winter and the following one. More than even climate change, I long for change from our pace of life and the focus thereof.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Perks of Nudism

  Weariness comes in many forms. Mine usually comes in the form of a laundry mountain. I then proceed to tell myself that after I climb Mt. Laundry, it'll be the last time. In my lofty views of the future I fill myself with Hope. " I'll accomplish this. Then I will do a load a day. If I just do one load a day surely this will never happen again! " <sigh> For the next week I do very well at one load a day. Then quite honestly I think I just get tired of doing laundry everyday. Then I skip one day.. then two... and before I know what happened I am standing in front of Mt Laundry again! 

      So I give up! I am now trying to find a Mt. Laundry solution. How do you avoid creating, what seems like, an endless pile of laundry to be washed, dried, and folded? Lets just forget ironing, cause come on... in my house ironing is a lost forgotten art! I think I have found the solution!

Perks of Nudism

1. Very little laundry. Maybe towels and sheets.

2.Jehovah's Witnesses only knock on your door once.

3.Your friends learn to never drop by unannounced.

4.The world starts to look modest in comparison.

5.You save massive time figuring out what you and the children will wear everyday.

6.You save money buying new clothes. ( cause... why?)

7. Your tan would always be even.

8. Your motivation to work out everyday would definitely increase.

9. Never scrub stains from clothes again!

10. Makes all other lifestyle choices seem "Normal".

    Surely there is a Conservative Christian nudist colony, that my children and I would fit right into. Then when people learn we're homeschoolers, it'll be much less of a shock than our nudity. Maybe well grow our own organic vegetables and keep chickens as well! 

      As my vision of a secluded, nudist ,homeschooling ,Christian community fade away... I guess I'll just lie to myself again, do a load of laundry a day, and climb Mt. Laundry again in a few weeks. 

      On a serious note. A few weeks ago I was relating to a friend the drudgery of carrying my laundry up and down the stairs endlessly, (as my washer and dryer are in a downstairs closet and all of our bedrooms are upstairs) my pastor's wife humbly said nothing until being prodded into conversation admitted their apartment did not have a laundry facility. Not only is there no laundry in the apartment itself, but you must actually load your clothes up and move them to a different location to launder them. 

     Shame. Conviction. Gratitude. Did I mention she has young children as well? And here I am complaining because I must carry my laundry up and down the stairs! This silly, deceitful heart of mine. How can laundry bring God glory? Well now when I feel tempted to complain ( even silently) while carrying the heavy baskets of laundry up and down, I catch myself and remember to be grateful. Grateful I have laundry in my house, grateful for my ancient loud washer, grateful I have clothes and linens in plenty, grateful its only one flight of stairs, grateful I am strong enough to bear the load. Praise Jesus! By the time I reach my washer with my piles of laundry I have a humble grateful heart. I pause to consider the women in the world who are washing their children's clothes in the river or lake, this is a reality for many women. 

       So the solution to Mt. Laundry isn't found in Nudism, or even in the self -discipline of a load of laundry a day. But the solution lies in my heart. When I can stand in front of a mound of laundry that represents two hours of folding and hanging and putting away... and SMILE.  Thankful for every blessing, grateful for all of His provision, humble and content with my work. This is God's will. To teach me through everyday circumstances, to refine me through life's monotony. So today I am abiding in Him and smiling as I conquer Mt. Laundry once again.

  Heb 13:5  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 

Php 4:11  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.