30 January 2015

Friday Gifts 3.0

One of the things I missed terribly during my brief hiatus was recounting my blessings weekly. It's all fine and good to acknowledge the gift as it happens. It's another to actively seek to remember them to be recorded. In the very dark days of December I struggled to keep an account of all that was truly good and from the Lord.
A friend of mine recently mentioned the hymn "It Is Well (with my soul)". I love that hymn. It is the hymn I have sung to Clementine since birth. It was the year leading up to her birth and surrounding g her early days that drove me into those words. You see, the lyricist, was a man living in Chicago right before the great fire occurred. During the fire he and his family lost everything, except their lives.  He felt they needed a fresh start, a change of scenery, so he sent his wife and daughters ahead of himself to Europe. His plan was to tie up loose ends and join them soon after.  During their voyage there was an accident and the man received a cable from his wife telling him she was the only one who  survived.
The last line of the first verse before the chorus is

Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, it is well it is well with my soul.  

The final verse is this

A Lord haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
A song in the night, oh my soul!

I struggle, I have been struggling with some depression.  I really defy anyone to walk in my shoes and not.  I don't believe it means my faith is lacking. I don't believe it's because I'm not praying hard enough. I believe I see and feel more than is healthy in this broken world and, this side of heaven, I will continue to struggle to separate that which I have a hand in controlling and that which is totally out of my controlling. I believe there is light at the end of the tunnel. But if that light takes much longer, I believe I will be seeking out some assistance to help get me to the light quicker.
I'm going to continue to be real in this space. As such, be real with me.  I'm not looking for platitudes or over arching encouragement. Sometimes the best thing to say is, I'm not there, maybe I've never  been there but I recognize it sucks. Or, I totally know what it is to claw your way out of bed every morning only to long for the nothingness of checking out of life and living. Either way,  let me share the suckiness with you. I realize this is not how the majority of the world works. Most people don't really want to know how things really are. But, if you've come this far, I'm hopeful you'll stick with me a little while longer.
That hymn rings so true these days because we continue to walk a very uncertain path. We continue to wonder what the Lord is doing with us. But in all of the insecurity and blind wandering, we have been promised by our savior to never do it on our own. It is dreadfully easy to forget such a promise in the darkest places of a mind.  In an effort to battle the darkness, I'm starting my third round of Friday Gifts. Yay! Thanks for being here.

1. Beautiful, glorious 70 degree and sunny weather in the middle of January.
2. An efficient and effective healthcare system that is getting my daughter's arm back to good.
3. That her fall was not worse.
4. Ibuprofen to bring fevers in tiny bodies down.
5. A successful surgery for a loved one.
6. Financial blessings.
7. That my man was born this day many moons ago.
8. Time with old friends.
9. An unexpected gift in the mail.
10. Getting to read someone else's word and feeling like she was writing my own.


28 January 2015

Back At It

I took a break from this space. It was good. I'm still not quite sure what or how much I'll share here but I did miss the outlet that I find in this place. I'm jumping back in with a fairly innocuous post. I'm a month into winter but here's the list for the remainder of the season. But first, check out the Fall list. 

Fall 2014 List

1.  Make Clementine's quilt.  Check
2.  Sort kid clothes. Check
3.  Continue organizing the house.  Check
4.  Run.  Attempt to get at least 9 miles in a week.  Nope. Not even close, although I did start walking. 
5.  Read to the little girls every day.  Not everyday but a lot more. 
6.  Start substituting.  Yep. 
7.  Keep making marketing calls.  Try to get at least one new customer.  No. See # 6.  
8.  Sew a tiny curtain for a place in the kitchen.  No. 
9.  Sew a skirt or shirt for myself.  No. 
10.  Get my paperwork organized.  Getting there but not quite finished. 
11.  Plan meals 2-4 weeks at a time.  Sadly no. But I did plan for a week at a time some of that time. 
12.  Cook ahead and freeze meat and beans. Yep. 
13.  Frame chalkboard. Nope. 
14.  Paint barstools and recover the seats.  Yes!!
15.  Start making the master bedroom a haven for us.  Yes. It's started. And we don't have any children sleeping with us anymore. 
16.  Get the gallery wall of pictures finished.  Yes!
17.  Sew something for a couple of babies.  Yes!



Winter 2015 List

1.  Finish paperwork organization. 
2.  Mud the sheet rock in the kitchen and the kids' closet. 
3.  Paint the kitchen. 
4.  Paint the master bedroom. 
5.  Attempt a 30 Day running and burpee challenge. 
6.  Start quilt for me and Daniel. 
7.  Have more dance parties with the kids. 
8.  Start teaching the kids how to play the piano. 
9.  Go on at least one date a month with my man. 
10.  Start working on cleaning the stairs to see what we're looking at as far as refinishing/replacing them goes. 
11.  Roadtrip to ABQ with my friend Robynn to see our friend Jill. 
12.  Be more intentional and less fly by the seat of my pants/put out fires when they are blazing about this life. 
13. Pursue gentleness. 

19 December 2014

Reality

I've been absent from this space for a while.  I have written and deleted several posts and I have put a hold on my Friday 1000 Gifts, which I am just 15 shy of 2000 recorded.  I have very little and too much to put into words.  I am conflicted and broken.  I am hesitant to continue sharing in this space as it seems to be becoming trite and monotonous.
Here's the skinny.  I'm taking an extended break from this blog.  I might shut it down altogether but that remains to be decided.  In spite of my best efforts to find peace in my Lord, I find my spirit more broken than ever.  Maybe that's the point.  Maybe our spirits have to be completely broken before Him before He can use us to our full potential in Him.  Maybe I'm not good enough to be healed.  Maybe I'm not righteous enough to be whole.  Maybe holiness is for those with it all together.  Or maybe that's all bullshit and we just have to keep living this life submitting to Jesus and accepting His grace until all is made right again on the other side of heaven.
Either way, I'm tired.  I'm tired of sharing my soul in this space.  I'm ready for face to face soul care with people who love me.  I'm ready to keep slugging along on this journey to who knows where but I don't want to do it in such a public forum.
So, here's my plan.  I'm going to wrap up my 1000 gifts and I'm going to let you in on a few things.  After that, you'll have to pick up the phone or send me a letter to get the straight dope on how things are up in the Madgwick house.

Friday Gifts….

986.  A church led by deacons who actively seek the wisdom of the spirit and act obediently.
987.  Heat.
988.  Beds for our kids.
989.  Food for our family.
990.  The reality that even if our dreams die, we are going to recover.
991.  Options.
992.  Advent (or abent as Bea calls it).
993.  Making gifts by hand.
994.  Giving myself permission to be relaxed about Christmas.
995.  The promise of rest that 2 1/2 weeks off from school brings.
996.  A short lived illness.
997.  Substituting jobs available.
998.  Humble circumstances.
999.  Fresh fruit in the middle of winter.
1000.  Grace enough for my troubled heart.




Now for what else is going on.

things with the business are still quite precarious
this time next year we may or may not still be in business
this time next month we may or may not still be in business
we are still married and plugging along
we still love each other
I applied to grad school
I won't know anything until late January or February
I haven't shared that information with very many people
the program is Marriage and Family Therapy
it might not happen if everything continues to go to shit
anyone who says living the American dream is ideal has never done it from the ground up
I love and still find joy in my children
1st phase of house renovations are wrapping up slowly
just putting one foot in front of the other is exhausting some days
forgiving your enemies doesn't mean the repercussions of their actions don't cause real harm
chronic stress is physically very damaging
I am lonely for my friends
I am less excited about Christmas than I have ever been
I am very tired of hearing how we need to "keep Christ in Christmas"
I want everyone to shut up about it
do your own part and stop trying to regulate everyone around you
I may be repressing some significant anger
sewing for me has been somewhat therapeutic
the hard still persists but no one wants to hear about it as often as it is on my mind
I don't even want to hear about it
I'm not staying away from the blog in order to hide behind some created reality that looks much rosier than it is
this, this whole list is where I am right now



20 November 2014

Brown Sugar

Today I made brown sugar. I'm not fundamentally opposed to buying brown sugar. I am fundamentally opposed to paying extra for something I can do myself. So. Cheaper, yes. Still good, yes. Better, maybe? Here are the ridiculously easy instructions.  

      

Right here I have five cups of sugar in my kitchenaid mixer. 

       

I added five tablespoons unsulphured mild flavor molasses. 

     

Then I mixed. And mixed. And mixed. In total it was about six minutes. 

    

And there it is. 98¢ worth of sugar. About $1.35 worth of molasses. For five cups. The bags at the store usually have a little over four cups and the price is between $2.00-$3.00. The savings isn't dramatic but it's there. Also, I know it's fresh. And, since I know the easy ratio I can whip the stuff up if I have none but need it for a recipe. Easy peasy. :) 



16 November 2014

Happenings

Around here we're plugging along. I'm a bit cranky the temperatures changed so rapidly. My thin blood from the summer isn't helping me out any. To attempt to combat the crankiness, I'm looking through the things we've been up to lately. If you follow me on Instagram, some of these are not new.  

        
This is at my sister's house. If she ever moves, we'll all miss her maples in the fall. 

     

Daniel spent most of yesterday putting up conduit and pulling wire for more outlets in the kitchen. Bea spent a lot of time trying to get to the top of the ladders without us seeing. :/ 

       

With her other time she was sneaking off to eat some butter. :(

     

Gigi lost another tooth. It was soooo super ready but she's developed some weirdness about pulling teeth. I finally convinced her to let me see how wiggly it was and it popped out when I touched it. Goofball. 


The bigs have been taking on the chore of unloading and reloading the dishwasher. I would say they do this chore maybe 40% of the times it needs to be done. That's 40% of the time I don't have to do it. Wahoo! And they actually get it done correctly. :) 

      

It's a little blurry but that's a typical morning. Lunch bags on the counter. Milk out. Phinn messing around (dawdling is his newest favorite pastime) with a sister. 

       

I was busy while Daniel was working on electrical stuff. I roasted and puréed 4 pumpkins and yielded 10 c. I made chicken stock, 10 c. I diced some tomatoes from a friend and froze them, 6 c. I cooked up a package of chorizo we'd forgotten about and portioned it to freeze. I cleaned out our refrigerator. I did a ton of dishes. I thoroughly enjoyed the day inside with the family being productive.  







14 November 2014

Friday Gifts 2.0

971.  A pediatrician who knows us. 
972.  An appointment with the audiologist available quickly. 
973.  Being able to know othing wrong with the boy, his head or ears. 
974.  Realistic information to help make decisions. 
975.  Being able to let go of worries. 
976.  Knowing God doesn't mind that I have to let go of worries minute by minute. 
977.  Substituting: money, time out of the house and interactions with lots of kiddos. 
978.  Good business news. 
979.  Heat. 
980.  Blankets. 
981.  A new baby for friends!
982.  Fun activities at he kids' school. 
983.  Gentle reminders from the Lord to count ourselves fortunate. 
984.  Friday!
985.  Being able to see insecurities of the past stay in the past. 

10 November 2014

Friday Gifts 2.0 (so, so late)

956.  Letting go of some guilt. 
957.  Finishing something big on my list of stuff to do. 
958.  Sorting through kid clothes. 
959.  Giving away a bunch of clothes to be put to good use. 
960.  Work for Daniel. 
961.  Safety for him as he drove 2400 miles round trip for a day of work. 
962.  Spending time with family. 
963.  Heavily discounted Russell Stovers chocolate. 
964.  Continuing the organization of the house and slowly figuring out systems that work. 
965.  The most glorious Fall ever. 
966.  Hearing the right message at the right time. 
967.  El Zarape salsa and friends willing to go a bit out of the way to bring it. 
968.  Being financially unstable. It's uncomfortable but brings me to a place of humility with my God. 
969.  Pumpkins ready to roast. 
970.  Downtown Christmas decorations going up!