Tuck~

Tuckered:  verb- the state of exhaustion. 

Tuck: verb- to fold into.

 

Conjugate.

Present- tuck

Past- Tuckered…

 

Example:  Tuckered out.  Past tense.  I am curious, however, considering that we “tuck in” our children when they go to bed and are “tuckered out” is that a result of the phrase “tuckered out” spawning the “tucked in” or is it the reverse?  Did people tuck in first and others discover that before hand, they were “tuckered out?”

 

Etymology-  It’s the new preventative mantinance for Alzheimer’s.   Well, either that or sure fire proof that you’ve already got it.  

 

Hmm… sure fire.  Is there “doubtful fire?”

 

No wait, that was a movie.  Wasn’t it?”

 

Snort.

Will Work for-

Continuing in her introduction, Ms. McDermott moves into the discussion of work, talent, the mind, and our responsibility to society based upon our strengths.  I disagree with her.  I don’t owe society anything but adherence to the laws therein.   I am, however, responsible for my mental and physical employment whether financially rewarded or not.  He gave me my talents, strengths, and the duty to utilize them.  I owe Him the appreciation shown by my diligent work.

 

This introduction inimates that Mrs. Sayers was opposed to the idea of women remaining in the home if they didn’t choose to be there.  The objection is to the “placement” as though they are therefore only quailfied for basic and domestic tasks because of their womanhood.

 

Here I think they make a valid point but I reach a different answer.  Paul specifically gives married women the responsibility to “keep house” in Titus 2:3-5.  Specifically, the word used means “house despot.”  I think this refers to the specific running of the home.  I don’t believe the scripture means that the woman must do every specific task related to that job by herself, nor do I believe she must limit herself to the purely domestic.  Furthermore, tasks generally characterized as ‘feminine’ should be carefully scruitnzed by scripture before being defined as such.

 

For instance, the birthing and nursing of babies is a definite feminine accomplishment.  Why, however, do we consider sewing, crocheting, knitting, quilting, and other needle arts to be so “effeminate?”  I think I remember reading about Scotch fishermen crocheting or knitting out on the moors or maybe it was fishermen.  Somehow I thought they invented the first cables.

 

Why is woodworking, auto mechanics, or hunting specifically masculine? 

 

I think it would be wise to classify things as masculine or feminine based only upon physical or emotional limitations.  And yet-

 

In our androgynous society, blurring gender distinctions is a serious problem.  God created us male and female.  This was intended to be distinct.  We’re physically created differently.  We need to be sure not to blur that. 

 

However, can we not allow the BIBLE to define what is masculine and feminine rather than present or past culture?  If scripture says that women are to have a meek and quiet spirit, I think that a truly feminine woman will be humble and at rest in Jesus in her spirit.  If we are to win our husbands without a word, perhaps true femininity doesn’t nag.  If we’re to be modest and not obsessed with the ‘putting on of gold and pearls and wearing of dresses’ then maybe true femininity is not a fashionista or a diva.

 

Notice that scripture seems to address the heart more than the specifics of action?  Rather than a list of actions that may or may not suit a given woman, God addressed her heart.  Rather than defining femininity as loving pink, ruffles, cooking, sewing, or crocheting doilies, God seems to say through His Word, “A godly feminine woman is gracious, kind, her words are pleasant, her spirit is untroubled by the world around her, and she’s not ostentatious in her garb…” 

 

I’ve met women in jeans, flannel shirts, and working on vehicles with gracious words and a calm spirit and I’ve seen women in floral dresses crocheting on a couch sipping tea and eating freshly baked cookies from their own ovens and shredding their brothers and sisters in Christ with their tongues.  Honestly, which is more feminine? 

 

This is the point Ms. McDermott (and ultimately Mrs. Sayers) is trying to make.  We’re trying to genderize (Cool word huh) actions rather than the people behind the action.  What is almost worse than this is the idea that what we do is who we are.  That’s the next point in the introduction though.

One for the Money~

Finances.  They seem to have a life of their own.  I’ve never been good with money- I’ve tried but I’ve always failed.  It’s just one of those things that I’m still working on. 

 

So, I realized that I am probably not the only person who has trouble keeping it straight and I thought perhaps it might make sense to share our financial journey and what I think has helped the most, the mistakes I’ve made, and the direction I’m trying to take us now.

 

I realize that is a lot of “I’s”.  That’s because finances are my responsibility in our family and after twenty years, I finally feel like I’m not a total failure in this department.  My husband has been patient and has at least been comfortable not having to deal with it.

 

When we first married, I went from literally not having the money to buy myself food to a substantial savings account, a mortgage, and a consistent income.  We made a lot of stupid decisions from trading in a car we were upside down on for a cheap piece of junk, to going into deep debt for siding that didn’t hold up past 10 years and so on.  I struggled to make sure everyone was paid on time.  It was rarely a matter of no money, and when it was, it was because I was stupid and didn’t know how to manage it.

 

Sometime after ten to twelve years, I got smart and completely revamped our finances.  It started with a few basic steps.  (I’ll explain these things in further detail later)

  1. All of our income went to direct deposit into 3 separate bank accounts. 
  2. All of our utilities went onto a level payment plan if offered.
  3. All of our bills went to auto-draft.

 

These were the first three steps to a brighter future for us.   

 

Step One-  Our Direct Deposit.  These three accounts are utilized as follows:

  • Fixed Bills–  Everything that gets paid monthly and isn’t an option.  From this account we pay our mortgage, natural gas, electric, telephone, water, trash, car insurance and life insurance.  Rarely do the amounts fluctuate much so it’s easy to keep track.
  • Living Expenses–  The bulk of my  husband’s check comes here.  This account covers food, gasoline, clothing, gifts, dentist visits, savings (yes, I’ll explain that in a minute) and even things like my BOMC and Rhapsody.  This account is where our Debit Mastercard is linked.
  • Sludge-  Originally this was Kevin’s allowance account.   It worked great because when he was out of money, it wouldn’t let him withdraw and he knew he was ok.  Then one day the bank changed policy but didn’t tell us.  Kevin withdrew and two days later I got an overdraft.  I was so confused.  How did the ATM let us take out money we didn’t have.  Then I got another one before I could call about the first.  I was alarmed!  They were giving us 20 dollars from our “account” and charging us 22 dollars overdraft for the privilege of being able to take out money we didn’t have!  I went into the office to discuss this with them.  I was sure their computers were messing up.  Nope.  This was their new policy.  When I told them I didn’t get a notice of a new policy, they told me that hey hadn’t SENT notice of it!  They were doing it as a “courtesy” and didn’t feel obligated to inform us.  After that, this account became the “sludge” account.  Generally it’s used to save dollars for household things and such without us noticing we’re doing it since we don’t have checks OR an ATM for it.  When we need it, we just transfer it to “Living Expenses” and use it.  However, occasionally the Fixed Expenses account will be used from Paypal (it’s one of our linked accounts) and puts us below what we need for upcoming bills.  So, we also transfer it over to Fixed Expenses when that happens.

 

Step Two- Level Payment Plans.

We contacted SCE, PG&E, and Verizon looking for level payment plans. 

  • SCE is the same price all year with a settlement balance at the end of the year either that we owe or that they owe us, depending on how they projected our usage.  It’s never been much more than one month’s bill at the end.
  • PG&E revises it quarterly.  The funny thing is, we then actually pay more for gas in the summer when we use less, than we do in winter when we use more.  It’s kind of comical but the difference is really only a matter of 20-30 dollars a month that it goes up or down.
  • Verizon isn’t a true level payment but it is close.  I have a Plan (Freedom something) that combines my internet, unlimited long-distance, and baseline expenses.  This means my bill fluctuates 3 dollars or so a month max.  Not sure why but for some reason it does.  But, there is no more 25 dollars this month and 80 next now just on phone depending on if I died to self and called someone that month.

 

Step Three-  Auto Draft

It’s my friend.  I have never been late with any of these bills for the past 8 years and it’s because of auto-draft.  Every month, on about the same day, the money is debited from my account and the bill is paid.  No checks to write, no stamps to buy, no bills to lose, no bills lost due to our faithful USPS, nothing.  Paid in full.  Every month.  Like clockwork.  It’s beautiful.  For the dubious, I’ve never had anything taken out that shouldn’t have been, nothing gone unpaid, no glitches period.  Ever.  The mortgage, life insurance, car insurance, water bill, utilities, everything paid for me.   I sit back and reap the rewards of feeling diligent, a credit report that doens’t have dings out the wazoo for late mortgage payments or shut off utilites (do they put utilities on credit reports?)

 

The next step didn’t come for another year or so.  I opened an ING Direct account.  I highly recommend it.  I started with 100 dollars coming from our Fixed Expenses account every payday.  (Every other week.)  I set it up for auto debit and all was well.  Then I bumped it up more… and now it comes out every week and I keep trying to see how much more I can pull from our check without us noticing the pinch.  

 

We’ve been able to take vacations, do needed home repairs, replace defective appliances, buy CHRISTMAS PRESENTS if we feel like it… all without a drop of credit because we just got smart about how to make savings work for us.  I’d never had anything work before but this is perfect.

  1. The money is auto-drafted for me.  I don’t have to move it myself. 
  2. The money is readily available but not easily accessible.  If I withdraw 500 today, I can’t spend it until Wed or Thurs because it takes that long to get to my main checking account.  Obviously you need a cushion in your regular checking for minor emergencies but so far it has never taken us longer to get the money than we needed.  So far.
  3. If we have a lean week and need the money, I can simply stop that week’s debit.  I’m not locked into it if I don’t want it.  I like that flexibility and HAVE used it a time or two.
  4. They have competitive interest rates and it’s FUN to watch that interest build.

 

The Future: Non-budget Budgeting

 

I’ve worked hard for years to create and maintain a budget.  I can make beautiful ones but like schedules and similar things, they tend to fall by the wayside faster than I made them.  Today on HK, however, Dell described her financial “budgeting” and I cheered.  It’s what I’ve wanted to do for hears but felt like it was cheating.  I’ll have to let you know how it goes. 

 

Dell’s plan is to face each month and make decisions based upon that month’s needs.  This will work for me.  Planning and saving 243 dollars a month for household improvement means that I can fix my walls, doors, and windows forever while I still need a couch.  I won’t have six months of that stored in a savings account somewhere waiting for me to use it on new bedroom furniture.  However, I can take a paycheck and go do it this month, maybe pulling a smidge from savings and bumping the per month amount for a few months to “pay it back.”  This allows me to be my own “credit card” and I pay myself with money my checking doesn’t have but my savings DOES have.  I pay myself back and voila!

 

I also want to incorporate an idea I had for a friend years ago.  I want to have a delayed spending plan.  I want to spend last months money, this month.  This isn’t necessary perhaps, but it does let me make decisions this month based upon what I know of last month which is, in my opinion, helpful in deciding about more frivolous things.  Do we really want to go out of town this month after last month’s car repair bill?  If we wait a month, we’ll lower the impact ono a single month’s spending which is good for balance.

 

I’ll let you know how it goes.  Just thought I might be able to encourage someone else that it can be done.  Before I started these steps, I was often late with utility bills, paid late charges on the mortgage and what not, and only because I’d forget.  The money was there, my brain wasn’t.  Then I realized that companies would be my brain for me.  At no extra charge.  In the long run I think I must save at least

  • $25.00 a year on checks
  • $10.00 a year on stamps
  • $100.00 a year or more on late charges.

 

I don’t know about you, but for less work, 150-250 dollars is a lot of money that can be spent on more exciting things like nice dinners out, books at the home school convention, and/or chocolate.  I recommend Sees.

Calvinism- My Take on the Whole Thing:

Calvinism.  Gather in theologically diverse circles and in no time, you’ll hear it come up.  Someone will mention predestination, reformed theology, or free will and out come the Institutes of the Christian Religion

 

In person, this is usually an engaging debate discussion and involves conflicting hermeneutics particularly in the rendering of the word “all” but I digress.  Online, we have a serious communication issue stemming from two very important ‘isms’ in this discussion.  Calvinism and Arminianism.

 

Let’s start with Arminianism.  The online discussion often looks like a discusion of nationality rather than one of theology.  When one is called an Arminian, one expects to be able to pull out one’s geneological tree and show that no where in one’s past is there anyone from Armenia.  And, if one is a Calvinist and interesting enough to have someone from that fascinating place in their family tree, wouldn’t it be frustrating to be told that one isn’t an Armenian but a Calvinist as if they had anything to do with one another?

 

Armenian-  One who lives in Armenia or who was born there and no longer lives there.  It’s a simple definition.

 

Arminian-  One who adheres to the theological position of Jacobus Arminius.  (Once upon a time, a good example would be the Methodists but today there are so many branches and sub-branches of denominations that the name on the door isn’t very descriptive anymore.)

 

ArmEnian-  Nationality

ArmnIan-  Theology 

Remember-  E for ethnicitcity

                 – I for I believe

 

Now.  Poor Calvan Calvin.  He was born and christened John Calvin.  Not VAN.  His name is CalVIN.

 

VIN like A car… any car.  Doesn’t matter.

 

VAN is only one car. 

 

CalvIn.  I for Institutes of the Christian Religion

 

NO A… like “not All.”  (A friendly joke and tease to my beloved Calvinist friends who know how much I respect their theologians.)

 

Calvanism scares me.  What if it means that we’re all forced to live in Vans or something.  I like L.A. Gear!

The Boys’ Abode~

We’ve been working around the house still.  The girls have drywalll around their windows now and this weekend, a DOOR!  (shouts of joy erupt from the Mojave Desert).   In addition, the boys have had attention given to their room, namely- window, paint, bedspread, organization, cleaning… you know, fun stuff like that.  So manly.

 

 

Nolan is gone this week so I thought it’d be fun to see how much I could get done while he is gone.  Kind of a “welcome home, you’ve got less work to do now” surprise. 

 

So far we’ve…

  • Cleaned the room
  • Mudded the window
  • Cleaned the room
  • Painted the wall without the window
  • Cleaned the room
  • Organized the books
  • Cleaned the room
  • Sanded the window
  • Cleaned the room
  • Mudded again
  • Organized books
  • Sanded again
  • Cleaned the room
  • Mudded the window
  • Cleaned the room
  • Organized another bookshelf
  • Sanded the mud
  • Painted the window wall- coat one

 

Obviously, it’s time for another cleaning.  UGH.  right now, sheets are getting a fresh bath.  I’m going to scrub the bed boards next.  They have GRIME on them.  GRIME.  (Say it like Sandra Bullock in the movie Speed.  “I’ve got GUM on my seat.  GUM!”)   I hope to get the books finished soon because after I get done in there, for the night, it’s time to clean up my room so that my husband and son-in-law can put in the LAST- the FINAL-

 

 

WINDOW!!!!!!!!!

 

Ok, time to work.  Sme more.  There’s this bookshelf on the last wall. It’s 12 feet long and runs along the ceiling.  It’s packed.  And guess what… gotta COME DOWN.

 

Dad burn it.

 

Want proof that I’m no liar?  Ok!

 

 

 

 

 

I’d show pictures of the final first coat on that wall but there’s a problem.  The light in that window is so bright that it blows out the pics!  I’ll try again when it’s no longer light out.  Oh, and they did the ceiling a few weeks ago.  I’ll find those pics.  YIPPEEEEEEEEE

Life is Good…

This week’s HK blog topic is…

 

Finish this sentence.   “Life is good when…”

Oh boy.  I thought it was going to be so easy but you know what, it really isn’t.  Life is good all the time if you look for it.  However, I’m going to focus on today’s goods…

 

  • Your daughter brings you a coke.
  • Your van is getting fixed-
  • You have another car to use while the van gets fixed.
  • There is a ready supply of red hots.
  • You have Amish Friendship bread- even if it wasn’t your favorite recipe.

 

Life is good.

Beauty in the “Ashes”~

 

See that gorgeous color?   It’s caused by dust in the air.  It reflects different light or filters the atmosphere or does a fairy dance and tricks the eyes or something like that.  I can’t remember the technical jargon but the point is, the dust makes it so beautiful and vibrant. 

 

Think if I left my dust around my house it’ll start glowing beautifully like that?

Commencement~

Beginnings.  I celebrated two today.  Both were dear friends, both were joyous occasions.  One I cried and one I laughed.

 

The first was Karyn’s memorial service.  It is a commencement.  It’s the celebration of her beginning her new life in heaven with Jesus and it’s the reality check for those left behind that we’re beginning a life without Karyn in our midst. 

 

I love Karyn.  It’s so natural to say it in a past tense but it isn’t past.  I didn’t love her, I DO love her.  She is still a special person in my life even though I’ll never get to see her here on this earth again.  She isn’t past… if anything, she’s now the future.  I can both miss her and look forward to a reuniting.  Missing is really taking the foreground today.

 

Many lovely things were said about Karyn today.  I waited for an exaggeration.  I never heard one.  People spoke of her love, her smile, her faithfulness, her servant’s heart, and many repeated how fully she personified the Proverbs 31 woman.  All of this was true.  If anything, I think people held back sometimes- afraid of seeming to gush or something.

 

My dear friend Teresa took advantage of the open mic.  I inwardly cheered.  I couldn’t have spoken two words intelligibly so I was so grateful for her ability to say what was on my heart.  Karyn is gone.  We’ll miss her, but she’s happy in heaven with Jesus and the only thing that would make her happier is to know that every single person whose life she managed to touch whether directly or indirectly would one day join her.  Forget that, she’d be most thrilled with a 100% success rate in the evangelism department regardless of who, when, or where.

 

Then Teresa and I joked about our own services.  She promised not to wax eloquent about all of our “dark and dirty” secrets.  I promised that I would tell all.  We then decided to “go together.”  We considered an airplane crash but figured we were too ornery to die and we’d end up making fig leaf dresses while waiting to be rescued.  I expect her to show up with 20-40 cut out for me to sew tomorrow.  For practice don’tcha know.

 

I bawled.  I tried to keep it together during the service but I lost it a few times.  Those who know me well know how big this is.  I don’t cry.  I terrify my children when I do. I always feel guilty for crying when a Christian gets to go “home.”   Today Pastor Glenn spoke about Karyn, her love of Jesus, and how she’s fought the good fight, she’d finished the race.  She was done. 

 

I just wasn’t done with her yet.

 

Then he mentioned Philippians 1:21- For me to live is Christ and to die is gain. 

 

And her gain is our loss.  We lost her.  She’s gone.  I want her back.  It’s so wrong and so selfish.  I want her back.  I miss her.  I want her grandchildren to know her, not just their parents’ memories.  It’s wrong, it’s theologically unsound, and it’s proof that our feelings lie, but there you have it.

 

As I said on HK the day she died, “My letter of appreciation and thanksgiving for Karyn and her influence on my life is still here, half done.

We always think we have time to finish this stuff.  We don’t.

Say those important things to people NOW.  Write those notes of love and encouragement NOW.  Don’t let the urgent and inconsequential crowd out the important.  Regret is salt in the wounds of grieving.”

 

I meant it.  I’m going to finish that letter.  At the right time, I think I’ll pass it on to Dave.  That day may come when he might want to read it and if not, he can throw it away as well as I can.

 

Once it was over, I came home, threw myself on my bed and sobbed.  I let it all out.  My sorrow, myselfish grieving, and my anger.  Yes, I get angry over death- especially death by cancer.  Cancer is such a living picture of sin and how it grows and takes over our lives and eventually kills us.   I’m so done with this earth everytime someone else is struck by it.

 

Joshua, however, celebrated the traditional commencement.  His party was joyous in spite of the fact that everyone had been bawling only a few hours before.  We prayed that it’d be a happy occasion and that lingering grief wouldn’t be a cloud over the event.  It wasn’t.  I spoke to Lynn… she’s such a dear friend.  We laughed, talked, and laughed some more.  I spoke to homeschool moms I  haven’t seen in a while and congratulated Joshua of course. 

 

Children ran, laughed and played.  They are the graduates of tomorrow.  Lorna and Sarah (Joshua’s sister/Lynn’s daughter) played like old friends though they haven’t seen each other for ages.  The horses were a big hit of course and all the kids danced.  It was fun to hear a broad mix of modern “dance music” and folk dance tunes.  At any moment they could look like someone in a “street dance” movie or someone at a Scottish ball.

 

Joshua is a really dear young man.  I’ve always been fond of him.  He’s one of those kids who is genuinely polite and interested in you as a person regardless of your status of adult or child.  I know this is common amongst homeschoolers but Joshua is particularly adept at making you feel at home wherever he is.  He’d be an excellent manager of a restaurant or hotel. 

 

So as the day ends, so much begins.  We’re celebrating Jenna’s birthday in a little bit.  That’s another beginning.  Beginning of the last year before teens.  Next year I’ll have passed six children into the teens… I already have one who has left them behind.  Tempus fugit.

 

Don’t let another day fly by without letting those you love know it.  Tomorrow may not come.

Twilight Zone~

Or: My day in LA.

 

So, we went to LA today.  You know, that place where people drive, bumper to bumper, at 70 mph jut to prove they can?  Ok, so maybe it’s to get somewhere in a reasonable amount of time but it sounded good 

 

In LA, we purchased a Saturn LW  (wagon).  This brings me to the point of this blog post.  The bank.  You kind of have to use them when you decide to spend a few thousand dollars.

 

Off we went.  We had a bit of trouble finding the silly entrance… it looked like a big corporate building and frankly, we expected to be told to go to xyz branch 20 miles away.   Instead, we enter this…

 

 

Can you imagine?  To get into the bank, for starters, you must go one at a time.  You open the door and enter.  You can’t get through until the other door shuts.  You open the second door and when it shuts (and you’re safely inside the bank) the person behind you can open that first door.

I’m sure it’s supposed to make you feel safe and secure but while in that cubicle all I could think of was, “Where is the antibacterial spray overhead?” and “Do they strip search with the curtains drawn or is there privacy?”

 

I couldn’t help comparing and contrasting with Ridgecrest.  In this little desert hamlet, one goes into the bank and they practically hand you your receipt or cash depending on whether you were going to deposit or withdraw the moment you reach the teller window.  If someone shouted, “This is a stick-up” the guy behind the teller counter would pull out a squirt gun and “cool him off” all while the rest of the patrons laughed. 

 

As a matter of fact,  I think people might do it just to cool off in our hot summers!  I don’t think I’ll try that in Corona.  By the time I convinced them I wasn’t serious, I have a feeling Lorna would be planning her wedding.

 

So now, I’m back in Ridgecrest with my new car unlocked in front of my house.   Tomorrow it’ll probably have the keys in the engine as usual.

 

And…  next time I go to LA, I’m taking Rod Sterling with me.

HK Blog QotW (Question of the Week…)

Name one thing you would change about your wedding and why.  There is a restriction though.  You can’t change the groom.

 

I’ve never heard anyone say that there isn’t a single solitary thing they wouldn’t change if they could.  You know, spend less, spend more, spend on this and not on that… the biggest thing is photography.  People really seem to wish they’d done something different in that respect.  I find it all fascinating.

 

Looking back, I would have changed the way we set it up.  I don’t know how else to explain it.  We did the normal thing.  Bridesmaids, groomsmen,flower girl, candlelighters, ring bearer, and an auditorium full of onlookers.  Everyone just moved over to the fellowship hall and had fun there.

 

If I had it to do over and didn’t have the pressure from other around me to stick to their dreams for me instead of my own (Praise the Lord for a mother who didn’t care what I did as long as she didn’t have to do it for me!  THANK YOU MOM!)   

 

The wedding itself would have been for our parents and immediate siblings, grandparents etc.  No extended family… just the very closest to us.   Then I would have invited several godly couples and if they had young children, those children.  That’s it.  I would have only invited …

 

  1. Parents
  2. Grandparents
  3. Siblings
  4. An exremely close aunt or uncle (second parent like)
  5. People from my church who would watch and ensure that we kept our vows.

 

Kevin and I would have walked into the auditorium together (We were married so “giving away was ridiculous in my opinion”) vowed before these close witnessees to do what we had already vowed, and then we all would have taken the pretty pictures etc.

 

After all of that, we’d have partied.  I’d show the “ceremony” on video tape in the reception hall for any who would like to see it but mainly, it’d be a celebration.

 

 

I’d make sure the formal part is the serious thing it should be and the celebration is done with all. 

 

Who knows, maybe one of my children will choose to do that.  HA!

Strange Dream…

Last night I dreamed that I had a ton of brand new, unwanted items in my house.  Candles and candle sets, trivets, houseplants (why they were “new” only makes sense in dreamland), boxes of candy, and similar things.

 

I wrapped them all and had them sitting on a table in my house.  People came… people who would love those gifts but I didn’t give them to the obviously intended recipients.  The apron so perfect for our pastor’s wife sat wrapped beautifully in a box.  The candle that Challice would so enjoy sat wasted because I didn’t give it to her.   Sheets of music perfect for one friend lay atop a beautiful wall quit and a box of doll clothes sat nearby. 

 

I loved looking at the pile of gifts.  I loved that they cost me nothing.  It felt like Christmas with that pile of gifts.

 

As the recipients came to visit and left, few to none with their gifts, I found myself growing disatisfied with them.  Gifts never given don’t remain a blessing for long.  The last thing I remember of that dream was misery.  I was miserable.

 

As I’ve pondered that dream today, I’ve been convicted of just how often the gifts that God placed in my life with which to bless others are so often hoarded for my own pleasure like that pile of gifts on that table of my subconcious.