"The thistle is a prickly flower, aye, but how it is sweetly worn."

Friday, March 23, 2012

High on thrifting

This is my first High On Thrifting Thursday (although I thrifted on Friday, whatevs).  It was definitely a HOTT experience though.  Since I am on spring break, and since I decided to come to Houston to visit my mom, and since I knew she would be sweet enough to keep up with Jude, I knew this was the perfect time to visit my personal thrifting Mecca- Value Village.

This place is on no major highways.  It is found in no commonly visited neighborhood or suburb.  In fact it is on the edge of the not so awesome part of town in Houston.  Which is exactly why it rocks.  I find the most dirt cheap vintage items here.  To date, nothing tops the vintage 1950s Jackie O styled coat that I got for $8.  Today proved to be just as thriftastic.

The outside of this fantastic establishment.  Please note the tagline- Your affordable department store.

This was in the 'oldies' section.  I'm guessing it's a 70s era shirt? 

Scarf- because I am always looking for more things to tie my hair back with.  Mantra of the short funky hair wearer.

Check out this skirt- It was bought with the purpose of a Cinco de Mayo outfit.  When you teach at a school that some 75% of the kids or more speak Spanish, Cinco de Mayo is no small deal.  (and anyway, who WOULDN'T want to celebrate that holiday).  I am planning on pairing it with a white peasant top for the day.

Oldies section again.  Less than a dollar!

Belt.  I couldn't get the picture to come out right.  It's leather with leather flowers.  Very boho.  80 cents

Think this is a scarf?  But it has a cool Indian/Henna like pattern

Oldies vintage section again- $2.  It's ridiculous how cheap their vintage things are.

And last but not least, another vintage item. 

All in all I spent $16.24.  Um yea, it basically rocked.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cute Story for Your Tuesday Morning

This morning (actually all night) was full of rain, thunder, lightning... Perfection I tell you.  Could I have asked for a more relaxing spring break day.  Um no.

Anyway, it got pretty loud earlier this morning.  Jude was afraid of the thunder and asked me what it was.  I explained that it was the sound the lightning made.  He immediately got excited and said, "It's my McQueen!?!"  (As in Lightning McQueen the racecar from Cars)

I laughed and went along with it.  Now, Jude's not afraid of lightning and thunder so much.  But he does run to the window each time trying find 'his mcqueen".  It's adorable.  And I guess thunder and a race car kinda sound similar....

Thursday, March 15, 2012

This Blog Has No Point

Except that sometimes its fun to play on photobooth.  Right now, Jude is obsessed with cats.  Remember my pic from Saturday of him chasing the feline love of his life?  He loves to pretend to be a cat.  Lately, thanks to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, he has named his cat persona 'Figureo'.  I was trying to get him to showcase that.  He didn't.  But he does say he loves you so much at the end.  And that's priceless.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Thoughts on the Prodigal Son

I recently read Luke 15 during a quiet time, which includes the Parable of the Prodigal Son.  I love this story.  You can't read it and not be touched by the Father's Love for His children.  This isn't the first time I read it since my seperation/divorce, but I guess it's the first time I've read since divorce where I actually have gained perspective on everything.

What really got me thinking today was "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him".  It reminded me of another verse which I love from Romans 8:26 which says "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express."  I have already been meditating on Romans a lot the past couple weeks.  I actually started thinking about it when it was my turn to give my testimony in small group.  I ended up too choked up to finish my story, but that verse has a lot to do with it.

Looking back over the end of my marriage, all I see is God's hand.  And God's mercy.  I certainly married the wrong guy.  I certainly in some ways deserved to reap the results of an unwise decision.  But while I was still a long way off, my father saw me and was filled with compassion.  So far off, that I didn't even know that I needed to turn and head the other direction.

There were nights upon nights where I cried out to God in the midst of my marriage.  All of those prayers centered on changing myself and changing Michael, because I was determined for it to work.  Divorce was the farthest thing from my mind.  I cried out to God with everything in me.  I had no idea that the Holy Spirit was interceding for me in a way I could never have expected.  I never ever prayed for God to get me out of my marriage.  The Holy Spirit did.  (Now, I know people like to hang on to the fact that God hates divorce.  Before you comment, watch what you say if you don't know my story.)

It took a lot of clear signs from God for me to realize that he was leading me in the direction of divorce.  He literally had to open me up to the idea, because nothing in me would have gone there on my own.  God's love for me was so great, that he saved me from something I didn't know I truly needed to be saved from.  I had been telling myself that it could be fixed, all the while I was allowing myself to be 'dead' and 'lost' to the person I truly am.  But the Holy Spirit interceded for me and the Father met me while I was still a long way off.

I sat on the fence for awhile between the 2 decisions.  I had these visions almost in the midst of this of myself holding Jude with one arm and a scarlet thread.  I felt that like Rahab, I was being given this one chance at escape.  I could either step out in faith and be delivered to the promised land.  Or I could doubt and have my entire world crumble around me.  I poured through a study on Rahab in the midst of making that decision finally settling on Joshua 1:9- be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord you God will be with you wherever you go.

That promise has absolutely been true.  As soon as I finished that week long study, I took the scarlet thread God had given me and never looked back.  God was truly with me in the most personal sense I'd ever experienced.  Sometimes it was like I could literally feel him sheltering me and covering me.  These past 2 years have marked such an intimacy in my relationship with God to where he has really become the Lover of my Soul.  It's been an extremely difficult 2 years (still is usually difficult), but I can honestly say I've never felt more provided for or loved or satisfied.  And I am so thankful I have a Holy Spirit who understands my hurts more than I ever could and prays for things I don't know I need and so thankful I have a Father who seeks me out and so thankful that I have a Christ who is alive who makes all this possible.

Monday, March 12, 2012

People who Inspire Me

I've mentioned it before, but I absolutely love the Voices of the Martyrs newletters/magazine that I get every month.  Every month (or few- I'm actually bad about finishing things on time) when I sit down to read the stories, I am just amazed by God's power.  I mean really.  You can't not be encouraged by hearing how the Holy Spirit is working in the midst of people's lives.  And these are people who are literally being persecuted in the 'traditional' sense.  Physical, emotional torment persecution.  And yet they cling so adamately to Christ.  It's inspiring- the right kind of inspiring.

It's a really great organization to support.    VOM features stories and interviews of actual people and then lists the ways they are using money donated to further the gospel.

Here are some quotes I loved from a recent issue

* China- "I am happy that you and others tried to arrange for my release (imprisoned) but in one way I am happy that you failed.  You almost made a big mistake.  If you had been successful, there would be no church in that prison today."

---- I mean did you catch that.  A big mistake.  Release from prison a big mistake.  Now don't take this the wrong way, but in the church we make this huge deal out of all that Paul did for the early church.  He definitely deserves the respect, and he is one of my favorite Christian heroes.  I guess what amazes me, is that there are still 'Pauls' alive today.  People who still live as if "to live is Christ, to die is gain".  I'm not one of those people at all.  I am the queen of keeping things PC when it comes to religion in the real world.  Because I don't want to ruin relationships.  But these people have such focus, and I admire them greatly.  I want to be like that.  Also how amazing is God's sovereignty.  There is no situation too dismal that God does not bring blessing out of if we are faithful to keep our eyes on him.  Even prison.  I just love it.  I love how God works so many intricate details of our lives for His glory and ultimately our good.

* Pakistan- "Our Christ sacrificed his life on the cross for our sins... Our Christ is alive."- Asia Bibi

--- A couple reasons that quote stuck out to me.  For one thing, this lady was arrested, tortured, imprisoned, and given the death sentence for those 2 sentences.  She is currently waiting for either a miraculous release from prison so she can return to her family.  Or waiting to be executed.  You can sign a petition at www.callformercy.com through VOM who is working with the Pakistani Embassy to allow Asia to be pardoned.  (see why I love this- real issues, real action, real results)
--- The other reason this quote stuck out to me was her saying that 'Our Christ is Alive'.  I got so convicted because I have to admit, I think I take for granted that Christ is Alive.  Don't get me wrong, walking through the marriage I had, the divorce, the single parenthood, I have no doubt Christ is Alive.  I literally have felt Him carry me through all of this.  I know he's alive.  But I don't think I've ever considered how marvelous that really is.  How it really sets Christianity apart.  Buddha is a mere statue.  Vishnu is a statue.  But Christ is alive.  I'm still trying to just meditate on that -- just to wrap my mind around it so I don't take for granted that beautiful truth any longer.  Christianity is so blessed, so amazingly different from all other religions.  I just love how that was what mattered to Asia in the midst of a muslim world.  I'm trying to experience more 'My Christ is Alive' moments this week.  It's just so unfathomably great.

What's Christ teaching you this week?  I'd love to hear and be encouraged by it!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

This weekend

Please don't die that I am actually blogging.  I realize this is like the 5th blog post in the year 2012, and that is beyond pathetic.  What is it about single mom/teacher that makes blogging impossible?  time!  We actually have been up to a lot.  I have loads of picture I would love to get around to editing and sharing (like christmas pics!  or last weekend at the children's museum).  I make 0 promises about getting around to that, and I'm sorry.

This weekend things have slowed down.  This is mainly due to the fact that Jude came down with fever/croup Thursday night.  For the most part, he is not complaining.  Sleeping can be difficult, but it's managable.  The biggest thing it's affected is his apetite.  I am desperately trying to get him to eat or drink anything, but he's really not interested.  He mostly is just laying around watching tv.  If you know Jude, you know this is telling because this kid doesn't stop.

It has given me a chance to just have time.  Oh that coveted precious lover, time.  I had to take Friday off, so it's given me a 'three day weekend'.  I've been able to get all caught up with my grades which are due tomorrow for progress reports.  I have spent hours cuddling with Jude.  I actually watched a movie (shut the front door- that never happens!).  I've read some Voices of the Martyrs articles.  I've read my Bible.  I've read my book, Millenials.  (Oh why yes, I am a nerd who reads sociology books in my spare time.)  It's been kinda nice.

See the first pick?  That cat is the cutest, fattest, fluffiest cat I've ever seen.  Jude is IN LOVE with that cat.  But alas, his love is unrequited.  You can see Jude in the pic trying to follow him.  Yet, the cat walks away despite Jude's adorable pleas for the cat to come back.  Oh if only Cat knew how deep Jude's love was for him.  It's unfortunate for Jude that I am deathly allergic to cats, because he is in love with them.  One of his favorite activities is to pretend to be a kitty.  Adorable.

Picture below:  it's been a rainy, chilly weekend in North Texas.  I've loved every second of it.  The sounds of rain on the windows, the grayness making you want to cuddle, the refreshing cleanness of the after rain smell.  I don't think I could photograph more perfection if I tried.

Thank you Jesus for the perfect weekend, minus the whole Jude being sick thing.  Hope your weekend was lovely.