We truly had a ball. Lake Tahoe is one of those places that you cannot deny an artistic Creator. We went with our friends Trey and Christina and realized how special it is to have friends that feel like family. We ate amazing meals, skiied, shopped and just laughed a lot. Thank the Lord for the provision of times like these. It is also so fun to have someone to come home to. Bobby and I missed AK so much. It has been so fun to be home!
Okay....this may be the strangest post yet but let me explain...I ADORE the smell of a clean house. Perhaps more than just about anything. More than cut grass, rain, or a meal (maybe not more than a clean baby or baking bread) but I do love it. The smell of pledge, mop and glow, clorox, fabric softener, hmmm.....heaven. I know I am weird but I do love it. Thus explaining one of my favorite questions to friends....what products to you use and LOVE? Not all of these are cleaning products but I also love a good deal so thought I would share them as well....Please post your favorites.... (Oh and by the way, I am not trying to pull a Jared from Subway...no desire to be their spokeswoman, just love their products :)) The first is the new Clorox Anywhere spray....why was this just discovered? It is wonderful! If you have children, it is a must have. You can spray down anything and it is safe for children and pets....AND it kills 99.9% of bacteria!
Next is the Caldrea countertop spray. A bit pricey($7) but OH so worth it. As for it in your stocking or for a birthday....it makes your WHOLE house smell clean and so good. I love the white tea scent.
Next is the best deal....my new bedding! I have a weakness for bedding. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I just bought this from Pottery Barn with my Christmas money. It is the Greta pattern. Is SO beautiful, great material (doesn't show wrinkles). Looks crisp and very french country. It is on massive sale (I even bought the shams on ebay for half the sale price) and looks wonderful.
Next is my new favorite lotion. It is Aveeno Creamy Moisterizing Oil. It is not greasy AT ALL and is tackling my dry skin like a pro. Also smells great (very clean:))
Finally is my new favorite baby lotion. It is Johnsons Nourishing Milk Lotion. It smells SOOOOOO good and really hydrates AK's skin.
So there you have it. I have a million others and may post more at some point but thought this might be fun!
Okay, I promise not every post will be so deep, vulnerable and altering but for those of you that know me well, know everything in my life is "the best ever" :). But gosh, I am learning a lot lately. I started this post 2 days ago, poured out my heart and then it was lost in cyberspace. I truly think it may have been too transparent so I am toning it down a little. I so desperately wish I could recapture some of those thoughts though. But here I try.... It all started about 5 years ago. It was midway through my first year of K-Life, a season of my life where I was supposed to be "on the ball" spiritually. I can earnestly say that up until this point in my life, even through college when I made some very disobedient choices, I had always had an intimate relationship with our Father. It was passionate and defining. Now many of my friends that read this do not share my beliefs and so I am forewarning that this post is going to be laden with details of my spiritual walk. But suddenly, I began feeling a distance from the Lord I still cannot fully describe. I daily sought any unconfessed sin...something that will distance you from the Lord every time, and I could come up with nothing (not that I was sinless :), just could not think of anything I had not confessed). So sagely, I began to reason that God must be taking away the "feelings" that accompany new believers. I thought that He must be pushing me out of the baby Christian stage and deepening me. Now that still could be the case, but I am realizing there is much more to it. My root sin is pride. I struggle desperately with it. I have worked my whole life to present an image to others that I could control. Because of my love of words, it was easy for me to manipulate what people thought of me. Then I met Bobby. Then I married. Then it all REALLY began. Before marrying Bobby, I could keep people far enough away that they got the illusion of who I was, not the up close mess of who I was. Now, with a pride struggle such as mine, I also LOVE praise. I feed off of it. So when my new husband did not see me as perfect, stand in awe of me, praise me multiple times daily, the veil desended. For my own protection, I unknowingly designed a veil to keep myself from the pain of my imperfection. But as a result, true intimacy was impossible. This veil has stood for 4.5 years and I am beginning to realize what my self-centeredness, my pride has done to my relationship with my Father. Everything became about me. My needs weren't being met, my prayer life became about me, my desires became about me. All things that the world applauds that I know are counterfeit became who I was. This past Sunday, I sat under one of the most inspired, annointed messages I can remember. Our pastor spoke on pride (if you are interested, you can access the message here, http://www.kxoj.com/churches/sites/4/sermons.php) and I left feeling more convicted than I had felt in a long time. This continued at Bible study Sunday night as I sought to be transparent with my struggle. You see, this pride even followed me into my relationship with my own child. I began thinking how hard the sacrifice of staying at home was....how hard it was to see to someone elses needs all day....how hard it was that I battled all day for my daughter's character and played the bad guy when Bobby got to ride in on his white horse and play the good guy to her delight. I was feeling a disconnect even with her. But then I remembered, Jesus NEVER put His own needs before a relationship. He "though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross." How had I, a seasoned believer, so grossly missed this essential part of becoming like Christ? How had I esteemed myself so greatly, that I stopped considering others before myself? How had I began to walk again according to this worldly age (Ephesians 2) after being so extravagantly redeemed? Because I chose selfishness, I chose self-righteousness, I chose pride. But I am His creation....created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that I should walk in them (Ephesians 2 as well) but I chose not to. This was a hard post for me....for it is blowing my masks out of the water. But I am striving to be more authentic. I want to share in my struggles for accountability, and yes, a little encouragement (old habits die hard :)). I pray that I begin to, "clothe (my)self with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Lord knows I need grace. Love you all....