Monday, May 31, 2010

Oh that stuff.


I think I know one reason why if "a woman has long hair it is a glory to her." Credit is due any woman who can figure out how to take care of the stuff! Sometimes I just don't know what to do with my hair. Can any of you relate?

And I just trimmed it two days ago. It's not like I'm going to cut it much shorter. I think my trouble has something to do with the fact that my hair is curly. If I brush it, it's frizz. And if I don't brush it, it looks messy. What to do? I can't stand wearing it up constantly, because it gives me serious headaches. And if I wear it down it gets in my way.

I'm known at church and among my other circles of friends for "always showing up with a new hairstyle." I don't know how many people have commented on my "creativity" and "variety" that I use on my hair, but it's a lot. I love to braid, twist, pin, and do all those sorts of things that create new looks. The trouble is, I get bored with one look quickly, and so does my hair. What works one week looks bad the next. And it frustrates me that, though I have many of my "own" styles, I can't reproduce the looks all my straight-smooth-bouncy-perfect-haired friends have all the time.

I don't truly want to cut my hair short, for many reasons. I believe a woman ought to have hair that looks like woman's hair, plus all my family members like my hair long. And I know that wearing my hair long makes me feel more feminine. But every so often I get fed up with having hair.

Okay, now I'm laughing at myself. It sounds so silly, to write it out, but that's the way I feel!

Well...maybe not. I'd love having hair if it would just behave. It gets worse when I look at pictures of other women, who have perfect hair. "Why won't mine do that?"

Well, as Mom would say, it's just a stage. I guess every girl goes through those cycles of hating and loving her hair. And I think that resisting the temptation to get a short, boyish cut, which would be much easier to take care of, is one reason why long hair is a glory to a woman; it's a sign that she can resist temptation. :)

This has got to be one of the most frivolous posts I've written in awhile, but what good is a blog if I can't rant here sometimes? Yet I do feel exposed, realizing that I've publicly admitted that I actually think about such earthly things as the way my hair looks. :) :) :) :) Next thing you know, I'll be admitting that I have 15 pairs of shoes. Not, you understand, that such a thing is possible.....

(....did I just say that?...)


Wedding pictures arrived this week.....

...but of course I can't share all of them at once. :)

...However, I can share this pre-wedding picture, from when I was working on the bridesmaid dresses:
That blue silk was so rich to work with!

Remember all the talking I've been doing about my new bedroom? I built a new bedstead to go in it, with some help from my brother, Curtis. This was the half-way stage: everything cut, but not painted or put together. The headboard, which is a different color from everything else, is my Mom's, from when she was a little girl. I added on to it to make my bed. I'll share "finished" pictures of the bed later. :)

And guess what I found at the Flea Market last week? A pasta machine; for THREE DOLLARS! I tried it out this week, and had SUCH a blast. Tiffany helped me; it takes four hands to work, because the clamp which holds it to the table is missing. Other than that, it's in great shape.

The spaghetti was delicious! My younger brother Justin said "Wow - that's's, like, real." (This remark I'm afraid was well-earned, by my previous attempts at pasta-making, which turned out noodles which tasted fine, but looked anything like "real" noodles. :)

And...I don't have a picture to go with this bit of news, but we got chickens today! Two of them. It's a small start to the flock we hope to have eventually. They're very cute and friendly.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 prince will come?

Tonight I was thinking about my (Lord willing) future husband.

That came up in my thoughts because I was thinking about how wonderful it is to see men with character; men who are passionate about serving God, men who care about lost souls, men who are strong in spirit, men who speak truth, men who are kind, men who are courteous, men who are creative, men who are joyful, men who are prayer warriors, men who are hard workers, men who are unselfish, men who are leaders, men who know what their purpose in life is, and men who are devoted and patient. Men like that are....well, one in a thousand. You may find a man who is one of these - or two or three or four of these things - but to find a man with all of these qualities (and many more good ones which I haven't time to mention) is rare indeed.

I was praying while I thought, to be quite honest. It came to my mind, as it has many times, how blessed I would be to have a husband like this. And how impossible it would be to find a man like this, if the task were mine. I blush to admit it, but I even find myself thinking of it as an impossible task for my Heavenly Father, sometimes. Yet I asked the Lord to give me a man like this, since in my saner moments I know He is quite capable of it.

"Find me one like this," indeed! Why, God will not only have to find the man, but make him. Such a godly man does not happen by accident. I would think that the molding of a man of such character would be a much more difficult task (if such words can be applied to God) than merely leading a man and woman together.

I sat there, daydreaming about what it would be like to meet a man who is so in love with God that he is....well, ideal. Always patient. Sure of his mission in life. Humble, yet bold. Kind, yet a leader. Handsome, of course. And able to do just about anything.

It was then I began rebuking myself. "Don't aim for the stars, Amber. Be practical. Remember, you're going to marry a sinner. He's a human, like you. He's a fallen creature. Come on; don't expect perfection! Expect a godly man, yes, but not a perfect one." I've been warned against this so many times. He'd be marrying me, after all; ME! We've gotta have some things, at least, in common. Why would I expect a perfect saint to marry a flawed sinner? Am I expecting him to put up with weakness in my life, while I'm not expecting to have to put up with any flaws in his? That doesn't sound fair at all.

"Okay. So I'll list the things that I'm willing to 'put up with' in a husband. A list of faults that I can 'tolerate.' He can 'be this,' and I'll be okay with it." (Can you believe I was having this conversation with myself?)

I sat there.

And sat there.

And sat there.

With an empty list. I couldn't think of one single "small fault" (I didn't want to call them "sins") that I'd be willing to tolerate in a husband.

Would I be okay with him being a bit impatient? No, that'd be too wearing on the atmosphere of our home.

Would it be fine if he was not a super strong leader? Nah, I need someone to depend on.

How 'bout if he doesn't always give me all the attention I feel I need? Oh no, not that one!

Hmm...What if he's weak in personal discipline? No, no, no. That would be terrible. It would drive me crazy.

What if his prayer life is weak? That wouldn't work at all. Prayer warriors make strong Christians, and I want a strong Christian!

What if he's hit-and-miss with personal devotions and time with the Lord?... Are you kidding? Of course he must be strong in that area!

What if he is lazy? ...Shivers.... Please, no.

Item after item, and not one made it onto my list. There was not a single weakness that I wanted to find in a husband. Of course, I know he'll have weaknesses. That's just life. And I know I will learn to love him anyway, and be a true help meet, suitable for him, and hopefully I'll encourage him in his spiritual life, and he'll do the same for me.

But all this listing made me wonder....

...What weaknesses would he be willing to tolerate in me? What faults would he "be fine with" in his wife?

Uh...none. I'm positive a man looking for a wife is no different than a woman hoping for a husband; they both want as-near-to-perfect-as-possible mates. And why shouldn't they feel that way?

The problem came when I started checking myself against that "perfection list" that I had come up with and, one after another, I started coming up with faults that my husband probably have to put up with in me, unless I improve dramatically between now and the time I marry.

Why don't my own faults bug me as much as the ones he might have? Don't I know that he wants a godly wife, just like I want a godly husband? What am I doing towards that end? Do I spend enough time being concerned about my character, my faults, getting my own self right with God, and forming habits that tend toward godly character?

Probably not.

But I'm not married yet. There's hope. ...But you know what? My family has to live with me here and now. Other people have to deal with my faults here and now.

You know, I think most of us think about that rosy "someday when I'm married" much more than we admit. I know I do. And even though many of us are a little embarrassed to say, when someone interrupts our thinking, that we were daydreaming about our future husbands, families, and homes, there's really nothing wrong with thinking about it. I think that's an instinct God put inside us, as women. It's a perfectly natural thing to do. But the Holy Spirit reminded me tonight that I need to think about both sides of the coin, and I guess the whole point of this post is just a desire to pass that reminder on to you.

You are not going to magically change into a different person someday. What you do with your time now has an awful lot of impact on the kind of wife you're going to be. The books you read, the things you watch, the friends you make, the things you do with your free time; all of these have long-lasting effects. Don't fall into the trap of thinking "well, I'm young, so I can do it and it doesn't matter." Being young doesn't have to equal being immature, wasteful, lazy, or other useless things. In fact, our youth is incredibly valuable. We are charged in the scriptures to remember our Creator in the days of our youth, and to seek Him while we are young.

Let's do that.

Our future husbands will thank us someday.

Monday, May 17, 2010


I'm finally going to sleep in my new bedroom!

It's quiet in here, and it's odd to be able to keep the lamp on without worrying about keeping anyone else awake who wants to go to bed early. It's odd to be able to talk aloud and know that no one overhears me. (Well, unless they're standing in the hallway, in line for the bathroom.)

My new mattress is oh-so-comfortable, and I can't wait to assemble my new bedstead tomorrow and see it in my room instead of the basement. It's not really completely new; I (with lots of help from Curtis and Dad) made it from 2x4s, 2x2s, and the headboard Mom used when she was a little girl. Once my bed is all put together, I'll just have to build 3 more shelves, sew two curtains, and pick up and organize my clutter; then my new room should be done. It will be nice to not have a 3-foot long To Do list that centers around my room. I love interior design, but I do have a life to lead that concerns other, more important, things!

I just came from my younger sisters' bedroom. I was comforting them because they were feeling lonely. I walked the fine line of encouraging them, while not making myself teary-eyed. Heartache is still so close; just a arm's reach away, if I were to reach out and pull it in. But I don't want to. I want to "let go and trust God," as the saying goes. I feel as if I've been on a long journey during the past month. So much has happened inside my heart.

Have you ever tried to keep a journal? I have several journals, and I consider myself fairly good at keeping up with them, but it wasn't always so. I remember trying to keep a journal when I was little, and I was under the mistaken impression that some unwritten rule exists that says if you are going to keep a journal, you must write in it every single day of your existence. If I missed a day...or two....or three....I felt compelled to go back and write about each one before I could continue on; but before I had caught up, I had missed yet another day, which set me back even farther. Before long, I had so many days to catch up on that it overwhelmed me and I just gave up journaling....until the next time I spotted a cute journal in the Dollar Store.

That's exactly the way I feel now; there's so much to catch you up on, and yet if I take the time to go back and fill you in on every little thing that has happened, I won't get to tell you about The things that filled my heart on Sunday will be cold and stale by the time I get around to writing about them. The little jokes that happened around the supper table two nights ago will be gone from my memory by the time I get to writing about that day.

What I'd love to do is write a veeeeery long post, to catch you up to present-day, and then continue on very orderly. I love order. But sometimes order isn't very practical.

Like now. If I insist on catching you up on all the yesterdays, I'll never write about the todays.

But you must hear about the yesterdays. They were so full. So amazing.

I've been holding myself in, lately. I haven't written about what's going on now because I haven't finished telling you about what happened then. I still have wedding pictures to post! And I still must tell you all about the week following the wedding. But by trying to "catch up" before I write about the "here and now," I'm missing out on telling you all sorts of fabulous things.

So I think I'm going to give up. I'm just gonna write what's on my heart, and in-between I'll post pictures and memories of Heather and Eugene's wedding. Those pictures and memories aren't going anywhere; the memories are too strong, and the pictures are stored on my computer.

I feel better, having written this post. I've written too many posts, lately, that promise "wedding talk coming soon!" when what I wanted to write was "guess what I thought of in church this Sunday?" and "guess what's happening in the garden this week?" and "look at this cool idea!" My life is starting to get back to normal, but my blog is stuck in journal-catch-up land.

No longer. From now on, I'll just forget about proper order and write what I feel like writing. I'll still get those pictures and wedding stories up here sometime, but I'm not gonna swallow perfectly good blog posts because they "haven't happened yet." It isn't fair to you, and it's bothersome to me.

Anyway. It's getting late here, and I must be up early tomorrow. That's the story of my life, lately: no time for computer; must be up early tomorrow! Ah, well, I've been getting a lot done! Wonderful days of business.

Can't wait to tell you all about it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ways to tell I've been busy:

- When my laptop lid has to have dust blown and wiped off before I open it.

- When my email inbox has 75 unread messages.

- When I have to schedule time to get a shower.

- When I haven't written so much as a single letter in 7 days, anywhere; journal, email, snail mail, blog, story-writing. ....(well, does my check registry count as writing?)

- When I haven't sewn a stitch in an even longer amount of time.

So what have I been doing that has kept me so busy?

Putting life back together!

It's good timing, really. I was feeling a little sad, missing Heather since she's been married, and having other things to think about is nice. Hard work has a tendency to make me happy, and I certainly have felt worked when I've fallen into bed each night this week. My biggest project has been creating my own bedroom out of the little bedroom that my younger sisters used to share. They're now living in my and Heather's old room, and I'll be getting their bedroom. I spent about 2 days getting the room clean up and then painted, with the windows and floors also scrubbed. Then I have been spending the rest of the week creating my own little slice of peace.

It's a new thing, for me to have my own room. I hardly know what to think, in a way...and yet it seems very natural. I have always had an itch for interior design, and this is the first time I've had a project to do in that field. I'm letting my creative self go - and I'm taking lots of pictures to share! ....After I share wedding pictures, that is. ;) So much to catch y'all up on!!!!!

I'm hoping to get the room nearly done by Friday. It would be a nice gift. ....For my birthday.

Yup. On Friday I celebrate another year. God is so good to me!