Saturday, August 17, 2013

Loving My Neighbor.

Last year about this time, I was a spazzy house hunter. (<--Rollicking)
We settled (I was coerced) on a house in an area that I just knew was way too far for Spouse's commute, above our budget, too big, new, and just plain too much. I had never been to this particular area of Houston and I wanted to stick to the areas I knew a little. But, read the post and you'll see, I was in a state. I couldn't make a decision, so Spouse made the call.

Nearly a year later, our lease is up. The homeowner is selling the house (not surprising, the market is on the up & up here) and we have to move.
This is me:

Bitter britches. That's me. I DON'T WANNA MOVE!

I love it here. When they made me live here, I said, "Fine. But we are fillin' it."
I resolved to fill this house. We've done that every chance we could. I try to keep the  Mel's Diner reservation list at a reasonable capacity.
Just a few. Our first guests did not make the board because one of them,
Janae, actually MADE the board.
She wrote the "Mel's Diner" last November. We don't touch it.
This house has been so good to us. It really has. Still, I fuss about the size. I like smaller. I don't like that my tweeners can go upstairs and "hide". I feel like I'm constantly chasing them. They are getting to "that age" ya know and I don't love it. I'm constantly saying, "Can't you do whatever you are doing down here where I can see your face?" To which I get, "I'm reading, Mom. I need some space." Really? You need space? Our bottom floor is nearly the size of our old house! I'm sure you can find somewhere down here! Blessed assurance. Killin me.
I do LOVE that we have a guest room ready at all times. I love that I can offer up a room to anybody at any time. And I have. We've always had an open door policy, but this house has let me up the game quite a bit. Good times.

I also resolved to meet my neighbors and love them. It took us a while, but we've done that. I love our neighbors!

Incidentally, I know it can be tough to meet people in the burbs. In our case, our neighbors come home in the afternoon, pull into the garage, close the garage and go inside. And, they have lawn services, so they aren't out pulling weeds and working in the yard and whatnot. I would walk around the neighborhood and just pray, Lord, you brought us here and it feels like we aren't doing anything! How do I meet these people? 
If you are having trouble meeting neighbors, or are new an area, I recommend this solution:
 No joke. This is the world's best missionary pup. When I would go out jogging or walking, I would  just get the polite, "Morning!", but if you have canine cuteness, you get to stop and chat. It takes us a good hour-or two- to walk the loop in our neighborhood. It's less than a mile.
Maverick &  Little Sister.
Honestly. 5 months old & 4 lb. of presh.
So, we've met these people. And I love them! All of them! We've done the summertime cookouts and pool dates and talked kids and Houston and marriage and music and syphilis and Jesus with them. They are from Illinois, Switzerland, Colombia, Nicaragua, Burma, Miami, and a few of them are even real Houstonians. I love their stories.

Look at these people. So much fun. 

This is the one in the video. We were her first babysitters. Ever.
Her parents were going to apply for citizenship. Love. Love. Love.
Do you see that cuteness? The Littles, not those yay-hoos in their swimming trunks. 
And now we have to move! 
I find myself choking down words I've said to the Sisters. 

We have to love where we are. 
We aren't married to a house or a city or even a church. 
We have to be willing to leave people we love, Jesus did. 
We will never know the awesomeness God has for us if we don't follow Him to it.

So, we've found another house. That was another episode. I hate the part of feeling like I am critiquing someone's home. I feel like a total snot. Like it isn't good enough for us or something. I don't love that. I guess you get better at it the more you do it? 

My Spouse & girls are in the beginning stages of packing right this very second. While I'm here blogging. Awesome.

I better get to helping. Mel's Diner has guests tonight. :)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Flip-Flops of Blogging

Hey! Check me out! Sitting at the computer and blogging and whatnot like a big girl. I've been avoiding looking at my blog because I knew it had been a while then, yesterday the Big Sister said, "Mom, you need to do some blogging." Six weeks. It's been six weeks.

I've mentioned before how I've got this commitment allergy, but I'm wondering if it really isn't more of a Label Allergy. I'm loving the labels of the the world less & less. And, that's because I'm so non-committal! I'm flip-floppy (schizophrenic) about stuff-- scheduled homeschool, relaxed homeschool, oh my word, where is the closest school?!?; carbs, no carbs;  herbivore, carnivore, omnivore; aspartame will kill us, embrace the aspartame (I don't need the sugar!!); Baptist, Pentecostal (I prefer Bapticostal, or better yet, just Christian!) gym every day, meh (1 Timothy 4:8). Depends on the day or week.

So, see here? Labels don't work with me. They don't stick.

It just hit me. I'm a GIRL! Doesn't that mean I reserve the right to change my mind?!
Shania Twain, anybody?
My ceramic flip-flops I painted. I like flip-flops.
Blogging has flip-flops, too. There's two sides.

~~You have a blog! Yay! It's nice to have a space on the interwebs to connect with people, engage the culture, and have the occasional rant. Blogging can be such an encouragement to the writer and the reader. Blogging is a community all on its own, even smaller when you factor in the niche bloggers. It is a also nice outlet to get out your allotted word count for the day.
You have a blog. So, ideally, one would post to the blog. It's kind of like that gym membership. You have the card to get you in, you should go, right? Also, like the gym, the more you do it, the more you want to. If you're like me, when you don't post or go to the gym, you feel like a failure because you know you should. (Extreme, much?) I currently have eleven drafts waiting to be completed, edited, or deleted.
Depending upon your goal, being a consistent blogger may matter.

~~For personal or family blogs, you can share what is going on in your life. Blogging is an effective way to have a digital scrapbook. So fun! You may share what the Lord is doing in your life or personal convictions or goals.
Now you've shared. Brilliant. As a chronic over-sharer, I can't count how many times in my baby time of blogging that I've said, "I so wish I wouldn't have told anybody!" That's not to say we shouldn't keep it real. The world is seeking authentic Christians. Be real. Because I believe in this authenticity and I'm committed (really, not flip-floppy on this one) to being real, I will most assuredly say again, "I so wish I wouldn't have told anybody!"

~~People read what you write. This is so amazing to me. I am still blown away that people read my shenanigans. There have a been a few posts that I really believed in and hoped would get shared, but few. Mostly, it's shenanigans. And people read it! Gah! Jokes on you!
People read what you write. There have been conversations or interactions that have inspired me to write, but I have to wait a while to post it because it would be obvious to my friend who reads my blog that I'm piggy backing on our conversation. I don't really want to capitalize on my friends like that. Now, I'm not talking about the ones who tell me, "You need to blog about this!" I get that on occasion. :)
I've also had a few stories that I couldn't share because the situation involved a possible reader. When you know your readers, you can't very well go using their parenting fail that you witnessed with your own eyes in your blog, now can you? I'll have to stick to my own parenting fails, there are plenty.

~~Blogging helps kill some perfectionist tendencies. I still have issues publishing a post before it is "perfect", but I'm working through it. I'm getting better. There is no perfect. No perfect content. No perfect grammar. Too many commas. Sentence fragments. All that jazz. I'm letting some of that go because of the conversational style of this blog. I never want it to sound fake, but like my voice. One of the biggest thrills is for someone to tell me, "I hear your voice when I read your blog!" Love.
I also read on another blog somewhere (I can't remember) that it's better for 10 people to read an imperfect post that may inspire them than for no one to read it.
Blogging kills some perfectionist tendencies. I still can't stand it when I find a mistake in a published post. Gag.

There you have it. First post in six weeks. What are some things you are flip-floppy about?