Monthly Archives: March 2013
Spring Cleaning – Where to find help…
As soon as Spring arrives bringing the clear air (or in Texas the spring snow of pollen) and chirping birds, some people throw their windows open (at least after the pollen settles) and dance around fairy style with a duster as their wand. They clean and love it. I’m not that person. I finally realized I need help. You can read “You might need help if…” just by clicking on the link. (You know it’s a link because it’s in a different color.)
I’ve admitted I need help. Now what?
Where to find help…
- Reputable cleaning service.
- Ask friends for referrals of house cleaners.
- House swap with a friend – help each other with spring cleaning – cheapest way to find help!
- Mother’s helper – teens that help with easy organizing jobs.
- Home Organizers
- Do you have kids? Even little ones can put socks on their hands to clean baseboards!
Wipe the grime off the widows, move a pile or two and open the widows. Enjoy the light and be inspired! With the new life of Spring, breathe some new life into your house! If you need help, don’t hesitate to ask!
Our voices combined and rose to the Heavens. We sang in different tongues to the one who hears us all. I may not understand the words they say, but He does. There is one language you do not need to translate – Love.
I do not need to understand their words to understand their hearts. All of our hearts beat for God.
A group of ladies – from a different skin, a different language, a different culture, a different country, a different religious upbringing, a different LIFE.
Lifting hearts to our Savior.
A group of ladies – all loving, all serving, all embracing, all praising, all rejoicing, all worshiping.
The same God.
A group of ladies – together we celebrate, together we eat, together we laugh, together we embrace, together we love, together we build a bridge across our differences.
All for HIM.
All for LOVE.
We found each other.
We found common ground in our differences.
We found acceptance.
We found our differences were a bridge to celebrate.
We found, well, we found we really aren’t that different.
We found love.
Through Christ. Through LOVE.
Seeds planted. Miracles prevailed.
The story – My friend, Carla, invited a group of Christian women to join together in prayer and fellowship with a group of Arab Christian women. We really didn’t know what to expect. The room was filled with Arab women dressed in colorful robes (my Texas ears just didn’t pick up the name very well) and the aroma of middle eastern cooking let us know they prepared a feast for us. We ate and laughed as we got to know each other. After our meal we had a time of worship. The words were first sung in English, then in Arabic. Let me just tell you, when the languages switched, those women raised the roof with their praise! The level rose as they beat their drum and clapped and drowned out the piano with praise. The freedom in their voices! The love! The joy!
A miraculous, beautiful testimony retold the story of how one precious woman came to know the Lord after being a devote Muslim. At the end of her story, Carla asked what we, as American women, can do for them. The answer is so simple. Just talk to us. When you see us our people in public, just speak to us. Don’t be afraid to. That really hit me. (So did another life changing sentence, but I want to share that for it’s blog post. It’s too powerful…) You see, I don’t talk to people in public. It doesn’t matter what nationality you are, I just don’t. NOT ANYMORE.
The next day while standing in line at a coffee house, I profiled the people in front of me. They had the olive skin and hair coverings, so I thought, maybe I should talk to them. After arguing with myself (Ok, with the Lord) about it, I told the young lady I liked her scarf. We had a most wonderful conversation. Her mom joined us in a discussion about scarves and knitting. Now that is something I can easily talk about any day to anyone! I was actually sad when our coffee was ready. Before they walked off, the young lady turned to me and said, “Thank you, I really, really thank you.”
Building Bridges is not very hard after all.
The flowers are budding, trees are showing new growth, wind is softly blowing in the freshness that comes with spring. My house looks like it’s buried in a blizzard of paperwork, or a tornado has blown through the rooms. Spring has not sprung indoors.
I try to keep up with everything, but I spend more time feeling overwhelmed than I do actually cleaning. I started realizing this a few
weeks months ago. I wrote about it here, and here, remember? It’s time to admit one small – OK, it really feels quite LARGE – fact. I need help. Truth is, I probably needed help years ago, but pride and blind eyes kept me from realizing it.
You might need help if…
- Your pile of “I’ll get to it” never gets gotten too.
- As long as there is a path between rooms, you’re fine.
- Things constantly end up lost.
- Important papers disappear in a blizzard of non-important ones.
- The sun is shining but your house remains dark due to grimy windows or too many piles.
- You no longer remember what color your baseboards are.
- Dust bunnies are your little friends.
- You’ve just given up trying.
- Wandering aimlessly it’s hard to know where to even start.
- Panic attacks accompany house cleaning.
I’ve admitted I need help, What now?
Good question! I’ll answer that next week!
I could tell you we do it because…
- I was born to do this.
- We didn’t choose it, it chose us.
- I felt like I had no other option.
- I have an education degree.
- (with a lifetime certification)
- It is our calling.
- I’m kinda crazy.
- I had enough of schools and testing and crying kids.
What I won’t tell you is…
- It’s easy.
- It’s always fun.
- It’s always rewarding. (in an eternal way – yes.)
- I love being around my kids 24/7.
- My kids love being around me 24/7.
- Everyone should do it!
- Everything we do works.
- I want to teach every day.
What I will tell you …
- My kids are happier.
- We eat healthier foods.
- The teens are allowed to sleep as their body needs it.
- We make mistakes.
- My kids are learning at their pace.
- The sisters are friends.
- We talk and laugh and hug more.
- The Bible is the center – at least that’s the goal.
- It fits our family.
- Some days I look longingly at the school bus. (but that quickly passes!)
But this is just me. This is just us. Our calling. Our journey.
Not all families should go this route. It does not fit most American families. I get that. There was a time it didn’t fit my family.
I do not think differently of families that choose homeschool, private school, or public school.
I’m excited when I hear a family chooses to homeschool. I’m excited when I hear people knit or crochet. Why? They are both passions of mine. But I don’t expect everyone to buy needles and hooks!
A huge part of me does not want to open this door. I don’t want unknown spectators peeking into this aspect of our life. You might see flaws. You might question what I’m doing. You might not agree.
A whisper spoke to my heart. I knew it was time. Time to invite you to peek into the windows of our home schooling home. It’s not a perfect picture. But it’s the picture God is painting.
It’s the bridge we are building.
When I started a blog, I cautiously kept my family protected and set limitations and restrictions on myself.
Basically, I’ve been afraid to open my life to you.
After praying about the direction of this blog, a still, small voice whispered, “Go Deeper. Be YOU. Through Love.”
A huge part of me is my family. To really BE ME, I have to show you more of me – of us.
The purpose of this blog is not to promote me. The purpose of this blog is to Build Bridges. First, the bridge to bring you closer to God. Second, the bridge to connect families. Through love.
If I show you more of me, I’ll show you more of Him. Not because of any special thing in me, but because of how much He works in me. (Read that as = I am imperfect. He is perfect. In my weakness, His strength shines through.)
Before I talk to you about connecting with your family, I have to be real about mine.
You met my family. I think they’re pretty cool. I realized my reason for not including them in this blog is not based on faith, but fear. With their support, you will see more of them, and more of me. And hopefully, more of Him.
The Vogel Family
photo credit Raeley Stevens
Kevin – The Dad, Our support, My love.
Kimberly – That’s me!
Em (lace shirt)- First born, Natural leader, she keeps us in line!
Am (white scarf) – Middle child, Dreamer, she keeps us in stitches!
Ev (white shirt) – The other middle child, Creative, she keeps us on our toes!
Ang (brown shirt) – Youngest, Adorable, she keeps us in hugs!
Blessed. This is my life. It’s pretty amazing!
These are the people I love more than I ever thought possible.
Up next… why I waited so long to introduce them to you.
There are some stories and blogs I read and they make me smile or keep me encouraged, then I go about my day. There are some stories and blogs I read that stop me in my tracks. Over the past few weeks, two blog irl friends have shared things that pushed the pause button on my day. (irl = in real life. That means, these friends are not just ones I met via the internet. These friends are huggable, callable, let’s get coffee and be chatable in real life.)
First, I’ve been reading Gindi’s posts about Dreaming Big. (I actually read ALL of her posts, but lately, these have been my fave.) THIS post stopped my day (OH! This Dream Inspiration stopped me too!) I’ve dreamed God-Sized Dreams in little ways for a long time. Memories flooded my mind of my first BIG DREAM. In high school I dreamed of publishing my writings. People patted me on the head and encouraged me to go to college (to study something else…). So I did. After college, I pursued a teaching career and my dream of publishing grew sky-high. I dreamed, yet I hit wall after wall. People would encourage me, but still with a pat on the head and words of: good luck – it’s really hard to go that route – don’t quit your day job! In the evenings I
worked, labored over, birthed, loved on a manuscript to the point of buying the big manila envelopes – but never mailed any. (This was before the day of internet, back when you mailed in your manuscripts!) My dreams faded when I fell in love, and my life took a different path. My husband – my biggest supporter – never once patted me on the head, instead he dreams with me. For now, this story stops here – but it’s really only the beginning. You’ll have to wait for the rest of the story.
Now meet someone else who is dreaming. That Carol Jones. Carol introduced me to Lauren (via her blog) and I stopped. in my tracks. I’m cheering for Lauren. I keep thinking about Lauren. I’ve even prayed for her. I support this. You can meet Lauren by clicking HERE. (This where I pause again, so you can click on over there, read about her, then come back to me. Ready – GO!)
Back? Okay. So that’s Lauren. Don’t you just adore her? Let’s help her reach her BIG DREAM. Lauren’s dad is right there with her building bridges with her so she can reach her dream. I applaud.
Thinking about Lauren, my thoughts turn to my girls. What are their dreams? Do I pat them on the head or cheer them on? What bridges do I build with them, leading them to their dreams?
Build bridges towards your dreams. Pick up a brick and help someone build the bridge to their dream too!