Thursday, December 11, 2008

The List

Sometimes people say I look just like my mother. Often, my mother will say I act just like my father... I think I have a split personality.

I have a deep longing and feel it necessary to have an orderly, clean home. Usually, at some point in each day, it is orderly and clean. However, at the same time I am disorganized, absent minded, and if I start a project... whoa, it just gets spread all over the room. (I like to see everything I am working with...) It is like nature vs. nurture having a battle inside me every day! My nature is chaotic absent-mindedness, but I have been nurtured to be a neat, organized person!

For example, I am a chronic list-maker. It is a habit embedded in me from an early age. I can remember (most every day of my entire childhood) walking into the kitchen and seeing my mother drinking her coffee and making her list for the day. This was not just any list, though. In IMPECCABLE handwriting, the yellow legal pad was divided into 3 sections: To Do:, To Go:, Call:

(Just as an aside, when I say impeccable... my mother's handwriting, even her signature, were too neat even to forge... we didn't even attempt copying hers... it couldn't be done!)

Now for the dilema... although I am a chronic list maker, I spend WAY too much time looking for lists that I have lost! It has been almost comical... I could have completed several projects in the time I have spent looking for my "master list" in order to remember what I was supposed to be working on! I realize that part of my problem is that I will scribble my list down on completely random scraps of paper and put them in completely random places (so I won't forget where I put them!)


I am giving an entirely too long of a preface just to say I am dedicating a post to my "MASTER LIST." I don't care if you read it (some things will be in code during December), but it is not entertaining or even interesting. Purely functional. Surely I won't lose this list, and now I have several friends who will at least be able to remind me where it is if I start looking for it... sounds ridiculous, but I promise it is a possibility. (My mom calls me "wonder woman" because I am always saying, "I wonder where my keys are...")

cover dining room chairs
paint bath chair

Ha ha those are the only things I can think of right now... but I know there are a bunch more things... maybe if I remember, I can remember where to go and write them down!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Week in Review

I am beginning this post fully aware that whatever is typed will be utterly pale in comparison to my last post about our Duley Deerest (who was quite tasty last night, btw!) However, I can't sucommb to writer's block forever; rather than an attempt at cleverness, I will resort to a boring "week in review" post!

Wednesday afternoon Scott skipped football and came home to gut the deer for us. There is NO WAY I could have done that on my own. Not so much for the gross out factor, but because I would not have been able to do what needed to be done by reading a page of directions printed from google. I did go outside and help, and all of the kids watched and got an anatomy lesson. I could post some very detailed pictures, but I realize some of you still live in the city! (ha ha, just kidding!)

Thursday was Hannah's 10th birthday. She opened her present from us in the morning, which was a new bathrobe, and she stayed in it all day! She got to skip a lot of school and pick a yummy dinner. We also got out our Christmas decorations and put up our tree. This coming Friday we are going to my mother's house to celebrate it again. I am sure she will post about that next week!

Saturday morning we had the Excelsior teachers' brunch. Kathy Strevel spoke about the fullness of Christ. I wish I had her notes or had been able to take notes while she was talking, because it was very helpful. One thing in particular that she mentioned was the thought that if we are full of Christ, we won't be full of all the other "stuff" of this world. Or, on the other hand, if we are full of other stuff, we won't be full of Christ. Not necessarily worldliness, but also things like busy-ness... (This is something I have been thinking a lot about lately) I think this is such a trap for the Christian, because on top of all the NECESSARY things to be busy with, there are so many other GOOD things that we can get caught up in.... but good isn't always best, and that is VERY difficult for me.

Last night we took some tasty deer stew to a family we enjoy spending time with. We had a lot of helpful conversation about adoption. They have 10 children, the youngest of whom has been adopted in the last year. They are open to future adoptions, and this family is an example to us in many ways. They have a gift of love that they are willing to share, and it is shared at no little cost or sacrifice. Christy, Ellen, and Emily all have blogs that I like to read regularly.

This week we will be finishing up school and I will be working on Christmas gifts. I have an order for 11 aprons that I need to finish today (speaking of being too busy to be full of Christ, I will not be sewing for others during the school year after this), and then I need to get started on gifts for family members. I probably won't be on the computer too much until I am caught up...

So, have a nice week from the Duleys!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

redneck adventures

I really wanted to post about our Jesse Tree and advent devotions or Christmas traditions; however, this morning's events have provided a bit more entertaining fodder for post readers (no pun intended... you'll understand in a minute)....

I was not raised in the country, but I always wanted to be a "country girl." In fact, I recently found a list of goals I had to make as a senior in high school for a leadership thing. Ranking in the top 5 was "marry a cowboy, move to Texas, and live in a house with a front porch." I romanticized (key word, here!) what it would be like to live on acreage, live off the land, etc.

BUT, like I said, I was NOT raised in the country.... quite the opposite! I was raised in Germantown, TN and went to a high school with a graduating class of 500 students. So, sometimes I can't help but laugh out loud about where I am now...

Last night Scott went deer hunting and shot a doe right before sunset. He didn't find it before it got dark, and he came on home when searching became fruitless. Before bed he asked if this morning we could all go out and search the woods for it... he knew where it had entered the woods, and it was cold enough last night to be ok....

I agreed, so this morning we bundled up and left the house about 7:30. We (all 4 kids and I) loaded up on the 4 wheeler and rode out to the spot. We fanned out and searched the woods for about half an hour. Finally, I discovered our "deerest" close to a thicket at the bottom of a steep wooded hill. Now for the fun part...

I called the girls to me, and we tried several times to lift it and make our way up the hill. FYI, dead deer are a bit bulky, awkward to carry, and slippery when you are wearing gloves! :) No success. I went up the hill, got the 4 wheeler, and made my way carefully down to the deer. We all five managed to load the thing up on the front and get it tied down.

Let me mention that during this time, there was much crying and frustration for not being able to lift it (me included), distress over the blood coming out of the nose and mouth, and Josh in particular decided to wail as if in mourning the whole time I was getting the 4wheeler... he was under the impression that he brought his rope so that he could personally tie it up and drag it out of the woods... It was definitely necessary to admonish everyone to "bow up" at this point.

I then began the ascent up the steep wooded hill with a deer precariously tied to the front grill. (I am laughing at myself even at this moment... maybe it was a ya had to be there moment, I don't know)

This part ended up taking at least 30-40 minutes and included several stops to re-tie the deer and cut down small trees that its poor head kept whacking into...

Finally, we made it to the road and got it to the house. I called Scott at work, and what does he say? "Great job, baby... do you think you can gut it for me???" Silence on my end of the line... "Ok, maybe that's asking a bit much... I'll do it when I get home..."

After we got off the phone, I thought, "OK, I want to be a farmer, I can do this..." I googled "how to gut a deer" to see what I had to do.

I changed my mind... step 1 was "cut a ring around the vagina and the anus...." I noticed other cautions about cutting too deep and puncturing the bladder, etc and chickened out. Instead, I got all the ice out of the freezer, covered the deer, and am waiting for Scott to get home. He is skipping football to come "string her up" for us.

So... homeschooling took on a bit of a different form this morning... I think it could definitely count as science?!

When I wanted to marry a cowboy and live on a bunch of land, etc... I never, ever thought it would involve what transpired this morning, but I love it! :)
Our Duley Deerest...

Monday, December 1, 2008

sin and grace

Lately I have been so regrettably cool toward the Lord and engaged in a losing battle with sin. I feel like I have gone backwards in the Christian walk. Now, unfortunately, I don't say this as many of the puritans did... Many times they were really growing in godliness but just becoming more introspective and seeing the potential for sin in their hearts. Not me... this has been very tangible, real, and awful. However, I suppose that the worst part is, I have seen it culminating for a while and have not repented and turned toward Christ.

Our Savior is so kind, though. I have become the woman who cast herself at the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair and tears, and he does not refuse me. His faithfulness is abounding, and when I think about it, my LACK of faithfulness, spiritual adultery, and straying from Him are so inexcusable and ridiculous. WHY? Why would we leave the side of our Savior and pursue happiness in other things?

John mentioned on Wednesday how sin is a mirage, and he is so right.... we think that certain ideas of things will make us happy, but they are only ideas... not reality. We chase after things that don't really exist, adn when we get them, we are left empty. The insane part is, I have been left empty and just chased harder rather than repent. How prideful is that?! In reality, Christ is the only One who satisfies, and no relationship, physical appearance, material possession, nothing can replace Him.

Christ is called the Prince of Peace, and it is true that He is the only one who can give us peace. I have been reading in Romans 5 and 6 for the past few days, and this morning I was given some clarity and the beautiful truth of the words was opened to me. So many phrases and verses all together around this theme... Christ died for us while we were in our sin! What an amazing truth! Now, just as amazing... we do not have to be slaves of sin any longer! If it were only as easy as typing in the letters, but Oh, how we must rely on the Holy Spirit!

We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ....

For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.... but God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us

How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life

Our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin.

Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jeus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.

For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

Heavenly Father, help me to trust in you to fulfill me, and help me to seek you alone. Do not let sin continue to have dominion, but help me walk close to you and reckon myself dead to sin and alive to you. Help me to not walk any longer in sin but rather to walk in newness of life. Thank you for sending Your Son to die for us when there is nothing in us that merits saving, and thank you for your patience, kindness, faithfulness, and the peace you give your children.