“Where Have You Been?”

So it seems that I’ve desperately neglected the blog over the last year or so. I guess I kind of have an excuse because I’ve been a little busy. Here’s a quick recap of what has been going on in our lives.

  • December 2011 – We bought a foreclosed home, moved in, and began a complete renovation of the house with lots of help from our family and friends.
  • March 2012 – We got a puppy! Hank is a fun, sweet boy, but was lots of work for a while there. I guess that’s puppies for ya!
  • April 2012 – I left Changes Hair Design and finally fulfilled my dream of opening Salon Juleen in our new home.
  • June 2012 – We found out we were expecting a baby!!! I got my first official bout of “morning” sickness just hours after the positive pregnancy test, and it lasted well into my third trimester.
  • January 2013 – Beautiful Baby Emma Grace was born at 37 weeks via Emergency Cesarean Section, due to complications from Pre-eclampsia. I spent 5 days in the hospital and Emma stayed in the NICU for 10 days.
  • April 2013 (Today) – Emma is 14 weeks old, and is keeping us extremely busy, and very entertained! I’ve grown to love motherhood more and more every day, and in ways I never could have imagined!

So since we’ve had a few small life changes, I’m going to attempt to get caught up and elaborate on a few of these significant events over the next few weeks/months.

2011

This last year has been quite an adventure for us. We started the year with Noob going to school and starting a whole new career. Thankfully, he loves it, because it was my idea! We also went into business with my siblings, and opened The Wireless Zone of Lansing back in July. That has really made some big changes in our family relationships, all for the good! We’ve spent almost the entirety of 2011 on a hunt for our first house. We finally closed on our new home on December 9th and have been working on fixing it up since then. It will definitely take at least the first couple of months of 2012 for us to complete our projects (with lots of help from our family and friends). And after that we look forward to starting some other adventures, like puppies and babies, not necessarily in that order (NO, I AM NOT PREGNANT!!!). We are definitely eager to see what 2012 has in store for us!

Prayer of Sir Francis Drake

Disturb us, Lord,when we are to well pleased with ourselves, When our dreams have come true because we dreamed to little, When we arrived safely because we sailed too close to the shore. Disturb us Lord, when with the abundance of things we possess we have lost our thirst for the waters of life: Having fallen in love with life, we have ceased to dream of eternity. And in our vision to build a new earth, we have allowed our vision of the new heaven to dim. Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wider seas where storms will show your mastery: Where losing sight of land we shall find the stars. We ask you to push back the horizons of our hopes: And to push into the future in strength, courage, hope, and love.—- Sir Francis Drake (1540-1596)

Intentional Living

Some time ago, I began reading a blog called Makeunder My Life (MML).  It’s about designing and living a life with intention.  Learning to minimize the “clutter” in your life, whether that be material possessions, unfocused dreams and goals, negative attitudes, and sometimes even people.  Anything that keeps you from being the best possible version of yourself.

The following is a quote from Jess Constable of MML that explains what led her to seek a life of intentional living:

My purpose (currently in the form of this site) became clear when I was a college junior in 2006. At that time I was extremely dissatisfied with myself. I sought out happiness and perfection through each bag, shirt, candy bar, and guy in my life. As you can imagine, none of these ill-conceived and largely unconscious methods worked.

Then one day I heard a quote about Michelangelo regarding the David statue. He was asked how he designed such a phenomenal statue out of a piece of stone. Michelangelo said it was easy to carve the statue because he saw the potential within the stone and he simply needed to remove the layers hiding the beauty. Hearing that, my life clicked instantly.

The best Jess I was searching for wasn’t found pretending to be someone else or by buying something new, it was underneath all the layers of “stuff” in my life. I now define “stuff” to be clutter, unloved/unused/unneeded possessions, bad relationships, negative thoughts, you name it – whatever isn’t serving a positive purpose in our lives is hiding our best selves.

 

Last week Jess wrote about having a life intention statement, or a mission statement.  She included a link to the Franklin Covey Mission Statement Builder, which is a tool that in twelve short questions can help you to hone in on what your ultimate goals (mission/intentions) are.

The following statements were created from my responses to the twelve questions.  I will eventually take these concepts and turn them into a more concise and focused mission statement.

1.  I am at my best when I have made a plan, and everything has it’s time and place.

2.  I will try to prevent times when I am disorganized.

3.  I enjoy my work when I can use my creativity and skills to help my clients feel beautiful, and encourage them to see their inner beauty.

4.  I will find enjoyment in my personal life through being creative.

5.  I will find opportunities to use my natural talents and gifts such as arts & crafts, music, organization.

6.  I can do anything I set my mind to. I would like to begin sewing and crafting again and eventually begin selling my crafty wares on Etsy.

7.  My life’s journey is to bring glory to God in everything I do, and to show His love to those around me.

8.  I want to be a person who my husband, my (future) children, my extended family, and my friends will remember as a loyal friend, a loving wife and mother, and a contagiously joyful person.

9.  My most important future contribution to others will be sharing my faith in Jesus Christ with those around me.

10. I will stop procrastinating and start working on:

  • Minimizing my personal possessions, so I will have less distractions, and more time to enjoy the things that are truly meaningful to me.

  • More clearly differentiating between personal time, family time, and work time so that I can more effectively focus on what I need to and be present in the moment.

  • Begin cooking at home more often in order to save money and become more healthy.

11. I will strive to incorporate the following attributes into my life:

  • Growing as a Godly wife

  • Increasing my Biblical knowledge

  • Becoming more creatively inspired and putting it into action

12. I will constantly renew myself by focusing on the four dimensions of my life:

  • Physical: Continue working out regularly, and gradually increase my workout. Get back on track with weight loss!

  • Spiritual: Start going through a daily devotional book with my husband again, spend more time in my personal bible study.

  • Mental: Begin making lists, setting reminders, doing whatever it takes to clear my head and have less things to just remember.

  • Social: Be more aggressive in my friendships, do not always wait for invitations. Do not settle for being alone, even when it is preferred. Remember that the true friendship is worth the effort.

Rob Bell – Love Wins

I am appalled by the number of people who are so quick to pass judgement on Rob Bell without having even read his book. From what I have seen in his life (yes, I know him personally), his teachings, and his books, I have no reason to believe he is a “Universalist”. For anyone who is unfamiliar with his style, he is known for stirring the pot and often asking difficult and uncomfortable questions. Just because the question may appear to have an implied answer, doesn’t mean you don’t wait for the answer to be given! Let’s wait and see what he has to say before we start throwing stones!

UPDATE:  Check out this post by JR Woodward

UPDATE:  And this one from Brian LePort on Near Emmaus

My Dad

Many of you may know that my dad, Frank Luter, has had chronic severe back pain for several years now.  He has undergone a variety of procedures over the years, to try to correct problem or alleviate the pain, but none have been particularly beneficial at this point.  He has also spent several years on extremely high doses of pain reliever which makes him very sleepy and groggy all the time.

Recently, the doctor has decided that the next step (and hopefully the LAST) is to install a pump in him which will send morphine directly to his spine, bypassing his digestive and circulatory system.  This will allow him to be on a MUCH lower dose of medication, allowing him to be more alert and functional, as well as protecting the rest of his body from the long-term effects of the drugs.  Initially they will be inserting a temporary, and less invasive pump.  This will be for the purpose of gauging how much relief he experiences, and determining whether a permanent pump truly is the best solution.  It will really be up to my dad to decide whether the relief is enough to make the procedure worthwhile.   In the mean time, my dad is in the process of weaning himself off of his pain medication, which is a very difficult and painful process.  He must do this before he can have the temporary pump inserted next week.  If all goes well, they will install the permanent pump about a month later.

We are all very eager to see the results of this!  Please pray for my father as he continues going through the difficult process of withdrawing from his medication this week, and for his safety as he has the first procedure next week.  Pray that he would receive dramatic relief from his pain.  Pray also that God would direct the doctors hands, that they would perform the procedure properly.