My Bedroom Carpet

Bedroom Carpet Image

When we built our house ten years ago, we decided to not put very much carpet in it. After years of cleaning carpet stains and eradicating smells from carpet, we decided it was time for the Fouts Family to live the life of the carpet-free. We were ecstatic – hardwood floors and tile was all it was going to be for us in our brand-new house! That was the plan, anyway. Until it came to our bedroom.

As we were finishing up our master bedroom, I started to have doubts about hardwood floors in the room in which my feet would hit the ground straight out of bed each morning. Even though we discussed area rugs around the bed, I still just couldn’t wrap my head around the idea of hardwood floors in my bedroom. It just seemed cold, somehow. It just didn’t fit.

So, after much discussion and debate, we decided to get carpet in the master bedroom and in the master bedroom only. (That would be for me, aka mom, the princess.) I got to pick it out and everything. For a few years, I loved it. It’s the perfect oatmealy color and loosely looped shag that I wanted.

Of course, that was before someone spilled fruit punch on it.

And the outdoor water faucet on the opposite side of the wall burst and leaked.

Four times.

Now, over a decade later, my Pinterest boards are filled with pictures of master bedrooms with hardwood floors and area rugs.

However, even though I have so many reasons to detest my bedroom carpet, there is one reason I still like it – the Prayer Trail.

You see, I’ve developed this strange habit that when I pray, I walk. Round and round my bedroom. Over the years this prayer walking has worn a path that has special meaning in my heart. That path has been walked unenthusiastically by a tired mom who was just completing her regular morning ritual of praying for her family, and that path has been walked by a woman who was so moved by desperate circumstances that her prayer walking was so intense it’s a wonder her feet moving across the carpet didn’t spark a fire.

I remember requests I prayed on that carpet that seemed like they’d never be answered. For days, weeks, months, years, prayer walking and tongue talking for specific needs that seemed impossible – but then, finally, miraculously, in God’s timing, those prayers were answered! And right now, with three teenage boys and pastoring a church and just life in general, it seems like there’s always something that needs to be brought to the path.

And so I walk. Round and round. Sometimes I trudge, exhausted ″from the day and from how cruel and frustrating people can be, and sometimes I almost dance, overjoyed at the results of answered prayers.

            I don’t know how people who don’t communicate with the Lord make it. I really don’t. This life is so complicated and confusing and heartbreaking that I can’t imagine trying to navigate my own way through it.

If you haven’t ever claimed a Prayer Place, I encourage you to do so.  There’s just something about having a go-to spot, a dedicated time and place that you meet with the Lord. It gives me great hope when I can look back and remember prayers I prayed in that place that seemed like they’d never be answered – and they were.

What about you? Do you have a prayer path worn smooth in your carpet? Do you have a closet dedicated to prayer? Knee prints in the rug next to your bed? An outdoor spot that’s your meeting place with the Lord? Please share! I’d love to hear where you pray, and how the prayers you’ve prayed in that sacred location have enriched your ministry, your family, and your life.

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I Can’t . . . My Kid Has Practice

Hey Guys! I’m guest blogging again today on the One Faith Boutique Blog. Today’s blog is for all of you tired moms out there – just a little encouragement to let you know that you’re not alone and to cherish these days filled with game schedules, practices, school projects, groceries, and laundry. I hope you take a minute to click on the link below and read today’s post!

Lots of Love,

Martha

I Can’t My Kid Has Practice . . . One Faith Boutique Blog

I Can't My Kids Has Practice!

An Organized Life

Ever feel like your life is an unorganized, chaotic mess?

I do – quite often. Ever feel like you have pockets of your life that are uncontrollably messy – – the junk drawer (or drawers like at my house), the kids’ closets, the laundry room, the garage. Then you click over to Pinterest and it seems like the rest of the world has this organization thing all figured out and you’re the only one who hasn’t labeled everything in your pantry? I feel like that a lot. I recently organized our family medicine cabinet, a small job, I know, but something that I have needed to do for about 20 years. I should have taken a “before” picture. Just imagine about 125 random medicine containers jammed into an old sticky goo covered basket with old band-aids and other random things like Nerf bullets and dead batteries thrown in and you get the idea. Here is our family medicine cabinet now –

Medicine Cabinet

I know this is not exactly Pinterest-worthy, but it was a big deal to me to finally get it organized!

Anybody else like me? You LOVE organization and order in your life? That’s one of the things I absolutely LOVE about our Creator God. He is an organizer, a planner. He has everything laid out, in order. I don’t know about you, but I find great peace and comfort in that fact. Sometimes my life seems like a crazy, unorganized mess. In those times, I whisper and prayer of praise thanking my God that HE has it all in HIS hands, under control, and I pray that I would follow the organized plan that HE has all lined out for me. His plan is far better than any I could ever make!

Believe Me, It Does

rainbow

          I’ve heard that Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. At church a few days ago we sang a song that said, “You are my first, you are my last. You are my future and my past.” And that got me thinking – in all the areas of my life I’m not at the beginning or the end of anything. I’m SMACK DAB in the middle of everything it seems. In the middle you don’t have the excitement of starting something new anymore, and you don’t yet see the light at the end of the tunnel. In the middle there is the danger of starting to feel like you know how to do life so you don’t need help anymore. In the middle there is the danger of becoming tired and overwhelmed because you can’t see the beginning anymore, and you can’t see the end yet, and you just see middle . . . middle . . . middle everywhere. I believe the middle is a crucial part of any endeavor. Everything I’m involved in – raising kids, marriage, ministry, trying to be a writer is in the middle. Even my age (gulp) is mid-life. (Whew, that sentences was hard to write.) How can I stay energized, positive, optimistic, and confident when I’m in the middle? I have friends who feel the same way, and we’ve talked about how hard it is too feel this way – not the cute young things with no kids anymore, not the retired grandmas with time to spoil everyone yet – we are the Mamas in the Middle. As I was praying about this, the story of Paul and Silas in jail from Acts 16 came to my mind. Paul and Silas were in jail for doing the Lord’s work. In verse 25 it says that “At MIDnight” Paul and Silas were praising the Lord and singing, and the Lord sent an earthquake and delivered them from jail. What this tells me is that I need to praise the Lord in the middle. Even when I’m realizing that I’m not the youngest teacher in the school anymore, that I’m primarily identified as someone’s mom, that my taste in clothes and music is considered “old-lady-ish” by some, but that I still haven’t achieved most of the things I want to achieve – when I am thinking that the middle is really hard – I need to praise the Lord for all He has done, for all He is going to do, and not for anything He has done at all, but just for who He is. This sounds really cliche and simplistic. Will it really work? When I’m feeling that middle feeling will it make a difference to just whisper to God a quick thank you for His blessings? Will it really make a difference to sing a song of praise to Him while I’m cooking dinner? It does. Believe me, it does. So, in the middle of this busy week, remember to PRAISE the Lord of the Beginning, Middle, and End! He is Worthy!

Thriving in the Madness

I have a confession to make. My life is not perfect. In fact, sometimes it is downright chaotic. In fact, I’m just going to come clean on a few things right here and right now. Here goes.

1.)  I left the house this morning with dirty dishes in the kitchen sink.

2.)  I’m not very good at keeping my laundry done.

3.)  I never fold socks.

I even have pictures to illustrate these shocking admissions.

Exhibit A

83cc5-dishes

Yikes. Dirty dishes left in the sink all day? Don’t show my mother.

Exhibit B

5856b-laundry

Here is a picture of my overflowing laundry basket. To be completely honest, there is more dirty laundry behind the closet door in this picture, but I didn’t want to burn your retinas with the horror.

Exhibit C

47a45-socks

These are my family’s socks, and guess what? They are never folded. I mean, never. My whole family knows, if you want socks, you go and find a matching pair in the basket.

I did not take a picture of my husband’s bathroom sink. There are limits to this madness. I mean, whyinthenameofallthatisholy can that man not learn to put the cap on his toothpaste and wipe his sink out?

Anyway

Why am I “coming clean” about all of this? Well, my husband has been preaching a series at our church this month entitled, “March Madness,” and I’ve been thinking a lot about how to not just survive the madness of life, but to actually thrive in it, and I’ve come to a few realizations.

Realization 1 – We all have “madness.”

I am well aware that the things I am calling Madness in my life are very, very minor. There are people at this moment who are dealing with Madness that I can’t even comprehend. There are people who are battling illness, watching their precious children battle illness, searching for a job, in the middle of a divorce; Christians are being persecuted for their faith – This is all Madness. I have learned that we all have Madness. There may be people who hide their madness better. There may be people whose Madness is not visible, but we all have our own chaos that we are dealing with.  You are not the only person who is struggling with Madness right now – I promise.

Realization 2 – We thrive in the madness by knowing the difference between the temporary and the eternal.

It gives me great peace of mind when I remember that all of this Madness – whether it is big Madness or small Madness – is just temporary. I have an eternal home in Heaven waiting for me, because I have made Jesus Christ the Lord of my life, so why should I let anything earthly get me down?

Remember, the only thing you can take to Heaven with you is OTHER PEOPLE. So, what that means to me, is that I am going to make every effort to express my love to my family and work on my relationships with them tonight, and I am going to try to get the dishes done, but if it doesn’t happen, oh well. The most important job I have is making sure I know Jesus and my children know Jesus. Their homework, meals, baths, laundry, and sports are all temporary. I must remind myself of this often.

In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter if my kids miss their bath tonight, but it DOES matter if I neglect praying with them tonight.

When this temporary, earthly life makes no sense, offers no stability or peace, or is just stinking frustrating, remind yourself of this powerful scripture –

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 – Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

In all of the Madness of life, remember, that Jesus is Lord and that true peace is only found when you focus your life on Him.