Friday, June 10, 2011

Proverbs 31 makes me feel better...

...and other random things. I was thinking about Proverbs 31, the verses about the virtuous wife. "She watches over the affairs of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness." I love that. "She considers a field and buys it." She is a business woman. "She rises before dawn and prepares food for her household." I do that!! So often, women are told they work too hard (sometimes I feel that way and feel sorry for myself), but Proverbs 31 thinks that I am ok. It's OK for me to be industrious, to invest, to make having a clean house and feeding my family a priority. Actually, I don't have to just sit there and "rest."

I have always worked relentlessly for the things that are important to me. And by relentless, I mean RELENTLESS. Stubborn. Fixated. Until I have achieved my goal. Maybe this is why running suits me, why after working a 10 hour day I still clean and do laundry and help with homework and make Italian food from scratch. Then I do not go to sleep without exercising in some way every day, unless I have the stomach flu. I shop, I read more books on counseling, mental health, medicine, cooking, and time management. I counsel people in crisis, too, which takes quite a large chunk of my time. For years though, I keep hearing "you need to rest/nap/play more." Especially when I was pregnant- although I knew that the best time ever to get things done is before I go into labor, so I work even harder then. I cleaned our entire garage three times during the nesting phase with my second pregnancy.

There are many people who do not value industriousness, which is their call. There are many people who value "me time" and naps and daydreaming- again if this is you, no judgment. Some of my friends have expressed their anxiety at having me to their house because of the lack of cleanliness, and I tell them that I only wear white gloves in my own, I am just happy to see them and enjoy their hospitality.

*But* in a day and age where I don't often hear "it's fantastic that you are so industrious, you are sure to be blessed for it" it is nice to hear it from the One who knows, and distributes blessing.

(Note: God does not bless us solely on what we do, but God does bless us for what we do when our hearts are aligned with God, who highly values work ethic).

Monday, June 6, 2011

Here I come a blogging.... again

(Since my last blog)...Our third installment of baby-cuteness arrived on schedule, Aaron Walter Wilcox was born November 15, 2010, and was my smallest bundle of joy at 7lbs 8oz. No stitches, no complications, ecstatic older brothers. Work has been more than busy, Jay is still with his Kent guard unit but is planning to transfer to a local unit here in Vancouver when his contract is up in August. I have been running again and have continued my grueling body strength and core workouts- which have paid off, as I am steadily shrinking out of my old clothes. I had a resolution at the beginning of the year to not buy new clothes, and so far it is the only resolution I have broken, LOL. My husband does not mind though, as far as he is concerned, being married to a MENSA candidate is not as important as my being "hot" or a good mom.

I have become more active in my church and am considering getting involved in ministry again. This is no small deal. When I was at Portland Bible College, one of the executive pastors prophesied that I would be used greatly in my gifting of prophecy and wisdom, that I would see the world in general and the hearts of people in particular with the "precision of an xray, an eagle's eye"- he said that I am motivated to have every detail of my life in place, no stone unturned, all things that separate me from God and his voice cleared out of my life to where I am continually hearing the voice of God- and only when I have done this will my heart be stirred to move in my calling.

So naturally, after hearing that, I didn't want to be called to do anything. I ran hard, I avoided, God spoke to me and used me where I was anyway. I ran again, God used me there, too. I was angry, I wanted to be one of those happy people who teach Sunday school, or maybe a missionary- people like Sunday school teachers and missionaries. People don't like to be told that their heart is turned away from God, that their hidden sin is about to be exposed, that God is calling out to them yet again before it is too late. I have lost track of the number of people I have talked to this year who tell me they only believe some of the Bible (the parts that suit them, not the parts that require them to actually change their ways and follow God).

I have seen all around me people who despise wisdom- "follow your heart, not your head, Natalie" I was told by one girl whose life has been a series of train wrecks. I responded to her with the Bible's caution that "the heart is deceitful above all else." God gave us a brain for a reason, throughout the book of Proverbs he implores us to seek wisdom and knowledge, to study God's word, to seek learning, to use our head. (Proverbs 8 is a fantastic reference)

There are also those who "seek" God, who "seek" wisdom, who "seek" knowledge- and then immediately reject it if it does not suit their purpose, if it is not the answer they wanted to hear. Like one of my children who ask for a cookie right before dinner, they do not hear the no's that I tell them, they keep asking over and over, not looking for my answer. They just want to hear what they want to hear. I guess we all do that sometime or another. We ask God for wisdom, we ask God for direction- and we immediately reject or lash out at the answer if it is not what we want it to be. God does not hide himself from us, He does not hide His will from us, he does not hide wisdom from us: ask and you will receive, seek and you will find,
knock and the door will be opened to you. Just be ready for a "no" when you want a "yes;" for a "time to plant and grow" when you are looking for the "harvest and blessing."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Oh yeah....

Wow… it’s been a long time. Time to get back on the blogging horse. In my never-a-dull-moment life, here are a few updates:

I am pregnant again, baby #3 should be making an appearance around Nov. 22.

Jay and I bought a bigger Jeep, got a great deal on a 2010 Commander, to accommodate or growing family.

We’re both working tons, Jay’s traveling at least 2 days per week; we are pretty exhausted, and remembering to be grateful for the opportunities to provide for our kiddos.

We want to build a pergola this summer. We have never done this before, so anyone with carpentry skills is welcome to join 

Timothy is a big fan of running and eating- just like his mommy!

Jay is part of a Kent, WA Guard unit (since December). He has been enjoying his unit, and dropping a few pounds for his physical coming up in a few weeks. He has a 2-week training stint coming up the last week of July and first week of August.

Donovan is in coach pitch baseball right now, and beginning September will start 2nd grade at King’s Way as well as soccer.

Well, those are the highlights  Talk to you all later, hopefully next time with pictures and cool stores….

Thursday, September 3, 2009

….These are a few of my favorite things!

When Donovan gives me a hug out of the blue, or says “I love you, Mom.”

How adorable Timothy is post-bath, pre-clothes.

When my husband sleeps next to me; he travels a lot, but when he’s home, he’s a major snuggle-bug.

Breakfast! Anywhere (Panera, Roses, Seize the Bagel, Original Pancake House, Natalie’s house J)

Mile 3 of my runs- endorphins high, pushing through the first “wall,” feeling strong.

Crisp Fall mornings- colorful leaves, mist, fog etc…

Homemade food (bread, pies, soups, casseroles etc- the stuff my mom makes)

My loving family, the extended Bruce and Wilcox clans.

My job- it gives me the outlet to be bossy, the flexibility to take care of my family, and the financial benefit to be a blessing to my family.

Parties, gatherings, guests in my home. I do love to entertain…

Clean sheets on my bed, clean floors in my house, clean countertops in my kitchen/bathrooms.

My friends. I have never had tons, but the ones I do have are high-quality. They are loyal, wise, loving, and inspirational.

Starbucks- lattes with whipped cream, mochas (minus one pump of chocolate, nonfat), and my newest favorite (somehow they didn’t catch on w/me until last week) pumpkin spice lattes, tall, nonfat.

Christmas- the huge trees Jay picks out, how giddy my husband and Donovan (and soon Timothy) get, homemade Christmas cookies etc.

Nordstrom (I feel guilty for admitting it, but I cannot lie, so it has to be one here…)

Lastly, my husband Jay. He is irresistibly cute, he has the kindest heart, and is the first man I have known to treat me as well as my dad treats me, my mom, and my sisters.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Donovan started 1st grade today at Kings Way Christian School. New clothes, new shoes, new backpack, new school supplies, new Bible, new snacks, new teacher, new friends… New soccer team practice tonight also. Donovan is almost the new age of 7. All of these new things bring many possibilities, as I told him this morning on our way to the school. Every new thing we have not done is an opportunity for growth in our lives; I have been reading and hearing of the frustrations of friends recently, and I always wonder why even though they do not like the state of their lives (at least some part of it), they are very resistant to trying anything new…. Which brings me to one of my favorite sayings: the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result. I don’t know who said that, but I believe it with all of my heart, and it has guided my decisions and served me well.

New is refreshing, new is full of possibilities and potential. People spend so much of their lives paralyzed by fear of the unknown (and out of their control), not realizing that something new could be the best thing that ever happened. I love new. New jeans, new running routes, new races, new places I have never been, new food I have not tried, new books I have not read, new people that I get to meet, new opportunities- the list goes on forever. If I was afraid of the “new” I would never be the person I am today, a happy, confident, successful, and loved woman.

There are several things I feel are most important to impart to my children, and among the top 5 is to not be afraid of something new, to look forward to something new- I lead by example here. My children are required to be active, to try new sports- I lead by example in this arena also. My children are required to try something else if the situation they are in is not working for them- I lead by example.

What new things will you try today?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

happiness and such...

Happiness- many people chase it, those who have truly found it are sometimes despised for it, it does not come from wealth or social status, relationship status, or anything that can come and go in your life. It comes from within, from living at peace with yourself. With the ups and downs of your life. With the failures and triumphs, with maturity and wisdom.

Several weeks ago, I was thinking about something someone had written to me (I was running at the time, a great time for me to reflect on the human condition). That person said : “I myself was a bitter man and felt like damaged goods after my divorce.” The person in question wrote to me in regards to concern that my husband would choose me as a wife, and I was reminded of how people project their own bitterness and feelings of personal inadequacies and low-self esteem on others. I remembered, as each relationship in life that I had failed, there were one or several people who were bitter themselves, who were bitter for me, who expected (and were angry that I did not choose such) bitterness. After the fall of the major relationships of my life, I have sought impartial, realistic, experienced and educated counseling. It was always natural for me, at the end of something, to analyze it; to think of why it did and did not work, how I might have contributed to it not working, and how to proceed in my life from that point on. I never became bitter, I never became jaded, I never blamed or hated the past experiences of my life. I never felt unworthy of love, I chose happiness, gratefulness, compassion, and hope for the future…

When people move from one phase of their life to the next (especially in the area of relationships), they are expected to follow the socially-accepted schedule. “You need some time to be alone” and “You need some time to get to know each other” (usually said in regards to people “moving too fast”), etc. It’s not that I do not agree in part; time is usually involved in becoming emotionally whole, and if you marry someone you have not known for a long time, it might not work. I will say, however, that a relationship working or not working has much more to do with the emotional “wholeness” of the parties involved than it does with time. For myself, for any of the people I care about, time is not important; what is important is whether or not you dealt with the past and are whole, healthy, and ready to move on. If you do that quickly, great. If you do that over a long period of time, there is nothing wrong with that. There is only wrong if you bring the negatives (such as bitterness and low self-esteem) of your past into your present, if you let it cloud your judgment, make you jaded, make you “bitter…like damaged goods.” If you harbor resentment from past relationships, you cannot move into a new one without the promise of great turmoil.

Coming back to my original point, I am happy. I am EXTREMELY happy. My life is far from perfect, I have worked my butt off for years to have the things that I have, and by many people’s standards I do not have a lot… but by other standards, I have the whole world at my feet, and that continues to bother some people. Some might have more money/a bigger diamond/nicer wedding/ fancier houses and cars, but I have happiness. I have peace. I have joy. I have love, lots of love, in my life. Jay, my husband, brings me great joy; but he could not do that if I was not already full of joy. I have joy in my children, joy in my family, joy in my friends, joy in my health, joy in my faith, joy in my necessary needs being met- everything else is icing on the cake, so to speak.

Whoever you are, make peace with your past- you cannot change it. Have hope for your future, as it is what you make of it. Realize that you will always have problems (as I told a dear friend of mine Saturday, problems will change, but they will always be there), and know that the difference between happiness and unhappiness is not the circumstances of your life, but what you make of them.

Wishing all health, wealth, and happiness!!

Natalie Wilcox

Friday, August 7, 2009

Practicality and Purging

Should come as no surprise that practicality is the name of the game for this no-nonsense chick. My mind is constantly thinking of more efficient ways to do things. Not all things are conducive to efficiency, like romance; whenever I try to schedule practical romance I get a very unenthusiastic response. But in most other ways, I am looking for the biggest bang for my buck, so to speak. Purging things that I don't like, need, or want in my life as also a passion of mine. From toxic relationships/people, to household clutter, to emotions that benefit nobody, I am constantly ridding myself of the things that keep me treading water in my life. So here are the main tenants of practicality, as defined by yours truly:

1. what purpose does this serve? (to decide if it is practical)
2. do I already have something that does this, and if I do, am I willing to get rid of one of them? (even practical things are clutter if the quantity exceeds the demand)
3. is there something that would serve my need better? (am I wasting my time or resources on something that I will eventually replace with what I really want?)

When purging, i follow a similar train of thought:

1. when was the last time this was beneficial to me? (last month, 6 months ago, 1 year ago)
2. does the maintenance/storage of this thing/thought/relationship outweigh the benefit?
3. did I even remember it was there, or will I even notice it was gone?

So often in our lives, we hold on to things that hold us down. We hold on to toxic relationships (more on that in my next blog), we hold on to negative thought patterns, we hold on to 5 brooms in our garage (a recent discovery in my own garage), we hold on to canned food from 7 years ago, we hold on to many things because of what we think we might need them for in the future, or what they represent from the past. But when it comes to the things that compose our existence, from material goods to relationships, more is not always (or usually) better- it's just more. I once posed a question to a young lady thinking of staying in a harmful relationship, just so their children would have a father: if your children want and need milk, but the only milk that you can procure is spoiled, will you give your children the spoiled milk, or give them nothing? Meaning if you have the choice between something bad and nothing at all... something bad is always worse! Over and over, I have let go of relationships that were bad, toxic, and simply not right for me; I made room for some excellent friends, and I have surrounded myself with people who are amazing and supportive, who I support in return- most of all my husband, our families, my friends (you know who you are).

I have watched loved ones form and continue in relationships that cause turmoil and heartache in their lives. In fact, this has been happening at an alarming rate recently. Some people are bitter and feel like damaged goods after a previous relationship; instead of resolving their issues, they let those feelings guide them in their next relationship, settling and loathing themselves and others who rise above. I have seen people hold on to toxic friendships, simply because they once made them feel good. I have seen people hold on to toxic romantic relationships, because they are lonely. I have seen people hoard material goods, thinking this one next purchase will bring them the happiness and fulfillment they are looking for. I have seen people try to put the square peg into the round hole of their lives, wondering why they are so unhappy / unlucky. Please, everyone, remember that happiness will not come with things, and on that note, be sure that you surround yourself with that which is practical to your life. On the same note, only when you let go of the bad in your life will you have made room for the best.