Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Friendly Site Award

I want to to extend a gracious and heart felt thank-you to Karen, at Karen's Ramblings, in New Zealand. She has shared with me and several others the Friendly Site Award she recently received. Karen really builds community through her blogging. Look to her site anytime you would like to be edified, inspired or refreshed with fun and whimsy!

I am so tickled to be able to show some appreciation to a few of the bloggers who have been either inspirational, or a gracious and bloggy friend, sometimes even all that along with the gift of laughter! Anyone who I place on my side bar has done this in some way.

However these are the women, I am happy to recognize at this time: Leslie at Do You Weary Like I Do, who I consider a friend, though faraway and she always inspires me! My new friend Karen at Lyrics of My Life (she really is a cool Mom, just ask her! :), Kassi at Pink Dot Journal, she's too witty, and Carole at Fractured Thoughts, Julie at Joyful Days, and Cecily at My Chaos My Bliss, because each of these women always maintain a friendly blog!!
Thanks to all!

The Guys!

This weekend from Friday through Saturday evening my youngest (the one on the left) had some of the "guys" over. More than this stayed Friday night, after going to a local Halloween Dance put on by a really nice orthodontist in town. He has done this for over 15 years and it's chaperoned and very nicely done. They came home so silly and talking about girls and dances. It was really great to see. The next day we loaded up and went to another event where my son and another boy (not in the pic) were supposed to play music for our church at a community event downtown. They got rained out after all their anticipation and hard work, but I brought them home, fed them french fries cooked in the oven, and asked them to show me their moves for the camera! It was a great "pick me up!" Isn't it great to be a MOM?!

The Lion Of Judah!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Today in my morning devotions, I read Psalm 35. I enjoyed it so much, because it does a good job of illustrating how much God fights for us, how much He is attentive and listening for us. By contrast, this Psalm also shows how opposed to wickedness He is. This is such an important quality to acknowledge and savor about our Abba! I just stopped and smiled, (really grinned with glee is more like it!), and declared some of the verses over my life. I appreciate the tremendous assurance available to us, as we renew our minds to His truth.

The truth is our enemy is not: the person in the news, at the PTA, the bus stop or church committee meeting. The enemy is the the prince of the power of the air, (See Ephesians 2:2, and Ephesians 6:12), who works through influencing, swaying, and just generally confusing and deceiving people, even "good" people. The enemy is out to work his mischief bringing division, hurt, self-doubt, depression, confusion, hatred, you name it. It's an old strategy, as old as the garden. Divide and conquor. Isolate. Deceive. Why am I talking about this on my cheerful, amiable, feel good blogspot? Because I know firsthand and beyond that many struggle with feelings of isloation, inadequacy and even worse. I have my concerns to contend with, as well. We all do.

My devotion refreshed in my mind, that He fights the battles that are beyond me, while I go about my business of serving Him. Whatever He has given me to do, I will do with relish! The whole time, trusting Him to fight off the attacks of the enemy. In case you are thinking this means I expect the problems to go away, without my own actions at all. That rarely happens. More likely, I am able to think clearly as I place trust in Him (peace that passes undertanding), to take the steps today towards solving the problem (His wisdom and knowledge for the situation). Then sometime later, stand back in awe while seeing larger results than I would have originally expected. He adds to our efforts, when done in faith in Him, trusting Him for the future part, which we can't see. Remember it's our daily bread, not tomorrow's! This means most problems in my experience, end up being solved steps at a time, as a process, not a one time event. That's a another post, though! :) Just don't be alarmed when things take step by step to heal, restore, overcome. That's generally the design!

In the meantime, I am liking this Psalm so very much! When you read it, remember who the enemy really is!

Psalm 35 (Amplified Bible)

  • CONTEND, O Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me!
    Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for my help!

  • Draw out also the spear and javelin and close up the way of those who pursue and persecute me. Say to me, I am your deliverance!

  • Let them be put to shame and dishonor who seek and require my life; let them be turned back and confounded who plan my hurt!

  • Let them be as chaff before the wind, with the [a]Angel of the Lord driving them on!

  • Let their way be through dark and slippery places, with the Angel of the Lord pursuing and afflicting them.

  • For without cause they hid for me their net; a pit of destruction without cause they dug for my life.

  • Let destruction befall [my foe] unawares; let the net he hid for me catch him; let him fall into that very destruction.

  • Then I shall be joyful in the Lord; I shall rejoice in His deliverance.

  • All my bones shall say, Lord, who is like You, You Who deliver the poor and the afflicted from him who is too strong for him, yes, the poor and the needy from him who snatches away his goods?

  • Malicious and unrighteous witnesses rise up; they ask me of things that I know not.
    They reward me evil for good to my personal bereavement.

  • But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I afflicted myself with fasting, and I prayed with head bowed on my breast.

  • I behaved as if grieving for my friend or my brother; I bowed down in sorrow, as one who bewails his mother.

  • But in my stumbling and limping they rejoiced and gathered together [against me]; the smiters (slanderers and revilers) gathered against me, and I knew them not; they ceased not to slander and revile me.

  • Like profane mockers at feasts [making sport for the price of a cake] they gnashed at me with their teeth.

  • Lord, how long will You look on [without action]? Rescue my life from their destructions, my dear and only life from the lions!

  • I will give You thanks in the great assembly; I will praise You among a mighty throng.

  • Let not those who are wrongfully my foes rejoice over me; neither let them wink with the eye who hate me without cause.

  • For they do not speak peace, but they devise deceitful matters against those who are quiet in the land.

  • Yes, they open their mouths wide against me; they say, Aha! Aha! Our eyes have seen it!

  • You have seen this, O Lord; keep not silence! O Lord, be not far from me!

  • Arouse Yourself, awake to the justice due me, even to my cause, my God and my Lord!

  • Judge and vindicate me, O Lord my God, according to Your righteousness (Your rightness and justice); and let [my foes] not rejoice over me!

  • Let them not say in their hearts, Aha, that is what we wanted! Let them not say, We have swallowed him up and utterly destroyed him.

  • Let them be put to shame and confusion together who rejoice at my calamity! Let them be clothed with shame and dishonor who magnify and exalt themselves over me!

  • Let those who favor my righteous cause and have pleasure in my uprightness shout for joy and be glad and say continually, Let the Lord be magnified, Who takes pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.

  • And my tongue shall talk of Your righteousness, rightness, and justice, and of [my reasons for] Your praise all the day long.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Lets talk about friends! About the sort of friends that you just cannot run off. You can't gross them out, disappoint them away, or be too be busy for long enough. Because they are BFF! They are faithful! When you succeed they are never resentful or catty, because they prayed you through it, expected it! When you fail they do not secretly smirk, or even consider "I told you so". They cry for you, they speak encouragement to your future, they listen, oh joy of joys!! They, with you look to the cross, look to the end of the Great Book, knowing this too shall pass, and we will both be shinier for it one day!

I have a friend like that, I am ever so grateful to say. One day, several days actually, in 1987, my honey says to me, "You need to meet MaryAnn. You will like her, she is SUCH a smart-alec!". I am not sure, but I think he thought we had something in common here? We met and we have been friends ever since! I have to say that there was a time I was not much of a prize for a friend until around 1993 and even then, I had and do have LOTS to learn. She however, exemplifies friendship. Anyway, if you do the math, you will see that there were several years that we were friends and I was not so much of a friend back to her, in the ways that matter to me today. Unintentionally, and because of ignorance, but nonetheless true!

Anyway, this post is to recognize a wonderful friend, mother, single working mom, career woman, contributing greatly to her church and people all around her. She truly is a City on a Hill. I posted this because she started a side business a couple of years ago, when she was was going through a fiery trial and couldn't sleep to well. She is very crafty, and she started making these blue jean purses, she custom makes them. They are 'da bomb, Baby! They are truly beautiful, cute, and creative, depending on how you like them to be made. Because she makes them to order. You get to choose!

I hope you will drop in and checkout her site.

Ode to Mothers!

I got this as a passed around e-mail from my bff MaryAnn of MaryMine Designs, (a wonderful mother herself - luv to ya' MaryAnn!). I wish I knew who to attribute this e-mail to, but I don't. I decided to post it for 2 reasons. 1) Because I don't think such a good mother, as the one in this e-mail would mind. Everyone knows that Good Mothers give and give and share and share! 2) Because, it speaks of the things common to all mothers I have met on here and in life. And it speaks to the greatness of the unseen.
"Great cathedrals ...(for mothers)....inspiring

A friend of mine sent me this; just wanted to share it with you.

I'm invisible.

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?" Obviously not. No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.
I'm invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?"
I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30,please."

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going .... she's going ... she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others, all put together so well.
It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean.

My unwashed hair was pulled up in a clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this."

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees."

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:

(1) No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.
(2) These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.
(3) They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.
(4) The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it." And the workman replied, "Because God sees." I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no
one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become."

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there."

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

God bless you as you build your Cathedrals!"

Monday, October 29, 2007

Memory Verse Monday!

First of all, now I have two friends on here with the name of Karen. They are both wonderful and I am sure I will be referring to them often. My New Zealand friend Karen, has started something new, and I am going to give it a go for a few weeks and see if you all are enjoying it.

She has started Memory Verse Mondays (click on the title for details). We are all invited to consider a verse to meditate on, and apply in our lives for the week. And share how and why with each other. We learn so much from the shared experiences of each other, it makes the Word more alive and even easier to understand, when we talk about what it looks like in our lives.

My verse for this week is Romans 12:1. This verse is something I meditate on quite frequently. It is something I fall short of daily. But, I don't give up. I have a blog friend who inspires me by the discipline she has over her body in diet. And another one who is an example, in exercise. These are HUGE weaknesses for me right now and I know that keeps me back from God's best for me. Well, I heard a teaching message last night that made this verse and some related verses a "rhema" word to me. It was so exciting! Then this morning the Bible verse that updates on my site at 12:01 am every night, guess what! Today it is Romans 12:1! It just jazzed me so much, because I know God was saying, "I know your heart, I know what you desire, I have put that desire there, and I WILL work in you to help this manifest, as you lean into me."

I am not limiting God, I am agreeing with Him. I will allow this Word to grow on the inside of me as I purpose to focuse on it, and let it speak to me in new ways day by day.

I like the Amplified Bible's translation for everything, so I will close with that. I hope Ya'll enjoy it!
  • I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.

When I can figure out how to put the Mr Linky box here I will add it. That way whoever wants to can see others who are participating and add yourselves as well. I have no clue right now how to do that and will have to study up!


I know, I know, very unpopular! I just want to confess that this weekend I was put in a situation where I had to face some uncomfortable situations and it forced me to choose forgiveness like over and over again. I will say that the hardest things for me to forgive are pertaining to my children (what mom can not relate to this!) and to injustice. I could quote scripture about all the many benefits in forgiveness, and why it hurts us more than the person we are upset with to keep the grudge, but most of you know them. Knowing me, I will anyway before this is done. Because even though I know them, I need them to be fresh in me over and over! And if I "know" them so well, why aren't I living them yet? I mean every time? Because, it is a process and we have to keep "forgetting what is behind" and "pressing on".

My good report is that by yesterday morning and ever since I am at a really good place. Where I can honestly pray a heart-felt prayer for outrageous blessing on the persons. Will I stay at this good place? I will most likely wobble from time to time...but, as long as I don't give up, I will not yield this territory I have gained. In case you are wondering, not only does Jesus instruct us in this, but I have found it extremely mmm...I guess therapeutic is the right word...I mean you find yourself cheering the person or people on, by the time you are done. For instance, by this morning, my prayer is that God will outrageously bless this group of people and bring them into a new place of kingdom dominion. I pray that it will be unmistakable that God is at work and on the job, so that He will get the glory and they will get the joy!

I will close with these two scriptures, because without them to renew my mind, I would be unable to move forward. One motivates & one gives me great hope! Because if He said it, then I can do it & if His love is put inside my heart...then it is not ME loving in my own power, but HIS power in me to love! Who am I to argue with that? Check it out:

  • Matthew 5:44 "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;" and then,

  • Romans 5:5 " And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us".

OK, Ya'll, thanks for humoring me in this topic I have sooo struggled with, wish me well & I wish you well!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Tag - I'm It! Who is Gonna Be Next?!

Alrighty! Cecily, from My Chaos My Bliss has tagged me. So, now I have to share 7 things that (hopefully) you do not already know about me! At the end I will "Tag" 7 others and they get to do the same, at their leisure! I have installed this cool widget that will sound off at the end for those of you who snooze! (kidding! - you are on your own if you snooze!).

1. My first son was an emergency C-Section. He was 3 lbs 1.5 oz. Because we were at a student hospital which was prepared for such things, I was given what was an experimental shot, at that time. It was a steroid to develop his lungs, in case this happened. The result is he was and is a miraculous story of health! He gained weight every day for a month and came home at 4 and 1/2 lbs. He is 23 yrs old and 6' tall now!

2. I am known for my propensity to "chase butterflies", as my honey calls it. This means that you need a GPS locator on me if I say I am going to the Laundry Room, because I will probably get distracted several times on the way, when I show up again, it will very likely be WITHOUT what I went to the Laundry Room for, then I have to risk the trek again! This is an all too, too regular occurrence! I just have to know, are there any fellow butterfly chasers out there?

3. I detest to drive over bridges. I am not pleased that it bothers me. I don't mind to ride with someone else though.

4. I am working on a book. I have written 3 children's books. I really believe they are good, (everyone, I am sure thinks that about their writing). I just have not the time or energy to figure out how to get them published at this time. I figure when some household responsibilities change over the next couple of years, I may have more opportunity.

5. I have only been doing this for 5 weeks. I have so much to learn. But, I love writing everyday. I love even more than that the people I get to interact with. What a blessing!

6. My husband & I were married by a judge and my mother-in-law took us to MacDonald's for a burger and shake afterwards! Long story!

7. At my prom my husband practically had to make me dance...He is good at it, I am NOT! Slow dancing was the order of the day! I can sure do that with my man!

OK, I gotta run I have several more posts to get out today!!

I chose some people I either haven't mentioned before and/or they just have such good blogs and I want you to know about them and see their blogs. Several of these are new to me, and one I have never heard from, but her blog is a great Mom blog!

TAG - You are it: Heidi, Kassi, Karen at Karen's Ramblings, and Karen at Lyrics of My Life, Code Yellow Mom, and Sharon .

Friday, October 26, 2007

10,20,30 Years Ago - What Was Going on for YOU?

Do you remember what was going on for you in 1997? How about 1987? How about 1977? It's crazy to think about, isn't it? Karen over at Karen's Ramblings had this meme over at her place this week. It has had me thinking all week. So, I thought I would share some of the pivotal things that were going on in my life, in each of these years. Hopefully, we can all laugh and remember some shared experiences together!
  • 1977 - I was 12. I had my very first boyfriend, a neighbor boy. I went to private school. We had a small town, and unbelievably, we had 2 small Catholic schools. Well, in my 6th grade ('77) we combined the 2 schools into 1. It really was the best use of resources in our small town. The school I had gone to, was sort of the more "blue collar" element of the Catholic community in our town. That one was now shut down, and absorbed by the ever so slightly elevated other Catholic school. It was with much trepidation that we all entered into our new school year in '77. We felt we were being sent to go to school with the snobs! No telling what the "other" school felt like! Of course, we NEVER thought of that! Can you believe we ever survive these things! Gracious! I have to say, this is the year that the teen angst started hitting me. I became moody, difficult to get along with, and I had never been like that as a child. I never really recovered from the moodies until I got saved, more on that later. Ummm...this was the year of platform shoes and I DO believe that Bee-Gees were big... Music - For you music fiends, here are some of my favs from then - Best of My Love - Emotions, Your Love Has Lifted Me Higher - Rita Coolidge, Undercover Angel - Alan O'Day, Dancing Queen - ABBA, You Make Me Feel Like Dancing - Leo Sayer, Rich Girl - Hall & Oates, Hotel California - Eagles, Gonna Fly Now - Rocky Theme! Sooo many more! This was a BIG year! I was surprised at the time defining songs on the list. I could go on, but you get the pic!
  • 1987 - I was 22 yrs old, married for 4 years and had 1 child. I was not attending church, and I was working in a job that would become a career, (by God's grace and no less), in an administrative capacity in law enforcement. Looking back at this period, I am now aware that I was extremely lost and empty, spiritually speaking. I had a happy marriage and loved my child, and had lots of family. Yet something was missing, I just wasn't clear on what that something was. This would become a thirst, that I would focus on slaking, by drawing near to God in the ways that I knew, until He could teach me new ways. It took several years! He is sure patient! Music - Some of the ones that stick with me, and I can remember driving to work and daycare listening to are: Walk Like An Egyptian - Bangles, Mony, Mony - Billy Idol, I Wanna Dance With Somebody - Whitney Huston, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For -U2 (that was my heart at that time, though I didn't recognize it at the time.), Livin' on a Prayer - Bon Jovi.
  • 1997 - Still married, now have 2 children, and now my job has been a career for nine of ten years, since our last stop on memory lane. I am a committed, but immature Christian up to this point. Immature only because I have so much growing to do, and so much to learn. Everything is in technicolor now. There is a grounded sense of purpose, there are healthy values, perspectives and boundaries. This brings peace. As does the transforming power of spiritual rebirth. This year was significant. It was a year of transition, of restoration. I remember we paid off a significant debt that year. It felt really good. We got a nice, used Bronco that my honey loved! We took our first family 2 week vacation (my second 2 weeker). We learned during that vacation, how to be what I call a domestic family. It was wonderful and taught us this was the lifestyle we wanted. Our normal style of family life had been what I'll call working family. This means EVERYTHING was done by the seat of our pants. Our kids were the first to get to day care, and last to be picked up. Because we had married young, then went to work, (and work hard), somehow we had chiseled out these roles for ourselves, which were not ideal for healthy family dynamics. Because my honey had always had a job working outside or in a capacity where he couldn't take care of certain family business matters, a lot of family details had originally fallen on me. Somehow, that had evolved into something it wasn't ever meant to be. I was not making room for him to take the lead, in many appropriate ways, where we both truly longed for him to. During the past year or so, here in 1997, we had recognized this, and started repairing and relearning. This 2 week vacation now gave us a chance to stop the hamster wheel of life, long enough to think and practice some of our newly found skills. It was invigorating and eye opening. Up to this point, most of what we did, was what we thought had to be. Time away (we went camping in the mountains, in a very rustic setting for 2 weeks) gave us the ability to say, "Hey, there are actually different ways to live, and they suit us better than what we have been doing. We just have to work towards it." So we did! Music - I am showing my age here. As I look at this list, several things jump out at me. For instance, the names of the bands, and the names of the songs. One song is a curse word, several are very provocative. MMMBop -Hanson, If it Makes You Happy - Sheryl Crow, Macarena - (Bayside Boys Mix) Los Del Rio.

I hope you guys could relate to some of the changes life brings over the years. It was enlightening to me, to look backwards and see how far we really have come! It gives me hope for the next 10, 20 and 30!

This is not a tag meme, so if you decide to do your own, do tell and I will pop over! I'd love to hear some of your stories!

Have a great weekend!

P.S. If you want more music info for these years here's where you can go for the Top 100 for each year:

1977 - 1987 - 1997

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thursday Thirteen! Why it is Great to be a Girl in the 21st Century!

Here is my third go at Thursday Thirteen. I have really enjoyed doing these. It is great to see the zany, creative and thought provoking things my bloggy friends come up with. Lots of fun to make my own, too. I am NOT the stereo-typical Girl Power type person. However, I do relish the joys and mysteries of being a woman. And Never at ANY time in history have our feminine kind had so much opportunity, freedom and luxury available to us, than at this time in history. When I began getting into the Word of God, I was struck by how much was in there to set women free. Free from their past, free from being put in a pigeon hole, free from stereotypes. The trick I found was digging into the Word to chisel it out for others to see. It has been my unending privilege to do that every since I discovered this beautiful concept. So, in the vein, here is my list, for fun, games and a lot of gratitude at the times we live in!
  • When I ask any other time in history could a girl get such a WAY cool car as above!?
  • We can not only vote (can you believe at one time we couldn't? And now we can't find the time? We use the absentee ballots at our house, that is how we make sure we get it done & our kids see us do it!)
  • I have two words for you here - hair color! I am 42 yrs old and I have had to have my hair colored since I was 24. My first gray hair actually popped up when I came home from the hospital after having my first child at the age of 18! Go figure! Yes, it was an omen of things to come! LOL!
  • ANY style goes now. How cool is that? Anything from urban hip-hop to traditional plain jane (guilty!) off the rack at Wal-mart or JC Penney's, to funky hippie-chick chic, its all good! Remember when the well dressed women had to be cinched into the whale bone corsets? Or how about when only certain ages and marital statuses should actually wear only certain kinds of colors, it's true!
  • Now you can actually have my favorite kind of child birth - an epidural! 3 cheers!
  • There is just no career or educational field unavailable to us any longer. From stay-at-home mom (my current career of choice) to being a doctor, or a business owner, an author or maid, politician, journalist, even a preacher. It's all honorable and socially acceptable!
  • Electrolysis. This was not always available, but, I am guessing it was always necessary! One day I WILL indulge in this wonderful invention!
  • Dishwashers and washers & dryers. Can you imagine? We would NEVER have time to talk to each other through blogging with out these great inventions!
  • Tivo - Listen , Ya'll, I am not ashamed that I like some wonderful shows, some a teaching shows (Joyce Meyers, etc) some are just plain 'ole fun, but without Tivo, I'd NEVER see anything! I don't even know how to watch TV without being able to fast forward past the commercials anymore, it's terrible!!
  • Make-up! NECESSARY! On so very many levels! And so many to choose from! Hip-hip-hooray!
  • No more arranged marriages! I can't even imagine! 'nuff said!
  • Cell phones and voice mail, how DID we ever live without that? Remember when you actually had to answer the phone and NOT know who was on the other end? Yikes!
  • I saved this for last! Just think, through blogging we have friends that we will likely never meet this side of heaven! People all over the country we live in and all over the globe! My latest discovery lives in one of the coolest countries - New Zealand! One of the things people struggled with as they pioneered in this country and others, was isolation. Now, we don't have to be isolated, unless we just NEED it for our sanity and peace of mind. For that and these many other reasons, I am EVER SO GRATEFUL!

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Hope you all had fun today! Love on your daughters, mothers, nieces, remind them how great it is to be free to be all they can be as a girl! Sow into their lives, it will make you both stronger and richer for doing it!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Oh, the Wonder of it All! Wonder Woman!?!

Ya'll, especially my closest friends and family, those of you who know how challenged at putting one foot in front of the other I am, you will NEVER believe what a TOTALLY AWESOME lady blogger did for me! She is sharing her Wonder Woman Award with me and several other bloggers (who are each awesome, too! I must get in under the sympathy vote or something!) . You are very generous, Karen, and I really appreciate this very much! The sound you will be hearing now is my friends and family ROFL! I think they were looking for the Bookworm Award or, the Forgets Where she is Going Award, or maybe Left 1/2 Her Groceries in the Checkout Bagging Area at Wal-Mart Award!

All kidding aside, I have to say that Karen in New Zealand at Karen's Ramblings is a wonderful treasure trove of delectable treats! Be sure you check her out over there. We can thank Chrissy, here at Chrissy's This and That for originating this award. This link will take you to the background of the award. Her blog is fun and upbeat.

My two favorite things about these blog awards is 1) the opportunity to share recognition with other people's blogs who have added to me through encouragement, teaching, challenging thoughts and laughter and 2) to find out about other blogs I never knew existed.

So, Here are 4 Wonder Women I want to pass this on to. I can't wait to see who they pass the award on to!
  • Joyful Days - Julie's is the first blog that blessed me when I got started. She continues to bless me every time I visit. The atmosphere is very gracious, and uplifting.

  • Falling Like Rain - Sandy is a veteran home school mom, who has blessed me greatly the past two weeks as she has generously sowed kindness and wisdom into my life, at my request. My teenage son is very grateful (as am I) that I found her blog! The atmosphere at her place is very peaceful.

  • Do You Weary Like I Do? One of the first blogs I came across that really grabbed me. This woman truly IS Wonder Woman, so it was mandatory that I tag her for this. 4 teenage boys, (well one almost), home school mom, and she can't eat meat. The first thing I thought when I saw that was, omigosh, she is going to pass out trying to take care of all them. Please let her be able to have some meat! :) I so admire her lifestyle in this regard, and others. I have been going there lately first thing in the morning for part of my devotion, because, guaranteed she will have poured her heart into something thought provoking for anyone with a feminine heart.

  • My Chaos My Bliss - Cecily's blog is not only attractive to look at (gorgeous kids). But, she and her family are like tuning into a wonderfully done sit-com on TV, before you were embarrassed at half the stuff on TV. Lots of fun!

Do yourselves a favor and check these out as you get time. You'll be so glad you did!

Thanks again, Karen!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Monday Night Football

"All my rowdy friends are coming over tonight" - Isn't that how the old Hank, Jr Monday Night tune went? Well, in our case, no rowdy friends. But, there WAS some considerable excitement about this game. We live in Jags territory and are Jags fans. Not to mention the competitive edge brought by playing last season's Superbowl winners and the fact we have some friends who are originally from Colts territory and are avid fans. We actually like the Colts, too. Who couldn't appreciate a coach like Tony Dungy. But when they play each other-well, home team's gotta win! Go, Jags! So, as soon as my Bible study ended, my sons and I were tuned in and reporting to my husband via cell px, as he was working.

Decisions, Decisions - As I watched the game, I had my notebook in hand to jot down some notes on the power of our choices. I had been considering a post on the topic of choices last week, to the point of getting some photos and putting them in my photobucket for illustration. Clearly, that post never got it together. The very next day (after getting the photos), in our mid-week service, guess what the title was? "Multitudes, Multitudes in the Valley of Decision", from Joel 2. Care to speculate on what photos illustrated it? Yes, you got it! 2 from MY photobucket! Ok, I am sure the speaker used his own bucket full of photos! But, seriously, what are the chances of that? Ok, Ya'll, I don't truly want to know the mathematical probabilities on this occurring, it's merely rhetorical! I enjoyed his point, but I kept squirming in my seat thinking, "I missed it, I should have done that post"!

Which Way do I Go? - So, I started scratching out some thoughts while I watched the game, and the results weren't really pleasing to me. Part of the problem is I have several thought patterns brewing, and two major patterns are intersecting. One is transition, because this is an historical time of transition both in general for the world, our country, the body of Christ, Israel, and on a personalized level for many of us and our businesses, ministries, church families etc. The second major pattern brewing in me is the power of choice, and at what time are the choices we make of the most significance? Why at a time of transition, of course! See why I am tangled up a little here? When we are at a crossroads, or when a path diverges, we need to know we have a good handle on what our desired destination truly is and what our ultimate goals really are.

The Power of Day to Day Choices - Now, my thoughts are many on these topics. For today, I just believe we need to look at the cumulative effect of our day to day, seemingly mundane and small choices. During the game a commerical for a wide screen TV came on with LaDainian Tomlinson, an NFL player as their spokesperson. The company was well served by their choice in him, because the commerical had a great impact. He talked about people thinking he came from nowhere, arriving on the scene as an apparently "overnight" success. He explained (and the pictures illustrated the point) that he knew very well where he came from. He suceeded through much hard work, and by not always being the great player he is now, (not his words), but through being faithful to work hard, even when appearances were that he was not succeeding.

Overnight Success? or Little By Little? - We all KNOW that success doesn't really come overnight. Yet, I find myself forgetting what it does come from. Because in the end, it really is the sum total of the choices we make, we choose life or death, integrity, versus convenience, self-control instead of self indulgence, generosity as compared to fearful grasping. We forget that it takes "here a little, there a little". Ants are great example of the "slow and steady wins the race" concept.

Overflow - Later in the game, the announcers were speaking about Tony Dungy's far reaching impact in the area of football. They spoke about how he attributes his success to everything but himself, while others point the finger to him in numerous and varied manners for their success. Over the years he has made so many, day-to-day right choices, choices for life, generosity, and excellence, he now can hardly be on a football field without coming in contact with someone who hasn't coached or played with, or for him and admits to being better for it. I thought "this is exactly what it looks like when someone consistently lives a life of excellence". Dungy has attained that level, which many of us aspire to. That place of power, something I'll call the power of multiplication. It's where the cumulative total of (hopefully) good choices we make, build-up an overflow. A place where our life begins to spill over with goodness that benefits others. How does this happen? By the strengths in our lives accruing and developing to a place of it not being able to be contained, but MUST overflow. The wisdom we have learned, the favor that is ours, our place of influence and/or authority, our skill level, knowledge, you fill in the blank, must flow out from us and to the benefit of others. These things we have reaped from sowing good seed, good decisions in our lives, put us in a place to be able to light a path for others, so that they may now be able to know what a good choice looks like. Now we are able to do what some one, some many did for each of us; encourage, show mercy, have compassion for, and provide opportunities for others to spread their wings by setting them up for success.

Purpose of Abundant Living - I think Dungy is one of many examples of what the intention of John 10:10 is all about. I believe Jesus desires us to have an abundant life, in order that we may overflow with His goodness, so that others may: know of Him, of His ways, of His goodness.

Examples - Dungy and LT (Ladainian Tomlinson), at this point in time, have lives which exemplify the power of our choices, for our own success (seemingly overnight) and our future ability to have an overflowing life, for the benefit of not only ourselves, but others as well.

The Field's Wide Open - It's been occurring to me lately, which is how I even got to this posting today, that it's the "little foxes that spoil the vine". Being faithful to the "little" details of life will assure us of arriving at a place of wide open opportunities and places of dominion, where we can impact others from the richness in our lives.

A Note From CPT Obvious - It occurs to me that while this is not a new concept, it is a forgotten concept. This is how America became great. One generation working hard and sacrificing for another. The trouble is we have been so successful and our abundant living has made things so easy and convenient, we are in danger of forgetting that it is GOOD to work hard, strive and push ourselves, and even to do without (gasps!)! See Resistance Training for more on this thought.

OK, now I can't talk anymore because I need to go consult my horoscope, I have important decisions to make...kidding!

Repairing Foundations

This past Saturday was special to me. This isn't my typical style post. But, I felt it was important to talk about our need to help one another. Not because we don't all desire to do this already, because the people I have been reading on these wonderful blogs obviously do and do. Sometimes though, I think we need encouragement to know we are on the right track. Sometimes the little voice in our head doesn't say the good thing, instead it says the "Does it even matter?" So the purpose of this post is a resounding YES! :)

I was able to work with some great friends from my church and some great friends from another church and have a yard sale so we could help some girlfriends at yet another church! Their building has been around for years and years as a church. Just not always as their church. Anyway, the foundations need repairing, the whole floor system. Not a cheap project. They have been cooking, baking and yard sailing until I think they were just cross-eyed from it all. They are a sweet group of hard-working Christians. And like everyone does from time to time they are going through transition right now. So that doesn't make this any easier. When we heard about their need, my friends and I, we felt this was a time to do more than pray. Anyone who reads and knows me at all, knows prayer is essential to who I am. But, sometimes we also have to DO! This was one of those times!

Yard sales are not one of my favorite things. I have to admit, however this was a pleasure to do. It was a lot of hard work, but the people I worked with were so much fun to work with. They were committed to seeing the task through and happy to be doing it. Also critically important are the people who helped to coordinate the sale and who supported it by using their authority to say - "Go for it, run with it!" That's all it takes for the hard work to be fulfilling & rewarding! We met a lot of good people and ALL were interesting!

While the monetary total we raised was small compared to their overall need, I believe it was pleasing to Our Lord (what Father isn't pleased to see His kids growing up and helping to take care of each other like He has taught them?), and it was an encouragement to our sisters in another church. That's is what is all about!

When I came home I came across a scripture from Ephesains 2 in a devotional book I have. I will close with that scripture and the surrounding scriptures:

  • Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

  • And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner [stone];

  • In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

  • In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Thanks for stopping by! And I hope to see you again soon! Look for Monday Night Football coming later today! It won't be what you think!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Dancing in the Kitchen

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

One of the greatest blessings in my life is my youngest son's ability to pull me out of myself. He has a way of getting people to come along with him and enjoy the current adventure in life. His technique is an irresistible combination of inspiring participation and coaxing the reluctant target. For me, he completed the education in silliness, which my husband began teaching from the night I met him. (It is my suspicion that you must be a child in order to successfully teach the higher levels of this desirable life skill.) When it came to fun, games and all things silly, as an oldest child and later as a parent, I tended to excel in the supervision of silliness, but certainly not in deigning to participate in it. I was in all such things a specator. A "silly" (please pardon the pun) way to be, but true nonetheless!

I know it was divinely ordained, beyond any shadow of doubt, that I was assigned family members who would train me in the art of participating in silliness, and not just being a benchwarmer. Did I mention I am eternally grateful for this very important life lesson?

One of the many techniques my youngest son used to instruct me, was to spontaneously dance in the kitchen. The twirls, swings and everything. It's like this: smiles, "Come on" step, step, twirl and swing, step, step, laugh and misstep for Mom, step, step, twirl, more get the picture. With every step, and every laugh, and every twirl and swing, it is as if life, light and humility fill you, and in return you empty of worry and prideful reservations. It is a splendid trade-off.

Those moments are eternally engraved in my mind, and have left grooves (I know! Again with the puns!) of laughter, joy, wonder and great expectations for his future. It is possible that you would have to know how truly awful at dancing I am, to really appreciate the contrast here. Use your imagination, words fail me, (though not often) here. He has certainly completed his assignment of educating me in the higher levels of silliness, just ask anyone here. I can be silly with the best of them now!

Recently he and a buddy were acting up as they made lunch in the kitchen. They spontaneously started to dance in this parallel, line dance style. Just sort of showing of their coolness and masculinity in that way only young people (and your spouse) can get away with. It was such a sight to see! So young and full of life and laughter, that it makes you happy just to see them. Seeing these two young men who are ready to take on the world and find their own respective beauties to conquer life with, I was reminded his time under our direct supervision is short.

Before you can blink three times, his Dad and I will be watching each of them dance at their own weddings, and then one day in the kitchens with their daughters.

Notice that most of this is written in the past tense as pertains to my youngest having taught me through dancing in the kitchen. That is because my youngest is 14 you know. It is not too often that a dance scene between he and I happens right now. That is Ok. It is part of the healthy transition of life. He is now looking for the love of his life to dance with. I find myself praying for him and for her, where ever she is. I hope she likes to dance in the kitchen,or is at least willing to be silly and learn!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thursday Thirteen!

Good Morning, Everybody! I got thirteen things that amaze me today! Well, really, more than thirteen. But, for the purpose of Thursday Thirteen, I kept the list short! :)
I find it Amazing that:
  1. Once I could read, I read voraciously, still do. When I was a kid, one of the things I read from cover to cover every week was the TV Guide. "How strange" you are probably saying to yourselves, but, trust me, that topic will show up in a future blog or two. But, for today - the back often had a full page color ad for Marlboro cigs. Which I was not interested in. However, the very handsome man in denim on the horse, with remarkable brown hair and blue eyes, now that was VERY interesting to me! Then one day, I grew up, met my very own Marlboro Man and married him! (no, he was not the one in the ad, he was way better! Perfect for me!). For me it was all about the brown hair, blue eyes, and denim! Check, Check & Check! THAT amazes me!
  2. I am amazed that we have two smart, kind, funny, healthy and handsome sons. And I get to be their mom. How cool is that?
  3. That after all these years, I get to be a SAHM. Happy dance...yeah, yeah, oh, Ok. On to number...
  4. All kidding aside, I look back at just a handful of incidents when I was a teenager and I shudder. I am amazed that I did not die, in spite of myself. Living proof of the mercy of God and angels who watch over us. Amazing!
  5. I am still amazed that I got blue-eyed sons, just like my Marlboro man, and just like I wanted, even though I have brown eyes.
  6. I am amazed when I consider the childhood my mother had, and then consider what a great mother she is. Grace, grace and more grace. (what a cool name for your daughter Cecily r).
  7. That the devil even bothers to get up every day just to fight a losing battle. Hasn't he read the end of the book yet? LOSER! ;-) Amazing!
  8. I love our country. We are blessed to have many kind, good, smart and funny people. We can do wonderful things with technology, engineering and many other resourceful things. Yet, we get all tied in knots about "exposing" our children to the Bible, the topic of Jesus, heaven, hell and etertinity. Things our children have a right to know about while they are young (in my opinion). At the same time, in a complete paradox of concerns, a large part of our culture (at least a very determined and noisy part) feels strongly that it is important to equip (I kid you not, click here>) 11 yr olds with birth control and teach even younger children things about sex which rob them of the beauty and the wonder of what it is meant to be. What it was able to be for those of us fortunate to be over 40 and who remember when our culture still allowed some vestiges of wonder and awe in the bedroom. Call me ...mmm, call me amazed.
  9. I am amazed that a child will always forgive and an adult can barely do it.
  10. There once was a woman who was pushing 30 yrs old. She knew nothing about the Bible to speak of, and did not have a clue how to teach her 9 year old son what she knew about about God. So, she had to find a church that was equipped to make the Bible real to him, tangible. Later she got to teach children, teens and adults about God and His beautiful and life giving Word. I can't even explain how that happened. This is truly amazing to me.
  11. Last week my son and I were reviewing atoms, protons, electrons, neutrons, etc. In our studies we were struck by the fact that atoms naturally have a balanced amount of electrons and protons, keeping the electrical charge on an even keel. Accidental? Evolution? I think not. If you think otherwise, cool, this IS America. I am sure you won't begrudge me my amazement at this spectacularly, unlikely occurrence.
  12. It is amazing, in a bittersweet fashion (to me) that good people can stand to run for any public office, or even try to endure appointment anymore. The process of being selected, elected or appointed, followed by the just as unpleasant doing of political business, has become so mired in strife and malice. It is heartbreaking, frustrating, and disenchanting to say the least.
  13. I am amazed there is someone in my house who goes by the name "I dunno" and I can't catch him (I KNOW it's a him). He occasionally leaves the seat up in the bathroom, tracks dirt on my floor, leaves empty peanut butter jars in the cabinet, and empty milk jugs in the fridge. Why can't we catch this unseen person? Amazing!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Egel Nest Award!

Imagine my surprise, when I log on with French Vanilla coffee in hand, Paul Deen style, & I discover that Julie, from Joyful Days has been so kind as to include me in some very auspicious company, for which I feel poorly dressed to be in their presence! My heartfelt laughter and gratitude, Julie! Thank you for your generosity and all things gracious! I am always blessed and uplifted when reading your insights and commentary!

As she noted, I am a beginner, so I am hoping I have the netiquette right in noting the Egel Nest Award originator is Bradley Egel. You should drop by Egel's Nest , if you have't yet. I had never seen his site until today & I have to say, WOW! I have lots of great, new and humorous stuff to read! I like very much!

I would like to share this recognition with some blogs that I have discovered & find encouraging:
  • Cecily @ My Chaos My Bliss - Absolutely rib-splitting family stories! Great photos, also.
  • Leann @ Prattling Pastor's Wife - Good thoughts on all things family, church, marriage and home school life.
  • New discovery here for good thoughts on life from a military perspective of a wife & home school mom.

I know if you visit them, you will not be disappointed!

Have a laughter filled day!

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

UNADORNED - not adorned : lacking embellishment or decoration. My husband is such a good sport and sweet guy. He has always insisted that I look just as good without make-up as with, and he really, truly does like it when my hair is sort of straight. My hair is naturally a mix between curly and wavy on most days. Especially in our humid climate. Rabbit Trail Alert - (I remember when I was a teen, I would go to great lengths, while ruining my parents electricity bill, to have the air cold enough to help my hair be a little more straight. Of course I had to help it by pulling it straight then leaning back against the wall behind my bed, while I entertained myself with Taylor Caldwell books, which I loved (still do). OMG(osh)! I would not want to be a teen again for anything!) I digress. The point is my husband, like most, I would think, likes the natural look. I think the natural "unadorned" look is special because it is private way that we do not allow everyone else to see us, (and the general public all said: "Thank The Good Lord!" LOL!). Lately it is occurring to me that God would like my prayer life to be much more "unadorned".

Prayer is a critical part of my life. I would say my prayer life is a life-long journey to which there is no arrival this side of heaven. Just progress, rabbit trails, then progress again. Oversimplified, but you get the idea, because each of you have your own prayer journey. It has been occuring to me very recently to consider the word unadorned, and to consider it as a pattern for my conversations with God. In my pondering of this word and what it speaks to me to communicate with Our Lord, in an unadorned fashion, I get a sense that it insults Him when we hold back. He longs to hear what we call "the real deal". He really wants us to give the "Good, the Bad and the Ugly" to Him. It's a powerful thing when we can stand to do it. I have always thought that I was pretty decent at giving all the junk to Him. I've always been one to say to others "He's a Big God, He can take it, it's no surprise to Him". But, I see now that I do try to 'protect' Him from some of it. When really, I am just trying to protect myself.

I guess where I am at is this: We sometimes come to Him in our conversations (prayer) with Him, clothed in Christ, so to speak. Yeah, I know the Word says to be clothed in Christ. When we are out and about, any other place, yes, but in intimate conversation with Him, I am thinking there is a time to be before Him unadorned - naked and unashamed. The dictionary lists these two words as synonyms: plain, simple. He wants us to come plain and simple. When we are with our Father/Maker/Lord, this is a place of privacy, intimacy, and we can't do the work that needs to be done with our clothes on! We need to be able to acknowledge the naked state of our selves without Him, so the full power of WHO Christ in us is can be fully appreciated.

When we don't come to Him unadorned - We are pretty good at rejecting the thoughts most times, the thoughts that are the most dire, the fears, dreads, parts of us that we say "no, I am not going to pursue that, I don't accept that." We move on and while it right and admirable to move on and pursue the truth of God's Word for whatever the situation is, me thinks it is not as powerful as first making the exchange. In other words, we are being invited to take the exact prideful part of us that we are rejecting, or the dreadful fear that we consider unacceptable to waste time or thought on, whatever it is, and to give it to Him, call it what it is and watch it go up in smoke in His presence. Maybe this is where the Beauty for Ashes concept comes from! LOL!

Well, these are just the thoughts of a fellow prayer pilgrim. Like I said, I am learning as I go. I would love to hear and learn from you!

I think I might just go straighten my hair! Just kidding, ya'll! :)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Country Roads & Nickleback

BEAUTY, MUSIC & LAUGHTER - Don't you just love a good drive on a beautiful day? Isn't it even better when you have the company of a good friend or a loved one? Now, how about if your destination is to see more people that make you happy & you love, and add Nickleback to it, along with a cool breeze (this is good for my hair - low humidty - a rare commidity in Florida, ya'll!). Well, now you have my Friday morning.

HOME SWEET HOME - My son & I took off to go see my Mom & Dad, who actually live in the same town as us for the first time in 9 years! It was the first cool, autumn morning of our season here in Florida. The skies were beautiful, the pine trees were consistently bright, dark green. It was just a wonderful, free and easy drive through the country back-roads. We played the CD way too loud, just like I like it. It was great!

BEAUTY AT HOME - The visit was good. They have made their new home beautiful in so many ways, in such a short time. I admire their style, teamwork and thrift. We went home in time for lunch and to get school work done, and much more besides.

GIVING THANKS -On days like today I just can't help but bubble with gratitude for the good life we are allowed to have. Don't get me wrong, there are challenges on every corner. But, not without blessings galore! Today I was cognizant that we need to seek out beauty, through whatever means we experience it; nature, music, wood working, mechanics, knitting, baking, a good book, the possiblities are endless. We need beauty to heal us from the threatening tide of everyday hum-drum stress, and too little time with way too much to do.

Have a beautiful weekend, ya'll!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thursday Thirteen!

This is my first foray into the Thursday Thirteen frontier. Today I will share some of the things that make a good day during the routine affairs of this home school family.

It's a Good Day When:

  1. My husband is a policeman. He works nights. When he comes home, happy and safe first thing in the morning, THAT is for sure a good day!

  2. Getting up in time to have alone time with God, everything seems to flow out of that the rest of the day.

  3. Getting to bed on time (now that I am getting older) seems to help out a lot more than it use to!

  4. When my 14 yr old son is in a sociable mood and more willing than not to learn! Much better then! :)

  5. When I get a new insight into God's Word and have something new to prepare for teaching (not home school teaching, but I occasionally am blessed to speak to women's groups & I have a bi-weekly Bible study).

  6. When company is coming!

  7. If it's my husband's (hereafter to be referred to as my "honey"!) day off.

  8. When the house is clean, the candles are lit and something is cooking or baking & a pot of coffee is brewing! That is can't miss territory!

  9. When we have one of those unique to Home Schooling conversations, the kind that are born out that time spent together, not rushed, not distracted and you know something good has been etched into both of your hearts and minds, (his and mine).

  10. When I know that I haven't been so rigid about the lesson plan/work thing that I erased any chance at LEARNING - which is the whole point anyway.

  11. Lately, if I have time to blog, that is good!

  12. Someone close to me is struggling with an issue. It is painful to watch & pray. Some days I can tell they are winning the battle. Some days I am not sure, I just have to trust. Days I can tell they are winning -THAT is a good day!

  13. Any day that I remember to really be grateful for the blessings, oh, so many, has the power to make ANY day a Really Good Day!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Love is All You Need!

ASK ANYONE who knows me and they could tell you I am not a fan of the Beatles, but the last few days I find the phrase "love is all you need" running through the orchards of my mind. (Yes that is what I picture - rows and rows of fruit trees! ) So, why this phrase? Because more and more I am learning that the tough relationship questions that stump me, mainly require LOVE. Simplistic you say? What about those that are just determined to be difficult? The relationships that are strained? The long and the short of it is, it all comes back to love. No matter what strategy you are going to have to employ, if love is not the fuel, not the grease in the wheels, you won't get far. It all starts and it all ends with love.

The 3 (oh so frequent) times when I get in trouble are these:
  • When I try to love in my own ability and personality, (which some weeks would seem to be daily.) If I don't rely on the Holy Spirit in me (Romans - He has "shed His love abroad in our hearts by His Holy Spirit" - I find myself continually professing this, making it a focal point in my mind, thanking the Father for this wonderful gift.) It is not in me in my own power to love the way I really want to, the way I really need to. But, "Christ in me, the hope of glory!"
  • When I have failed to deal with issues that need resolution through discussion - this is guaranteed to make the chance of "blowing a gasket" & saying something unfortunate that you can just never take back, much more likely.
  • When I forget to forgive for the little (or the big) things. Sometimes when I catch myself being short-tempered with a situation or person, all I have to do is roll back the mental video tape and I will find what is really bothering me. Then I have to deliberately forgive that debt. Sometimes I don't need the video tape. I just know what the problem is. Whatever the case - it has still GOT TO GO! There is not room in my heart for it to be healthy keeping all those things. I sure wouldn't have any friends or family if they kept all of mine (debt). Too much mercy and grace has been given me in my life for me to refuse someone else the same.
I came across this song at our church quiet a few years ago. Not really sure of the name - but, it has a verse that goes something like "I just came to say I love you". I thought that would be a great life defining song. I remember thinking that would be great at my memorial service - when I am about 104! :) I think that it is the biggest part of what we are to do - learn how to love - His way!

Simplistic - no - I can't in truth agree. If you have tried to love His way - then you know, it is anything but simple!

Well, right now, love dictates that I need to go prepare supper! Talk more later! I feel much better now that this is off my chest!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Resistance Training

Don't know if I am up to this topic yet or not. It has been percolating in me for a long time. More so lately. It has been occurring to me how the hardest times of our life bring the best out in us. Cause us to put down the things that are non-essential, and make room inside us for what's really essential for life.

Think of how the astronauts lose bone mass in proportion to the length of their time in the weightless environment of outer space. Our physical bodies require gravity, require the push-pull, give and take that keeps our joints healthy and our bones and muscles developing, and staying healthy.

Non-essentials laid down - I joined a gym this week and you should have seen me trying to figure out what to do with my cell px and keys the first minute or two! I needed to put them down in a safe place so I could work-out unhindered. Even more so because I have not had enough of the physical push-pull thing going on in quite a while! Phew what a humbling experience that was!

What's really essential for life - I also noted that while I had a healthy breakfast early that morning, I did not bring water, nor drink enough before I left home. I needed less breakfast and more, much more water! Not an experience I will be repeating! Note to self - ALWAYS bring water. I was reminded of how much we need to lean in to Jesus - drink of His presence - even more so during the trial, the work, the "resistance training" that life dishes out.

I know the trials in my life, every one of them, have brought some of the best things to bear in my life. I guess that is why we are told to "count it all joy"!

I will be going back to the gym tomorrow, with my cell and keys secure, less breakfast and water bottle in tow! And I will be joyful! :)

There is Something Wonderful about Sunshine!

This is just a short note to say, there just nothing in the whole wide world like sunshine the morning after a rainy night with lots of drama! It's like even nature is celebrating the dawn of a fresh start and a bright, new, squeaky clean day.

How is everyone out there in cyberworld?

What Does it Mean Anyway? "Free to Fly"...

Well, it's like this: Here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Free: a : having the legal and political rights of a citizen b : enjoying civil and political liberty c : enjoying political independence or freedom from outside domination d : enjoying personal freedom : not subject to the control or domination of another2 a : not determined by anything beyond its own nature or being : choosing or capable of choosing for itself...having a scope not restricted by qualification 7 a : not obstructed, restricted, or impeded ...Now, here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Fly:1 a : to move in or pass through the air with wings b : to move through the air or before the wind or through outer space c : to float, wave, or soar in the air ... a : to take flight ...6 : to work successfully ...Examples which apply from Websters: fly high : to be elated - fly in the face of or fly in the teeth of : to stand or act forthrightly or brazenly in defiance or contradiction of

What does this mean in my life? This means that in life we are meant to be free. While historically mankind has not always enjoyed the opportunity to fully appreciate what that means, we are so indescribably fortunate as to live in a time of the greatest spiritual, physical, financial and political freedom ever known. Freedom doesn't come cheap, nor does it come easy. But the best things in life don't come that way do they? As I write this I am struck by how this sounds like a political statement, and for me this is much more of a spiritual thing, but, same goes for that (political that is). Freedom doesn't come easy. And it's worth whatever fight you have to make to overcome in your life in order to live a life that succeeds. Now the questions is - what is success for you? What is your standard? In my mind what is needed is a definite target - because you can't hit and maintain a moving target. A stable, rock-solid, anchor with no variable, yet multi-faceted. Something pure, just and worthy. If you look at any web page of news you can see that our society is certainly lacking in this area. What a great time to live as a rebel! Nowadays to be a rebel, all you have to do is be willing to engage in the battle of life, while anchored to Christ!