30 June 2007
(Just to clarify - it's not Texas - it's me! This place just isn't my home yet!)
There has never been a time in my life when I was in such heaven about the books that surrounded me and that I could currently put my hands on. I am reading the Donald Miller book - Searching for God Knows What. I know I keep mentioning it – but I just can’t help it! It’s so real and good. Lemme share a little piece of Donald with you:
The scary thing about religion to me, is that people actually believe God is who they think He is. By that I mean they have Him all figured out, mapped out, and as my pastor, Rick would say, “dissected and put into jars on a shelf.” You’ve got a bunch of Catholics in Rome who think one way about God, and a bunch of Baptists in Texas who think another, and that isn’t even the beginning. It goes on and on and on like this, and it makes me wonder if God created us in His image or if we created Him in ours.
This is amazing. When he starts talking about opinionated, hyper-conservatives who slap God’s name on whatever political agenda they happen to have at the moment he says, and I quote, “People like that should have an island.”
On top of the Donald Miller buzz I currently have going, (or could that be the Blackberry Merlot?) I am surrounded by other books that are feasts for my soul. Two Franky Schaeffer books came from Amazon today – Addicted to Mediocrity – which I used to borrow annually from my friend, Tina – but it is just such a long drive from TX to WV now – and Sham Pearls for Real Swine – a new book on a similar thread. Both of these books are about Christians in the arts. Here’s a little excerpt from the book jacket of Sham Pearls:
What other age beyond our own of anesthetized, plastic propriety could accommodate us? What past leaders would meet our standards of piety? Luther? We would find him vulgar. Shakespeare? Filthy. Bach? Secular. Verdi? Catholic. Joan of Arc? Insane. Winston Churchill? A drunken warmonger. George Washington? A reactionary chauvinist. Jesus of Nazareth? Rude, sexist, offensive, and inscrutable. All of these would be too complicated, too real, too human for the ‘nice’, the timid, the shallow, the ignorant – the church.
Yep – controversial. But real. I love it. I also ordered some Anne Lamott – who I discovered for the first time the other day during a major iced coffee high at Borders. I sat and just drank in her thoughts. I am not sure if I will end up loving her books – but I can be sure they will make me think outside the box.
So here it is – reading for research – to be inspired to write.
Oh – and I’m also reading Gossamer by Lois Lowry with my son – and that book is hard to put down!
I’m in book heaven…….
29 June 2007
She was supposed to choose 5 other girl bloggers to pass the award on to - so she said we were to come over and pick up our own reward. She commented here and said I ROCK - so we'll just take her at her word, regardless of how delusional she is! And there is the simple fact that I am a girl. Well at least I used to be - the girlish figure is gone - but the simple fact remains what DNA would verify - 100% girl. I love the blogging community, and I think I am supposed to pass this along to 5 other bloggers. I choose Kathleen @ Coffee Mom, Jane@Halfmoon Happenings, Karen@For Such a Time as Now, Renae@Planting Seeds, and YOU! You know who you are, you are a girl, and you're a blogger and you ROCK! Totally!
Today I had a conversation with a family member, while sitting at my kitchen island, not wearing a bra, in my PJs feeling all vulnerable and was attacked by the expression "Well, I'll pray your eyes will be opened." Of all the infuriating things I've ever experienced, this is in the top 10. First of all, this is coming from a person claiming "spiritual maturity" - and yet it is THE most immature thing I think one believer can say to another. Maturity prays without a word to the person about it. Can I get an amen?
This same person is also always saying, in any conversation on spiritual matters that they've "already studied ALL of this stuff" and therefore indicating that they can benefit nothing from your participation in the discussion. Actually it's never a discussion, but a monologue and anything you have to say seems an interruption to the "wisdom" they are hoping to impart to you.
And here is the thing - maybe I don't get what that person is saying. (In this case I think it is ridiculous and a distraction from what God really wants us to focus on - BUT) Maybe there is nothing of benefit to me right now where I am in my life. Just like when my kids were babies - I didn't try to shove steak down their throats. Sometimes you have to wait for a person to cut their teeth in an area before they can chew on what you're serving up.
Anyway - I got the house pretty clean. The fury made me shake - and I swept the front porch, washed some dishes, swept and dusted the living room, cleaned up my son's room in a matter half an hour. Why do some people make it so hard to be with them?
28 June 2007
I have always hesitated to call myself a "writer" because it sounds arrogant. If someone would ask what I've written, I would mainly only be able to point them to this blog - and it's crazy ramblings. Not much literary genius. Oh yeah, and then there is this - but that's not the kind of writing I really want to do. I think I've decided that consistently throughout my life, the one thing I have always loved to do is write. The first birthday present as a child I ever remember getting that I was thrilled about was a diary. In later years, after a messy divorce and custody battles, nobody encouraged much writing for fear I would write about them. But I am a writer. I love to write, and I will write. It seems delusional - and I fear rejection - which is why I haven't endeavored to do more than writing for myself. But enough of that. I throw caution to the wind.
So if I'm holding out on you on this blog - you'll know why. Don't think I won't be posting - I'm just saving some stuff for myself for right now!
Now I need some affirmation - do y'all think anybody would ever want to read what I write?
26 June 2007
25 June 2007
Oh yeah, and this incredible picture used on the cover was taken by Kate-the-Great, and the amazingly adorable girl smiling at you there is the offspring of my dear friend, Kathie!
I made this page with a super kit that I can't remember the name of right now - but it just fit this picture so well. My girls went to a "purity conference" with some friends and had a great time, learned a lot, and were inspired to give their hearts completely to the Lord!
I was thinking a lot through the weekend about the Bible Study that a small group of us are embarking on via a yahoo group. It isn’t just about being overweight or what you eat, but more about a heart of idolatry. This morning I was reading my new Donald Miller Book, Searching for God Knows What, and read something that really spoke to this issue. It is a bit lengthy – but I pray God may use it to speak to at least one heart like it spoke to mine.
I’ve a friend who overhead his wife on the phone with another man. She did not know he was in the house, and he walked up behind her, leaned on the frame of the door to hear her confess her love and enjoyment of the other man’s touch. My friend drove around Baltimore in a daze; he went into coffee shops and sat with his head in his hands. He went into a bus station and bought a ticket to Pittsburgh but he missed his bus, sick from smoking a pack of cigarettes. Instead, he spent an hour in the bathroom vomiting yellow muck into a filthy toilet.
Our systematic theology reduces the fall of man to a technical act of betrayal. We hardly think of it as relational at all. But I think this view distorts what actually happened. I think God must have felt like my friend in Baltimore. I think it was something terribly painful for God to endure. I don’t think we can understand the pain a pure love would feel after being betrayed by the focus of its love. You wouldn’t think God would forgive them [Adam & Eve AND us] at all. You would think God would just kill them.
A few paragraphs later he goes on:
All this makes me wonder what God must have felt, arriving on the scene just after the Fall, knowing all He had made was ruined and understanding once the sacrifice that would be required to win the hearts of His children from the grasp of their seducer. I see Him in my mind walking the paths, calling to the couple meeting their eyes for the first time, and Adam and Eve shaking in absolute terror, wondering what had happened, confused at the broken promise of a snake, feeling at once the trustworthiness of their first love and wondering if God would ever love them again, feeling the hot breath of His anger and emotion, hearing Him speak for the first time, not as a friend, but as One who had been betrayed. “Who told you that you were naked?”
I think the one difference in the scenario that “Don” lays out here – is that God was not taken off guard like the man with the cheating wife. He knew it was risky to gives us freewill, and He knew what the outcome would be. What God wanted most of all was for us to be willing to love Him in spite of everything that might attempt to lure us away. We find ourselves so much of the time, in the grip of our seducer. It may be packaged in the form of food, money, sex, alcohol – but it is certainly from the enemy. It breaks the heart of the One who truly loves us. Our struggle with sin is not a tally on a scorecard, but a shameful, adulteress relationship.
That is really the least of our problems, however. Yesterday afternoon, I got my husband into our bathroom to show him a spot on the wall in the closet that backs up to the bathtub that seemed to be continually wet. It was also right next to the towel hamper, so I wasn't sure if the kids were maybe putting really wet towels against it, and it just wasn't getting a chance to dry out. Well, he pulled the wallboard off and saw it drip, drip, dripping from the last shower. Ugh. We had to turn the water off immediately. I washed my hair in the kitchen sink this morning before church (which is another post altogether), the dishwasher is full, there is a pile of laundry in every hamper, and the kitchen sink is piled high with dishes. Thankfully the neighbors have been letting us fill up buckets with water so we can flush the toilets. Travis did some repairs, but as soon as he turned the water back on, it shot out everywhere! He is going to have to stay home tomorrow to work on it some more. You don't realize how much you take running water for granted until you don't have it.
24 June 2007
I got this comment from "Lia" earlier today - and since there is no blog linked - I thought I would take some time to address her concerns here - and maybe we can all learn.
Lia says >>
Isn't it a bit of a contradiction to say that a diet is slavery? Isn't overweight slavery too?
When the Bible tells us that everything God created is for our enjoyment, do you think God also meant eating so much that 25% of all Americans is overweighted and obesity is becoming a major health problem?
It is definitely slavery to be overweight. No doubt. But it is no contradiction to say that dieting is also slavery. I was not saying dieting was slavery and obesity is not. However, the diet industry proves that rules and regulations have no impact on righting our hearts. That’s why the average woman in her mid-thirties has been “dieting” since her teenage years in one way or another. What we are coming against here is gluttony – pure and simple. The premise of this Bible Study is to learn to eat the way God intended – not excluding any particular type of food, but enjoying everything in healthy proportion. We will also be learning to recognize the symptoms of hunger and fullness.
I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves – as much of this is explained through the weeks of study. Anyone interested is invited and welcome, but know that it is settled in the hearts and minds of those of us leading the study that what we will learn is truth.
Thanks Lia - great questions! Hope to see you there!
Evidently my DNA is mangled because no matter what I do this graphic won't post right! Ugh! Seems like maybe that could explain a lot!
23 June 2007
Then there was "the controversy". Don't you know that is just what the old devil needed to try and steal truth from me. But just like my friend, Helen says, (insert Kentucky twang here) "The truth is the truth even if a liar speaks it!" Let me clarify that I am not saying that anyone is a liar - I am just saying that the truth is still the truth, regardless of what is thought about the one speaking it. So, around we go again.
I blogged about my struggle with my weight not long ago, and my friend Sandy told me about a lady who had put together some of the concepts of that study, and we conspired to work on it together. Having support is super. Having accountability is even better yet. So here we are, wanting to get started - and then there were three - my non-blogging friend Carol wants in too.
Anyhoo, we want to start a yahoo group for support of this Bible study, called More of Him, Less of Me - or maybe Less of Me, More of Him. I am certain it is not More of Me, Less of Him - although sometimes isn't that the case?
The study is free of charge, and we want anyone interested to participate. I am hoping that we get started this Tuesday or Wednesday. Please comment here and leave your email to let me know you want to participate. You will have to have a yahoo account in order to do so on the Yahoo group site.
Here's looking for more of Jesus in you!
22 June 2007
Several years ago, I read a book that made me rethink everything I thought to be true about being a Christian. It was Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. It was one of those kind of books that makes you think, but it is written in such an easygoing style. You can imagine each chapter as a conversation over a cup of coffee in some trendy coffee shop, or walking near the river with the author, who by the end you have become as familiar with as a friend. My daughter Kendra has also read this book – and it had a major impact on her as well. Recently I decided I was going to read it again, but when I went to get it off the bookshelf I couldn’t find it. That night at bedtime, I walked past the room and saw it in.her.hands! What transpired was not pretty - and ended with me relenting since she had already started actually reading! For the past few weeks we have been fighting over it. I keep asking her, "Are you done yet?" She like her mother often has about half a dozen books going at once, as well as the Bible, magazines and all the other reading we like to do. Today I told her I was commandeering it to read while I sat for hours with her sister at the hospital. But when I got home, in the mailbox awaited Searching for God Knows What by the same author. I forgot I had ordered it a week or so ago on Amazon. Kendra was doing a happy dance and said, she knew that meant she could have Blue Like Jazz to herself. Ugh! I want to read them both, but I guess it’s only fair I let her have it!
Everywhere I turn, I'm having to fight for my Donald Miller fix! The other night, when I went with the kids to youth group, just to sit in a corner and check it out, the young lady that was leading the study quoted some excerpts from an author with a similar style, Rob Bell’s book Velvet Elvis, which I liked but not nearly as much as Blue Like Jazz. I was distracted wondering if she had read any Donald Miller. At the end of the night, I approached her and asked if she had read Blue Like Jazz. She said, and I quote, “Don’s my man!” Now I realize that this should have made me happy - to have others reading such a great, life changing book. But shallow as I am, it made me want to talk about how much better I know “Don” than she does! How silly we can be sometimes! Good for her! And if she reaches for Don again, she’ll pull back a bloody stump! No really – it’s alright.
One nasty sweet-flat soda, two phlebotomists, three hours, four times in the waiting room and five blood draws did for a very long morning make. There was a highlight – we saw Kathy and her mother Ms. Sylvia – a lady we attended church with that always walks around singing hymns that my husband said of, “That woman is a REAL Christian”. She was a bright spot. I also got halfway through Blue Like Jazz which I have been wanting to reread, and played a few rounds of “Golf” (our favorite card game thanks to my friend Lizbeth!) with my daughter. We also met a very sweet elderly man who challenged Kaitlyn to a race every time he passed us. He kept saying, “You’re not sick! Get out of here! Race me to the corner!” It was fun. Hospitals aren’t fun places, but there are times when they are necessary. The results of her blood test were supposed to be back this afternoon, but of course I can’t get in touch with anybody there! She had to drink the syrupy sweet drink and have her baseline blood draw – then she had her blood drawn twice at the half hour mark, and then twice at the one hour mark! She had a lot more needles than she anticipated going in, but she did very well with it. Now the waiting game.
21 June 2007
20 June 2007
19 June 2007
Yesterday my daughter Kaitlyn said how she thought it was curious that they were promoting the new Evan Almighty movie. While it is likely very funny - it seems a little wrong. I would like to see it - and can see the entertainment value in the "what if Noah lived today" scenario. But it does seem a little risky for them to promote this movie after Bruce Almighty.
Then this morning I heard a speaker - he was teaching about the woman at the well, and Jesus' offer to give her living water. He was explaining that every other well came up short - money, success, relationship, physical beauty - they would all be wells that ran dry. It was great - I was all pumped thinking - yeah! gimme some of that living water. Immediately following this segment came a commercial for a shop that does excellent body work on your vehicle. And this particular station is constantly full of diet and exercise programs, and home improvement shows. But - hey, you just told me that those things weren't important. And while I know they have to pay for their broadcasts somehow, it seems a frightening contradiction. My mind is renewed - and then slapped back down.
The worst worst worst one is a commercial about Christian publishing. It says something on these lines....."so you're a Christian author. once you finish that book you're working on, what are you going to do? PRAY it gets published." Ugh! I cringe everytime that one comes on. It is so unclear. I know that the mean don't JUST pray - and I understand that God doesn't want us to be passive - but it is so ugly the way they say it. Gross. Yuck.
Anyway - just my thoughts today. What do you think? Is Christian radio contradicting itself?
18 June 2007
There are a few interesting happenings to report.
The kids and I are peeling from the sunburn of last week. My son has enjoyed picking it off of everyone and informed us this morning at the breakfast table that he is making a "skin ball". I need mothers of boys to tell me - should I be alarmed?
My oldest daughter has officially decided that she is not interested in having a serious relationship - and would like to just be a teenager. Her philosophy is that relationships are a distraction, and an entanglement that she is not ready for yet. Where did she come from?
My youngest daughter almost fainted last night. She was as white as a sheet - even her face. She was also clammy to the touch. We have a doctor's appointment tomorrow.
Oooh oooh ooh - and I can't wait, can't wait, can't wait to see this movie! I LOVE Jane Austen! Oh my GOSH - and as you watch the preview you will hear some of the same music from LITTLE WOMEN! It is too good to be true! I can hardly wait! I am like a little kid waiting for Santa! I just read that it is supposed to open August 3rd!
Okay - I'm sorry but here is another video with awesome pictures from the movie along with some fabulous Jane Austen quotes!!!!
That's all for now folks! Badee badeep!
I'm just a bit late putting this up today! Sorry - things have been crazy. I'm dealing with a sick girl, piles of laundry, work and all kinds of other stuff! Here is a page for the week - it is still not a new one, however we did get my Adobe Photoshop reloaded when we took our computer back to XP - so next week should bring a new page or two or three! (I'm getting way ahead of myself!)
I did not make this page. It was created by my sister-in-law Vonda. I hope that she won't be upset that I am using it here. She is very talented. I will link to her gallery here once she sends me the link I lost when my computer crashed! She is a very special person in my life - and is responsible along with her mother for turning me on to digital scrapbooking. It is a hobby and a passion that we share and enjoy. I loved it when she made this page of the two of us. I will always treasure it. I am glad that we have had a chance to get to know each other, and I do count her as my sister in my heart!
Thanks Vonda for sharing this love of scrapbooking with me!
16 June 2007
It is really rainy today - big surprise - and while I was frying the donuts, Kaitlyn came out of her room screaming that water was coming through the roof. So Happy Father's Day daddy - you get to fix the roof! Strange thing is that this roof is just 14 months old - so we think it may be covered under warranty. It was landing on her bed and I am thankful that she knew it - and also that it didn't happen while she was asleep. C'est la vie! It's always something.
Hope you are having a nice Father's Day weekend. How are you spoiling the daddy at your house?
The top picture is pre-glazing and the bottom is post-glaze. They aren't pretty but they sure were good! YUM YUM YUM Stop on by - I'll put some coffee on! Travis won't mind sharing!
Thank you my precious baby girl. Your words have been forever etched in my heart. You too are a rare daughter!
What's in your Bible?
15 June 2007
It was a traumatic experience - grocery shopping. I really hate this task. I love to cook though, and my family won't stop eating even though I tell them how terribly inconsiderate it is, which means we need supplies. I try to only go every other week - but money is tight right now (could it be TWO formal gowns and a 3 week trip to WV?) and alas, I shall have to go again next week.
It is also traumatic looking at the carts of passers-by (should that be passer-bys?). The amounts of processed food that people consume scares me! I had a moment where I started to reach for the hot dogs and Little Debbies in the cart of an unsuspecting woman with the words, "You can't eat THAT!" on my lips when the Lord gently reminds me that I fed my kid SPAM yesterday. It just scares me. There are advantages to buying processed foods - they fit in the cart nice and neatly - all the square little boxes standing neatly in a row.
Grocery shopping completed, and heading in mini van full of plastic sacks, in a torrential downpour, my son and I spy what appears to be a MASSIVE tornado to the west. Ugh. I'm in a van no less, and I'm thinking of sacks of flour flying around in my van as it is sucked up into the vortex - MORE than I am thinking about our safety. Then I decide it doesn't really matter because the van is already covered with about 10 pounds of sand from the beach excursion. Oh and yes, I finally put a bra on to go grocery shopping and I finally got the whole sixties "burn your bra" thing - I mean who invented this twisted torture device? Anyway - it was apparently NOT a tornado. The weather - not the undergarments.
All this to say that it is Friday afternoon - I'm having a hot cup 'a joe, and blogging without a whole lot of demands to meet at this very moment. Ah! I'm thinking that maybe afternoon coffee is not such a good thing for me as I scan back over this post! Anyway - what's in your coffee?
~ Ruth Bell Graham
14 June 2007
I found this recipe in the Fix-it and Forget-it Cookbook. I haven't tried it yet, but I am making it this week, with some homemade sub rolls (Lord willing - last time they didn't turn out so well!)
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 1/2 pounds bulk italian sausage
2 large onions, chopped
2 large green peppers, chopped
2 large sweet red peppers, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
shredded Monterey Jack cheese
8 sandwich rolls
- In skillet brown beef and sausage. Drain.
- Place one-third onions and peppers in slow cooker. Top with half of meat mixture. Repeat layers. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Cover. Cook on LOW for 6 hours or until vegetables are tender.
- With a slotted spoon, serve about 1 cup mixture on each roll. Top with cheese.
I intend to add some garlic and other goodies when I make this recipe.
Check out more recipes at Diary of a Stay-at-Home Mom's weekly Slow Cookin' Recipe Exchange.
13 June 2007
After yesterday's sunburn, we were all dipping ourselves in a vat of aloe vera, and trying not to be cross with one another, and in the midst of the events of the day so far I have witnessed the following:
- brother does something that grosses sister out, sister gets angry & pushes brother & gets sent to her room, brother comes to express apologies for the thing he did to provoke the push
- daughter who was having a tough time yesterday with mom asks me for index cards to write memory verses, and tape to post them at various places in her room, also asks mom for scripture references of some familiar verses and we look them up together
- daughter does chores she would rather not do & brother that was pushed earlier by same sister helps her out
- siblings all reclining in living room to watch Quantum Leap and eat ice cream to cool the heat rising off of sunburn "together"
12 June 2007
11 June 2007
Dad - work 8 hours (in all fairness - out in the hot Texas sun - but when the day is done - it is DONE), eat dinner, watch TV, get hair cut, hang out on computer, roll eyes when wife happens to faint in the middle of the most intense action of my game
Kendra - tidy bedroom, tidy bathroom, help with laundry (meaning mom reminds me to check it, and later I will say, "I did the laundry"), clean up after dinner with my sister, listen to music, walk with a friend, sit on front porch with friend and drink hot tea, talk on phone, step over mom who has fainted on the floor
Kaitlyn - tidy kitchen & unload dishwasher, draw, tidy bedroom, draw, fold some towels, draw, sit on porch and talk with sister and friend, draw
Kullen - feed dog, take out trashes, play GameCube, see mom fainted on the floor and ask if she wants to play "Sorry", pout when she doesn't answer, watch old episodes of Quantum Leap
I don't mean to be facetious - but do you ever feel like your life is to make all of their lives better, and that you rarely exist on some level? I know that God has asked me to put others more highly than myself, and most of the time I do it without effort, but there are some days when I feel like I am going to breakdown under the load.
I know that there are all sorts of products now that are for scrappin' your recipes - but this was an original idea of yours truly! My girl loved this Shrimp Scampi recipe so much that I made it for her on her birthday. It was when we had our house for sale in West Virginia - and the day I made it our realtor stopped by and said, "Oh my gosh that smells so good. I can smell it all the way to the car!" I chose paper colors to match the shrimp - and found the clip art online! I hope you will scrap some of your recipes and share them with me! YUM!
Now get scrappin'!
10 June 2007
I am always so amazed when God allows blessings like this. Just this morning I heard a speaker on the radio say that God wants to give us more that what we are trying to take for ourselves. (I think I misquoted - but you get the jist!) He is so good to us, and He doesn't have to be. How cool is that?
Now, don't forget to go to the previous post and help me out - okay??
Some of the classes that I have seen taught ranged from Drama, Etiquette for Young Ladies, and a Castle class where the kids learned all about the structure of castles and built a large one with sugar cubes, to a Detective/CSI class.
Please share your ideas with me. I would so appreciate it. Let's get each other fired up this summer about some fun things to join forces on for the coming school year!
09 June 2007
First, I have made a friend that I have been walking with every morning. It his HOT HOT HOT outside - in the mid-90s even at 9 am - but every day this past week we walked around our block 3-4 times. This has been a tremendous blessing. While we have different spiritual backgrounds, God has used these morning walks to bring up conversations that are sharpening me.
Second, Kendra met her friend Allen, and because of that I met his mom, Sherri. She came over the other night and we had coffee and talked until midnight - never realizing the passing of time. She loves the Lord so much and it shows in every aspect of her life. Kendra and I went to a small group Bible study with them, and it was awesome. When we got home, Kendra made a list of prayers that were answered in the coming together of our newfound friendships - my prayers for a friend, Sherri's prayers for a friend that loves the Lord, Kendra's prayers for me to make a friend, Kendra's prayers to make a godly friend, the prayers of a lady we met named Joyce who had been praying for God to send a friend to Sherri, and I added that it was likely Allen's prayers to meet a girl who loved the Lord. It has all culminated in this amazing way that only God could do. You meet people and generally it takes time to get to know them, but it has felt all along the way like we've always known each other.
Then, the Bible study last night was like a big, deep drink of water for a thirsty person. I was starting to wonder if there were people here who would set aside their televisions for a night that they weren't "supposed" to have church, to have fellowship and communion with one another. It was pretty wonderful. Cleve Sharp was the man who led the group. There was no doubt the Lord's Spirit was on him. He shared a vision God gave him of some things that He was going to do this year among his people. So much of what he said were things that we have been sensing as well, and watching come to pass. One thing in particular was that we were moving from the church as it is structured now, into homes - for more koinonia - true fellowship among the body of believers. A mutual sharing of faith life, versus a political system where there is a power structure, and monologue where there should be dialogue.
Here are some of the other things he said that touched me so - that I was in tears even before he could finish a sentence - because I knew where he was going:
- I sense there will be a death of some things that have been dear. These have been places of great expectation. These were seeds that have been nurtured and at one time brought much hope. Many of these things were God’s will for the season but now it is the end of it. For a time it is ok to mourn. Then put it away from you …. Don’t allow the trauma of the transition to hold sway over you.
- There are some things that seemed lost to us … that will absolutely be recovered. The joy of these things will be as an old and dear friend. Some of these recovered things will be sweeter than we ever remembered.
- Some of the clearest words of life and direction will come from the smallest mouths. So, listen up.
07 June 2007
Today I have felt overwhelmed by motherhood. Everybody stays up too late, sleeps in too late, is grouchy with me for making them get up, and has a million excuses or escape routes out of helping out around this house, etc. Working from home 7 days a week is weighing on me - and I have to have the kids help or I will totally cave. But today it has been nothing but sheer resistance. I feel like I live with four takers - take take take - and they never notice when I may not have any more to give, or heaven forbid, that I need something.
I drank a Caramel Iced Coffee yesterday evening while the kids were at Bible study that kept me up until 2 am and I think that may have something to do with my inability to cope. I am headed to bed very soon and will hope for a better day tomorrow. Ugh. And even while I know that there are real physical factors contributing, I also think that as soon as we praise the Lord for something - the enemy launches a counter-attack! How evil is that?
BTW - hubby and I made up which was an act of God. I still have a hostile teenager who doesn't think she should be punished - but I can live with that.
Please pray for me - and share with me any advice, suggestions, scripture, etc. that you think may help me here!
06 June 2007
This morning he woke me up about 10 seconds before he had to leave for work (2 hours before I had to get up) and needed some help. I couldn't even get my brain to acknowledge that I was awake, and in a bit of a huff (hair standing straight up on top of my head) I said, "Why did you ask me for this last night?" which we all know is totally unproductive. His answer was, "Well you were too busy laughing." I let it go at that point, knowing that we were both being irrational, assisted him the best I could and let him leave. About 15 minutes later I called and was clarifying some things about what was happening after work, and he seemed calmer, so I was asked him if he didn't know that no matter what I was doing, he could interrupt me to help him, and what was up about the "too busy laughing" comment. He started to crack up and said, "You're NOT allowed to laugh! Bwaaahahaha!" obviously realizing the ridiculousness of what he had said.
This laughter is a gift from the Lord. It turns things around over and over again. Thank you God! Help us chuckle our way through old age - together!
(Rabbit trail - the last time I had felt like that was when a friend who sold Tupperware took me with her to a management meeting. Geesh the things I've had to go through after being lured by donuts and coffee! Picture the environment - podium at the front, facing rows of seats - typical lecture environment, yet a hush fell over the room not unlike the environment at church. There were testimonies, chanting, a lot of standing up and sitting down. These women were way too excited over the plastic things and their capability to belch air. Freaky.)
The woman's rambling took me back to that meeting - I was waiting for the plastic bowl to be put on my head and for somebody to spin me around. She rambled on and on (bless her heart!) about Beth Moore Bible studies, almost to the point of causing an aversion in me. I can be that way. I was none to happy to say goodbye to the overly zealous woman in need of some lithium when our turn came, and never thought of her again until the first opportunity came to participate in a Sunday School class where they were doing a Beth Moore study A Woman's Heart, God's Dwelling Place. Guess what? I didn't take it. But I saw something happen in the ladies that I knew that were taking it - they were getting really excited about God's word. Not long after, I swallowed my pride and signed up for the Breaking Free study - and suddenly I understood the crazy lady in line. God is using Beth Moore in a mighty way to help grow women's hearts for His kingdom. I have taken a bunch of her Bible studies and am currently doing the one called David: A Heart Like His. It is awesome.
So if you have never participated in a Bible study by the delightful Mrs. Moore, I suggest you do so posthaste! Come on over here, I'll put the plastic bowl on your head and spin you around. And for those of you who don't already know it, Living Proof Ministries has a blog now! Beth and her daughter, Amanda write to inspire and encourage women - and let me tell you that apple didn't fall far from the tree! Don't miss Beth's PMS post, or Amanda's Do Over post! They're so real, and so over the top for the Lord.
05 June 2007
I read a bumper sticker once that said, If you can't stand behind our troops, stand in front of them! Touche! No matter what your political views are, your freedom to have those views are secured daily in ways you can't imagine by our troops!
Dear Men and Women of the Armed Services: I remember you. I pray for you daily. Come home soon! Thank you.
I remember the moment it occurred to me, and it changed me forever. I had been on bedrest throughout most of my pregnancy with Kendra. I spent hours and hours and hours everyday watching a little black and white television, which was my only form of entertainment during the long hours of the day. Daytime TV in the 90s, without cable consisted of talk shows (in the Donahue era no less!) and soap operas. I got hooked on the soaps. As two toddlers slowly took over my life, I had less and less time for them. One day out of the blue, and I know it was from the Lord, I saw them as a poison. They were feeding me a scenario that was not realistic. A bunch of plastic people were going from relationship to relationship chasing the butterflies, giving up their bodies, and sacrificing their hearts. I realized that watching the soaps were affecting my expectations of my husband - the hard working man who would come in covered with dirt contrasted starkly with rich playboys with nothing better to do than womanize. And that day I decided - and I have.never.watched.them.again. Period.
I am proud of Kendra - she is wanting God's best. I have talked to her about not putting too much stock in "romance" and the stuff of fairy tales that no guy can live up to. Guarding her heart does not mean putting it in a steel box and never allowing anything or anyone to touch it. Song of Songs tells us not to "awaken love too soon". Really loving somebody is a process. I am having trouble navigating her through this as I gave my heart away freely and often as a teenager. But the Lord is the best teacher. I am going to keep pointing her to Him. He wrote the best Love Story of them all - He can surely author the one He has for her life as well.
04 June 2007
Here is mine:
I made this page of my son wearing his daddy's welding hood. I thought this would get you inspired to make pages for Father's Day! It was the first attempt that I ever made at cutting a picture out. If you use Adobe Photoshop there are a bunch of great tutorials to help you with this online. I can't find the one I used since I lost all my bookmarks when my computer crashed - but I found this one that looks very user friendly! If you need help - email me and I will try to help you navigate the process at julientexasATsbcglobalDOTnet.
Post away Scrappers!
I didn't see anything wrong with this church encouraging members to sign this petition as their consciences lead them. I just don't think the church (in general) needs to behave as if alcohol is the primary culprit - when the primary culprit is the sin nature. Take a walk down the hall of any hospital and tell me that chocolate cake and tobacco use is not doing any damage. But instead of doing spiritual warfare against the enemy and the nature of sin that dwells in the heart of each individual - we attack a behavior. I know the battle will never be won this way. Think of how Nathan approached King David about his transgression with Bathsheba. He did not shake a finger at his nose and preach on adultery. He did not post an announcement in the local newspaper to shame David. Nathan told a story that pierced the king's heart. That heart-changing moment took David from a place of unrepentant sin back to being the man after God's own heart. Can we get a witness church? Can we learn?
What I also don't like is for those people who see the cultural pitfall of alcoholism - and the effect it has had and then use scripture in a way that supports their righteous cause. I don't believe for one cotton pickin' minute that Jesus drank unfermented grape juice only. Perhaps he did right after the harvest when the first grapes were crushed - but just based on common sense, and mathematical equations - the Last Supper took place many months after the grape harvest. Without refrigeration, it is impossible to think that juice was un-fermented.
A word study on the word wine in the New Testament translates to the Greek word - oinos. It literally means wine. It is the word used for the wine at the wedding in Cana where Jesus turned water into wine. It is also the word used in all the gospel's analogies of putting wine into new wineskins - as the fermentation process occurs the skins must be stretched, which is why you do not put new wine into old wineskins. It is also the word used in Luke 10:34 where the "Good Samaritan" found the man beaten and left for dead - and poured oil and wine on his wounds. If the wine was used for antiseptic properties, doesn't it stand to reason that it would have been necessary for it to be fermented?
This is what bothers me the most - that no matter how good our intentions, the word of God cannot be twisted to suit our cultural agendas. Every study I have ever attempted on the subject leads me to the same conclusion. I have heard it said more than once that people want to get as far away as they can from God and still be able to be right with him. I would say that the rules are what put us in that shape. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. These are the words of Jesus. (Matthew 22:37) Anything outside of that is man's attempt at cleaning up something only God can clean, and it is the way of the Pharisees.
03 June 2007
Now, that being said, another thing that has started to bother me in more recent years is the cheesy, canned curriculum that passes itself off as "educational material" for the local church. I am not saying that some of it isn't fun, and that the kids don't like it. They do - kids love cheesy - for the same reason they love SpongeBob. The stuff is just downright goofy sometimes. I think that sometimes we sell kids short and make the things of Christ come off like a Garfield comic instead of what it truly is, the Greatest Story Ever Told.
That said, I love Veggie Tales, although I hate that the kids who watch them who have never been in church and hear the real story of, oh let's say Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego will spend the next 20 years of their lives thinking they were thrown into the furnace for not bowing to a chocolate bunny. Yep, Christian kids get that it is allegorical humor - but what about the rest of the world.
I do not mean to sound critical - I know how much blood, sweat and tears go into those programs - but wonder like much of what is done in the church if we've lost the true intent of what VBS is all about. In spite of these thoughts, Kullen will likely attend one or two of the local VBSs in our area, and if we were really plugged in to a church, I would likely be helping out. But that is not the sum total of his spiritual training. He's mainly going for the friends and the cookies!
Help me give not-Callie a name. Suggest away!
There is a young man named Alan who has been showing some interest in Kendra. They met through a mutual friend - and we were excited to hear that he is a Christian. However, we were a bit concerned that first, we don't know him at all and secondly that he is 18 years old. The not knowing him was a bigger issue than the age thing to be honest. He came over Friday night to meet us, and brought his mom so we could meet her as well. She invited us to a church that I had been curious about - and we went this morning and really liked it. He seems like a very nice young man - and he has good taste in girls. While we aren't allowing her to "date" yet, we are open to any young man of good moral character spending time with our family and getting to know all of us more. Only the guys worth having anyway are going to put up with the Forsythes for very long!
So I have been too busy for deep thoughts. I have had a lot of them - but I cannot keep track, and as usually happens, as soon as I have 2 uninterrupted minutes on the computer - all thoughts are gone!
Hope you're having a great weekend!
01 June 2007
First of all I noticed that if you have a large head, you should not have big hair. Unfortunately for me, I have a hubby who is in love with the 80s (mid-life crisis I think) and whenever my hair isn't big, he thinks I am sick. Anyhoo, I have been growing it out and I think that the longer it is - the less huge my head looks.
Second, I decided to retire the nightgown I was wearing. I guess I am of the school of thought that if it doesn't have any major holes where parts that nobody wants to see stick out, then I am in good shape. However, I noticed a tear at the top - that I'll attribute to my hubby and not explain further (let your imaginations go wild - and know it is probably not nearly that interesting or scandalous), and secondly there is a stain of an unknown origin on the front. I looked at myself and thought, "my husband looks at this and wonders where the woman he married actually lives!"
What has happened to me?
In some ways I know I've let myself go - although I try to be at least clean. Yes, clean can be my minimum standard of acceptability - however, I think it is time to aim for much higher! So I am headed out to do errands today - grocery shopping, the bank, the pharmacy, etc. and while I am out, I am going to buy a new nightgown. I did finally put makeup on for the first time in about three days.
And recently I have had a renewal of my complexion. A friend of mine in WV is a consultant for Arbonne. It is a skin/healthcare company. I have been using their entire facial care line for aging skin - and it is like a whole new me. Let me just say that their eye cream is like a miracle in a tube. I had gotten to the place that my eye makeup was running toward my chin by noon every day - and this stuff makes my eyes a little more like the tight skin around the eyes of my teenage daughters. It is awesome. Pricey but well worth it! If you are interested - email me at julientexas at sbcglobal dot net and I can hook you up!
Is anybody else in this rut? Let's help each other out of it. I want to feel good again. Drop some pounds, tidy my overall appearance. It seems that life, and kids, and house, and pets, and family and animals take a higher priority - as it should be - but I have to find some little niche for taking care of myself.
Also - Texas may hold hope for my weight loss efforts yet - as the southern accent does something indescribable to the word for my favorite frozen dairy confection - instead of saying "ice cream" it comes out sounding like a slang for Preparation H - say it out loud if your children aren't in the room "ais-craym". Sorry to be shocking - but this is really turning me off. I am sure I will be over it shortly!
Oh yeah - and um I almost kept this under wraps because I am totally hoping to win some of that yummy Canadian chocolate - but I figured that I should share it, because it's only right, and since my friend Fatty asked if there was chocolate involved if she voted for me at TopMomma - I figured if I at least pointed her in that direction, she may consider it! Head on over to Coffee Mom's blog and check out the awesome contest where you could win a chocolate bar.