Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 in Review

I started this last year...It's fun to read from year to year!


1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?

HOMESCHOOLED MY FIVE YEAR OLD!!!


2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

It's really easy to keep your New Year's Resolutions when you don't make any! For next year, I have just one: to water my plants more often, like maybe even regularly so that my plants have a chance to live beyond the brink of death!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

My SIL gave birth to my newest nephew, Isaac David. Gorgeous little man, isn't he?!


4. Did anyone close to you die?

My husband's granddad, Paw.


5. What countries did you visit?

Again no overseas travel for me this year...but not for the year to come!!!

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

A stronger, deeper faith...It's not that I didn't have a strong or deep faith this last year, it's just that I want a strongER faith and I want to go deepER with my Lord than I ever have before.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

My Baby's 1st Birthday...


Summer Vacay/General Council
It started in Savannah, GA...


Then we headed to St. Augustine, FL to see the Ralls!


Then finally to Orlando with the Romines for General Council!



8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

HOMESCHOOLING KINDERGARTEN...may not seem like much "bee-kas" it's Kindergarten but it was a huge deal for our family and for me.

9. What was your biggest failure?

The Great Snuggie Debacle of 2009


10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

There was the whole RSV thing back in February when Natalie got so sick she could barely stand up for days. Jackson was sick then too. Oh and did I mention we had flown to WI for the weekend. Yeah, that was nice. She sat on the platform while Scott preached on Sunday morning and didn't move a muscle...the whole time!


But we did have Pastor dedicate Jackson like he did Natalie years earlier. (He married us, too...awwww.)


And we ate some of these...


And had one of these...
video

Pastor tried so hard to get Jackson to crawl. He wouldn't for a few more months.


11. What was the best thing you bought?

My Music Man bought me an iPhone. Does that count?

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Jackson---for FINALLY eating solid foods, walking, and talking!!! Way to go Big Guy!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Hmmm...

14. Where did most of your money go?

Bills

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

I probably got the MOST excited when I found out Scott was taking me to Wintuk in NYC and then when we saw it. That was pretty much awesome!!!


16. What song will always remind you of 2008?



17. Compared to this time last year, are you:


a) happier or sadder? Happier
b) thinner or fatter? Same
c) richer or poorer? Same

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Journal

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Going to the Doctor's office and the walk in. Could have done without all of that!

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Quietly at home with ourselves.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?

Over and over again with the same three people.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Well, the Real Housewives are always entertaining as is Biggest Loser.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No.

24. What was the best book you read?

God Smuggler by Brother Andrew. HANDS DOWN...the best book!

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Pandora

26. What did you want and get?

An iPhone.

27. What did you want and not get?

To see my family enough or even at all. Major regret of 2009.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

I really, really liked Julie and Julia, but that may be because I went to see it with a great friend of mine and was without children for 3 whole hours!!!

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 31 and had planned to go to the Cherry Blossom Festival with friends, but for the 2nd year in a row, the plans fell through at the last minute. SO instead my friends through an impromptu, but AWESOME birthday party for me. I laughed harder that night than I think I laughed all year. I had a serious case of the giggles.

My DebbeyDew...

Suzie...

Sandy...It was while this picture was taken that I got the giggles that lasted the rest of the night!

We played some game that had to do with music and I WAS AWFUL!


30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

To be 100% debt free.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

Casual Chic Mommy minus the whole I-haven't-showered-for-3-days-and-I'm-still-in-my-pajamas-when-I-take-my-girl-to-ballet thing that a lot of stay at home mommies sport.

32. What kept you sane?

My Jesus, I love thee...

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Beth Moore

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

The H1N1 induced panic attacks of normal, sane human beings.

35. Who did you miss?

My parents and sister whom I haven't seen in many, many months and my brother and his family whom I haven't seen in YEARS!!!

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Technically I haven't officially met him, but it would definitely have to be Isaac David, my new nephew.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.

Letting go of tradition is liberating and makes room in your life for God to do new AND BETTER things!

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

"OH Baby...YOOOOOOUUUUU....got what I neeeeeeeed..."

39. 2009 in one word.

LET GO...I know that's really two words, but it's one concept that sums up my year pretty well.

40. Hope for 2010.

To continue letting go and moving forward into what lies beyond what I see. To respect my husband more than ever and encourage him as he treads new water with the Lord. To continue training up my children to love and fear the Lord. To live a life full of 1st Century Faith.

:::

Happy New Year, 2010!!!




Afrcka-bound...

In the Music Man's words...

Dear Friends and Family

I sit here this morning completely overwhelmed. Its been 2 weeks since I made the appeal for funds for our two missions trips in the new year. I have been on the receiving end of God's blessing in the past, but never quite like this. Our need was GREAT! Our God IS GREATER!

I had spoken personally with some of you, and when asked how the Africa trip was coming, I said, "well I don't have the funds, but I was willing to God, and God sees my heart." I had pretty much counted out the Africa opportunity. Well, yesterday at 4:30 PM was my deadline to raise 2700.00 before the plane tickets HAD to be purchased. I had in my account 1950.00 at 3:59PM.

The short story is, at 4PM yesterday afternoon, $750.00 came in to cover my trip. Yes, you read correctly, with 30 minutes to spare. So, thanks to you I will be able to GO and minister to a people that in my wildest dreams I would have never thought I would have the opportunity to minister to, lead worship in nations I NEVER thought I would be going to, and take the NAME OF JESUS to the uttermost parts of the earth!

You guys are awesome! Thank you for your faith-filled support. We still need your help raising another 3000.00 for our Spain trip in April, but thats for another email!

So this means, I have 13 days to: get immunizations; learn music from a band that I have never played with, much less EVEN MET; get the music department of First Assembly ready for my 2 week absence (I have 1000% confidence you guys will handle it! You wont even know I was gone); and pack!

The whirlwind has only just begun, but as it begins I wanted to say a humble THANK YOU for your overwhelming support of Melissa and I. In tears this morning know I am overwhelmed at your love for us and your support for our ministry.

Thank you!
PS and Melissa Ball

:::

I gave him a new journal for Christmas.  He asked The Girl to write a note to him in it for when he's gone.  What she wrote is beyond precious! 







If you can't read it here's the translation:
To: Daddy
From: Natalie
I heart you.
I hop that you
have a varvr Good
tom at Afrcka
I wat you to
say her bee kus
I heart you.
 
:::
 
What else could I possible say after that?


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Star Bright


The cave of Christmas
Is hidden
In the center of the earth.
You will need a lamp for the journey.
A man named John
Is a step ahead of you.
His torch sweeps the ground
So that you do not stumble.
He brings you
At your own pace
To the entrance of the cave.
His smile is complete,
Perfect,
Whole,
Lacking nothing.

Inside
There is a sudden light,
But it does not hurt your eyes.
The darkness has been pushed back by radiance.
You feel like an underwater swimmer
Who has just broken the surface of the Jordan
And is breathing in the sky.
John is gone.
Notice
From whom the light is shining,
Beloved child.


-taken from Andrew M. Greenley's Star Bright



- Posted from my iPhone

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Why We Cancelled Services

This is a lot of snow even by WI standards!


My kids are loving it!








That guy's worked hard this weekend.

- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Two Kosher Pickles....*

The Music Man has been working on a surprise for me since August. If you know him you understand the magnitude of that statement. For him to plan and KEEP a secret this long goes against every fiber of his fine being! From time to time he'll ask me if I want to know and I always say no. He's worked so hard on this secret and has been so proud of himself or keeping it that I just can't take that from him.

So Saturday night we were headed to his work Christmas party and he once again asked me about the secret and if I really had no idea what it was. I really didn't. I could not think of anything that I would be so excited about that he would be willing to keep a secret for 4 months just to see my face when I saw it. What could it possibly be?!?!

So we're sitting at dinner chit-chatting with some friends and one of them says, "so are you excited for Cirque du Soleil on Friday?" I was all "whaaaaaat???" And my man was all "months and months of trying to keep this a secret down the drain." Needless to say there was much disbelief and sputtering as everyone tried to salvage the botched secret.

I. Was. Thunderstruck. You see I have a special place in my heart for the beauty that is Cirque. I have wanted to go for YEARS, but living in central Wisconsin doesn't afford one many opportunities to see such an elaborate display of acroatics, dance, and plain and dimple awesomeness. When we moved to the East Coast there were chances here and there but by then we had kids and a mortgage and more important places to spend our money. To be honest I had kinda forgotten about going at all. Don't get me wrong, I still get the newsletter every month and know what the new shows are all about.

So when this sweet, well-intentioned woman spilled the beans of my man's hard-fought-for secret he was devastated! SIX days to go after months and months of building up the BEST, LONGEST KEPT secret of all time and it was gone in an instant. I felt terrible. For him. For me. For the months of anticipation.

BUT I was beyond thrilled! I gave him the most honest an heart-felt reaction of my life. There were shrieks and squeals and laughter and tears and hugs and screams and woo-hoos. I think it was all he had hoped for and then some. So even though the method of revealing his secret was not at all what he'd been planning months for, he was still pleased. I didn't get off the train at Penn Station, see the signs, and beg him to bring me back ASAP, but I can hardly sleep for the excitement I feel for Friday.

My man is amazing. I'm so tickled that he has kept this secret for so long AND that he made everyone who knew about it keep it as long as he did. He is simply the best.

Four more days....








:::


*For the Music Man...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

R. E. S. P. E. C. T.

My Bible study got me thinking yesterday about respect.  What is it?  Who defines what it is?  Is it to be earned?  Can it be demanded?  What happens when my version of respect differs from your version of respect?  Who is right?

I posed the question to the cyberworld, because, you know, that's what you do in 2009.  If it's not posted on twitter of facebook, it didn't happen....




A few people weighed in with their thoughts which really weren't all that different from my own thoughts.  It didn't seem to help much or really answer the question I had. But then last night, as I finished a really good book, it hit me like a tidal wave... Respect is not something to be demanded or even earned.  Respect is something that grows in time. 

Of course there is always a certain amount of initial respect everyone deserves just for being human.  A friend commented that it's a part of living in "polite society."  I absolutely agree.  There is also a greater respect due to certain people simply because of the position they hold...the president, your boss, your parents, your husband, etc.

Submitting to another person goes hand in hand with respect.  How many times have you submitting completely and gladly to someone who you truly had no respect for?  Maybe I'm the only one, but I'll tell you what, it is not easy to do! 

I'm reminded of Paul's charge to the Ephesians to "submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." (Eph. 5:21) That word submit means to, well, submit, put yourself under someone else authority, to obey someone else, to give up your control to another, but the verse doesn't say you do that when the other person deserves to be submitted to or because the other person demands that you submit.  No!  You are to submit out of reverence to Christ.  It's not about how you feel or what the other person does.  It's about submitting yourself to Christ first and out of that reverence for Him you find yourself willingly and gladly submitting your control and self to another.

I think respect can work the same way.  We respect because it pleases our Lord.  That's it.  We shouldn't have to earn respect from others or be demanded to respect.  We should willingly and gladly offer our respect to another out of reverence for Christ.  In doing so we honor that person, we honor God, and we truly honor ourselves.  It's then, and only, then that we allow respect to grow in a relationship.  Out of respect will flow trust, friendship, and love.

And isn't that really all any of us wants?  To be in relationship with some one who respects us, trusts us, and loves us unconditionally?  If we want that we have to give that first.  Allow yourself to open up to others by respecting them.  Don't do it because you have to or because they  deserve it.  Do it because of your reverence for Christ.  Life is never about you.  Life has always been and always will be about Him and Him alone. 

 

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Say What You Need to Say

Disclaimer: I have no idea where this post is going to go...I'm listening to an awesome (if I do say so myself) playlist I just made for myself the other day and I'm thinking that I might just give some commentary as the songs play. Be prepared though....we're just winging it here people.

Say What You Need to Say by John Mayer
I mean come on...this just says it all. Or does it? Maybe there is more to be said. A friend of mine has a sister in law who went to the doctor the other day with a stomach ache and within the hour was admitted to the hospital with a diagnosis of a body riddled with cancer. They gave her days to live. She's in and out of conscienceness and her family hasn't told her yet the diagnosis. She still thinks that she'll be back to work in a week or so. My girlfriend, another girlfriend, and I were then talking about whether or not she should be told her diagnosis. All three of us felt that she should be told. We agreed that we would want to know and one of the reasons we brought us was because sometime there are things that need to be said. Sometimes it's a confession of our soul, other times it's as random as I have a wad of $50 in my sock drawer. We thought that this lady needs to have the opportunity to say what she needs to say, and listening to this song always makes me think that I need to say those things now, rather than later...

Moving along...

Walk This Way by Run DMC & Aerosmith
This song just makes me smile...I don't know why...It just does...and that's all I can say about it because I've been texting back and forth with my mom right now about nail polish. The playlist has moved on....

You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift
This whole cd is very fairytale-ish. Fun but most every song tells basically the same story. BUT she reminds me of Faith and Shania...Speaking of Shaniaaaaaa.........

Any Man of Mine by Shania Twain
How could you NOT love this song? It's pure kitchy brilliance. I need a man who knows how the story goes...

Except from the real-time txt with my mom:
Me: Glad to help...btw...I'm blogging right now & I just wrote in the post that we're txting.
Her: So I made the blog?
Me: U totally made the blog. :-D
Her: woohoo!

Speed of Sound by Coldplay
When I listen to Coldplay I feel as those I should lower the lights and turn on the air conditioner.

Won't Go Home Without You by Marroon 5
Does anyone else think this song sounds like the love child of Every Breath You Take and Barbara Ann? I love it, but I'm just saying...if Sting and the Beach Boys collaborated on an album I would imagne it sounding like this song.

Sweet Emotion by Aerosmith
My thoughts regarding this song aren't real deep. I just like it. It makes me happy and I smile when I hear it. That's all.

Big Girl (You Are Beautiful) by Mika
Ah, Mika, my husband cannot stand to hear you, but you make me laugh. It's so irreverently delicious and poppy which is precisly why The Music Man hates it. Plus I first came across this song when my girth was growing daily...it ended up that I was preggers and had a baby a few months later, but at the time I just felt huge. This song was a balm to that big girl's extended belly! Made me feel sexy and proud to be big. I still wholeheartedly agree that big girls are beautiful, pregnant or not. Rock what you've got, Ladies!

Bust Your Windows by Glee Cast
Oh my! Oh my! Oh my! This is my closet obsession...well I guess it's not so much in the closet anymore. If you have not seen Glee, run, don't walk, to your DVR and set it to record all future first run AND reruns. Or go here and watch any and all episodes anytime you want. It's pure genius! I have been known to get up and actually dance along with the show as I watch especially when I saw this. Oh my, seriously! How great is that?! Wait...did I just say that I dance along to the show out loud? Can that just be between us? Mm-hmm? Ok, thanks.

Viva La Vida by Coldplay
If I ever go skydiving, bungee jumping, climb Mt Everest, or scan the horizon from the tip of Mt Kilimanjaro, this is the song I want to have playing on my iPod in those moments. I also feel the need to do this dance when I hear this song. The beat requests demands it.

I skipped over a few songs so I could get to this...

Don't Stop Believing by Glee Cast
I won't go back into the genius of Glee...I'm going to just sit back and enjoy.

Black and Blueby Seabird
I'm running out of thought and anecdotes for these songs...maybe I should be done....

Wait one more then I'll be done, I promise...

Fidelity by Regina Spektor
I ju-uh-uh-uh-ust lo-o-o-o-o-o-o-ve this so-o-o-o-o-ng. It doesn't get be'er, be'er, be'er, bet'er, better, better than this! And the fact that my 5yo sings along to it is almost to unbearablly cute!!!

ONE more and this one is just for my Nati-Girl and The Music Man...

Little Boxes by Melvina Reynolds
The Girl knows every last word to this little ditty. Could some one please tell me what ticky tacky is? Please? It's been plaguing me for weeks now.

And now I'm done. My brain is empty and floating away...we can all say thank you to my affectionate 17 month old for sharing his congestion and sniffles. Yay!


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Healer

Pastor did a summer sermon series on the Names of God. Some of the Names he preached on were Jehovah Jireh - The Lord my Provider, El Shaddai - The All Sufficient One, and Jehovah Rohi - The Lord my Shepherd.

The last name he spoke on is Jehovah Rapha, the Lord our Healer. I love this name. When I took Systematic Theology I in college we had to memorize a whole bunch of the Names of God and I remembered this one by imagining Jehovah Rapha as Jehovah Wrap-a like a bandage-my Healer.

There are three ways Jehovah Rapha wants to heal you....
  1. Emotional Healing - Psalm 147:3 "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."
  2. Physical Healing - 2 Kings 20:5-6 "‘...Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you..."
  3. Spiritual Healing - Isaiah 1:18 “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool."
The thing about healings is that they come in may forms and not usually in the way we think they should. There are instantaneous healings like in Acts 28:8-9 "And it happened that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and dysentery. Paul went in to him and prayed, and he laid his hands on him and healed him." There are also healings that occur over a period of time as in Acts 28:9 "So when this was done, the rest of those on the island who had diseases also came and were healed."

Yesterday morning I was straightening my hair when out of no where my neck popped and I could barely move. I couldn't turn my head at all. The pain was so intense I was brought to tears. I had a meeting that morning to get to so I cried (literally) out to Jehovah Rapha to heal my neck. As I cried I also worship Jehovah Rapha for the healing that was already happening in my body even though I couldn't feel or see it. I KNEW it was coming because I have chosen to believe what the Word of God says and it said that He will heal me, not He might heal me, but HE WILL HEAL ME!

By the time I got in the car to leave for my meeting I was still in a lot of pain. I relied solely on my mirrors because I couldn't turn my head at all. I was still in tears, so I called in the re-enforcements--my man of God. I tried to suck it up and not get all emotional but I couldn't. The pain was too intense As I sobbed, he prayed, and Jehovah Rapha healed.

In that instant I knew that Jehovah Rapha was giving me an instantaneous healing as well as a healing that would occur over a period of time. I felt immediate relief. I was able to turn my head enough to allow me to safely and somewhat comfortably drive to my meeting. The excruciating pain that had brought me to my knees never came back. Throughout the day the pain lessened. I went to bed with a moist heating pad on my neck.

I woke up this morning with only the slightest discomfort when I turn my head deeply to one side or the other. That's it!!! Jehovah Rapha displayed His instant healing as well as His on-going healing in me.

I just had to share this with you, because you may be going through a time in your life where you are in need of a healing of your own. You may have been praying for years wondering if God even heard your prayers. I want you to know that He does hear you and He wants to heal you! Don't give up. Your healing is coming! Jehovah Rapha is the Lord YOUR HEALER!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

With a bit of shellfish thrown in for good measure...

Hi.

It's been a while...I know...but as I've said before, with Twitter and Facebook, I've lost that blogging feeling. I even think in tweets, 140 characters or less. Crazy, I know. If only I would have known how those would both become so much a part of my everyday life however many months/year ago when The Music Man convinced me that my life was totally void of meaning without Twitter and Facebook in it, I would have thought twice about signing up. Nah. I still would have but for a few moments I would have felt sad about the neglect of this blog that my new love affair would lead to.

Aaaaannnnnnyyyyyyyyyyywaaaaayyyy...that's not what this post's supposed to be about. (I always feel like I need to explain myself to my two readers (Hi Mom and Grandma!!!). And, here I go again...more explaining.)

Let's get on with this post....

Two weeks ago we celebrated my man's birthday. It wasn't a monumental one this year. (That was last year and we did nothing for his or mine...something that we have since regretted!) A good friend of ours, John, has a birthday two days after The Music Man's so we usually celebrate their birthdays together. This year was no different....If we're friends on FB you already know all this and have seen the pictures from our Lobster Feast. The Birthday boys...



Again, that is not what this post is about. I'm getting to it...I promise!

See this beautiful lady below with the cake?...That's my friend Sandy. She married John. They had three kids who are all mostly grown now. Their second son is getting married this Saturday. I know, right! There's no possible way that she could be old enough to have a son getting married, much less two sons that are (will be) married and a grandson! But she does and she's amazing and SHE is the whole reason for this post. Well, more specifically, her TOES are the reason for this post...
See the night of the birthday festivities I noticed her toe nail polish and I FELL. IN. LOVE. It was THE color I have been wanting for years! I told her that and asked her what it was and who it was and where it was. She gave me all the info and I continued to admire her toes for the rest of the evening. Then I went home, put my kids to bed, and forgot about it.

Until this past Saturday night, when in a panic I went to the Walmarts in search of the color on Sandy's toes even though I knew I wouldn't find it, but I just had to try to find SOMETHING like it.

Yea, I didn't.

What I found was terrible and not what the sample card said it was and it looked terrible and I was so upset at the result that I contemplated wearing closed-toe shoes on Sunday because of it, but then I remembered that I don't wear closed-toe shoes unless it's snowing and threw on the cutest pair of sandals I could find with the hopes they would make up for the ugly toe polish.

Then I went to church.

Just as church was starting, Sandy comes running up to me and hugs me saying, "I got you something. I know you loved my toe nail polish so I got you some." She then handed me the little Trade Secret bag with my very own nail polish JUST LIKE HER'S!!!

I. was. blown. away.

You see, I've been blessed with some amazing friends over the course of my life, but it's been a rare friend who does those little thoughtful things that take them over the edge into the AWESOMEST territory. That's what Sandy did. I totally planned on getting my own at some point in time, but she knew I liked it and decided to just go get it for me. If I had worn socks and closed-toe shoes, they would have been blown off. That's how blessed I was.

That kind of friend is rare. When you find one, do everything you can to hold on to them for life. I'm enourmously blessed to have a number of these friends in my life right now.

One time I couldn't go on a girls only weekend, so my girlfriend brought me home lip gloss.

Another time (for my birthday) a couple of my girlfriends went together and got me a subscription to The Old Schoolhouse because they knew I was nervous about homeschooling this fall.

Friendships are about a whole lot more than common likes and life situations. They're meant to be give and take. They're about two people being there for one another even when it's really hard to be there or you feel like you're not wanted. Friendship is not about the friends you have, it's about the friend you are.

So these are my new toes...cute, right?
If you're wondering what color that is...it's OPI Pink Flamenco. Sandy got mine at Trade Secret in the neighborhood malls, or you can get it here.
So in closing....I guess this post is about friendship and nail polish with a bit of shellfish thrown in for good measure. Everything is better with shellfish.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pixelpipe! Where Have You Been All My Life?!

Just testing out my amazing new app.! Oh how did I live without you?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Daniel's Gloves

I've been teaching the adult Bible study at church on Wednesday night during the month of July.  We've been doing the study NO PLAN B by Todd Phillips.  It's about how God has only one plan for dealing with the poor and oppressed of the world--the Church.  Not The Church as in a church but the church as in you and me.  He wants social action and the gospel to go hand in hand and work together.  Todd said in the first session that "the gospel gives our acts a reason to be and our actions give validity to the gospel."  I love that!

Earlier today a friend of mine who has been attending the study emailed the following story to me.  (Thanks Linda!)  As I read it I wept, because it is the essence of what we've been studying for the past three weeks.  It is so easy for us as Americans to look away and ignore what is going on right in front of us.  We're too focused on ourselves to bother with the homeless vet asking for food much less begin to even think about the starving disease-ridden children of this world. 

The problem seems overwhelming to say the least.  What could I, one person, possibly do to make a difference in a situation that is so vast?  All it takes is one person standing up and DOING something to make a change in one person's life.  One person!  You!  Me!  That is all that God is asking of us!
I sat, with two friends, in the picture window of a quaint restaurant just off the corner of the town-square. The food and the company were both especially good that day.

     As we talked, my attention was drawn outside, across the street. There, walking into town, was a man who appeared to be carrying all his worldly goods on his back. He was carrying, a well-worn sign that read, 'I will work for food.' My heart sank.
   
     I brought him to the attention of my friends and noticed that others around us had stopped eating to focus on him. Heads moved in a mixture of sadness and disbelief.

     We continued with our meal, but his image lingered in my mind. We finished our meal and went our separate ways. I had errands to do and quickly set out to accomplish them. I glanced toward the town square, looking somewhat halfheartedly for the strange visitor. I was fearful, knowing that seeing him again would call some response. I drove through town and saw nothing of him. I made some purchases at a store and got back in my car.

     Deep within me, the Spirit of God kept speaking to me: 'Don't go back to the office until you've at least driven once more around the square.'

    Then with some hesitancy, I headed back into town. As I turned the square's third corner, I saw him. He was standing on the steps of the store front church, going through his sack.

     I stopped and looked; feeling both compelled to speak to him, yet wanting to drive on.. The empty parking space on the corner seemed to be a sign from God: an invitation to park. I pulled in, got out and approached the town's newest visitor.

     'Looking for the pastor?' I asked.

     'Not really,' he replied, 'just resting.'

     'Have you eaten today?'

     'Oh, I ate something early this morning.'

     'Would you like to have lunch with me?'

     'Do you have some work I could do for you?'
    
    'No work,' I replied 'I commute here to work from the city, but I would like to take you to lunch.'

     'Sure,' he replied with a smile.

     As he began to gather his things, I asked some surface questions. Where you headed?'

    '  St. Louis  '

    'Where you from?'

     'Oh, all over; mostly   Florida ..'

    'How long you been walking?'

     'Fourteen years,' came the reply.

    I knew I had met someone unusual. We sat across from each other in the same restaurant I had left earlier. His face was weathered slightly beyond his 38 years. His eyes were dark yet clear, and he spoke with an eloquence and articulation that was startling. He removed his jacket to reveal a bright red T-shirt that said, 'Jesus is The Never Ending Story.'

     Then Daniel's story began to unfold. He had seen rough times early in life. He'd made some wrong choices and reaped the consequences.. Fourteen years earlier, while backpacking across the country, he had stopped on the beach in Daytona.. He tried to hire on with some men who were putting up a large tent and some equipment. A concert, he thought.
    
    He was hired, but the tent would not house a concert but revival services, and in those services he saw life more clearly. He gave his life over to God

    'Nothing's been the same since,' he said, 'I felt the Lord telling me to keep walking, and so I did, some 14 years now.'

     'Ever think of stopping?' I asked.

     'Oh, once in a while, when it seems to get the best of me But God has given me this calling. I give out Bibles That's what's in my sack. I work to buy food and Bibles, and I give them out when His Spirit leads.'

    I sat amazed. My homeless friend was not homeless. He was on a mission and lived this way by choice. The question burned inside for a moment and then I asked: 'What's it like?'

     'What?'

    'To walk into a town carrying all your things on your back and to show your sign?'

    'Oh, it was humiliating at first. People would stare and make comments. Once someone tossed a piece of half-eaten bread and made a gesture that certainly didn't make me feel welcome. But then it became humbling to realize that God was using me to touch lives and change people's concepts of other folks like me.'

    My concept was changing, too. We finished our dessert and gathered his things. Just outside the door, he paused He turned to me and said, 'Come Ye blessed of my Father and inherit the kingdom I've prepared for you. For when I was hungry you gave me food, when I was thirsty you gave me drink, a stranger and you took me in.'

     I felt as if we were on holy ground. 'Could you use another Bible?' I asked.

     He said he preferred a certain translation. It traveled well and was not too heavy. It was also his personal favorite.. 'I've read through it 14 times,' he said.

    'I'm not sure we've got one of those, but let's stop by our church and see' I was able to find my new friend a Bible that would do well, and he seemed very grateful.

    'Where are you headed from here?' I asked.

     'Well, I found this little map on the back of this amusement park coupon.'

     'Are you hoping to hire on there for awhile?'

    'No, I just figure I should go there. I figure someone under that star right there needs a Bible, so that's where I'm going next.'




    He smiled, and the warmth of his spirit radiated the sincerity of his mission. I drove him back to the town-square where we'd met two hours earlier, and as we drove, it started raining. We parked and unloaded his things.

    'Would you sign my autograph book?' he asked.. 'I like to keep messages from folks I meet.'

     I wrote in his little book that his commitment to his calling had touched my life. I encouraged him to stay strong. And I left him with a verse of scripture from Jeremiah, 'I know the plans I have for you, declared the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you; Plans to give you a future and a hope.'

  'Thanks, man,' he said. 'I know we just met and we're really just strangers, but I love you.'

   'I know,' I said, 'I love you, too.' 'The Lord is good!'

   'Yes, He is. How long has it been since someone hugged you?' I asked..

     A long time,' he replied

    And so on the busy street corner in the drizzling rain, my new friend and I embraced, and I felt deep inside that I had been changed.. He put his things on his back, smiled his winning smile and said, 'See you in the New Jerusalem.'

    'I'll be there!' was my reply.
    
    He began his journey again. He headed away with his sign dangling from his bedroll and pack of Bibles. He stopped, turned and said, 'When you see something that makes you think of me, will you pray for me?'

     'You bet,' I shouted back, 'God bless.'

    'God bless.' And that was the last I saw of him.

     Late that evening as I left my office, the wind blew strong. The cold front had settled hard upon the town. I bundled up and hurried to my car. As I sat back and reached for the emergency brake, I saw them.... a pair of well-worn brown work gloves neatly laid over the length of the handle. I picked them up and thought of my friend and wondered if his hands would stay warm that night without them.

    Then I remembered his words: 'If you see something that makes you think of me, will you pray for me?'

    Today his gloves lie on my desk in my office.. They help me to see the world and its people in a new way, and they help me remember those two hours with my unique friend and to pray for his ministry. 'See you in the New Jerusalem,' he said. Yes, Daniel, I know I will...

“I shall pass this way but once. Therefore, any good that I can do or any kindness that I can show, let me do it now, for I shall not pass this way again.”

So take a moment to ask God what He would have YOU do today.  Something that is seemingly small and insignificant to you has the potential of radically altering another person's life for all eternity.  Nothing is too small for God to use!

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Superbowl of Motherhood

Today all of heaven is rejoicing with me.

My daughter came to me about an hour ago and said, "I just asked Jesus into my heart, Mommy!"

It just doesn't get any better than that!

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

May God continue to draw you to Him. May you enjoy the many wonderful blessings of a life lived for Him. You will never be sorry.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Once a Month Won't Get You Blogher Ads

About six months ago I applied to run Blogher ads on my sight. At that time I was posting a couple times a week. Then it tapered off....slowly...to the speed of cold molassas in January. I totally forgot about the application and about Blogher in general until two weeks ago when I received their response to my application.

A paraphrase...
"Due to your utter lack of posting we're going to pass this time on you this time. We prefer to have our ads run on blogs that people actually read! People don't read blogs that are only posted to once a month. Sorry about your luck. When you get your bloggy butt in gear you can re-apply."

(It really wasn't rude AT ALL! I added all the snippy comments.)

I was so irritated with myself on the one hand, but on the other hand I didn't care at all. Since applying for the ads, my outlook on my little piece of the blogesphere has changed. I used to want lots and lots of readers. I wanted to run ads to draw more readers and more advertisers so I could make a name for myself just like The Pioneer Woman and Dooce.

But I've discovered that's not what I want at all. I just want a place to be me. I want to write about the stuff I love and share my life with the people I care about. If a stranger stumbles upon my little blog here and is encouraged or blessed or amused by something I wrote and wants to come back day after day, er...month after month, then more power to them. But I'm not going to seek that out. At least not now anyway.

Soooo...what's my point? Um, I guess there really isn't one. Ha! With Twitter and Facebook giving, I haven't felt the need to post here. And honestly...the few people who even read this blog are already on either Twitter of Facebook (or both) and you haven't wondered one moment where I've been.

I'll be interested to see where this blog goes. I'll keep you posted.



Bahahaha!!!! Get it?!?!? Posted!?!?!?!


I love when I make myself laugh!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

There is NO PLAN B...



Join me Wednesday nights for a brand new study of God's remarkable plan to rescue the world!

WARNING: This study just might mess with your current worldview. Be prepared to Get Uncomfortable!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Independance Hall

A gorgeous day with my lovelies. It doesn't get much better than this!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Introspection

Music is a powerful thing. 

This morning as I was putting on my makeup I put on a little old-school Jason Upton and instantly I was sitting on the floor in my closet doing the very same thing only it was 9 years ago.  I could smell my closet and the summer breeze coming through under the door.  I was overcome with those precious feeling of falling in love for the first time, the giddiness of knowing that I had met my husband-to-be.  The feeling of utter abandonment to the Holy Spirit's leading.  The nerves of knowing I was on the verge of the beginning of my life.  The innocence of ministry that can only be found in someone who doesn't have the first clue what's to come.

I close my eyes and I can see the pictures lined up on the mirror on the back of my closet door.  I can see the brand new size 8 dresses bought just days ago hanging to my left and the dozens of bridesmaids dresses hanging on the right.  I can hear the phone ringing and feel my stomach flutter wondering if it was The Music Man.  I had no worries, no real responsibilities, no mortgage, no kids, no mini-van.  It was such a simple time.

I can see it as clearly as I can close my eyes and see my children today.  It's like it was yesterday.  It makes me so emotional to think of it now.  Oh! to be able to recapture those innocent feelings of complete abandonment to the Spirit.  To shake free from the worries of life.  To feel like anything's possible for me.  To have a passion for ministry that's not been tainted and a bit scarred. 

My prayer remains the same as it was then...  "Lord, have YOUR way in my life...take it, take all of it and do with it whatever YOU want!"  But yet I don't feel like I am the same person.  My innocence is gone.  Responsibility and demands schedule my days now.  I'm pulled a thousand different directions and it's hard to keep track of where I'm going. 

I look different. 
I act different. 
I think different. 
I am different.

On the one hand I'm glad.  I've grown up so much.  I have experienced things I wouldn't wish on anyone, but yet I've also had more joy and fulfillment in my life than I ever thought possible 9 years ago. 

But on the other hand, I feel like such a different person from that young bride-to-be, that I often wonder who am I?  Am I still that carefree, spontaneous, goofy girl and have I just lost sight of her along the way?  Or am I this new more serious, slightly OCD, home-body of a woman who's called wife and mother?  And is it possible to be both and still be me?

I wonder if in another 9 years I'll listen to a cd and it will transport me back in time to a day much like today.  I'll hear my babies laughing and playing.  I'll see the mounds of laundry and the choas of an upset toy box.  Will I remember this time as fondly as I feel towards it right now as I live it?  Will I look at myself today and think how innocent she was!?  Where will I be in 9 years?  What will God have brought me through?  Will I be even more serious or will I be more spontaneous and carefree? 

I still believe anything possible, but somehow this feels different.  It feels more defined...more refined... 

Refined by time.
Refined by life experience. 
Refined by tradegy. 
Refined by babies. 
Refined by love. 
Refined by God.

And I'm ok with that.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

There's no resisting it...

Is anyone else floored by the Idol finale?  I totally thought Adam was walking out of there as the next American Idol! Overall the finale was delightfully entertaining!  There were some really great moments and some real doosies.  First the highlights...  (These are just my opinions so if you don't agree that's cool.)

1. Norman Gentle
2. Ryan in Norman's glasses and headband
3. Anoop and Alexis with Jason Mraz
4. Kris and Keith urban
5. Randy's cute little bow tie and matching specs
7. Kara and bikini girl - Love the way Kara whipped out her own bikini!
8. Gene Simmons pony tail
9. Santana, and SANTANA ONLY...please see Miss #3 & #4 for more information.
10. Tatiana del Toro 


Total Misses
1. Adams skeletor shoulder pads and boots
2. KISS. I just don't get them.
3. When the top 13 joined Santana
4. The excessive group numbers.
5. That oil rigger guy
6. That Matt guy with the nubbin on his head (which, by the way, they've photo-shopped out of this picture!)
6. Not enough Anoopdawg
7. Too much of Adams falsetto screaming
8. The trophys - just weird. 
9. This guy reminds me of this guy.
10. I really only had 9 misses, but I'm too OCD tp not have 10 highlights and 10 misses.


That's it.  That's all I've got. 

Now what am I going to do with my Tuesday and Wednesday nights???

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dude's Turning One!!!

My baby boy was born one year ago today. I could not tell you where that time has gone, but I can tell you that it was gone in a split second! All day long I have been remembering where I was and what I was doing this time last year...

He's an amazing little man and I cannot imagine life without him.

This was us just about this time last year...


This is us just a minute ago...


What a difference a year can make! Those are real drumsticks in his hands. His favorite thing in all the world. Annnnnd....his tshirt says "drummer wanted!" Annnnnnnnd....yes, that it a mohawk in his hair! You can't be a dummer without a mohawk! Everybody knows that!

So I wish you the happiest of birthdays Little Guy! I know this one is sure to be the best one yet! All the pain and agony with NO EPIDURAL(!!!!!!!!) I suffered a year ago was SOOOOOO worth it!


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Latest on the Homefront

This morning as sat down for breakfast my kitchen was filled with the Presence of God.

What does that mean?
How do I know?

I don't know how to explain it other than to say I suddenly knew I was surrounded by pure love. I felt it like I feel the clothes I'm wearing. It was as if the Lord Himself walked in, sat down at my kitchen table, and said, "Ok Girlie. Here I am to fill you with my love and carry you through today."

Puddle. I was a puddle.

I read Oswald Chamber's timeless My Utmost for His Highest and was blown away yet again that through Christ's resurrection I have been given a completely new life. All of the old junk in my life is gone and He has made ALL THINGS NEW!!! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

"Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory?"

Our Lord's Cross is the gateway into His life: His Resurrection means that He has power now to convey His life to me. When I am born again from above, I receive from the Risen Lord His very life.

Our Lord's Resurrection destiny is to bring "many sons unto glory." The fulfilling of His destiny gives Him the right to make us sons and daughters of God. We are never in the relationship to God that the Son of God is in; but we are brought by the Son into the relation of sonship. When Our Lord rose from the dead, He rose to an absolutely new life, to a life He did not live before He was incarnate. He rose to a life that had never been before; and His resurrection means for us that we are raised to His risen life, not to our old life. One day we shall have a body like unto His glorious body, but we can know now the efficacy of His resurrection and walk in newness of life. "I would know Him in the power of His resurrection."

"As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him." "Holy Spirit" is the experimental name for Eternal Life working in human beings here and now. The Holy Spirit is the Deity in proceeding power Who applies the Atonement to our experience. Thank God it is gloriously and majestically true that the Holy Ghost can work in us the very nature of Jesus if we will obey Him.

When I copied that into this post, the verse got cut off. It's Luke 24:26 not 24:2, but I didn't realize that until I had first gone to verse 2 and read that "they found the stone rolled away from the tomb..." I was overcome with... I don't know what, but look at that. THE STONE WAS ROLLED AWAY AND HE WASN"T THERE ANYMORE!!! Are you kidding me!? Nothing else needs to be said.

Puddles. More puddles. I read on...

Verse 45 says, "then He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures." If he opened their minds to understand His Word, he will do the same for me!!! Little old me!!! Who I am that He even knows who I am??? I'm no one.

No longer just puddles. We're talking small ponds now!

I read on... He then ascended to heaven and the disciples returned to the temple where "they stayed continually...praising God." When you understand the cost of your salvation you can't help but continually praise God. You know where you have been and you know where you should be, but because God loved you so much He made a way for your life to be redeemed. He made a way for us to break free from the consequences of our sinful lives. It was through Christ's death that our debt was paid and it is through is resurrection that we find ourselves able to spend eternity continually praising God!




Oh how He loves you!!!

Puddles? Small Ponds? Fuggetaboutit!!! Oceans, now. Deep, wide, endless oceans.

Friday, April 03, 2009

A Day at Truvy's

I got my hair done today.

Ahhhh... That feels so much better!

Anyway... It seemed as though everyone I know in this little town was also getting their hair done today. I felt like I was living Steel Magnolias. All that was missing was Annelle...

"...Miss Truvy, I promise that my personal tragedy will not interfere with my ability to do good hair..."

And Ouiser...

"...He is a boil on the butt of humanity!"


Thursday, April 02, 2009

My Core is Sore!

I really go into my pilates workout* yesterday. I knew I would be sore today, and guess what!? I am!!!

Ouchy-wa-wa!

In other news....

Being a SAHM doesn't allow me the time to go to a gym to work out. If I had the time, I don't know that I would go anyway. I love working out at home. I love the flexibility of being able to do it when I want and at the moment I want (that's a biggie!). I love that I have the privacy to make faces and sounds I wouldn't normally if someone was on the machine next to me.

I have a massed a small collection of workout dvds that I rotate through. I like to mix it up, so I rarely do the same one two days in a row. I have found that I love walking aerobics, yoga, and pilates. Lately I've had a number of people ask me for recommendations for workout dvds. I always recommend the same few dvds. I thought those recommendations would make for good blog fodder or blodder as I like to say.

So without furthre adeu...Here are my top THREE recommendations...

1. Leslie Sansone Walking dvds. This particular one is my favorite and the one I recommend over all other (although they are all good). It can be done as a whole--5 miles or can be broken up and done a mile a day. OR you can do what I do and mix and match the chapters to create the workout you want.


2.The "for dummies" series is my best friend. (Did I just say that I'm a dummy?) It breaks down the workouts and lingo which is great for getting started. This one is a fantastic and is a great place to get started with yoga. Very basic and informative. I have transcribed the positions onto paper that I use now instead of the dvd. I often go through the positions after an intense workout or in the evenings to relax.


*3. This particular workout KICKS MY BUTT, er my CORE!!! It the one I do more than any other "dummy" workout.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Me too! Me too!

I follow Mark Batterson on Twitter. He's this really great guy who happens to also have this amazing church in our district. Anyway, he's written like a million books (slight exaggeration **blush**) and his little tweets are pretty witty. Today he had a really great one...
So I'm going to make that my prayer for today too.


What about you? What's your prayer for today?

Friday, March 27, 2009

TWO WHOLE DAYS OF POSTS...

...Aren't you proud of me?!

We watched Australia last night after the kiddos went to bed. I was excited to see it ever since seeing the previews a while back. It had been heralded as this great epic film. The only thing epic about it was it's length. An hour into it I got on my computer so I had something to do. The movie was sssssllllloooooowwwww goings!

Here's my real-time commentary of the movie. I wrote this last night as I watched starting about an hour into it...

I seriously doubt they even went to Australia to film it. It looks like the whole thing was filmed on a back lot in LA. Some of the cheesiest FX and uses of green screen I've ever seen.

When that little boy "sings" to animals...TOTALLY CREEPY!!! I'm afraid that when we finish this movie the only thing we'll be saying is, "Now that is 2 hours and 45 minutes of our lives we'll never get back."

"The wrong side of business" = Horizantal mambo

1:14 into it...

A friend just told me that the second half gets better. I'm kinda thinking that a root canal would be better than this. At least at a root canal they give you happy gas. I could use some happy gas. And why must King George always be in tree pose?

Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman...not a believable couple. Wolverine and Tom Cruise's wife??? Just doesn't work for me.

And the random Japanese cook??? This movie does make me want to see the Wizard of Oz again though. I must admit.

If I was all dolled up and a patroness of a fundraiser...I wonder how much a dance with me would go for? You think I could raise $5?

Ok. Here we go. Mr. Jackman is clean cut and all dolled up too. Something tells me that the wrong side of business is in their future. Thanks to The Music Man we just skipped on through that part. But I tell you what! That Mr. Fletcher is a bad man. He gives me the creeps too.

All this talk of "creamy" makes me want ice cream. Mmmm...I want coffee mixed with cookie dough eaten with cinnamon graham crackers. Oh my...now that is something I can enjoy. I lived on that while I was pregnant with the boy-wonder. It's a miracle I only gained 26 pounds. Shoot! I sho'nuff want me some ice cream now. I could go get it and be back before the movie was even over. I'm sure I wouldn't even miss anything.

Other things I could be doing right now instead of watching this movie...
  1. Reading a book.
  2. Eating ice cream...the aforementioned concoction, please.
  3. The wrong side of business with The Music Man.
  4. Painting my nails.
  5. Writing a more worthwhile post.
  6. Buying more shampoo.
  7. Folding clothes. Seriously. The basket's right in front of me.
  8. Playing computer games like this and this or even playing around with this. Can you say, "I heart MacHeist 3 Bundle"???
I was going to write 10 things I could be doing instead of watching this movie, but I'm too bored. Talking about those games makes me want to play them. I'm ending this commentary. My recommendation would be to read this and save yourself a few hours of time.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I know I know

I've been a bit MIA on here lately. I'm not sure what my reasons are. I know I have them, but trying to formulate them into complete thoughts with quirky one lines for a spanky post aren't happenin' for me right now. Soooo...it is on my to-do list, so I will do it. I promise. I also promise to post more often, not just tell you why I'm not posting every couple months. Mmm kay?

Now that the air is clear, I thought I'd let you in on a little project I'm starting. Actually I've already been doing this but I've decided to welcome some accountability into my life and join with a bunch of other bloggers.

Woo-hoo for accountabiblty!


I've joined the 30 x 5 challenge over at 2nd Cup of Coffee. You do 30 minutes of excercise a day, five days a week. And it's only for two weeks. You can do that!

Here's the kicker...You have to blog about it then. Ok, that right there will get me into major trouble because you all know how I haven't been blogging at. all. lately. So sorry.

Now, I must go and get my heart pumping. I have 30 minutes till my family gets home and will want to eat.

PS. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tap Tap Tap, Testing 1, 2, Testing

Embedded Recipe Image (Unsupported on IE 7 and earlier)
Easy Brownie Shortcake Dessert

This chocolate brownie shortcake is topped with a sweet sour cream topping and fresh fruit.

Ingredients

  1. 1 (19.5 ounce) package brownie mix
  2. 1 (16 ounce) container BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream, divided
  3. 1 cup thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
  4. 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  6. 3 cups cut-up mixed strawberries and peeled kiwi

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare brownie batter as directed on package; stir in 1/2 cup sour cream. Spoon into greased and floured 9-inch round cake pan.
  2. Bake 45 min.; cool 10 min. Remove from pan to wire rack; cool completely.
  3. Mix remaining sour cream, whipped topping, sugar and vanilla. Cut brownie horizontally in half. Place bottom half on plate; spread with half of the sour cream mixture. Cover with top of brownie, remaining sour cream mixture and fruit. Store in refrigerator.
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