Thursday, January 31, 2008

swimsuit edition

There seems to be a great deal of conversation lately about swimsuits. At least it seems to be a topic amongst three or four people I know anyway. So I have decided to "weigh in" on this issue. I'm guessing that most people want to think about swimsuits because the weather is either a) extremely cold b) grey c) wet d) or all of the above. I must confess, however, that the last new swimsuit I bought was in the spring of 1997 while I was in the midst of a (successful) journey through first place and dh and I were heading to Hawaii for our tenth anniversary. I don't want you to get the impression that I still have my "first place" shape (that would involve giving up sugar for life) or that the swimsuit still fits (it does with a lot of pushing and shoving and rearranging and lack of breathing), but it would be more accurate to say that I don't go out in a swimsuit anymore. Except for in the hot tub. In our backyard. After dark. With dh only. But lately it has been difficult (read uncomfortable) to even slip (think "stuff") into the old suit and go out after dark. Dh thought he was being helpful and sensitive when he suggested that I go out a buy a new suit. I think after twenty years of marriage he has developed a mental block about swimsuits, three way mirrors and cellulite. Or leftover baby fat. (and yes, we all know, thanks to previous posts, that said baby will be sixteen in a matter of days. What can I say? I never throw anything away.) Anyway, I told dh that I would just slip (think "stuff") into a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. After all, it's dark. And it's my backyard. And no one else is there but him. But all this has gotten me to thinking. I wouldn't mind having a swimsuit body. (I started to say "again" but I'm not sure I ever qualified for a swimsuit body. Even when I weighed 120. To put it delicately, my pregnacies increased more than just my weight.) I'm just not sure I want to work for it. And to be perfectly honest, after reading big mama's post today, I feel her pain. And she has my admiration. Because I just don't want a swimsuit body that badly. So I will probably wander around, eating my sugar, and waiting for this to come back in style.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


inability to obtain sufficient sleep, esp. when chronic; difficulty in falling or staying asleep; sleeplessness

This appears to be an apt description of my life at the moment. (I suspect it's an adverse reaction to cold medication. So I guess I need to decide if I prefer cold symptoms or sleep.)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Where does the time go?

I had to go up to The Boy's school today to register him for school next year. For his Junior year. I cannot believe it. He still seems to be this little boy.

Or this little boy.

It certainly doesn't seem like he should be taller than me now. Or planning his junior year of high school or turning sixteen in a couple of weeks. Since he's my baby, it's so hard to let him go. And bless his little (big) heart, I have the feeling I'll be embarrassing the daylights out of him over the next few weeks as he approaches the big birthday. Hopefully he'll have patience with his mother's sentimental heart!

Monday, January 28, 2008

One more thing I love about Beth Moore

After all the heartbreaking stories on her blog the other day, she saw the need to post the stories of women who have found victory and broken free of their bondage. I am so grateful that these women have their freedom to celebrate and hope to one day be among them.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there You would guide me. With Your right hand You would hold me. I could say, "The darkness will hide me. Let the light around me turn into night." But even the darkness is not dark to You. The night is as light as the day; darkness and light are the same to You.

Psalm 139:9-12

Sunday, January 27, 2008

God, you are my God.
I search for you.
I thirst for you like someone in a dry, empty land
where there is no water.
I have seen you in the Temple
and have seen your strength and glory.
Because your love is better than life,
I will praise you.
I will praise you as long as I live.
I will lift up my hands in prayer to your name.
I will be content as if I had eaten the best foods.
My lips will sing, and my mouth will praise you.
I remember you while I'm lying in bed;
I think about you through the night.
You are my help.
Because of your protection, I sing.
I stay close to you;
you support me with your right hand.
Psalm 63

Saturday, January 26, 2008

One of my favorite blogs is the Living Proof blog. I love reading what Amanda and Beth have to say and I particularly enjoy my siestas comments. (and I have found new friends that way.) I visited there this morning and Beth had asked two questions as a part of her revising Breaking Free. She asked that we post our answers anonymously. Here are the questions:

1) What one thing threatens you most with bondage? Try to be specific. If your answer is intimate in nature, then use code language. I'll get what you're trying to say.
2) What is your biggest obstacle to living freely and fully in Christ? (Please don't give the answer you think you're supposed to give. Really share what you think holds you back.)

At the time that I posted my comment, there were already 261 responses. I am certain that there will be many more. I felt compelled to answer and after I posted my response, I began to read some of the other responses. And all I could think was that there are a lot of women hiding a lot of baggage. Struggling to get free. In some pitiful way, I am grateful for the company but mostly I am heartbroken that so many of my siestas carry such heavy burdens. I know this isn't what God has intended for His children. So, my siestas, if you left your burden there, please know that I am praying for you. God bless!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

bits and pieces of me

Miss M did our devotion at work this morning. She used one from Oswald Chambers. Years ago, when I got my first copy of My Utmost, I didn't get anything he was saying. Or maybe I just didn't try very hard. A couple of years later, I got an updated copy and now I get smacked upside the head with his insights. Some day I would like to be so wise. Anyway, Miss M chose one from November 3rd. It talks about being the bondservant of Jesus. As often happens to me when we do devotions, I felt the Lord nudging me and telling me to pay attention. Unfortunately, submission and surrender are difficult words for me so I knew this was probably going to be an uncomfortable revelation. So she read, " It means breaking the hard outer layer of my individual independence from God, and the liberating of myself and my nature into oneness with Him; not following my own ideas, but choosing absolute loyalty to Jesus." Okay, I thought. That wasn't so hard. Yes, I know that I need to do this. I can handle it. But Miss M. read on. "The one point to decide is---will I give up? Will I surrender to Jesus Christ, placing no conditions whatsoever as to how the brokenness will come?" And I guess that is it in a nutshell. Am I ever going to be willing to surrender my control and my will to God? I want to. (but then my inner me says, "if you really wanted to, you would." don't you just hate inner me?) I am learning that, as a victim, surrender is a very difficult thing. I suspect that I feel that any type of surrender could make me a victim again. So the struggle goes on. Logically, I know that God doesn't want to hurt me nor does He want me to be a victim of anything harmful. Surrender and submission to Him is the path to freedom. But how do you convince the heart? Hmmm....I don't think this was where I meant this to go when I started this post. However you look at it, I will be pondering and considering Mr. Chambers words for days to come.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

What would you do?

Lindsey at enjoy the journey asked what we would do to stimulate the economy if we receive rebate checks from the government. I answered that we would probably pay medical bills since we seem to make a hobby out of collecting them. I'm not sure if spending it to pay down debt really stimulates the economy. I guess to some degree it must, because you would be freeing up funds by paying off debt. Of course, the responsible thing to do would be to bank the excess money so that you would be prepared the next time someone had to have an unexpected hysterectomy. (since my tonsils grew back and had to be removed twice, I suppose there might be some basis for my concern that other organs might regenerate as well. If that were truly the case though, I suppose I could sell my story to the supermarket tabloids and make a few bucks. Or put the offending extra organ for sale on ebay. Assuming the doctors would give it to me. But I digress.)

Anyway, if I were to be totally irresponsible with eight hundred dollars, I might take a trip to Disney World. Or buy some purses. Or buy a bunch of books. Or get my nails done twenty times. Or buy cheese fries more times than my little brain can calculate without the help of a machine. Or I could get a puppy. (Nope, no more puppies.) Or I could do some combination of the above. I suspect dh would want another tv. A bigger one. Not that the one we have isn't big enough. It's just that dh is a guy (thank goodness!) and more electronics seem to be a guy thing. Something about plasma (isn't that a blood thing?) hd (isn't that dh in reverse?) and a bunch of other stuff (1080? a house number? street address?) that makes no sense to me.

However, since we seem to be in the "responsible" phase of our lives, I suspect that we will pay down our medical debt and be grateful for the blessing of extra money. What would you do to "stimulate" the economy?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

We survived the snow. Not that there was a lot of it but it snuck in a couple of hours earlier than expected, causing traffic snarls and school delays. Unfortunately for The Boy, he was home sick so he totally wasted a snow day. (This theory makes complete sense to him but to me, a day off is a day off. After all, he wouldn't have gone to school if everyone else had...) Regardless, with the unexpected weather, we (dh and I) dashed out the door this morning with the house "undone." So there are quite a few tasks left to be taken care of this evening. However, this was the sight that greeted our eyes.

In direct contrast to the weather, we worked on decorating the vacation bible school area of the store today. This year's theme is "Outrigger Island" which is very tropical. So MJ and I spent a good portion of the day hanging grass skirts, putting up ocean backdrops and "sandy beaches", making a "flip flop" trail down the aisle, and making sea turtles. No snow in sight. We enjoyed ourselves. Especially the sea turtle "creating". The craft is actually designed for 3 to 5 year olds so you can imagine that MJ and I had a little trouble with it. Spreading glue on things that weren't supposed to be glued, feet that weren't even and stuff like that. Maybe we need to go back to taking arts and crafts classes. Gluing 101 or something. It's days like this that make work fun. (And I didn't even tell you about the giant hair bow I made for me to wear out of leftover Hawaiian print tablecloth plastic. And I shamelessly wore it for about thirty minutes. Got some real strange looks too. MJ made a sash out of her material. I still think they should be happy that we didn't put on grass skirts!) I think we made the most out of our full moon day. And now it's off to do up the undone. Never a dull moment around here.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Baby, it's cold outside

Oh my goodness, it has been cold here! Like eight degrees yesterday and fourteen when we woke up this morning. Even the dogs are shivering. (All five doggies were snuggled up on our bed yesterday afternoon. Not much room for us!)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I look up to the mountains—does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!
He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, He who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps.
The Lord himself watches over you!
The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night.
The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life.
The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.
Psalm 121

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Adventures and Anniversaries

My husband likes to go to the flea market. He likes to wander up and down the aisles and see what people put out for sale. He normally doesn't buy anything, but he likes to look. My son likes to go to the flea market. He likes to look for used video games at bargain basement prices. I don't particularly like going to the flea market but I go sometimes to spend time with my husband and son. I like to look at the puppies (two of our five current dogs are "flea market finds".) and parrots (yes, there really is a lady who sells parrots at the flea market. We have not bought parrots from her but she has some mighty nice african greys.). There was the usual assortment of Pekingese, doberman, rat terrier, and Chihuahua (can you believe I know how to spell that from watching Les Nesman on WKRP in Cincinnati?) puppies. They were all adorable but I do not need another puppy. Elwood the amazing Basset Hound appears to be stuck in puppyhood so no more puppies for me. But then it happened. We rounded the corner and there they were. Ferrets! Three of them. They were blonde (like me), fuzzy (not so much like me...I hope), cute and curious. We had a wonderful time "chatting". And I told dh, "this is what I want for our anniversary." Fortunately, I don't think he believed me. Because we didn't come home with a ferret. Which is probably a good thing. Because I don't think the dogs would like one. Or maybe they would like one too much. (Visions of the dogs passing around a dead possum at Cinderella's eighteenth birthday party float through my mind. That was not a fun afternoon. At least not for the people. The dogs seemed to enjoy passing the possum around.)

We went to the Saturday service at church tonight. I think I mentioned that Max Lucado was preaching this evening and tomorrow. He did an amazing job preaching John 3:16. What was even more amazing to me was that he had preached his brother's funeral this morning before flying here for the service tonight. So if you have a moment and want to offer up a prayer for his brother's family, I'm sure it would be appreciated.

Friday, January 18, 2008

This magic moment...

I told MJ today that I was waiting for the "magic moment". The morning that I wake up and feel like taking on the world. Or at least like getting out of bed, doing my morning stuff and heading off to work for a full day of work. And now the week has ended and I am still "momentless." But there's always tomorrow. Not that I am going to work tomorrow. But I suppose the magic moment could come any day now.

In the mean time, we have a normal weekend planned around here. Grocery shopping, laundry, ironing, nagging The Boy about the state of his room, looking for new curtains for the living room, staying warm. It's supposed to be really cold this weekend. I think I might want to just stay in and huddle under the covers. But our cupboards are bare and the natives want food. So someone will have to venture out at some point to restock the pantry.

I spoke to my SIL this evening about our vacation plans. I have the opportunity to work the Deeper Still event in Atlanta this summer and my SIL is going to work it as well. After we finish up there, we will be heading to the beach! I honestly can't think of a better combination. Priscilla, Beth and Kay and then the ocean! Some of my favorite stuff. (And my SIL isn't too bad either.) We're talking about visiting some lighthouses as well. If I had the money (and less creaky bones) I'd buy a lighthouse and make it our home. I love lighthouses. I think I'd want one in Maine or somewhere that had fierce winter storms so I could watch the winter seas rush up against the rocks. I guess it would probably be really cold though. And dh would just as soon have a lighthouse in Hawaii. Which is fine too but I don't think they have fierce winter storms. We'll have to check that out the next time we go. Which will probably be in about four years. For that magical twenty-fifth anniversary. Thirty will be the trip. To Italy. So I have nine years to learn Italian.

I suppose I've rambled enough. It's probably time to move on to more productive things. Like requesting library books. Or cleaning the kitchen. Enjoy the evening!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

It must be hormones...

because I spent yesterday feeling extremely cranky at anything that moved (and eating everything that wasn't tied down). I appear to be much better today. I'm sure you heard the collective sigh of relief from our part of the nation.

We had snow this morning! It was pretty and brief. Since we had already had our traditional "snow shock" earlier this week, there were only a few accidents. And the snow was gone by noon. I did take a couple of pictures of it as I was leaving the house. I'll try to post them later.

The Boy and Cinderella are both waiting for the computer so I guess I'd better finish up. Wouldn't want to stand in the way of another exciting entry in The Boy's spanish blog. Nor am I going to lose my temper over the crack that Cinderella just made. Because my hormonal moment is over. Over. I promise.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


This has been a most frustrating evening. I could type in all caps and it would not alleviate my irritation. Since I would prefer not to go into the details of my circumstances, we will now pause for some lovely nature pictures.

This was taken (by me!) in the Smoky Mountains this August. I am now pretending that I am the bee and the source of my frustration is the flower.

These are plumeria from our patio. We do not live in a climate that is conducive for outdoor plumeria growing all year round. These plumeria are now currently residing in my mother-in-laws shower. Isn't that where all plumeria long to go during the cold winter months?

This is a Mandevilla from our backyard. Mr. (or Miss) Mandevilla is also currently residing indoors. I think this particular plant is in the "train" room. (It's hard to tell. They all look so "brown" about now.)

And this little baby is my pride and joy. A real, honest to goodness lemon on my very own little lemon tree here in the wild, wild winter of Kentucky. Of course, it is not outdoors either. It has the place of honor in my kitchen. I would love to eat it (lemon pie, lemon squares, lemon pudding, lemon cookies...) but I kind of like having it right there on the tree.
There now, do we feel more relaxed? I don't know. Maybe I'll go have some chocolate to be sure.

Monday, January 14, 2008

What an amazing Sunday! I was trying to wait until the link went up, then I could try to post the actual sermon link, but they are running behind apparently. And I am running out of time. (and we won't even talk about the skill that it will take me to do something like that. Skill that I don't have.)

Anyway, back to Sunday. (Let me just take this moment to throw in..."I love my church!") Our pastor has been doing a series titled "What's the Story?" They have this little quote in the bulletin thing that we get. "While all of life starts with God's story, the beauty comes when His story intersects with yours."

This weeks sermon was titled Your Story. Dave had asked for emails giving our stories in a hundred words or less and he was going to draw parts of them for his sermon. Apparently somewhere along the way, he changed his mind and invited seventeen "stories" to share their story via tape with our congregation. (I would totally be freaking out here because we have a big congregation!) So yesterday's sermon was a mixture of Dave and these seventeen clips. And they were powerful. The funny thing was that they weren't all dramatic or traumatic. Some were powerful in their simplicity. Just ordinary people (like me) who surrendered to Jesus and are continuing to use their lives as he sees fit. Some made us laugh, some made us cry. We were so proud of the ones who obviously overcame hardships. Then, there was the last one. There is a lady in our church who has cerebral palsy. She has spent her life struggling to be understood. I am sure that it has been frustrating and painful at times for her. And yet, she has such a sweet spirit. (She comes in the store from time to time so I know this personally.) The final thing she said was, "My disability doesn't define Jesus does!" And we cried. What a blessing. I think we all have something that we could insert in that sentence besides "disability" and I would hope that it doesn't define us either. Our Jesus does.

Michael O'Brien (from NewSong) has been helping write the words and music for our Easter Pageant this year. He closed that portion of the sermon with the song And the Story Goes On.
This is a part of the chorus:
And the story goes on
And it burns like a flame
Through the years and the tears and the trials
The story goes on
And we carry his name
And it echoes across the miles
We enter this life with a whimper and cry
Sometimes we falter, sometimes we fly
But the ultimate truth we can never deny
And forever the story goes on
What a wonderful reminder. If you'd like to hear the sermon yourself click here. At this point, they still have last weeks sermon up, but they should put up the one titled "Your Story" sometime today.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

It's Saturday!

Which means a festive, fun filled day around our house. We (dh and I) are getting ready to head out to the grocery. I love it when he goes shopping with me. It can be fun! From there we will pop into the library to check on Cinderella and drop off some books. Maybe they will have a best-seller I am looking for. I don't have any particular one in mind but I am always on the lookout for a good book. Then it's back home to plow through the laundry and ironing. We're cleaning parrot cages today too. There's a ball game on this afternoon. We would normally be excited about watching it, but we are having a Horrible season so most games are painful to watch. But a true fan watches during the good and the bad. Besides, we might have a great game. So what if Vandy is unbeaten. Some body's gotta win. Might as well be us, right? I think it will probably be a quiet evening. We have a DVD from netflix to watch and are making homemade pizza. (No sauce for The Boy.)

Speaking of The Boy, he seems to be doing some better. He made a conscious effort to eat some yesterday and he ate some breakfast. We are planning on tempting him with his favorite food for lunch. Hopefully, knowing he can stay home if he feels sick will prompt him into eating. The mind is a tricky thing and it's hard to battle something that is in your head. But I do appreciate your prayers.

Well, we are a' Wal-marting so I'd better go. Happy Saturday to you!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Prayer Request

My son has reflux, IBS and a few (small) anxiety issues. His reflux and IBS are kept under control by diet with occasional medication thrown in here and there. For the most part, he lives a normal happy life.

However, two summers ago we drove to Atlanta on our way to Disney World. During the trip, we discovered (the hard way) that he developed motion sickness. The trip was rather traumatic for him (and mom) and he and I spent a lot of time just walking around Disney World, not riding anything. Now, you have to understand that I am no stranger to anxiety issues. My daughter has had panic attacks for many years. She has an attack, recovers and moves forward. The Boy is a little different. He develops a few "tics' that present when he has anxiety. And he avoids the thing that caused the anxiety. Another thing you need to understand is that when reflux people get sick, it causes their reflux to flare up more. Which causes pain and that sensation that you are going to be sick again. So that summer, The Boy stopped eating. Because he was afraid if he ate, he would get sick. Oh, he would eat some crackers or some cheese and drink ensure, but overall he ate very little. He ended up losing twenty seven pounds and looked like he was starving. We made several trips to the doctor, tried different medicines, (had the nurse accuse him of being anorexic...which he wasn't.) did daily weigh ins to track his weight, avoided trigger foods, and finally, after three months or so, he began to slowly eat more normally again. (He really did want to eat, he was just afraid to.) So for the last year or so he has been the typical teenager. Eating, grazing, whatever you want to call it.

Until Christmas. I guess he was eating foods that he normally shouldn't or wouldn't and apparently that caused his reflux to start acting up again. Which triggered some anxiety. Which I was aware of. What I didn't know was that he apparently has stopped eating. Again. Because he's afraid he'll get sick. I know it's only been a few days, but I can tell (now that I've noticed) that he is losing weight. So tonight we talked about restricting his diet to avoid the trigger foods, taking his reflux medicine, carrying meds with him for his IBS, weighing in, and anxiety. Which is really the culprit here. He did eat some plain toast and drink some water. I guess tomorrow I will get some Boost. And if things don't improve over the weekend, we will be off to the doctor's on Monday.

So if you get a moment and would be so inclined, I would appreciate any prayers you might offer our way.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Silly comments overheard

I was in the kitchen, fixing dinner and Cinderella was on the phone with her prince, having a "discussion" and I hear her say, "I never change my mind!"


I hope you like pansies

because I am one. I woke up this morning tired. (I am beginning to hate that word. I think it's stamped on my forehead. Maybe it will be on my gravestone. "She was tired.") But I got up and did my morning thing and went to work anyway. And I was still tired. Not only that, but people kept telling me that I looked tired. (which certainly adds to my self-esteem, let me tell you. If I weren't so tired, I might worry about it.) My boss encouraged me to do some desk work and I tried it, I really did. But my eyes kept closing and I finally decided that I probably shouldn't be doing inventory adjustments when my brain was this foggy. So I finally bit the bullet and came home at lunch. To take a nap. For the rest of the day. And as soon as I finish my Krispy Kreme doughnut, I'm gonna do just that. And then maybe I won't feel like such a pansy. Which is probably another word that's stamped to my forehead. Except maybe not because pansies look pretty. And I have it on good authority that I just look tired.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I love books

One of the great things about going back to work at the book store is browsing all the aisles to see what new books came in while I was out. My goodness, there were a lot over the last two months. Katie Brazelton has a new book called "Character Makeover" that looks good. I enjoyed her "Pathway to Purpose for Women" when we read it last year at book club. I saw a notice that Elizabeth George has a new book coming out this summer. It looks like it will be a devotion. (I love her stuff!) Since Valentine's Day is right around the corner, there were several new marriage books out. Greg and Erin Smalley have a new one that looks like it might be good for Cinderella and her prince. It's called "Before You Plan Your Wedding...Plan Your Marriage." Jordan Rubin released "Perfect Weight" but I don't think I'm ready for a diet book yet. Maybe after the Valentine's Day chocolate fest. I haven't read Max Lucado's "3:16" yet (did I mention that he's preaching at church in a couple of weeks? I am so excited!) so maybe I will start with that. Or there's all the new fiction that came in. Stuff from Tamara Leigh, Lori Wick, Wanda Brunstetter, Cathy Marie Hake, Kathleen Morgan...and so the list goes on. Oh, and I saw a "tip a day" book from Ellie Kay that's new as well. I'm beginning to think that this going back to work thing might get expensive!

Well, I just got in from work (it was my night to close) and I have family to visit with, (dogs who want to eat), scripture to read, and a few chores to do. Have a wonderful evening!

Monday, January 7, 2008

My brain is tired. But it is busy. That means that all the things that are rolling around in there are making little sense. Which leads to some very bizarre thought patterns. Today was a good day. I started my day off with some great blog wisdom. Shannon made a comment on her blog this morning about "not being sure that she wanted to be changed that much." That sure does sound like me sometimes. Especially when I am arguing or ignoring God or something that He wants me to do. Then I popped over to Lysa's blog and she reminded me that "blessed is the woman who lives in expectation of seeing God-who looks for and acknowledges Him-who's greatest desire is to see God---for she certainly will." And that's who I want to be. A woman who whose greatest desire is to see God and who believes that she will. Even if it does mean changing me. Even if it's a little or a lot.

It was good being back to work. I did get my desk cleared off and caught up on my emails before I left today. (There were only 73 waiting for me this time. I think that makes a total of 271 during my two month absence.) I started processing three conference requests, including one with Priscilla Shirer who apparently will be here in two weeks. (I have yet to see any publicity on this but I also haven't been looking.) Then I got two of the three waiting employee reviews done before the deadline. (The deadline's tomorrow and they have been sitting in my computer for um...two months...but who's counting.) I was happy to see everyone and everyone seemed happy to see me. (for the moment.) And now I am back in my happy little home. Where the dogs have missed me and the plumber has come and gone. Again. There's laundry and dishes to do and school starts back tomorrow for a certain young man. (who needs to shave before he gets detention for having facial hair!) I guess life is back to normal after all.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

A new beginning

Well, tomorrow is the big day. My first real day back to work after two months of medical leave. I am excited to be "well" enough to go back to my normal routine but I will miss my days of being a stay-at-home wife and mom. I have determined that I will do some things differently as I start this new chapter in my life.

1. I will continue with my daily devotions, prayer time, and scripture reading even though it means getting up earlier.
2. I will go to bed earlier at night so I can get up earlier.
3. I will be better organized before I go to bed so that the mornings will go smoother.
4. I will continue to fix family meals three nights a week. (That's what slow cookers and better planning is for.)
5. I will have a schedule for laundry and housework so that it doesn't all pile up at the end of the week.
6. I will still make time to play video games with my fifteen year old son and dream wedding dreams with my nineteen year old daughter.
7. I will always love my husband.

I'm sure that there will be more things added and knowing me, I am sure that I will want to take some things off the list too. This has been a good time for me. (Maybe not "good time" as in fun, though.) I've learned how to be still. I think if my surgery had gone the way that it normally does, I would have been up and running around and would have missed out on some life lessons. The whole internal bleeding thing really has been a blessing. I learned to be still because I had no choice. I learned how much I am cared for because every time I tried to do anything, I got fussed at or over. I learned (the hard way) that when I tried to do something, it made my husband feel as if I was saying he couldn't take care of me. People voluntarily came and sat with me to make sure I didn't fall and hit my head. Or whatever it is that people with blood loss do. They brought meals, they transported my son, they did laundry, cared for our zoo, and they cleaned my house. While I sat and learned to be still.

I sat and read countless blogs written by women who are trying to be the women that God would want them to be. They have inspired me to be a better wife, mother, and child of God. They have made me laugh and made me cry. And I hope, as I return back to work, that I will be returning a better wife, mother, and child of God. So I guess tomorrow is my new year. And I am excited.

Friday, January 4, 2008

What I learned today.

Sounds like the beginning of a back to school essay. But it's not. I promise.

I am working through Beth Moore's "Jesus: 90 Days with the One and Only" and last night's lesson (okay the title should have been "what I learned yesterday") was day 14 Waist-Deep in Glory. It is about John baptizing Jesus. She has a little narrative that she has written (don't you just love it when she does that?) about what John might have been thinking when Jesus approached him. There is a statement in the narrative that struck me like a board up the side of my head (or heart). She says or rather John says, " I had been preparing for Him all my life, and yet I was not ready." Wow, what an eye opener. I mean, I know that I have not spent my entire life preparing for Him. And sometimes, as I do prepare for Him, I do a half hearted job. If someone like John (I know this is fiction, but bear with me) could live the way he did, pleasing in the eyes of God, trying to do what was right, knowing what his purpose was from the beginning, and still feel that he was not ready, what hope is there for me? It certainly made me stop and evaluate what I am doing and if I am truly striving towards becoming the woman that He would have me to be. I think that's such a big thought that maybe I will have to put off learning anything else for a few days!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Thank goodness for Hello Kitty!

Once again this morning I headed across the frozen tundra that my yard has become, carrying my trusty hot pink Hello Kitty hair dryer. Today's mission? To thaw out the frozen trunk thingy on the car. (apparently unbeknownst to us, the trunk thingy froze yesterday and the trunk remained open all night. ) And once again, Hello Kitty saved us all. After all, I have a salon appointment to get my nails done and however could I have driven over there if the trunk would not close? (I would have found a way. My nails are in desperate shape!) I have about decided that a Hello Kitty hair dryer (in hot pink) should be an essential part to any car emergency kit. (Of course there's the pesky details like a power source and all that stuff but hey, I'm just the idea girl. It's someone else's job to work out the finer points!)

I am taking my niece with me to the salon this morning. She will be getting a "nail color change". (Auntie is too cheap...or too get the child a manicure. Hey, she's only eight.) My sil decided that she had to have a pedicure so we're making it a family outing. I don't get to see either of them very often so I will enjoy this outing. (although I am a little nervous about an eight year old running around a salon. Since she's not my child, though, I can just smile indulgently and pretend that she's with someone else! Actually, she's very well behaved. I'm just wondering if she'll have too much time on her hands. Maybe I should bring along my Hello Kitty hair dryer.)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

I am not a vain person. It would serve no purpose. After all, I have lived forty some odd years in this face and body and to be truthful, it is showing some wear and tear. However, as I was battling the ten degree weather in my forty seven layers of clothing including three or four layers wrapped around my head, I thought to myself, "Boy am I glad that I really don't care who sees me (and please God, don't let anyone see me) because my hair isn't gonna look right the rest of the day." And then, (probably because God knows that my gratitude at not being vain is probably a cover for some form of vanity) my car door froze in the "I'm not going to shut no matter what you do to me" stage and I thought I would freeze my fingers off trying the fix the goofy thing. So I was too busy poking and prodding and pushing to think about what my hair looked like. I called Husband and he suggested using a hair dryer on the door thingy. (I'm sure there's a technical term for it but "thingy" works for me.) So then I was standing in my front yard in my forty seven layers of clothing holding a bright pink hello kitty hair dryer against the car door as my neighbors left for work this morning. All of them. And I stood there thinking, "well, at least my hair is covered." (I did finally make it to the grocery store and my relief at having arrived at my destination without having to drive with me holding my door closed and my worry over whether or not the door would get stuck again and whether or not Kroger would have an extension cord long enough to reach my hair dryer, caused me to forget my thoughts about my hair. And God was merciful. I didn't see anyone I knew!)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

We had pie!

Homemade chocolate pie! Can you think of a better way to start the new year? And I am ignoring the digital scale at the doctor's office. I'm sure they were rigged anyway. (yeah, with cream cheese, real butter, and a couple of pounds of sugar!) My mil fixed a turkey dinner with all the trimmings today. The meal marks the closing of the Christmas season for us. Afterwards we had a lot of fun just sitting around visiting. Reminiscing. My kids were shocked to hear the story about their uncle punching a kid in the nose. (He's the most laid back guy you will ever meet. Doesn't have much to say and rarely loses his temper.) Then we played a "name that kazoo song" game with my niece as the official kazooer. She is not musically inclined so it made the game so much more interesting.

I am working my way through "Jesus: 90 days with the One and Only" by Beth Moore. I should finish it up close to Easter. Years ago, when I did the bible study, I finished it during the Easter season as well. I had the hardest time doing the week leading up to the crucifixion. I just knew they were going to kill Him. And every day just brought me one step closer to His death. And my part in it. I mean, I knew that the Resurrection was coming. But I could hardly bear to let Him die. For me. It was awful. And yet beautiful at the same time. It was a wonderful reminder of not only the gift but the cost.

I also decided that rather than attend a semester bible study at church (one of those "know your limitations" things) that I would participate in the Engage the Journey 2008 study online where we are reading through the Bible chronologically. I am happy to say that I haven't missed a day so far! I need to connect with some people who will hold me accountable. I am guessing the blog will help with that. I am very excited about participating. I'll be praying that God will give me a desire for His word. And that I will have the ears to hear.

And by the way, it's snowing! Not much, but it counts!