Sunday, June 29, 2008

I still believe

I still believe in Your faithfulness
I still believe in Your truth
I still believe in Your holy word
even when I don't see, I still believe

Friday, June 27, 2008

ABCs of Me

In case you haven't gotten enough random information from me here, let's play a game! Amy did this first and then Jessi did it so now it must be my turn!

A) I have to answer this? Older than I ever thought I could be? 43. (Hopefully you can't see the small print.)
B) Burger of choice-I have to choose? Let's see, Fridays does a good burger with bacon and blue cheese. Corner Cafe's burgers are delicious. My husband makes a great burger too. You pick.
C) Car-Madame Blueberry or the snowball. Depends on who's parked in back.
D) Dog's name-which one? There's (in order of age, not size) Ivan, Polo, Wolfgang, Diego and Elwood. One day they will take over the world.
E) Essential item you use every day-you'd better hope I say deodorant. Or toothbrush. Or contacts. Especially if I am driving. Or leaving the house. Because I have horrible vision. 20/1200 or something ridiculous like that.
F) Favorite TV show-The Closer! I want to be Brenda Lee Johnson when I grow up. Sort of. And new episodes of the closer start in July! Woo Hoo!
G) Favorite Game to play-where did I put my keys, shoes, purse, book I was reading...I'm not so sure that it's a popular game but I play it a lot so I must like it.
H) Hometown-the place of my birth was Cincinnati but I currently reside in Lou-a-vul.
I) Instruments I play-well, in my lifetime I have played the flute, the piccolo and the piano. Not very well. But I have played.
J) Favorite Juice-depends. Some days it's grape, some days it's orange, some day's it's orange-pineapple. But it's never apple. ick.
K) Whose whatnots would I love to kick? I don't think I can answer that. For the most part, I am a happy-go-lucky kind of girl. There are very few whatnots that I want to kick. Except during the NCAA games. Then I get a little excited. But it's not because I want to do harm. I just want my team to win.
L) Last restaurant I ate at-might be Outback. Care to guess what I ate, if I ate at Outback?
M) Favorite Muppet-it's too bad Winnie the Pooh isn't a muppet. I do like Beaker. He seems like he might be blonde under all that orange hair.
N) Number of piercings-probably two. I've thought about more. Does that count? I've thought about tattoos too. Of course, I've thought about liposuction and spray tans and any number of things that I've never actually done. I have a very active imagination.
O) overnight hospital stays-yes. I've had those. You want to know when? Well, I'm old. So old that when they took out your tonsils, you got to stay overnight in the hospital. And I had my tonsils out twice. Because they grew back. I'm just special like that. So, back to overnight stays. I guess five. Maybe. I think I was thinking about getting pierced or something like that so I don't really remember.
P) People I was with today-I hope I don't forget anybody...Mary Jane, Molly, Chris, Todd, Diana, Jonathan, John, Josh, Jessi, Kelli, the lovely people at Meijer....
Q) What do I do in my quiet time-READ!
R) Biggest regret-all my regrets are big ones. Why have little regrets? Either you regret them or you don't. And I regret all my regrets. Seriously, probably being too self absorbed when I should have been loving on my babies. Because my babies grew up.
S) Status-I'm not sure what that means. I'm married. I'm over forty. I'm awake. I'm happy. Do any of these answer the question?
T) Time I woke up-which time? I guess I got up at 6:10 am. Because there's things to do, people!
U) What I consider unique-words that have the little j and little i together. Like jitter. or jill. because they look cool and don't happen very often.
V) Vegetables I love-Eggplant, fried okra (because who would eat okra if it's not fried?) green beans cooked in this casserole that my mom makes, fresh tomatoes from some body's garden.
W) Worst habit-my mouth. And let me just apologize now.
X) X-rays I have had-I don't know. On my back. On my hand. After THE car accident. On my head. (No, it's not empty. It just appears to be.)
Y) Yummy food I ate today-I'm not sure I ate anything yummy. Which is a tragedy if you think about it. I am planning on making a blackberry cobbler in a little bit. It should be yummy.
Z) Zodiac sign-Well, I don't believe in zodiac signs but apparently they believe in me. So, I am supposed to be a Libra. For what it's worth.

I hope you've enjoyed this little foray into my world. I've enjoyed bringing it to you. Now, if you decide to play along, let me know. I want to know what you think alphabetically.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mary Mary quite contrary...

We are flora and fauna people here at the heigh-ho house. And I am particularly pleased with how our flora is doing this year. (Those silly cicadas don't appear to be harming any plant life although one did try to fly up my nose the other day. I was less than pleased. As a matter of a fact, mildly hysterical might not be too strong a term.)

But I digress. As I was saying, I am very pleased with our plant life and thought that I might share some pictures with you. Because a picture is the next best thing to being there, right?

These roses smell delightful. And they are pretty to look at too.
More calla lilies on my porch. We have an abundance of calla lilies this year. I think it's funny how they start out so white and end up such a deep red. There's probably a lesson in there somewhere.

A lemon blossom. There's not much that smells better than a lemon blossom. These apparently did not get fertilized this time so they will not be making little lemons (or big ones either) but perhaps we'll have blooms again before fall.

Another Lily. I think this one might be a stargazer Lily. I just know it's orange. And pretty.

Then we have the first of our daylilies. They are trying to take over the world. Or at least our yard. But they'll sure look nice doing it.

The Magnolia tree is blooming as well. There's just something creepy about this picture. I don't know why. But it looks otherworldly to me. Like it's kind of suspended or something. But it really is attached to a tree. Or it was. Now it's a brown looking blob of something that will turn into seed to make other Magnolia trees. (How's that for a scientific explanation?)

A drooping rose. But pretty none the less. I love that color.

And basil. Our basil is growing delightfully this year. But I still don't know what to do with it. I like growing fresh herbs but I am kind of afraid of them. Because I am odd. Mainly I am afraid I will cook some part that I am not supposed to and we will all get deathly ill. But I do like the thought of having an herb garden. So perhaps I'll become brave enough to do something with it.
Thank you for letting me share our gardens with you. I'd take the credit for the flora but my husband is the one with the green thumb (or hand). I just take the pictures. (and try to figure out what to do with the herbs.)

So, what's in your garden?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Look at my hair!

I woke up to the strangest sensation this morning. There appeared to be a large quantity of fuzzy hair on my upper lip. Since I stopped taking steroids a couple of weeks ago, I was perplexed. And somewhat concerned. Then I realized what it was. Some time during the night, Oscar decided to lay on my pillow.

He then decided to lay his tail across my upper lip. For fun. Ick. However, I suppose a cat's tail across the upper lip is better than a sudden growth of orange fluffy mustache hair. On me. (I'm fairly certain that you would agree. I'm also fairly certain my husband would agree. The Boy, on the other hand, might feel like he'd found an ally in his fight for hair. Or he might be jealous.)

So, I'm wishing you a cat-hairless, no moustached, blessed day today! Enjoy!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Cover to Cover: My Deliverer is Coming

This is not a normal Cover to Cover post. But it is from my heart.

I have been weary. We have been battered by storms, both inside and outside the house. And I have been weary. Too weary to hear God, too weary to seek God, too weary to listen to God.

We had a storm this afternoon. Our second youngest dog has recently become terrified of storms. Whenever he senses a storm coming, he whimpers and runs panicked through the house. He tries to hide under the smallest things, digging into whatever he can get his paws on, often destroying anything in his path. No amount of reasoning or reassurance that it will be alright breaks through his fear. I was telling him this afternoon that if he would only listen and trust me, I wouldn't let anything bad happen to him. I would protect him when the storms came.

And then I felt the nudge.

As if God were saying, "Yes, daughter, if only you would listen and trust Me. I am always there. I will protect you in the storms."

So, now I am not as weary. My storms are still there. More may come. But it will be okay. Because I have Someone to carry my burden and shelter me when the storms come. Someone who loves me. My Deliverer is coming, My Deliverer is standing by...

But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me. Psalm 13:5-6

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Spring Reading Thing Finale

I can't believe it's been three months. Try as I might, I can't think of what on earth I was doing three months ago. Other than praying for spring. (I suppose I could go back and check my blog archives but I'm afraid I might bore myself.) Anyhow, Katrina says that time's up. And she wants us to give a recap of how things went. So, here goes:

Did you finish all the books you had planned to read? If not, why?
No. Because. (See how easy this is?) Seriously, I did read the number of books that I said I would, they just weren't all the titles I said I would read. Which happens to me a lot. Because I get distracted. Which is why I have twenty or more titles packed to take on vacation. Because what if I don't feel "in the mood" to read that particular book on that particular day?

Do you think the challenge helped you read more? Or maybe helped you read books you otherwise wouldn't have? Nothing helps me read more. I need something to help me read less. Because I read constantly. Too much. It did help me read a book that I've been putting off. I have known for awhile that I needed to read "Breaking Free" but I didn't want to. Because I was afraid of it. But, I am happy to say that I did read the entire thing and I am thrilled that I did. And it dovetailed into the bible study that I just started. How's that for God's timing?

What was your favorite book you read this spring? Least favorite?
My favorites were probably "If You Want to Walk on Water" and "God is Closer than You Think" by John Ortberg. "Restorer" was outstanding. But I loved the Ortberg books. "Hope's Wish" was probably my least favorite but that doesn't mean that it wasn't a good book.

Did you discover any new authors or genres that you now love? I think Mr. Ortberg has to be my favorite author of the year. I had not read any of his books before and now plan on reading them all. I would highly recommend them.

What did you learn about your reading habits or interests? I learned that I still love to read. My interests are so varied that I didn't notice any difference. I read cereal boxes if there's nothing else available.

Are you interested in another "Fall Into Reading" challenge this fall? Yes, I'd love to have another reason to read large numbers of books!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Please pray

For our family today as we deal with some issues. We appreciate it.

Deeper Still

One week from today over 19,000 women (and a few men) will be gathering in Atlanta's Phillips Arena, praising God and waiting on their word from the LORD.

If you get a chance over this upcoming week, would you mind praying that He would tender the hearts of these women (and a few men) so that they would be receptive to His Word?

For safety as we all travel back and forth?

For patience as all 19,000 wait to enter the doors at once? (But not me. I'll already be inside waiting for the 19,000 women. That's one of the advantages of working the event!)

And if you are going to be there, look for me at one of the LifeWay stores. I'd love to see you!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Question of the day #2

If a basset runs off with an entire roll of paper towels, do you suppose he's headed off to clean up the aforementioned banana?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Good Morning!

I hope this is a beautiful day for each of you. Life is starting out fairly normal at our house. We still have excessive hair but I have heard no "fatherly" comments about it in the last 24 hours. I appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers on the situation. I am currently employing my "ostrich with her head in the sand" approach to life, and hoping that the school year starts soon. No, not really. Okay, maybe just a little bit. The Boy is going to be out in the sun most of the morning and early afternoon today so perhaps he'll decide all that hair is just too HOT. Here's hoping.

We had our second session of Randy Alcorn's Heaven bible study yesterday. It is absolutely wonderful! I was initially surprised by how evangelistic it is but after I thought about it, it makes perfect sense. How can you study about Heaven and not feel the urgency to share the truth that there's only two options in this world...heaven or hell? Good stuff.

I also got the opportunity to meet a fellow siesta yesterday! Cheri is doing the Heaven study at church and is also doing the No Other Gods study. (And after two days of that study, I can tell that it is going to be convicting-ouch-and fantastic.) It is amazing to watch how God has orchestrated our merry little band of believers so that we can study together! (If you are a Kentucky Siesta who is looking for someone to study with...come and join us. Actually, even if you are not a Kentucky Siesta, come and join us!) God is moving and it is so cool to watch!

Well, I am off to prepare for more exciting adventures in my little world. (starting off with eating my cereal with a sugar spoon. Which doesn't fit my mouth right. Even if my mouth is big. Oh well, just chalk it up to my excellent powers of observation.) Enjoy the day!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

a house in turmoil

Oh, what a dramatic sounding title.

We have been in a bit of a tizzy around the heigh-ho house lately. Some of you might recall my son's goal for the summer. Well, in addition to his desire to grow massive amounts of facial hair, he apparently has decided that he wants to grow the hair on his head down to his toes.

I'm not sure why.

I don't know if the hair deal is because he attends a private school that has reasonably strict rules on hair length or if it's because he hates haircuts. (Remember this?) I don't know if his desire to grow extreme facial hair is because he thinks it makes him more manly (ever since his mama passed 40, she's been known to grow the odd facial hair, and it certainly does not make her feel manly. It makes her feel irritated.) or if he just hates to shave.

All I know is that at this moment, I have a very scruffy, lanky 16 year old wandering around my house. One that in no way resembles the chubby cheeked, curly headed adorable toddler that used to wander around my house. But, to be perfectly honest, the whole "hair" thing doesn't really bother me. It's a simple request. He's not wanting a tattoo or a body piercing or a hot date with some girl I don't approve of or even a pony. It's just hair and it's a temporary thing. As long as he keeps the hair on his head clean and somewhat combed, I'm fine.

The dilemma is...his father. His father hates it. And I mean hates it. Of course, so does his grandmother, grandfather and every other relative. There has been comment after comment about "shaving that boy's head and face." I've tried to explain that it's just hair. It's not like he's out beating puppies.

Now here's the question. Am I being disrespectful to my husband by not agreeing with his position and insisting that The Boy get his haircut and shave? Or is it better as a parent to pick my battles and a "hair" battle is not as important as some other larger issues that might be looming on the horizon? I think I've been polite as I've discussed this with my husband and I've tried to explain my point of view. But Josh is the head of this household. My job as his wife is to stand by him.

So, what would you do?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Cover to Cover: connect the dots

Friday morning I was getting ready to dash out the door to work when I felt God speaking to me. I had been reading Chuck Swindoll's Elijah: A Man of Heroism and Humility in preparation for meeting Elijah in the scriptures and I was pondering something I had read. Suddenly, I felt God nudge my heart and say, "Connect the dots, Karen. Look and see."

All of this makes perfect sense in my head and I am going to try and explain it here. Please forgive me if I do a poor job.

We have recently finished the story of David, a man after God's own heart. Although David had his shortcomings, he loved God and truly desired to follow Him and please Him.
"David always did what the Lord said was right and obeyed his commands all his life, except the one time when David sinned against Uriah the Hittite." 1 Kings 15:5

Then we have Solomon, a king raised and instructed by David. A man that God came and spoke to twice. A man who followed God for most of his life, in most things. And yet,
"As Solomon grew old, his wives caused him to follow other gods. He did not follow the Lord completely as his father David had done. Solomon worshiped Ashtoreth, the goddess of the people of Sidon, and Molech, the hated god of the Ammonites. So Solomon did what the Lord said was wrong and did not follow the Lord completely as his father David had done. On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built two places for worship. One was a place to worship Chemosh, the hated god of the Moabites, and the other was a place to worship Molech, the hated god of the Ammonites. Solomon did the same thing for all his foreign wives so they could burn incense and offer sacrifices to their gods." 1 Kings 11:4-8

I wonder if Solomon thought that it wasn't a big deal. Maybe it was a little something he could do to make his many wives happy. No problem, right? A little step off the path of righteousness, no one will notice. Every body's happy, what's the harm?


God was angry. And He stripped most of Solomon's kingdom from his son. Handed it right over to Jeroboam.

And ...

"Jeroboam built temples on the places of worship. He also chose priests from all the people, not just from the tribe of Levi. And he started a new festival on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, just like the festival in Judah. During that time the king offered sacrifices on the altar, along with sacrifices to the calves in Bethel he had made. He also chose priests in Bethel to serve at the places of worship he had made. So Jeroboam chose his own time for a festival for the Israelites—the fifteenth day of the eighth month. During that time he offered sacrifices on the altar he had built in Bethel. He set up a festival for the Israelites and offered sacrifices on the altar." 1 Kings 12:31-33

Mr. Swindoll has this to say about Jeroboam. "He is significant not only for his position as the first monarch of that era but also because he was the king who deliberately planted seeds of idolatry among the people of Israel. (p6)"

So, here are the dots. Do you already see them? We go from following God's path to straying just a little from God's path to complete immersion into sin and a total disregard for God Himself.

At first, I was very judgemental of the Israelites, wondering how on earth they could have fallen so far, so fast. But then there's God's voice again, nudging me, reminding me of how many times I've stepped "off to the side" for just a moment. Or so I tell myself. And then, suddenly I find myself so far from Him, with no idea how I could have ever gotten there.

I suppose my lesson for the week is a warning.

Connect the dots.
Follow the path.
Remember that any step from the path leads us to destruction.

Please feel free to join us at Bev's for her weekly recap. I'm praying for each one of you this week. Blessings!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

May the words we speak and the things we do be a reflection of our Father today.

Blessed Sunday to you all.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

This time last year we were getting ready for my niece's wedding. So I thought you might like to join me in a walk down memory lane.

This, of course, is my niece. (I think the tiara and white gown gave away the fact that she's the bride.)

Here's Jessi with her fancy hairdo and lovely purple dress.

And Jonathan with his grandfather. I just loved having him dressed up in a tux. It's a far cry from his usual jeans and t-shirt.

My men, waiting for the wedding to start so the wedding could be over.

A proud grandmother and a Boy wishing he was wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

a picture of my foot (to go with the picture of the back of my head.)

a picture of the next couple to be married in our family. (Has anybody told Jonathan that there's another tux in his future?)

this pretty much sums up his feelings for the day.

Thanks for joining me on my walk. I hope your Saturday is absolutely wonderful! and Happy Anniversary, Melissa and Josh!

Friday, June 13, 2008

the question of the day

Where does a basset with a banana go?

When I find out, I'll let you know.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

God is so cool!

I mentioned recently that I am going to be doing Kelly Minter's bible study, No Other Gods this summer with the LPM blog. When I read that Beth would be facilitating it, I ordered extra copies for our store, knowing that we would be getting requests for it.

Apparently, I am the only siesta who works in christian retail. Because we have had several stores call the last few days to have us ship these study books to their customers.

Here's the cool part.

Our receiver quit at the end of March. For a variety of reasons, we decided to wait to hire a new one until late July or early August. Which leaves me receiving most of the time. (along with my other regular stuff. I am a multi-tasker. Snort.) And in our store, the receiver also ships things out.

Yesterday, as I was getting ready to ship out these bible study books, I had an epiphany. and no, it was not painful. I should have them more often. These books were going to my siestas! (I'll have you know that as I uttered these words to my fellow associates, they looked at me like I'd grown three heads. Which is a look I often see on their faces.)

So, if you go to your local LifeWay store and ask for a copy of No Other Gods and they don't have it and have to get it from another store and they have it shipped to you and you look at the return address label and it says "Louisville, KY", just know that this siesta has prayed over that study for you. And I am so excited to get to be a small part of it with you!
(Mrs McKeehan would be so disappointed with that sentence. Sorry, Mrs. McKeehan!)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Some people are good at some things and some of us are not so gifted in those areas.

The last time I lit the gas grill, The Boy was about four years old. He was standing outside with me while I was lighting it. Suddenly there was a big BOOM and a flash of flame that singed my eyebrows and bangs. The poor child wouldn't go near the grill for months. I wouldn't either for that matter.

Anyhow, I've managed to avoid grill lighting duties for about twelve years. Until this evening. Josh has been encouraging me and had even given me step by step instructions last week about how to light this grill. He assured me that I was more than competent enough to operate the monster living on our deck.

So, I decided to be kind and go ahead and light the silly thing this evening so the potatoes could be cooking while he was on his way home from work.

I had him on the phone, giving me step by step instructions when POOF...a large orange flame shot out, lit the grill and engulfed my hand ever so briefly. I was surprised (to put it mildly.) My eyebrows and bangs are still intact and so is my hand...albeit a little "sunburned". And I'll be on another twelve year grill sabbatical.

Apparently grills are not in my area of giftedness. The Boy told be that he will be lighting it in the future. (Fortunately he's overcome his childhood trauma.) This is fine by me. I'll let the menfolk handle the grilling and I'll sit inside and look blonde. Assuming I can keep from setting my hair on fire.


LifeWay, in their infinite wisdom, has finally released the recording from the Deeper Still conferences from last year. (actually it is going to be a bible study.)

Anyhow, I have had the opportunity to listen to it again over the last few days, and let me tell you, I have been refreshed. (I've listened to two of them twice. Sometimes it takes more time for things to sink in!)Smiley Face

Even though I was there for the conference, even though I carry the notes in my bible and reread them from time to time, it was such a blessing to me to hear the words again.

If you are struggling or waiting or in a dry season, I would encourage you to listen to each of these three godly teachers. I know I have been blessed by their words.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Random tidbits from my brain

I have decided that the modern day "bringer of peace and sanity" is the air conditioner repairman. Especially when it's ninety in the house.

Jessi and I are starting Randy Alcorn's bible study on heaven today. This is the first bible study we have done together as semi adult type people. I am looking forward to it more than I can say.

Due to my infinite wisdom and complete utter lack of being able to discern when I'm over committed, I've also decided to do Kelly Minter's No Other Gods bible study. Beth Moore is going to be facilitating this one on her blog. How could I pass that up?

After twenty years or so, I recently rescued my wedding china from storage and have started using it regularly. (Cue Point of Grace's "How You Live" here.) It gives me a great deal of pleasure to serve my husband's breakfast on the very same china that we received so many years ago when we took our wedding vows.

We have starting nailing down the details of our upcoming vacation, trying to figure out what all we want to do when. One thing that came up last night that is apparently a "must" is that we have to have Godfather's Pizza from a gas station. Although we would probably eat it in a restaurant if they still served Godfather's in a restaurant. But they don't. (and you should have seen my kids faces the first time we took them to a Godfathers in a gas station. They were appalled. Until they tried the pizza.) We are classy folk. (I suppose I should insert here that my big desire is to eat fresh dunkin donuts. Yep, classy folk.) Anyhow, we will be headed to the ocean after the Deeper Still conference. I hope to visit as many lighthouses as I can (checking out my future home!) and keep from getting a sunburn. Which probably won't be too hard because I'll be spending all my time indoors doing bible study homework. :)

And now my brain and I need to go pay bills and get ready for another day. I hope yours is wonderful!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Cover to Cover: a downward slide

Please feel free to join us at Bev's as we recap this week's cover to cover. There's nothing more satisfying than spending time in the word.

I had originally planned to do a post about Proverbs 31. After all, there's nothing I love better than discussing the attributes of the ideal woman and comparing how I stack up. However, after I finished Saturday's reading, I couldn't get portions of it out of my mind.

Solomon was a king who had everything.

He received instruction on his kingship from the man after God's own heart (1 Kings 2:1-9).

God Himself appeared to him in a dream and offered him anything (1 Kings 3:5). Solomon proved his character when he asked only "that you give me a heart that understands, so that I can rule the people in the right way and will know the difference between right and wrong. Otherwise, it is impossible to rule this great people of yours" (1 Kings 3:9) God was so pleased with him (oh, what a glorious thought that God would be so pleased with us) that He gave him the things he did not ask for as well. (a long life, riches for himself or the death of his enemies. 1 Kings 3:11) The LORD further adds, "I will give you wisdom and understanding that is greater than anyone has had in the past or will have in the future. I will also give you what you did not ask for: riches and honor. During your life no other king will be as great as you. If you follow me and obey my laws and commands, as your father David did, I will also give you a long life." (1 Kings 3:12-14)

1 Kings goes on to reference Solomon's wisdom several times. (1Kings 3:28, 1 Kings 4:29-24). I would guess that portions of the book of Proverbs were written during this time in Solomon's life.

Solomon was also given the great honor of building the LORD'S temple. (1 Kings 5-7). He once again spoke of the promise of the LORD and the conditions that the people must meet. (1 Kings 8:25-26). He knew what the LORD expected of him.

The LORD appeared to Solomon a second time. (1 Kings 9:1-9) He acknowledged what Solomon had asked (can you imagine what it would be like to have the LORD come to you and say, "yes, Karen, I heard you. I will honor what you've asked for as long as you honor Me."?) and reminded him once again that "you and your children must follow me and obey the laws and commands I have given you. You must not serve or worship other gods." (1 Kings 9:6).

Years pass for Solomon. I can only guess that he grew bored. After all, he was the smartest, wealthiest man in the world. (1 Kings 10:23) He was denied nothing. And he loved many women. (I have to stop here for a moment. I sincerely doubt that he loved many women. At least not the storybook, forever after kind of love. Who falls in love over a thousand times? And as a side note, does anyone else hear the impressive clergyman from The Princess Bride saying "wuv, tru wuv will fowow you foweva"?)

Scripture goes on to say that, "As Solomon grew old, his wives caused him to follow other gods. He did not follow the LORD completely as his father David had done." (1 Kings 11:4) The LORD was angry with Solomon, because he had commanded Solomon not to follow other gods. But Solomon did not obey the LORD'S command. (1 Kings 11:9-10). My Expositors Bible Commentary says that "Solomon's sin was all the greater because of the special privileges he had enjoyed. God had singled Solomon out by appearing to him twice. This should have created in Solomon a lifelong love and devotion of the deepest kind. He (Solomon) had also been thoroughly instructed and trained by David in preparation for the high calling that was his. Solomon threw aside all these privileges when he followed after idols. He frittered away the continued joy and fellowship with God that could have been his for life. (p. 518) (Don't you just love a commentary that uses the word "fritter"?)

The man who extolled the virtues of wisdom and warned against following evil ("My child, if sinners try to lead you into sin, do not follow them" Prov. 1:10 comes to mind) now utters these words:

"Useless, Useless! Completely useless! Everything is useless."
"I looked at everything done on earth and saw that it is all useless, like chasing the wind." Ecclesiastes 1:2,14

1 Kings 11 ends with Solomon's death. I can't help but feel saddened by the ending of this story. I feel cheated. Here was a man who had everything at his fingertips. All he wanted. Including the LORD'S favor. And he didn't value it. Didn't cherish it. Didn't see it for what it was. So he tossed it on the pile with all the other things that he declared "useless." And not only that, by his influence, his guidance, his lack of caring, he brought devastation and suffering to generations of his children.

Which brings me to the questions, "How do I value what the LORD has given me? Do I honor His commands? What am I passing on to the generations of my family?"

Trust the LORD with all your heart, and don't depend on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

Saturday, June 7, 2008


This is my friend, Amanda.

I started to say that I've known her since she was small, but she is still "fairy" sized (and I am so envious, which is a sin. Oh good, we're starting the day off well, aren't we?)

Anyhow, as I started to say, before I was so rudely distracted by myself, Amanda is currently in Japan serving as a summer missionary. If you find yourself with a few moments on your hands throughout the summer, would you mind praying for her? She has a heart for the lost in Japan and plans to spend her life serving there. This is just a taste of the future for her.

(Also, you could pray for her mom too. It's both hard and a blessing when a child chooses a life of service overseas. And Helen (Amanda's mom) not only has a daughter in Japan, but her youngest is graduating from high school today and heading off to Africa in a few weeks. And we aren't even mentioning that she is talking about a life over there. One hurdle at a time.)

Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn't take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I've become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn't just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!
1 Corinthians 9:19-23

Friday, June 6, 2008

Life is funny...


Can I just say that?

Actually, first let me thank you all for your prayers. They are much appreciated. And I know that you will be happy to know that I have not gained weight from my steroid adventure. (Nor have I gained "excess facial hair" so far. Imagine my delight at reading that as a side effect.) I have actually lost a pound or two during this little escapade.

How have I done that, you might ask.

Or have you figured it out?

There's a giant clue at the top of this post.

Yes, folk, that's right. We're living on a merry-go-round here at the heigh-ho house. Or, to be more accurate, there's a merry-go-round going on in my little blond head. A faster, bigger, brighter merry-go-round than the one that usually runs there. And do you know what comes along with a spinning, whirling head? Why, nausea of course. (Sorry about that. I know some of you really don't like that word. It even sounds queasy, doesn't it? Maybe if we called it something happy, like "rainbow" or "sparkles" it wouldn't sound so bad.)

And I'm digressing. So, after three days of this fun house ride, I finally called the doctor. Or the lady who answers the doctor's phone. And she said, "Would you like to come back in to see the doctor?" And the whole time I'm thinking, "why yes, in addition to having the blessed opportunity to hand over another $80.00 for an office visit, I'd love to put myself behind the wheel of a multi-ton vehicle and hurtle down the road with a head spinning like a top. Sounds like a plan."

So, I am waiting for her/him/the pharmacy to call back. In the meantime, my life is more or less on hold. There is a wedding we are supposed to go to tonight and a graduation party tomorrow afternoon, not to mention the three days of work that I've missed. Because while I might ordinarily be a little loopy, a green, wobbly Karen is not customer friendly Karen. (While we're on the subject, if you don't mind saying a prayer for Mary Jane, we'd appreciate it. Our boss left Thursday for a conference thing and she is having to do his work, my work and her work til I get back on my feet.)

I hope you all are doing well. And really, I am doing okay. Just a little awkward at times. But apparently I am vastly entertaining as well. All that and a few pounds lighter? What more could a girl ask for?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

a science lesson

It's cicada season here in the happy state of Kentucky.

Not just any cicada, mind you, but the 17 year cicada. These puppies only show themselves every 17 years. (Apparently there's a 13 year cicada too. They were here in 2004. I don't know what the difference is. As a matter of a fact, I'm suspicious that there is no difference and it's all a big science joke.)

Well, not the same cicadas over and over again. Apparently baby cicadas hatch, fall to the ground and burrow down for 17 years until it's time to come up and make more baby cicadas.

The thing is, when you don't see something for a really long time, you tend to spaz out when creepy little bugs start emerging from the yard by the hundreds or thousands.

And then there's the noise. Cicadas are very (did I say very?) noisy. Soon, the neighborhoods of Louisville will be humming with cicada songs. Male cicadas sing to attract a mate. (actually they vibrate. or hum. or something. but singing sounds much nicer.)

I'm thinking they should just send flowers.

So, when I open the door to let the dogs out, all I hear is bzzzzzzzzz. Now, that could be my infected ears or it could be a herd of cicadas. I'm just saying.

Apparently people eat cicadas too. Nobody I know would admit to such a thing, but according to some, they taste like shrimp. I think I'd be hard pressed to pop out in my yard, scoop up a handful of bug-eyed critters and serve them for dinner. No matter how high grocery prices get. They do come with a warning, though. Evidently if you are allergic to shellfish, they advise not to eat cicadas. Because they not only taste like shrimp, they, like shrimp, are arthropods. Which begs the question, then why do they live in the dirt? And honest to pete, the newspaper said they are low fat and high protein. Ick.

So, do you have cicadas where you live? If not, can I send you some?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Can you please pass the common sense?

Well, we had a wonderful adventure at the doctor's office today.

My doctor is so sweet and so kind and will spend all kinds of time talking about whatever ails you. Which is a wonderful thing. Unless you are the person waiting to see him next. Then you want him to hurry up and quit talking to that person so he can come talk to you. Anyhow, I was his second appointment of the day, so things were moving fairly smoothly.

I marched right into that silly weight room, put down my purse, closed my eyes and stepped on the scale. I still have no idea how much they think I weigh. Whatever it was, I am sure that their scale was wrong.

So, then off we went to talk to the doctor. Yippee. I am now the proud owner of five new prescriptions.

Apparently my allergies have morphed into Mr. Sinus Infection and his evil twin, Miss Ear Infection. When you add a few migraines to the mix, you have a lovely new pharmacy bill. The doctor was sitting there, explaining what he was giving me and why when all of a sudden I heard the words, "I'm giving you a steroid, blah blah blah."

I am absolutely serious.

I have no idea what he said after that.

I just kept thinking, "steroids make you gain weight. I don't want steroids. I don't need something to help me gain weight. Do I look like a person who needs to gain weight? What is wrong with this man?"

He could have told me that my arms were going to fall off at six o'clock tonight and I wouldn't have noticed.

I was too busy thinking about this weight thing. I even (briefly) considered "skipping" this prescription. Like I have any idea how to prescribe medication.

It was about that point when I decided that I've become a wee bit too obsessed with this whole weight thing.

Because the important thing would be to eat healthy and be healthy. (and yes, I know I need to work on the "eating healthy" thing. But I need to do it because I want to be healthier, not fashionably thin. Not that I think that fashionably thin is an option. But I digress.)

So, I got my prescriptions filled. And I am going to take them. Because I want to be healthy. (and if I eat healthy most of the time, a little Krispy Kreme donut here or a few cheese fries there won't hurt, right?)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Oh, snap. I just remembered that I am being weighed tomorrow. I don't suppose any of you know of a way to lose ten pounds overnight with little or no effort on my part, do you? Sigh. I guess my only consolation is that I don't think this doctor has a digital scale. At least I won't know what I weigh down to the ounce.

Cover to Cover: an adventure in Proverbs

Do you ever think about wisdom? I don't know that I think about it overly much. For the most part, I run willy-nilly through my day, dashing hither and yon, putting out fires, starting new ones, tending to things that can't be ignored, ignoring things I hope will go away, and so forth and so on.

I've been wondering lately what exactly I am going to take away from this year when I finish reading through the bible. I know that I will come away with a sense of accomplishment because I finished a task. I'll be glad for the friends I've made on the journey. I'll probably have a better understanding of the bible itself. But I'm not sure that's enough. I think I want more. I want His word stamped so deeply into my heart that my very being shouts of who He is. I want to:

Be careful of what I think because my thoughts run my life. (Prov. 4:23)

To sleep in peace because I hold onto wisdom and good sense. (Prov. 3:21-24)

To keep my eyes focused on what is right, and look straight ahead to what is good. (Prov. 4:25)

To act knowing that the Lord considers my ways and my path. (Prov.5:21)

To use knowledge when I speak and to think before I speak. (Prov. 15:2, 28)

To trust in the Lord and to know that my happiness comes from Him. (Prov. 10:19, 16:20)

To control my temper and be patient. (Prov 16:32)

To forgive those who have sinned against me and then keep my mouth shut about it. (Prov. 17:9)

To not start quarrels. (Prov. 17:14)

And the list goes on. My heart sings within me as I realize that the Father has put all of these treasures before me. And if I hide them in my heart, seek His face, and follow the path He has set before me, I will please Him.

What about you? What do you want to take with you when we finish this year? Will you be a different person? Will you walk closer to Him?

I am at rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will never be shaken. Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from Him. (Psalm 62:1,2,5)