Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Do you ever wonder what on earth they are thinking?

Jonathan just informed me that when he grows up (and here I thought he was almost grown up...at least until I heard this...), he is going to replace his saliva glands with gasoline packets and put flint under his tongue and something else (which totally escaped me at this point as I was staring at him with a "huh?" expression on my face) so he can breathe fire. Um...okay... Can I just say that boys are weird? And I will never understand them as long as I live.

blogger and I are still not friends...

However, today is my daughter's 100 things post (in honor of her 100th post.) To be perfectly honest, when she told me she was doing it last night, I was a little concerned. (Sorry, Jessi, but when you are married and have children and they learn to talk to people outside the family, you will understand. Sort of like when someone pointed to the aging Hell's Angel and said, "Mommy, that man is FAT!" or when someone pointed at the person smoking a cigarette and said "Mommy, they are going to DIE!")

I must say, though, that I enjoyed reading her post (although I'm not sure I used the word "forever" in item number 50 and your teeth do stick together...or at least mine do...) and I would encourage you to drop by and check it out. Jessi always has something interesting to say. She offers her opinions a little more .... freely... than I do. :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cover to Cover got eaten by blogger.

Sigh. I will have to try and put it together again when I am not trying to leave for work. But I am sticking my tongue out at blogger right now. Just so you know.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

sunflower syndrome

I think it's going to take everything in me not to be grumpy, crabby or mean today. I just have that feeling.

And believe me, I have (mostly) legitimate reasons for feeling snarky.

However, it doesn't matter what my reasons are, being cranky is not a Christ-like behavior.

So I keep telling myself that I'm a sunflower.

Because sunflowers are happy, joyful, bright flowers.

I'll let you know how it goes.

So what do you do when you are feeling grumpy, crabby, mean, snarky and crabby?

Friday, October 24, 2008

I am not much of a morning person. Truth be told, I am not sure that I am much of a late night person either. Or a mid afternoon person. I think my peak moments are like from ten to eleven fifteen in the morning.

Which is why it is such a surprise that this morning finds me cooking not only sausage balls for breakfast, but chicken for a crockpot dish for dinner tonight. It took me five minutes yesterday morning to realize that biscuits cook better in the oven rather than on top of it.

So, I'm not making any promises, folks. Although I did kind of cheat and make the sausage ball dough yesterday. (sometime between ten and eleven fifteen.) Because I knew there was no way I'd have time to do it in the morning.

Of course, given the fact that I am not much of a morning person, (I'm not crabby, I'm just a little unfocused) I probably should be paying attention to the stove rather than sitting here blogging. (That's okay, the smoke alarm will let me know if things get too out of hand!)

I hope you have the most glorious day!
(now someone just needs to make sure I turn on the crockpot.)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

By Your Side

Why are you striving these days
Why are you trying to earn grace
Why are you crying
Let me lift up your face
Just don't turn away
Why are you looking for love
Why are you still searching as if I'm not enough
To where will you go child
Tell me where will you run
To where will you run
And I'll be by your side
Wherever you fallIn the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don't fight
These hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you
Look at these hands and my side
They swallowed the grave on that night
When I drank the world's sin
So I could carry you in
And give you life
I want to give you life

Cause I, I love you
I want you to know
That I, I love you
I'll never let you go

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

if you can't have pie...

there's always Torte! Jessi got this for us from Whole Foods. And since Whole Foods only sells healthy food, this must be good for us, right? (Honestly, I thought I might try to eat healthier since I am getting a little older but I have to eat my way through all the pie and cake and candy and such before I can start. At this rate, I'll weigh an extra 20 pounds before I begin! But they'll be a happy 20 pounds won't they?)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

For Ang....

a tale of two titles...

There are two things rolling around in my head this morning that I am just dying to share. (because my life is so exciting!) Hence the quandary over two titles. Since I have shamed Mrs. McKeehan (my high school English teacher) many times during my forays into blogdom, I'm not even going to try and follow whatever rules and restrictions go along with writing coherent papers. I'm just going to lay these puppies out there and let you make of them what you will.

title number one: Whirlpool is having trouble with their water heaters. Ask me how I know. Go on, ask me. Because apparently there's some part or something very important in certain models of water heaters that FAIL causing the pilot light to refuse to stay lit. Ask me how I know. At this very moment I am trying to convince myself that words like "invigorating" and "polar bear plunge" are positive, affirming words. Words like "bathing in the freezer must be good for your skin" or "what a lovely glow you have about you this morning. (never mind that blue really isn't your color...)" I'll bet you've guessed by now that we have NO hot water. Since Sunday night at 10 p.m. And due to Whirlpool having trouble with their water heaters, the water heater repair people are VERY busy. However, a lovely water heater repair person will be making his way to my house this morning, where he will be greeted with balloons, confetti and a ticker tape parade (not to mention a trumpet fanfare and maybe a piece of pie.) We want him to feel appreciated.

title number two: Fall comes to LifeWay

We wear uniforms at LifeWay. Day in and day out. Year in and year out. Little burgundy shirts and happy khaki pants or skirts. Every day. Never changing. I personally wear khaki skirts with my little burgundy shirt. I (almost) never wear pants. I have four of the same style skirt (ordered online because I am tall and skirts are not long unless you order tall.) I wear them in the spring, in the summer, in the fall and in the winter. I always look the same. (except sometimes a little thinner and sometimes a little thicker. Or sometimes my hair is up and sometimes it is down.) All in all, I never look different. (As a matter of a fact, we all look the same.) There's only one thing that's ever different. And it's how we know that fall has come to LifeWay.

It's the changing of the shoes.

During the spring and summer I wear "not sandals."

Really, they are not. No toes show. So they can't be sandals.

Because we aren't supposed to wear sandals.

And during the fall and winter, I wear hiking boots. With socks. (I know you are so excited by this information.) And I've decided that I will be expressing my individuality with my socks this fall. Because there are no rules governing what color socks we wear. Just the color of our shirts, skirts, belts and shoes.

Anyway, yesterday was the first "wearing of the boots." Because Fall is here. (It must be. Because I wore the boots. Circular logic, gotta love it.)

So if you ever need to know what season it is, just stop by my LifeWay store and take a look at my feet.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Cover to Cover:How well do you see?

I don't know where to begin. (I think I'll be saying this a lot in the NT.) One of the beautiful things about the NT is how familiar it is. And yet, in spite of reading the very familiar passages, God has hidden so many gems for my heart this time around as well.

I woke up this morning thinking about the healing of the blind man at Bethsaida. When they arrived at Bethsaida, some people brought a blind man to Jesus, and they begged him to touch the man and heal him. Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. Then, spitting on the man’s eyes, he laid his hands on him and asked, “Can you see anything now?” The man looked around. “Yes,” he said, “I see people, but I can’t see them very clearly. They look like trees walking around.” Then Jesus placed his hands on the man’s eyes again, and his eyes were opened. His sight was completely restored, and he could see everything clearly. Mark 8:22-25 For some reason, the story just captured my attention. I guess it appears to be a story of partial then total healing. Which didn't make sense to me at first. I mean, Jesus healed everyone else completely. Why did it take this man two tries before he could see clearly? Which may have been why I was pondering this story days later. But this morning, the light dawned. Kind of like the blind man's sight. How many times am I blinded to the truth of scripture? Then, gradually, the truth reveals itself...until finally I can see His intent. Matthew Henry puts it this way: The cure was wrought gradually, which was not usual in our Lord's miracles. Christ showed in what method those commonly are healed by his grace, who by nature are spiritually blind. At first, their knowledge is confused; but, like the light of the morning, it shines more and more to the perfect day, and then they see all things clearly.
I like to check out different translations to see how things are worded. While I would never use the Message for scripture memorization, I often love how things are worded there. This passage is no exception: Every person the Father gives me eventually comes running to me. And once that person is with me, I hold on and don't let go. This, in a nutshell, is that will: that everything handed over to me by the Father be completed—not a single detail missed—and at the wrap-up of time I have everything and everyone put together, upright and whole. John 6:37, 39
First the promise that He holds on and never lets go, then the promise that at the wrap up of time we will be put together, upright and whole. I'm telling you, these are some promises that I've needed to hear lately. Especially the promise that no matter how mixed up things might seem at the moment, some day I will be upright and whole. Praise Jesus!
Do you ever stop and think how many times certain things are mentioned in scripture. When I saw this again this week, I began to wonder how much clearer Someone might be trying to make the point to me. But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' Matthew 15:18 I think this verse is tied together with Mark 8:15: Be careful," Jesus warned them. "Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod." Just as good things permeate lives like yeast in flour (Matthew 13:33), so can the taint of evil work it's way through our lives, affecting all that we touch.
I have to confess something at this point. (Those that know me well will be nodding their heads at this next part.) As we travel closer to Jerusalem and Jesus's Crucifixion, I will have a difficult time reading and processing these passages. I hate knowing that He is going to suffer and die. Even though I know He is going to rise again and it is all a necessary part of God's plan. It hurts my heart. (Just ask me about how much trouble I had doing the homework in Jesus the One and Only during crucifixion week.) Anyway, maybe that's why this part caught my eye. As the time drew near for him to ascend to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. Luke 9:51 Did you see it? He resolutely set out. I think too often we think this was easy for Him. He was obedient to His Father's Will and He knew all along what the big picture was. So surely He marched right into Jerusalem to carry out God's Will, right? Well, yes, He did. But I don't think it was easy. He knew it was necessary. The dictionary says resolutely means to be firmly resolved or determined, to be set in purpose. The Message says: he gathered up his courage and steeled himself for the journey to Jerusalem. For some reason, those six little words in the NIV make me even more grateful and aware of the sacrifice that He made for me.
There's so much more to this weeks reading. We could talk about Mary and Martha, the six woes, the parable of the rich fool (a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions), the sending out of the seventy two...oh, how rich the Word is. However, this post is already terribly wordy and slightly scattered. Please join Bev and the gang and read coherent thoughts on things that I missed. You'll be blessed! (and thanks for your patience with my wordiness. If that's a word.)

Meet my man...

Josh is 45 today! (and Mary Jane is...um...having a birthday too. Rather than reveal her age, I will point out that she is OLDER than me. tee hee.) So in honor of Josh's 45th birthday, I thought I'd tell you a little bit about him. Because I know that nothing would thrill him more than me putting information about him on the world wide web. (Lori did this little bit over at her place last week and I thought it would be perfect for today. Because you don't turn 45 every day.)

1. He's sitting in front of the TV: what is on the screen? Could be anything. He's a channel flipper. Might be a football game, a sitcom, a food show, or round the clock news. My favorite tv memory was when he came home from the hospital with a kidney stone. They had pumped him full of powerful painkillers and I left him downstairs to go get something. When I came back, he was totally engrossed in watching the spanish channel. Which is fine, except that he speaks no spanish. I still wonder what he thought was going on.

2. You're out to eat. What kind of dressing does he get on his salad? Um..nothing? Because salad makes him gag. Or bleu cheese. Because he'd be passing that salad along to me and that's what I'd want.

3. What is one food he doesn't like? Okra? Shrimp? Dill pickles? (I know that's three. But he probably feels equally strongly about each of them.)

4. You go out to the bar. What does he order? He doesn't do bars. But if he had to...he would order a mountain dew.

5. Where did he go to high school? Moore High School. Same as his sister and brother before him. I'm not sure if he enjoyed it or not. (I suspect not. Because who really enjoys high school?) However, he was a good, if somewhat sarcastic, student. (unlike that woman he married...she was too blonde to think about grades most of the time. )

6. What size shoe does he wear? 10 1/2 . when he wears shoes.

7. If he was to collect anything, what would it be? Plants. lots and lots of plants. (He also loves Stitch. As in Lilo and Stitch. Mainly because Stitch lives in Hawaii and he would really like to live in Hawaii too. Because they don't bring their tropical plants in the house in the winter.)

8. What is his favorite type of sandwich? He's not much of a sandwich fan. But if he were to have a sandwich, he would prefer it to be a club sandwich with just meat and cheese. No dressing, no veggies. Because veggies would be like a salad and we all know that salad makes him gag.

9. What would the Husband eat every day if he could? Pie? BBQ ribs? Milky Way midnights?

10. What is his favorite cereal? Right now he gets to eat Honey Smacks and Raisin Bran. Because that's what I bought last so they must be his favorites.

11. What would he never wear? An evening gown? high heels? long evening gloves? fish net tights? I'm thinking the list is pretty long.

12. What is his favorite sports team? UK. (which shockingly beat Arkansas in football last night. He's a true fan...who listened to the entire game even after his wife left the room when they were down 13 points with 4 minutes to go. He might have been a little smug when he came upstairs and said, "by the way, in case you're interested...we won.")

13. Who will he vote for? Well, we try to avoid politics on this blog. But he is pro-life and very conservative. You guess.

14. Who is his best friend? Me! or Elwood. (the basset hound) depending on who's better behaved that day.

15. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn’t do? interrupt. spaz out. whine. need I go on? (I could...)

16. How many states has he lived in? Two. This one and Missouri.

17. What is his heritage? I have no idea. He's not Hawaiian. Much to his disappointment.

18. You bake him a cake for his birthday; what kind? Okay, you should know the answer to this one. Say it with me...PIE! (If it had to be cake, it might be coke cake. or pudding cake. or strawberry whipped cream cake. All of which he would have to cook so he'd probably rather I go and have his mom make a PIE. Because I don't do pie either.)

19. Did he play sports in high school? Is chess a sport? No. only required PE class sports.

20. What could he spend hours doing? puttering with his plants. checking out ebay. going to yard sales with his dad. Fixing the train layout that he's going to put together someday.

Happy 45th birthday Joshua!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A most happy birthday weekend...

beautiful flowers from wonderful friends ...

A wonderful sunset this evening...

um...pie...or pies...chocolate and butterscotch...

This piece used to be mine...actually, it still is...it's just not in this form anymore...ewwww....

and dancing girls! everyone should have dancing girls for their birthday! (actually, this is my niece and my sister-in-law. They do dance and they are girls...but they just came from a costume party...Melissa is a bee and Julia is a peacock. In case you were wondering...)
And just so you'll know...someone in the family might be turning 45 tomorrow. And maybe we'll play a little game with him to celebrate....

Let's play a game!

(I can hear the groaning now.) My daughter found this little game somewhere and it looked like fun. So I thought I would play. To show my mental agility. Of course a true test of my mental agility would be if there were like a time limit to complete this game...like ten minutes or something. Rather than however long I want to take. But, it's my game and I'll play it however I want to. (I'm sticking my tongue out, can you tell?)

Okay...here goes:

15 random favorites: books, blogging, taking pictures, my dogs, my children (no, these are not ranked...), outback cheese fries (death on a plate), The Closer, Pancake Pantry, fall weather, purses, fuzzy socks, Beth Moore bible studies, sleeping late, chocolate, good music

14 Favorite Foods: (it feels like we already did this!) Outback cheese fries, chocolate, good pizza, teriyaki chicken, pie, pie, pie, (that would be chocolate, butterscotch and vanilla) pralines and cream ice cream, cream soda, sour jelly bellies, (do you see anything healthy on this list?), krispy kreme doughnuts, baked bbq lays, queso, cheesecake....I could go on...

13 most watched shows: The Closer, The Closer reruns, Law & Order, Extreme Makeover:Home edition, Iron Chef America, Boston Legal, Eli Stone, um...most true crime shows (Josh gets nervous sometimes. No, I am not trying to "learn" things from them.) Ace of Cakes, NCIS, and more reruns. (I know that's not 13 but if you count reruns it probably is.)

12 good bands in my opinion: Uh oh. David Crowder Band, Casting Crowns (the Christmas cd is outstanding!), Mercy Me, Chris Tomlin (who is a one man band!), this is harder than it looks. If you counted each band member as an individual band, we might come up with 12. I have Selah, Travis Cottrell, Chris Tomlin, Casting Crowns, and something else in my CD player right now. Does that count?

11 memories: giving birth...twice, moving into this house, surgery last year, (are these supposed to be good memories or just memories?) going to Amy Grant's house, Josh and Jessi having surgery two weeks apart, going to a LPL event for the first time, going to work at LifeWay, watching Jessi play the lead in the senior play, watching Jonathan dance at last spring's homecoming dance.

10 close friends: Can they really be close if there are ten of them? And would it really be fair if you thought you were a close friend and I didn't name you because I was having a blonde moment? Or if I thought we were close and you didn't like me so much and told me so later and my feelings were totally hurt and I was crushed? Have I written enough to distract you from this question?

9 things you are looking forward to: turning 50 in about 20 years (snort), my baby's wedding (sort of), my baby's graduation (either baby. Sort of), pie Saturday night, Josh's birthday (because it's not mine), Christmas, Thanksgiving, the end of election hoopla, the end of this game.

8 things I wear daily: contacts (that counts as two...one for each eye of course), shirt, wedding ring, a hair thingy, the usual foundational garments that might be found on one who is less than 45, I don't always wear shoes or socks and sometimes I wear a skirt and sometimes I wear pants. Oh, I know...I wear deodorant. And we are all thankful.

7 things that annoy me: political ads, slow computers, movies that don't end happily, poor service, games that are harder than they appear, bad drivers, people who think they are right all the time (because we all know that I am right all the time and if they think they are right then they must be misinformed.)

6 things I touch every day: my toothbrush, my back door, my pillow, my refrigerator, the dog bowls, my cell phone

5 movies I could watch over and over: LOTR, Ratatouille, Apollo 13, Fly Away Home, While You Were Sleeping

4 of your favorite childhood toys: my panda bear with purple corduroy pants, my monkey Matthew, my Miss America Doll, my Smokey the Bear bear

3 people I have kissed: um...that's a little personal...my husband, and both my children.

2 of my favorite songs: peace on earth & while you were sleeping by casting crowns

1 person I could spend the rest of my life with: um...the correct answer would be JOSH. (but I'm thinking Jesus, too.)

Anyway, I am supposed to be watching a movie. Since they've killed the dog and the boyfriend, it's okay for me to go and watch now. Cause it'll be happy happy happy from here on out. Right. (I hear Josh snoring so it can't be all that exciting, huh.)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Somebody might be turning 44 today. I'll give you a hint...it's not my brother.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

After my second morning in a row of getting up at 3 a.m. (the first day my Bible was calling me...a legitimate reason...the second day my basset hound was grumbling...a not so legitimate reason if one doesn't mind cleaning up basset sized messes...which I do not...), I have decided that I will not be having any more babies. I don't think I could handle the middle of the night feedings. (Never mind the small fact of my hysterectomy last November which would make actual pregnancy a National Enquirer miracle. Hmmm...we are almost at the one year anniversary of said surgery. Does one actually celebrate hysterectomy anniversaries? I'm sorry, I digress. Blame it on very little sleep.)

Anyway, I am making pancakes and sausage for breakfast this morning. This actually promises to be rather exciting. See, my children like chocolate chip pancakes and peanut butter syrup (like they serve at the Pancake Pantry in Gatlinburg) and my husband prefers plain pancakes and sausage. Normally I would make a big batch of pancake batter, make a few pancakes for Josh and myself and then add the chocolate chips for the kids. However, it's a school morning which means that Jonathan needs to eat first, then Josh, then Jessi. (I'll eat tomorrow.) Which means making two batches of pancake batter. Since it was five minutes before I realized I hadn't turned on the stove for the sausage (I wondered why they weren't sizzling) and then another five minutes before I realized that I had turned on the wrong burner, I'm not sure my measuring and dividing skills are up to par. (One might also have to wonder if my ability to sense when a pancake is golden brown as opposed to mud colored might be called into question as well. So far so good.)

I would seriously consider going back to bed but my in-laws are supposed to come by sometime today to pick up three of the larger plumeria and two banana plants. The other twenty plus the ginormous one will be going in our house. (in light of my desire to be a submissive wife, I am not going to mention that my husband just asked me if I only made him two pieces of sausage. Nor am I mentioning the fact that it is not even seven o'clock and he has a hot breakfast waiting for him on the table. Nor am I going to dwell on the fact that as of yet, no one has thanked me for making said hot breakfast when they could be eating cold cereal and I could be in bed, sleeping. I'm not bitter. I'm just sleepy. and maybe a bit grumpy. )

Well, I'm off to pack lunches and make sure everyone has their stuff for the day. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

a prayer request from The Boy

There's this girl...who is a friend of The Boy. This girl was diagnosed with cancer at the end of their freshman year. She spent most of their sophomore year undergoing treatment and finally went into remission at the end of their sophomore year. This girl had to undergo a PET scan on Friday and has not returned to school since. The Boy says that no one knows the outcome of the scan. (um...now would be a good time to point out that The Boy is clueless about many things.) However, he is concerned, therefore, I am concerned. So, if you have a moment...please lift this girl and her family up in prayer.

creative counterpart VII

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Ephesians 5:22-24

I have mentioned in the past that I am reading/working through Creative Counterpart over at Lori's blog. And while I have not been as diligent as Lori has about posting a recap, I have been reading and pondering what I have read. (I ponder a lot. It's a Winnie the Pooh thing.) I meant to post about last weeks chapter but life intervened. So I figured I'd post about this week's chapter. Which is on submission. My favorite topic. Not. (this may be a very short post.)

I must confess that I have a lot of huh? moments reading this book. It is chock full of stuff that I cannot absorb in just one reading. I often go back and reread chapters to try get every juicy bit that I can out of them. The chapter on submission is no exception.

I suspect that most women have a false impression of what biblical submission really means. I know that I struggle with some of these issues. It's not that I want to rule the world (or my husband). I certainly don't feel that I am right all the time. I don't necessarily see myself as a prideful person. I think my fear of submission partly relates back to some past issues and partly comes from fearing that submission means that I will "disappear" if I submit to my husband's authority. However, Linda Dillow says that "God's plan for marital happiness involves a spiritual head and a creative counterpart. God's man and God's woman complete each other." She goes on to say that, "She has chosen to be submissive because God has commanded it and because she is convinced that only completion will result in a vital, fulfilling marriage." (page 121.)

While I am not sure that submission will come any easier after reading this chapter, it certainly confirms (and convicts) that this is God's intent for a healthy marriage. Linda goes on to list the barriers to a submissive spirit (the disobedient husband, arbitrary discrimination based on Sex, the squelching of personal identity, the four fears, and pride), the benefits of a submissive spirit (tension releaser, husband changer, and happy happy joy joy moments) and the limits of submission (yes, there are some.) I have to say that after reading this chapter, I do recognize myself in some of these issues and realize that regardless of what excuses I might be offering as to why I cannot submit, I am still being disobedient to God and disrespectful to my husband. I'll be praying for forgiveness and a submissive spirit. (and I'll probably be asking for an easy way to accomplish it as well. It doesn't hurt to ask!)

In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives.
Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They trusted God and accepted the authority of their husbands. For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, and called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do. 1 Peter 3:1-6

random ridiculousness...

You'll be happy to know that Jonathan is still struggling in his makeup class.

It is also spirit week this week. Biblical costume day has been cancelled because of concerns that it might interfere with concentration during achievement tests. Huh?

We are expecting lows around 42 this weekend. Those of you that know me and my house know that this means time to bring the plants in. We will be shifting things around to make room for the bazillion tropical plants that must come indoors due to the Kentucky fall/winter. (No, there's not really a bazillion. Just sixty or so. Give or take a few. I'll do an actual count once I get them all indoors.)

I am on vacation this week. In my house. And I am happy about it. Mostly. (there's that whole birthday thing looming on Friday. But that's okay. I'm getting pie out of it. And I like pie!)

I realized this morning that it's almost time to start fattening up for winter. Which led me to ponder whether or not I ever lost last winter's fat stores. Which is probably not something I ought to be pondering when I am eating a chocolate cupcake. (However, the fact that I am eating a chocolate cupcake might clue us in as to the answer to that pondering.)

It's still allergy season here. Just in case you were wondering. (I'm not wondering because we are still going through enormous amounts of kleenex on a weekly basis. Not to mention the sounds of sniffling and sneezing that echo throughout the house.)

And lastly (and not randomly), I thank you for your prayers this past week. While we have not totally resolved the issues that we are faced with, we are facing them with a strong, determined, peaceful spirit which I know comes from Him. If you are so inclined, I would appreciate continued prayer for wisdom and discernment as we continue to work our way through our issues. You all bless me.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Cover to Cover: Treasure

This is one of those weeks where I struggle to tie all the scriptures together and present them in a coherent package. Since my brain seems to be operating strictly in blonde mode these days, I'm just going to plop them out there and let you put them together.

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Matthew 6:7 This speaks to me on two levels. I too often feel that the more words I use, the more I'll get my point across. The NLT says that "They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again." I am also guilty of rushing through my prayers, repeating the same things by rote, so that I can check that portion of my day off my to do list. Ouch.

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:20-21 Since I began reading through the Bible chronologically, I have become more and more convinced that His Word is my greatest treasure. I am convicted daily that this is the the treasure that I need to be storing up. So, once again, I am working on scripture memorization. (not my favorite thing to do, can you tell?)

“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. " Matthew 7:15-18 This got me to thinking. Do we know enough about "fruit" to recognize bad fruit when we see it? How well do we know the Word so that we know false teachings? Can people see good fruit in my life? I don't think "trees" produce neutral, ineffective or so-so fruit.

"These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock. " Matthew 7:24-25 (Don't you just love the Message sometimes?) Nothing moved that house! What is my house "fixed" to? Another reminder of how important the Word truly is to our lives.

You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. Matthew 12:34-36 Every careless word? Ouch.

"When a defiling evil spirit is expelled from someone, it drifts along through the desert looking for an oasis, some unsuspecting soul it can bedevil. When it doesn't find anyone, it says, 'I'll go back to my old haunt.' On return it finds the person spotlessly clean, but vacant. It then runs out and rounds up seven other spirits more evil than itself and they all move in, whooping it up. That person ends up far worse off than if he'd never gotten cleaned up in the first place.
"That's what this generation is like: You may think you have cleaned out the junk from your lives and gotten ready for God, but you weren't hospitable to my kingdom message, and now all the devils are moving back in."
Matthew 12:43-45 Beth Moore talked about the importance of filling our lives with Him as we break free from the things that keep us in bondage. This scripture is one that she uses to illustrate her point.

I suspect when it is all said and done, the most overwhelming message to me this week was the necessity of keeping ourselves in the Word. Constantly. Totally.

Annette has a great piece on John the Baptist this week and we'd love to have you join Bev and the gang over at her place for a recap of the week. Blessings to all!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The everlasting God is your place of safety, and His arms will hold you up forever. Deuteronomy 33:27a

But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God and made Him my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works. Psalm 73:28

Thursday, October 9, 2008

We are facing some very difficult issues right now and I would appreciate prayer for our child and family during this time.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Cover to Cover:Love has come..

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

A funny thing happened on the way to the New Testament. I was praying about our readings and telling God how much I was looking forward to the New Testament when suddenly I found myself in tears. I was trying to explain to Him that although I love the story of Jesus and find the New Testament full of so many pieces of life advice, I was going to miss the Old Testament. Because God spoke there. He made His presence felt there. He held us in the palm of His hand there. He called us His treasured possession, His delight, the apple of His eye. How could you not miss that? Of course, I was acting like I would never be able to read the Old Testament again and I felt a bit foolish about it, but it just tugged at my heart so to be leaving Him behind. . So now you know that I am a dork. But I did wonder if any of you felt the same way.

Okay, on to the readings. (Don't forget to check out Bev's new blog where she'll be doing the cover to cover, New Testament recap.)
One of the things that I love so much about the early chapters of Luke and Matthew are the glimpses of the baby Jesus. As a mom, I can so relate to the love that His parents had for this Child. I picture Mary cuddling baby Jesus and wondering what life would hold for Him. This song is from "the beginners Bible" and is one of my favorites. (we had it sung at Jonathan's baby dedication.) It is supposed to be Mary singing to Jesus.

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19

Another of my favorite stories is that of Simeon.

At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying,
“Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace,
as you have promised.
I have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared for all people.
He is a light to reveal God to the nations,
and he is the glory of your people Israel!”
Luke 2:25-32

I love the picture of a faithful man, righteous and devout, waiting for his Messiah. Ron Dicianni has a picture called "Simeon's Moment" that is one of my favorites. (It seems that this must be Karen's Favorites week!) One of the things that I love about it is the outline of the world superimposed over Simeon and baby Jesus. I love how the world is no longer dark where Jesus is. (can you tell that I am a visual person?)

Wouldn't you have loved to be in the temple that day?

And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon Him. Luke 2:40

One of the wonderful things about reading scripture (especially familiar scriptures) is how something catches your eye that you have missed before. (it's especially great when it's convicting scripture. And yes, that might be a bit of sarcasm there.) This little gem was stuck in the middle of John the Baptist preparing the way. Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Matthew 2:8.
Enough said.

I think I'll close with this little gem. When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came. Luke 4:13. So many times as we battle temptation, we fool ourselves into believing that when it's over we can relax and let our guard down. I think I often forget that satan is just waiting for the next time. My job is to immerse myself in the Word and be diligent. (putting on the full armor of God....Ephesians 6:11)

Light has come into the world...(John 3:19)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

an ode to October

October is a complicated month for me.

It is the month of my birth. I don't so much mind the birthdays at the moment. I started taking a week of vacation during my birthday the year I turned 40. (I figured if I was going to sulk, pout, and cry, I'd be better off at home. Instead, I painted my kitchen and enjoyed my vacation. It's a tradition that I have continued each year since. And it hasn't been that many more years, thank you very much.)

However, October's complexities revolve around my birthday. (which appears to be a direct contradiction to what I just said. I know. It's just that my brain works like that sometimes.)
I am an adopted child. Which is a wonderful thing. But a complicated one. (complicated must be the word of the day.)

As a child, teen and young adult, I had a difficult relationship with my mother. All of which caused me to long for my birth mother.

Because of course she would have been perfect. (Not.)

Well, our city newspaper used to run (and may still but I don't look anymore) those "searching for someone" ads in the classifieds. I would sometimes (although it seemed often to me) see ads where birth mothers where searching for their children. So for many years, I would eagerly await my birthday so that I could see the "looking for you" ad that I was sure my mother would put in the paper for me.

Needless to say, she did not.

And year after year, I would be thrust into a kind of depression because obviously I was not worthy of her love. This destructive cycle continued for many years. I never told anyone what I was doing. Because I didn't want them to know that I was unworthy of love.

Finally, after crying my eyes out on my husband's shoulder one October, I confessed my secret obsession. And we talked about it.
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Of course my head knew that the lack of a tiny classified ad from my mother on my birthday in no way undermined my worth. It's just that my heart was so hurt. It's funny, though. After talking it out with Josh, it no longer seemed so important that the ad be there. And I don't even look anymore. I know to Whom I belong. I know that I am loved.

It's just that every October, my heart still wonders if there's a woman out there who thinks about the baby girl that she gave up so that she might have a better life.

So, October is complicated for me.

please understand that I am in no way against adoption. I think it's a wonderful thing. A big part of my issue with my adoption lies in the attitude towards adoption when I was growing up. Today adoption is seen for what it really is. A chance for a child to have a better life. Sometimes it is the only chance at life.