Thursday, December 30, 2010

Looking back

As I read my Bible at the beginning of the year, a particular phrase seemed to appear with regularity. I don't remember noticing the phrase before, even though I'd traveled this particular road with this particular reading plan and this particular Bible for two previous years. The phrase was "hold fast to Him" and it appeared five times within a matter of days. Little did I know.

But God's like that. Revealing Himself in ways that we need, when we need it. And this has been a year of needing it. As adventure after adventure has presented itself to us, He's been there. Lifting, carrying, soothing, comforting, caring, loving. Reminding me who He is over and over again. And while my track record is far from perfect, I believe I've gotten a bit better at holding fast to Him.

A few weeks ago the boy mentioned that he was looking forward to an upcoming doctor's appointment because he had a few things to discuss with the doctor. Since the boy is no fan of blood work and so forth, I was somewhat surprised. When I finally had a moment to ask what these "things" were, he informed me that he had lost the peripheral vision in his right eye. About a month ago. Ack! When questioned as to why he didn't say anything he replied that he didn't want to worry me. Sigh.

Anyway, we went off to the eye doctor who pronounced his optic nerve "perfectly fine" and performed a visual field test. Which the boy failed. Twice. The eye doctor then recommended that we schedule an MRI to check for a brain tumor. Um, hello? I'm sitting there thinking blindness is the worst possible thing and all of a sudden you are using words like brain tumor? You know what I discovered? The words "brain tumor" cannot compete with the command to Hold Fast to HIM. During the next week as we waited for tests and results for tests, there were a lot of prayers lifted up. A lot of holding fast. And at the end of the week, we got the call. No brain tumor. We trekked off to the neuro-optometrist. Visual field tests re-administered. Three times. The boy passed every time. The "shade" was gone from his eye. He could see! God heals!

Here's the thing. As long as we are holding fast to Him, the outcome doesn't really matter. And while it might seem that it's easy for me to say because the answer was what we wanted to hear, there have been times this year when the answer wasn't what we wanted to hear. Wasn't what we hoped for. And for whatever reason, there are still a few "bumps" in the road to follow us into 2011. But GOD is still there. Lifting, carrying, soothing, comforting, caring, loving. Holding us up. Remember that. It's good stuff.

It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.
Deuteronomy 13:4

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Looking forward

Each year about this time, I start to look forward toward the new year. I don't make new year's resolutions so to speak, but I do make plans. The past few years those plans have included how I want to be challenged and grow in the Lord. I want to be able to look back at the end of the year and see that my walk is stronger and hopefully my life is a tad bit more fruitful. =)

I've "loosely" made these plans for 2011 (I say "loosely" because God may have other plans for me this upcoming year.):

a) to read the Bible in historical order this year. Rather than read it in the order that it happened, I will be reading in the order that it was written.

b) to work through the Bible study the amazing collection as I read through the Bible. The Amazing Collection goes through the entire Bible and I think it's a good way to reinforce as well as doing an in-depth study of what I am reading.

c) a friend and I have committed to scripture memorization this year using Robert Morgan's 100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart. We hope to memorize all 100 verses this year. (She's planning on learning some of them in Japanese as well. Go, Amanda!) I'm not sure if I am going to participate in the Siesta Scripture Memory thing this year. Since I will be learning more than 24 verses I might. I'm not sure what's holding me back from committing to it. I'll have to think about it. Actually, that's not quite true. I do know why I am hesitant. If I can work around it, I will.

d) I would also like to do some word studies on certain scriptures this year. My intent is to look into the original Hebrew and Greek surrounding verses containing particular words to get a better idea of what the Lord intended for us. (Perhaps my questions surrounding the Sabbath will finally be answered!)

At first glance, they seem like pretty big plans for the upcoming year. However, there are 365 days to work on them. And who knows how they will change my life. Looking forward...

Monday, December 6, 2010

We are holiday people at our house. We will probably be adding decorating touches all the way up to Christmas as we keep dragging out our collections of Christmas things.

There are fluffy stuffed animals, pillows, ceramics, wreathes, candles, figurines and nativities galore scattered throughout the house, each competing for attention, each telling a story of sorts. But it's the ornaments that speak loudest to me...each one tells a story and I think (for the moment) I can remember how we got each one.

This was the first Christmas ornament that Josh and I ever purchased. It was our first Christmas together, 1986, the Christmas before we got married.


This little gingerbread girl was the "dated" daughter ornament the year that Jessi was born. Little did we know that she would grow up loving to cook and bake. I think this year, the first Christmas that she's in her own home, makes the memory a little sweeter. (no pun intended.)


This ornament came from a very dear friend at the end of a life changing journey, the year I first read the Bible chronologically. (For those of you who did the Esther study, this was a "peripety" moment.)

This figurine always reminds me of Jessi. When she was a little girl, she had long curls and I thought she looked like this little girl when she had her hair in a ponytail. When I found this ornament, I couldn't resist it! (Feel the sentimental tug at the heartstrings? Someone is missing her girl.)

Josh has been a Lilo and Stitch fan from the moment he saw the movie. (And he does a great Elvis impersonation!) This ornament was a perfect choice for him. (Our tree this year has a "Disney" section, a "star wars" section, a "Santa" section, a "penguin" section, a "Hawaii" section and a variety of others.)

Last year, LifeWay carried a series of ornaments that had Peace, Hope, Joy, Love and Jesus on them. Each one had a scripture on the back and they have become some of my favorite ornaments. I love the promise of Hope and Joy for the Christmas season and believe me, there are many days when I need the visual reminder right in front of my face.
There are others, too many to share here. Jonathan's apple he "made" in Sunday School his first Christmas. Ornaments from the year we decided to "make" our own. Ceramic ornaments that Josh has painted. Ornaments from family vacations. Memories I've forgotten until I unwrap each ornament. So tell me, what stories do your decorations tell?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

a typical day in the life of...

Josh has been out of town for the past few days. During this time, the boy and I have been hanging out together. A lot. (As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure he's glad his dad will be back tonight. ) Regardless, today was my day off and coincidentally, Jonathan didn't have any classes. So guess what? We spent the day together. (Just what any 18 year old wants to do!) We went with Jessi to the Speed Art Museum this morning. While the Speed is a "smallish" museum, it has several things that I love. The English Room is one of my favorites and I am absolutely fascinated by the things in the tapestry room. My favorite thing today was the George Grey Barnard sculpture of The Prodigal Son. Magnificent in detail, you could feel the fathers emotion at the return of his beloved son. Beautiful stuff.

Currently (besides counting the hours til dad gets home and he can turn me over to his father,) we are watching a Jurassic Park marathon. Well, we are mostly watching. I tend to leave the room whenever anyone is going to get eaten. Which means I leave the room a lot. However, when I am not covering my eyes and ears or "going to fold laundry", we've been discussing the various improbabilities in the movies and what we might do differently if we were currently being stalked by ravenous carnivores. Needless to say, step one would be never to go to an island where dinosaurs roam free. Hmmm...it appears that the latest victim is truly dino dinner so I guess it's time for me to head back to the movie. I hope you are enjoying whatever this evening brings your way!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Power to Move Mountains

My nephew has spent the better part of a year putting together a photographic study and documentary on mountaintop removal for The National Geographic Society. He's put some glorious examples of God's handiwork and some not so glorious glimpses of man's work here. As he puts it on his website, "This project does not seek to condemn those involved in the mining... it only seeks to promote wise stewardship of this planet so that its incredible resources are available for future generations. Questions are asked, sociological and ecological issues are addressed, possible solutions and alternatives are considered, and Appalachia is showcased in all of its pristine glory." The documentary will be out in January and I can't wait to see it!

Monday, November 1, 2010

cornbread, anyone?

cornbread Pictures, Images and Photos

My husband says he's pretty sure God invented biscuits so there would be no need for cornbread. Needless to say, I heartily disagree. I have know idea where he gets these ideas...

Sunday, October 31, 2010


The LORD gives strength to His people;the LORD blesses His people with peace.

Psalm 29:11



Jessi is recovering quite nicely from her unexpected surgery. I appreciate those of you who offered up prayers on her behalf.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Smiley Exhausted Pictures, Images and Photos

You know it's been a long few days when you run the microwave and then realize you forgot to put anything in it...

blond moment, anyone?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Your Name



Nothing has the power to save but Your Name.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I love flowers.


I adore flowers.


Flowers make my heart sing.


Flowers make my heart leap with joy.


However, there are some flowers I can live without...



Ragweed Pictures, Images and Photos

Anxiously anticipating the end of ragweed season.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Gratitude...counting the gifts

autumn Pictures, Images and Photos



Everything we do should be a result of our gratitude for what God has done for us.
Lauryn Hill



... dirty dishes--that I have dishes and a family that's been fed.

... open windows, a cool breeze, a certain crispness in the air.

... surviving my adventure with the stairs.

... the smell of blackberry cobbler baking in the oven.

... the anticipation of "fall" foods.

... unlimited texting.

... learning along with the boy as we study together. (He talks, I listen. Oh, how I am grateful that he still talks to me.)


"In our daily lives, we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but the gratefulness that makes us happy." ~ Albert Clarke


holy experience

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

Ordinary

I am a contradiction sometimes.

Some days I find myself lamenting over the ordinariness of my days. Every day seems to be a bit of the same...get up, get ready (for what depends on the day and the mood of the various occupants of the house), get everyone else up, fix various forms of food, wash various forms of clothing, head off to work, head back home, fix more food, maneuver around the moods of the various occupants of the house, and do whatever else comes along with just living.

Then there are the other days. The days when I think about the "new normal." This certainly has been the year for it. First the wedding. Then the endless illnesses with all three various occupants of this house. The Graduation. More illness. Surgery. College. A Diagnosis. Learning to live with chronic illness. On those days I wonder where "ordinary" went. Not to worry though. More than likely, the next morning I will wake up, get up, get ready...you get the picture.

This week I've been thinking about the ordinary. Thinking about blogging and how I never seemed to think about anything to say when I was near a computer. How I missed blogging...even the mundane little tidbits that make up my life. I actually even thought about how the dogs hadn't done anything interesting or exciting to share on here as I've done in days past.

Until Wednesday.

Morning.

6:40 in the morning to be precise.

That was about the time that I decided to carry down a load of laundry to wash before leaving for work.

Apparently that was also about the time the "dogs race each other down the stairs" event was scheduled to begin.

Unbeknownst to me.

If only we'd had a video camera trained on the stairs. I'm sure I could have won the top prize on AFV.

Regardless, as I was swept from the top step to the bottom step in a matter of moments, laundry and phone still clutched in my hand, (perhaps it might have been better to drop one or both and try to stop my fall...) the irony did not escape me. Well, it escaped me until after I burst into tears, called Josh and told him that the dogs tried to kill me.

I did survive though. With a bruised thigh or two, a banged up elbow, sore armpits (which makes me wonder if I tried to flap my arms like a chicken and fly on the way down), and sore tops of my feet. (and what on earth is up with that? Did I try to hit the brake on the way down?)

Kind of gives me a new appreciation for the ordinary though...


He looks so innocent, doesn't he?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Gratitude

road tree Pictures, Images and Photos

"He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has." - Epictetus


***the first tint of fall showing up in our trees...

***two letters from Amisha...

"Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul." - Henry Ward Beecher

***improvement from the boy's physical therapy...

***cooler mornings...


“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” — Thornton Wilder

***Conversations with my father and my son...

***a heritage...

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” — William Arthur Ward


***the opportunity to fix breakfast for both my children...


"To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven." Johannes A. Gaertner


holy experience

Saturday, September 18, 2010

2010 seems like the longest year.

Or maybe it is 2011 and no one told me. (Nope, that can't be true. If it were, we would be on another year of insurance deductibles and I'm sure someone would be letting me know.)

I think I've spent the biggest portion of this year in doctor's offices or hospitals or waiting for results from the aforementioned visits.

Anyway, after much contemplation, rumination, and excogitation, the doctors appear to have a diagnosis for Jonathan. It seems he has a type of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. This accounts for the extreme pain in his joints, difficulty getting around and the falling/joints "giving way." While there is no cure, it can be managed with certain types of medication and physical therapy. He will also have regular tests done on his heart to see if there has been any change in the elasticity of the heart valves.

All in all though, it's not an insurmountable obstacle. He began physical therapy last week and the therapist is already beginning to see a strengthening of his tendons and Jonathan is beginning to see a lessening of his pain level. (a four instead of a six all the time.)

God is good.

And faithful.

We are grateful to have a diagnosis. We are grateful that, while not curable, it is manageable. We are grateful that Jonathan did not want to be a lumberjack or football player when he grew up. His life's ambitions are still obtainable even with physical limitations.

God is good.

Everybody falls sometimes
Gotta find the strength to rise
From the ashes and make a new beginning
Anyone can feel the ache
You think it’s more than you can take
But you're stronger, stronger than you know
Don’t you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do
--What Faith Can Do by Kutless


The LORD is the strength of my life... Psalm 27.1

Friday, September 10, 2010

Peckish

irritated Pictures, Images and Photos

Dictionary.com defines the word "peckish" as "rather irritable." That mostly describes my mood today. I could offer reasons but that doesn't really excuse it.

So I'll be working on that the remainder of the day.

Because "peckish" is kind of like chicken pox. If I have it and allow it to come in contact with other human beings in the house, before long we are all itchy.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Josh and Jonathan making a suit of armor out of duct tape.


I enjoy when my son and husband enjoy each other. Let me explain.

It's kind of strange. The boy is at an age where he and his dad don't have a lot in common. They each tend to go their own way, pursuing their own hobbies, forgetting (or so it seems) that they live in the same house. The father is up early, off to work, and falls asleep in his favorite recliner before it gets too late. The boy tends to sleep late (very late) and stay up late (very late.) There may be days when they don't see or speak to each other at all.

The last twenty four hours were different though. It started last night. The husband got a movie from netflix that the boy wanted to watch. (One of those dorky guy movies that I have no interest in watching.) Each time I passed by the tv room, there was laughter and talking and general frivolity had by all. Both men enjoyed the movie and the company. So this afternoon, rather than go their separate ways, they went and got hair cuts and picked out some of the boy's graduation presents. (He wanted a mini fridge for his room. To keep a pitcher of kool aid in. I should be used to this child by now but sometimes he still surprises me.) After their trip foraging around town, they came back and set up various pieces of equipment (there was a tv involved as well), still enjoying each others company.

Tomorrow they may go their separate ways again. The husband off to yard sale with his father (I think buying tires is on the agenda as well) and the boy will probably sleep til lunch time or later. But I will remember these moments and hide them in my heart...and I suspect that his dad will too.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Beauty

I created beauty to declare the existence of My holy Being. A magnificent rose, a hauntingly glorious sunset, oceanic spendor---all these things were meant to proclaim My Presence in the world. Most people rush past these proclamations without giving them a second thought.

How precious are My children who are awed by nature’s beauty; this opens them up to My holy Presence. Jesus Calling-Sarah Young



"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory."
Isaiah 6:3





Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name;
Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
Psalm 29:2 (NKJV)


Saturday, July 24, 2010

How I'm spending my summer vacation...

Winding Road Pictures, Images and Photos



1. avoiding the heat. Oh my goodness, the Ohio Valley has been HOT this year. And since this is the Ohio Valley region, it's not content with just being HOT. It also must be HUMID. As in, an unsuspecting person can get dripping wet with sweat watering the gardens at 7:00 in the morning. IN THE MORNING! My solution to beating the Heat Madness is to pretend that we live in a cave, keeping all the curtains closed, washing clothes and running the dishwasher early early in the morning or very late at night and remembering the unusually mild summer we had last year. That and contemplating purchasing my very own snow maker.

2. Finding easy non-oven using recipes. The obvious solution would be to use the grill. However, the grilling man is not overly enamored with standing over a hot grill in the late afternoon when the heat index is around 105. I suspect if I were in charge of the grill, I would have similar sentiments. Instead, we are using the crock pot, the George Foreman grill and the car. (for carry out of course. Those poor little restaurant people already have to stand around a hot stove. Might as well enjoy their endeavors.) By the way, if you don't mind heating up the oven for a bit, these lemon raspberry bars are absolutely delicious!

3. Visiting various and assorted doctors. Because my goal in life appears to be to hit my maximum out of pocket deductible for the entire family. I keep saying that if that momentous occasion occurs, there are some things I'd like to get sucked and tucked. However, to be perfectly honest, I might be happiest at the thought of never seeing another doctor. Not that they aren't nice folks, I'm just tired of being poked, prodded and patient. I have never desired to be proficient in patience. (good thing because I don't seem to be anywhere close to mastering this particular fruit.)

4. Reading. And reading. And reading some more. I currently have a multitude of books scattered throughout the house and I have the best of intentions as far as reading them goes. I wonder how many I will finish while I am recuperating? Anyway, the titles include Appetite for Life, Julia's kitchen wisdom, The Vanderbilt era, Beguiled, In a heartbeat, The Southern Living Farmers Market Cookbook, Stuff Christians Like, Radical, the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, Left to Tell, and The Price of Stones just to name a few.

5. Getting the Boy ready for college and wondering if we've taught him everything he needs to know. Granted, it's been a billion years since I attended college but I had no idea how much paperwork actually goes into allowing your child to attend college. I have a four page list of things that need to be done sometime before August 23rd or the Boy will be stuck at home. Currently his major is art history. I wonder if anyone else is as stunned as I am/was. When he told me he was trying to get into an art class, my first thought was that people pose "nekid" in those classes. No way is my baby taking anything like that. Fortunately he's not taking "that" class. His ultimate goal is to work in a museum. Since we have the beautiful Speed Art Museum right on the college campus, it seems like a logical step.

6. Recovering. I must be honest and say that 12 hours out, gallbladder surgery hurts. With a capitol H. Of course, when I consider that the surgery was just 12 hours ago, I have to think that of course it hurts. Why wouldn't it hurt? I mean, ouch! Somebody poked4 holes in you and sucked out a body part. If it didn't hurt then I might be a robot. Or a cyborg or some such nonsense. (which may be the vicodin talking instead of me. In which case it might be time for me to finish this little essay...)

At any rate, there's a glimpse into our lives this summer. And this list is by no means comprehensive. After all, I didn't mention the homegrown tomatoes, my first fair entry, house cleaning, working, or any of the other exciting adventures that make up every day life at the Heigh Ho house. Perhaps another time when there's not pain meds coursing through my happy little veins....

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

in the midst of chaos

some of you might have gathered from comments here and there that this has not been the best of years for my health. Mysterious symptoms with no real discernible pattern have been a constant companion since February. My life has been interrupted more days than I can count. Plans postponed or canceled, life put on hold, anxiety and fear as constant companions.

Quite frankly, I am tired.

(in the interest of full disclosure, I will be sending my gallbladder to the land of misfit body parts on Friday with the hopes of alleviating a great deal of symptoms.)

However, last night was the last straw.

I had hives.

Lots and lots of hives.

I never get hives. (can't say that anymore, can I...) While I have allergies, they are to outdoor things. Or cats. They lead to red, itchy eyes, a runny nose, headaches and all other things associated with seasonal allergies. I do not get hives.

Especially hives so bad that my hives appeared to have hives. (we believe that I have now discovered a food allergy as well. As if I didn't have enough reasons to stop eating. Bleh.)

I was miserable.

Even the sight of a rainbow over the neighbors house (or blessed rain) couldn't lift my weary heart. And while I awoke this morning hive-less, my spirit was no less weary, my heart no less heavy. Don't get me wrong, I know I am blessed. I know that I am fortunate.

But this morning I was also weary.

Depressed.

Fed up.

Feeling abandoned.

Overwhelmed.

Filled with despair.

Just plain tired.

Have I mentioned that with all the chaos this year, I am behind in my scripture reading? Well I am. I picked up my Bible this morning and turned to the place where I should have been reading months ago and began to read Psalm 73.

Truly God is good to Israel,
to those whose hearts are pure.
But as for me, I almost lost my footing.
My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone.
For I envied the proud
when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness.
They seem to live such painless lives;
their bodies are so healthy and strong.
They don’t have troubles like other people;
they’re not plagued with problems like everyone else. (1-5)

At this point, I am nodding my head and thinking, "yeah. Why are their lives painless? Why is everyone else healthy and strong?" I read on:

I get nothing but trouble all day long;
every morning brings me pain. (14)

Can I get an amen? Then further:

Then I realized that my heart was bitter,
and I was all torn up inside. (ouch)
I was so foolish and ignorant—
I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
Yet I still belong to you;
you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
leading me to a glorious destiny.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever.

Those who desert him will perish,
for you destroy those who abandon you.
But as for me, how good it is to be near God!
I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter,
and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do. (21-28)

I could have cried.

You know, He knew where I was going to be today.

That this day I was going to be hanging by a proverbial thread.

And He waited for me here.

With a comforting Word.

With the reminder of the promise.

I am His and He is mine.

Perhaps by the time I reach the end of this particular journey, I will be able to say that I have made the Lord my shelter and that I desire Him above anything else... I hope so.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Gratitude

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. ~Epictetus

Counting everyday graces...

...good conversation

...the smell of lavender blooming

...the valley of vision

...a deep sleep

...the sound of rain hitting the skylight

...butterflies galore

...the first tomato from the garden

..."my heart and my flesh cry out for the Living God." Psalm 84:2

...a Pancake breakfast (with chocolate chip pancakes and peanut butter syrup.)

...a married daughter willing to come over early in the morning to eat her mama's pancakes.

Your cleansed and grateful life, not your words, will bear witness to what I have done. Matthew 8:3 (MSG)

holy experience

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Faith




Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Compassionate Lord,
Thy mercies have brought me to the dawn of another day,
Vain will be it's gift unless I grow in grace,
increase in knowledge,
open for spiritual harvest.
Let me this day know thee as thou art,
love thee supremely,
serve thee wholly,
admire thee fully,
Through grace let my will respond to thee,
Knowing that power to obey is not in me, but
that thy free love alone enables me to serve thee.
Here then is my empty heart,
overflow it with thy choicest gifts;
Here is my blind understanding,
chase away its mists of ignorance.
O ever watchful Shepherd,
lead, guide, tend me this day...


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Yearn

definitions

Can I just say that the Lord has been working on me? (and isn't that a good thing?)

Three particular areas that we seem to be focusing on are obedience, gratitude and control. Hopefully as the days (who are we kidding? The way I've been lately, it could be weeks...) go by, I will share some of the lessons we've been working through together. (Also let me be honest and say that in no way have I conquered or mastered any of these things.)

Recently, as I spent some time in prayer, I told the Lord that I would try to have an obedient heart that particular day. No sooner had the words left my mouth when I felt a little nudge at my heart. It seemed as if the Lord was telling me that by using the word "try," I was giving myself an out to fail. Which led me to ponder the difference between "trying" and "choosing."

Dictionary.com gives the following definitions for the words:

Try:to attempt to do or accomplish, to make an attempt or effort; strive, to make a sincere effort.

Choose:
to prefer or decide (to do something), to be inclined, Choose, select, pick, elect, prefer indicate a decision that one or more possibilities are to be regarded more highly than others. Choose suggests a decision on one of a number of possibilities because of its apparent superiority: to choose a course of action, The formal word elect suggests a kind of official action

Choosing seems to be a word of action. A decisive word. One that suggests intent. For example:

choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve...Joshua 24:15
Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold...Proverbs 8:10


Here's the lesson learned. Each day as I get up, I have options. I can choose a Christ-like attitude or I can try to be positive. I can choose to have an obedient heart or I can try to be obedient. (Believe me, at my age, I know the obedient path whether I choose to walk it or not.) Just as I know that This is the day the LORD has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it, (doesn't that verse sound like a choice?) I know that making a conscious choice to be obedient (or kind or grateful or any number of other things) determines the outcome of my day. May He give me the strength and wisdom to continue to choose that which is pleasing to Him.

God bless...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

my BIG BIG God

Sometime around four months ago, something changed. For whatever reason I started having some unhappy health issues. At first I thought they were a temporary thing. An inconvenience but something that would go away. Only they haven't. Instead they have continued to make their presence known and have hijacked my life at most inconvenient times. (Is there ever a "convenient" time to be ill?) I've begun to refer to these times as moments of "meltdown."

Unfortunately, Monday was a meltdown day. Not a good day at all. However, after a day or two, I picked myself up and tried resuming my normal (whatever that is) activities. Life, after all, doesn't stop. Fast forward to Saturday morning. I was working on Saturday and was the opening manager. Imagine my unhappiness when I woke up with "that" feeling. I began to get ready for work, taking my medicines, moving slowly but surely, reminding myself that just because I wake up with "that" feeling does not mean that I am headed toward a "meltdown." Finally, I decided that it was safe to leave the house and head off to work. I realized that I had not read my devotion that morning. I am currently using Sarah Young's Jesus Calling and the past two days had been very comforting, beginning with the phrases "rest in me" and "trust me." As I sat on the side of my bed, praying that I was going to be able to make it through the work day, these were the words I read:

Let Me help you get through this day. There are many possible paths to travel between your getting up in the morning and your lying down at night. Stay alert to the many choice-points along the way, being continually aware of My Presence. You will get through this day one way or the other. One way is to moan and groan, stumbling along with shuffling feet. This will get you to the end of the day eventually, but there is a better way. You can choose to walk with Me along the path of peace, leaning on Me as much as you need. There will still be difficulties along the way, but you can face them confidently in My strength. Thank Me for each problem you encounter, and watch to see how I transform trials into blessings. Jesus Calling...Sarah Young...June 12th

The moment I read those words, it was as if a weight had been lifted from my heart. A measure of peace filled my soul and I laughed out loud. I left the house and headed off to work with a measure of comfort and joy that I desperately needed. My God loves me. Once again, He knew exactly what I needed to hear on that day. And He orchestrated the moment. For me. Is it any wonder that I love Him so?

Friday, May 21, 2010

sentimental journey


I packed the last of the school lunches yesterday. It might be hard to believe that the thought of no more scrambling to find both a lunch box and enough food to feed a ravenous but picky teenaged boy might reduce me to tears. I however, am a sentimental fool. (I guess I should mention the last wearing of the chapel shirt which occurred this past Wednesday. Yes, I do notice things like that. However, I might rejoice at the last washing of the school uniform. And I'll be thankful that the shirts lasted the entire year without disintegrating into nothingness.)

The boy had a doctors appointment this morning so I dropped him off at school after we finished. Gathered outside (up and down some stairs) were many of the students that have accompanied the boy on his journey through school. (It was the Great Physics Egg Drop. Much hilarity and egg yolks ensued. The boy's egg survived with a "dent." ??? ) Looking at them all gathered there reminded me that I would not be seeing some of their faces again after next weeks graduation. I think that was one of the hardest things about Jessi's graduation as well. It's not just your child who is beginning a new chapter in life, all of their friends are beginning one as well. And while I might think of them as "mine", I'm not sure they see me the same way.

Anyway, I suspect the next few days will be filled with moments looking back and looking forward. For tonight though, here's to the last of school lunches...(although the boy did offer to let me continue making sandwiches for him.)


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dreams...

Several months ago, my daughter introduced me to the concept of Glee. I'd heard her talk about it, of course. But since she'd used the same glowing descriptions towards the Office, and I found it's humor more awkward than funny, I just put her fascination with all things Glee down to a personal preference. However, one weekend when I was recovering from some ailment, I sat, mesmerized, watching all the episodes from the first DVD set. I was hooked. And now, even though I often disagree with the moral choices and so forth, I still enjoy the "show choir" music.

Last nights episode dealt with dreams. As in, the glee club dreams of their future...mostly dreams of stardom. Realistically, we know that everyone will not reach stardom but the point of the episode was that at this moment in time, they still had dreams. Big dreams. A hope for their future.

I've spent the last few months thinking about dreams. Circumstances this past year have forced us to reevaluate and let go of certain dreams we've had. In all honesty, there have been days where I've feared that these dreams were dead. Gone. Never to be seen again. And when that dream belongs to your child, it's a hard thing to face. Because you want them to have everything they hope for.

However, here's the thing I've discovered. I don't control my child's future. God does. And my God already knows the path, the obstacles, the adventures ahead. I found this little graduation statue at LifeWay recently and the base that the little grad dude stands on reads, "They will soar on wings like eagles." That's a promise/dream/prayer this mama can wrap her hands around.

And as for my child....I'll be reminding him to rest on this:



Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I put this together last year but the sentiment is still true today. Happy birthday baby!


Saturday, May 1, 2010

in case you're interested...

First, I have to say that I have no inside information. I don't have a clue about stats, track condition and any other "formula" used to predict Derby winners. (I do know that when the track looks like it does today, anything goes and often a long shot wins. Some horses just don't like getting their feet dirty.) Anyhoo, I often choose my horses by their color, their name, their jockey, their story, or their silks.

That said, these are my picks for the race:

"Line of David"...need I say more? This Bible study girl couldn't think of a better horse to win than one with a name full of promise.



Let me preface my next pick with a few comments. I am a big girl. Not so much hefty (although heftier than I ought to be with my recent obsession with chocolate) but I am tall. When my husband and I were first married, I asked him to carry me up the driveway. His response was a no and honest to pete, these were the next words he said, "You're not exactly petite."

Trust me, 23 years later, I still remember.

In his defense (and his ability to think quickly), he insists that petite means short.

Whatever.

Anyway, the filly in the race is named Devil may care. Her owner said this about her this morning, "When you look at this filly, she's not going to look like some dainty looking little thing. She's good sized, a big, strong filly."

So from one "not petite" girl to another, all I have to say is, "you go girl." And after she's won this race, maybe she'll drop on by and step on that man's foot. Then she can go get her some chocolate.


it must be derby...

if you are seeing this around town...




The Oaks (yesterday) featured a "pink out" (hence all the pink hats.) Churchill Downs donated a dollar for each admission to the Susan G Koman for the cure Breast Cancer Foundation. Rumor has it that it was a record crowd of 116,046. Woo Hoo!

Monday, April 26, 2010

because everyone needs a bit of insanity now and then...

During Derby week, our fair city hosts any number of events to get people "in the mood" for fun. We have balloon races, rat races, foot races, waiter races and, of course, horse races.

One of the stranger races occurs this evening at Broadbent arena with the Stockyards Bank Great bed race. The event actually began this morning with a pajama party where the bed-racers could hang out, tailgate and show off their creative bedmobiles. Then tonight they will compete in various levels of bed-racing. In addition to crazy costumes and outlandish bedding, the "fun" division of the race will feature a group of physically challenged hand-cyclists (including world champion and paralympian Greg Hockensmith) whose bed will be bolted to four hand-cycles.

Believe it or not, there is actually a "serious" racing catagory as well. Apparently the competitors in this category can make it around the 600 foot track in less than 30 seconds. In this case (and so many others during Derby week), a picture (or video) is worth a thousand words...

Friday, April 23, 2010

up up and away!

The Derby Festival Great BalloonFest began last night with the balloon "glimmer" and tour. The "rush hour" balloon race should take place this morning if it isn't cancelled by rain. (Each year I find myself questioning the wisdom of flying a herd of balloons over rush hour traffic. I'm fairly certain there will be a few traffic accidents attributed to watching the balloons instead of the road.) Tonight they will have the balloon "glow" down at the fairgrounds. (There is a difference between the "glimmer" and the "glow" but for the life of me, I'm not sure what it is. They both look like hot air balloons glowing in the dark.)

Finally, the balloon fest will end with the "great balloon race" (not to be confused with the "balloon tour" and the "rush hour race.") Last year, 34 "hound" balloons chased the "hare" balloon across the county. The object of the race is to drop a bag of bluegrass seed on a giant "X" chosen by the hare balloon. Last years winner came within 11 feet of the target.