Friday, December 31, 2010

New Life in the Dead of Winter

I was watching a story about Thomas Kinkade ("The Christmas Cottage"), and was touched by his definition of a Christmas Story - "New Life in the Dead of Winter".

I have to agree, those moments when hope and "new life" have sprung up during the midst of my long winters... wow. They have definitely been God-breathed. I am grateful for them.

I am grateful also for the hope and life that was breathed into the world - in the midst of it's "dead of winter" - so many years ago.

Thank You, God...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Little Something New

So, I am beginning my new year a little early....

I'm excited.

And right now, that's all I can say....



Yea God!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Day to Look Back and Look Forward

I believe it will be our day to look back and look forward. I like to have a "family meeting" at the end of the year to review what we did and set goals for the upcoming year. Personal goals, family goals, professional goals.

I intend to set daily, weekly, and monthly goals as well...

As I think back, it has been quite a year.... much joy and much struggle.

Our needs continue to be met. We have a wonderful community of which we are a part.

We are blessed beyond our wildest imaginings!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Settling in With a Good Book

I took the opportunity to head to bed a few minutes early the other night. My daughter tucked me in - which is our family tradition on nights when I retire before she does. It's delightful and sweet, and makes us both smile.

So, after being tucked into bed, I pulled out my book. "The Heartmender" by Andy Andrews. I had gone into the bookstore to find a copy of "The Noticer", by the same author, as a gift for a new friend. When I got to the shelf where it would be, there, at eye level, was the new book by the same author. I had really enjoyed "The Noticer", so I reached for it, and then saw the title. "Ugh!" I rolled my eyes. "OK. OK. I'll get it....."

So, I began reading....and loved it.

Tonight, I am going to do the same....sneak into bed a little early and pull out another book from the stack I have by my bed.... We'll see what catches my eye!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Back to the Grind....

I have had a nice "flex" in my scheduled - and a week of vacation - that has allowed me to have had quite a stretch away from the hospital.

I look forward to returning on one hand.... the 4 am alarm clock is going to be disturbing, to say the least, however....

I pray the transition goes smoothly, and God's presence be shown in some small way...

Guide my hands, my thoughts and protect my heart....

And, as You always do when I am there.... remind me how blessed I truly am.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Different Christmas

It was a different Christmas. My kids had received many of their gifts before Christmas - from Grandma - and will receive another when my sister and some cousins arrive in a few weeks. There wasn't much under the tree because of that, and stockings, we found out, were filled with mostly socks and underwear - and a few little things beside them.

My son reportedly woke up in the wee moments before 4 am - but stuck to his training: "DO NOT WAKE MOM (before 7)". :)

The day started with me breaking a string on my daughter's new guitar, and spending 2 hours trying to activate my son's new phone. From there, I just pulled the covers over me on the couch and ended up falling asleep.

The afternoon was uneventful, and allowed for discussion of how blessed we truly are. We set ringtones and took pictures for wallpaper. We spent the day together as a family.

It was a good Christmas....

I'm grateful.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Visions of Sugarplums

I'm sitting here, waiting for the kids to fall asleep....

I then need to hang my own stocking, secure the cat, and re-place the milk by the fireplace. The cookies are in place for Santa's visit.

My kids have worked every angle trying to see if we could open presents early - and if not that, could they at least SORT them before 7am. "uhm, no." They each have something to keep themselves occupied until the "reasonable hour".

We'll see if they - and then, by default, I - make it until then....

My son says "REALLY, I just want to wake up early to wish Baby Jesus a happy birthday!". Uh-huh. Good answer, though....

Me, I'm penciling in my nap early afternoon....

Merry, Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Opportunities to Serve

I will admit, I don't care for the song "Christmas Shoes"... yes, I like the message and the unexpected opportunity the singer was given to see past the commercialism that has become Christmas, but the song itself... not so much.

I feel fortunate to have had similar experiences today: Two unexpected opportunities to serve - in the smallest and simplest of ways, yet apparently meaningful to them, and definitely inspiring to me.

My first opportunity arrived shortly after lunch. I was standing in line to purchase two items. The area where we were standing seemed crowded and chaotic. I was second in line. I noticed an elderly woman carrying a shirt that she had picked up. Her gait was steady, but seemed a bit labored. I wondered if she'd had a stroke previously, and was having to consciously move each step. She appeared to be wanting to cut through to the other side of our line, so as she approached, I stepped back, and gestured her through with my hand.

With that, she paused and looked up for the first time. She looked right at me, like I had given her the greatest gift ever. And she kept looking. Finally, I said "hello...." and nodded. She nodded back, and turned to face the front of the line.

I laughed to myself, then. Thank You, God for giving me the opportunity to serve and be gracious without even having to think about it. Literally, a "God doing for me" moment. Not only was He helping me help someone else, but He was changing my perspective.

From there, we headed to the grocery store. We needed a few things - you know, the obligatory "snow-is-in-the-forecast-bread-and-milk-run". (Actually, it was only milk and dinner!) Down one of the aisles, we were given another opportunity.

We had begun to move our cart around a restocking cart. On the other side was an elderly gentleman in a Marines jacket. He wore two hearing aids and was riding a motorized cart. We backed up, pulled back into our "lane", and allowed him to pass.

Our paths crossed several times as we shopped. The third time, near the dairy section, he laughed as we nodded and said "I can't find what I'm looking for". Typically, I would have smiled, but no, not today. "What are you looking for?" I asked. "Refrigerated pie crusts, I have frozen ones, but I wanted the other," he said, "they used to be over there", and pointed behind him. "Yes, they did...", I replied, as I continued in that direction.

As I walked pasted the cheese, heading toward the refrigerated rolls, I thought to look. There they were. I called to my son. I was going to ask him to bring them to the man on the scooter-cart, but when I looked up for him, I saw the man, riding back to check again. I caught his eye as I held up the box, "these?"

His face lit up, which caused me to smile. "Thank you!" he said.

No, sir.... thank You!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cookie Redo....again...

I was going to surprise my grandmother by sending cookies back with my was actually my mother's idea...but, for some reason, it didn't work out as planned. The first attempt I knew wasn't right when unrolled the cookies.... the second attempt was better, but still not right.

So... rather than send lead-than-par cookies tomorrow, I will make some and mail them.

Though I would love to hear the story of my grandmother's expression and commentary as she eats a cookie that she made for me when I was my daughter's age, I would prefer for the cookie to truly be edible.

So, back to the grocery store for better butter, and I'll try again...
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Day to Enjoy

It is the last day of my mother's visit.

There isn't anything *really* on the schedule....

Just some time to enjoy....

Life is good.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


My children are having a great deal of difficulty this year waiting for Christmas.

"Can we just open our presents NOW, Mommy?" they ask. "No...."

It's been good for me, actually....

I tend to be a "bit" impatient myself (My boy would ask, "a BIG bit?" and I'd have to agree....). It has been a good reminder to me that there are often reasons for me to wait. Many of which I don't FULLY understand.

So, wait we will....

(oooh... it's getting exciting!!)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Silent Night

It was such an honor to see this this morning at church:

I was PARTICULARLY excited because my daughter got up and signed with them. She had told me she wasn't going to... but....

She did.

Thanks to another mom who jumped in and encouraged her in a way that I - as her mother - could not.

Thank You, God, for my church family.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Wheels and Deals....

Today was our Wheels and Deals day....

My daughter wanted to go Roller skating. I have too much invested in the use of my arms to risk breaking one at the moment, so I opted to watch. So did Grandma. My boy decided he preferred electronic amusement. This was his "deal".... He wanted to eat Chinese food for dinner. So patiently he let his sister enjoy her skating.

Grandma took the kids Christmas Shopping, which they loved! (of course!) Didn't even have to wait a few more days to open the gifts - Grandma's "deal"... saves the paper, time and effort wrapping them...

Finally, Chinese food dinner. Which is sort of a tradition in my family of origin. The boy would fit right in to that! The girl settled for some sushi and some dessert.

It was a nice day of family time and learning about "reciprocal relationships"...

Thank You, God for applicable life lessons stuck right in the midst of some fun!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ahhhh.... Break!

It's Christmas break! YEA!

We're looking forward to some downtime, hanging out with Grandma.

I'm looking forward to a few "no alarm clock" days.

I am so grateful for this time of year. A little break. A pause. A time to reflect on what is important.

And then.... A new beginning.

Thank You God for new beginnings.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Tonight was the "belt ceremony" for the adult class... (have I said before how much I love that class...?) SOOOOOO do....

Three more months of hard work, and a bunch of strain on my left ankle and foot. But... surprisingly enough, taking care of it - stretching, being mindful of it, supporting it has helped it to heal. I can't go and full-fledged "rest" it, because, well, I'm much too stubborn for that. But I am doing what I can, it is improving....

Anyhow, I am now a purple belt. Tomorrow night, my daughter will receive her purple belt as well - and my son his red belt!

I am so grateful that we are able to do this together as a family. I am so grateful for the positive characteristics and lifestyle habits that we are developing.

Thank You, thank You, Thank You, God for bringing it into our lives....

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Preparing for Grandma

The next bit of excitement coming our way is GRANDMA! She is due to arrive today. Well... depends on what the storm does. It may be Friday - so she doesn't have to drive right through the midst of it,.... Mountains of West Virginia and all.

The kids are excited. I am excited.

There is much to do.... collect my van, prepare the house.... but hey.... it's all good. We can "prepare" when she gets here as well.

Safe journey for my mother, as she ventures out to visit us!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Preparing for Ice

So, one thing I've learned in my time living here in the South, is there is not much to do about ice. Except, of course to prepare.

I was pleasantly surprised to find milk and bread at the grocery store - but perhaps I hit the timing just right - I don't think the FULL FLEDGED warnings had emerged, AND, perhaps people were still well stocked following our recent snow 'storm'.

I have to admit, there is still a little Yankee part of me that giggles at the thought of school being canceled for an inch of snow (or a threat of snow). BUT, there is also the realistic part of me that has seen the real dangers on the roads following the snow.

AND, I have seen that snow and ice - and even 'wintery mix' - are very different. So, as I read my "alert" on my phone, calling for perhaps a 1/4 inch of ice to arrive in this area, I began to think: Do I have food? Yes. Do I have food that does not need to be cooked? Not so much. Flashlights? Yes. Alternate heat? Yes (have I mentioned how much I love my fireplace yet??) Fully charged cell phones? Will do.

And that is all I can do. The rest is up to God. He knows whether we'll get snow or rain - or ice. He'll know how long it will last and the effects it will have to this area.

I can prepare, but I have to leave the outcome to Him.

I can also pray that he keeps us all safe...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Low Key

We enjoyed a pretty low key day.... the snow had stopped, and the kids waited excitedly for mom to wake up and get dressed! There was sledding to be done!

But, unfortunately for them, though the inch and a half of snow had kept them out of school, the wind had blown the snow off of the best sledding hill known as Linnwood Lane.

We came in and had hot chocolate and aside from some gift wrapping and nap in the chair (by the fire!) with my girl-child - which I might add was the highlight of the day from a Mom-perspective! - the day was very low key.

Grateful for that. I needed one.

(oh, and the other bit if 'productive' for the day - I gave the mechanic the A-OK to fix the van)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Not as I Had Planned

So... it was a day that did not go as I had planned.

It started with my minivan dying on the interstate. I fear it is a horribly fatal death and not a resurrectable one.... but we shall see... perhaps the mechanic will be in tomorrow to pronounce it's fate. Perhaps not. It snowed.

I was on my way to my son's baptism. He was to be baptized at his dad's church. When his dad picked me up - because fortunately, the van died right near there - he let me know that he would ALSO be baptized. wow.

The drive home - in a borrowed standard-shift pick up truck (had to pull that skill set out from the far recesses of my brain....) - was draining. It had snowed and was snowing. The roads were slick, and I was in a vehicle that wouldn't have been my first choice to drive.

BUT... when I look back. It couldn't have been more perfectly timed. Really. Yes, it would have been delightful for the van to still be running... but...

If it had to die, it couldn't have been in a better place, at a better time. And, if I have to buy a new one.... which I very well may.... once I wrap my brain around having a car note, it'll all be good.

AND... No school because of the snow.... wahoo!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Gift of Time

I was given the gift of Time. Really, I'm using my Thanksgiving holiday... but it has been such a gift.

Time to sort through piles of clothes that are too small for my children - sorting them to groups to distribute to others.

Time to make another batch of my grandmother's cookies.

Time to move some things around, and time to throw some things out.

It's a day I've been anticipating for a while.... and it has been a joy.

I should even have some time to ready before I call it a night.

Yea God!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Connecting the Dots

"Let me connect the dots for you...."

It's a phrase I hear often, as he explains how two things are linked together.

It's also a phrase I feel like God is showing me lately. Things are inter-related - or perhaps parallel each other in a way that they sort of "mirror" each other. Sometimes the changes are easier to make in the mirrored image. But, when they are done, they also help to break the chains in their paralleled scenario.

This connects to that, which relates to the other thing. As one area heals and grows, so does the whole.

Movies portray a hope of a future, and face to face conversations seem to encourage both.

Dots are connected, pictures become whole. And once the image is clear, choices can be made more confidently and with greater assurance that they are correct decisions.

There is hope and God speaks clearly as He connects the dots in my life.

Chains are broken. Steps are taken. Wounds are healed. Lives are changed.

Thank You for connecting the dots....

Friday, December 10, 2010

Peace and Contentment

Peace and contentment is where I find myself at this moment.... in front of the fire, no less! It's been my favorite place of late.

The day itself hasn't been all peace and contentment. This morning was a mental battle in MMA. I alternated between "I know this is good for me", "push yourself", "You're getting stronger!" and "OK, Jesus... now would be a good time to return." It helped that the person on the other side of the bag was enthusiastic and I was motivated to continue on with gusto.

And then, there was art class - helping at the school. Then a house full of kids before the kids karate (and my time behind the desk at the karate school). Wrapping it up with The Bedtime Routine.

And now - after some time finishing up the Christmas cards - there is peace. Quiet. Solitude. Warmth. Shelter. Contentment.

Ah, yes....

Thank You, God....

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sending Cards

It's that time of year again.... Christmas cards!

I love it.

I will admit, I do send a lot of cards...but... I also love it when I *receive* cards as well. It's an interesting list of recipients. There are friends from high school, friends from college. Church friends, neighborhood friends. There is a woman who was my camp counselor, and there is a woman who was my camper. There are college professors, high school teachers. My high school boyfriend's grandmother, and an ex's step-father. And, the man who bought my house when I got divorced.

As I sit and place picture-cards in envelopes, and attach address labels and return address labels on each card, I think back through the years. I remember the person and how they have impacted my life. I wonder what each person is up to - especially those I haven't heard from since last Christmas. As I seal it, I say a quick prayer that the card will find them healthy, happy and aware of the blessings in their lives.

It takes some time, but I love the moments I receive as I open the cards, read the holiday letters and get updates from those people who have touched my life through the years.

Thank You, God, for all those You have sent beside me.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Nap...

I have come to enjoy "The Nap".

Inevitably, I sit down by the fire on these cold, cold days, and I am lulled into this deep restful state. Some days it's just a few moments of closed eyes, another day, it was a full 30 minutes with my legs swung over the arm of the chair and a half.

It's wonderful.

Who knew...?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


It sure has taken a turn toward winter. It's frosty in the mornings and we even had some flurries this past Sunday.

It makes me wonder what kind of winter we'll have. My kids (and I!) hope that we'll have one (or two!) days where we can really sled like we did last year. That was really a lot of fun! It's not a typical Tennessee thing to do, so the fact that we got to was VERY special!

I like the bits of cold - the briskness in the air. I like the flurries. But I also like the fact that typically it gets ABOVE freezing during the day - "typically". Doesn't look that way for this upcoming week. But only God knows for sure.

I'm grateful for our house. That we have heat and shelter. We have warm clothes and warm food.

We are truly, truly blessed!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Quite Time By The Fire

I spent some time this afternoon sitting by the fire, in my big comfy chair and a half. My daughter joined me, as I sprawled my legs over one arm, my head on the other. There we both slept.

It was one of those delightful moments. I look forward to more of them as the hustle and bustle of the season slows a bit. Already I can see the calendar having a LITTLE more empty space in the boxes.

Yes, there will be another rush of excitement as grandma arrives and we celebrate receiving new karate belts... But then, it comes to a crashing halt!

In the mean time, I hope to spend more moments like I had this afternoon. Quiet time by the fire. Peaceful. Joyful. Still.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Gatherings

It's funny to think about it, actually.... for me. ME! ha...

I remember the first time I opened my home.... it was "the womb house"... over Labor Day a group of people I'd never met before...

I am an introvert - and rather shy, so inviting people to my home does not come naturally. What comes naturally is curling up with a book - or perhaps now, a web-browser - and spending a quiet evening to myself.

But when I moved to this house... that very first Christmas-time.... I felt the urging to open my house again. Once again, it was mostly people I didn't know.

Through the years, it has become a "tradition".... and I love it! I have also enjoyed watching the gathering evolve. As the kids have grown, they have become more participatory, and a "kid party" has emerged. They snack and play as the adults snack and talk.

It's something I look forward to every year.... it gets written on the calendar in early to mid fall... and every year, I sit back and think....

huh.... my house. No way. :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Girl Party

Whoever said Girls are subdued and refined doesn't remember them at 9 years old!

They burp (at least!) as much as boys their age, and they're just as active.... They DO *plan* a party a little more than the boys did.... as evidenced by the suitcase of "hot" shoes that one of them brought for the Celebrity Wedding game.

The other thing that girls bring to the table that the boys didn't is the SHRIEKING! Seriously. Ouch.

I've officially celebrated this year with both children now. Last of the single digit years.

It has gone quickly.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Little Details

I'm catching up on some of the "little details" in life....

As each of them gets taken care of, I realize that life becomes more and more enjoyable and productive.

I also realize that details are important... very important!

Thank You, God, for focusing in on the details of my life and being an active participant there!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

" Believe "

It seems to be a theme for me... and it comes out FULL FORCE this time of year. Seems everywhere I look there is that word "Believe".

I gravitate toward it.... and it seems to find me.

" Believe " encourages me.... challenges me.... inspires me.

I decided a few years ago to leave the "Tis the season for Believing" up all year 'round. Cause it is.

It's a good reminder for me...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas....

We are getting the decorations up and things are starting to feel like Christmas.

I've created the list of "to do's" that need to happen in the next 3 weeks before school is out...

The time will fly, I know it will....

Yet, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of what is The Christmas Season, I find myself having those moments of "ahhhhh...."

Those moments of snuggling a child.... or a cat. Sitting by the fire for just a few minutes.... An evening where "EVERYTHING" doesn't have to be done "RIGHT NOW!"....

I like that...

I also like the fact that despite the pace that the next few weeks will try to initiate, the decorations, and the excited anticipation remind me of what we are REALLY waiting for....

Not so much Christmas-the-21st-Century-holiday, but Christmas-the-birth-of-the-King....

There is Joy in that... and Peace in that.... and much Love in that....

Monday, November 29, 2010

Bob - The Tarantula

So, my daughter asked for a radio-controlled tarantula for her birthday.... and got it.

She named it Bob.

I love it.

And I love her....

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Random Thoughts

Lots have things have been presented to me today.... at working, talking with friends...

There are pieces that I am sure fit together, but I'm not sure exactly how yet.

Little scenarios keep repeating in my head as I review the day.... Situations people have found themselves in, choices they have made...the consequences of those choices that they are living out.

Some situations I can relate to.... others are so far from what I consider "logical" or "reasonable", I wonder if what I have seen or been told really happened as such. And then I see ongoing choices and realize it's probably so.

Once again, I consider myself truly, truly blessed!

Thank You God for some perspective!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

In The Hope for Balance...

I'm in the midst of a stretch at work...

It was a long and busy day.

In the hope for balance, I'm cutting this short...

May your day be blessed, as we transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas.... seemingly overnight!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Nine.... Unbelievable!

They're nine today.... my children.

It's hard to believe. Nine years ago, November 26th was the Monday after Thanksgiving. I got up early to head to the hospital for dawn. I didn't sleep a wink the night before... I knew it would be the last time I would feel them kick. I wondered what they'd look like, what their personalities would be... whether they would sleep at the same times.

It's gone quickly, and they grow fast!

I have enjoyed watching them grow. Enjoyed less them testing the waters to see exactly where the lines have been drawn. I know there is still more of that to go, as life moves forward.

They have been a gift to me. The greatest, most wonderful gift!

Thank You, God, for my children!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


So, I know that today should be about gratitude.... and hey, I LOVE gratitude! And in a way, it is....

I've nearly finished my Christmas shopping... there's one or two more things to pick up, and I still lack the preparations and mailings, but...still.... I'm grateful for that, but...

What I am really grateful for is God's active presence in my life...

While I was out shopping, I found this framed cross with some words behind it. I couldn't quite make it all out, but I really liked it. Couldn't find a price on it either... but nothing else around it was, I put it in my basket.

When I got home I figured out exactly what it said. Psalm 27:14

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

OH yes.... those are words I can use....

Wasn't QUITE sure where it would go... until I hung my curtains in my bedroom and found the nail hole.

OK, Lord.... I'll hang it there...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Tree of Memories...

Well it's that time of year....

Our Christmas Tree is up.... it's not decorated - yet - but it is standing and the lights are on. Every year, I am reminded of the traditions in my family growing up, and hope to be instilling some sense of that in my children. By my daughter's response, I assume that I am.

My plan was to put the tree up on Thanksgiving. I kinda have an issue about putting it up before then.... but...

My girl wanted to help me decorate it. Every year, we put up our tree - with Christmas Music playing (and me singing!).... that is something I carry forward with me from my youth. My extended family would sit and sing carols on Christmas Eve... I just sing when I'm decorating these days.

Once the tree is up and the lights are on, I start opening boxes of ornaments. There is quite an array by now. There are the home-made ones that the kids have created since pre-school. Each one hangs the ones bearing their names.

There are ornaments of each of their smiling faces one for every year since they were born, and an ornament that carries the picture from our Christmas Card for the past nearly 10 years. Also in the mix are ornaments I have collected through the years. I try to limit it to ONE that best describes the previous year, or one from a special trip that we have taken.

I have ornaments that were gifts from friends, and others that represent my hometown, and my years in North Carolina. As I take each one out, I remember the story, person, place or event that is attached to the ornament.

It's a fun time for me... It's an opportunity to walk through our years with grateful hearts as we celebrate and anticipate the coming of Christmas.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Seeing Things Anew

Today was window installation day.

I had cleaned off the counter under the windows in the kitchen, taken everything off of the walls.... it looked like it did the day we moved in. Wow. (that's been a while!) It looked a little bare...

But WOW.... as the men put in window by window, I was amazed! The transformation was phenomenal! It inspired me.

I dusted every nook and cranny that I could get to. I wiped woodwork, and moved furniture around.

I picked out the dresser and headboard for my boy.... not that I am going to buy it... (yet....)

Having new windows to look through, put a new perspective on things....

Makes me excited for the next project...

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's Coming Quickly...

I feel that way about so many things....

It's coming quickly....

The time for my windows to be installed (nope, not 100% ready!)

Time for birthdays and Christmas...

Along with the birthdays comes the reminder that my children are growing into young people that will soon need some greater insight into the ways of teens... including "the talk"... (not 100% ready for that one either!)

Thanksgiving is closest on the radar - but easiest in my grand scheme (show up to work on time with a couple of 2-liters. I can do that!!)

But, then again, there is Christmas and all that it entails. There is much about it that I love, even if it adds a few extra items to the To Do list.

It is coming quickly.... there is much to do.... I could easily get caught up in the rush of it....


Somehow, after my visit to Ohio, I am trying to take a few minutes every day to just sit and be still...sometimes alone, sometimes with my children, always with God...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

If You Can't Beat 'em, Join 'em....

While perhaps not the best advice ever, especially if you're talking about standing tight with a conviction, I am surprised it took me so long to get to that place.

Perhaps it was because I WAS standing tight to a conviction: "You boys need to settle down and GO TO SLEEP!!"

We'd started the bedtime routine a little early - especially for "sleep over" standards - but I knew there were two that were likely going to opt to return home. May as well go ahead and get that done before their parents went to sleep. The movie had ended, and 9:30 seemed like a reasonable time to declare sleeping locations. Those two did elect to return to their parents, so I was left to corral 4 boys toward their sleeping bags.

An hour later, I wished them good night, and headed to bed myself. Honestly, I was thrilled... not bad AT ALL for a sleep over. They were chatting still, but the lights were out and they were in their own bedspaces. One had actually claimed the couch away from the others, since he was REALLY ready to sleep.

And that is where it all fell apart. Close to midnight, I heard them. They had moved from the playroom to my son's room - to play ONE LAST GAME of Beyblade. Trust me, I went back and forth between "This is a sleep over party, cut them some slack" and "GO TO SLEEP!!" I did ask them to turn down the volume of their voices so I could get back to sleep, and reminded them they needed to wind down, but didn't totally put the kabash on it.

They seemed to settle a bit. Until I heard them again - awakened nearly an hour later by peals of laughter and a "hey! don't pelt me with that". "GOOD NIGHT, BOYS!!" I called across the hall. They hushed.

Two AM, awakened by the sounds of running feet and less than muffled laughter, I thought I'd made myself clear when I stomped up the stairs, snapped off the TV and said "GO. TO. BED!!" I reminded my son and the other cub scout in the group that they would be exhausted during the Christmas parade the next day. I turned, leaving them with their blankets pulled up over their noses. I could NOT IMAGINE that this would not be the last time I had to do this. Seriously people!

I lay there for a while telling myself that "when *I* had a sleep over party, we stayed up ALLLLLL night...." (To which the angel on my other shoulder promptly reminded me that I had fallen asleep in the front row of a Christmas play I had gone to the next day with my girl scout troop.... snoring and drooling no less...) Oh yeah, and I was also thirteen!

But, the pièce de résistance occurred approximately 3:30 am, when I heard dishes clanking, followed by the unmistakable beeping of the microwave. I hollered to my son.... "WHAT are you doing?" His reply was that his friend was "starving". His "morning snack" was finished, but my son's was prepared to go INTO the microwave. "oh no...." He returned the Sloppy Joe sideshot thing to the freezer, as I'd instructed, and later informed me that they had decided to share the aforementioned previously prepared one.

I pretty much lost my mind by that point, and then wondered why I hadn't thought of this earlier. "If you can't beat 'em, Join 'em...."

I grabbed my pillow, pulled the blanket off of my daughters empty bed and climbed the stairs. As I walked into the playroom, I said "Move." to the kid closest to the door. There I lay my pillow, and then myself. As I pulled up my blanket, I said "next kid to talk gets relocated" - living room.... China.... didn't much matter to me at that point. All I could think about was how miserable the parade would be - a tired boy whining to a tired mom.... bad combo.

But, funny how it worked.... in less than seven minutes, they were snoring and *I* had relocated ... back to my bed.

AND, due to the Grace of God - nothing else could have ensured this! - there was no whining to a tired mom. (Now the mom DID gripe a bit, until she ran into a woman who assured me that I was 'making memories'.... oh yeah...)

One memory, I am writing into my 2011 planner. In November:

" ' Join them' ... sooner rather than later....."

Saturday, November 20, 2010


We have now officially celebrated my boy-child's birthday.

I can hardly believe he will be nine in just a few short days....

The time has flown, and find myself amazed, day by day, to see the young man that he is becoming.

I am also amazed at how insane a group of boys can be....

boy oh boy....

Friday, November 19, 2010


I have begun the transformation. It started at one end of the house, and has moved to the other....

The playroom was the next to be rearranged. The toys were sorted and thinned... Furniture has been rearranged, and the scatter rug has been rolled up.

The only kicker.... Now that it has been straightened and rearranged, it will be invaded by a group of 9 year old boys!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


It's getting close to time for the men to come and install my windows.

I am so excited..... on SOOOO many levels.

It will be a wonderful opportunity to really clean those areas.... I have to move all the beds, remove all the drapes and the mini-blinds. The torn screens will be hole-less and I am very curious to see how it effects my electric bill.

I will also decide if I will keep the furniture in the same configuration - primarily in my bedroom and my daughters. I have ideas that I would like to try....

I would actually like to do it soon.... but.... first, I have a birthday party to prepare for!

Though, I may... JUST MAY... move MY bed....

Right now....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Grateful for MMA

Just gotta say, I'm grateful for my MMA.

I went from my teaching job toward the karate school in a fairly bad mood.... mostly because I had to kill some time, and wasn't able to be where I wanted to be... well, I could have, but not under circumstances that I cared to experience.

So, I tried to think of what needed to be done before the weekend, when my boy-child celebrates his birthday. Ah yes... paper products and goody bags. So I began that adventure.

As I did, I remembered my friend's recent prayer session that I got kicked out of. I laughed aloud, and began a similar session.

I had bought some chocolate to add to the goody bags, and began to crave a piece... which, of course you know leads to another....

I remembered the Mosaic song "Live in Victory" that I had interpreted over the weekend. Basically, it said that I could resist temptation if I ".... call on Christ who strengthens me...."

So I gave that a whirl.

I was still annoyed, though....

BUT... then there was MMA. Some aerobic exercise and a good dose of kicking later, I feel great.

Ready to sleep and then begin a new day.

Thank You, God for my MMA....

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Real life has begun again. Responsibility has set in as well.
May I not forget what I witnessed on my trip. May I continue to trust that seeds have been planted.
May they continue to grow...
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Monday, November 15, 2010

Let the Processing Begin

Our trip has come to a close and we have returned home.... but not before being able to see some of the good works that He has begun. The stage that the construction team revised supported our friends, Mosaic, as they led the worship Sunday morning.

The music was powerful. We had talked about the events of the weekend the previous night. Throughout the worship service, we kept experiencing "God moments", when He would make his presence known.

As the band played Mighty to Save, I could see the slide show flashing through my head. People we had met, situations we had laughed over.... or cried over. The moments of prayer and of conviction.

Those tears that appear (that I'm so famous for!) came rolling down my cheeks.

As the songs continued, a lyric would pop up that perfectly fit a situation we had experienced, or connected the dots between them.

Over and over and over again, God showed up. On our hands, on our faces, in our hearts, and in our arms outstretched toward Him.

And now, I am home.

Let the processing begin....

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Willing Hands and Willing Hearts

It was a wonderful day! The people had gathered for the interpreting workshop. We were there with willing hands and willing hearts, not one of us feeling worthy to be there.

I had stopped to consider the path that had taken me from my first experimentation with the language, to my moment sitting in the congregation, fascinated with the interpreter.

I felt something stir when they talked about needing help in the deaf ministry. I so couldn't do that... no way. But, a willing heart and willing hands soon had me in the midst if it.

As I stood and watched the crowd, and my friend spoke about signing in concepts, I watched the lightbulbs come on. I'd glance over to see a facial expression softened, or a tear fill an eye.

I started searching for Him. I knew He was there, I could feel it....I could see Him in my friend.

She was teaching about American Sign Language, but she was also speaking of Jesus - in her words and in her actions.

I began to look around the room again. I watched His hand touch person after person. I watched the seeds being planted.

I left with hopeful expectation. I look forward too seeing - perhaps one day - the fruit these seeds that He planted will bear.

I pray that they will be watered an continue to be cultivated. I pray the relationships and friendships that have begun will continue and flourish. I pray that encouragement continue to flow in both directions.

Willing hands and a willing heart is all we had to offer. He did the rest!

And, it was amazing to witness...
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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ohio - day one

It was a sleepless first night. Well, I suppose I slept, but it was an alert sleep - one in which it seemed like one eye was aware of and narrating the events if the night.

We showered, shared a breakfast, and began on our way. Our deaf ministry team finished up th final touches for our workshop, which included preparing another fifteen goody bags. Our number of participants is reaching 30.

We're excited to see what God has planned, and we see that He has put and is putting us in situations where He can teach us and we can reach out to others.

For that, I am grateful.

I am also grateful for the laughter of our team, and our ability to press forward, even though it may not be the most comfortable situation.

I continue to learn.... I continue to be given perspective.

Be with us. Lead us, guide us, protect us.

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Friday, November 12, 2010


Well, we have arrived in Ohio....later in the evening than we expected, perhaps, but we are here.

God provides and delivers, I am once again reminded.

Lead, where you would have us walk...
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Thursday, November 11, 2010

The. Last. Minute

That's how this trip will be.... down to the last minute, I will be preparing.

I have (mostly) packed - except for the things that I need in the morning. I have the list of things not to forget to bring... or do.

*run the dishwasher
*bring the trash to the curb
*fill the cat's feeder
*empty her litter box
*place a love-note in each of my kids bags for their sleep over

All of the electronics are charging or have been charged. There is room on the camera card.

I have vacuumed.

I have my bible, and my toothbrush. There are still a few things to pick up tomorrow before we go.

And as I check things off the to-do list, I thank God for this opportunity. I have no idea what waits on the other side of Kentucky. I just know I'm going.

Willing heart. Willing hands.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


We are preparing for a mission trip to Ohio. I am on the deaf ministry team that will be hosting a workshop while we are there.

It has been really interesting to watch God at work. The latest numbers indicate there may be close to 30 people there.

We have been preparing accordingly.

Though, I have this sense that I will be unprepared for the work that He will do while we are there, and the ripple effect that will follow.

I know God is at work and I am very excited to be a part of it.... very excited.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Engraved in the Palm of His Hand

It is funny how some things just "stick". I hear them and the mental image just lingers.

Beth Moore was talking about being "held in a tight fist of fear" - that fear that we just can't seem to wiggle our way out of. She then reminded us of Isaiah 49:16.

Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are continually before me

She says that the "engraved" is an impression that is left from being held so tightly. I liked that thought. It has stuck with me - though right now, I don't particularly feel afraid. Perhaps it's the time for it to settle into my heart so that it pops out when I need it (God willing!)

And, that was - in my mind where I was going to end this post.....


I typed the words of the verse into Google and the second half of it popped up. "Your walls are continually before me". I thought, "oh, my...." My walls are continually before Him... In that moment, reading that, I took "the walls" to mean those things that I do and say that distance me from God and others.

I'll have to look at that....

Monday, November 8, 2010

Church Family

I am blessed to have a found a wonderful church family. I am reminded of that over and over again.

Sunday morning was a little hard for me in the mom-arena. My daughter had just returned the night before from a girl scout overnight. She was coming off of several late night/early morning days. I knew she was exhausted.... and not quite sure she was feeling well - though she said she was.

But she'd misplaced her mittens, and I wasn't willing to be any later to continue the search for them. This led to a bit of a meltdown on both of our parts.

I was dealing with the stress (as defined as "the basic confusion created when one's mind overrides the body's desire to choke the living daylights out of some jerk who desperately deserves it.") of parenting and setting limits with my daughter. As she sat nearby me - and later on my lap - I prayed over her, and prayed for me. She continued to press for what she wanted.

One of the vocalists had sat down beside me, as we shared lyrics pages. Not long after that, the bass player walked over and sat down on the interpreting box. With me sitting on the stage, my daughter was then situated in the middle of the line that could have been drawn between the adults.

As he sat down, I was reminded that I am not alone in this. I was very encouraged by the presence of these people who were at my side. Surrounding me and my daughter in the presence of God and His people.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Year in Review

I started my Christmas present project this weekend, mostly because I remembered it's now NOVEMBER, and if I don't order them now, they won't be ready to mail before Christmas! DOH!

This year has gone quickly. It's hard to believe. As I've been uploading pictures, I think, "wow... was it THIS YEAR that we had the "great snow" and were sledding down the roads in the subdivision!?"

I peruse the pictures and am amazed at how much my children have grown. I look back at our laughter and moments of simple pleasure.

I look back and see how much I have grown.

The official week of reflection hasn't started, but I've gotten a quick preview this weekend....

Thank You, God, for all the gifts you have brought to me this year - including the ones that may not have been wrapped as such when first presented...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Closer I Get....

It has been interesting to watch the past few months....

I have been reminded of some of the things I love deep down. I have been reminded that in my core, I am a Jeans and Boots kind of girl. I love being out of doors. I love working with my hands.

I am strong, courageous and tenderhearted.

And, as I take steps toward that which feels authentic, I learn that there is more within me. I find a sweater that I love, and a blouse that has more ruffle than I'd think of myself in. Yet, that too feels equally authentic.

It's as if, as the things that I know to be true come in to clearer focus, so does the periphery that I hadn't noticed before.

Thank You for showing me, reminding me, leading me and teaching me.

Friday, November 5, 2010

For the Beauty of the Earth

Sometimes, I forget how beautiful the earth is. And almost NEVER consider how beautiful it is INSIDE the earth. I had the opportunity to join a field trip and see exactly how beautiful it is.

We learned lots of interesting cave facts and some of the history of Mammoth Cave in Kentucky! It was fabulous!

It was also a long day.... many hours and miles of hiking, literally, a thousand steps.

I'm not even going to try to figure out how to merge the phone-uploaded pictures with the web-based text.

Thank You, God - for the beauty of the earth...

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Where Your Road Leads....

Gears have shifted, and I'm now more focused on my upcoming mission trip.

Our deaf ministry team is coming together with a plan, and we'll see where He leads. All we know is "Ohio", "workshop", and "encouragement". We are praying to keep our eyes and our hearts open for the opportunities that He lays before us.

We are keeping the words of 1 Peter 4:7-11 in front of our eyes and on our hearts as well.

Prepare us.... prepare them.... and lead us to where we must be.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Returning to My LIfe

My long stretch of work is completed... YES! I actually, now begin a long stretch of vacation - interrupted only by one Thanksgiving weekend of work (and may be one other day next week - depending on how traumatic next weekend is to Middle Tennessee).

So now.... I can return to my life.

I can get caught up on cleaning my house. I can walk my dog. I can find something to eat in my refrigerator.

And, in just a couple of days, I can get an extra hour of sleep.

Life is good....

Thank You, God!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pressing On

I remember running my first (and only!) half-marathon.

I trained for a long time. I had a love - hate relationship with it. I didn't always feel like doing it, but I always felt better after I was done. And physically, I felt the best I have in a long time.

Training became the priority - for that short bit of time. It wasn't something I could keep up long-term and still meet my other life obligations. Yes, I could run - or walk - nearly every day, but I couldn't carve out those ninety minute training runs anymore...

Work is like that. It's been the priority. It has had it's purpose and it's course is running to a close. (and WA-HOO! there is time off RIGHT around the corner....LOTS of it...)

I feel almost like I did when I saw the finish line....full of energy and ready to press on to completion. But, I don't have the same 100% collapse and do nothing plan following this marathon. There are still some to-do's and preparations, so my sprint to the end is not nearly as full-on!

But, Lord, am I ready.....


I have so much for which to be grateful....

So much....

Kids and I had a wonderful Halloween.... scoured the ENTIRE neighborhood. It's one of those markers of getting older.... no one even begged for me to carry them. :)

Work continues to provide perspective on the blessings that exist in my life - health, joy, family, connection, just to name a few.

My long stretch is coming to an end... Two more days, and then the gears shift. Perhaps not straight up "relaxing" and "nothing to do".... but at least an opportunity to do those things uninterrupted.

It's November... and that is when our celebrating begins: Two birthdays and Thanksgiving. (Which rolls right into grandma's visit, Christmas, and the New Year....)

But today... Today I will begin with gratitude.

Thank You, God...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

It's been a little funny this year. No one around here has been really sure if Trick or Treating should occur on Saturday night, or Sunday night. My family and I plan to Trick or Treat on the night itself.

I have been praying for safety for Middle Tennessee this Halloween weekend. Our census at work is FINALLY manageable.... but that could ALLLL change in one Partying Halloween Eve Night.

May a hedge of protection stand between the people of middle TN and all the ill that could befall them.

May we have more "Treats" than "Tricks"

Saturday, October 30, 2010

ME? Seriously?

I will be heading on a mission trip to Ohio in a few weeks. As the days get closer, and it becomes more and more real, I find myself thinking:

"Uhm, ME? Are you KIDDING?"

We'll be going to a small, rural community with a couple of specific projects. I will be in the Deaf Ministry group. We plan to host a workshop, meet with some deaf people, and visit the Deaf School there.

"Uhm.... I don't even KNOW this language" (and I usually sign "clueless" as I think that...)

Everything has worked out well thus far - childcare, finances, work schedule.

"Uhm.... God I trust that you know what you are doing! This is so out of my comfort zone...."

Inhale..... Exhale....

Me? Seriously....?

Oh yeah....

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Day Off

My day off was delightful....

It was productive and uneventful - and went pretty much as planned (except for forgetting my daughter's gymnastics clothes....)

It's back to the grind for a few more days.... then... it slows down.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

A day of rest

This week, Thursday is my Sunday....

It is my day of rest.

Amen and Amen.

May it and you be blessed.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's All Good....

Another short one here today....

It's been a long, week.... surrounding myself with the worldliness of "The Land of Trauma", is draining - physically, emotionally.

My interpreter-trained brain is very visual now. So, between that and the things I've seen lately, I have a face for nearly every thing we do in class.

But... It's all good. I know that I am in the world but not of it - this past month actually reinforces it to me.

I have seen God's mercy and blessings in some situations... and I am grateful of His provision.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Great is Thy Faithfulness

I've got no more to say today than

Thank You for Your provision, Your protection and Your love and influence in my life....

I am very aware of all of that - even in the midst of the marathon....

Monday, October 25, 2010

Nothin' but Gratitude

I've got nothin' but gratitude these days ....

I'm experiencing (more than enough) 0pportunities to work..... with co-workers that make the day (no matter how frustrating and harried) tolerable.


I am, have been, and hope to continue to be VERY sheltered from some of he goings on in the world. Some of the stories I hear day to day, are unbelievable....

The miracles that occur are equally so.

Thank You, God for your protection, and your provision....

May I never take it - or You - for granted!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

an so on.... and so on... .and so on....

Currently, I feel like the energizer bunny.... Seeing far more than I ever expected of the hospital walls. I'm thrilled though....

".... Today, I am working for the playroom windows...."

it's all good.... but I am going to seize the moment and get some rest before I have to return in the morning....

Thank You God, for the opportunity!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The "Well Oiled Machine"...

I have been totally impressed with the Elementary School PTO and parent volunteers of late. We were referred to as a "well-oiled machine" by one of the moms, thinking of the view from outside the door that saw nearly 60 kids come in to paint pumpkins.

And then, I got to participate again with the group of parents setting up for the annual Fall Festival. It is the PTO's biggest fundraiser of the year! And watching the pieces fall together, as the last minute arrangements were made.

I helped set up concessions. It's where I've worked the past few years. The process has evolved and been improved as we go.

The same is true for the other areas: Games, auction, spirit wear.

It is wonderful to be a part of a group of parents who are so willing to be involved in their school. To see them work together, and watch the event bloom before our eyes.

I'm just bummed I won't be able to be there when it's "live".

I've got it covered in prayer, though.... it's the bit I can do from work...

Friday, October 22, 2010


It's that time of year...

My divorce was final in October, so it sort of comes to the surface a little bit more. Apparently it does for my ex as well, because he is talking about it more. (which, of course, brings it to the surface a little bit more for me....)

So, as I puttered around the house, sorting through the stack of mail that had accumulated on my counter I finally stopped, looked up, and said. "Whatever we have to do to get past this, can we please just DO it and move on....?"

Apparently, that surprised me a little bit, because, I then began thinking about surrender. "Hmm... whatever it takes, I'm willing.... guess that's surrender, huh? Now what?"

I scrubbed a dish in the sink, and I knew "now what". "Ah.... those papers I've held onto for 6 years now.... Yes, Sir..." I fetched them, and the large metal flower pot, and the pack of matches. I sat on my front step, filled the pot with crumpled papers and lit the match.

I chuckled to myself as I watched them burn. The insanity of it all - having kept them for so long, and knowing I couldn't just throw them away.

I have to burn things like that. I could tear them up, or shred them, but then I would know I COULD put them back together. But this... I can't fix. I can't restore it.

The contents arise to the heavens in a stream of smoke, and all that is left is ashes. And of course, we know what God can do with ashes. I have seen it over and over again. Beauty for ashes. Isaiah 61:3.

I have a feeling we've only begun this "housecleaning..."

Whatever.... bring it...

Isaiah 61;3 (ESV)

o grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified

Thursday, October 21, 2010


One thing I have come to realize, as the sugar coating has been pulled away: In my marriage, I was never "chosen". Oh, sure, yes, I thought I had been - he did come back, after all. After we'd "broken up for good", he came back, proposed and we got married. But, I hadn't truly been 'chosen'.

That concept rattled around my brain for a bit as I walked. I wonder sometimes what lies in my future... It used to bother me, and I'd wonder why... not so much anymore.

Now, I realize, I HAVE been chosen....and if Christ Jesus is the only one, in my whole life, who ever chooses me.... I'm good with that.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


(for those of you outside of the medical - world, let me provide some background information: Debridement (De-breed-ment) is a word that basically means, you take a dirty, perhaps infected wound, and cut all the yuk out of it so that it can heal appropriately....)

OK... now that we're all on the same page....

Today, has been a day of debridement. A day when God has taken the knife to the old wounds, and started to cut out some of the old stuff that doesn't belong there - and inhibits appropriate healing. Some of the 'sugar coating' I'd added to lessen the aches and the pains of a failing marriage have been removed and the truth lays unobscured. *sigh* While time has eased the intensity of the emotion that surfaces, seeing more clearly makes me shake my head in disbelief...

What to say....? Nothing. There is nothing to say.

It is what is is, and I'm grateful to be where I am.

10th Avenue North seems to have summed this one up: "This is where the healing begins..."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Sometimes, I am just amazed.

I have a hard time believing the depths of denial that people maintain. Their lack of clear understanding. Their perception of "the easier road".

I am grateful that God holds my tongue most times when I have the urge to speak that which is not productive, useful, nor glorifying to Him.

I trust that if and when I am to speak, He will direct my words...

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Blessed Beyond My Wildest Imaginings....

I am realizing anew how very blessed I am..... on so many levels....

One I will share...

As I begin week 4 of 5 of working nearly full time at the hospital (and doing my other regular stuff...), I realize how fortunate I am to typically not be THERE full time. It's not that there is that awful.... Yes, I reminds me more frequently - thus intensely - of how much change this world really needs, and how desperately we need to - corporately - return to "one nation under God"....
But, more importantly, these weeks remind me of how fortunate I am to have a job (ok... jobS) where I can be flexible enough to still be involved in my kids lives.

Yes, I look forward to the vacation time I have coming in a few weeks, and I am grateful to have caught a quick nap earlier... But I am also grateful for the opportunity to put in a few weeks of increased time....

"....All that I've needed, Thy hand hath provided...."

Sunday, October 17, 2010

For the Birds

My kids and I went to Kentucky Down Under the other day... The day was, of course, too short, because we had other commitments, but the time we had there was priceless!

We laughed and laughed. Our favorite spot was the Lorkeet cage. We were given a medicine cup with some sweet liquid in it, and instructed to hold our arms out like branches, while holding the cup. As we stepped into the cage, the entire flock swarmed us. We each had 3 or 4 birds on us - on our arms, our heads. In no time, they had drained the liquid from our cups. We laughed and laughed.

We moved on to the kangaroo pen. We got to seem some joey ears poking out of a pouch, and got to pet one of the other kangaroos. Softest thing I've felt in a long, long time...

Finally, the other thing that got us laughing.... The kookaburra. We tried to trill some sounds out so that it would kick it's head back and LAUGH.

It did... twice.... and we laughed right along with it.

Thank You, God for a day of laughter....

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Present meets the Past

My daughter found one of my journals about 6 months ago in a box in the garage. "Can I read this?" she asked? I'd put it off for a while. I wanted to read it first. I'd flipped through a few pages "Today I had girl scouts. It was fun." was the gist if it.

It was 1978. I was eleven.

She asked again this week. I agreed. She picked it up and tucked it under her arm as we headed toward the car.

About 15 minutes into her silent reading, she spoke. "Mom. You wrote some *bad*words....." "really?" I said. I was a pretty "benign" kid, so I was curious. "What did I write?"

There was that I-am-NOT-going-to-say-THAT silence. "What letter did it start with?" I asked. "A...." she said. "Is it followed by a couple of S's?" I asked. "uh-huh...."

My son audibly gasped...

"I guess I must have been pretty mad, huh...."

"yeah.... at your DAD!" She said. (yeah, sounds right, I thought....)

More time passed. "I know why you wrote in green pen on this day...." "Why...?" "You were just starting girl scouts...." (she's probably right!)

More time passed. "You learning anything else about me?" "Yeah.... you did soccer and gymnastics too...."

It was kind of interesting hearing the perceptions of my daughter, looking back on my life - when I was just a little older than she is. Wow.

She did bring the "bad word" business up again.... which worked well.... It gave me an opportunity to let her know that was before I had learned not to say such things....

"Yeah.... glad you learned...." she said....

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fall Break

Well, my kids have returned to me, and we are beginning the "break" part of our Fall Break. :)

We've had one hang around the house and get things done day - I didn't get much more than a load of laundry done in terms of routine duties, but I did have another window guy come (better offer, thank You very much!), and redeemed a "free tune up" for the heat/ac unit that a friend won (and then gave me) from a school fundraiser last fall.... (turns out I need some duct work completed first....)

But, there has been more sleep and more downtime with kids - which has been enjoyable. We hope to pet some kangaroos before our break is done.

Oh yeah.... and I've got to get to the sewing.... will post a picture when THAT project is done...

Thank You, God, for some down time...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mine.... or His....?

There is a bright side to this extra work that I have been doing. Eventually, there will be a paycheck. I have been working hard at my goal of becoming debt free. It has seemed like it would be impossible at times. But recently, it has seemed very do-able. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.

And then...


I've known I'd need to replace these one day. As I look around - and realize hot glue will only hold so long - I know the time is now. (especially with the end of the tax credit coming....)

So I called for an estimate. I knew it would be expensive. And when the man came out and measured everything, and figured the numbers, he confirmed my suspicion.

"Coincidentally", my recent extra work, and my teaching work (that begins next week!) pretty much cover it. Wonderful news! (Yea! God!)

Except.... the path that I was happily on - my goals, my plans to be debt-free - has taken an abrupt turn. Apparently, we're not taking the direct route!

I know, once all is said and done, it will all be good.... but I admit to taking a moment (or maybe even a whole day or two!) to pout, and say "that's not what I wanted!!"

I have to admit - even though right now, I don't feel like admitting it - the first thing that I thought when I realized the similarity in the budgetary lines, was ".... All I have needed, Thy hands hath provided...."

Great is His faithfulness unto me... I know.

I also know that, bottom line.... none if it is "mine", anyhow....

Maybe one day, I'll accept it, so that in the future, I won't have to waste a day or two pouting...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Making Sense of Insanity

I had a lot of "ah-ha" 's during my martial arts class today.... and moments of conviction. It started with my voice cracking as I was going through the student creed. The emotion that burst forth was the same as the emotion that hits me when God has touched my heart with a truth. It's like God is saying to me, "that thing you just said or heard.... look at that!"

I did the quick personal inventory as we were beginning our class with jumping (imaginary) rope - "have I been 'abusive or offensive' ? " Well, certainly, there is always room for improvement at work...

We went through our class, and I finished with a few roundhouse kicks against the bag. In the bathroom afterward, I muttered to myself, "this is insane". And finally, it made sense. I would never be able to understand the things I have been struggling with trying to grasp. They don't make sense. Bottom line.

Along the same lines, many of them will never be "OK". Abuse, assault - against oneself or another - theft, lies.... will never be "OK".

So, as I head back into the world of work, I will walk forward asking Him to be very visible to me - and through me - in the events of the day.

Use me. Let me be Your hands and Your feet. Keep my mind free of the web of insanity.

Lead me.

(and keep me safe....)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Trauma Drama

It has certainly been interesting to observe myself these past few weeks. I have been working nearly full time in the Land of Trauma. Our census has been up and our manpower down. In an effort to help my colleagues, I've put in some extra time.

Ultimately, one question is whether it is the schedule or the drama that influences me more. It's not pretty. I have to check my attitude much more frequently, if nothing else.

The taking time away from home is definitely showing - Grateful that there are a few "home days" coming up this week! I am in need of some catch up and clean up!


I am also very aware of what a sheltered and blessed life I live. For starters, I HAVE a home to be away from. I have a job and can meet my basic needs...and even a want or two.

I feel certain, that if I were ever injured and needed a place to stay - or people to come help me in my home, they would be there. Probably, I'd struggle more with my own stupid pride and feelings of responsibility as they insisted on doing my laundry than I would with trying to find someone willing to do it.

I have never had "nowhere to go" and "no one to call". I have never considered prostitution a viable source of income. I've never "lost everything".

My legs - and arms! - work just fine. I can eat without difficulty, and get myself to and from the bathroom. I can use my brain to "think myself out of a box".

Certainly, I have experienced "the other side" of the medical profession. Being a patient is much of what let me to nursing in the first place. But even then, it was different.

It amazes me sometimes -and I just can't wrap my brain around the fact that there are people who are so hopeless that they attempt suicide.

I go back to another Mosaic song I interpreted on Sunday:

"Do you not know? Have you not heard? It's been declared from the beginning...." (It is aptly titled "Isaiah 40")

Wow. I walk out asking Him to show me where He has been in all of this.

And there is the error in my thinking.

I need to ask Him when I walk IN to show me Himself in the day - in each of these scenarios - and to lead me where He would have me,.... in the midst of the Trauma Drama.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Out of Eden...

I got to interpret for the group Mosaic today. It was the most fabulous thing... And they are the most fabulous people.

I got to interpret this song...

"Out of Eden" Rachel Harlow from Rachel Harlow on Vimeo.

It was interesting to be interpreting a song being narrated by God. It was good training for me if nothing else. I don't do particularly well taking on the persona of God or Christ. (Now, the person, on her knees, having messed something up, humbly asking for forgiveness (again) - that I can relate to!)

But, by the time I had listened to it several times - and sorted through the English-y poetry of the lyrics to get to the meaning of it.... wow.... I was blown away.

Since then, the chorus has been haunting my brain, playing over and over, sometimes spilling out through my mouth in song.

"I don't want [to be] out of Eden, forever....." either.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


It's time to gather again. The entire hour-long drive to camp, my kids asked whether their cabinmates and counsellors would be there. Each time, my answer was the same, "we'll have to wait and see..." They were both pleased and disappointed when we arrived.

But activities soon began and everyone felt back into the easy camp routine.

There is something special about camp. There always has been, there always will be. I am thrilled to be able to sit here on the porch swing overlooking the patio where my daughter dances the Macarena, and my boy sits by the campfire.

I remember my camp days, and secretly hope my kids love camp throughout their teen years. I would support their decision to counsellors if they chose ads well... but time will tell.

Tonight, we're all enjoying the autumn evening.

Thank You, God for camp...
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Friday, October 8, 2010


Timing is everything....and if not everything, certainly INTERESTING.

This past Monday, I missed my bible study. I expected to need to drop out, due to a change in my kids' Karate schedule. But, as one might guess, their class got changed again, so I would only miss the one week.

Tuesday, I got a work-related email, that, by most standards, is close to a year "late". It's something I'm still interested in considering - talking about and praying about. But wow, the timing is less than ideal.

Wednesday night, the rest of the Deaf Ministry was unable to meet. I had brought an armful of work to do while my kids were in their children's ministry activity. When I got there, I realized they were reshowing the Bible study video I'd missed on Monday. I opted to watch it.

Not once, not twice, but three or four times, Beth Moore said "This is about work!" She then began talking about "timing".

It didn't go unnoticed, of course, that had I seen this video BEFORE I got the email, it wouldn't have made as big an impression on me.

So... I'm curious to see where things lead...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Stating the Obvious

I just love it how God brings the people to me that I most need. He has surrounded me with people - face to face and online. And sometimes, they just speak the truth - that which is clear and obvious to most, that doesn't quite register to me on any significant level.

But then, they speak it, and there is this "ah ha!" Today, it was my friend Susan from Lila's Journey. We've never met face to face, but her blog and her art (check them both out at her blog!) have a special place in my heart. Anyhow, today she simply left a comment: "You seem like you're in a busy, busy phase now...." and I was like "wow... yeah... I guess I am..."

And I mean, COME ON! I'm LIVING it..... and it's busy. Yes. But it didn't really *register* until she "spoke" those words. (Thank you, Susan!)

And, irony of ironies.... in the midst of this, I was asked about something that I thought was never going to come to fruition. Still don't know that it will - but know I have to pray about it, and thoroughly consider what it means in terms of my time, my family and where God is calling me.

But... that will lead me into my next post.... and how amused I am by the timing of these events.

We'll have to wait til tomorrow to hear.... This Busy Girl's gotta rest.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I have much to be grateful for. I've been at work a LOT lately - which has it's silver lining, of course.

What it takes away from me time-wise, it returns to me in gratitude.

I have interacted with numerous people, over the past week, who have had unimaginable tragedies touch their lives. I believe there is always a gift in the pain. But I also believe it is too soon for many to realize this.

I ask that God be with each of these people - patients and staff- comfort them, guide them and give them strength.

And me too...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

< pause >

OK folks.... taking a day of rest.

YET ANOTHER day in the Land of Trauma.... and probably another at the end of the week....

I'm tired, and something needs to give for just a bit....

Inhale.... exhale....


Monday, October 4, 2010

Catching up....

Life continues to fly by. My professional cup runneth over. While I am grateful for the opportunity, sometimes some extra time there gets me behind in the rest of my life.

However, I am now caught up on everything but my housework. :) Thank You God....

Housework - and yardwork - come next.

I've had some time with God and some time with my children. I've had the opportunity to gather with friends.

Next week, I hope to have a few more hours on the water. God willing.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Land of Trauma

I have been spending much time in the Land of Trauma. Our census has EXPLODED since the weather cooled off. I don't know if the summer was just to hot, and now people are beginning to get out, or what....

I do know I have seen many people recently. Some are fortunate, and their lives will be inconvenienced for a brief while. Others have experienced life-changing events. Some will choose life and hope, and others will cling to the role of the victim.

I know for me, I always feel fortunate when I leave. For one thing, I GET to leave. For another, I am given some perspective. The "issues" in my life often melt away. Some of them, I realize are truly blessings.

I am grateful to be a part of this service. I am grateful for the perspective I am given. I hope to touch a life in some small way, and let You be seen in all I do.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Decisions and Pictures

I sit here with two computers in front of me.... My goal to work on a project on the PC and keep up with Facebook and email on the other. Well.... so much for the plans.

I got a phone call. From that point on, I found myself more fascinated with the screensaver on the PC than anything else. It plays through the thousands of pictures on the hard drive. I've seen pictures of my kids in all stages of their lives. I've seen infants and a little boy in a tae kwon do uniform. I've seen belt ceremonies from karate, and the girl dressed up and swinging around. Toothless and hairless. Doing the things kids do.

The phone call. Their dad. My son has decided to be baptized. I am thrilled for him. It is a great day. The baptism itself will be in December at his dad's church. I just can't wait to talk with him about it when I see him next.

Thank You God, for choosing me to be his mom.... and him to be Your boy.

Friday, October 1, 2010

3rd Grade Project Solution

Well, tonight - for the first time - I felt like we were cruising along on the 3rd grade homework bandwagon. Mind you, my plan-ahead type of personality would have preferred the dioramas to have been completed at least 2 days ago.... but, guess that's something for me to work on.

BUT, tonight I did find a fabulous asset tucked away in the laundry "room". A hot glue gun.

Oh, my what a life saver! (HOW did I ever get through elementary school without one??)

Granted, each of us said "OUCH!" at least once as we came in contact with the "hot" end of the instrument. BUT... SO worth the trouble.

Diorama's complete, two kids and a mom in bed before 10:15pm. How's THAT?


Thursday, September 30, 2010

I am a Woman Who....

One of the things I am being reminded of in this season of life is exactly who I am.

I am reminded that:

I am a woman who loves autumn.

I am a woman who loves jeans, and boots and sweaters.

I am a woman who loves being out of doors.

I am a woman who loves cool crisp mornings and warm breezes on her face.

I am a woman who does what she says she will do. (though sometimes spreads herself a little thin doing it....)

I am a woman who wears many hats - and for the most part, I wouldn't trade any of them for the world.

But, most importantly. I am a woman of God. A daughter of the King. His little girl.

What an honor.... and a responsibility...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

So Much to Say, So Little Time

I have so much to say.... More things to share from my kayak adventure and life in general....

But alas.... my census at the hospital has EXPLODED, and I am falling a little behind on a few other tasks to complete...

... and then... there is sleep...

So... today... I'm focusing on the next right thing...

I hope to share my moment above the water tomorrow...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Day on The Water

The day had come. I was on my way to the waters that run underneath the railroad trestle bridge where God and I reunited many years ago.

I had always wanted to explore the areas that I couldn't see beyond the bend in the river. Finally, I had the opportunity.

I loaded the kayak into the minivan - yes, into. :) - and headed west. I hadn't been to the trailhead in over a year. Back in the day - when I lived across the street - I visited every day.

I wasn't sure exactly what I'd find. I know things change through the years - and I knew that most of the houses down the hill from where I lived would have been significantly damaged by the flood this past May.

I drove down the road. I was right. Most of the houses there were in the process of being rebuilt - or had been abandoned. Sad, really. And, sad, also that I hadn't known a single neighbor when I lived there.

It was there that I began my comparisons of then and now. I realized that back then, not only did I not take action on buying myself a kayak, I also never asked if I could borrow one. Even if I had, I'm not sure I would have had the courage to get myself out on the water.

But, these days, I do. I set the boat in, loaded with my snack, my lunch, my paper, a pen, my camera and my phone, (Just gotta say here... LOVE the GPS/Map feature on my phone and used it to it's full capacities!) and I was off....

One of the things I had intended to do was make a list of all of the false truths that had been tormenting me on Saturday. I backed the kayak up against the shore of the peninsula where the cows grazed, pulled out the pen and began to write.

After I wrote the second statement, I paused and thought through the rest of the process. These false statements would be burnt up .... but wait... what I wrote was TRUE. Really. Seriously.

I had begun writing the truth of what I know about food, and my body. The real truth, not the world's truth.

I pulled out another piece and started again. What was it that was bothering me so much on Saturday? Couldn't remember. Oh yeah. I wrote it down.

When I had filled the page, I wadded it up, placed it in the empty tuna can I had brought and set it afire. The smoking can, I then placed floating beside me on the water.

As the lies turned to smoke and the paper to ashes, I prayed: "Stand between me and the lies of the world. As they are spoken to me, whisper the truth into my ear and engrave it in my heart."

When the smoke had stopped and the can had cooled, I put the whole mess back into the ziploc it had been packaged in, and set off to explore further.

As I paddled around the waters, from time to time, I'd hear a truth. There I'd pause, pull out the paper and pen, and write them down.

It wasn't a day of drama, and there were no tears. It was a day of being quietly on the waters with God and hearing small - but somehow crucial - truths being whispered into my heart.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Walking Forward

I know not where the day will lead.

But, I do know where similar days have led.... they have been amazing....

I know not what I will find.

But, I do know what I have previously found.... healing. inspiration.

I know not how it will turn out.

But I do know what His plans are for me... plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future.

I am walking forward, Lord..... lead on....

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Burnt Offering of Sorts

Well, the plan for retreat is coming together.....

I have picked up the kayak and I have a task to complete.

The onslaught of old thoughts and inaccurate perceptions, and even "facts" that were from a previous time that no longer hold true..... They've got to go.

I continue to remind myself that I am "new" in Christ. And certainly my life has changed dramatically in the past 15 - 20 years. I don't even think it would be possible to go back even if I wanted to.... But, there are some pieces of the past still need to be debrided out of me... apparently.

"Bury them!" someone suggested. And that is when I remembered something I had done in the past - perhaps even for the first time at The Womb House, not far from the water where I'll be paddling. I remember it being very healing at the time.

It is a funeral of sorts, but more of a cremation. The list will be created, and then it will be burnt. All the old tapes that nag at me.... sent to God in a stream of smoke. (They're harder for me to take back that way.... and certainly, if buried, I would try to find a way to dig them up again!)

All I will be left with is ashes..... And we all know what He can do with ashes...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Messing with My Head

I woke up feeling great. Showered. Got dressed - a little "sassy" even. I mean, it even had a ruffle, which is a little more "girly" than I usually find myself wearing. I went to a couple of meetings, and headed to the grocery store.

I was thrilled to find myself - at the store - craving HEALTHY things. I mean, I barely even walked through the middle of the store. It was like "what other wonderful thing can I add to my salad for lunch?" (and it was a GOOOOOD salad!)

Driving home, it started. I glanced over my shoulder to switch lanes. I noticed my arm. "Uhm, that doesn't look like MY arm...." It's changed. There is definition.

Same thing as I passed the mirror... Tucked in my shirt.... Lay on the floor and stretched.

It doesn't look or feel like "me".

It's not BAD. I have worked hard for this.... and I haven't reached my goal yet. But it's different from where I was. And that sort of messes with my head.

I'm glad I can speak it. And I'm glad I can ask God to heal it. I want to fully rejoice in it. But, right now.... it's just a little weird.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Premieres and ANOTHER New Belt

I don't know exactly what to say....

Honestly, I'm a little distracted.... it's the season premiere of Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice. They are the only shows I watch. Typically, I DVR them, but tonight, I had the opportunity to watch them "live".... commercials and all.

I've been spoiled by the DVR, and will choose to miss the commercials in the future.

And, while the commercial break continues, let me just say - the Orange Belt isn't the only new belt I will be receiving....

I need to buy a new belt-to-hold-up-my-jeans..... It's too big. :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Orange Belt

This week, my daughter and I should be receiving our Orange Belts in our respective martial arts classes..... and the boy-child will be receiving his Brown Belt.

It is a reminder to me of all the hard work we have been putting into our training.

It also is a reminder to me of what a positive impact martial arts has had on my family.

I feel better - physically, mentally, spiritually. It's hard to describe, really. "Stronger", yes... but not in the muscle-y way. "Stronger" in a 'deep-in-my-core' sort of way..... There in my gut, I feel it.

The chatter in my head slows down, and my spirit has a moment to be still.

Between the kia's and the kicks, you wouldn't thing there would be a place for silence and solitude, but there is.

And then, there are the characteristics of being a Black Belt that we aim toward that remind me of the goodness in life.

Thank You God for bringing me - kicking an screaming (LITERALLY!) - to my MMA!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Preparing to Retreat

Well.... it's time for my fall retreat. :)

I love those days.... just me and God. May not be a WHOLE day - heck, can't be a WHOLE day, there are kids to pick up and cart around....

But... I have the plan, and the means to put it into action.

AND... it's something on my "Bucket List".

When I lived in The Womb House, there was a trail with some backwaters that surrounded it. The whole time I lived there (5 years), I thought to myself - "I should explore this area in a kayak".

Well.... there you go. Next week: One kayak, one woman, one God, one day.

I can't wait!

(ESPECIALLY since I have a zillion things to cross off my list before then... :) )

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Enjoying Time with Esther

I've just recently started Beth Moore's Esther bible study. I am really enjoying it!

We've been talking about "beauty".... and the difference between surface beauty and inner beauty. And how hard it is to be a women in a world that is obsessed with outward appearances.

Beth made a comment tonight on the video about a card that she keeps on her desk at all times, with 3 verses on it: (she has taken the liberty to personalize them, and so have I....)

They are:

Colossians 2:10 - I am complete in Christ

Song of Solomon 7:10 - I am my beloved's and his desire is for me

Psalms 90:17 - Let the beauty of the Lord be upon me. (KJV)

Ironically enough - the Psalms 90:17 is also the verse our deaf ministry has declared for ourselves:

"May the favor of the Lord be upon us. Establish the work of our hands, yes, establish the work of our hands" (ESV)

I am grateful for Beth's reminders, and grateful for the richness of the book of Esther.

Monday, September 20, 2010

They Grow Up Fast

I knew the day would come. One day, I would teach my boy-child to mow the grass. I didn't realize it would be NOW.

I wasn't sure he was tall enough. Pushing a lawnmower is hard enough - but even more so, when it's at chest level. It's nearly impossible when the handle is over your head. But he has grown tall enough and strong enough.

He show enough respect for the mower - both in terms of using it appropriately, and having the wisdom to know to keep his hands and feet away from the spinning blades. I filled it with gas and pulled the cord. He giggled in awe with the "emergency off" in releasing the safety bar.

I guided him through the edge work of the fenced dog area. Once we'd been around, I stepped back, and let him lead. He did great.

I am so, so proud of him.

Thank You, God for my children. Help me to appreciate them NOW.... because they grow up fast!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The People in My Life

Today, I am very grateful for the people who have come into my life. Some have come to support me, others to encourage me. Some have come to hold up mirrors and ask me to look. Others speak the Truth in ways that are undeniably from God. Some have very lovingly kicked me in the butt.

And then there are the others... the ones that annoy me to no end. Those who have betrayed trusts, stolen hopes and broken dreams. Ironically, they have at least as an important role in my life as those whom I call "friend".

I was talking with one such friend, as she discovered a truth and comforted a broken heart, that these people have purpose in my life.

It is in my "valley experiences" that I grow. I learn about my self, my brokenness and my need for others. I learn the meaning of words such as "loneliness", "grieving", and "anger".

But.... I also learn the meaning of words such as "faith", "hope", and "rebirth". I learn to trust God to guide my next step. I learn how to ask for help - both human and divine - and I learn the strength that comes with surrender.

I cannot live this life alone. I need people around me who love me and support me, encourage me and show me the Truth in the situation. I need a God who is active in the details of my life.

I have never had a need go unmet. And I have never had to weather a storm completely alone. I may not have always recognized His presence at the time, but He has always been there with me. Always.

I am grateful for the people God has sent into my life....

I am also grateful that others allow me to be a part of theirs.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Something New

God is up to something.... I've known for a couple of weeks.

Some of the things I've been doing over the past few months and years - continuing ed., my areas of interest in reading and studying - have helped me to realize Him at work. I don't know where we're headed, but for now, I'm OK with that.

I was JUST ABOUT ready to ask a few people to pray about it, when Beth Moore said in her Bible Study on Ester, "God is about to do something new in your life". (yeah! I know! Exciting!)

But, before I asked for prayer, I thought I'd kick back a bit and see what He reveals. It's His timing anyhow..

I'm not OPPOSED to prayer, but, tonight, I saw a T-shirt that said "Wait Training", with "Isaiah 40:31" beneath it.

"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."

I will wait for You, Lord.... help me to prepare, to be in line and ready at the moment you bring it to fruition. But, until then... help me to wait.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Two Years Ago

It is hard for me to believe it's been two years since I returned to "My Shack".

I had no idea what was going to happen, nor that so much would change from that experience.

I am grateful for the path I stepped on when I walked back into the chapel, lay myself on the altar - literally and figuratively - and let Him lead.

We're not done, I know. Most days, He is still leading.

There is much hope.

Thank You, God!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Grace in the World

So.... I goofed. I didn't pay attention to details, and forgot to change the date that my mortgage would come out of my checking account, as I set up up the online payment for next month. It should have come out AFTER I got paid at the end of the month, and not before. Yes, as you might imagine, that was a big, painful mistake. "Stupid tax", as Dave Ramsey would call it.

Fortunately, it was merely inconvenient, and yes, I will pay "stupid tax", but it wasn't a complete disaster. A year ago, it would have been. But, God is gracious and kind.

I found out that my bank is as well. I went to ask if they still had the program where - if I do something stupid like that again - the money gets transferred from my savings account "automagically". They do, and I signed up for it. Then came the surprise.

He picked up the phone and called the branch where my account was initiated. He asked them if they could waive some of the fees they charged me for the items that went through after my mortgage was deducted. They ended up waiving about 60% of the fees. (Yea God!)

So.... I have experienced (unsolicited) grace, and been reminded once again... Details in my day to day life really DO matter.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Between lack of sleep and too much sugar, I ache.

It is amazing to me how much it effects me. May I continue to learn and remember!

I spent several weeks recently essentially sugar free, and felt GREAT.

Past 2 days... not so much.

Trusting that sleep, and returning to clean eating (and some motrin!) will help!

To healing.... lots and lots of healing...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Choosing wisely

I trust I have chosen wisely - spending and evening with my son....

...which leaves no time to blog before bed..... and way to close to wake up time at that!

My boy will not always be here with me in the evenings... he will grow and choose differently... So, I took advantage of the opportunity...

...and glad I did...

Monday, September 13, 2010

"You Make Me New...."

It was a typical Sunday morning. I was at church early to rehearse with the worship band. We went through each song. Amazing Grace touched my heart as it usually does, humbling my spirit and bringing a glimmer of a tear to my eye.

The band began the last song - Beautiful Things. It's not my favorite to interpret - the English in it is a little hard to express appropriately in American Sign Language. The Stand - which IS my favorite these days, is also a little hard, but it has touched my heart in a way Beautiful Things hadn't, and I have had the opportunity to let it sink into my spirit to grasp the meaning more completely.

So, Beautiful Things started. I knew I wanted to hand the song to my friend to interpret this week - I had struggled through it last week. But, since she wasn't there yet, I decided to work my way through it. Let God teach me as I listened to the words, and let go of my hands.

I struggled to hear the worship leader, who was protecting his voice from the cracking effects of the cold his family had shared with him. I turned to face the screen behind the band in order to read the lyrics. Behind the lyrics, pictures scrolled - heart-breaking situations and demonstrations of grace, pictures from 9/11 and subsequent relief efforts, the hope of seedlings bursting forth in the garden.

They played through the first few lines. I surrendered my hands, but noticed where they went. "YES! That's it...." For me. My interpretation.... But way to personal and vulnerable to "speak" knowing there would be a deaf visitor that I'd never met before.

During the chorus - "You make beautiful things, beautiful thing out of the dust. You make beautiful things, beautiful things out of us...." - I began to think back through my life. He surely has taken the dust and shambles of my life and recreated it. Beauty from ashes, as I like to call it.

They moved on to the bridge: "You make me new, You are making me new...." There, my hands dropped. I am sure that my chin dropped, too, and the tears burst forth uncontrollably. I had to walk away. There was no more interpreting. I was so moved and humbled, as God touched my heart. There were no words to speak - in either language.

There behind the words was a picture of my baptism in the creek two summers ago. There could not have been a more personal way to bring that message home to me again. "Here, Linda, let Me remind you... I am making you new..." -

Thank You, God for being so active and loving in my life, and for reminding me again and again that You are making me new - in so many ways, on so many levels....