Monday, February 28, 2011

Restore Me, Renew Me




It seems to be a good thing that my Monday is essentially unscheduled.

God and I have an appointment. We will sit, together, and I will see where He leads.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

God and the Fed Ex Man...

Apparently, God sends messages via Fed Ex.

I have been in the process of refinancing my house. It is something I have put off and put off, because I knew the headache it would become.

But, finally, I replied online to a letter my mortgage company sent.... and I included the balance of my credit cards in the amount requested. So the process began.

As I waited to hear, I went back and forth about whether or not I should just refinance the house (and use the savings toward the card), or lump it all together.

One of the things I dread in the process is the home inspection / appraisal. I don't know if it's because they then set a value to something that I feel is "priceless", or if it's the whole stranger-in-my-home-critiquing it.

Needless to say, I prayed my way through that day, clinging fast to Philippians 4:6 (Do not be anxious about anything....). But, the value that was placed on it would then determine my loan amount.

About an hour before he was due, I noticed a car parked in front of my house. I knew that was him. My prayer became more direct: "OK, God. You lead this. Whatever You say it should be worth. Whatever You think I should do regarding the card. Whatever. Where You go, I'll go..."

He then called, asking permission to begin early. "sure. whatever." As he is measuring the exterior of my home, the Fed Ex truck backs into my driveway. I run through my memory for anything I may have ordered that would come Fed Ex. Nothing. Birthday? Nope not yet. Uhm... anything? Nope.

This skinny old man comes leaping through my front yard, commenting on how soft the rain has made the ground and encouraging me to stay put on the porch so I don't get wet.

He hands me a letter from my mortgage company. Lower rate. No closing costs. (no home appraisal - but it's already done).

But I can only refinance the current mortgage balance.

"OK God. Where You go, I'll go...."

Saturday, February 26, 2011

"Suicide by Lifestyle Choices"

"Suicide by lifestyle choices". I heard that said in a discussion group, and I thought "wow. Interesting concept".

As the month has progressed, I have heard a lot more about "choices" and "Lifestyle", and how what we think determines our choices. I do agree with that.

And, I do agree with the "suicide by lifestyle choices" concept. I am guilty as charged. I frequently choose the "easy" way out: Grabbing something quick vs. preplanning and preparing my food for the day, putting off the walk until it no longer fits into my schedule. Other times I forget that not choosing to do something, in the end, often has the same results as choosing not to. By not deciding, I have decided.

I am certainly aware of the consequences of my choices: obesity with all it's host of complications - heart disease, diabetes, stroke.... the list goes on. I don't want that.

But apparently, I don't not want it enough to decide to choose more healthily.

I did go to an adult fitness workshop in the place of my MMA class. It was so wonderfully awful! You know, I am glad that I went and I should do more of that - and would like the results - but, being in the midst of it... *whew* Let's just say, at one point, I actually wept when I opened my eyes and Jesus wasn't standing there in front of me to take me home... Honestly and truly. At that moment, I was ready.

But, it has gotten me thinking again about "suicide by lifestyle choices". Help me to choose wisely! .... to WANT to choose wisely.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

One Day....

..... there will be more time to write.

For now.... enjoying the fullness and richness of life.

Thank You, God!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Miracle...

Thank You God for Kyra Lael!

'nuf said.
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

As Simple and as Hard as That

So many thing in life come packaged in dichotomies.

Things that are so simple - and yet so hard! (Staying out of the Girl Scout cookies, for example!)

It goes back to that knowledge and APPLIED knowledge.

Thus Far, I have gotten through the simple difficulty of avoiding cookies!

Here's hoping for three in a row!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Right in the Midst of it all

I was thinking back to this morning - interpreting the music at church. Two new songs, no "lyrics helper" in the audience. See, the words don't always come clearly to me with the speaker above my head. And then I noticed it. The screen on the back wall had the words flowing! YES! Yay God! Your timing is perfect!

And as I sit to write, and think through my day and my week past and my week to come, I see God here and there, and I realize: Right in the midst of it all, He is there.

It doesn't matter if my house is unusually quiet with my children away, or if it is loud and active. It doesn't matter if we are running errands or heading off to activities. If we are at home, or stuck in traffic. Right there, in the midst of it, is He.

Creator of heaven and earth - and everything from here to there - is right here in the details of my everyday life.

I am so, so blessed.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Thorn

I was at my Mom's in Touch group - we take a moment t0 quietly stand before God before we enter into prayer for the teachers, students and schools themselves. In that moment, I asked again, "please take this from me...." In the silence that followed I knew deep in my heart that this was not one that would be removed.

The words to a favorite Mosaic song played in the background of my mind, ".... if you choose to leave this thorn, I'll need Your grace to carry on...Then the world will see, In my weakness, You are strong...."

I have played through those events again and again in the hours that have passed since then, patiently waiting for acceptance. Til then, the song plays on in my head.

I sit quietly mustering the strength to walk with this thorn - to accept His grace, surrender my self and let Him be strong in my weakness.

I can't do it myself. We both know I have tried...again and again.

I can't. He can.

I think I'll let Him.

It's as simple - and as difficult - as that.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I was reminded today about knowledge - and the fact that there are two types of knowledge.

There is the knowledge of simply knowing and there is the knowledge with action.

The latter is where I need to be...

on so many levels.

Friday, February 18, 2011

And Now.... I Wait...

The ducks are in a row.

The fax has been sent.

And now...

I wait...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

.... And Now, I know....

NOW, I remember why I have put off this paperwork process for so long....

NOW, I remember what a pain it is gathering EXACTLY the right combination of "stuff".

NOW, I know....


I also know what a blessing it will be to have it all complete! So, I move forward....

And THEN...

I get to start my taxes.... :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Thus Far....

I was reminded in a conversation today of the time that surrounded my divorce.

It was an amazing time: Incredibly painful, and incredibly God-filled.

I will never forget that Friday morning in November when I showed up at my bible study - feeling lost and afraid, and uncertain about what the future held. I knew my marriage was imploding and not likely to survive. I sat and listened to Beth Moore talking about the Israelites, and how one day, when they weren't sure where exactly they were going, but knew that God was with them, they stood up a stone, and as Beth said it: "We have no idea where we are going from here, but THUS FAR, God has been with us".

It was like I was propelled at light speed through the years of my life til that moment. Again and again, I could see God's active participation in my life. Time and time again, there He was. Leading. Guiding. Comforting. Protecting. Again and again and again. Emmanuel - God with us - or me in particular!

And then came peace. The peace that transcends all understanding (phil 4:7) surrounded me. Each day as I walked forward in this peace, I witnessed - day after day, for months at a time - the very ACTIVE presence of God in my life.

And, as this memory returned to me on the drive home, I became very quiet, and tears filled my eyes.

Even now - though I am not in crisis - I can still say, "Thus Far, God has been with me...."

I continue to be loved beyond measure and grateful beyond words...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Near Pefection

Today may have been one of the most perfect days ever.... Certainly in a long, long time... and absolutely well-timed after the previous week of child-illness stress.

I had planned the day to be off. By all accounts, my son would be home with me again, regaining his strength. When I tucked him in, I inquired and when I woke him up, I inquired. When he said he didn't think he could go to school, it seemed reasonable. The most I'd seen him do in a week is spend one hour sitting up, in front of the computer. The rest of the week, he had spent semi-reclined, if not horizontal.

But to everyone's surprise, when we got to the parking lot, he asked "Could I TRY to go to school?" "ABSOLUTELY!" We had planned to walk his valentine's box and the cards for his classmates in to his room - for exercise and endurance if nothing else! Fortunately, it was a scheduled "pajama day". (Yay God!) I expected a call shortly after the pledge of allegiance, but no... he lasted ALLL day!

I got home (after returning to school with his snack, that I (naturally) hadn't packed), and had the opportunity to walk the neighborhood with a friend.

After that was half a dozen 5-minute jobs that were outstanding (and on my last nerve!), the laundry and some mindless time filling the kick bag base with sand. (It's only been waiting, oh - how long ago was Christmas?)

I inspected the trees and shrubs for bud swelling - since my walking-buddy had spied the tulip greens popping through the soil near my mailbox.

The windows were open all day, so my house smells like a spring day. I even had time to do nothing but sit ... THREE times.... once on the porch in the sun, twice snuggling the cat.

The kids had an unexpected playdate after school, which allowed me the opportunity to vacuum and scrub the bathroom floor.

It just doesn't get much better than that! (well, a little time actually tending the earth - but that is soon to come!!)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

It's funny to see the difference in preparations for Valentine's Day between my son and my daughter.

The day she got her notice about the party, we bought her Valentines and immediately upon arriving home, she carefully picked which card was best suited for each kid in her class. My son also got his Valentine's cards that day, but he waited til the night before to fill them in (I will cut him a LITTLE slack - being sick and all....). But his approach was totally different as well. Next kid on the list gets the next card in the stack. Guess it's a boy-thing....

It will be interesting to see how Valentine's Days unfold in the next few years.

God watch over and protect us all!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Building Endurance

It is amazing how quickly a week of bedrest just zaps you of all your energy.

As I watch my son try to function, I remember back to my experience with trying to rebuild my endurance! I had spent a week in the hospital, shortly after graduating from nursing school. It was just before Christmas, and my unscheduled time away had left me behind. I decided we would simply swing by the mall on our way home from the hospital. I'd had plenty of time to figure out my list.

One problem: By the time I'd walked from the car to the mall, I was exhausted. I sat in the food court and my friend finished my shopping for me.

With that in mind, I watch my son. I have one more day to try to figure out what the best approach should be for school on Monday.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


I am seeing hope.... inside and outside of my home.

Outside, there is hope of spring. Warmer days are promised and the recent snowfall will soon be melting. There is hope of spring days, spring flowers and time to tend the earth. I noticed myself this morning searching for green sprouts where the daffodils typically bloom.

Inside, there is hope of wellness. My boy-child has had a difficult week - between his malaise, his cough, and his mother constantly reminding him to "drink". Tonight, he is breathing easier through his nose, and there is hope that he won't need to sit in my shower at 2am. Perhaps we will all get better rest and all awaken refreshed.

Thank You, God, for hope. I can't live without it!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Quite a Week

It has been quite a week, juggling the demands of work and family. Weeks like this - with a sick kid, snowed-out school, and a work deadline that could not put off, made me instantly aware of my gratitude for my village...

The things I realized later were more deeply buried in my life. Single motherhood is hard. I somehow -by the grace of God- manage to keep us basically on track. But, throw in a bump, and getting back on track is harder. This week, I think perhaps the snow days have helped....but I don't know....

The one thing I DO know that has helped....knowing without a doubt that our needs will be met.

Thank You, God!
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Thursday, February 10, 2011

.... And Again....

It's hard to believe it's snowing.... AGAIN!

It has certainly been an atypical winter. LOTS of snow, and not so much school...

I have to admit, I do like the "down time" that being unable to get out allows..... but I miss the routine.

I am looking forward to a "no alarm clock" morning - and time to make a "real" breakfast. I have also enjoyed the time to sit and care for my son. My daughter has enjoyed an afternoon of talking with her friends on the phone and catching on her Webkinz.

I'm just glad I don't have to get out...

I am grateful to be safe and warm with my family. All we have needed, Thy hand hath provided...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I am praying for a little one tonight that has had an unbelievable story thus far.

I am praying and believing that her story is so undeniably of God, that His hand is upon her and her family in an equally undeniable way.

I am praying that all who come to know and love her will be touched, and their lives changed - that they will see God's handiwork and his miracles in her life.

I am praying that her family feels You - right there amongst them!

You know her, Lord...

I have yet to meet her.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Yet Another New England Snowfall

... here in Middle Tennessee!

The flakes started abruptly - BIG, HUGE, beautiful flakes. One minute it was raining, the next, it is white as far as we could see.

It piled up quickly, too. Three inches, suddenly covered the landscape.

It is beautiful - and I am grateful I have no where important to go on Tuesday.

Wednesday, now that's a different story...

Thank You, God for the beauty you bring, and the silence in the snow.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Our Day of Rest

We took Sunday as our day of rests.

My son took a nap in my bed. I took a nap on the couch. My daughter elected to unwind in a game of Fairy-something-or-other on the computer.

There is much to be said for a day of rest and for a nap. Probably why God modeled that for us in His "work week".

I have much to learn....poco a poco - little by little - I'll get there.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Awaiting Spring

I have got to say, I'm looking forward to spring. As I was driving the back roads of the county the other day, I was reminded of what a beautiful place this is. This earth. This area.

Soon it will be spring, and I will get to travel those country roads again, with the landscape blooming forth. I'm curious to see what will appear. Which of the trees will bloom, and which of the houses have tulips and daffodils sleeping around them. Where is the forsythia and where are the irises? Better yet, the dogwoods and the redbuds - they are my favorite, those redbuds!

I don't want to rush it. I know each season has it's intended purpose, but I am curious.

And as I continued to drive, I found myself humming and then singing:

"For the beauty of the earth...."

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Heavenly Whisperings

I love those little bits of guidance that cone whispering into my ear. "check your minutes...." I made note of that. I had a full day driving around in my new job. Most of the calls I needed to make were not "in network"... they were businesses and land-lines.
So, while a little overstimulated with the running follow-up list, 2 extra kids at home and a dinner time urgency approaching, I checked my minutes.
Let's just say, it was a prime example of how listening and following through, benefited me. I had gone through half of my monthly allotment.... one the FIRST day of the billing cycle.
Needless to say, one quick phone call - and an additional three dollars per month - has me switched to unlimited talk, text and data....

Thank you God for your gentle guidance and protection!
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Friday, February 4, 2011

Hard Work...

I was giving a massage the other day. The client was a single mom, talking about other single moms. She made a comment about it being "hard work".

That made me pause for a minute as I acknowledged, that it is indeed hard work.

It's only been the past few years that I even considered myself a "working mother" - though I have worked outside of the home my kids' entire life. But, it's always been part time.

As they have grown, I have been able to add more "part time" to my previous "part time", to give me something close to "full time".

It's amazing, though...I still have the luxury of being "Mom".

It is hard work... but I am so blessed.

And I wouldn't trade it for the world!

Thursday, February 3, 2011


My new job has me working primarily with the elderly. I have spent so many years of my life working in the world of trauma - thus primarily younger folks.

I am realizing that I have a special place in my heart for these older folks. I love talking with them, and caring for them.

Perhaps, they give me hope. Perhaps they just open up that place where I feel God at work.

Either way... I'm lovin' it!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Three Little Pigs, and Other Such Trios.

I am reminded, as I sit here, of the Three Little Pigs.

The wind is "huffing and puffing" - and I hear it swirling through the fireplace flue. The wind chimes - both by the front door and on the deck - are clanging wildly. The lights have flickered on and off - and fortunately for us, have stayed on in my neighborhood.... others have not been so lucky.

From the Three Little Pigs, my mind travels to other trios. The next one to come to mind is the Three Stooges.... and the "see-n0-evil, hear-no-evil, speak-no-evil" monkeys. I think of the 3-stranded rope, and the strength that it possesses.

And... I think of the Trinity. Father. Son. Holy Spirit. I think of His hand protecting me, safe in the cleft of the rock. And I think that is where I shall sleep: safe in the cleft of the rock, protected by His hand.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"Spend Free" February

And so it begins... February.

Ours will be "Spend Free".

It was an idea I got through Facebook... from a friend who was replying to a comment of a woman I don't even know (Facebook is a little curious to me like that.... anyhow, I digress....). They were making through with what they had - a "Spend Free" January.

That thought clung to me, and I knew I would have to do it. I began to think about what that would really mean for me.

Spend Free, let's see:

* No Fast Food - if I know we wouldn't be home near a mealtime, I'll have to plan ahead
* No extraneous "stuff" - Lord knows we don't need anymore "stuff".
* Finishing up the dozen (or so) bottles of shampoo we have hanging around the house - buying on sale doesn't do me any good if we don't use it!!

Of course I will spend money on food and gas, and my bills, but we're going to have a month of meeting our needs - not our wants or conveniences.

God help us all!

(Fortunely, February is a SHORT month....)