Monday, December 12, 2011

Are You Lost?

I've been putting off writing for awhile again. I have lots of thoughts (sometimes TOO many) that I would love to get down. I can take time...but I don't. I avoid it because when I write I need to pay attention to my feelings. I have  to look inside myself....and I don't always like what I find there. It is so much easier for me to assist others in processing their stuff that a lot of times I neglect my own. I like to think I have it all together...and then we have a week like this last one.

I know when we stop doing what works (schedules, to-do lists, job charts, counseling, etc) that eventually WE stop working effectively as a family. There are days that I feel like I am the only thing holding us together. I am coming to realize though that I put myself in that position. It is a lesson I have learned before and I'm sure will need to relearn again....and again.

I went to church recently and we talked about Moses and the Israelites in the dessert. Wandering. For 40 years! All because they didn't listen to God. One thing I struggle with is that they had seen proof that God was taking care of them.

Exodus 13:21-22 By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.

The Red Sea had parted so they could cross on dry land. Why would they think that a God that could do that could not get them to where they needed to be without getting lost?

Is it possible to be lost and not even realize it? I think that it is. We can be convinced that we are heading in the right direction and then pass a sign that tells us we're wrong. I am directionally challenged. When someone asks me East or West, etc, I need to go by landmarks instead. (example: so if you are heading toward the lake is it on the right or left?)

What about today? Are we lost? We have signs that will point us in the right direction, but we don't always use them. Our Bible, church, other Christians,, devotionals, etc. can all point us to where we need to go. However, just like a map or GPS, if we don't use it....we'll still get lost.

Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Are you lost? God is looking.

Do you want to be found?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A 4 letter word starting with "H"

Got your attention, didn't I? This word is often called out in times of distress. Sometimes it is whispered in a prayer when we finally give up. Sometimes we give it. Sometimes we ask for it. 
The word is..... HELP.

Per Webster:
1: to give assistance or support to
2: to make more pleasant or bearable
3: to be of use to 
4: to change for the better

Frankly, I suck at asking for help. I can write about it. I can give help all day long. I will do things for other people that I won't/don't even do for myself. AND it's my fault! At some point, I will need to stop long enough to figure out what my real issue is. But in the meantime.....I know that when I don't ask for help I am depriving the other person and myself from the benefit of sharing life's journey. We don't have to go it alone. However, we can't expect others to just know what we need. We need to be willing to speak it, call it, pray it.

I was already thinking about writing this. I had just finished helping someone else. I went to the store. I came home. Why take the time to run in the house and ask one of the kids to help? I didn't want to make two trips. I could carry it all, right?  ummm,not! My $2.38 lesson on asking for help?!?!? 

I dropped the milk. The plastic container did not just softly land. It split open in two spots as you can see in the milk jug photo below. I ended up with spilled milk.

Can you see the splits? Big on bottom, also on side by handle.
I did not cry.  ;) I ended up with about a quarter of the gallon still in the jug. It was a visual reminder of what can happen when I won't ask for help. Sometimes I feel as broken as the milk jug. I can't keep it all in without spilling out so why do I even try to do that? Maybe you do too?

My new/latest motto:  Less hell when we ask for help, repeat. (Amazing what the change of one letter can do.)

Psalm 118:13-14 (NIV) I was pushed back and about to fall, but the LORD helped me. The LORD is my strength and my defense, he has become my salvation. 

Psalm 121:1-3 (NIV) I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber;

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Bible Flipper

I realize that there are reading plans to read through the Bible. Some are set up for a year and take a passage from the old and new testament along with something from the Psalms and/or Proverbs. By the end of the year? If you stay on track, you've read through the entire Bible.

Usually, these plans do not include just opening the Bible and reading whatever your eye lands on. I have to admit to being a Bible flipper. It does not ALWAYS seem applicable. However, there have been many times when I have done this and I am amazed how often it is something that applies to what I'm going through. Sometimes, when I remember, I prayerfully ask God before I flip to show me what I need to see.

Recently, on one of my nights/mornings? of getting in bed w....a....y too late.....again, I flipped open the Bible. My eye landed on Psalm 127 (NIV):

 1 Unless the LORD builds the house,
   the builders labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
   the guards stand watch in vain.
2 In vain you rise early
   and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
   for he grants sleep to those he loves.

The Journey Bible I read also had some additional information about these verses. It mentioned specifically starting a business and writing a book. I have considered both of these very recently. On times like this, I am reminded that the Bible is one of God's ways of communicating with us.

The Bible is a big book and it seems overwhelming. Sometimes we make excuses. "I don't have time to read the Bible", "I don't know where to start", "The Bible doesn't go in order and gets so confusing", etc.

Personally, I'm sure I've used one or more of those excuses. However, I've noticed I found time to read a novel (or 3 or 4!)  by my favorite author. Some probably have more pages than the Bible....but I found time for those...

I'm not encouraging anyone to just flip open the Bible and start reading. I just want to remind you to open your Bible. Currently, we have the freedom and resources to own at least one Bible....maybe several. When was the last time you opened yours?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Loose Ends

I like to read. I like TV mystery shows. I like movies. Part of the reason I like these things is that there is normally a beginning, middle and end. By the time the book is read, the show is over or the lights come on, I usually know how things turned out.  Good or bad, at least I know.

I was having a conversation with my husband about some people we knew from work. We have not seen them in a long time. It seems odd that for so long you spend most of the days and weeks with these people. Then circumstances and jobs change. We move on. We lose touch and don't keep in contact as much as we'd like.

I think of workers/volunteers at a pregnancy resource center. A girl comes in, possibly considering abortion. She gets all the information and leaves without making a decision. She may or may not be back. The workers have to realize that they may not know how it turns out. Yet they come back the next day and do it all over again.

Recently, I have had some situations where I didn't get to hear the end of the story. It's frustrating! It seems so....unfinished. (And I'm a procrastinator princess so I am familiar with unfinished!) It is overwhelming to think that this is just ONE situation or ONE person...there could be many others with similar issues.

However, we can't let the frustration of not knowing how something will turn out keep us from getting involved. If you see something that doesn't look right, don't be afraid to get involved.
“To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world."  
      Brandi Snyder/Heather Cortez (depending where you look!?!?!)

Sometimes we have to trust that God brought us across someone's life journey, we do what we can and trust the next person to complete the mission.

We may have many loose ends in this life. There will come a day though when all will be made clear. No more questions and we'll know how the story ends.

Revelation 1:1-3 (NIV) The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Love....from a least for now

Have you ever been around someone that is hurting? You just want to offer a hug, a listening ear and ask what you can do to help soothe the hurt. Sometimes you do. Sometimes the person is receptive. Sometimes not. What if the person hurting is someone you love? It is difficult to watch someone we love hurt, especially when he/she does not want or is not ready for us to do what we can to heal the hurt...even if it is to just listen.

Why is it we usually end up hurting those we love the most? Those that are closest to us? It would be easy to say it's because our homes can be the safest place to vent.....especially if trying to hold it together all day in the "real world". That can be true...up to a point. However, it is also an excuse. It is an excuse because we can feel like our family should love us regardless of our attitude. Most of the time, they do.

There are days though when the last thing you want to do is have to make one more effort. So sometimes we don't. Sometimes we make more of an effort to pray over a struggling relationship. In the meantime, we wait and maintain our distance....for now. We look for opportunities to let them know we still care and are there for them no matter what even if they can't or won't see that right now.

Depression can be part of the equation. Depression puts blinders on us so we see only what is right in front of us and that looks overwhelming and huge and it will never end. Depression messes with and intensifies the negative emotions so much that it is difficult to reach out to anyone. It seems easier to retreat. For a little while, it might be. However, when it becomes weeks and months instead of just is time to bridge the distance and get some help for yourself or the one that is so loved, but feels unlovable.

There is a lot of good info at this site about depression and other "health challenges". There is also an "emotional skills toolkit" that is worth checking out.  HELPGUIDE.ORG

“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” Elizabeth Stone

John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

I believe that God loves us from a distance as first. He watches as we struggle and try and do life on our own just muddling through. He looks for opportunities to let us know He still cares and is there for us no matter what even if we can't or won't see that right now. He waits until there comes a day when we are willing to bridge that distance that has come between Him and us. He offers to listen to us and welcome us back to the love that has always been there.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Teenage Butterfly

Teenage Butterfly
Wrapped in a cocoon of childhood
Life is about to change
Parts begin to rearrange
Life is weird – all so strange
All this changing seems so slow
One wing breaks free
And then there’s two
Need to stay, but want to go
Beauty unfolds
And takes flight

1 Timothy 4:12 (NIV) Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

(The Message) And don't let anyone put you down because you're young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity.

There's a song that says breaking up is hard to do.....growing up is hard too. I am coming to grips with the fact that I as a parent have to change along with my kids as they grow up. I thought I was done "growing up". However, the more I think about it....I'm not sure any of us is ever done. Different stages maybe, but each one involves growth and growing. I think that's why I started thinking about butterflies....and teenagers. Males and  females go through SO many changes those teen years. It really is a metamorphosis. 

As parents, we are blessed to be able to accompany our kids on this journey. As our kids strive for their independence there will be friction. There will be days you will wish they would stay in their cocoon - safe in your house where you feel you can protect them. There will be days you will watch them struggle to break free. There will be days when you will see those wings...knowing what is to come. There will be a day when you will see them soar.....there may be tears, but you will smile.  

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Water and Fire and Problems/Blessings

We have had lots of issues lately and previously involving water. Rental house with leaky pipe, another where sump pump didn't function correctly = ugh. There has also been much flooding in many areas. Lots of photos of water much higher than it should be.

So I had started thinking about how some things, in moderation....or controlled, are good. However, left unchecked and too much? Bad, sometimes VERY bad.

Water and fire were two that immediately came to mind.

Water, controlled by the tides, controlled by a faucet, running through pipes and available on demand is an awesome thing. Water cools us off and hydrates us.
However, water not controlled means flooding, leaks, and ruined stuff.  Things left wet get wrecked very quickly. No water is damaging as well (little pun, there). Sometimes the cost to get water is prohibitive.

Fire, when contained properly is good for heat and cooking. However, fire out of control burns buildings, fields, forests and pretty much anything it comes into contact with.

And then, I'm reading a book that refers to Isaiah 43 (NIV), hence my confirmation that now is the time to write.

 1 But now, this is what the LORD says—
   he who created you, Jacob,
   he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
   I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
   I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
   they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
   you will not be burned;
   the flames will not set you ablaze.

Problems can seem like water and fire. I guess if we could control our "problems", they wouldn't be a problem. Problems can be opportunities though. A chance to let God remind us that He is still in control even when we least feel like it.

Many times we feel overwhelmed when in the middle of our own flood, fire or problem. It is hard to see problems as blessings. It is hard to see through our own issues that there are people dealing with their own water and fires at the same time. Hopefully, though, the water recedes, the fire cools off and our problem is solved. Often, the solution will not be one we had thought of. Sometimes what we go through helps somebody else in ways we can't even imagine.

Control what we can and give the rest to God. He promises us that we are not alone and we are His.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Flags - A 9/11 Memorial....10 years later

“A song of ascents. I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2 NIV

I have a tendency to remove myself from things that make me uncomfortable. On September 11, 2001, I was at work. I heard some of the AM news. I called my husband and he watched on TV and later told me more. Co-workers went to watch the TV to see what was going on. I stayed at my desk. The events sounded bad, I couldn't make myself watch....and I worked. Even later on in the night, I only halfheartedly paid attention to what was going on. Even the little bit I saw overwhelmed me with sadness. I saw church attendance and blood donations go up. I saw people being more kind and considerate to each other. It did feel like the world was ending and where would we go from here?

Then....days, weeks, months and years passed. Every September 11, more flags would appear. Patriotism would surge and then, it seemed, back to normal.'s been 10 years. When all the attention came up for the 10th Anniversary, I was not sure what I would feel. I'm proud to be an American, I know that for sure. September 10, 2011: I heard about The Flags that would be at Canonsburg Ski Area over the 9/11/11 weekend. I was going to be out that way anyway so kind of as a last minute thing I stopped by there with my 3 nephews. I found out it was called "The Healing Field". There was a large flag on a crane at the entrance. Then we saw the hill and I heard gasps and "That's a lot of flags!" from the back seat.

We went to the hill and they took off racing up. I wanted to tell them to calm down because it was a memorial. However, they're young and they were excited. I admired the precision of the rows. There is a tag attached to each flag portraying the age, location where attacked and a brief story of each person that died that day on September 11, 2001. My nephews weren't even born then.

We walked up the hill, past the flags and looked back down. I took their picture in front of some of the flags. One nephew grabbed my hand as we walked back down. I showed him some of the tags. He started telling me some of the ages. I choked back a tear and said a prayer for the people and families represented by each flag. As we neared the bottom, he told me thank you for bringing him there and for spending the day with him....and "I love you".

It took a field of flags and a 7 year old to remind me that avoiding what is uncomfortable allows evil to win. Enjoying each moment we're given and saying I Love You is HOPE for a better tomorrow.

God bless America!
¤*¨¨*¤.¸¸ ...¸.¤\
\ 9/11 AMERICA \
.\¸.¤*¨¨*¤ .¸¸.¸.¤*
/ \ UNITED WE STAND . . . NEVER FORGET !  (Not sure who made this, but quite awesome)
The flags come down Tuesday AM. There is no cost. Donations are accepted. If you have time, it is definitely worth going. Some more info from GR Press and MLive (their pics are better!)  The Healing Field

Friday, September 09, 2011

We KNOW what we live.....

I have had this thought in the past, but it was made glaringly clear again today. I am a parent representative for our district on a special ed parent advisory committee (PAC). We are a small group of parents that meets at our county ISD monthly and have a parent meeting one night a year. We are the voice of parents to the school district which trickles down into the individual school districts. We are there for emotional support....for each other....and for other parents that may not be as far down the road from diagnosis as we are and/or may be dealing with the special ed system for the first time.

There are varying degrees of issues that we have experience with: ADHD, Autism, Cognitive Impairment, Emotionally Impaired, Physically Impaired, Learning Disabilities or combinations of any of these. We were discussing the chance of reduced funding and what/how legislators are dealing with it OR not dealing with it.

The point that was made obvious today though is that we are informed and know about what we deal with or have learned about. "They" (legislators, school employees, other parents, other family members) don't always understand what we deal with because they don't live it every day. We expect "them" to know what our lives are like when there is no possible way they can understand unless they have something or someone similar in their life. I believe this is an unfair expectation of them....and us.

A meltdown to someone else looks like our kid is being rude to others and us. Sometimes it is, but often times it is because they feel safe with us and have had to be on high performance to function in the everyday world. Something I sometimes take for granted. My brain isn't going 160 all the time unless it has help to slow down and focus on one thing. Many times, my child's brain is. I can (pretty much) recognize facial/social cues to know what the other person is thinking. My child doesn't always....and will keep talking and talking (picture the Energizer bunny, smile).

Special ed and our kids/family life is just one small piece in the puzzle of life where this happens all the time. We expect someone to understand where we're coming from. However, we are looking at the situation with what we know and have learned by living it every day. Another person expects the same thing and may be frustrated when we can't understand why something is a big deal.

I knew very little about ADHD, medication, counseling, etc. until our family started to deal with it. I probably was one of those people that has babysat or looked at a kid and said why can't they just listen better, try harder, etc. For the fact that my eyes have been more opened to what is going on around me, ADHD and our family issues have been a blessing in disguise. I would like to think that I have become a better, less judgmental person for walking the road we've been given.

In an effort to help others know what we live, I hope that we are willing to learn and experience what others are living through. We will never truly experience what the person is dealing with, but maybe they can give us a piece of a puzzle that will fill in a big picture of working together to be more understanding.

Job 15:9 (NIV) What do you know that we do not know? What insights do you have that we do not have?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

For the Love of.....Animals?!?!?!

Recently, "we" acquired a horse. Well, my daughter and husband got the horse. I have been roped into helping occasionally (ex. picking up 50# bags of sweet feed grain). I had made it quite clear to both of them that I wanted little if nothing to do with the horse, clean up, etc. This is mainly my own selfishness. We already have too many cats. Did we really need one more thing to take care of and further drain our dwindling financial resources? Did we really need one more BIG thing that would dwindle financial stuff even further?

Now that the horse is a done deal and grazing happily in the back yard, I have had to reluctantly rethink a few of my previous thoughts.  I have noticed a change not only in her, but in others that have come to visit. There is something very relaxing about petting animals. If they are fed and watered, animals are usually pretty content.

And our daughter, who sometimes has a very hard time dealing with life, is learning some great skills and opening up more. She has been learning more responsibility....with less complaining/whining. She has talked to others about her horse that she probably would not have spoken to otherwise or very little if she did talk. She gets outside and moving around. She has a new buddy that listens unconditionally when she's had one of her bad days.

She is like a butterfly emerging from the cocoon of teenager. It is exciting to watch.

Will my love of animals ever be as strong as our daughter's? More than likely not. Is the additional expense worth it? How do you put a price on something priceless like a smile and increased self confidence?

Genesis 1:24 (NIV) And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Snuggle Saturdays

This Saturday, I stayed laying in bed for a few extra minutes. I usually do not have this luxury because I stay up too late and when I do wake up in the AM I need to rush around and get ready to do whatever it is I'm supposed to be doing for the day. It's worse in the summer because most of the time we don't "have" to be anywhere at a certain time.

So on Saturday, my mind drifted back to many years ago when our kids were little. We would have "snuggle Saturdays". They would come in our room when they woke up and all 4 of us would snuggle and talk and tickle and laugh. I REALLY miss that. I'm getting teary just remembering. Now, our kids are teens. They are getting to the point they talk to us if they have to (especially in public or in front of their friends).....or if they need something.

People - you know "older" people - like in their 40's (gasp!) when we were young parents would tell us that time goes by quickly. ENJOY time with our kids. They'll be out of the house before you know it. We listened....kind in one ear and out the other. Those precious minutes became days and months and years of seemingly mundane everyday life.

You know what? Now that I am an "older" person, they were right. Some of those times were wasted because of frustration on our part....trying to make THEM "hurry up". We don't need to look at every bug, cloud, _____ fill in the blank when we're trying to get somewhere. BUT some of those minutes were Snuggle Saturdays. A time when we slowed down enough to realize how important those times are.

The other timely bonus of this past Saturday was getting to spend the day with our nephews and niece. I was there at nap time and bed time.  I got the privilege of holding them as they drifted off to sleep. I held on a little longer realizing that time is already flying by with them. 

It is a lot easier not to get frustrated when the kids are not your own. It is unfortunate that the time we usually have children is in the middle of our income earning potential. A time when we have places to go and people to see. Sometimes our kids seem like they are in the way during those times.  A time that seems like they will never get out of diapers or sleep through the night or get up for school or come home on time from that date.

Even if your kids are grown or you have not been a parent, you are still important in the life of a child. Find a kid to snuggle....even if it is not literally snuggling. If you have the advantage of being at a different stage of life than an overwhelmed parent, offer to give them a break. A time to get away briefly to come back refreshed and ready for the next round of stopping to look at a bug when they need to get somewhere. Time to get a little of that wonder back for them....and you. It really does go by faster than we think.

Matthew 19:13-14 (NIV) The Little Children and Jesus 13 Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. 14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

1 John 3:18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The illusion of control

JJ Heller - Control

(Click above for video) Waiting to start hearing this on the radio. Clicked on a side link on YouTube when looking at another song. Oh so glad I found this one. Needed to share. I only have a few minutes but wanted to put it on here before I forget....that seems to be happening more frequently lately!

I pray that you are having a blessed day where you can let go and see where grace takes you....and not stress. I needed a reminder that life is good. I always (well, almost always) know it in my heart.....when my head/logic doesn't try to get in the way!

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Grateful for the "Reachers"

A few months ago, I attended a day conference about teens and mental health. Both play a pivotal role in my life currently so I dragged myself out of bed and out the door to get there in a timely fashion. The plan was to go with someone else, but at the last minute it didn't work out.

There was a time in my life when I could not (would not?) do things by myself. I actually remember the first time I went to a movie (gasp) by myself! I'm pretty sure this must have been a pre-children issue because now I have reached the point of appreciating some "me" time.

Back to the conference. It got to be lunchtime. I had made my way around the vendor tables and was preparing to sit by myself and look through some of the materials. As I was looking down, I heard someone say, "I noticed you were sitting here by yourself. There are a couple of us at that table if you would like to join us." I was pleased that she asked. I was pleased that I didn't politely decline as I still have a tendency to do. We had a very nice lunch and a pleasant afternoon as we went to some of the same break-out sessions after lunch.

She was a "reacher". "Reachers" go out of their way to make someone feel included. Even if they are least they made an effort. I wonder how many God-moment opportunities I have missed because I didn't reach or accept the reaching of another.

I am a great reacher to kids. I still have issues reaching out or making the first effort with adults. It is something I still struggle with. There are some days I do really well...probably too well if you ask my kids because they tend to get frustrated if I talk to strangers after telling them not to. Our kids are getting old enough to be able to tell when someone needs some extra care and concern.

Unfortunately, it has become a fine line in today's society. The line between reaching out or being considered the weird stranger that talks to people they don't know. Even if we can't make it all the way to asking someone to sit with us at lunch, we can offer a smile. Reaching out does not have to be some huge, planned undertaking. Making yourself available to reach or be reached out to could open the door to some wonderful opportunities to join God in His reaching us.....and others. It allows us to show Jesus' love to others. After all, He is the ultimate "reacher"!

Matthew 14:30-32 (NIV) 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”  31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 

Acts 17:27-28 (NIV) 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The "eyes" have it

Me-Crossed eyes...and all

While spending some time with my son tonight, we watched some items on "StumbleUpon" oh so dangerous site that I have stayed off of because I know I would lose myself in watching too many videos. One of the videos that came up was about a bionic eye. It took 3 PHDs 6 months to complete the plans. It has taken numerous years to build. As I watched it, all I could think was I was born with 2 somewhat damaged (crossed), but after some surgery, functioning eyes. Born with.....Created with. 

I don't want to get all preachy, but I remain amazed that there are people who refuse to believe or see proof of a creator. We don't have one functioning highway system without a roomful of planners and blueprints. The system is not built without many construction workers.

This is "just" an eye. One eye. Our whole body is an amazing system of veins and arteries, our own internal highway system that circulates blood. Our necks hold up the equivalent of a bowling ball on a few bones, muscles and joints that allow us to turn the head that contains a brain. A brain that has functioned as communication central and a computer before the technology for computers was invented. 

I mentioned the video to my husband and we googled "bionic eye". I didn't find the video, but I found this article and I like the way it is written.  Bionic eye -Scientific American I especially like the beginning about Charles Darwin and that he considered the eye one of the biggest challenges to his evolution theory. The article has a great quote and a link to some video of one of the surgery recipients. An eye is even more complex than I had even considered.

I guess that's why I'm writing this. I would like you to consider the wonder of your body and the design. There are parts that we have tried to duplicate and re-create. How do you re-create something if it wasn't created in the first place? Just another one of those things that makes me go hmmmmm.

Deuteronomy 4:32 (NIV) Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of?

Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV) For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Sneaky!?!? Maybe not so much....IF you know what to look for:

1 Peter 5:7-9 (NIV) 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 

It seems that it would be more than likely that if we saw or heard a roaring lion prowling around that we would pay attention. However, usually before the lion roars....he has been prowling around waiting for an opportune time to pounce.

I am finding in my own life that I blame an awful lot of stuff on myself, depression, family members and their attitudes and just life in general.  

How many of our daily battles are actually spiritual? If even Jesus could be tempted in the wilderness by the devil, why would we think that it would be any different for us mere mortals? It seems that as we try to move closer to God the more the devil stirs things up. We have been trying to make more efforts at family time and making sure we get to church. At the same time, we have had more rental problems than ever.

Have you ever got in an argument over something (in hindsight) that is really dumb? However, no matter how much you want to you just don't give in. People joke around about the "devil made me do it". That may not be the reason WHY we do it. Sometimes, though, doesn't it seem that circumstances will try and hold you back the more you try to move forward and follow through on what God is trying to get our attention for?

James 4:7-8 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.

Resist has a couple of different meanings, but in this case I like this:  to withstand the force or effect of

The devil may be sneaky and can have some effect on us....or at least the circumstances. It is up to us to recognize the tricks for what they are and remember that ultimately God is in control, even when we feel like we're in control the least.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Excuse Me? Excuses, bleh.

I wrote the following the beginning of May. I am beginning (takes me awhile, I'm slow that way) to piece together why.

EXCUSES (5/1/11 KL)
Excuses -- I make them, I take them

I have let excuses keep me from getting to where I need to be.

I have let excuses keep me from doing things I need to have done.

Excuses help me procrastinate.

Excuse me, but NO MORE excuses!

I have lots of cool ideas. I'm sure a lot of us do. I have not acted on many of them. Some of the ideas I have acted on, I have done halfheartedly and did not finish....yet. Through psycho babble and current catch phrases I have deemed myself co-dependent. I find it easier (for lack of a better word) to deal with other people's issues than my own. If I focus on THEM, I don't have to deal with what I'm doing....or not doing. I have made their problems/issues more important than things I know I am supposed to be doing. I have made their "stuff" an excuse to not deal with my own. that I've become so self aware (HA!) what does this mean from here? Honestly, I don't know. I guess the first step of recognizing the problem is always the hardest part. Can I fix it? (Bob the Builder says we can)  Some days I'm not so sure. I put it here to remind myself and whoever else that might need to hear it to start moving focus back up to God for help. I don't have to do it on my own. I don't have to make excuses for what I don't like about me. I can move on and step at a time. So can you. It's not only about the destination. We need to enjoy the journey too.

Exodus4:10-13 (NLT) 10 But Moses pleaded with the Lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.” 11 Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”
13 But Moses again pleaded, “Lord, please! Send anyone else.”

Romans 3:19-22 (NLT) Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God. 20 For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.
Christ Took Our Punishment 21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

CAUTION - Boundaries

Summer's here....and it's time for.....asphalt!  Not mine although it would be nice. Neighbor's driveways, parking lots, roads.  Now is the time to put it down and mark it off.  Yellow "caution" tape appears around the newly paved area(s) warning those who approach to not drive or walk on the area. 

The caution tape clearly marks the boundaries that should not be least for awhile. Oh, if life could only be that easy. That people could see from quite a distance away when it might not be the best idea to approach or cross over into the blocked off area we might not be ready to deal with.

There are days I have surrounded myself with invisible (to everyone else) CAUTION tape.  Days I don't want to deal with anybody's "stuff".  Days I can't even deal with my own "stuff" and just want to keep myself wrapped up and keep myself in....and everybody else out.  Sometimes I need to remind myself that the boundaries are there for my protection as well as someone on the other side of the tape. Sometimes just a reminder that I need to slow down before I go out or let something in.

There are days I'm sure my family has their caution tape up....and I barge on in anyway.

At crime scenes, there is often "police line - do not cross" tape. Usually this is to keep the evidence uncontaminated and keep the clues in.

Whether we are in the taped area or outside of it, there is a time for caution and boundaries that need to be marked off and made clear.  Both for our safety and those we care about. (Info on Boundaries books)

So ever since we fist heard about you we have kept on praying and asking God to help you understand what He wants you to do; asking Him to make you wise about spiritual things; and asking that the way you live will always please the Lord and honor Him, so that you will always be doing good, kind things for others, while all the time you are learning to know God better and better, We are praying, too, that you will be filled with His mighty, glorious strength so that you can keep going no matter what happens -- always full of the joy of the Lord, and always thankful to the Father who has made us fit to share all the wonderful things that belong to those who live in the Kingdom of light. Colossians 1: 9-12TLB

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Getting in the Ring

Without trying to state the obvious....parenting is HARD WORK!!!!  On the day we found out we would have a baby or adopt a child into our family, did we ever dream that our sweet little ones would EVER be anything other than angels? We never dreamed that there would be a day that we did not love them.

Even now as they grow up more than likely we give them the benefit of the least at first. On those challenging days (or as we used to refer to them "oops, sorry!" days), we still LOVE them. However, if we are really honest, we may not like them at that moment. They probably feel the same about us!

Sometimes there are days - especially with strong-willed kids that seems like everything, every....little....thing is a battle that they think needs to be fought and won. A very wise person once said "pick your battles".  Love and Logic teaches give a kid 2 choices that you can live with (ex. Do you want to wear or carry your coat?). Love and Logic is a great parenting tool....when I remember to use it! 

On the days I am not at my parenting best, I feel like a boxer getting in the ring. One of us is going down for the count. However, the more I think about it....our kids and us parents are on the same team. We want the same thing: for them to grow up responsible and safe. We may have different ways to get to the same thing. We think we are showing them we care. They think we are overprotective. Different fighters may get in the ring with us and need to be fought: drugs, alcohol, disrespect, bad decisions, etc.

As the world and time seem to move faster and things increasingly change through technology, it seems the "ring" is ever widening. The world is out to get kids hooked earlier and earlier through advertising and TV. If we want it, buy it...on credit....and get reward points. That it truly doesn't matter what you listen to or watch or spend your time and money on. That God may (or may not) exist. That we don't need to worry about eternity. If it feels good, do it.

Whatever is in your ring today, keep fighting the good fight. Ding, ding. Go to your corner. Refresh, renew, know that you are not fighting alone and kick whatever you both are fighting out of the ring. Our kids are worth the battle(s)!

Psalm 18:32-40 (NIV) It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great. You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way. I pursued my enemies and overtook them; I did not turn back till they were destroyed. I crushed them so that they could not rise; they fell beneath my feet. You armed me with strength for battle; you humbled my adversaries before me. You made my enemies turn their backs in flight, and I destroyed my foes.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Running on Empty

Frequently (even more so lately) THIS is what my gas gauge looks like. Some/most is due to the fluctuating (mostly UP) gas prices.  Some is just I haven't gotten around to making time to stop by the gas station. Either way, I am hedging my bets that I will have enough gas to get me where I need to go.

So the day I took this picture was one of those "I'll make it to the next gas station and then stop" kind of days. The thing is though I made it past numerous gas stations.....and didn't stop.  I'd pass one and then think, "I'm fine I'll just make it to the next one". All that time though I was worrying that I would run out of gas and take even more time than just stopping and getting some.

I think the fact that the speedometer is right next to the gas gauge is interesting.  It shows the van COULD go up to 100 miles/hr. However, if there is no gas in the tank, it doesn't matter how fast you COULD go. You will not be going anywhere.

Lately, I have felt like I'm not sure which end is up. Things stay busy and chaotic. This weekend we got a lot done, but we did much better at working together.  When one of us was starting to run down, the other would remind us of the goal. We avoided empty.....this time.

I am blessed to live in an area that has numerous churches in each town.  In some cases, probably more churches than gas stations. Similar to my gas gauge, there are days when I am closing in on the big E(mpty) yet I continue to keep pressing on seeing how far I can push it.  In the meantime, my time with God has dwindled. My Bible stays closed on a shelf. I stay home on Sunday instead of pulling into church - my refueling station.

We all have a choice to make. We can continue through life constantly on empty and never being sure when we will totally run out and worrying about it the whole time. OR we can make an effort to know when and where to refuel and make sure we avoid running on empty.

11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:11-13 (NLT)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ripples - Circles of Influence

Have you ever thrown a pebble in a still pond? The point of impact makes a small splash and then the ripples start. Small at first, but then larger and larger. I'm sure there is some scientific reason for why that happens. However, I just like the effect.  :)   I'm finally learning everything does NOT need to be explained. It's OK to admire or like something just because!

If you're bored (ha!), type "water ripples" in Google. There are some awesome pictures and YouTube vids.  But I digress....

As I'm typing, I'm thinking of various ways this replicates in our lives. Some good...some not so good. Gossip would be one of those not so good.  Maybe we make a comment or remark that is taken out of context or something we really didn't need to repeat. Splash! Then maybe that comment gets repeated. Ripple. And repeated again.  BIGGER ripple.

In the movie, It's A Wonderful Life, George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) finds out what life would be like if he would have never been born. By the end of the movie, he realizes that by living his own life (SPLASH)
he has influenced many lives (RIPPLES).

You may be the pebble in someone's life. The pebble that makes a splash that will ripple outward to influence other people. What you do makes a difference to other people even when it seems like it is not very much. Maybe just a smile or a kind word. Throw the pebble. Set that splash effect in motion!

1 Thessalonians 3:11 (MSG) 11-13 May God our Father himself and our Master Jesus clear the road to you! And may the Master pour on the love so it fills your lives and splashes over on everyone around you, just as it does from us to you. May you be infused with strength and purity, filled with confidence in the presence of God our Father when our Master Jesus arrives with all his followers.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Summer - Full speed ahead

School officially ended today for this year. Summer days will turn into summer weeks and months. So far, our calendar is mostly empty....which is not all bad.  However, I have a habit of calendar creep....slowly filling in squares with things we need to do....or should be doing....or what has not gotten done yet.  I watch the days slip away it seems slowly, hour by hour.  But isn't that how the school year went by?

Since I unfortunately packrat too much stuff especially paper, I will sometimes find my "to do" lists of days gone by. What is most disheartening is when I find that weeks, months or even years have gone by...and the "to do" remains undone. sob.

How will this summer be any different than last summer....or the school year leading up until now? I don't know if I have an answer for that yet. I guess I'm putting it in writing to myself that if I don't change something time will fly by and another school year will be ready to start.  I really do not want to find a "to do" list with a June 2011 date and find out that it is STILL not done.

I guess for now, I will take one day or even half day or hour at a time. I will make my list shorter so that I actually can feel like I accomplished something worthwhile. I will grab those minutes of time that I will never get back with our kids. If that means something won't get checked off the list that day? So be it.

Time marches on and sometimes I feel like I'm being trampled. I can try and control some of my time so I do not feel like my time (or lack of) is controlling me. A few minutes of planning goes a long way. In the meantime, I will remember the verse about not worrying about tomorrow. I will take care of what I can do today and be happy with what I have accomplished OR happy with what I got to do instead.

Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NIV)
A Time for Everything 

1 There is a time for everything,
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:
 2 a time to be born and a time to die,
   a time to plant and a time to uproot,
 3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
   a time to tear down and a time to build,
 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
   a time to mourn and a time to dance,
 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
 6 a time to search and a time to give up,
   a time to keep and a time to throw away,
 7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
   a time to be silent and a time to speak,
 8 a time to love and a time to hate,
   a time for war and a time for peace.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Take Time (THANKS mom and dad)

Tonight I was reminded that I have known some people for 40+ years and I still learn interesting tidbits about their life.....when I take time to listen....and ask....and talk.

Tonight my dad went with me to a funeral home for a visitation for my cousin. He didn't have to go with me...or wait the extra hour it took for me to finish up some stuff before we went.  He doesn't HAVE to do a lot of things.  But he does.  For me, my family now, my family growing up and a lot of other people.  He and my mom have done a lot of "behind the scenes" work over the years. They have taught us well to help and volunteer whenever possible - even when it is inconvenient or time consuming or not noticed by most people.

Tonight we had at least 1/2 hour each way to drive (with him riding...usually he ALWAYS drives!) and talk. We got talking about Alaska and his time in the service. I thought he had been there only months. He was there 3 years. He was there when he got a call his mom had died. He went back there afterward.  That all happened in his life before marriage and kids.

Sometimes we forget our parents had lives before us. Sometimes our kids forget we had lives before they came into the picture. 

Driving home seeing the reflectors on the side of the road reminded me of the times my mom would come over in the dark early AM to watch our son when he was little.  That time back at work went much easier knowing I had somebody I loved and trusted taking care of him if I couldn't be there.

Now that I've helped with my brother and sis-in-law's triplets (nephews and niece) I realize how much I missed. BUT now I get to take time with them and make new memories too.

I guess I just needed a reminder that I need to take time now to spend time with those I love. Honestly, is reality TV better than the people in your reality? (OK, maybe least you don't have to live with those people!) Everybody has a story. Take time to listen.

Ephesians 6:1 (NIV) Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

Luke 2:45-46 (NIV) 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Hurting Hearts

Oh, I so just want to turn off the TV, radio and internet and hide for awhile. The last few days have seemed overwhelming with bad weather, rising gas prices and depression rears it's ugly head. It seems like it would be easier to just go back to bed....and stay there for awhile. And the thing is? In the whole scheme of life, my overwhelmed feeling(s) and problems for the most part are fixable. My house hasn't blown away, I haven't lost someone close to me, I have a bed to crawl back into.

Honestly, that is why I have stopped watching scary movies. Real life is scary enough! But Hollywood keeps cranking them out so someone must be watching them. Video games keep looking more and more realistic. The blood splatters in the war ones? Too lifelike for my liking....even if it is "zombies". I purposely have to limit my exposure to bad news or I get sucked in and down. With most of the disasters, I have not watched more than a few minutes. I cannot watch someone else be sad without feeling their pain too deeply. I cry just from seeing someone else cry.

I am glad that there are people who can keep it in perspective. I admire emergency responders, nurses, drs, news reporters, etc. Not that they don't show or have feelings. I admire that they can do a job where they deal with this stuff everyday. I pray that they have people surrounding them that can help them decompress at the end of the day.

In a world of ever expanding social networks, I fear that we are losing our ability to see others hurting hearts. Or make ourselves too busy to deal with our own. We Facebook instead of getting together face to face. Let's be honest, a ((((you)))) cyberhug cannot beat the real thing of feeling another person's arms around you. In the effort to get a news story, reporters urge people to share their grief. They tread a fine line between actually helping and just exploiting someone's pain. And we watch it. And we shake our heads in sorrow. And maybe we say a prayer or two or three.

I think one of the many things I find amazing about God is that He doesn't compare our hurts. He doesn't tell us to suck it up because things that are bothering us or hurting our hearts are less than what someone else is going through. He offers to carry those burdens. ALL of them. Big or small. Then the issue becomes us. Are we willing to let them go....and not take them back? God sees the pain - even the pain we hide from others and sometimes ourselves. He wants to heal our hurts so we can see and help others with theirs.

Psalm 62:7-8 (NIV) My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

Psalm 73:25-26 (NIV) Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 

A Call to Persevere in Faith 
Hebrews 10:19-25 (NIV) Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Hands On History

Recently, I was given the opportunity to accompany our daughter and her classmates on a trip to Henry Ford Museum/Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan. We have been there before as a family. It was definitely different attending with 4 busloads of kids, chaperones and teachers. We had pretty much the whole day until closing. We went to Greenfield Village first mainly due to weather and anticipating it getting warmer in the afternoon.

Greenfield Village is set up like a town with various stages of history. There are several cabins, Edison's laboratory and a working farm. Many of the cabins we looked in were very small. Many times during the day I overheard, "How did they live like that?"

The answer I usually gave was, "They didn't know any different." And they didn't at the time. When you think of how much things have changed even in the last hundred or so years, it is amazing. Each generation has made contributions to making life "better".

Many times at our house we have had the discussion (usually over something on TV) that if there was a way for someone from back then to somehow magically be able to come back in this present time they would be shocked. The way clothing (or lack of), transportation, electronics, technology, radio, television have impacted our world would frighten someone from back then. After a little while and the shock wore off, the amazement would kick in. I really wonder though if they would think it was "better" than what they had.

One of the things that saddened me was that the kids interest was not held for long. They are used to getting information instantly and, more than likely, on a screen. When given the chance to experience some history first hand, a lot of the kids were ready to keep moving barely looking at what was right in front of them. Of course, some of it might have been the excitement that they were heading to the Tiger game at the end of the day!

I am praying that our generations will take the time to really appreciate the history that has already happened so that we make our right now and our history to come.....better. Years from now when another class goes through things that are popular now they will probably also ask, "how did they live like that?"
Deuteronomy 4 (NLT)32 “Now search all of history, from the time God created people on the earth until now, and search from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything as great as this ever been seen or heard before?

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Under His Umbrella

I have thought about this for a few days and have still hesitated before actually writing this. Mainly because I don't want to come across as sounding all preachy. I fear that the recent storms in Alabama, rising gas prices, and other world events will make this seem hard to believe, but hang with me. I definitely do not want to diminish the fact that these events can rock someone's faith.  I feel that we are living in interesting times and if not now, when? goes.

One of the things I struggle with a lot is when bad things happen to "good people" and others wonder how can God "let" this happen. If God can control the weather, why doesn't He? What if it's not physical storms, but events that are happening in our lives that feel like storms? 

Maybe we want protection....but not restraint.  Boundaries but we don't want to feel caged in. What if sometimes we don't realize how bad things COULD have been?

I started to think about umbrellas.  They help keep us dry. The wind may whip below the umbrella and even turn it inside out. We pull them out when we fear the weather will be bad.  However when things are looking sunny we keep them put away somewhere....until the next time it rains.  My prayer life is kind of like that.  When things are going well, sentence prayers seem to fill the need.  BUT when life gets stormy?  Out come my umbrella prayers.  My leave the radio off when I'm driving, really talk to God prayers. 

I'm thinking that even though we have our little umbrella of protection God provides an even bigger umbrella over us.  An umbrella of protection and boundaries.  An umbrella that sometimes we think blocks the sun and we ask God to let us just step out from the umbrella for a little while.  And He lets us.  Because He loves us enough to still give us that choice.  We wander out into the sun.  We enjoy the warmth and the brightness.  But then it gets TOO hot or the horizon starts looking a little dark.  The storms are back and we rush back under His umbrella.  It was never put away.  It is there when we need it and there when we think we don't need it.

When we're under the umbrella, we don't always see what is going on overhead or around us.  We may not even realize that we need protection every day in every weather because weather changes quickly. God loves us too much to leave us unprotected.

It's raining even if right now it's just a drizzle. There's room under His umbrella.

Psalm 140:4 Keep me safe, LORD, from the hands of the wicked; protect me from the violent, who devise ways to trip my feet.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” - Philippians 4:6-7

Monday, May 02, 2011

A Royal Wedding

The months of hype will begin to draw to a close.  The "royal wedding" of Prince William to Kate Middleton has taken place.  My guess is that unless you are a person of relatively high station, myself, were not invited or included in the 1900 people in attendance.  We were invited to watch it on TV...and millions (or more) did.  The questions of who designed "the dress" and what it would look like have been answered.  There will be magazine covers and special issues in the coming weeks to cover every intimate detail of this wedding.

Summer - the wedding season - approaches.  You may have already received a save the date card or an invitation to join in the happy celebration as another couple becomes husband and wife.

I want to take this opportunity to remind you that there is another upcoming wedding celebration that you are invited to.  You may not receive an engraved invitation.  It may come as an invitation from a friend to learn more about the wedding.  In the Bible, Jesus is referred to as a bridegroom numerous times.  God is king.  That's a Royal Wedding I want to attend.  It's a party that will last for eternity.  I hope you'll join me.
Isaiah 61:9 (NIV) I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 

Revelation 19:9 And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” And he added, “These are true words that come from God.”

Saturday, April 30, 2011

I Wish

I wish that we didn’t live in a world where physical beauty is placed above inner beauty.

I wish that we could learn to love ourselves for who we are…not for who we think we should be or who we think someone else wants us to be.

I wish that we would understand that we don’t need to put up with being put down.

I wish that the feeling of being inferior would go away.

I wish that the carefree days of childhood would stay….at least a little longer.

I wish that we could learn to be satisfied with knowing that doing our best is good enough.

I wish that we would learn that perfection is an unworthy goal.

I wish that we would know that normal is an ever moving target and that “normal” is overrated.

I wish that we would see ourselves not as the world sees us, but as we are seen through the eyes of our creator.

I wish someone would have told me all of this so much sooner.

I wish I would have listened when they did.

2 Thessalonians 1 11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. 12 We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Life's Better with......

a friend, family and support.

I like watching people.  Not in a creepy stalker kind of way.  ;)  Just how people interact with each other.  I especially love when I'm in a crowd and I see somebody walk around kind of aimlessly, but you can tell he or she is looking for someone.  Then the person looked for is spotted, a smile, a wave, maybe a hug....and life continues on.

Recently, I brought our daughter to school in the AM.  Usually, she kind of drags herself out of the car.  I rarely get a smile.  However, on this particular morning the car that pulled in ahead of us was one of her friends.  Her friend got out of the car and waited.  Daughter got out of car much more energetically, with a huge smile and quickly they walked together up the sidewalk into school.  Much better start to the day.

Monday, I met up with my sister and her boys at the mall.  I was spotted by one of my nephews pretty quickly.  I waved.  He ran toward me with his arms outstretched like you see people running across a field toward each other.  I smiled.  I had to stop part of the way in because as he picked up speed he probably would have knocked me over!  I got an awesome hug.  Then her youngest came up and gave me a hug...and his hand to continue walking toward where my sister was.  I even got a smaller hug from the oldest.  I felt loved and I smile even as I write this.  What a great way to start out the week!

We've had a lot going on lately.  Not necessarily bad stuff, but stuff that has kept us busy, distracted, and unable to work toward the things we'd like to have had done awhile ago.  Through medical tests, etc. I have discovered again the issues that stress can cause.  It seems so simple to just try and say I'll have less stress or let if affect me less.  ha.  I don't even know if that is possible anymore in the world that we live in.  Time seems to go by faster and faster.  We have "time-saving" devices that do not always assist us in wisely using the time we've "saved".

One of the doctors I went to asked if I had a good "support network".  And I do.  I have friends and family that are willing to talk with me and walk with me through the good, bad, sad, name it, they are there.  Reaching out and up are sometimes the last things I want to do.  Relying on God and my support network do not make me stress less.....but they are what makes life better. 

Praying that you have friends, family and a support network.  Praying that you realize sometimes you will be the support network for somebody else.  Praying that your life will be better so you can help somebody else have a better life.

Psalm 94 17-19 Unless the LORD had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.
When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, LORD, supported me.  When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.