Thursday, January 25, 2007

yin and yang?

My day today was spent in a yin and yang sort of way.

I began my day with a trip to the hospital. To see the beautiful baby girl born to Beefy. What an absolute miracle babies are. Weighing in over 6 lbs., she was a beauty for sure! Both mom and babe are doing well. I stopped by the front desk to talk to a friend I hadn't seen in a while who volunteers there.

I left there and had a few minutes to ponder... you know, thinking of when my girls were born, of the beauty of birth, a new life, the incredible beginning of this precious one's lifetime. She was only one and a half hours into this world when I snapped her picture (the old fashioned way, so I don't have one to share yet). I daydreamed about tiny pink booties and onesies... of tiny fingers and tiny toes.... and to think... this precious one is known by the Father already. He knows her plans, her struggles, her weaknesses, her strengths.

Back to reality. No time to daydream anymore. I had to dash off. Everyone was busy today and even though she has 9 children of her own, none were available to take Shawn's gramma to the doctor today. I had the privelege. The joy. I picked her up and as I assisted her to the car, I noticed that she looked older than the last time I saw her. It hasn't been long, only a few weeks, but at nearly 88 years old, the test of time shows in her appearance. She relies on assistance to get into the car, and to keep track of her schedule. I ran into my friend again as I re-entered the hospital where the doctor's office. She saw me come in earlier to see a newborn, and now saw me enter with sweet Gramma.

Daydreaming again, I thought of this wonderful baby girl who was born to her family in 1919. The tiny fingers the tiny toes. Now, nearly 88 years later, although her physical appearance has changed, some things have stayed the same. She too is known by the Father. Her plans, her struggles, her weaknesses, her strengths.

God views our lives the way we view a movie after we've read the book. When something bad happens, you can tell that the people in the theater are anxious. But, not you. You've read the book. You know how the good guy gets out of the tight spot. God views our lives with the same confidence. He has not only read our story. He wrote it. He has a different perspective.

"I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." -- Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Wordless Wednesdays - Drawing Pictures with a friend

The Samaritan Woman

I recently read the passage about the Samaritan woman. You can read it in John chapter 4. I am amazed at how God's love changed this woman.

I am sure she could make a list of wrongs done to her and by her. First, discrimination. She was a Samaritan. Second, gender. She was a woman. Female. Third, divorced. Not once. Not twice. Not even three or four. Five marriages gone bad. And now... she is sleeping with someone who is not her husband.

Even today, many people would shun her. Her history. Surely, she was not only ashamed, but scorned. I envision her as a little dragged looking, low cut dress. Today, tight jeans, worn shirt, cigarette smell.

In Max Lucado's words "not someone you would put in charge of the Bible Study class".

And yet, Jesus, ... in all his love, considered her worthy of his love. Worthy of his time. Worthy of his forgiveness. Worthy of his love.

There are so many times I don't feel worthy either. I can list my wrongs... and my mistakes. I can give so many reasons why God should dismiss me and label me. But, His grace and mercy cause me to walk a little farther, seek a little more, and pray a little harder.

In his book A Love Worth Living, Max says this:

"Others love you because of you, because your dimples dip when you smile or your rhetoric charms when you flirt. Some people love you because of you. Not God. He loves you because he is he. He loves you because he decides to. Self-generated, uncaused, and spontaneous, his constant-level love depends on his choice to give it."

more ramblings ...

Thank you all very much for your suggestions of my first problem... stay tuned for future issues of my household dilemnas... I have plenty of them trust me. I have thought a lot about it and I think I am going to go with a combination of the suggestions. First, I am going to take Chris's suggestion and install a security camera to find "nobody"... you know him I am sure... the person that does all the disasters... THEN, I'm going to apply the (as Pastor Marv says) board of education to their seat of understanding... and AHEM.... also, put a few baskets there to collect the junk (thanks Amy!). However, a new problem exists... snow. I am pretty sure that no amount of planning and organizing can accomodate the large quantities of mittens, hats, boots, and coats that a snowstorm brings.

So, here's what Em's been up to lately...

The budding artist that she is. Her older sister gave her a few pointers when she was here last so we have lots and lots of these little dittys laying all over the house, and the white computer paper is disappearing rapidly. Every guest that comes to our house arrives to a warm greeting and exits with a souvenir of a portrait of themself.... ready to be framed and hung on the wall at their home. She was inspired by Napoleon's picture he drew of Trisha. We watched it for the hundredth time last week.

"I spent like three hours doing shading on the upper lip. It's probably the best drawing I've ever done."

Friday, January 05, 2007

my problems

The title of this blog may be misleading... well, aside from the obvious issues I have.. you know, being me and all... I have some others.

We have lived in this house since Thanksgiving. Moved in the week before Thanksgiving to be exact. Then the holidays hit. Well, just this week we have officially been removed from the "holiday bubble" and are beginning to fare a somewhat normal life, whatever that is.

I decided that I have some problem areas in this house that I want advice and wisdom from you all about... so I'm going to post them, one by one, and see if you can help me out. K?

I was going to start with the simplest one... but the photo is too blurry. *&**%^$#^!!@ camera anyway. So, instead, I'm going to just go for the gusto and share a real issue with you... :)
WARNING: The photos you are about to see may be graphic and contain material not suitable for self-respecting organization freaks. They are actual unretouched photos.
The first area that drives me to insanity... is the mudroom. I had this brilliant idea of putting a bench in there...made by my husband... it is seriously great storage. I thought, hey, we can use that for storing mittens, hats, gloves, scarves, etc... and it would be a handy place to sit to tie your shoes and so on and so on... above it, I installed six hooks - one for each family member - to hold a coat (you know because they only wear ONE coat at a time and the rest of the coats will be in their closets neatly hung in their rooms).
As you can see from the photo, there are a dozen coats strewn on the wall, along with hats and such... and the bench below has now been filled with shoes, dance bags, baskets of items no put away, things that go to the goodwill and have not yet been taken... (I removed the tv and cat bowl before I took the photo)....
I'm not sure why the shoes are on the bench and not on the floor. Maybe someone just doesn't want their shoes on the floor.
soooooo...any suggestions? should I chuck the whole system and start over or just instill some new fear and wrath in anyone who doesn't follow the rules?

I took a relative to an appointment this week. A psychologist. I got to sit in on the testing. It was interesting. I didn't think they did the whole "I say this and you say the first thing you think of" thing for real. I thought it was just in the movies...

So, thought I'd try it today on my blog. I found this Unconscious Mutterings on another blog, and it seems to work... the first part is their word, the second what I think. If you want to play along, do it! :)

1. Incomplete :: Laundry
2. Bobby:: Where is he?
3. Chopstick:: Chinese
4. Trauma:: Garbage Day
5. Hesitate:: Pause
6. Leap:: Air
7. Magnify:: Big
8. Yards:: Fabric
9. Alexander:: Haleigh
10. Fracture:: Abbie

Wow... analyzing it could be tricky! :)

Wordless Wednesdays - My Sweet Brother


I was tagged by Chris for this meme...

I love memes! :) And this one is super easy...

1) Grab the book closest to you
2) Open to page 123,go down to the fourth sentence
3) Post the text of the following 3 sentences on your blog
4) Name the author and book title
5) Tag three people to do the same

I actually cleaned off my desk, so I had to get UP and find a book close to me. And the closest one is one I purchased for my girls for Christmas. Ever the courteous mom, I want them to continue to learn.... :) It's called How to Be a Lady by Candace Simpson-Giles

The page is talking about how a lady should treat email....

"If a lady is sending a copy of her email to a second correspondent, she indicates that she is sending a copy in the same way that she would use "cc:" at the bottom of a letter. She knows email is never completely private since it is read on a computer screen and often in an office environment. To save embarassment to herself and to her correspondent, she is discreet about the message she sends."

I have a habit of purchasing ettiquette books for my family.... I am pretty sure Shawn and I are the only ones who reads them. But, one can dream right...?

Thanks for the fun Chris!


have you ever????

Raise your hand if you have ever spent an entire evening making supper and then decided it was just too gross to serve, dumped it all down the garbage disposal, and ordered pizza!

Finish The Race...

Yesterday at church, Pastor talked about courage.

I wrote this verse on the white board at home to remind me all week...

"For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again...." - Proverbs 24:16

Right before church, I shared with a dear friend about my frustration with where I am in my studies.... how I am so ready to just throw in the towel. I don't have long... but it seems so much easier to just stop. Nobody will think ill of me... nobody will be hurt by it... nobody will call me a quitter... and honestly, life would go on. I'm tired.

But, I would know. I would know that I didn't finish the race... I didn't do what I knew God was telling me to do, even if I didn't know why. I would know that I fell short of my goals for myself, and His call on me for this season of my life. 9 semesters down.... 1 more left. I will just keep telling myself to rise. up. and. follow.
I encourage you to do the same today. Whatever it is that you are facing... whatever it is you are wanting to quit on... life, marriage, work, school, studies, dieting, exercise, saving, budgeting... whatever you have failed on today or yesterday or last week... rise again...and press on to do what you have been called to do.

A new sauce

I don't think it's any secret that I love to cook. I love to try out new recipes and cuisine. It's fun! I am notorious for being sucked into the trap of the grocery checkout line mini cookbook and magazines... I decided that if I had all the money back from all those magazines, it could be a small fortune.

Luckily, I have a pretty daring family as well. They will "just about" try anything. Well, some of them anyway. One or two have tipped their noses up and went with pbj sandwiches when I've cooked something new.

This week I'm perfecting my aioli for saturday. You have probably never heard of it. It is a garlic flavored mayonnaise of Provence, normally served with fish, seafood, or vegetables. In my case, it will be served with beef. It's a quite complicated process really.... combining garlic, egg product, lemon juice, salt... put it in a blender.... add olive oil, chill for a couple of days...

I decided I'd better do it twice... just to make sure it works.

Bon Appetit!

two years ago....

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Years Meditations

I read Chris's blog today on 2007 meditations here. It's inspiring. It deserves a second entry today...

Today starts the first day of my final semester of INSTE. I started this in 1997 - supposed to be a five year course, it has officially taken me ten. But, the life lessons I have learned in the last ten years could not be replaced. I see now that there was a work God wanted to do in me... one that required five more years than most other people. :)

INSTE has been more to me than a formal training... it has been a tool God used to teach me about Himself. I have learned so much about Him... and as 2006 came to a close, I too was impacted by Pastor's sermon on purpose. Not only for me but for other people. I know - you aren't supposed to think sermons are for "so and so". I have been a Christian for 22 years. Although at times I struggle with my daily and weekly and periodic purpose, I know that "to know God and make Him known" is my lifelong purpose. But, I have a new burden for 2007. That is to "help others to know God and make Him known". My kids, my family, my sisters, my brothers, my friends, my spouse, my neighbors, strangers...

I look forward with anticipation at how God will work in me this year. I look forward to meeting new people and finding new hurts and hangups to show Gods love to. Although a large part of me is afraid - I know a God that is bigger than the hurts, hangups, temptations, and sins of every person regardless of who they are or what they have done... and I know that with the help and empowering of the Holy Spirit, other people can and will experience the same freedom and joy that I have found in walking and living in the Spirit of God.

I want to begin a prayer book - a list of specific prayers I am praying for others - to see the great work that God can do for them.... just as He has done for me. (ut oh... is this a New Year's resolution?)

For the past few years, I have chosen a Bible verse for the year. Last year it was from Isaiah... and was so appropriate for my entire family. This year for me and my family, I choose this, for one phrase alone, "ever-increasing".... may my children, all of them, and my spouse, continue to be transformed in 2007 with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit....and may you also!

2 Corinthians 3:18
"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."

end of the year meme

I, like Heth, did this meme last year... so thought I too would repeat it. You know, just to see how things differed..... I probably have to look back at my pda to see what I did all year...

What did you do in 2006 that you had never done before?
went camping...went on a weekend trip with my 17 year old daughter (just us two!), sent my daughter to China for two weeks, experienced a child with a broken arm all summer (first day of vacation none the less), marathon family reunion, and gained a daughter from Germany, built this house, and moved... and Shawn went elk hunting.

Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Nope and Nope.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
There are always so many babies born around here.... I love them all.

Did anyone close to you die?

What countries did you visit?
Just stayed here..

What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006?
more time - same as last year.

What dates will remain etched in your memory and why?
Probably moving in to this house....just before Thanksgiving. We were getting so crammed at the other house. And now.... it's so much space. we can breathe again.

What's your biggest achievement of the year?
Finishing the house

What was your biggest failure?
I didn't take enough pictures! I know... not much for failures, but I have two nice cameras that don't get used often enough.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
uh... well, I think I have gout in my toe. :)

What was the best thing you bought?
Okay... I won't mention the house again... the HOT TUB!

Whose behavior merited celebration?
Lindsey and Emily danced the Nutcracker Ballet several times in the end of the year. It really was beautiful. I have learned to appreciate the ballet so much.

Whose behavior made you appalled and disgusted?
Can't think of any.

Where did most of your money go?
Groceries. I calculated out how much it costs to feed 7 people.... YIKES!! Trust me... you really don't want to know.

What did you get really really excited about?
Having enough space to finally HAVE COMPANY again!

What song will always remind you of 2005?
We Got the Beat by the Go Gos (hogroast, Nate's gift, reminising the 80s)

Compared to this time last year are you?
a)happier or sadder? happier
b)fatter or thinner? Well, I actually looked at pictures and I hate to admit it.... blech!!!
c)richer or poorer? Richer

What do you wish you had done more of?
Fun times with my girls.

What do you wish you had done less of?
nagging. (sorry honey)

How will you be spending New Year's Eve?
spent it right here at home with some dear friends and lots of paper confetti

Did you fall in love in 2005?
all over again.... ;)

What was your favorite TV program?
Lost - addicted.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

What was the best book you read?
Emily Post's book of Etiquette

What was your greatest musical discovery?
Ella Fitzgerald is my current favorite.

What did you want and get?

What did you want and not get?
skinnier. :)

What was your favorite film this year?
One Night With the King.... highly recommend it. You should watch it. Beautiful movie.

What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
skipped work and shopped..... 38.

What one thing would have made your year measurably more satisfying?
I can think of lots of intangible things that are personal and I can't share. But they are things that only God can do.

How would you describe your personal fashion in 2005?

What kept you sane?
coffee - still. :)

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Hugo Reyes --- aka Jorge Garcia - just an all around kind and considerate guy.

What political issue stirred you the most?
I'm sick of politics.

Who did you miss?
my family not living here.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2005.
don't use orange glo polish and cleaner on your wood floors.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"we're gonna move"
It is a song I found on the internet... it's about "moving", but the words are a bit compromising... so I won't share the whole thing.

Happy New Year! Have a great 2007!