I wish I knew better how to do this whole ministry thing.

Another day goes by...someone on my heart. How to connect? How to take the first step?
Make myself vulnerable enough. Be ready to be there.

God goes with me. Psalm 139 says He goes "behind me, in front of me. He has placed His hand on me."

He doesn't get much closer than that!

So what am I waiting for?

I read last week that He will open ways to allow me to speak his ways before Kings... unafraid, unashamed.

So, here I am...needing to share, knowing there is no way He wants anything less, yet waiting for just the right moment... as if the sun has to be in alignment with the fourth star of the seventh moon or something.

Lord, I'm willing. Just show me how. Show me your time. Your way. The only way! The only time! I'm listening....have a headache, am stressed. But, I'm listening. Help me do what you want. Do it soon!

Help me share your hope, your joy.



Pray for me today if/when I come to your mind. Every time. I need fuel.



Let Me Have a 'C'

Scrapbooked one page off and on this weekend--my "new" little cheerleader dressed for her Winter Exhibition at school. Wanted to do something special for her on it. I sewed around the picture with gold thread with my sewing machine.

Yes...I sewed on paper. No, I'm really not that desperate for something meaningful to do. Okay, so maybe I am. Anyway, it thrills me to capture the moments meaningfully. And to doodle with a gel pen. And to play with ink. and to have funky scissors.

Okay...I hear you.

Just enjoy!

Limited Time Offer

Good while supplies last: girlfriends who stop by my house get a fresh peice of Strawberry Pie with cool whip topping (optional) and your choice of iced tea, water, sprite, or diet caffeine free Dr. Pepper. Give me a ring.

I'd post a beautiful mouth watering pic, but we're still facing technical difficulties.


Wisdom from My Trash Can

Here goes an unusual brand of Monday morning wisdom:

If the trashbag is on the trash can too tight, a balloon forms inside the can not allowing an empty 18 egg container to go to the bottom. The bag seems full. Little else fits. You can shove and shove, but it won't go down. The bag is "full". Yet, it is not.

It is a fresh bag.

My trash can spoke to me on a spiritual level.

If we are too uptight...not enough "fits in us". Not as much as we were made to handle.
Solution? Take the lid off, pull on the rim, and let the air out trapped under the bottom of the bag.

In essence, loosen up. Don't be so uptight. Then, we can hold everything we were made to hold. We have room to be "filled up" as we were intended.

Loosen up!


Sunday Fashion

1. Today I had to sit on the next to the last row at church so that my 4 yr. old with bladder control issues could make it out to the potty. And out, and out, and out, and out, and out. FIVE times!

2. Tonight, he seemed better...only out twice.

3. Due to my husband getting calls all night long for work, I was up basically all night. About 3 hours sleep. So, I took a long nap today, and now HTML code seems interesting at midnight ...because I cannot sleep.

4. Note: Worship is very different from the very back of the church. Much like going to a fun outdoor concert and choosing to sit on a blanket in the back of the crowd instead of being up close to the stage...you know, where you can see sweat dripping off the stage...arms waving, people dancing. Energy! A different, but interesting experience. The blanket worshipper. Sprawled out, comfortable. Just listening. Hmmm.

I wondered...do we just think people back there are "unparticipatory"? Maybe they think they can't sing...maybe they have kids who need room to play and make noise. Maybe they don't feel connected enough to go closer. Maybe they don't even really know they are there to worship at all, or what that means. Do we let them wonder closer on their own....a bit closer, a bit closer, a bit closer? Or do we say, "You know what? Blankets are okay for some."

Some of both I suppose.

I saw the disconnected, those with children, those who "observe" church...(what everyone is wearing. gasp. To wear their new favorite outfit. double gasp!)

I swear...I do not tell a lie...I was at a rather fashionable boutique this winter to pick up something for a date night. The sales lady is trying to explain to me why a tank top is made with a huge triangular hole in the shoulder. She says, "Oh, all the girls are wearing them. They wear them under blue jean jackets". Hmph. I say.

I'm just not really getting the whole thing...just doesn't appeal to me. Tank tops, I can handle. Forget the extra thing to fight with ...my four year old handles hanging off me. My bra strap falls down enough as is...I really don't need my shirt feeling like it's falling off, too.

Anyway, I'm shaking my head. She is like 65. She then says to me, "You haven't seen the girls at your church wearing them?"

I said, "Well, no, I don't really pay attention."

She is literally shocked. "You mean you haven't seen the girls running around 'that church of yours' wearing these?"

Okay. End of the line. "No...I do not pay attention". End of discussion.

I bought a cotton leisure suit and a tank.

Now, my point is: I do try to stay in the right century. I wear pants to church. I wear jeans...working up to faded jeans at times, though I'm usually very tired and wanting to express my need to relax and chill when I do so. My husband doesn't like faded jeans to church. Wants the kids to learn wearing right clothes for the right occassion sort of thing. Respect.

But, I just do not go to church trying to figure out what everyone is wearing! I frankly do not care-- unless I need to pray over what somebody chose to wear. At times, somebody may have had to pray over what I wore, I don't know. I hope not, but it happens short of a hobbit (which I have considered at times with the vague complaint feedback we get being on stage at times. We don't know know who wore 'the thing' that offended, what exactly it was, and we don't know the person who issused complaints or to whom they were referring. We try to respond as much as we can and make sure we are not distracting.)

In any case (my husband just sighed and shut the bedroom door...I guess I type LOUD when I am typing about something stressful. I need to get to bed. Now 12:24AM and I'm the driver to school tomorrow. Still not sleepy. Need chocolate. Found a bag of Rolos today in the cabinet. Uh oh.)

Back to topic. Here's the deal: I enjoy people who are put together in what they feel comfortable in. I like it when we all don't try so hard. I like it when women wear colors that make them look alive. About all I notice. The rest? I couldn't care less. I don't notice weight. You could lose 40 pounds and someone would have to tell me before I caught on. I'm just more interested in the light in your eyes. Your joy. Your well being.

So, that's what I notice. Get right with God. Let Him love you. Bask in the beauty He made in you. That's what I'm looking for in people on a Sunday. That's what I see. (I don't even care how talented you are). Otherwise, the fashion, the talent, the whatever... is a mask, a coverup, a wall to hide behind. If you have both...it pales in comparison anyway.

There's your pep talk for the week on that.

To beautiful, perfect sleep that takes wrinkles away! :-)

National Anthem, etc.

Well, I can't get my camera or my disc to work today, so heartwarming pics will have to follow at a later date. Technology.

In other news, a high point of the week: Yesterday, I was asked to sing the National Anthem at the Upward games.

You can't appreciate the gravity, joy, or responsibility unless you've ever done it! Am I right?

Someone told me after I sang that comedy channel that morning had dubbed thoughts of some famous famous person as they sang it...I completely identified! It goes like this:
"Where am I? Have I already sang this part? What's the next line? I hope this was an appropriate outfit. Surely I'll remember the words. (and the infamous) Oh no, I think I started to high for the last high note...should I try to switch keys, or hold out (ALWAYS HOLD OUT and breathe deep!) How do you cover a mistake with the National Anthem anyway?" For me, add: "I hope my child doesn't need to pee right when I start, or panic, or scream, or get stage fright standing here, or pull my pants down tugging at me, or try to talk to me. "

Overall, I think it went well considering the many perils and dangers involved! I recruited one gentlemen to take him while I sang...he disappeared somewhere on the trail to the stage area. I don't blame him. He ran all the way across the gym floor, united with brother, and held his hand throughout. Thank God for small wonders! After that, we trecked the full lenth of the court 10 times minimum to take him to the bathroom.

The doc thinks he's constipated, causing sudden urge and pressure. This week is all about fiber around my house!




Today...little friend's first birthday party. What a hoot! I have a lifelong resolution to attend as many 1 yr. old birthday parties as possible. Just doesn't get any better than that.

I literally walked into the party and this lady says, "Oh, my GOSH! Good to see you. I'm addicted!" And I knew it must be "Cheryl". How cool is that? And weird! She knew all about my kids...and I've been to parties their before, but this year...we felt like, well, family. So much joy in that house today.

Enjoyed meeting you Cheryl. If you didn't work, you might have your own blog! I hope you do someday. You don't have to post nearly as much as I tend to sitting at home bored, trying to connect with the world!

Friends are a great thing to have...old and new.

Well, after two Upward games and a birthday party, I'm pooped.

Heartwarming pics tomorrow.

Scrapbooking, Batman Begins, and Madagascar tonight.



Cup of Hot

Currently drinking: Biltmore mix in CranApple Juice.



It surprises me how good it really is EVERY time.
Get some by calling 1-800-968-0558. or at http://biltmore.com/

So, on a cold winter's day, when when you need/want a moment to yourself to refresh, your favorite hot drink(s) of choice currently is (are): _________________

I really want to know. No particular reason. Just curious.

Have a hot drink...It's on me--Grab an afgan, a book, and relax.

A Winter's Date

A Winter's Date is the best there is! Winter gets so monotonous.

We had a great date! Found lots of sales...yeah, I'm in a mood to "show somebody what I got", so be prepared.

Easter Polos for the boys. Several shirts and pants for Red for next Winter,a bunch of clothes for Goldilocks. We just went and did "whatever"...kid's stuff was on major sale. We had a great time picking out our preferences together.

If you refuse to shop with your wife...you are missing out on some fun time. We just had a blast seeing all that's out there for kids now. CUTE!

AND...(drumroll needed here)my man found a sale on suits and got his first in our married life, just for me. He had some, but they were old or mix and match.

No, not a pinstripe, not a slate grey, not mix match, but a full, black, plain, suit. Mmmm. He looked really good. I can't wait until it's alterned and we have any special occassion at all to dress up and go out for!

So, we ate at Rafferty's...had there wonderful potato soup. Heaven. Appetizer sampler--average, and a nice salad.

Of course, hit the scrapbooking circuit during his meeting. I managed to find a thing or two I couldn't live without.

So, there's the wondefully refreshing journal of a wonderfully refreshing break...until I popped my tailbone again acting silly. Man!

The house is quiet, deliciously so (...and I'm starting to miss my kids.)

Back to Mommyhood!

Sprarkle Girl

My girl HAS to be comfie, but loves the bling!

Not just "dressy", but blingy!

Mr. Wonderful and I had SO much fun picking out some sale clothes for her for the year while on our date last night. It was a "working date"...which every couple needs. If you've not had one...try it. He's done it enough times, he's gotten past rolling his eyes and actually enjoys finding things that are going to light Goldilocks up from head to toe for months on end.

If you have not discovered, you are missing out on one of the greater joys life.

Great quality--washes forever without losing color or pile.

AND....The clothes lines often coordinate, so you can get one pair of pants and find three or four tops to mix and match.

My daughter told me lately...Mom, EVERYTHING from my drawer is from
Children's Place Even MY PAJAMAS!

Yup. I like those, too.

Go to
Children's Place. Winter sale, 50% off lowest price.

One Fine Sweater

You just have to see this thing. Wow. Girl's clothes have improved since stiff colored jeans I remember!

Yup, $5.00 Children's Place.

Go get one. You can't do consignment for that. Yardsale...maybe.

Foo-Foo Dresses

We decided since Goldilocks is turning 8 this year, we'd better maximize the foo-foo component, because we are getting close to "the end". She's had a gold Cinderella type dress she's nearly worn to death from last winter. So, for Spring, a genuine "Cinderella" label dress. The
mauve to get her OUT of the Easter dress, and the black velvet for next Christmas. (I don't buy red velveet "Christmas dresses"--she can wear them all winter.)

Guys are freaking out with my blog today.

Sorry. This is a day of sharing my joy. Note how much joy you can give your wife. Aaaaaah. I love to have some needful shopping done.

Dillards. 50% off regular price, 30% off of that. So, not too awful bad for 'special dresses'. I know ESM...you'd have a coupon and get another 15% off or something sickening!

More Girly

See, I'm just elated here.

I'm almost done with next winter!


The RaNdOm aNd UnUsUal

1. Yesterday, it snowed in Hawaii according to CNN...two roads were closed to volcanic mountains. The CNN reporter read this squinting her eyes, quite confused.

2. Last week, we had such a trying week, I bought my family roses.

3. At Upward cheerleading, they wanted to squeeze in a second practice this week for Thursday night.

To which I said, "I'm sorry, I know I can't make it, I have a date."

Huge intake of breath around all the mothers in the room followed by whispers and laughs.

I was starting to get a little uncomfortable with it all when someone finally broke the tension and said, "I'm sorry, but what's 'a date'?"

A wonderful moment.

Actually, he's got a training meeting in "the big city". I get to shop while hubby gets smart. I like this! We talk on the drive, we both get something meaningful done, and I get to BROWSE for the first time in a LONG, long time...TOO long.

4. "Red" has an issue. 25-30Xs a day he's been going to the potty to pee.

Anybody with input I would love to hear from. No pain, not bother...just can't hold in anything. No big deal until we try to cross town.

Tried Benadryl recommended by the pediatrician. Clear urine test. Suspect a new type of bubble bath.

5. The whole diet/exercise thing? Doing the best I can with a squashed tailbone. Which is NOTHING. Trying to eat well and give up...ugggh... some chocolate...some. For those of you who know me you think I could be blown away with the next wind, but I know how my jeans fit.

6. My kids are having a cool "penny war" at school. No joke...I counted like 3500 pennies last night. So, here's how it works (GREAT and easy fund raiser!). Pennies and dollar bills count TOWARD your class. All silver coins count AGAINST other classes...these are "bombs".

The class who nets the most wins a day OUT OF SCHOOL! They are so into it.

We've had a huge jar we've been throwing random counter change into for six years. There was $35.00 worth of pennies in that thing! It was only a quarter of the way full...I was thinking like maybe 6-7 in pennies. Amazing. We had stacks of ten pennies lined up all over the house.

So, as I dropped my penny-laden kids off at school this morning, my daughter is yelling at me: "But, MOM, I NEED some BOMBS!!!! It's more fun to BOMB!" Got to love that Christian education.


7. My Song of the Week:
*click to hear part at iTunes...but you have to buy it to hear the awesome bridge
*the great lyrics at http://www.klove.com/lyrics/lyrics.asp?2427



Winter Projects

Today...sun is shining! 50 degrees.

Listening to: Beth Moore (see link on sidebar). Must listen...if you can hear the tone of her voice, the sound of fervor for the word occassionally, it does a body good. (In fact, I listened to part of it with Lego.com shooters overlapping her voice as Red played his galactic games.)

My Creative Keepsakes magazine came yesterday....this month a great issue. If you don't suscribe and scrap ladies, get it off the stand. I'm slowly grazing through it. Aaaaaaah. I love color.

Just surveyed the morning's damage to my "in process" laundry room--the half I had clean--the 9/12.

Have you ever noticed that when you CLEAN anything, it inspires people? Not to bore you, but the toy room, for example. The mess has not been touched in months. So, you get in there, find the floor, organize, straighten-- put all the little cars in their own box and all the little legos together...neat and beautiful. Two days later, the kid's think...wow, there must be something useful in here if she actually took the time to CLEAN it. They dump it to find the treasure you must have hid.

A torture device to refine the character of mothers.

I am almost angelic at this point. :-) Try it.

So, TEN shirts unfolded in my son's stack.


You must understood, generally, he goes, grabs one, puts it on.

Today, multi-try-ons. Decisions. Take off. Put on. Take off...

Actually, I enjoyed them enjoying getting ready.

Took me two hours to work up courage to look at the damages.

"I refolded them all, Mom!" he had said.

"Broadest interpretation." I say!

My daughter--four pair of pants today! Usually, a once and done also. She informs me that none of even the largest pair from fall fit. No sweats clean, she settled on a long beige Pentecostal looking skirt and hose.

I restraighened. Decided to get on camera...the first half. If it is demolished before the second side is completely done...proof of my grand effort.


Here you go. Read 'em and weep: Hanging racks for each child for the week. (Target). My solution: I know when they are about out of something at a glance...whites, darks, or lights. This determines when I do laundry// what color is most needed.

ALL clothes for the children stored in the laundry room--this is a gift from God. I don't have to find the dirty clothes (though they usually litter the floor in there). I don't have to go up steps to put them away. And, I can get them all dressed from the main level quickly when we need to go somewhere or get ready for bed. Closet: casual clothes. If you can find any room to make into a clothes room for all the young kids...I say go for it. As they can carry their own clothes (theoretically), they can have clothes in their own room.

Cindy, thanks for the inspiration on the one room idea. I thank God every day for providing it in this house. My heart lept at this room when we considered this house to buy. My dream.

In the same room, I put my childhood dresser where I keep sleep clothes, belts, rags. That dresser is currently overflowing with outgrown clothes. I hope to get through that today. No, I'm not showing you the dirty part of the room!

Yesterday my nine year Boy Wonder came to me, said, "Wow! Mom! My clothes look great! Could you do my sleep drawer, too? It's a real mess!"

Be still my beating heart! Given his thanks, ...I would love to (this time.)



"BlackBerry" Cont.

Major patent infringement still not looking good for Blackberry owners...4 million of them.

An untested software workaround patch may be available, but still potentially carries patent infringements to be dealt with and potentially new Blackberry devices.

Blackberry friends, I grieve for your potential loss and all this confusion. It must be a difficult time for you.

read more:
BlackBerry shutdown could cost businesses big money - Jan. 24, 2006

High court Rejects BlackBerry Plead

High court rejects BlackBerry case - Jan. 23, 2006
"Research In Motion (RIM) had petitioned the Supreme Court to review a federal appeals cout ruling that could lead to a shutdown of most U.S. BalckBery sales and service."

Weird Blog

Today I am going to backtrack and talk about things I should have blogged about instead of whining about being an emotional female in a nonperfect world with imperfect people.

Okay. So...
(I just got an email that the highly criticized new series "Book of Daniel" was cancelled due to efforts of Christians. I hear ratings were just terrible, which didn't hurt).

1. My Dad came to my son's baptism with his wife! Praise God. All my family filled two or three rows in center section, second row. I played keys that week. Dad got to hear me play, came to talk to me on stage for a second afterward (while I was trying to play...always lovely). I asked him to stay until we got down with post music. He did. We talked a while, my brother hung around. (Mom and her husband slipped out and let me have space with him.) Everyone was cool. I think he found our church much different than he left it. Wow. Has it changed!

2. Things are resolved some with my daughter's school stuff. I'm still working with her.

3. My husband is worried that our four year old is behind developmentally because he is not yet reading and writing his name. So, I'll be getting on that. I guess I had our other two going by now. I just never want him to grow up!!!!

3. This Sunday was a great worship service. I was asked to help pick music and develop the theme-- hard. The sermon topic was on the scripture, "No prophet is welcome in his own hometown" from Luke 4. Neither of us knew exactly where to go. We finally decided on ministry, boldness, letting God build you into who he wants you to be. As of last week, we still had "the element" missing. Something to pull it all together and solidify things. We looked for a couple videos with no luck.

So, as far as I knew...we really didn't have anything. We go into worshiop and our worship leader got real and shared his own testimony, pulling from deep within himself... "rags to riches" in God's eyes.

He went right into Casting Crown's "The Voice of Truth" with him soloing backed by the band--we just learned it this week. Wow. His testimony made a defining moment. Then, he had the people stand and sing with him "The Way that I Was Made". (If you've got a strong male voice...your band has to do that song. It just gets to people....err, gets to ME.)

I'm gonna life like there's no tomorrow
I'm gonna dance like no one's around
I'm gonna sing like nobody's listening
Til I lay my body down

I'm gonna give like I have plenty
I'm gonna love like I'm not afraid
I'm gonna be the man I was made to be
I'm gonna be the way I was made

3. Upward has started. I'm the official photographer.

The first week, I accidentally sent a disc to the newspaper showing me getting my hair highlighted (my daughter playing with my cam) rather than the player pics. It was SO BAD I'm almost too embarrassed to show you.

You know that plastic cap they tie around your head to pull hair through? You look like you are getting electric shock. Well, my hair was pulled out of that, sticking straight out of my head, bleached to a perfect yellow at the moment of this particular shot.

A family member calls me from the newspaper and says..."My editor says you don't want these pics in the paper."

So, yes, I'm very capably approaching my new responsiblities.

Bonded with the editor over it I guess...got a full page article and pics. Happiness.

4. Given that track record, I've been asked to write the devotions for Upward Soccer for the second year. In soccer, you don't exactly have "half time" like you do basketball, and can't really do a speaker on the field. So, we decided to write.

A publishing feat. I'll be trying to approach "seekers". Proofing it/graphics take me forever, but an honor to do it--I'll enjoy it.

Well, I need to tackle that laundry room some more. Three more "zones" to go. I've broken it into twelve distinct zones...one a day. It will be beautiful. (uggh.)



Agree with Satan?

Today was a day of sorting, resting...napping, a lot.

Some days, you just need to wash it all out. Today was one of those days.

Found a concept tonight in Francis Francipagne's classic book on spiritual warfare called The Three Battlegrounds that struck a chord in me.

Fracipane says accurately that it is Satan's goal to accuse you day and night...to take whatever opportunity he has to clobber you senseless. He recommends rather than arguing with accusations he might make (over and over), or becoming defensive, angry, frustrated, or depressed...to simply agree with him. (We battle not against flesh and blood).

For example:

"You are probably right about me. I have many faults...ones I don't like. But, thank God, I am STILL being perfected to the day of Christ Jesus--it is not about how 'good' I am. Never has been, never will be. AND, in the meantime, until He chooses to deal with it completely in me, I am STILL covered in the righteousness of Christ. He will deal with it...I trust Him to."

Interesting. I'm ready to stop defending myself inwardly or worrying that I'll never be like Christ or that anyone can see any growth in me, or know my heart. Who cares? They have bad days, too. The fact is...the fact!

Thank you, Jesus. For taking the focus off me and helping me stay focused in faith on you. The victory you want to work in me, irregardless of the storm, the scoffers, the wind and waves. You are there, and you bid me to walk out to you on the water. FAITH. Fun.



FORTUNE: BlackBerry held hostage - Nov. 29, 2005

Top CNN news story today.



Feeling Hit

This seems to be the week for me to feel inadvertently offended to the core of my persona.  Fun.  Did I mention we are studying spiritual warfare?  Never fails.  What I'll chaulk it up to.  And my response will be based on that...not the person, not the statement, not the hurt. 
For, on a Sunday, you just never know whether you are just to sensitive (in touch with your creative self), worn out...or, if it needs to be pursued relationally. 
I used to pursue every relational glitch and make sure I was okay with people.  At this point in life, I pursue offenses/offending less.  Why?  Well, often, especially with other creative people especially it seems, it just seems to emphasize and exacerbate an issue or problem rather than heal or lead to understanding.  It seems to create in me a defensiveness rather than a deeper love.  I seldom come away with a better understanding, rather usually, more digs to my psyche. 
If I've hurt someone young in the faith, it's different, but the more mature people get, the more I depend on prayer, grace, and wait on maturity.  I bite down and keep going. 
I make my share of mistakes.  But, I think we can have an anticipation that we will be sharpened somehow without feeling like we've been kicked in the teeth...on new stuff anyway.  Sometimes, we get deaf to certain issues, areas, or problems through neglect or hardening of our hearts, and we NEED a kick in the teeth.  
For those of you who I've given pep talks in regard to overcoming, stay pepped.  Keep pursuing your ministry and your role. 
For those of you continually worn down in you psyche by little darts that make you feel like you will never measure up no matter how much you try, and that barre keeps getting raised just enough to surprisingly konk you in the head when you least expect it? 
Rest with me. 
Know that God loves you in your imperfection. 
Let others love you. 
Let God deal with you there as He needs to, in His time.
But, don't base your worth or identity on it all.


Plaster My Butt

Exciting News after last post: Mr. Wonderful got home from the breakfast by 9! Ballgame not until 11:30!
Ahhh... my good quality Sat. AM time. I am HAPPY! Hot shower. Aroma therapy. I am in a GOOD mood.
I'm excited to have hubby home! I joyfully jump up onto the side of the bed to do a great hurrah of a moment asking silly....and land square on my injured tailbone. You remember the whole sledding expedition on only 1 inch of snow LAST Saturday morning? Just getting better. Now, not better.
OW! OW! OWwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwWWWWWW!
And then I cry for a good five minutes, hurt for ten. All three kids come running... asking if I'm okay.
Dad's at the door, fending them off: "She's fine. Mommy's fine. Go away. Go play."
So, after I finally stop heaving and sobbing,a somewhat salvageable a moment--not really what I had in mind, but real. And together. And funny.
I'll take it.
I'm desperate.
Ow. My butt.
Reinjury of the butt.
All day, when I sat sit down, there is a huge intake of breath, just in case it might hurt. My kids, if nearby, lean over, whisper to me, "Don't tell me, it's your butt." Quite the family joke.
Hubby keeps asking if I want to get it x-rayed.
I don't know. If it's not some sort of bad injury, I'll be embarrassed.
If it is...what're they going to do, plaster my butt?
I don't know.

A Regular Annoyance to Be Fixed

Okay:  I would like to propose, for Windows, an option for spell-check: "See mistyped word in context?". 
Anybody with me here? 
I see a word misspelled, today:  "fust".  I think...what in the world? I don't even know what "right" word is supposed to replace that?  Where did I use it, what was I saying?  Yet, you can't SEE your text because the spell check box is sitting right on top of what you just wrote.
 And nobody else out there in WindowsLand has had this problem?  I suppose I could reset the general position of the message box on my screen.  Hmmm.  May be a "quick fix"...(meaning, I take the time to fix it myself because the person who was supposed to do their job hasn't....often the story of our lives!) 
Anybody out there have connections with Windows people?  I'll let you know if my fix proves successful.  (Yes, I do take joy in legal "hacking").

SURVIVAL Instincts

Saturday 8AM
I wake up so many days in January with my first thoughts negative and depressed sounding. Motherhood in the dead of winter gets to be an exercise of forced productivity and survival. I really enjoy the time to BE productive and catch up on some chores. But, the days of long, I'm "with" the kids a lot more, they argue and fuss more due to too much bottled energy, and I get to yelling more to get them to respect the sound of my voice, which they start to block out due to overexposure.
I don't ever like myself much in January. My husband works many long hours and is preoccupied doing work even as we drive places to catch up. A necessity. But, it is hard. I've usually not talked to anyone all day as is with exception of a few emails or a short call from one of our mothers.
I've found the only way to survive the long days is to keep making goals. Keep trying to do something extraordinary (for me). To stay caught up on things, keep our family running, read some inspiring books to help me with goals I don't like, but need to do (usually fast reading...you know, the kind you do while you do "business"...not major research).
And still, when my husband got up early to go to a men's breakfast this morning, I literally grieved. I wanted my morning time with my man. I'll be up and gone by 7AM Sunday morning. It's not fair. Today is MY day, finally. But...not to be. And, I pray for him to be filled with fellowship there. And I pray for me to be in a non-sulking mood when he returns.
Ever find days when you just get consumed with resentment over your husband's schedule?
I am blessed. I know it's necessary. AND I saw yesterday my own busy-ness when he is home and may miss me, too. I guess, in the winter, I just have a need to polarize and cuddle and have that down time together and it never seems to materialize long enough. I build a wall around myself to keep from hurting when he's gone again for the long days. And, then it takes longer to break down when he comes back again.
Survival instincts. And I hate them. I want to be open and joyful and not so protective of self--aware of self--focused on self.
I will keep learning instead how to truly LIVE! To be joyful, not resentful. To be open, not closed. To be wise, but not overly careful and cautious and fearful.
This morning, I will get laundry ready early, fix breakfast cheerfully, get some kind of fun exercise, vacuum (yes, I'm good), and get my kids ready for basketball games ahead of time. I will make it a fun day, I will have a great time, and I will not be mowed over, rushed, or frustrated by the normalcies of family life with three constantly needy, bickering children. They will be influenced by me, by the grace of God, not me by them as much as this week (too many snow days and long weekends at home together?)


Misused Spiritual Authority

CNN.com - Breaking News, U.S., World, Weather, Entertainment & Video News

I hope this video link works.

A story every woman should listen to. How easy it is for us to be convinced or brainwashed that the best of the best can handle more "freedom", more "blessing", more "privelege" than those who cannot be responsible with it.

This idea keeps coming to me this week. The idea of "privilege".

As I taught my daughter last week, being blessed is not the same as taking privilege.

A sad story, irregardless of their motive in exposing it now. I honestly believe Christians people need to hear this story and realize how vulnerable they are as humans to being misled, tricked, and used.

Both had responsibility, but the greater goes to those in leadership.

If you have struggled understanding how "godly" people can ever truly fall to these depths, Beth Moore's book, When Godly People Do Ungodly Things might be worth your looking into. I found it mind boggling, disturbing, and enlighting. I'm not sure which adjective I'd put first.

On to family movie night for me. "March of the Penguins".


Google's Biggest Loss Ever


Google sees its largest 1-day loss ever on investor concern - Jan. 20, 2006

Interesting story today on Google's stocks falling, shortly after Yahoo surpisingly reported earnings below expectations Tuesday.

An interesting story there on Google regarding it's response to the Justice Department in trying to identify searches on the net for things like child pornography. They claim they would disclose too much company information to do so, etc. etc. Trying to regulate the internet sounds like a big task. I sure wish we could do a better job handling the defamation of the innocent. Not having school/public library internet filters on the basis of free rights ammendments baffles me still. Somebody has their logic messed up. With BellSouth, we can filter whatever types of content is inappropriate and leave others. I have enjoyed the flexibility with that.

AOL? There internet filter is a joke. And, I can't figure out whey they designate every profile I was to establish with a filter on the account as "child" with juvenile graphics. Insulting. Even BellSouth does this. Even as an adult, I don't want certain materials and images at fingertips in my homes. Even the most innocent, self controlled, and well guarded people get curious, and there is the door. Ladies, we are to be keepers of our homes in areas like this according to Proverbs 31. To diligently oversee our households. If you aren't up on this stuff: funnybandaids@email.com will reach me to see how you can set things up in your household to watch what goes on better.

TV...an area we still need to work on in our home.

Back to subject: I guess I just assumed ditigally speaking, the government pretty much had access to whatever it wanted at this point, legal or not. The whole "big brother" thing.

For instance, a friend of ours has had his firewall show blocks from the government trying to hack his computer for whatever information. He's of no threat, just emails a lot. Who knows?

~~~Things that make you go Hm Publish Post mm.

Jill Carroll "Letter from Baghdad..."

Boing Boing: Jill Carroll "Letter from Baghdad: What a Way to Make a Living"

Click here to read the abducted journalist's own words. There is a link at the bottom to follow the full sotry she wrote regarding the life of a freelance journalist, their goals, thoughts, risks.

Productive Winter Bliss

Well, life is good--yesterday I realized I could do blog entries from Outlook and I am thrilled with that. So, I don't have to log in to their system to do it. That has potential. I like Outlook's editor better, and I am hoping I can upload pics this way. Technology advances just thrill me to no end. Okay, so I am a certified geek, but a happy one.
(Later note: faq says "no" on the pics...still have to add those later.)
Just sorted about fifty (FIFTY) (50) odd pair of socks from the dreaded sock basket (ESM, you should be so glad you didn't get recruited this time, but I missed you). This is one of my least favorite chores in all creation...which is why I have a "sock basket". It's rather simple...I just don't socks unless they come out of the dryer together by some static cling thing. And no, we are not going to pin them together with safety pins before putting them in the wash, or even the hook deals you can use. This is extreme type A behavior...I am not an extreme type A person...I am an efficiency person at this point in my life. I'm worn down.

But, no worry...this technique somehow gets me a week's worth of socks. I can recognize Mr. Wonderfuls dress socks and will look for his and mine...this kids? Well, whoever invented "days of the week" socks and sold them through mail order to grandmothers cheap should be hung twice.

So, in my laundry sweep, the sock basket was overflowing. I couldn't tell what was clean and dirty anymore....weep, whail, mourn, drink a lot of coffee, eat a lot of chocolate, take a deep breath...it is time. This time, I recruited my kids...more for moral support than help. It feels good to have someone else to get onto if the work isn't getting done besides myself! :-)

Noteworthy 2:
My other least favorite chore of all time: Mopping. Today, I mop. I know...I've turned a new leaf (more like a quarterly necessity, but we'll keep it positive sounding.) I'm not talking about touch up mopping. I'm talking about the kind you needs boots and a scouring pad for. I have the chairs all moved and everything! Yup, it's serious.

One time, I played "soap hockey" with the kids while mopping--a riot! Almost broke several legs and lost several bars of soap to dust bunnies under the over that day. We've not done it since. We've not played in this house...the oven is rather protected. Hmmm...I feel another moral booster coming on.

Well, with all this talk, I did NOT get my laundry room fully cleaned yesterday. But, I did work up enough positive vibes to do it today. I am ready now. I decided that the "ten minute cleaning method" might serve me better on that one...meaning, I can only handle ten minutes of that mess at a time.

This is not just washing laundry here we're talking about, it's sorting MONTHS of the kids "favorite stuff" no longer wearable, in season...whatever. Uggh. Trash bag time. I need to get rid of a lot of their "stuff". Does any mother get the appropriate recompense for this dreaded chore? Is there an appropriate recompensense?

Noteworthy 3:
After this big aventure, paper de-accumulation and touch up painting my next big winter goals. I know, too exciting for words, but we have a plan, we are moving, we are making like better...and there is no "we", but "me". I think I saw we because it makes me feel more powerful. I guess it is "we"...Jesus and me, and my somewhat helpful moral boosting (at times) kids . We are busy. This is good for winter.

Friends, it's a good time to call and cheer for me.
Hope you are pursuing something challenging today. NEW MOTTO for the month: GET THROUGH WINTER WELL!



My Contemporary Christian Music Pics

(Added Note: All song links have been updated)
Here are some of my fav in inspiring Contemporary Christian Music right now (other than the worship most of us know and do at church.) Most here are relatively or very new, some unheard or undiscovered (as of yet!)

I know...you are getting excited just thinking about it.

I included the iTunes links so that you can preview. For those of you new to iTunes, it's $.99 a piece, legal, need iTunes software loaded on a computer running at least XP.

Here are enough for a pretty full CD --a great CD. Lots of acoustic guitar and worshippful stuff...much could go into worship I think.

Buy it and burn it in the order pace you like. I do a workout CD when I burn them...10-15 of fast music, 10-15 of moderate, 10-15 of slow cool down and weights.

Enjoy! Very much a winter's break, and yes, again, it's legal.

Using Mozilla Firefox browser, a scarey looking message comes up asking you if you trust the external application. Yes, you trust iTunes...click yes.

I guarantee you won't be disappointed...well, you get to preview. Song previews are 30 seconds (obviously, not as good as the whole song, but a great flavor to see if it's remotely up your alley....which, it will be. I have faith.)

We all know I pick good music, so why wouldn't it be great?

Let me know if you have any trouble and what you think. Get ready for some good stuff! New artists.



I'm tired.

From the top of my head to the soles of my feet.

Just tired.

Tired of the mundane, dishes, paper, messes, laundry, tasks undone.


Tired of me. Tired of problems. Tired of stress. Tired of resting. Tired of trying to work and getting little done "ahead".

Time for a change.

Here it comes....I can't feel it. It surges within me.

Hope! Release! Ideas! Energy!

I will clean out my laundry room.

Yes! Well, there it is. Isn't that glorious?

The answer to my winter weariness.


It will be beautiful. It will be great.

It will make me feel less cluttered. More together.

So...there you go.

Top that.



Don't you just love it when you learn a new tool for spritual warfare which seems immediately effective?

Do you know what kind of bull's eye this puts on you?

I could go into great depth and detail this week, but why rehash it and give any glory other than to the one to and through whom I will have victory promised me?

(This blog much more positive a slant than the first I wrote. For the first time in history, "blogger" would not upload it and lost it. Either it was too inspiring for it's own good, or just bad).

On to "making scrapbooks instead of dart boards." I rather liked that thought.



Hard Monday

Today, my kids had the day off school, I had a lot of dealines, not of which went smoothly at all.

My kids talking non-stop for the last twelve hours in circles of conversations that never reach a conclusion or agreement and never end. Most of the day, "Stop talking." was the final decision. Constant interrogation.

I am tired.

Some days, days are just too long.

God blessed with some very fun moments, fortunately.

My "thankful spirit" experiment is going to be stretched this week at this pace!



At War, with thanks

I have come to the determination that Sunday nights have to be my least favorite time of the week. I know all God made is good, and I'm looking for a way to be thankful for it...but, I realize, tonight, that I just currently am not that fond of it. Hubby goes back to work tomorrow...it's his birthday. All of us have the day off, and he doesn't. Of couse, he wouldn't TAKE the day off...that would be worse torture than just working given his Mondays.

A great weekend. Lots of fun and smiles and family. Then Monday.

I'm really working on the spiritual warfare element of "thanksgiving", and I have to say, it rocks. Generally speaking, I just think too many unthankful thoughts, let my mind do it's own little pesky thing too often, and don't listen to what all is in their enough at all. I tried it one morning last week. From the time I got up, I determined every thought would be turned into a thankful thought. Well, I had a mile high stack of thankful pancakes getting flopped over that day!

I had no idea.

So, let's see:

Thank you, my Lord and God, that you give me precious weekends, and that you give me vibrant Sunday mornings of worship and that you give me restful Sunday nights of worship.

Thank you that I can enjoy the call of where you have me right now in my life.

Thank you that you have given me my heart's desire in what I am attempting to do (and I risk unthankful spirit saying, doing it not nearly as well as I'd like most days.) But, I thank you that I can trust you to teach me and take me where I need to go. I thank you that you are increasing in me a heart to listen and learn.

I thank you for my weaknesses, for they give opportunity for you to show grace (let me never abuse that principle). But, I thank you that you can change me, and change in me things others don't like, in your time, when you want to, when my weaknesses can no longer be used for your glory. And you promise that everything in me can be redeemed, so I know that even the faults and weaknesses and things about me I hate are there for a reason, being refined, but being used by you as I offer myself up.

Forgive me for stray thoughts that don't glorify you, Lord. Help me learn to truly know and understand what it is to be a "warrior". To "fight". Taking every thought captive to the knowledge of Christ.

And thank you for chocolate.

And for the will to eat less of it!


A Great Run!

Enjoying first season's snow

Ready for Take-Off

Dad went FAR! Red runs to congratulate

Wow. The first Day we could all enjoy snow and sled as a family. We all voted it was the best day of our lives. We got up at 8:30AM with ONE INCH of precious snow...the first of the season for us. It was icey. We'd "bought a hill" on the farm behind the house this year. And WHAT A HILL IT WAS! Perfect. Okay, so some rocks hit you when there is only one inch of snow...in places that REALLY MATTER. I still can't sit easily and squeled "OH!" everytime I tried to get in the Explorer to and from church today. A point which the whole family is enjoying much more than wounded Mom.


To Die or Not to Die

CNN.com - Inmate, 75, says he's too old to execute - Jan 13, 2006

Not sure how long CNNs links are "permalinks", but an interesting legal twist and comments from family members of murder victims.

Windows Media Player - MozillaZine Knowledge Base

"Some embedded streaming media [I assume they are referring to Yahoo news and CNN news pages] use Active X controls to invoke the windows Media Player. ActiveX is an Internet Explorer plug-in technology that does not normally run on Mozilla or Firefox. "

I have this week seen fit to instal Mozilla Firefox browser combination with my old Google full toolbar reinstalled on top of it. I like Google's ease of use better. The new grey "Skin" I found looks great on the computer. It runs a bit slower than Explorer on my new Windows Media HP computer. However, the security features are great, and once I get used to each web page being "tabbed" at the top of the screen, I will be able to toggle back and forth and close each page individually easier than with Explorer.

However, viewing news on CNN with Firefox, I ran into some problems. I reinstalled Windows Media [vs. 10] to make sure there was no problem there.

Here is the answer to that...the way they use Active X and plug-ins. I'm still not sure I've figured out where or not to try to get it working, if it's worth the risk, or how to do it from the article, but like Prego, I think "it's in there."

I recommend the use of Firefox over Explorer. But, it seems there is a bit of a learning curve in some areas.

Windows Media Player - MozillaZine Knowledge Base

Hope that's useful to you if you struggle with malware as much as I have. Most of us know about Adaware by now to help with that, but still labor intensive in my view.


QuickTime patch hits trouble | Tech News on ZDNet

Some of you may have read about the security vulnerabilities with Quick Time and the fix they offered early this week. The cure may be worse than the disease according to news release today on ZDNet.
Click here before downloading the current 'fix' version:
QuickTime patch hits trouble | Tech News on ZDNet

Today's Digi Layout Attempt

Click this baby and look at him real good. My body made that.

Okay, today's graphic attempt at digital layouts is less cluttered than yesterdays version (now deleted). Seeing it online I didn't like it.

Using Creative Keepsakes software hubbie surprised me with for Christmas. Like cutting pics, layer feature, soften eges, titling over pics as best features. When I'm not in the mood to make a scrapbooking mess--digi!

Note, if you want 12X12 albums, if has a 6X6 layout feature for tiling sections.


Don't you love it when your days have gotten a little too "on you" and God just gives you some time to PLAY? Balance. He's SO good at it.

Yesterday it was good to get out of the house, do some things different, and yes, PLAY!

"Life"? Yeah, it still creeps in...but I was in a much better mood for it after playing a while! Someone called me for a lunch date, and it was good to just get out of the house and be somewhere else. Lunch happened to be fantastic! Great chocolate mousse cake to boot!
I bought a book this week called "The Sonoma Diet". I'm liking it...mainly because it follows what I was taught in dietary/nutrition classes in college, and the type of diet I like to follow anyway when I'm enjoying eating the most. No guilt. Eat great tasting foods that are good for you, enjoy them, enjoy eating.

This book says "enjoy the sensuosness for it's pleasure!". Who'd argue with that! Seriously, not letting go of that element of enjoyment with eating, even when you are needing to eat more healthy foods. No weird mixes or poweders or gravel food.

I've never proclaimed myself to be on a diet at any point in my life. But, I have, at times, made goals of eating foods I know are better for me and working out more. Those two goals have kept my weight under pretty decent control and I don't spend my life miserable "dieting". I'm just eating better than most people...and there is a level of healthy pride that can push you in that.

I know metabolism and other hereditary factors come into play, likely making it more difficult for some people. But, it IS fun to eat good foods! I like re-reading what current health foods are considered to be...what research says is best for us at present...what type of oils and fats and sugars are best goals. And then, we can make informed choices that taste good, and cook well! I want to protect my family in this way, not setting them up to fail. Currently, too many processed foods in this house. (But ,with sour cream, you have to have chips!!!! Okay, so I've still got work to do.)

Sometimes, we just like to ignore the facts and excuses ourselves. Here's the thing. We act like high fat foods are the only enjoyable foods. Not true! We are just missing out on a lot of good tasting food! We could eat all day long on that type of food.

I hear of people all the time who say they "hardly eat anything", but will guzzle enough large gulp cokes to drown a person in one day. Add a few cookies and you're on such a sugar high that you won't ever be hungry for good food. We emotionally meet some need, but really feel lazy and awful the rest of the day, not even realizing it.

Diabetics don't know the different in sugar, starch, and natural glucose, and we don't either! We'd pay big bucks for some dietary or herbal supplement to help us loose weight, but won't learn how to eat to look and feel better. We live in a strange generation.

Working on providing great snack substitutes--new habits. It's fun.
Working out? Not going so well. Did work out twice last week.
Bible study? Got my week's work done. Went to study. Guess what? Turns out I'm a week ahead! So, no wonder God wasn't helping me not get behind. You are KIDDING me.

Actually, I expected it to be boring. It was on basic spiritual warfare. Day 5, almost didn't do, but that day's study whapped me upside the head. Simple concept I've heard before...in warfare...newsflash... GOD WANTS YOU TO WIN! HE WANTS YOU TO WALK IN VICTORY...not defeat.

I didn't realize how little I was applying that until I let the concept of victory "take over my mind" when I woke up yesterday. Wow! What a difference! So much of the time, I live life in "demo mode". I mean, know Jesus will win, as in a video game after you put the real quarter in-- He HAS won! But, my exercise feels, at times, like God wanting us to practice, but not particularly ending it or letting us feel the victory of a "level won". So much NOT God! We serve a God of victory, celebration, rejoicing, pride in a healthy way. Pride in Christ, and all He can help us do in Him. He really wants us to experience, daily, FEELING the victory of the win! But I wasn't living that way. Not enjoying daily victories in Him enough...not CREATING them nearly enough! Just getting apathetic and tired. Not yesterday!

We don't know when the game counts! EVERY DAY, He wants and intends for us to WIN, in everything! To be victors. Overcomers! Triumphing! On top of it all...no matter how seemingly unimportant or mundane pr big our "mountain" is! Mountains are for moving, by faith.

Yesterday, I decided to warfare in my little world and do something about what I could, thank him and praise him instead of listening to my own natural little complaining, grumpy recorder that tends to take over if I'm not thankful.

What a difference! Do what I can, leave the rest in His hands.

What a fun day!


Morning Light

That pic gets me every time.

Now, digitally enhanced by Mommy and all kinds of "aaawh".

Right now, the kids are trying to convince me they must be allergic to SOMETHING! Anything?! "Come on, Mom...think...there MUST be SOMETHING!"

I'm drawing a blank.

...as I embrace my peaceful, quiet picture. Awwwwwhhhh.


Converting to Sugar

Tonight has been so boring I thought about emailing myself. Hubbie had late meetings and the day lasted an eternity. Daughter didn't get home until 4:30.

I know. I pray for "hunger", then freak out when I start to feel...bored? Took me like eight hours to make any connection whatsoever between the two. I'm rather slow.

In the meantime... played Sonic Playstation II with Red for half an hour-- until I could beat him on occasion. I can now beat a four year out on occassion.

Started taking down Christmas trees now that Navy brother has gone home. Dropped a glass ball down two stories, hitting both floors, shattering mercilessly 8-10 foot swaths. How that is possible, I still don't know. I'll be on the search for glass for days.

Wonder Boy is caught up on his school work. Ever wonder how they do all the work in like an hour and we send them to school all day? Go homeschoolers. If it weren't for his imperative need to talk and learn and ask questions constantly, I'd keep him home.
So, Hubbie tells me last night I'd been writing some good blogs lately.

What?! Nonchalantly I say, "Oh yeah, which ones, I thought you said you lost the address." When did he find the address? I invited him to read, but he seldom has time, and I didn't think he'd been reading it. Not that it matters, but it's just a freaky feeling sometimes-- to not know who you are "talking to". You just don't think about it. Then someone comments and you think...what did I say last week?

He said, "Those are good, I can see how they would bless people, if anyone reads. "

Okay, so a lot of you do much better as this thing than I do audience-wise, but I was so proud to tell him it's up to about 430 hits a month now. I know, a lot of you get like a hundred a day or something surreal, but hey, this is me, stay at home mom with like...okay, so what do I even talk about? I don't even know.

Even more cool to me than that is...some friends have started giving it a run. I must say, doing an even better job that I do. I'll list them soon. I love it. It's like giving birth to a...okay, so that like, didn't work at all. I was going to say cyberbaby, but that is just weird. Anyway. some friends are blogging, and it's cool.

I'm moving from cookies/chocolate down to candy/chips/raw sugar today. Leftover RUNTS from the kids Christmas, leftover CandyCorn from fall...okay, I did eat two truffles and drank gourmet hot chocolate. But, I AM cutting back. I'm on it. I'm totally getting back into health food, very soon. Cookbooks tomorrow. If I have time. No, seriously...soon.

About all the excitement I can stand for one day. Keep on!

Check Mark

Tuesday. I am still not so much enjoying entering into the disciplines of January.

See, it wasn't supposed to be this way. I was supposed to really enjoy Decemeber, and bake, and eat cookies, and go to parties, and get (I mean give) gifts. Then, in January, I would enjoy STOPPING eating cookies, and would get a riot out of Bible Study, and excercise, and routine, and decluttering.

Something has gone awry.

In any case, I did do the Bible Study today and am on track to finish the course load for the week by tomorrow, Wednesday. Not enjoying it, not emotionally involved, not getting a kick out of it, but am establishing the habit and holding to my commitment. If I'm not enjoying it, I don't usually get much out of it. But, here we are, re-forming habits. Now, to the treadmill. iTunes...come and save me!
Otherwise, Boy Wonder is home sick from school in the bathroom, Mr. Wonderful feeling better, and I'm just yucked out.

See...my Goldilocks brought home her report card with her second check for "obedience"--as in, needing improvement.

What? What for?

So, respectful letters are written back and forth to teacher to try to determine what steps are needed, what the issues are, and what I can do from here...hard, when she is THERE. I have no problem getting her to obey...well, okay, so there are times.

But, in general, I can bare down and get her to...

But, the point is... she's not getting it on her own, and it's time.

So I have a big problem I didn't know I had, and therefore, a very big headache I cannot shake and a very bad mood.

Praying, thinking this through, I have simply determined that her problem is that she is such a great and adorable student that she has confused the difference in being blessed for this divine state as opposed to taking "privelege". She must think she'll be understood for her lofty ideals, goals, and aspirations.

(Okay, stop hacking about it...not THAT funny. I'm sure that's the trouble part of the time anyway.)

But, yes. She's also just being downright sneaky. SHE NEEDS JESUS!

She's six. A first grader. Testing her limits like she's wired to do...like all kids do at some point.

"Put the pencil away. Listen." She puts the pencil under her desk and continues to play with it?

Are you seriuos? Well...shoot...I would have done the same thing, I loved art a lot better than class. But, it's a heart issue, so we deal with it and get it done hard. How many other little things are there? Or not. You don't know.

So, you bare down, teach, encourage and pray it gets better.

Thinking of ways to try to teach her. Sounds easy. Gets hard. You want them to be critical thinkers and to be indepedant, reasoning things out, making their own way...yet, to know when to STOP thinking, STOP reasoning, and flatly obey a, "Stop.", "Stay.", or "Put it away".

I guess I assumed that first time it showed up it was a beginner's mistake. Now, we're getting into habit or character or something else, and ouch!

Already tainted for life, on permanent record, in need of grace.

Not fun for a mother AT ALL. Sounds trite for those of you not yet getting graded, I know. You're skimming by now. (I mean, the children, yes...the children are getting graded. Just wait.)

So, first I teach her to stop rationalizing. No problem. Until I realize how often I'M doing the same thing. So, I'm driving over the speed limit with my kids asking me why we are in such a hurry? "Well, kids, we are in a hurry because we just get in too big of a hurry, and we get in a hurry BECAUSe you guys aren't getting reading on time. We haven't had breakfast. We couldn't find a shoe, you didn't brush your hair or teeth when I asked you to...we were supposed to be there 5 minutes ago! THAT is why."

Sound familiar? Sound like normal. Yeah. Sounds like somebody didn't start early enough. WHO was that?

So, now who has the check mark?! Ugggggghhhhh. I hate school!

Being a "good person" does not excuse crossing the line. Having good motives or a good heart or a good explanation. I mean, seriously, when The Teacher comes back, am I going to be found doing what I was told to do...or "out of my seat" doing my own thing, too? Good reasons.

And is He going to ask why or is He just going to give me that look that ceases speach and quick answers? I can hear it now, "Oh, I was just..." into nothingness. Because it won't matter. The test is over. I did not obey. Check.

Anybody else just cringe trying to teach your kids the very basics? Our parents pray this on us, I know. Whew. Gets to me. No, it isn't that personal, it's normal. But, it just gets to you. Wait and see! Normal stuff, everybody deals with it...but, still, one heavy-hearted Mommy not doing her own thing very well today...not the ideal, the goal. Getting fine grades, but still getting the fateful "check".


Selah Moment

Today, trying to do whatever I can to help my sick husband not feel so behind. He was sick all night and had to work today.

Took out five trips of trash to the burn pile from Christmas to be burned, paid some taxes, went to the grocery for meds and food.

Red was great company, racing me. Played Playstation 2 with him.

Got boxes out of the barn to store Christmas stuff away.

Caught up on correspondence.

Prayed with my journal...back to pen and paper...basics. Felt good. Clears my mind to see ink flow, alone with the Lord.

Setting some goals for myself.

Keep moving.

Decided to stop counting "regular chores" as "goals"...to keep doing them and add some larger tasks this week to try to get ahead.

Still have to do MasterLife today. On to that now. Nothing exciting, entertaining, or noteworthy in particular. Just an update on the day. A selah moment. (selah, psalm term, means, "to pause and think about it"). So, my selah moment being over, I will go work-lah.


SNL Skit


This link is circling around the webring. I'd be remiss to keep from sharing it with you if you missed it on SNL. You'll want to see it.

Click here to view. Takes a few minutes to load, but you can do other things and will hear it from "minimized" when it's ready to start.

I'll save my comments for the comment form later, along with any you might have. Don't want to ruin it for you.


Onward and Upward

Today Upward begins. A children's sports ministry centered on Christ.

My little cheerleader has gone from shy, wanting to cheer, but "not to a crowd" last Fall...to anxious for her first real ballgame today. She has her first real "uniform", and is the tallest on her squad. Not the loudest...but often the first to think of the next cheer. The girls will cheer for BOTH teams.

Real pom-poms. Wow. A girlhood activity I never got to do. I am so thankful for Upward. I am thankful that she can do something fun and encouraging without learning to shake her bootie a little more than I'd like.

They are adorable.

And, of course, my second season basketball player...ready to do his thing. She is anxious to cheer for brother's team...which I think is cool. They asked in Upward what they liked to "make"...in relation to their Bible verse this week about God not living in templed made by man. Everybody was making crafts and pictures and things that made sense. She said, "I like...to make my little brother happy".

Man. That does reflect her. Just wanting to be there for the other person. She is so maternal at heart I can hardly stand it. A real servant. How can she be born that way?

Today, the struggle begins to get back into Bible study. I don't want to! I am enjoying the freedom of "surfing, gliding, enjoying the ride!" But, that time if OVER....month of December: party hard.

I know if I don't stay on track, I'll be "too behind" soon...

Today, I awoke fighting it. So, I pray today for God to remind me that I cannot love him unless the word of truth is active in my mind. I ask him to draw me back into the word.

I remember the verse from last semester that I "will know the truth, and the truth with set [me] free."

Does that mean I already know enough truth to be free...or that, as long as there is more truth to know ...I am still in bondange in some area that I COULD be free in.

As I struggle to find love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness gentleness, and self-control (personality traits of His Spirit) in my own personality, then I still need to be freed in some areas of my "knowing" Him and His word?

I want that. I want total freedom...total abandon in Him and His truth. Unhindered by lies that keep me from exibiting him in my personality. I want to be a personality that reflects His.

I want to really know His love for me in truth...unhindered love, that allows me to live in that personality, unashamed, unafraid.

There was a blog this week that spoke to me on this level. It spoke of loving someone and being happy, joyful for them in their life, offering them "blessing"...in spite of the fact that they were walking in blatant sin. Wow.

God just began to show me that his love for me was just like that. He would show me, as I seek Him, how to live...but, even in that...there is NO TIME that he holds his love back from me because of my behavior. He may correct and discipline me...I may not feel his ultimate favor because of my blatant disobedience. But, I still am the apple of his eye! We ALL are. I mean, He is so "for" me that he just can't help it. He wants the very best for us. It hurts him when we settle for anything less due to our own reasoning. That's all.

Well, that gets too deep, even for me! He LOVES me!


Well, off to "put on the full armor of Christ" this morning.

I usually don't say this, but if you are behind, back up and read this week's blogs...some of the richest experiences in my life. Truly.



In Love

Listening to: Chris Rice's When Did You Fall in Love

Just got off the treadmill, listening to my newly burned iTunes CD. Love it. Love the time to turn it loud, tune out, worship, and get myself alive. My blood warm for the first time today...such a cold winter day with winter wind and light rain and all grey and cold. Up WAY too late last night for no particular reason...sleepy all day, feeling yucky ucky as a result.

Three hour praise band practice today jam packed. I hope I remember half of what we're doing when. Communion services such a blessing to play for, but always so challenging to make sure it's "right".

I hope it will be.

In any case, it's more my spirit I want in good shape right now. Time for Valentin-ish anticipations I suppose!

Listening to Rice's song...a love song. Just makes me somehow long for the Lord in a fresh way...not just an "in love" faddish, fleeting, giddy love...but the kind of love that makes you just smile...all the time. You can't help it. He just loves you so much, and you know it, and that's all that really matters on the worst of days. And you love Him...not out of commitment or obedience or worry about doing the right things or living the way he wants or being the best wife or parent or disciple. You just love him. Oh, I know...don't live on feelings...but sometimes we give them too little credit. He made those, too. "Will" love...yes! Choose love...yes! Make a solid decision based on truth...yes! But, FEEL!

"Do you love me?"
"But, do you really love me?"
"Do you LOVE love me?"

That kind.

I don't think he said, "Then feed my sheep" because he was tricking Peter. I think it was like a woman dying who said, "Do you love me as much as I think you do? I mean, really?"

"Yes, I do."

"Then, will you please take care of my kids when I am gone? You know they are my one thing."

"Oh, yes. I know it. I'd be delighted to do all I can, and you know it."

That kind of thing.

But, back to the love...I thought of the reality of opening up my email to find a sweet note from my husband, and remembering in the mundane of the day that our love is real and active. What if I got an email from Jesus? Wow. From: Jesus 1 zillion MBs. Attachment. Messages with attachments can cause harm to your computer. Are you sure you trust the sender? Corny. Made me laugh.

Jesus, you bless me! Just like that. You are pouring life and blessing and anointing into me today. You are empowering me to live and move and love and serve. You are making and molding and shaping me. You believe in me. You want to be with me as much as I want to be with you.

You would walk into the room right now if it would be best. But, it's not.

It's best that you are here...in my heart, a direct line. Direct view to my heart of hearts, seeing the real me, letting me know the real you.

Crying when I cry, and laughing when I laugh. (And hoping I laugh more than I cry.)

Giving me all I need. Preparing for me all I need.

Letting me know, "it's not about me"...while showing me that mysterious paradox that it's also "all about me."

You've tattooed my name on yourself!
It's true!
Isaiah says, "See, I have engraved you on the palm of my hand. You are mine."
What a man!

Oh...I love my earthly man more than words can tell. And mysteriously, he keeps getting better. How, I cannot fathom. But, he does. But, with you...there is no comparison. The love of my life! My candlelight romance from girlhood until now. My first date and my last. My love.

I may fail many times (rather...I will), but you know my heart above all others. You understand me and know my desire to please you. You know how I hurt when I don't bless you. When I get twisted and turned and confused trying to do right and ending up doing all wrong...you teach and heal and comfort and keep me centered: comfort me. Love me. Spread your wings wide over me...soft feathers that enfold and hide me until I'm ready to come out again...to try to smile again.

Oh! Today I thought a marvelous thought! You do not just take me and let me hide there and give me a hidden job to do to make me feel productive since I'm all scarred and broken...taking pity on me. No...you are....like the Great Samaritan: When everyone else may have passed me by, you stopped. Came over. Looked at me. Picked me up. Carried me. Paid for my care. Took me in. Saw that I was healed. Nursed me to health. And then...you came back to check on me.

On my own, I don't belong with the likes of you...but, you are just that way. Caring. Man above all men. Mighty hero coming to save. Count on it. A hundred times. Never failing. Always running.

You cure even my ugly leprosy. You come to me. Touch me. Draw me out. Look me in the eye, and speak life to me. Like no other would or could.

A new life, healed. Restored. Renewed. Humbled. Indebted. Whole. Praising and thanking you all of my days. Sending me out. Fresh. Never to look back.

Glory of all glories! Instead of away from you...with you I go. None other than a warrior! No...never again a cripple. Not even "wounded", and NEVER taken out of service. Oh, I can stay there and lick my wounds forever if I choose to...want to, away from you, refusing you, your sweet words and fellowship.

I get up. Go out. New assignment. New risk! New venture. Trusting you. We go on. Together.

Bolder. Stronger. Enabled. Anointed with your healing and commissioning balm. No confidence in myself, in the flesh. I learn to walk. To fight.

The perfect romance.

So...When did I fall in love with you? Was it in the coffeeshop? Chris Rice asks.

No. Though I like to imagine it that way, too. For me?

Best I can remember, Lord Jesus...mostly in a pink girl's flowered bedroom with lime green carpet, white wicker bed and chair, and rickety plastic vanity that made me a princess. Candle light, door locked, and love poured out, tears flowing...you knowing me, and me knowing you. And in the tops of trees, singing. And walking a gravel road. On and on... I AM so in love with you still! Soon I'll tell you how and when. As I did my husband for Christmas this year in a journal.

In the meantime, give me today the glow of one in love with the Prince of all princes, Hero of all heroes, King of all Kings, and Ruler of all Kingdoms.

The smile of one captured, possessed, and embraced in the quiet.

The delight of a bright-eyed bride with a continual feast set before her.

My love...my one sure and true and constant reality! Forever.

How could I not be in love with You?