Redbuds Blooming! Ahhhh!

For Cindy

For Cindy: I need to weed. But, finally got outside to burn those boxes today, and look what I found!!! Spring is COMING!


Lilac...it will smell SO good!

Something Growing

This is going to be....some flowers....let's see...what are they? Maybe Tulips? Or...something I planted last fall and forgot about? Perhaps. I cannot remember for the life of me. Surprise!

Pansies...Hardy Favorite

Pansies Survived ALL Winter. Right where I pull in EVERY day...I see flowers growing. I love it! I LOVE pansies! I want to be a pansy. Go ahead, call me a pansy!

Forsynthia...on it's way

Today's "Work"

Today...a lot of blog work trying to make the next seven months of blogging a little more organized than the first. Still in trial mode trying to come up with a way to have a "main blog" while allowing for diverse interests. Will allow more of a filing system by topic for me and hopefully spare you from reading about things that are not of interest.

I plan to just link to those blogs --so, this is the master station switchboard of sorts.

I've been wanting to try this from the beginning and just didn't have the gumption or experience or energy. We'll see how it pays off.

Now, onto everything else I intended to get done today...those non-essential essentials that pile up left undone...bathing, cleaning, breathing...etc.




Okay, so the new look!

I get more real estate for type, and Spring colors to boot. Not too painful.

I miss the garden green of the old template, but hey...life is change!

2AM. Must sneak into bed in stealth mode so as not to wake Mr. Wonderful...
also got the laundry room pass-able. Worthy goals for 2AM?

Still wide awake.


As ususually happens to me after I've been sick for a while, my sleep cycle is way off. So, It's 12:45AM, and I am blogging. What is with that?

Just catching up with friends in the margin, some I know personally, some I 'don't'. I dare say I know them better than "friends" who don't read their blog, so to speak. I know what matters to them, what they dream about, hope for, and struggle through. What else is there to know?

I realized I've been blogging seven month. Wow. Time to clean it up some. I'll get to that soon.

I wanted today to just celebrate some of February's high points...sick as a dog, deep as mud...but still an awesome month.

So...below are some more fun February stuffs. Enjoy the lighter side of my life.


Park Day

The Park is even fun to a 9 year old after a long winter!

Kids' Construction

Putting together their new sports rack in the garage. She reads the instructions and bosses the boys around...they do all the work. Sounds good.

Head First

"Flash"...Finds the Adventure in Everything


Is This A Good Time or WHAT?!

Wow...All three happy with glee, for a LONG time. They said, "We could just swing forever." I used to feel the same way.

Balance Beam?!

Balance Beam...with concrete below!!!!

Three Man Slide

All Three Try to Go Down a Two Man Slide


Fun Card

HomeMade Valentine Card for Mr. Wonderful This Year. He Loved It.

The Kids LOVED the pillows for the denim window seat pillows for the boys room...of course, instant bed!

Red's First Multi Variety Valentine Chocolates...Mmmmm

Red Wanted us to move the fan upstairs so he could make his spider man wings "fly".


How to use MSCONFIG: NetSquirrel.com

This link tells you how to speed up your computer considerably by not letting every program you have loaded to "pre-load" at start-up boot.

Most programs you need, you will simpy open by clicking the icon, or opening them yourself...you do not need them all running at computer boot as if you've already been using them already and want them on standby in the icon tray running in the background.

You'll be amazed how much faster this makes your boot process, and how much faster your computer runs as a whole. Technicially speaking, it frees up "system resources". [To find out how much computer resources you have available, right click on your computer tab, get to system properties|system resources|performance].

System resources should never be below 75% or you will not be be a happy camper. Staying above 80% lets you multitask as you wish.

Here is a list of programs you need to leave selected to keep running at startup.

Anything you leave unselected and find you need later...go back and add it back in. It is no problem to change. You must reboot for changes to take effect, AND it will give you a message asking you if you are aware you have selective startup enabled and you say "Yes." It will then ask you if you want to be notified at every startup of this option being enables, select "No", unless you just enjoy little text boxes popping up at startup. lol.

How to use MSCONFIG: NetSquirrel.com


Intensity and Abandon

The last few weeks have just felt intense. I haven't felt like blogging much. MasterLife has taken a lot more focus, and that's been a good thing. Sometimes when the world is crashing in...getting back to basic disciplines brings back the focus and the joy again, and it has.

I'll state this, not for the wrong motives, but because it is becoming a lost "art" and so few do it. For our extended time of group prayer, I decided to fast. I just gave it to the Lord, ate my last meal Wednesday night and ate again Thursday morning about 12:00AM. So...not the world's longest fast by any means, but the longest fast I've ever done. Something about missing the next's days supper time, too. I've fasted from bedtime until a 6:00 supper the next day many times.

It gave me a lot of joy. Something about having a cold and a headache already made it easier. I already had less appetite than normal and wasn't feeling so great, so what's a little more edge?

I had a roaring headache through the bulk of our 5 1/2 hour prayer time...and I mean like praying from the time we hit the door until the time we left. No praise and worship warmup or teaching...just prayer. I haven't had that in a LONG time...too long. It was so beautifully quiet and serene. Often, if you go somewhere to pray alone, especially as a female, it seems a bit disconcerting and lonely and scarey at times. You are safe, but it's just lonely. With so many people filling different rooms, praying at the same time, asking for God's direction in the same place. It was just royal treament and a royal treat.

After our 3 hours or something alone reviewing things we've learned, asking God to show us...whatever we needed to see...we got together as a group and prayed for one another. What was so funny is the underestimation of how much time this would take. We were scheduled to be done at 9 and got done at midnight. But, even the most quiet, backward, or reserved person prayed over each person -- the love and healing and blessing and even correction that flowed in such a sheltered environment--it was just fun. No other word for it...such a blessing. It seems we would have gotten bored...but so many were new at it that it was like watching a baby learn to walk. Just filled you up.

Fortunately, we don't do it too often. My child care was like...you WHAT for 5 1/2 hours, are you kidding me?

It's amazing to me how you can be in an intensive Bible study with a group of people...for us, 18 weeks now, how little most of us still knew about each other, and just the spirit ties some of us have formed that defy words or explanation...we are so different in ages and life.

Today we know each other much more, having heard the whole group's culminated prayers over a person.

We were supposed to share one of our life goals...and, I still don't know for sure what my over-riding life goal that will direct my ministry is. I was hoping God would show me. Some hints I suppose...but, I don't know...not sure.

I just know that I see the next four months, and that's what I'm to do wholeheartedly, not looking back or ahead--to have my life in line to do whatever He wants from me after that. He'll have to make it very clear. I don't want to settle for "good" and miss his "best". I could do many things.

Feel like I'm trying to figure out with God what I'm going to be when I grow up lately...again, yet knowing, I won't know right now. It's not time for that revelation. In the meantime, just learning to hear his voice and obey. Make sure I'm not wasting the time doing whatever is in front of me.

*Preparing for hospitality more...preparing my home, whatever it takes.
*Preparing my preschooler to enter the world.

My three basic goals.

Wish I had something the sounded more...well, different, new, exciting. But, still just hashing out old goals, waiting for his help.

Tonight, reflecting on pride/humility in relation to all this stuff: ("I want to look better than that"). Purpose Driven Life says true humility is not self focus-- not focused too much on either my strengths OR my weaknesses. Instead, having an accurate view of myself, and letting God have it all, focused on others.

Well, that's all for tonight. Seems like it's too deep for a blog...most people I suppose surf for something light and entertaining...a relief from the heaviness of life. But, just where I am this week. As we know, this is all about me. lol.

I hope God stirs in you the desire to know a God who knows your heart and everything about you, and everything He wants you to be for Him to impact a world needing to see Him in you, whatever it takes.

As to the fast, if you've never tried one, it just gives an incredible sense of purpose, focus, and other-centeredness that is hard to explain. If you have a day "off" it is especially nice...you can follow prompting to do things for others you normally don't find time to do. Write notes, that sort of thing. Today when I get hungry...I want food and I want good food and I want it now! I think I'm still making up for lost time. You know what? Food tastes extraordinarily GOOD to me now. Sometimes, you get busy, and you just stop tasting...really tasting. I'm not talking about over-eating or gorging, just savoring. After you've been stressed for a while, you just stop tasting. Now, I can taste again. It just brought me back to a more basic place. I love the verse in The Message that says, "to be mature is to be basic." Sometimes it takes a lot of getting back to basics to find that deep and abiding joy and faith and hope that sustain in troubled times.

On a lighter note: Last night, I was asked last night to prepare an Upward devotion for today at the B-Ball game half-time.

I asked God what I could do on the spur of the moment--only has to be 5 minutes long, but needs to "stick"--lot of unchurched people there.

At that moment, I looked up and sawmy purple, long, metal baton I used to twirl. I'd found in my closet this week & hadn't put away yet (not that I was playing with it).

I said, "Okay, what else?" Immediately the story of the parable of the seed came to mind. So I told how God used a friend planting the seed in my life of wanting to learn to twirl and compared it to what we wanted to do at Upward...to plant seeds. Talked about the different kinds of soil and what God can do with us at each place to take us to better soil so we can experience growth and fullness of life. It was so fun to try to do, though I was so nervous. I got done, and an older lady I'd asked to pray for me comes to give me a hug and says, "You are not going to believe this, but I used to be a marionette myself." You just don't hear that much around these parts, so it was just cool.

All those years pinging that thing of an 8 foot ceiling in my bedroom paid off for something useful! LOL.

My husband asked me how the devotion went.
"Well, what did you do?"
"Well, I twirled my baton."

You can bet he asked for the full story!



Discipline of Blogging

I don't particularly "feel" so much like blogging this week. But, like anything else, it is a discipline if you don't maintain, you suddenly forget why you ever did it, and it is gone. Sharing and vulnerability and honesty and journaling for the benefit of others...all that is a discipline. And, I pray that it feeds into my life also...making me more willing to be real with the good, the bad, and the ugly with me. Not because I want anyone to see that, but because, only in an attempt to share our lives with people can other people see God's rescue, deliverance, and work in our lives beyond what we could ever do ourselves. If we hide behind smiles, and "fine", and never say, "This is my life, my day, my thoughts"...people never see what really makes us grow and tick and because. They never know the challenges we overcame in His name. I think we all want to appear to be self made or natural born heroes, to the point where He fades into the background of a new habit in our life, part of the mix, but not crucial.

In my average-ness and crankiness...anything good people see is Christ, not me. In myself, I am brash and critical and grouchy. I've been through a lot of losses and challenges that have shaken my foundation to what felt, at that time, to be a pinnacle of Christ I stood on tiptoes to stay on for some time. Until He gave me that opportunity to let that grow into a pedastal for me to stand on, and then a mound, and then a rock, and now a firm and unshakable mountain. In comparison, how it feels, though another major loss would no doubt challenge that feeling of security as it does for us all.

So, that's why I blog. Becuase people need to know Christ, and they need more of Christ. More of the Holy Spirit given access to every part of them, their mind, will, and emotion...so that we are a body of Christ, a people, loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and loving each other as we love ourselves.

In order for us to make a difference...it's GOT to run deeper in us. Christ has to become our breath, our existence, our livlihood, and our highest fun. Our entertainment value for life. I want the best of it. I want to see and experience at times in my life, "greater works" than he did. That is what he promised us. That is what he prophecied about us. So, why are we not there? He says that we will seek him and find him if we seek him with ALL our hearts. Are we finding him to the levels we desire?

Most books on knowing God say that you are as close to him as you want to be. I have to say that in recent years, I've pulled back. Why? The demands were too much for me. We want to dream dreams, have visions, to know what God is doing so that we can join Him. Then, we have a prophetic dream and it scares the daylights out of us and we worry for days if we were supposed to do something with that, or just pray, or affect the situation, or alert, or what in the world is going on and why is God telling us anyway? And then, it happens. And the person goes through hell. And they make poor choices. And you wonder if you did the right things, or if you chickened out. Finding God and hearing him and having a sense of peace in all that...working toward that peace is life consuming.

If we think that we can just sit and watch TV and not be totally engrossing in his word, his truth, his guidance, and sharpening ourselves to discern his voice out of a heart with a clear conscience...we are dreaming already. We are thinking we can live "the full life" here, not "missing" anything "good", and still be warriors in the kingdom. If you find it that way, let me know. It has taken layer after layer of bad habits off my life to free up enough time to sit with him. And then I realize I'm making excuses over another area of discipline I need because of time, and another thing I want out. And I am misusing my body and not presenting it to him for his use and service and fit for the things he might have me do, and other habits have to come and go.

He consumes you. If you don't want a life being totally consumed and used for Jesus, this blog is going to seem terribly radical and uninteresting and crazy to you.

But, I'm tired of seeing people not know truth. They "fall"and find they cannot feel even the pinnacle, strong and steady and peircing to hold them up. They perceive themselves to be hopeless, falling, unsteady, doubting...and there is no other warrior walking closely enough with them to help hold them up. I cannot imagine life without the support of other faith-filled warriors. If you don't have those people who are that close to you, pray for them. And seek to be that kind of friend, speaking encouragement and truth.

Some might say, "But, I've shared my heart before and I got hurt." Listen, we as a body of Christ are not supposed to gossip. But, let me tell you something else. You cannot dump details and people's real names and exact situations without it being too heavy for even fellow Christians to handle well. Use discretion when you "are real" and "share your heart". You can share heart struggles you have, a "friend" who you are really struggling with in "an area of ministry", and the effect that is having on you without saying a thing about the situation, without dishonoring the person and God's work in their life...without tearing anybody down.

And then, you can pray together. They take away from that sharing little situational stress, no temptation to even try to tell something so vague to someone else...not a trusted confidante. Just a burden to pray for you. They will not subliminally try to affect that situation and mess with it for you. Now, a pastor or someone like that may be able to handle more detail...but as a generality, unless you cannot make progress on your own at all and need to see yourself more clearly as well as them, you may not even need to share then. We do not protect and honor each other enough. We are ONE body.

So, there is my pep rally for the day. Wasn't even what I sat down to write about. I'll write about that another time.



today is a day to prepare...to keep my heart and mind open and intercede for others. and to hope that God, in some small ways, still sees fit to keep guiding me along my life path by callings and dreams I suppose I cannot even know or articulate. To keep walking the path he has me on with some degree of confidence, while being prepared to be open to the next thing...whatever that may be.

In the meantime, until more revelation comes, i'll just try to keep myself ready so that i feel free to move when that thing comes.

well, Red has awakened...time to go for now.




Today...I broke out of a rut. Lived dangerously. Explored the world.

I went to a Wal*Mart in a different town for our morning errands.

Yes...I know. It's really quite unbelievable to try to put it into words.

Hair not washed, unshowered, no makeup--spur of the moment. Me, Red, Deli Doughnuts, and Wal*Mart.

They have different stuff than our Wal*Mart. I bought a new white shirt...didn't like it. Might alter it, might take it back. I bought lightbulbs and other boring necessities.

Then...as if that were not enough...we went to Big Lots. Now...I have to but in just the right mood to enter Big Lots. But, I've heard rave review on scrapbooks items generally much more expensive...so, we went. Found a few gems. Pillows for the boy's window seats, a sports rack organizer for the garage.

Yes, I know, it's all so mundane, you might say...BUT...I was feeling better, and out of the house, and IT'S EXCITING GOSH DANG IT! Okay, so that sounded way too much like Napolean Dynamite.

I also bought new cordless phones. A dual pack. (So, I can now talk to you in more style, but still haven't got our long distance reconnected, so you still have to call me. Disconnected it accidentally and just haven't gotten around to it...for...several....months.)


Worked on my MasterLife life goals last night some. I don't feel like doing it in a group of people so much. Maybe if mine are done I can hear God on others things, pray for others, or help somebody else. Who knows. I'm still open.

That's all for today.



Field Trip

Today, a field trip with the kids to see a play and McDonalds playland with 40 some odd kids...talk about a roar. Me with a roaring headache trying to stay in decent humor. I drove my son's teacher.

There's pressure. Behavior with all three of your kids in a small space traveling together. I hate to ruin my children's reputation like that! Just kidding. They were pretty good and she seemed humored by it all. She's been sick also, so she understands "sick".

I just feel in a funky mood about this whole earth thing right now. Want to go live somewhere away from it all. Not really finding a lot of lasting joy in all the muck. Pressure of situations around me just seem to weigh hard and sickness takes it's toll. This Bible study on warfare has me so aware how much more there is for us to do to take America by storm.

And I look through the TV channels, everything we are driven to zone in on...everything blasted at us, and I think...how will we survive? How will my kid's survive? And I am praying hard.

Lord, help me look over the business of my household with all diligence as you told me to do. Help me. Keep pushing me as to how to keep them in the world and not of it. A desperate prayer for me right now.


monday: snowed in

Finally feeling some better.

Had a date with my husband yesterday. We got some shopping done and ate at Ruby Tuesdays.

It was a terrific date...one of my favorites. We just really enjoyed each other's company a lot-- not just the dinner and a movie thing. He was just great. So much fun. We visited my Dad...good time.

Skipped church, drove back in terrible weather, had a tire blow a hole in it. Got home safe.

Today, no kids at home. It feels delicious...and I do not have to feel guilty about saying that. No TV, no fussing.

Just...air blowing. Vents rattling. Trees cracking from the ice.

Catching up on Bible Study, housework, shopping, van maintenance...LIFE!

Pondering ministry...how to do it better.

Man! I'm very wiped out from being sick for 2 weeks now.

Trying to stay productive and on top of things so the pile up factor doesn't occur. Making lists of things to do to get the house in order again...trying to motivate myself to decorate the house again...so many "small things" need to be done. I've been tearing pics out of magazines, making notes, making lists. Fun. I don't know what I'm doing, but it's fun trying.

Well...off to take advantage of the day.



Goals and Purposes

Today is better. I can get up. I mopped. Did some cleaning.

I can't swallow yet, but...who needs that anyway? One thing at a time. I CAN move my head without sever pain and nasea today. Improving.

Can finally read again. Good thing...I've seen so much fashion TV I was going to out-style everyone I know. Just kidding. You'd have to live in NYC to get away with wearing what those girls wear. For only "under $300" I got this fabulous bag/coat/dress! Gracious. Who buys like that? Get a life. I think the designers are lying to make us feel better about our $40.00 purchases...when, most times, THAT is too high for the number of times we wear many things offered. Off that soap box.

Trying to catch up on my study some. This week is on your life purpose and goals. Funny I had that on the brain the week before.

I work on those myself at times, but really REALLY hate it when somebody asks me. (Yeah, I know...I asked you guys a week or so ago, and I even did part of mine.) But, I always realize how short I'm falling. Why review is imporant, I know.

This is very specific in terms of-- what am I doing to reach specific goals so that in the end, I find I've hit my life's overarching purpose.

What vision has God revealed to me for my life?

Overall, I can see the direction He has had me so this far, and how people walkinig me through this process in high school laid the foundation for important life choices I've made so far.

Still, it always still feels like a looming question no matter how many times you answer it...even if you always arrive at the same answer! I suppose it's the nagging feeling that you just aren't there yet. Not where you want to be. Not hitting the mark as much as you'd like.

In that, a refining process, I suppose. In not "in the mood" to be refined after this week's fire already. But, here we go. A tough week to submit to that kind of thinking...but, maybe where God wanted me. Quiet. Alone. Me and him. Stillness. Pain. Fever. Dependant on others. Helpless. Able to center down. Get back to basic(--breathing, standing, etc.)

So, meeting my goal for today? Being with my kids, getting caught up on some cleaning, catching up on Bible Study. Hard to see how all this points to a great life goal...all these tiny, mundane things. And my attitude gets so rotten at times doing the daily grind. I wish I were that cheerful little being like my Mother-in-law, throwing sunshine into the world with every plate washed. My mom HATED housework. She grew a garden out of this world...loved to be outside, make us clothes, built her house with my Dad. She WORKED hard. But, she just didn't like doing housework inside. So, I find myself groaning through it myself. Knowing that's where I need to be, trying to follow examples to help me enjoy it more, and doing it...but most times with more of a grunt than a smile. I still have time and God is going to get me there. Probably not while I have a cold, but someday.

Mainly, I've been drawn this week to Biblical examples where their faith in where they were headed was key. If they doubted, they lost the battles to invisible giants already.

I don't want to lose like that. If I lose fighting my heart out...that's okay. But, I won't. In Him, we always win. Somehow. He even redeems our losses. Quite a deal.

Not doubting and wasting so much time questioning. Knowing what I know...believing the promises of the word more and more and living within that truth. No self doubt. No doubting him. Where he leads and guides...I try to follow. I hope he shows me that map, but sometimes he reveals that part we want to see...sometimes not. And...here we go, getting to my main point and fear I suppose...that's okay. If I don't have a great new revelation to write down in my book, that's okay. If I'm still mopping the floor, being with my kids, and surviving...that's part of it. A big part of it.

Times of frustration make us want to doubt...and He understands.

If I can just keep hearing Him in priorities, everything else will fall into place and fill my life with worthy things.

Well, the kids need help with lunch, the laundry buzzer buzzes, and I'm getting low on energy myself. On to fulfilling my life's goals and purposes.



Gas Station Lady

Well, when you have your health...THANK GOD FOR IT EVERY DAY!

A person can only handle so much channel surfing.

My scrapbook magazine did come today...and I knew God existed. Just kidding. (What? He thought it was funny.) Only, I'm too naseated to look at it. But, that's okay. I just hold it and flip a page occasionally. Feels somewhat enjoyable in a rather unenjoyable day. Not my best to say the least.

I thought of something bloggable that is pretty fun (besides hearing me gripe and complain about body aches and chills...I know...bloggers to eat that stuff up. I'm 85, so sue me. Kidding...I just sound 85 this week).

So, anyway, while I'm not talking about my fever breaking, I'll tell you a story. (Yes, I took a flu screen today...negative. Must be a sinus infection. But, I'm not talking about that.)

So, Valentines Day, I was doing my Bible Study, and it says we were supposed to do something for someone else unexpected...something "kind" or whatever. (If I've done something nice for you, it wasn't because you were an assignment, okay? But, it perks your ears to Random Acts of Kindness" opportunities.) I missed my class, so I'll tell you guys.

I stopped at a local gas station to get gas. The same girl who usually works there took my card and I heard her talking about it not being a good day , "Oh, just a long day, not much to smile about."

So...rocket scientist, me...assumes it's the whole Valentine Day "thing" going on.

Hedging my bets, I go home and make her a homemade Valentine's Day card and sign it from my family, saying she made our day bright and we appreciated her. True: she's conscientious and quick at getting me back to my kids, waiting in the van.

When I walked back in to deliver the card, she was waiting on someone else. She spoke over them and said, "Did you forget something?"

I said, "Oh, no." trying to wait for a more private opportunity to give her the card.

The other lady left, and I slid it to her across the counter and said, "It's a Valentine."

She smiled real big just lit up and turned to the side to start opening it away from some other guy there trying to tell some joke that wasn't funny, but I didn't see any more-- I was sort of embarrassed and left before she could say anything.

So, anyway, it will be interesting to see what happens the next time I see her. I don't think she knows Christ. Just a feeling.

So, pray for my gas station card taker lady. I'll update if God uses it further.

For those of you who might guess the culprit, long bleach blond hair.



and -- iukooo7u8-->my head hitting the keyboard

i either have the flu or this is a demonic cold or a sinus infection is much more horrid than i remember. mr skin hurts--everything hurts. even my hair. i've been in bed forever...

back to bed for me.

i luv my mommy. i luv my husband.

typing with one finger--the other ones hurt

go antibiotics go



As I told a friend on a phone a while ago: my head is a pinata. (That's a spanish word for a thing hit with a stick, filled with stuff that falls out, generally speaking, a child's birthday game). I do not nor will I look for the tilde for the n hidden within the deep recesses of my computer keyboard "~ " to go over the "n".

So. Pinata. It just doesn't look right.

Well, I don't feel right.

I went on a cold medicine strike yesterday...I think it was doing more harm than good. But, the good it WAS doing is now no longer good at all, and now, it's still not good. But, at least not the bad that it was.

My Mom came and offered to take Red on errands today...bless her tender heart.

I warned her of the bathroom issue. You have to carry him inside everywhere still because cars seem to make him have to "go", and he has to cross his legs to make it to the bathroom. The people at Wal*Mart see me coming and have a basket waiting for me at this point.

I feel SO bad. I wanted to burn trash today and take stuff to the barn and mop my floor. If I don't get it done in the first hour I'm up before my body starts screaming at me...i.e. sinuses wailing in pain, it does not get done. I got all chores done between 10-11 last night I could do for the day. Still clothes that need folding and switching over. If I didn't have such a roaring headache, I'd do it now.

I have tried to stay busy with a few projects to keep the week from being a total wash-out. Worked on my Bible Study as much as I could...still very behind, but trying to memorize some scripture...still terrible at it. But, it keeps me sane...sanity is good.

Sounds boring, but actually, it's good to have something you've always wanted to do, something hard to do, done. I keep telling myself if I were in college and had paid for classes and had worked hard all semester, I wouldn't let the flu or a cold or whatever this thing is keep me from studying, and groaning and moaning, and reading and memorizing to pass that infernal test. And..so...why should I lighten up now when it is life or death? When the content makes sense? When the material is something I need to live and breathe? When, in doing so, will bring me life and healing and help?

So...no good excuses.

Off to slay some mountains...or blow my nose, whichever comes first.



In Between

I still feel so cruddy. Okay, so the sledding and ice skating probably not the greatest remedy for a cold. I'm hoping the apple pie will hit the spot. The potato soup mix turned out a curteled mess. Ugggh.

To the grocery, in the cold. Hacking my head off. Lovely. My son asked why I was wearing my red robe when I came back in the door. Mistaken for the red robe I've been wearing for a week, I presume. I seriously think I had a mild flu...maybe from my flu shot a few weeks ago. I ached and chilled for days.

Now, a stomach bug seizes my home also to add to this delightful state.

Again, we think of yesterday. Skating across the ice, twirling, having fun...dripping nose, but anyway, it was fun.

And tomorrow, with hearts and flowers and sweet love.

I am blessed.

Lovin it! Finally, my kids take something after ME!

Ooooh, this one has a string! What if Mom pulls it? ...Yeah, MUCH easier.

Hold on!


Never has a double stacked milk crate come in SO handy!

Me and Red


Okay, so my Mom cut off Red's very fine black cowboy belt, but he was in meltdown mode, so one shot was all we got. She convinced me the camera was level. But, that picture on the wall must be hanging VERY crooked. No...we are all LEANING>.... yeah, that's it! She has to be the world's most challenge photographer...but, hey! She got all our heads this time! :-)

Music City USA

The drummer FINALLY gets a solo.

A "Drag" sketch...every year tradition...gotta love the brave new rookies recruited each year...I think it's an initiation of sorts. I left it out of focus here to protect the innocent

Oh, and Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash...very nice

More raw talent. The judges were nice to most everyone...except their peers, whom they dogged sagavely.

My Little Party animal, and my Mom

Two "Nashville Babes"

Willy...See the braided pigtails? Well, they are there. It was truly awesome. Nashille, USA theme. Very cool.

The comedians...and the judges

More Strummin'...Fans everywhere

Havin' Fun

Our Youth...fundraiser extraordinaire Vanentine Dinner...they serve us and host a theme...we all dress up, and have a comedy/drag/talent show of sorts. So much fun.

My Man, At His Finest. Praying. And my Step Dad, at his finest. Loved this shot. I know, taking pictures during the prayer...have you no respect? Shoot...I figure God is doing the same thing!

Red Barn

Wow. Learn to use the "spot" focus on your camera....definately.

Woven Together

No more trekking up the hill, carrying kiddos! Ahhh...when Daddy is home, things get smarter! Room for mom on the wooden plank...right there by Boy Wonder. Goldilocks friend "S" came to play today.

"Z" and "S" in transit...getting pulled up the hill.

Mounting the horse...new sled for ThReE!

Sanctuary. Wow. I needed that. So, when taking a picture on a hill...either the ground is level, or the trees look like they are growing sideways....I suppose I should learn something from that. Next time...eliminate landscape!?

Everybody on! Sheer glee! 10AM Sledding...before it all melts! Oh for a 4-5" snow we could play in at 1PM...when it's WARMER in the DAY! God, in His mercy, suspended my drippy nose for several hours. I was MOST thankful!



Today. Pancakes. Scattered snow.
Time in the word. Aaaah.

Reviewing old memory cards...man! Such great life and promise in there I've not reviewed in a while. I love it. Life to me. Want to give life to others.

Keeping the yougins' busy, cleaning up after them.

Preparing for a date tonight...maybe. Head...falling...down...from cold again. need rest... must have.......rest.

all for now.



Thursday. Too much sickness all around...band practice cancelled. Reworking Sunday morning set toward the familiar a bit. I already had child care arranged for it, so had a friend over for snacks and prayer. Fried Green Tomatoes, hummus and pita bread. Mmmmmm. Puts me in the mood to pray. (Bunny Reese's Ice Cream now as I type...) Comfort food this week. My throat just REALLY hurts. Other than that. Feel better today! Aches gone. Chills gone. Praise God.

I think we'll live.

Thanks for the praise reports people are sending me this week, and for the prayer requests. Though I'm not blogging as actively right now, I can lay and pray.




Today, in the bed until almost noon with chills and body aches. Telling Red I'd go get him his apple juice in "just a minute". My...for the women of the past generations who work through it all. I am weak. A wimp. Not one of the vigorous strong who suck it up and no one knows you are even ill. No. I am pushing the meds, drinking the tea, in my flannels...resting to get better sooner.

A lot of strange dreams. Ugggh. Hard to say if they mean anything or not.

In any case. Psalm 1:2-3 was our memory passage for MasterLife last week. I hold onto that as I've not had time to dig for much else in study this week. Brain simply too full, too sick. "On his law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree planted by streams of water bearing fruit in its season whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers."

I receive it....Amen and Amen!


Tuesday Tales

Thanks for all the comments lately guys. Honestly...what I want this think to be...community. Quasi community. I think you are getting it. Thanks. I want you hear. Want to hear from you. Want you to voice your thoughts, your opinions, challenge me if you want or feel like it. If I didn't think I needed it, I'd write a book, not a blog.

I just saw that Beth Moore is coming to TBN once a week starting January 22. Oh, the world IS a better place today than it was yesterday!

Unrelated, "Devine Design" is on. Made me think that I might rather have the little Mexican guy "chico" than a maid. I tell him I want something put in or wired in a funky, fun way...lighting whatever. And he smiles, and just does it. I tell my folk the same...they stare at me for a good long while, arms crossed then say, "If you REALLY want it, I'm sure we could find a way...but..."
Then, the fun is just over and I change my mind. About fifteen lights I wanted to change FOR SURE when I moved into this house...and so far, well, two are updated enough for me to bear.

Not exactly my dream.

Yes, in comfie clothes, baseball cap, no makeup, pony tail, napping off and on by the fireplace as fever comes and goes. I do have the life to be able to 'be sick' when I am sick. I agree. The best year of my life. Read 'em and weep.

Still...a cold is a cold. Red's eye is turning red I just noticed. Hmmm. Looks weird.

What to do for Valentine's Day? I don't know. That would require hair and makeup at this point. Somebody else may have to make plans and just tell me when to show up, I don't know.

I am channel surfing today. I generally only channel surf under one condition. Nothing else I am doing seems to be improving myself or anybody else...rebellion. It will last about one day and then I can't handle any more shallowness. Was just watching Mandy Moore on "Isaac". Cute girl. I think she's such a doll. But, these talk shows just rave and get all excited over everything and it just gets annoying. "Oh my gosh! Would you look at that spot on the wall! I NEVER noticed that! WoW! That is SO great! I WANT one of these."

???? No offense intended. Plastic joy is plastic joy. I don't NEED joy THAT badly. I get pretty desperate, but it just too much. I can find my own joy in vaccumming my own house before I resort to too much of that. But, not today, I think I'd sneeze my head off.

Been to Wal*Mart. Have a plan for supper. House is fairly clean. God is good. Let's not forget it!




Monday. Fighting a cold. Feel like my body is being pulled by gravitational magnetism to the floor...which I'd be happy to lay on indefinately. My back wants a heating pad 24X7.

Son #1--sick stomach. Daughter #2 has cold. Son #3, getting a cold/still has potty issue.

Spritually: Obediently, faithfully singing victory songs as the enemy is stealing from, killing, and destroying those around me. Not my favorite time.

Emotionally: Worn out.

House: fairly caught up, praise God.

Goal for today: take cold meds. Wait/rest until further instruction.


What Do You Seek

I'm still waiting. On you. On the Lord. On myself. I'm not sure which. But, waiting..."though it lingers, wait for it."

Still hearing from you. I hope you are enjoying the assignment and what it stirs in you. A few years ago, I had an assignment in a course to answer the question, in letter form, that Jesus asked of his followers..."What seek ye?"

I found that it took me weeks beyond the assignments due to date to answer such a simple question. And the lack fo my focus was more disturbing to me in the end than my answer to the question itself. I realized I had some much of disillusionment that was holding me back from dreaming...reaching...becoming.

This week, I've had a really tough week. I dare say, in some ways, the toughest in years. But, God is God, and I am not.

But, I do want to hone in on how to be faithful--more effective. This question comes back to me as a key for us all.

In any case, I am enjoying the break from the sound of my own thoughts and words and simply waiting...on you, the Lord, His words to me, His timing, new ideas.

Keep working on your passions/challenges. I look forward to hearing from you.

"What seek ye?"



Your Turn

Thought you PurposeDrivenBlog junkies might enjoy knowing something about the people in my blog community, and I like knowing something about you, too. Some of you lurk...and that's a little freakie, but a known factor here in the internet world...seriously--you don't have to, but why not? Live a little. Give yourself a code name if you don't want to use your real name...then comment on my blog using that name. That way people will know something about my wonderful friends, too, even those of you who don't "blog" for whatever reason. Everyone should blog...but, hey, that's just my humble and true and right opinion. (I plan to link to this entry by permalink the sidebar for reference of future readers.)

First Topic in This Series
Your Weekend Assignment: Complete from 2-4 questions. Your choice.

I can't wait.

(I'd add a blog entry when I get a predetermined number only I know.
Yes...it's pressure. Manipulation. Passive Agressive. Controlling. Admitting it is the first step toward...

getting what I want. :-D Let's hear it for the blog!!! I heard Cyndie Lauper when I typed that. Whew. Shiver.)

1. Top Things I'm Passionate About Right Now are...

2. My biggest Challenge Right Now--joke version (see I know some of you too well)

3. New Personal Challenge--real version

4. Fav. Recent Movie

Zoo hits Mickey D's

Well, if your done reading yesterday's posts already...you're doing well. Short and sweet today: tackling "piles" of stuff all over the house of projects "to be done" that I never get down to. Nursing daughter through a new cold. Writing letters. Getting myself geared up and working hard to earn some play time this weekend. Lunch with a friend and five kids. Great break!

And...off and rolling again, trying not to get the afternoon sleepys before work is done.

PS: Doesn't this pic look liek there is a person with a dog face or something in the background? Guess I missed that in real life. Maybe it's the size of the pic.


Angel Envy

Today feels like a "joy comes in the morning" kind of day.

Sometimes, things get so heavy and deep and murky. There are no easy answers.

But, enough of that. Today is about God lifting me up out of the muck and mire.

Today is about that lovely moment when you get an opportunity to stop looking at problems and at yourself and you get to encourage the unlikely.

This started this week at my Wal*Mart trip actually. There are usually two guys stocking bread on the bread aisle on a particular day of the week I shop. They must think it macho for those around to hear them bad mouthing each other for fun, "Dude, I'm going to kick your **s. I swear...you are going down. I've had it. That is just wrong. The last straw." And on and on it goes. I really wonder if they do it all day, because it starts everytime I'm there at that time. It's like a cartoon. I usually just ignore it and go on. After all, they are bread guys, and let's face it...there are certain defense mechanisms that could go along with such a job.

So, this week, I can't find my thick sliced bread my daughter wants for French Toast.

I mention this to the stock guy and he says, "Sure, it's still in the back. I'll go get it for you."

So, while this guy is gone, the other guy says to me: "Tell you what. When he comes back, you say to him, 'is that bird crap on here?'" I don't know what got into me, but I was in for a good practical joke, and we know Wal*Mart is known for it's overhead aviary.

So, the guy comes back, and the bread had sesame seeds all over the top. Well, this is French bread...not exactly what I need for morning breakfast French Toast. I tell him this, and have forgotten about the joke because I'm a bit frustrated. I promised her French Toast. He says, "Well, you could just cut the crust off?"

"Um, I'm not into that kind of hard hard." I say.

They both just crack up.

He says, "You mean to tell me I went all the way to the back for you and you're not even going to take the bread."

I said, "No, I'm not, it's not what I need."

He says, "Well. We don't have it. Must have been something we've stopped carrying."

I said, "But, I need bread. I guess I'll have to go to Kroger for it."

Like they care...they stock bread for Wal*Mart....OOOOoooh. They are shaking now, I'm going to KROGER.

So...at this point, I say, "Anyway...what's this ON it...it that bird poop?"

The other guy behind him says, "WHAT?! Poop?" and we start cracking up.

This errand boy turns around and starts pouncing his co-worked right there in the bread aisle almost yelling at him and laughing, "I'm going to KILL you! I can't believe you did that to me. Did you know he's my brother?"

I didn't. That explains it.

I'm laughing my head off now more than I did then.

So, anyway (this, after some not so friendly or anticipated visits to my local Wal*Mart, okay? You just endure it.)

But, there is this one lady who works there, and I tell you, she glows. I mean, there is just an effervesence of joy, caring, concern, help, authenticity, kindness, adept...she's got it all. So...I've inadvertently realized there are a couple ladies there whose lines I will actually LOOK for. She is one of them. Well, this day, I was in a hurry, but saw her around the self check out lines and it just empowered me to try them (again). Well, she just stood around and beat me to every problem, showed me how to keep from the computerized lady voice squaking at me and setting off the, "please pull the last item from the bag and rescan. I did not read it correctly."

So, then, my grapes turn out to cost $5.00 and they were supposed to be on sale. She suspends my whole transaction...goes to another register, looks up the right price, explains the problem to the person whose register she just commandeered, and I paid over there. Like anyone else in the store could do such a thing. I've never had it happen. (No, you don't get anything free when prices are wrong on produce, much to my disappointment.)

So, I'm off.

On the way to my van, I think to myself. That lady just makes my day. I want to be like the Wal*Mart checkout lady. My new goal in life. Seriously. She is my ambition. I'm going to keep in mind to do something really nice for her the next time I go through her line...buy her a coke or something. She just makes my life a real joy...and trust me, if I can say that at 8am with a boy needing to go "potty" every five minutes trying to get through the store with no breakfast in me yet...she's got it going on. Smiles--on my gosh. You just can't imagine the angelic-ness of it really. I'm humbled. I just can't even keep up. I just soak in it. I go through her line and bask in her cheerful voice. "How ARE you today?" "Well, hey there, little fella, you shore are a cute one!" "And what a lovely shirt."

It's just too much.

So, today, I go back to Wal*Mart, fogetting about this whole thing. I bought the wrong size PJs my son needed (exchange line--you know that drill), forgot lunch cups, was needing odds and ends that I forgot Monday. Well, all in all, I was really ticked off that I had to waste a morning and go back. To cheer myself, we bought doughtnuts on the way, and added some happy errands to the thing. So, we're doing pretty well.

But, we get to the other side of the store, and there is my angel. I literally turn the cart around and realize she is on the far side today, where I am, in the fast checkout lane, and I can do fast checkout. Man! God is GOOD!

So, there we go.

The minute we get there, cart full, I'm starting to unload, she says to me, "Does your little one need to go to the restroom?"

Dang! I forgot. He's been holding himself two minutes since I got the mouthwash.

"Yes. He really does. We have an issue."

She says, "Well, honey. You go right on and take him. I'll take care of gettinig this for you."

Oh... my... gosh. Am I on another planet? Is THIS the new Wal*Mart? It can't be!

I say, "Thanks. I'll be right back. Thank you. Thanks."

So, off we run, him holding himself tight by now and squatting as he ran.

We get back, and I tear off a daisy from some flowers I got for somebody else having a really bad day and stuck it in her Wal*Mart name pin.

I said, "Do you know I actually look for your line? I can't help it. You are so kind. At this point, I'm usually exhausted."

She just beamed. You could tell it meant a lot to her that somebody noticed. She said, "Have I ever told you my husband is a pastor?"

I said, "No, but I can tell, and that's great."

She said, "I had such a rough day yesterday. Didn't get anything caught up on my day off."

I said, "Well, you made my day."

She gave me the biggest hug, and we both had tears in our eyes.

So, look up Sandy. It's worth your trip. I guarantee it.

Weeks and weeks of hitting cranky professionals on the phone that just about make me want to cry and plead innocence or try to get them to just be nice to me...and then, there's Sandy.

Okay, so I'm crying now.

You can tell it's just been one of those weeks.

Adding to my bliss. I get home, and there is this huge knock on my kitchen door that just about scared the daylights out of me. Nobody ever uses that door but us. I go, and there is our new scales I'd ordered. Like...you know, the kind of scales that don't make you so happy. So, I get groceries unloaded and bring the thing out of it's wrapping and set it up. I've really not weighed in a year or so probably. Our scales are wacky. So, I set it, take off the tennis shoes. Breath deep...decide I'd weigh less if I exhale first instead...and climb on.

No joke! I'm within my target range. Seriously. I did it! It is important to leave one's self a 15 pound facilation zone in my humble opinion. You know, water gain, PMS, the off day, the off week, muscle weighs more than fat...that sort of stuff.

Man, am I one glad girl today! The WASA crackers were getting stale and the low fat FETA has turned to mold!

And, I really am looking forward to a healthy-ish Mexican bonanza around here tonight from ground beef I cooked three weeks ago.

Now, I'm really hungry.


Grace and Peace

Yesterday, I did obey. I didn't relish the thought and didn't really know how, but I did what I thought he was asking me to do. I'm such a mixed lump. Lord, use it. Be God.

Today...decompression day to some extent: Find joy, be uplifted, release, let go, think, pray, let go again. Try to find praise and worship and thanksgiving....enjoy my Maker. Know I can trust Him in everything.

I want to hear Him speak today. To be sure I hear him. Not my own thoughts and logic and reasoning Satan can use to convince me I'm on the right path-- while he's veering me slightly to the left or right for such a very long time that I've convinced myself I'm still driving straight on course. Lord, use your word and your truth to "keep my tires balanced". Priorities straight. Keep me straight on the path, not looking or veering to the right or to the left, not for all the best sounding logic and reasoning in the world. Help me make sure I honor the people I care about most in all I do.

How Satan distorts what is truly best for us.

Keep me on the path of servanthood. Giving of self. Sacrifice. Keep me there. I don't even know how entirely.
A bit behind on my Bible study today...too much on my mind this week to stay caught up. Have two days work to finish today.

Need to get some mundane things caught up. Laundry.
This whole blog experience is a bit confusing to me at times...to know what to do with it, what God is asking of me with it...what to expect. How to use it to grow myself and others. To be real and vulnerable without being a "real jerk". A hard mix. I hate hearing people say, "Well, I'm just being real. This is how God made me." God did not make people to be jerks. I don't want to be a real jerk. I want to be real godly. True. True blue...the truest. In Him. Like Him. That kind of true...in His truth.

I give this thing it to Him again as He continues to grow and challenge me with it. Feeling a bit lost with it right now, not sure why I write or why people read.

I guard against ungodly venting on it just for the sake of venting...but I do want help on bad days. I do want help where my logic is faulty. As with most my journaling, I get too self centered at times. I am aware today that I did hurt someone inadvertently. Not sure how. I will go back and try to figure it out, let God examine me sometime soon. Curiosity will probably get the best of me. But, for now. I'm sorry. I never mean to do anything but deal with my own stuff and affirm other people. If I miss the mark and am being a jerk or hit a raw nerve. I AM so sorry. With my friends here, I am committed to building. I don't want anything, not even this, to stand in the way of that. Perhaps I should stop. Not asking for votes. Seeking God.

Maybe I will take it in a new direction for a while. I'm not sure.

One thing at a time. Distractions are good sometimes. Not to obsess. And thank you for uncommon grace and laughter and burnt eggs and smoke alarms.
For today,
Rest and peace and grace to us all