Friday, October 31, 2008

Love Dare-Day 3 Update

Well, I must say that today I actually enjoyed the dare. It involved buying them something just to let them know you were thinking about them. It got my mind to working and thinking about my family. I found each of them a gift for about $2 each at that reminded me of things they liked. I then attached a note and left them on their beds for them to find.

Paul got a little bag of fishing weights with a note that read, "You have my heart-hook, line & sinker." I also put a Bible verse on there from Ephesians 1:16: "I have not stopped giving thanks for you..."

Jamie got a package of beads for making bracelets (that is her passion) and her note read, "In the same way you enjoy making and creating beautiful pieces of jewelry, you are a unique, beautiful creation of God. You have many talents and abilities and I pray you use them for God's glory. I love watching you learn and grow into God's one-of-a-kind design. "Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands." Psalm 119:73

Ericson received a packet of broccoli seeds. He loves to plant things!!! His note read, "In the same way you enjoy planting things and watching them grow, I am so enjoying watching you grow...into a Godly young man who honors his father and mother, prays for others and enjoys life. You bring so much joy to me! "May our sons flourish in their youth like well-nurtured plants." Psalm 144:12

Noah got a bag of bite-sized Snickers bars. He loves sugar more than just about anything else on the face of this earth! His note read, "You are sweeter than all the candy in this bag! God has blessed and honored me by allowing me to be your mom. I love all your "Snickers", giggles and songs each day. You bring a song to my heart! "Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy." Psalm 126:2

Tomorrow the dare is to contact your spouse (or in my case, the other person you're doing this experiment on) with the purpose of simply asking how they're doing and seeing if there's anything you could do for them. Sounds easy enough.

I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Wanna Be a Swimmin' Pickle!!

Imagine a small child standing on the side of a swimming pool. It's the first day of swimming lessons. This child has big dreams of one day becoming an Olympic swimmer and winning the gold medal! He desperately wants to learn how to swim, so his parent's have arranged private lessons with the USA Swimming Coach! He can hardly contain his enthusiasm...he's dancing around, giddy with excitement! The coach is already in the pool, ready for the lessons to begin. But when the coach calls the child into the water, instead of jumping in, the child just stands there wringing his hands and talking to himself. The coach can hear him say, "Oh, I want to be a gweat swimmuh! I want to be the best! I want my coach to be so pwoud! I want him to pick me to be the captain of the team!" The coach knows that this child has potential, and if he would simply obey, he would actually do well. So the coach tries to get the child's attention again, but to no avail. This time the child is heard saying, "This doesn't make any sense! Why can't I lun how to swim?? I'm at the pool! I wish he would huwwy up and teach me somethin'!" The coach is starting to get a little frustrated, but attempts one more time to get the child's attention, calling out his name. Still nothing. The child is still talking to himself. He's still wanting to learn how to swim, but his excitement is fading while the disappointment & frustration is growing that he just can't swim and doesn't understand why!?

Sounds crazy, doesn't it? In order to become a great swimmer, first he would have to at least get in the water! Secondly, he would need to spend lots of time in the pool-watching, listening & following his coach's instructions. Would he ever make it to the Olympics if he were to only commit to 10 minutes of practice & only on the days when it's convenient and fits in his schedule? He would never reach his goal, would he?

That's how it is with us as Christians. We want to be transformed and renewed. We long to grow closer to Christ. We yearn to know Him more. We desire to be filled to overflowing with the fruit of His Spirit and for others to see Christ when they look at our lives. Yet we're not willing to spend time with our Coach. Instead of diving into the Living Water of His Word on a daily basis, we stand on the side of the pool, dipping our toes in every now and then by reading a Psalm or Proverb for the day...occasionally jumping in for an extended swim by spending a few minutes in prayer, before getting out again to run off to other things that clamor for our attention while our coach is left waiting in the pool. And then when we don't see His fruit being produced in our lives, we wonder why?

Jesus tells us in John 15:4 to remain in Him. He says, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."

I'm not saying that by spending time with Jesus, we'll begin to produce the fruit on our own-we cannot. We're just branches. We are the fruit bearer's. But we do have to choose to remain in Christ by reading His word, spending time with Him in prayer, and then He will bring about the desired results, transforming us to be more like Him.

I know a cucumber is not a fruit, but I read recently about the process of turning cucumbers into pickles. It's a really neat word picture in relation to who we are in Christ. You can't dip a cucumber in the brine and expect immediate changes, if any (much like taking a dip in the swimming pool for 10 minutes and expecting to come out an Olympic medalist). It takes continual soaking, and yet once the changes take place, it will never be the same-it can never revert back to it's previous state of a cucumber. It has a different texture, flavor, purpose & name. We too as Christians need to be continually soaking our hearts and minds in His word. When He gets done with us, we'll look pretty much the same on the outside, but the inside will be radically different!

Anybody willing to take the plunge into some Living Water today? I don't want to be a cucumber anymore-I wanna be a swimmin' pickle! :)

Love Dare-Day 2 Update

Well, we're at the end of Day 2. In addition to having to keep my mouth shut today, I also had to perform one random act of kindness.

In regards to my attitude lately, I feel like I'm not even on the playing field. I'm in the negative. So any act of kindness, as small and simple as it may be (such as opening the door, picking up an item that was dropped, etc.), I consider progress.

We had another confrontation this morning, but I just prayed my way through it, and asked God to set a guard over my mouth and keep my lips sealed.

In tomorrow's dare, (also in addition to not saying anything negative) I'm supposed to buy something to let him/her know I'm thinking about them.

How about a bottle of Xanax? Just kidding!

Something to think about...

I'm reading a book by Dr. David Jeremiah called, "Escape the Coming Night." I haven't gotten very far into it yet, but this part I thought was really neat and wanted to share it with you all. Check this out:

"Some people have asked, "If there are so many to be judged (regarding the Judgment Seat of Christ), why doesn't Christ judge them immediately on their death, instead of letting all those millions of people pile up at the last minute?"

The answer is that we don't finish our work when we die. It lives on after us. What we have done on earth, if it amounts to anything, continues after we die physically. How could there be rewards and judgments when our earthly life is over? Our influence upon friends, family, the people we knew during our lifetimes, does not cease when our obituaries appear in the local paper. Your testimony will live on, and it's ripple effect will touch more lives than we will ever know until the kingdom comes."

Kind of makes you think twice about your life, doesn't it?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Love Dare-Day 2

Before I head off to bed for the night, I wanted to post real quick on the Love Dare, Days 1 & 2.

Instead of waiting until the morning, I like to be prepared & know what lies ahead...So my plan is to read the next day's Dare the night before.

Summary: Day 1 was tough. Really tough at moments. But we made it through. Tomorrow, we have to keep Day 1's Dare of not saying anything negative, but we're also supposed to perform a random act of kindness. I'm praying on this to see how God might have me serve...? No bright ideas have hit me yet.

When I sat down to read just a few minutes ago, the Bible verse staring me in the face was from Ephesians 4:32..."Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."

Sound familiar? It falls right in line with my study this morning!! Why do I get so surprised when things like this happen? I know God has orchestrated this, and he works ALL things together for good (Romans 8:28). God is obviously trying to teach me something here...I think it would be wise for me to sit down, buckle up and hold on!! He's about to take me for a ride.

I'll send you a postcard. ;)

Coincedence? I think not.

I think God's trying to tell me to "Shut up!" Well, I don't think He would use that exact wording. However, the message is still the same. I need to learn to keep my mouth shut more than I do...or at least be kinder when I do speak.

This blog jumps around quite a bit today, so try your best to follow me here, alright?

This past week, I've had a really bad attitude with someone. I've had several friends offer to pray for me, while other's tell me that they'll be praying for this person to change. And while that certainly would be nice, I can't wait around for those changes to occur before I make changes of my own. I'm not saying this person's behavior is to be accepted and condoned. This person is at times very wrong in some things...however, God commands us in His Word to love others the way He has loved us-regardless of what they may or may not be doing. There is no escape clause in that verse. And yet humanly, there is NO WAY I can do it!! Trust me. I've tried. I've failed. I've tried again. I've failed again. I've tried many, many, many times...and once again, I've failed many, many, many times. It's not humanly possible to love others with God's love. It has to be Him reaching down into, and then through us. Imagine a cyclist's glove. A glove in and of itself can do nothing. But when it's filled with the hand, the fingers can reach out even past the extent of where the glove stops, and allows the glove to do things it couldn't do otherwise. Kind of neat, huh?

Well, last night after our Women's Bible Study (another story in and of itself), a friend of mine & I went to Wal-Mart to look for the book "Love Dare" (the one talked about in the movie, "Fireproof"). She was wanting to read it with her husband & hopefully help out their marriage. I on the other hand just love to read-regardless of what it is or whether I need it or not. The price was marked at $10.43, so we both grabbed a copy. On the way back to my car (it was parked at the church), she had me read the first part to her. The Dare for Day 1 is to not say anything negative to your spouse. Honestly, I normally don't have a problem in this area. But this person that I'm struggling with came to it did during the movie as well. I don't know if this Love Dare will work on someone other than a spouse.? I haven't cheated and looked ahead, but I'm thinking it might be worth a try. I'm sure it will have to be altered somewhat too.

This morning, when I woke up, I reached over and got my Bible. I've been reading in the book of Psalms. Today I started with Chapter 141, and the 3rd verse jumps out at me. This is what it says: "Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips."

Any coincedence that the Dare & this Bible verse go together? Okay, God, I'm hearing you.

Then after dropping the kid's off at school this morning, I went back to Wal-Mart in search of something I forgot to get yesterday. I happened to walk by the "Love Dare" books, and noticed the price on the remaining copies was $12.64!! I took that to be yet another confirmation from God that we needed those books last night! Gotta love a good deal! :)

After I got home from Wal-Mart, I grabbed my Bible Study, and sat down to read for today. This is part of what I found...

"You may feel overwhelmed by the events swirling around your life. Is there an end to the suffering? Like a raindrop in a mud puddle, the more you strive, the more muddy the water becomes. To be released from the muck and mire, you must allow the sun to release you from below to transport you above. Let Jesus take you up above your circumstances to see life from heaven's perspective where all will be made right in one single day."

This study is about being the bride of Christ, and this lesson was on wearing "clothing" fit for our position in Christ; to "put off" the deeds of fleshy, self-centered, self-absorbed behavior and to "put on" the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth." Ephesians 4:24

At the end of the lesson she asks us to choose one attitude from Ephesians 4:31 to put away or take off-

"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice."

and to choose one attitude from Ephesians 4:32 to put on-

"Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."

I can almost imagine God walking around up in Heaven with a cell phone to his ear saying, "Can you hear me now??" :)

So, if I happen to come to mind today, would you please pray for my attitude and that I would only allow kind words to come forth in my speech? I'll be sure to keep you posted on my "Love Dare" experiment.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Low-Down on the Weigh-In & Noah's Random Thoughts

Well, today was my first day to weigh in since beginning my Detox program 1 week ago. I have gone from 1_5 to 1_9!! And, no, that's not a 4 pound's a 6 pound loss!!! I'm excited! My clothes don't fit any differently, my face doesn't appear to be any thinner, but hey, 6 pounds is 6 pounds. I'll take what I can get! It hasn't been the easiest of weeks in regards to eating the right foods at the right times, and remembering to take my supplements when I should (especially when I'm not at home), but it's well worth it! My bloodsugar has dropped dramatically, which has been great also! It's nothing unusual for my bloodsugar to run in the 300's when I wake up in the morning...after a few days of being on this program though...97 was the average. Whoo-hoo!

Anyhow! I wanted to post a few random funnies on Noah. As much as he can frustrate me at times (see last post), he brings just as much (if not more) humor into our home! Jamie had Judgment House practice at 1:15 this afternoon, and Ericson spent the night with my mother-in-law, so after church, Paul wanted to go out to eat. And sadly, I broke my Detox for lunch. :( But I'm back on the band wagon...I tried to be as good as possible while we were out though. I just ate chicken and some vegetables. But that's beside the point for now. On the way home, Noah starts rambling, which is totally normal for him. He talks, sings or makes noises 99.9% of his waking hours. No joke. Mind you, NONE of this is rehearsed, planned, premeditated, etc. This is pure, 100% unfiltered Noah. My mom says he reminds her of a machine gun, shooting off a thousand random bullets at a time. :)

"Mom, are you a Democrack? Or a Publican? A long time ago, Democracks were good & Publicans were bad...that's when they lived in Egypt. But now the Democracks are bad & the Publicans are good. At least that's what that person told me. But I think Obama & McCain BOTH stink!!!!! Did you know that it's illegal to kill a platypus? Platypus' live in the Amazon, in Africa, or sometimes in Texas. Did you know that Coltin has some bulls and it jumped over the cage & killed his uncle? It kicked him in the chin. He said he had 2, 6 or 7 calfs. I like trucks like that. The tallest man in the world can ride a bull for 30 minutes, and the shortest man in the world can ride for only 1 second."

This is only part of what came out of his mouth...just a small peek into the mind of my 8 year old random son. :) I can't remember the rest. After a while, Paul & I just smile & nod. I guess everyone needs a listening ear from time to time.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tug of War

Be honest-have you mom's ever woken up in the morning and upon hearing either the voice of a particular child or noises of them bouncing up and down the hallway, crashing into the walls headed in your direction, caused you to cower under your covers, and mumble incessantly the words of Deuteromony 31:6 to yourself in an attempt to be reminded that you are not alone in the battle of parenting?

What? You don't have that one memorized?? Well, you should! I've even considered having it matted & framed to hang on my wall so that when I roll out of bed in the morning, it's staring me straight in the face! Here, let me help you out. It says,

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."

Come on, admit it. You know you have! And then once they're down for the night, you walk out of their bedroom, lean against the door, take a deep breath, & Psalm 116:7 comes to mind...

"Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you."

Okay, I know those verses were taken out of context, and it's not always a warzone in our homes, but we've all had those days if you're being totally honest.

I must admit that I too struggle a lot with my attitute and thoughts on the days when my youngest is testing me (that would make it an every day experience around here). He is extremely bright, energetic, creative, sensitive, & loving-yet VERY determined, strong-willed, and at times defiant-with definite opinions of his own that rarely (if ever) fall in line with mine. I get frustrated that he always has to do things his own way, in his own timing, sometimes just trying to prove that he's the one in control.

I wish that he would simply comply with our rules without talking back, questioning every move I make, reminding me of things I may (or may not) have said days, weeks or even months ago, & challenging my every thought. I would get some much needed emotional and mental rest if that were the case, but more importantly, it would make his life so much easier!!

There are times (like tonight) when I can see the struggle, frustration & near panic in his eyes when I refuse to back down & relinquish my rights as his mother and force him to submit his will to my own, & it breaks my heart! If he would simply let go & trust Paul & myself to lead, guide, teach & direct him, he would be free to just be a kid and spare himself of the pain from having to learn most of life's lessons' the hard way.

Then God reminds me that I too fight him for control...sometimes daily...sometimes hourly. That's not very fun to admit. I have been deceived at times into believing that I have this life figured out, I know what's best, I know what I want and I'm determined to get it no matter the cost.

Isn't it crazy how God has set up our children to be little mirrors, reflecting images of us and our relationship with our heavenly Father?

"Lord, I pray that you would transform me by the renewing of my mind and that you would bind my thoughts to your thoughts. I ask that you would bind my will to your will & bind my life to your purposes. Your purposes and plans are so much bigger than my own. You can see the complete picture, and I just have to trust that You are at work in our lives, and that your word will not return void. It's so easy to get caught up in the daily struggles and lose my focus. Please keep my eyes on you, and give me an unspeakable joy in the process."

"Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ." 1 Corinthians 11:1

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Kid Stuff

Noah is a real character!! I wanted to post this picture to give you just one example of the outfits he puts together...he's got quite the imagination! He's wearing his blue winter coat (with no shirt underneath), plaid pajama pants (he had just woken up when this picture was taken), his sister's brown boots, a camouflage helmet, and carrying a small plastic water gun. You can't see this in the picture, but he's also got a toy sword stuck in his gun holster, 2 party bags full of loot, and 101 (not literally) temporary tattoos all over his body from a birthday party he attended last night.

We had to stay home from church this morning because Ericson was sick to his stomach through the night. So instead of our normal on-the-go routine, we're just hanging out at the house. Jamie's been entertaining herself by cutting out various pictures of the Jonas Brothers, HSM3 actors/actresses, etc. and taping them to her bedroom walls. Ericson has since recovered from his stomach-bug and has been busy coloring or watching bits & pieces of a movie on TV.

My poor kids have inherited my love of going, going, going! They're not used to many lazy days here at home, & on several occasions, they've asked, "What are we doing today?" The last time Jamie asked, and I told her we were staying put, she says, "You mean I have to keep this beautiful face inside all day??? I need to share it with the world!"

She is so silly sometimes, she cracks me up! I know she was only joking, but we had a mini crash-course in humility...just in case! :)

Detox-Day 1!

Well, today we officially begin our Detox Diet. I say "we" because even though Ericson & I are the only one's taking supplements, it's just easier food-wise for the whole family to eat the same thing.

I plan to check in every week for all you skeptics out there and keep you posted on my weight loss (since that's my main source of frustration). Today, I weighed in at 1_5 pounds. Yes, you read that correctly! A whopping 1_5!!!

I know this diet is going to work! Why you ask? Because I took Ericson to the same doctor back in April (I'll post later with those details), and I did just the diet/food part with him, and within two short weeks, my bloodsugar was much more stabilized! Then we fell off the bandwagon for a few months, but I made an appointment for myself on October 1, so that I could also get some supplements (which Dr. Lis put me on immediately-in the office!); and this time, within 1 week of taking the supplements (and not even following the Detox diet), I had lost 5 pounds!

So, we'll see what happens from here. Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I Love Days Like This!

Well, for the most part. This morning, the kid's and I drove to my sister's house and rode with her & 2 of her kid's to our cousin's funeral. Not a fun way to start off the day, but it was still good seeing family we haven't seen in a while and have a few laughs! That's one thing our family is really good at! :)

Then I went grocery shopping since we'll be starting our Detox diet on Sunday, and the HEB here in town doesn't carry ANYTHING worthwhile. My sister is a saint, and took my three kid's with her so I could shop in silence. Thanks Sara!!

When we got back home, Paul had everything ready to start making dinner. He decided to fry up some fish he caught on one of his many outings. The weather outside feels SO nice!!! I got a lawnchair and sat outside in the garage with him while the kid's ran and played. There aren't many days where Paul's off of work, I'm not having to run to and fro, and the kid's are out of school all at the same time. It's been so relaxing in fact, I feel like I could go take a nap!

That sounds like a good idea...

"This is the resting place, let the weary rest" Isaiah 28:12

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

No, Ben Keating is NOT God!

I was driving around town today running errands, and I noticed a license plate frame that made me think of a funny story. Well, I thought it was funny. You're entitled to your own opinion.

A few years back, when the kids were about 2, 3 & 4, we had eaten dinner with a friend down the road, and when it was time to pray before the meal, they held hands and said this rhyming, sing-song type of prayer. It kind of took my 3 by surprise, because instead of keeping their heads bowed, eyes closed, they lifted their heads ever so slightly, grinning at one another, trying to stifle their giggles. A few days later, my kids were asking why we couldn't pray like their friend did. I didn't want to bash this least they were doing something before eating their dinner, but I also wanted the kid's to understand what praying really was.

So, I explained to them that praying was simply talking with God...carrying on a conversation just the way we were doing in the car. It involves both talking and listening! I used a silly example, but said to Jamie, "No matter what you said or asked for, and I only responded with the same exact phrase, would that make much sense or mean anything special to you? Let's say you woke up in the morning, and said, "I'm hungry! What can I eat for breakfast?" And I responded with, "I really like your hair bow." ??? Later on, if you asked for a drink of water, and I said, "I really like your hair bow." ??? Or if you came inside after playing with a friend and she had really hurt your feelings, and all I had to offer you was, "I really like your hair bow." ??? It doesn't make any sense does it?

So, I then reminded them that God had given us everything we had, and there was so much more to thank him for, praise him for, talk to him about, etc. I asked, "Who gave us our house?" All the kid's chimed in with, "God did!" I asked, "Who gave us our clothes?" Again, "God did!" I asked, "Who gave us our food?" One more time, "God did!" We thought of several more examples, and then I asked, "Where did we get our car?" This time, Ericson shouted out really loudly (you'd have to be from around here to appreciate this one), "PORT LAVACA FORD!!!!"

I laughed and laughed, and then corrected him with, "No, God did!"

And incidentally, we did NOT buy our vehicle at the time from Ben Keating in Port Lavaca. We bought it in Houston.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Double Whammy

Well, this has been a day.

I was getting ready for church this morning at about 6:30 when our pastor called with news that caught me off guard. A couple that goes to our church just buried her dad 2 weeks ago, and then this morning, his oldest son who was living in Florida, was killed in a car accident! Just one short year ago, Lorenzo accepted Jesus as his Savior and about a week later broke his back in a car accident...and now this tragedy. This has been a really rough year for their family. Please keep the Palacios' in your prayers as they are certainly struggling right now. Thankfully, his son knew the Lord!

After teaching the kid's Sunday School class this morning, the kid's and I went to another local church to see a good friend of our's get baptized. As I was getting in our car after the service, my sister called to tell me that our cousin was found dead at about 10:30 this morning, probably of a heart attack. He was single, and lived with his mom, right next door to my parent's since my aunt is elderly and her health is steadily declining. So that's another prayer request in addition to the loss within the for my aunt and where she will live now.

Even during these kind of circumstances though, we cannot forget that God is still in control.

I'm reminded of Nicole C. Mullen's song, "Convinced." That's one of my favorites!! It's based off of Romans 8:38-39.

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Imagine a piece of cloth just tossed aside in a heap, void of any obvious structure, shape or purpose. It’s plain, unattractive & basically goes unnoticed…that is, until it submits itself to its creator who has a specific, unique design in mind. That’s similar to how our lives are before we allow God-our creator-to have His way in our hearts.

Sometimes I see life as an extravagant, ornate piece of tapestry-so intricately woven together, so rich and complex, that it’s sometimes next to impossible to see where one detail ends and the next one begins. So many details meshed together-smooth, shiny, sparkling threads interwoven with rough, dark, course ones. Yet they must all be included to make the masterpiece complete.

How often do we come to God with our own preconceived ideas of what the design should look like, bringing to him a finished piece, frame and all, assuming we knew what colors and textures it would take to create this glorious work of art. We set off to work without Him, instead of allowing Him to transform us into His likeness-weaving His thoughts, His character, His love through the cloth of our hearts one thread at a time.

Then He is forced to strip us bare, and begin again. He has to make our hearts soft and malleable, and our spirits willing. He wants us to be so keenly aware of our need for Him and so desperate for His touch so that He can transform our dull, lifeless existence into a life filled with His bright, bold colors and strokes.

God knows what is best for us, yet He won’t force His will upon us. It’s only when we allow Him the freedom to do what is required (even when we don’t understand, and it’s painful and we beg Him to quit), & trust Him enough to choose to place the needle and thread back in His ever-loving hands, can our true colors and shape show forth.

John 13:7, “Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “The word of our Lord holds true and everything He does is worthy of our trust.” Psalm 33:4

We can’t see the entire picture, the pattern that He is forming with our lives, the shades of our circumstances, nor the tones of our individual situations. And even if we could, we still wouldn’t be able to comprehend it all.

1 Corinthians 2:9, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.”

We were never meant to sew our own lives together. He knows we are not capable. So as painful as it may be, let Him untie your knots, untangle the mess you’ve made, mend the places where you’ve missed a stitch or two, and trust Him to create the work of art that you are!

Isaiah 64:8, “We are all the work of Your hand.” Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

That’s the key-HE will complete it!!

I guess the point I’m trying to make is this: Becoming the people we were designed to be is not a self-made effort, a self-improvement program, nor an instant occurrence- but a process. We will never “arrive” this side of Heaven…. We cannot in our own power live the life that He has planned for us. It’s only by the power of the Holy Spirit that we will ever discover our purpose and be able to carry it out. No two tapestries will ever be identical. One shade he places in my life, won’t necessarily match the one He chooses for yours. We have to be emptied of ourselves and any preconceived ideas before God can truly fill us, mold us, and shape us…One thread at a time, one color at a time until we each reflect the hand-picked, one of a kind image that He has chosen for His beautiful creation.

Romans 9:16, “It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.”

My mom gave me the following poem that either her mom or grandma had. I thought it was the perfect compliment to what I wrote above. Fitting, isn't it?

“My life is but a weaving
Between my Lord and me,
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily.
Often times he weaveth sorrow,
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I, the underside.
Not till the loom is silent
And the shuttle cease to fly
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reasons why.
The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the Pattern He has planned.”
Author Unknown

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

32 Random Things I'm Thankful For-Numero Dos

No, it doesn't take me 2 1/2 hours to drop my kid's off at school. I'm normally back home within 30 minutes. However, when I got back home, Paul surprised me by wanting to take me out for breakfast for my birthday. So, that's where I've been. Now, to finish my list of 32 Random Things I'm Thankful For...

26. I'm thankful for my husband who knows how very much I love my birthday and does his best to humor me. :)

27. I'm thankful for all my friends and family who have texted or called me this morning to wish me a Happy Birthday (Tina, thanks for the song. Tammy, I'm still bummed you didn't bust out with the Applebee's version of "Happy Birthday" for me)!

28. I'm thankful for the penny I found on the parking lot of the restaurant with the words written on it, "In God We Trust" to remind me that it's not money or anything else that will meet our needs. It's in Christ alone that we have that promise.

29. I'm thankful for my parent's who taught me and my siblings that very truth of relying solely upon God to meet our needs...whenever we would ask for something, we were never told, "Stop asking! Appreciate what you do have! You know we don't have the money for that!" We were told, "Well, let's pray about it and see what happens." We were able to see first hand how God provided (often times miraculously)!

30. I'm thankful for indoor plumbing, especially since this Detox diet has me running to the bathroom every time I turn around! And if I can mention one thing here, that's the only drawback to bathrooms!!! UGH!

31. I'm thankful for all you faithful, adoring blog fans out there who let me ramble on and on and on and on...

32. I'm thankful that God chose me long ago, before the creation of the world, and that's He's allowed me to live this life, have the friends and family that I do, and that He's my one true love! What more could a girl ask for?

"I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are discouraged take heart. Come, let us tell of the Lord's greatness; let us exalt his name together." Psalm 34:1-3


Yes, 32 years ago today, I entered the world. For the most part, I was quiet and shy while growing up, but I've always been rather obnoxious about my birthday! :) Anyhow, I thought that today I would list 32 random things I'm thankful for.

Ready, set, go!

1. I'm thankful that even after 21 years of having Type 1 Diabetes, I'm still alive with no complications!

2. I'm thankful that my 10 1/2 year old, 5th grade, daughter still wants me to walk her into school each morning, eat lunch with her once a week, waits up until I tuck her into bed & pray with her each night, and generally just wants to be with me 24 hours a day. She is the sweetest!

3. I'm thankful that I can be straight out honest & blunt with our pastor (also my boss & very good family friend) beating around the bush here! Tell it like it is.

4. I'm thankful that my 9 year old son woke up early this morning to clean out my car for my birthday. Although he quickly loses interest and moves on to something else, it's the thought that counts, right?

5. I'm thankful for quiet, peaceful, calm, relaxing mornings (you know, before the kid's wake up). Ha! Mornings are my favorite time of day!!!

6. I'm thankful that I have two friends (our pastor's two teenage girls) that send me encouraging text messages every morning that bring a smile to my face & get my day started off right!

7. I'm thankful that my neighbor loves to cook (and is quite good at it), and brought us over sausage rolls and kolaches yesterday...which means I don't have to cook breakfast for the kid's this morning.

8. I'm thankful for the silly, funny things that come out of my kid's mouths sometimes that keep the humor alive & well here in our home. I'll give you just one example...when my daughter asked a long time ago why our rear ends were called "Buttocks." She thought it would make much more sense to call them
"Fat-ocks" or "Jiggly-ocks"! Then she giggles herself into hysterics, causing everyone else to laugh along with her till our stomachs hurt!

9. I'm thankful that my children & I have a very open, close relationship where we can talk about anything and everything.

10. I'm thankful for a husband who loves to cook, doesn't mind cleaning, and does so much more around the house than any other husband I know. He truly is talented and I am blessed!

11. I'm also thankful that my husband loves the Lord first and foremost and desires to stay in His Word daily. Sad to say, I've yet to read through the entire Bible, and he's read through at least 6 times now. Wow!

12. I'm thankful that God has opened the door for me to be in contact again with an old friend...(old as in, I've known her for years...not that she is old). I'm exactly 2 months & 4 days older than she is.

13. I'm thankful that (so far) my children have not argued with one another yet this morning! I do believe we have a record!

14. I'm thankful for my friend Connie asking me to go to Warrenton with her this past weekend. It was a blast! I just wish we could have shopped a little longer.

15. I'm thankful for all the lessons my youngest son is teaching me. He certainly keeps me on my knees in prayer, in humble dependance upon God, seeking His wisdom.

16. I'm thankful that I didn't lose my temper, even though my kid's just had their first little blow-up of the morning.

17. I'm thankful that our women's group from church (Anchored Souls) will be starting up another study tonight, called, "Restore My Heart." I'm really excited to see how God changes & grows each of us through this study!

18. I'm thankful that God has instilled in me a love & a passion to write...if I could only find more time.

19. I'm thankful I got a great night's sleep-thanks to my TempurPedic pillow. I'm also thankful to my Chiropractor friend who let me buy that pillow at his cost. Thanks Jason!

20. I'm thankful that my husband might finally have his boat in working order again. He ordered a new motor (for floundering), and the day he put it on (his birthday-9/5), he broke it as he was backing the boat into the barn! Thankfully, he was able to get it fixed, but then the outboard motor began having problems. He spent all day working on it yesterday, so hopefully he can go fishing tonight.

21. I'm thankful (while looking at some pictures on our bookshelf) that we as a family have been able to go on several vacations & have made some really fun memories together...whether it was at Disney World, Schlitterbahn, or just sitting in a cabin in New Mexico getting snowed in.

22. I'm thankful for God's grace and forgiveness that has totally set me free from condemnation! "Everyone who trusts in him will be freely pardoned." Psalm 34:22 "So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1

23. I'm thankful for Connie that let's me blubber & cry all over her when I need to...most recently when my brother Clay moved to Arkansas. It happened a LOT! :(

24. I'm thankful that my son Noah gave me his only Tootsie Roll just now, knowing that I love them. Even if I'm not eating sugar right now (thanks to my good ol' Detox diet), again it's the thought that counts!

25. I'm thankful that I'm about to leave to take my children to school. Be honest, you know you feel that way at times too. ;) I'll finish my post when I return.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Nothing Inparticular

I've got a million and one things to do, and I'm really overwhelmed! So, what am I doing? I'm choosing to do nothing! :) I don't know where to start...?

Here's just a few of my stressors:

*Last year after the kid's started school, I got into a really good routine of going straight out to the State Park and walking, then coming back home & cleaning, then going to work for a while, picking kid's up from school, and finishing the day up with homework, cooking dinner, etc. etc. This year, I haven't gotten back into my routine as easily. Or if the truth be told, at all! I feel like I'm on the run constantly, so my house stays in a semi-trashed state...which drives both Paul & I crazy. For those of you who know me well, you're probably thinking I'm insane...and you're probably correct in your judgement. However, even if my definition of "semi-trashed" may be different from your own, it's okay. Let's just agree to disagree and move on. ;) I would love to have a housekeeper to just come in once in a while and help me get back on track! But, I don't have one, so there's no sense in crying about it. Next subject.

*My cousin in Oklahoma is hosting a baby shower for a friend and would like for me to make the shower invitations. Which, I am very honored to do! I love, love, love doing things like that...I'm just already stressing & worrying over how I'm going to get it all done & if they're going to look okay. I don't even know when the shower is...which reminds me, I need to call her. Another thing added to my to-do list.

*I'm facilitating our women's Bible study from church these next six weeks, and we're starting up tomorrow evening. The workbooks still haven't been delivered to my doorstep, and I even paid extra for 2 day shipping (this was on Thursday). Pray they show up before tomorrow! We've decided on a study by Denise Glenn called, "Restore My Heart." I had the privilege of doing this study a while back with a MotherWise group from our former church, and I absolutely loved it!! But attending it and facilitating it are two totally different things...Lori, I have much more respect for you now! :) Any pointers??

*And last but not least, I just started a new Detox diet/supplements 6 days ago, and I'm loving it, yet I'm hating it. It's making me feel very nauseated & sick to my stomach at times, which is really interfering with my ever-growing to-do list...Oh well. It's the price I'm choosing to pay for getting my body back in working order. It's really quite fascinating to be honest with you. If you want to know more, just ask!

Well, that's enough complaining for now. It's time for me to take the pacifier out of my mouth, put my big-girl panties on and deal with it! HA!