12.29.2009

One Big Mixing Bowl

My post today is going to be a bit of "all over the place." I can just feel it. I think I need it, though. Toss everything that's going on in my head all in one place and see what comes out of it. Hopefully something worth looking at. If not, I hope I can figure out how to dispose of it without setting off any kind of nuclear warning bells & whatnot.

See...I'm hurt. Hurting. Hurted. Yeah - I know - that's not a word but when children are 2 they don't know that and it makes sense. I've been hurted and while I try to pretend it's no big deal, it really is. I want to deal with it the way I should. I want to be a good Jesus following girl and handle my feelings and the people who have hurt me the way He would. The trouble is, that part of me is being shoved into the corner by that other me. The me that seeks justice, righteousness... vengeance... that looks like what I want it to look like.

That part of me is the part I need to leave out of this mixing bowl 'cause that'll ruin everything. It's why I generally pull away from people when they say or do things to me that hurt or I don't like. I have always heard if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all. So I don't. I stop talking to the person who has hurt me. Sometimes for just a little while, an hour or so and sometimes for a long, long time. The most recent one (I started talking to again) was 17 years (without talking) and she and I have only started talking via Facebook.


So... how do I stop pulling away? Stop cutting people out of my life? Because honestly...there are only 6 billion + people on this planet. Every single one of them would hurt me at one time or another if given the chance. I don't necessarily mean on purpose. Truth is, though, no one is perfect and everyone will let you down at some point. I let myself down all the time...

In this instance, too, some of those who have hurt me I have tried to talk to and have been completely ignored. I keep telling myself I just need to leave it in God's hands, let Him figure it out and I know it. I do. Completely. Truth is, though, this pain is so big and so deep, I don't want to wait for Him. I really want it fixed. Now.

This isn't a new hurt, either. It's an old one. Really old. Like...this last "thing" on the list was the straw that broke the camel's back. So... what do you do with that stuff you really thought you'd let go but apparently hadn't? I love Lysa's term. Yup... someone kicked my slop bucket although this is a particular slop bucket. I compartmentalize my hurts & those who have hurted me. There is one labeled family, one labeled friends, one labeled husband, one labeled kids... You know the drill. It takes longer to fill each bucket but oh what a mess, especially if more than one goes over at the same time but... I digress.

Rhetorically speaking... what do I do? How do I let go of the hurt? Oh... and as for talking about it with the offending party... I have tried that. A few times. I've been ignored and actually more people have jumped into the "hurt Bonnie" fray (Which - when I started thinking about it - these people really like to do. Still haven't quite figured that one out.). Not sure they went there intentionally but they did and then compounded it when I brought it up. Instead of making it better, they inferred I had done something to deserve the hurt.

Trust me...I've been thinking about that one but I keep coming up empty. To explain that, I'd have to write out the entire situation and I get venemous when I start writing it out. I've sent off a couple of angry emails over it all (that whole no one will actually talk to me part) and I'm pretty sure they haven't made it any better.

So...I stay hurt. And mostly family-less. And I'm hurted. Really, really hurted.

12.27.2009

Sunday Strength

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

~Philippians 4:12-13

12.25.2009

Christmas


Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.

And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.

Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.

While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.

And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.

And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased."

When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, "Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us." So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds.

But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.

The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.

~Luke 2:1-20

May you, as Mary, treasure all that is today and ponder them in your heart...
Merry Christmas, from our house to yours.

12.24.2009

Christmas Eve

Then Isaiah said, "Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of men? Will you try the patience of my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. ~Isaiah 7:13-14

AND...

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"—which means, "God with us."

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. ~Matthew 1:22-24



Silent Night. Holy Night. All is calm. All is bright. Round yon virgin, Mother & Child. Holy infant, so tender and mild. Sleep in heavenly peace. Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent Night. Holy Night. Shepherds quake at the sight. Glories stream from heaven afar. Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia. Christ the Savior is born. Christ the Savior is born.

Silent Night. Holy Night. Son of God, love's pure light. Radiant beams from thy holy face. With the dawn of redeeming grace. Jesus, Lord at Thy birth. Jesus, Lord at Thy Birth.

12.20.2009

Sunday Strength


"But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times."


~Micah 5:2

12.16.2009

My Friend Patricia

I have a friend, Patricia. Patricia lives and lives well. I do not mean she is monetarily rich. I mean - she has experience after experience. She travels with Compassion International, she is raising three beautiful young women, she is wife to one amazing-sounding man (I haven't had the honor of meeting her husband as yet) and she serves at one humdinger of a church. I love reading Patricia's blog.

She doesn't know I'm linking this one but...if you get a chance, read this:

A Hero In Our Midst


She meets and works with the best people... truly.

12.13.2009

Sunday Strength


Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

~Hebrews 13:1-3

12.08.2009

Fallen Heroes

On November 29, 2009, three men and one woman - all police officers for Lakewood, WA, sat in a coffee shop together. Working on paperwork. Getting ready to start their day. At 8:15 AM, one very disturbed man took their lives - he took them randomly and violently - the only qualification for his kill was that they were police officers.

Evil took a step.

Today, as I watch part of the memorial procession before heading back to work, I have learned "To protect and serve" also means:

A procession of law enforcement vehicles over 10 miles long. As the fallen and their families were escorted into the Tacoma Dome today, cars from the processiona had still not left McChord Air Force Base.

Over 261 agencies sent officers to support the families - both personal and professional (the Lakewood Police Department is only five years old).

There were over 1,000 Canadian Royal Mounted Police Officers who came to show their respect.

Officers were present from places such as Alaska, California, Oregon, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, New York and many, many more I'll not hear about until some mentions them in passing.

Evil has been met by a wall so large it is impossible to see it all.

As stated in one news report: The call went out... 4 down in Lakewood. Over 20,000 respond.

12.07.2009

Pearl Harbor

December 7, 1941. "A date which will live in infamy." So said President Franklin Delano Roosevelt when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor 68 years ago today.

2,403 people died in that raid. Of the 1,177 servicemen who died on board the USS Arizona when it was sunk in the attack, 948 remained intombed in the ship at the bottom of the harbor. In addition to those killed, a total of 1,178 people (including civilians) were wounded.

In doing some research for this post, I stumbled across this article. It has some interesting facts regarding WWII veterans and who actually attacked who first on that fateful day.

Sometimes I see a license plate stating the driver was at Pearl Harbor. I used to see them a lot more often. Not so much anymore. It won't be too long before every man and woman who served or can remember Pearl Harbor will be gone. It is up to us to keep their memory alive, to honor their service and to never forget - or undervalue - what they did and went through. If WWII had not been won by "the Allied forces," our world would look vastly different, I am sure. I'm pretty sure it would not be better.

If you have the privilege of living near a war museum, take some time. Walk through it with your children. Talk about our history. Remind them of the sacrifice so many have made so that they have the honor of living free.

12.06.2009

Sunday Strength

"Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

David said about him:

'I saw the Lord always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will live in hope,
because you will not abandon me to the grave,
nor will you let your Holy One see decay.

You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.'

~Acts 2:22-28

12.01.2009

Those Who Promise to Protect & Serve

On October 31st a Seattle policeman was brutally killed and his partner wounded in what turned out to be an random act of violence against police officers. He wasn't chosen because the killer had a particular vendetta against him personally but only because he wore the uniform of a police officer.

Then, this past Sunday, November 29, 2009, four police officers were brutally murdered as they sat in a coffee shop filling out paperwork, finishing reports...getting ready to wrap up their shift.

In less than one month, five families left fatherless, motherless, brotherless, sisterless, sonless, daughterless...

There aren't words to express the depth of sadness I feel. While I do not live in Lakewood, those of us who don't but live within a few miles of the town feel as though we might as well. We are one community. We are reeling and it will be a bit before we feel at all normal (whatever that means) again.

We can rest easier tonight knowing a Seattle police officer made sure the man who killed the four Lakewood officers is no longer any kind of threat to anyone. He has answered to God for what he has done. I do not imagine it was a pleasant conversation for him.

My prayers go up for those families. May God grant them comfort, peace, strength... they will need all of that just to get out of bed in the morning for a very long time, I am sure. May we never, never forget... Never.

11.29.2009

Sunday Strength


Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

~Colossians 3:15-17

11.26.2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Today is Thanksgiving. For various reasons, this Thanksgiving has catapulted me back to thinking about this holiday several years ago when a careless comment by a family member had my son and I spending Thanksgiving alone while the rest of the family was in California together. That comment wounded me deeply, even causing me to not speak to that family member for three months.

This year, what has happened has again left me reeling and my heart feels like it has been stomped on. A lot. And hard. The difference this time is my faith in God. My belief that no matter how terrible it looks right now, He can redeem it. He can make it better. If He chooses. I wonder what Thanksgiving 2010 will look like - will it be better? worse?

I'm not 100% sure what He is trying to teach me this time. I have a few ideas but He hasn't settled me on anything in particular as of yet. I also know it is probable I'm not the only person He is refining through this and I may have to wait until they are where He wants them to be before I find out what He wants from me. In the meantime, I will continue to trust in Him and remain joyful (that one is tough) and try to be gracious (that one is REALLY tough).

While I wait, I pray your Thanksgiving is full of joy, laughter and total delight. Eat too much. Nap a bit. Eat more pie. And thank God for the bounty ~ both the food and the company. Glorify He who has provided such a wonderful time and amazing food. Be blessed.

11.24.2009

Would I? Could I?

I read an article this morning of an elderly woman - homeless and with an accent so thick her English can barely be understood. A woman, though, intent on keeping a promise to her sister. Their parents had been killed in the Holocaust. At some time they ended up in Seattle having only one another. Living in shelters. They spent time "raising" money for the Jewish people...

You have to read the article to get the details. I can't keep typing them out. She made me think of this woman.

What am I doing to help God's people? What would I be willing to give up? Would I give "everything I have to live on?"

11.22.2009

Sunday Strength



So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.

~Colossians 2:6-10

11.21.2009

Saturday

It's 12:11 PM according to my computer and in the other room C2 is having his piano lesson. It is an incredibly beautiful sound. What I love? His piano teacher gave him the option today of having a lesson next weekend or skipping & her leaving him with two weeks worth of "homework." He chose the lesson next weekend... Makes a Mom's heart sing. He loves his piano lessons! He loves the piano!!

In a little while a friend of mine will show up and we'll take off to get our hair done. A day in the beauty salon with one of my best friends...

Tonight, my husband has decided he's making chicken parmigana for dinner.

Seriously... can a day GET any better?

What does your Saturday look like?

11.17.2009

I am a Blubberer, too

Patricia is a wonderful woman I met through Shared Hope International. Talking with her through Shared Hope, I would have never guessed at the amazingness of what she would show me and teach me. Her husband works for Compassion International and because of that, Patricia has been able to travel on a couple of Blogger Trips with them. Most recently she was in El Salvador with Shaun Groves and a few other bloggers and saw firsthand the poverty there, the work Compassion is doing and how much still needs to be done. She traveled to a village devastated by Hurricane Ida and met the people whose lives have been forever altered by one storm. One young man and his family inspired this post. Marco lives in incredible poverty. Incredible is an understatement.

I'm asking you to please take a few minutes and read what Patricia shares. I read it a couple of hours ago and I'm still reeling from it. When you're done reading that, click on this Shaun Groves link and read his post on what happens when a hurricane hits El Salvador.

After you've read them...please click the Compassion button on my sidebar and sponsor a child or donate via their posts directly to the efforts in El Salvador. No child on this planet should be as poor as Marco. What Compassion does to change that is amazing. What children live with when they aren't sponsored is devastating.

We have the power to make a difference - one child at a time.

11.15.2009

Sunday Strength

He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.


You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,


nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.


~Psalm 91:4-6

11.11.2009

Veterans' Day


Thank you to every man and woman who has served in our armed forces.
It seems such an inadequate offering for what they offer us.
Our deep, abiding gratitude.
Always.


I found this article this morning. It has been a long time since I had read this information, it was completely hidden in the file cabinets in my brain but came rushing back as I read this. We really need to teach this EVERY year in school, lest we forget. So much of the "why" seems to get lost - distractions are so many - and we simply cannot forget. Enjoy the read:
Banner by Cathe Holman of "Just Something I Made" Thank you, Cathe for offering this to us to share!

11.08.2009

Sunday Strength

But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me."

~Ruth 1:16-17

11.07.2009

Fun Link!

Found via One Pretty Thing, this link to create your own eye chart. The funny thing is - the people who originally discovered it were checking out their eye insurance provider. We share that in common...a fact I found out when I clicked on the link to play with the eye chart.

Anyhow... have yourself a lot of fun! Once you get to the VSP website, you'll find a button for the eye chart on the righthand side of the page.

Giveaway Thank You!

I'm adding this 1st paragraph AFTER I've already typed my post. I'm apologizing ahead of time for my wordiness. I remember now why I so prefer private to public thank you's. I'm not anywhere NEAR as wordy with the private type as I am with the public type! Thank you ahead of time for reading and seriously... thank you Kimba & Deb!! ~Blessings!


A while back, I entered a giveaway that Kimba (A Soft Place to Land) was hosting for a $50 gift certificate to the Pink Pig. Something happened in there and Kimba forgot to announce a winner but that was ok because in that same time, I forgot I'd entered!! What a wonderful, incredible surprise to get an email from her telling me I'd won!

Now... $50 to use on whatever I wanted from the Pink Pig. Oh... what to choose... what to choose.... It really was tough. I mean.... I was tempted by this and this, although - Aaron hates orange so I had to move along pretty quickly but then there was this and this (they weren't sold when I first started looking)... and it was SO tough to choose.

Then, I found what I did choose and it all fell into place. I combined my husband's love of silver serving pieces with my love of birds and voila.... TWO things that will make us BOTH smile. And then, to add to the joy, Deb told me she was going to stick one of their new Christmas candles into my box. I know almost every girl on this planet likes candles but I'm a bit obsessed (I have an entire dresser dedicated to storing my candles) so when she said candle... waiting for this box became torture!

Just this morning (approximately 9:45 AM but seriously - who was obsessing?) I was wondering if the mailman would have a gift for me today. AND low & behold - 12:38 pm IT ARRIVED. Could hardly stand it. Opened that box and started to dive in before I remembered I needed to make sure I took pictures. What good is a public thank you without pictures???? So.... without further ado... my Pink Pig Giveaway Winner Choices and a MASSIVE thank you to both Kimba and Deb who have both brought a brilliant ray of sunshine into this gray day....
Oh how sweet are the birds? I don't think the picture does the blue in this dish justice. It's gorgeous.
I wish I could share smells via my blog. This candle smells incredible!!! I can't wait to burn it. Yum!!!!

11.06.2009

For Peanut Butter Fans Everywhere

So here I am, at work, typing my heart out and I decide to take a short break. It's been a few days since I read over my very official Hoops & Yo-Yo calendar and let me tell you - November is chock full of fun stuff. I'm incredibly entertained.

The first thing I have to do, though, is fix an error. It is already the 6th of November and I have been remiss in announcing that, according to Mnsrs. Hoops & Yo-Yo, November is National Peanut Butter Lovers month.

A whole month devoted to those of you who love the butter made from the wholesomeness of peanuts. Wooo hoooo!!! Who knew? I did not, of course.... I am so thankful Hoops & Yo-Yo corrected my ignorance.
Today, I believe, I will have some of the creamy version. With celery. Perhaps tomorrow I'll go wild and have crunchy.........
How 'bout you?

11.05.2009

Thankful Thursdays - Trials

Iris at Grace Alone is hosting Thankful Thursdays through the month of November. It's nice to be back at Iris' place. It's been a LONG time since I linked up there.

For this week's Thankful Thursday, Iris chose Trials as our topic. Funny how that works... October was probably the toughest month I've experienced in a very, very long time. On October 1st, we learned that my mother more than likely has ovarian cancer. On October 7th we learned that she definitely does have ovarian cancer and on October 19th we learned the best news of it all - it is Stage 1 and "if we can cure anyone, we can cure her" is her doctor's favorite quote.

In the midst of that, on October 12th, my husband called to tell me one of our co-workers woke up that Monday morning unable to move beyond wiggling his fingers and toes. What has transpired since has been a bit of a nail-biter. What was originally thought to be contracted muscles in his back that had spasmed and were unable to relax turned into "several" epidural abscesses. It's meant 3 weeks in the hospital and now another month at home with someone coming into his home every couple of days to drain the infection out of his back (his family was able to arrange that so he was able to come home yesterday), more antibiotics than a person can count and a very vibrant, energetic man needing a walker to move around. He's lost 15 lbs. from this and for someone who was already stick thin, 15 lbs. might as well be 50. He's gaunt, has no strength and is still fighting an infection that could roar back and do... well... it's powerful.


These are not my trials (Except, perhaps, the emotional part of learning my mother has cancer. My mother - the woman who has been a part of my life every single day of it. We are not only family but have worked together for the last 15 years. I see her at least 5 days a week. She's not just my mother - she's imperative to my daily life.) but instead belong to others. I am there strictly as support. And as the occasional taxi driver.

The truth is - from day one. October 1st. I have said the same thing over and over and over again - God was not surprised by any of this. This news did not knock Him off of His throne, it did not throw His plan into a tizzy of "what do I do now?" He IS Sovereign. He IS in control. He has NOT changed a bit. He DOES care about the outcome of this. He DOES care about us and how we feel in all of it.

The best part was when I realized these were not just words I was saying. I didn't just believe it. I KNOW it. To my very marrow, I KNOW God is Sovereign and is in control. I know we didn't surprise Him with our fear, our concern, our tears. Even when the news looked its darkest because we had to wait to know more, He was RIGHT THERE. Right there. By our side. In our hearts. Surrounding us. We could not look to the left, to the right, to the front, to the back, above or below without seeing Him. Knowing He was there - running that situation while still running the rest of the world. Power beyond all imagination, summed up by love beyond comprehension.

I AM is. Always was. Always will be.

How can I not be thankful?

11.04.2009

Heart Wrenching

I can't imagine losing a child. So many people live through that experience and I'm not sure how they survive it. Once, a long time ago, I said if my son were to die, just lock me up in a rubber room. I wouldn't be able to function. Fortunately, that isn't something I've had to experience but my heart just aches for those parents who have. Then I read an article like this one and that ache becomes full-blown pain. What a beautiful, sweet gift their little one left for them. Does she have any idea just how precious it must be to them? How bittersweet....

Ah... I'll stop there with the opinions. Read the article for yourself. Just have tissues handy.

Love Notes...


How beautiful a soul Miss Elena Desserich...

11.02.2009

VOTE!

Your voice counts. So does your vote. Don't forget to vote tomorrow! Get those ballots in the mail - postmark has to be no later than tomorrow, November 3rd.

There is too much at stake to NOT vote. Make sure your opinion is heard.
Blessings.

11.01.2009

Sunday Strength


With your hand you drove out the nations
and planted our fathers;
you crushed the peoples
and made our fathers flourish.

It was not by their sword that they won the land,
nor did their arm bring them victory;

it was your right hand, your arm,
and the light of your face, for you loved them.

You are my King and my God,
who decrees victories for Jacob.

Through you we push back our enemies;
through your name we trample our foes.

I do not trust in my bow,
my sword does not bring me victory;

but you give us victory over our enemies,
you put our adversaries to shame.

In God we make our boast all day long,
and we will praise your name forever.

Selah

~Psalm 44:2-8

10.29.2009

Thankful Thursdays - We Serve A God Of Change

Oh how true is that title! I spent many months fighting Him on that one and then when I realized that no amount of fighting would make it easier - or make the changes stop - I learned to stop fighting so hard. The only thing I haven't quite figured out is how to change gracefully. No matter what is going on and no matter how much I want to make sure I don't "get in the way" or say hurtful (and usually REALLY stupid) things in the process, it never fails I put my foot in it somehow.

One thing is for sure - in that last paragraph, I am REALLY thankful God doesn't just drop me, telling me I'm just too much trouble. No matter how lost or foolish I get, He is right there - welcoming me with open and loving arms. Always.

Another aspect of change I am incredibly grateful for is the opportunity to "clean house." Have I started considering the unimportant important? Have I lost sight of what truly matters in life? Am I focused on "things" instead of God? Have I begun to take the people He has placed in my life for granted? Am I treating them the way I should? Am I loving, patient and kind or am I impatient, pushy and short-tempered? How am I handling the stress - am I handing it to God or am I stewing in it, allowing it to handle me?

The last couple of weeks have seen some major upheaval in my life. Indirectly, though. I am not the one diagnosed with cancer, my mother is. I am not the person fighting a life-threatening infection, my co-worker/friend is. The effect on my life, though, is direct and how have I been handling it? Not as well as I could, for sure, however...better than I've handled things in the past. My reaction is go to prayer - not to anger (most of the time - I've slipped once so far...). My reaction is to go to prayer - not frustration and despair because I "just can't do it all." My reaction is to just let things go and realize if they don't happen or get done, it's not the end of the world.

The small changes that come with everyday life can be considered gifts - preparation for the big changes because the big changes will come. Today I am thankful that God has refined me, pushed me, challenged me to live that as truth, not just theory. I am also thankful that He's not done with me yet and will continue to refine me, push me and challenge me.

What changes are you thankful for? Share them over at Spiritually Unequal Marriage.

10.27.2009

Life Threatening

A friend of ours is fighting a life-threatening infection right now. He has an epidural abscess. Everything that I've read online does not look good. Bruce is not a believer (as far as I know) and is pretty scared (I would be, too and I am a believer). How hard it is to be a believer and watch a non-believer brush death's hand, knowing that if death grabs hold... The heart ache, the heartbreak. The reason why I won't stop sharing the gift of the cross until I draw my last breath.

Even if he beats the infection, he has a good chance of having to deal with permanent nerve damage. He may survive the infection to spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

Right now I'm grateful for this small box which allows me to send this information out to many, many people at one time. It means a lot of people praying over Bruce very quickly.

If you happen to think of Bruce in the next several days, could you please ask God to send him a miracle? Or two. Or three. We're all feeling a bit nervous right now.

10.26.2009

Oregon Weekend

We had such a wonderful time last weekend. We celebrated Aaron's Aunt Grace's 90th birthday and about 35 family members, many of whom haven't seen each other for decades, were together under one roof. I actually left my camera in my purse on Saturday. There were so many photographers floating around it felt a bit papparazzi-ish. I left myself out of the fray.

I do, however, have a few shots we took "out the van window" as we traveled south. I love fall - there is so much in the way of bright, beautiful colors - even along the freeway.

It rained like no tomorrow all the way south. You can get a general idea of the wind we enjoyed from this picture.
























After Aunt Grace's party, we hopped in the van and headed down to my brother's place and spent Saturday night and Sunday visting him and his family. How I love spending time with them! I wish they lived closer and I could visit with them more often. My sister-in-law and I took my nephew out to a farm so he could take pictures with his photography class. On the way back, I snapped a couple of farm shots (I'm not a very good photographer - sorry about that!).




























Finally, I have to share the bounty of our trip to the pumpkin farm. When my brother suggested my sister-in-law stop and check out the "big pumpkins" at a farm they'd passed on one of their rides, my ears perked, my interest was piqued... I was all for it. When we arrived, I think I was shocked - I didn't think in terms of "blog photography" and didn't take a single picture at the farm. Next year... Here, however are the results of that trip....


The first pumpkin was 108 lbs. Weighed more than that dog (she's there for 'perspective'). The darker pumpkin is mine, she only weighs 80 lbs. Never thought I would be able to say I was the skinnier of the two...
Our trip was full of fun, family and awesome memory-making moments. I can't wait to get back!

10.25.2009

Sunday Strength


You will keep in perfect peace
him whose mind is steadfast,
because he trusts in you.

Trust in the LORD forever,
for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.

He humbles those who dwell on high,
he lays the lofty city low;
he levels it to the ground
and casts it down to the dust.

Feet trample it down—
the feet of the oppressed,
the footsteps of the poor.

The path of the righteous is level;
O upright One, you make the way of the righteous smooth.

Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws,
we wait for you;
your name and renown
are the desire of our hearts.

~Isaiah 26:3-8

10.22.2009

Thankful Thursdays - Things That Make You Go "Hmmmmm"

Spiritually Unequal Marriage is hosting Thankful Thursday again this week. Dineen has chosen the topic "things that make you go hmmmmm..." There are millions of things that make me go "hmmmm" but I'll try to keep it to just a few today and I am going to repeat Dineen's list just a little bit.

1. Jesus' death on the cross. I "get" the reasoning of it and the process but I get a bit overwhelmed when I try to grasp the "why" - especially if you add "does He love us that much" at the end of it.

2. God's grace. It's immeasurable. I mean, if I were God? We'd be toast by now. I have minute patience by human standards, let alone God-type standards.

3. Earth spinning - Seriously. Big, huge, massively heavy ball of rock and stuff just spinning around in circles day in and day out, year after year. It doesn't get tired, it doesn't go off its axis, the oceans don't go spinning out into space... How much power IS that????
4. Space travel. Actually? I think it's less space travel than it is the ability of man's brain. The gifts God has given us... Wow.

5. Cells divide. Babies grow. Each one of us different, each one of us unique. How much imagination does that take?

There are more, oh so many more but I'll avoid talking too much (it's a new habit I'm trying to form) and end with how thankful I am that while I may never know all of the answers, I was created by and for a God who does. I can accept the mysteries, revel in them, actually. They remind me I'm not in control and I don't have to be because Someone infinitely more qualifed than I am is. I can sleep well at night knowing that.

For more Thankfulness, head over to Spiritually Unequal Marriage today.

Be blessed!

10.20.2009

In the Blink of an Eye

He's 9 now. He'll be 10 in January. He came into my life when he was 4 and his speech was so poor you could only understand one of every five or six words. He came with my husband - a package I can tell you right now I had NEVER expected to receive. God had allowed me to talk myself into believing I was to remain single for the rest of my days and just when I had truly accepted that it would be ok if that was the case, He sends this man to my doorstep. Literally.

When we started attending Sunday evening services at our church, the service would start with everyone, children included, in the sanctuary for worship. The kids would be dismissed before the sermon to go to Sunday School but we would all sing together. He was 8 then and I would watch him on occasion and he never, ever made the effort to sing with us. He could read so the words weren't an issue and most of the songs he knows anyway from what we listen to in the car all the time.

So I asked him - why don't you sing with us? God would love to hear your voice. His response? Singing "isn't really my thing." I had to laugh at that and I didn't push it beyond telling him that it would be ok if he ever decided he wanted to sing - God would love to hear him.

Last week we're headed out to the car when I pick him up from school and he asks me if he can join the choir. I almost stopped dead in my tracks. I looked at him and asked him to repeat himself. So... he did. And I said "Really? Choir? Really? But... I thought singing wasn't your thing..."

His response to me? "That was then... Now? Now I think I want to try to sing."

In that instant that four year old with a speech impediment so thick you couldn't understand him flashed back into my head. I hugged him and tried so hard to not cry. He still has a ways to go with his speech - it's not perfect by any means but there is a gift there. A little boy who couldn't talk now wants to sing. Wants to try. I don't care if cats start singing with him - he will have the most beautiful singing voice I will have ever heard.

I'm sharing this with Emily, Tuesdays Unwrapped, at Chatting at the Sky.

10.19.2009

Nobody Knows The Troubles We Could See...

Someone once said to me that if I had the chance to throw all of my troubles into a big pot, along with everyone else's and then was able to pick and choose my troubles, I'd grab my own right back out of the pot.

It's articles like this one that remind me of just how true that statement can be...

He's In the Army Now

10.18.2009

Sunday Strength


When Esther's words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: "Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"

Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: "Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish."

So Mordecai went away and carried out all of Esther's instructions.

~Esther 4:12-17

10.16.2009

Green - Ted Dekker

Since the first time I read "Blink" I have been a Ted Dekker fan. His imagination boggles my mind and I know I'm going for a wild ride the moment I open one of his books.

In Green we have the continuation of his Circle series. Or is is the start of the Circle series? It is called "the beginning and the end" and he definitely brings you back to the beginning after weaving his story of "good vs. evil" to its climax... or is it?

Since I had already read Black, Red and White, its hard to know for sure but I don't think I would have enjoyed Green as much if I wasn't already familiar with the story. Dekker doesn't spend too much time developing characters and without the historical knowledge, the story can be confusing or seem incomplete in places.

Thomas of Hunter must somehow keep the Circle from fracturing as everyone begins to question just what they believe of Elyon (God). His oldest son, Samuel, leads the rebellion against Thomas (and ultimately Elyon), rallying those in the Circle to turn their backs on their faith and follow him in a plan to destroy the Horde. As evil makes its move to control earth, those who have followed Elyon wonder if he is actually going to save them. It looks like the story will culminate in an epic battle and I have to admit - some of what Dekker writes here was graphic enough to make me a bit squeamish - but the battle isn't the end of the story.

Ultimately, Green kept pulling me back and I would give it "4 stars." I couldn't wait to sit down and read it even though there were parts I could have lived without. A great story and some incredible imagery but my recommendation would be to read the other three first and finish with Green.

For more information on Green and other books from the same publisher, check out Thomas Nelson Publishing. Have a blog? You can also become a book reviewer for TNB, just click here for more information.

10.15.2009

Thankful Thursdays - Entitlement or Riches?

Oh man... the ladies over a Spiritually Unequal Marriage really make me think. Wait - let me re-word that... God is making me think and He's using the ladies over at Spiritually Unequal Marriage to do it. Hop over there and read Lynn's Thankful Thursday post. When that's done, scroll on down and read more. You'll see what I mean.

This week's Thankful Thursday topic is entitlement or riches and nothing like an arrow straight to the heart. I started wandering down that entitlement road this week. I KNEW that's how I was thinking and my brain was doing the split talk. You know what I mean: "I KNOW, God. I KNOW I'm not supposed to be thinking this and I'm sorry for thinking it but man oh man..." and I kept thinking it anyway. Before too long, as I let myself keep walking on that road, a pity pot bigger than life blocking my path showed up. I chose not to figure out how to get around it and then all sorts of stuff just started going downhill from there.

But.... Oh how grateful I am I serve a God of truth, a God who does not leave me blocked in with no way out and provides the way around. Blessings start revealing themselves from all over the place and He starts putting my mind back in order again, simply by focusing me on the truth of who He is and how He provides. All I have to do is listen and it's as if the path lights up in front of me - just like the Psalmist states. (Psalm 119:105 - Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.)

His blessings for me come at me, one mind picture after another. Then the phone calls begin and another blessing is brought to light - God knows when I need to hear from a friend and He brings her (this week it was actually "them") at the exact perfect moment.

What am I entitled to? Not a thing. I'm such a wretch on my own that I'm not even sure I'm entitled to hell. However - through Christ? I am offered so much. I need to keep myself in humble prayer before He who provides it or I allow pride to creep in and then I take Him for granted. He owes me nothing but has given me eternal life through the offering of a gift of such incredible value, I can NEVER understand its cost.

What am I thankful for this week? So much... but I am, most of all, incredibly thankful that God is never content to leave me where I am. If I plop myself in one place because I'm too tired or just don't feel like moving on, He provides the strength and the way forward. He is amazing, He is brilliant, He is dazzling and overwhelming and I am so grateful that He loves me and allows me to love Him back. And He never lets me forget who He is.


What are you thankful for today?

10.14.2009

Grouch Day

My Most Official Hoops & Yo-Yo calendar states that tomorrow is Grouch Day. I'm not 100% sure how you celebrate that but I think... if you know a Grouch, do something out of the ordinary. Shock 'em. Make 'em smile. You know...something silly. A troll doll and chocolate. Ohhh... who can stay grouchy with free chocolate?

The possibilities are endless.... Celebrate tomorrow and make it your mission to change Grouch Day to "Make A Grouch Smile" Day....

I triple dog dare ya'.

10.13.2009

The Difference A Week Can Make

Have you ever had one of those days when you were pretty sure someone took the world-shaped rug you've been standing on forever and yanked it out from under your feet?

That was Thursday, October 1st, for my family. Words and sentences and sympathy came flying at us and while we tried not to drown under the news, it was a bit tough gasping for air. I can't speak for anyone else but I know all I could think - over and over and over again - was God has NOT stepped off of His throne, this was not a surprise to Him and He is the same today as He was yesterday and He will be the same tomorrow... next week.... and on and on.

Yes - I thought all of that in just that run-on kind of sentence way. I repeated it to myself and to the main subject of the devastating news. Over and over and over... It was an intense, emotional relief to realize I believed it, too. It helped the days pass by, sleep come and made eating possible. The sun rose every day and God remained on His throne. Our news had not thrown Him for a looop.

A couple of whirlwind days, an appointment and major surgery later, suddenly the news is MUCH better than expected. The spectre of death has been returned to its normal "there but not really" place in all of our lives. There will be treatment, there will be interrupted schedules but the disease will not win the war. It was barely allowed to show up for the battle.

The amazing thing is that while God sat on His throne, He took the time to reach down to our pitiful little family and remind us just how great a God He is. Miracle after miracle came on the heal of our devastation and... well...things feel MUCH different from the initial news to the post-op news. The sun is brighter, birds sing prettier, traffic isn't quite as irritating... ok... wait... that last one hasn't really changed... People are friendlier, though - or maybe, perhaps, we have been able to climb out of our shells and notice.

Shock is a funny thing. Concern is an all-encompassing emotion. Life throws some doozy curve balls.

Despite it all... God is still on His throne and none of this is a surprise to Him. All Praise be to God!

I'm linking this to Emily's place today. She hosts Tuesdays Unwrapped and asks us to share that small, special gift we might not normally notice. It's my first time participating and the gifts are most definitely not small but there were a million small gifts wrapped up with the big ones. I'd sing it from the mountaintops if I could but... since I can't, I'll link-sing.

10.11.2009

Sunday Strength


Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise His holy name.

Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all His benefits-

who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,

who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,

who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.

He made known His ways to Moses,
His deeds to the people of Israel:

The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.

He will not always accuse,
nor will He harbor His anger forever;

He does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.


For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is His love for those who fear Him;

as far as the east is from the west,
so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion on His children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him;

for He knows how we are formed,
He remembers that we are dust.

As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;

the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.

But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD's love is with those who fear Him,
and His righteousness with their children's children-

with those who keep His covenant
and remember to obey His precepts.

The LORD has established His throne in heaven,
and His kingdom rules over all.

Praise the LORD, you His angels,
you mighty ones who do His bidding,
who obey his word.

Praise the LORD, all His heavenly hosts,
you His servants who do His will.

Praise the LORD, all His works
everywhere in His dominion.
Praise the LORD, O my soul.

~Psalm 103

10.09.2009

Thankful Thursdays - I'm Counting

Lynn at Spiritually Unequal Marriage is hosting Thankful Thursday this week and yes - I know - it's Friday. I have been a bit preoccupied this last week and well...last night I figured I'd missed Thankful Thursday again, maybe next week but then I read the topic and I thought if there was ever a time when I should list out my blessings, now might be a pretty good one. So, I'm participating. A day late but... in no particular order... here are those things that I am so blessed by God that He provides for me:

1. One husband, two sons, one mother, one father, one sister, one brother, two sisters-in-law, two brothers-in-law, one mother-in-law, 3 nieces and one nephew. Those are the immediates. There are aunts, uncles and cousins galore... Families might be tough at times but oh the blessing of having one!

2. My job and my husband's job. Neither of us have had to take a cut in pay (praying that doesn't change, either), cut in hours or other stress-inducing factors.

3. My co-workers. I work with my mom and as we go through this latest crisis, they have been right there - covering the office when I've had to be gone, concerned and praying for Mom as she goes through all of this. I work with some amazing people.

4. My Lifegroup. That small group from my church who comes to our house once a week to study the word of God. They aren't just study partners, they are amazing friends, willing to do whatever is needed whenever it's needed.

5. My church. A pastor who teaches the Word, people who worship God with their whole hearts and a place to go and worship communally with my brothers and sisters in Christ.
6. My dog. Yup - my dog. He is unconditional love on four legs. I always know someone is going to be happy to see me when I come home - no matter when that is.

7. My health. It's not perfect but my legs work, my arms work, I can see, hear, taste, smell & feel things when I touch them. My voice works, my mind works and I am not ill.

8. My home. It's beautiful. It's small and comfortable and cozy and I am not closing the door to the idea that God might have something better for us and might ask us to move, I hope His intention is to leave us in this house until we head to our final home. It's practically perfect in every way.

9. My friends. So many of them from one coast to another. So many... so wonderful, each one of them.

10. Clothes to wear. Shoes on my feet.

11. Food on my table.

12. Money in the bank to pay the bills.

13. My women at the Everett Gospel Mission and my time there doing devotions.

14. Serving on the Board of Proverbs 31:20 Ministries.

15. Working with the Western Washington Coalition to Combat Human Trafficking.

16. Hair to brush.

17. Sweaters to pull out now that the weather is turning cold.

18. A bathroom - where I can take a shower. How many don't even have that simple luxury?

19. Choices. So many options.

20. A car to drive.

21. A Bible to read. How many countries is the Bible illegal to own? I not only am allowed to read it, I can read it in public, own multiple copies, talk about it with whomever I choose without fear of imprisonment.

22. Pens, pencils, paper and the ability to read & write.

23. Time away from work - there are an estimated 27 million people enslaved globally. I am treated fairly at work, paid fairly and I am given time off. My job doesn't ask me to do anything degrading, immoral or illegal. It also doesn't force me to.

24. My parents have been married for 43 years. Some pretty rough years but 43 years together.

25. When I flip a switch, power runs to the light and it works. Rain does not get in my roof. I have the ability to hire exterminators if my house is inhabited by any unwelcome pest guests.

26. I have furniture.

27. I have a stove, refrigerator and kitchen sink with running water. I do not have to walk up to 5 miles carrying a jug on my head, searching and hoping for water in a dirty, dried up river.

28. I have the means to sponsor two children. One in Indonesia and the other in Kenya.

29. My husband and I together make enough money that we don't just have to "survive." We can give a lot of it away.

30. My oldest son survived his addictions and is now thriving, living on his own and dating a wonderful young woman.

31. My husband cooks dinner!

32. I have more friends than I can count with two hands. To me, that's a huge number of friends.

33. I live in a country where I can openly worship God.

34. My family is headed to Oregon in a few weeks to celebrate my husband's great-aunt's 90th birthday. A party is in my future! :)

35. Perhaps the most important right now - In my mother, what we were thinking was going to be Stage 3 ovarian cancer with, possibly, uterine cancer as well has turned out to be what looks like Stage 1 ovarian cancer. The final pathology and the definitive diagnosis comes October 19th but the surgery on Wednesday went so well and the doctor feels confident she got all of the disease out of my mother's body. All that's left is the microscopic stuff. Mom will need chemo, yes but it looks like one round and that's it.... I don't think I can yell my praise and gratitude loud enough...

36. I'd like to make my list longer but I really need to get back to work. My last blessing for this list - there are people counting on me and miss me when I can't show up.


There are so many more.... so many I could type for hours.

God is good. All the time. All the time, God is good....

Be blessed.

10.08.2009

Economy anyone?


There are plenty who will tell me I'm incorrect in what I'm about to say but... WE NEED TO BRING MANUFACTURING BACK TO THE UNITED STATES.

When we begin making things, buying and maybe at this point in time more importantly SELLING our own products - we MIGHT be able to recover as an economic power.


Why shouldn't people be nervous about us?

10.06.2009

Mad Hatter Day

I was once again consulting with my incredibly official Hoops & Yo Yo calendar for October and lo & behold... October 6th is Mad Hatter Day. Are you an Alice in Wonderland fan? I have to confess here, I am not. I prefer Wizard of Oz although I'm honestly not super familiar with either one of them. Perhaps I should read the book and decide from there.

However - all of that aside, in honor of Mad Hatter Day, I hopped online and consulted with the mighty Wikipedia and learned the following facts:

1. The Hatter is a fictional character (in case anyone wasn't sure)

2. He is first encountered at a tea party in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and again as "Hatta" in the story's sequel, Through the Looking Glass.

3. He is never called "The Mad Hatter" in the book, the closest he comes is being called "mad" by the Cheshire Cat, displaying eccentric behavior and the chapter in which he first appears is titled "A Mad Tea-Party" (although it is often called "The Mad Hatter's Tea Party").

4. He has been portrayed on film by: Edward Everett Horton, Sir Robert Helpmann, Martin Short, Peter Cook, Anthony Newley, Ed Wynn and Johnny Depp. In music videos he has been portrayed by Tom Petty and Steven Tyler.

5. He was sentenced to death by the Queen of Hearts when he tried to sing for her and she accused him of "murdering the time." Apparently his vocality was not to her liking...

6. Out of anger at the Hatter's attempted murder of Time (referred to as "Him" in the book), Time has halted himself for the Hatter - keeping him and the March Hare at 6:00 forever.

7. Quoted directly from Wikipedia: The card (or label) on the Hatter's hat reads "In this style 10/6". "10/6" means ten shillings and six pence (or half a guinea), the price of a hat in the pre-decimalised British money and acts as a visual indication of the hatter's trade. (There were 20 shillings to the pound, 12 pence to a shilling...thus 10/6 = 126 pence.) With inflation analysis up to 1974, 126 pence equals about $23.83 in 1974 U.S. dollars, around $105 in October, 2008 spending power.

8. In Through The Looking Glass, he was named, along with the March Hare (Haigha), as one of the White King's two messengers (he apparently needed two - "one to come, and one to go").

9. The Mad Hatter asks his famous riddle "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" and apparently doesn't know the answer (this is in the chapter "A Mad Tea Party"). With so many inquiries into the answer, Caroll wrote a paragraph to it in the preface of the 1896 edition. Can you think of any possible answers to the riddle?

10. Twinkle, Twinkle Little Bat, a poem recited by the Mad Hatter, is a parody of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.

So.. now that you know more about the Mad Hatter than you probably ever wanted to know, head out and do something in honor of his day. A non-birthday celebration, perhaps? A tea party? All in all a rather important day... just don't be late for your date!

10.04.2009

Sunday Strength


Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from Him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation;
He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

My salvation and my honor depend on God;
He is my mighty rock, my refuge.

Trust in Him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to Him,
for God is our refuge.
Selah

~Psalm 62:5-8

10.02.2009

Today is...

Ahhhhh.... I love Hoops & Yo-Yo. They are such fun.




Today is World Smile Day.





So get out there & flash your pearly whites!

My husband is never going to smile for me again when I'm holding my camera after he sees this post... Something about that makes me giggle. ;)


9.30.2009

Thought Provoking

Have you ever read Dr. Del Tackett? He leads Focus on the Family's "The Truth Project." Every once in a while I'll pop over and read a post on his blog. There is no rhyme or reason to what I read, sometimes I'll just click the link to "read more." Fact is, I'm never disappointed when I do that. Somehow I click when I need to read what he has written at just that moment. It always impresses me when that happens - you know what I mean - when God has you listen to a specific sermon that you almost didn't hear or has you read something you almost didn't read... I often don't even realize I'm listening to the Holy Spirit until afterwards and I'm reflecting on what I just heard or read. With that said... and speaking of reflecting...

Reflecting on Reflecting

If you have a couple of minutes, read Dr. Tackett today.

9.29.2009

It Has Begun


Two seconds ago, the heavens opened and the rain has started to pour down... ahhh.. the smell is heavenly!


It's official.


Summer is over. Fall is here.


I think I'll buy some pumpkins this week...


9.28.2009

Humility

Have you ever had an experience where you sounded off at someone - in "righteous anger?" After all, they'd hurt you beyond imagination. You figure you know you have to forgive, it's the Christian thing to do but (1) you're going to do it in your own time and not before you manage to spew as much evil as possible and (2) you don't have to forget, you don't have to trust that person again, you don't have to keep that person in your life?

Then your Pastor reminds you... God doesn't forgive us that way.

"No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear. ~Hebrews 8:11-13

and then...

"This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds." Then he adds: "Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more."And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin. ~Hebrews 10:16-18

Last night's sermon, Pastor Steve talked about God promises to remember our sins no more. Years ago I made the connection that God goes beyond just "forgetting" our sins. Forgetting is imperfect and it's passive - Oh... oops... I forgot. I didn't have to do anything for that to happen, it just happened. But God makes a promise - He promises to not remember our sin. Once we have repented and He has forgiven them - they are gone, He won't bring them up. He doesn't say "ah... this one... again? Really? How many times must I forgive you this one? How do I trust you again? Why would I want to keep you in my life?"


Not God. How would I surivive if He did? Why do I 'know' this truth in everyday life but the moment a situation presents itself to actually live what I know, I revert back to the 'normal me?'


And yet... it is exactly what I do. I get hurt, I get angry and oh yes... I know... I'm supposed to forgive and I will. In my time, when I feel like it. In the meantime? Stay out of my life. I can't trust you. How do I know you won't do this to me again?

Exactly who do I think I am?

Jesus told us: "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." (Matthew 6:14-15).

Please hear my heart - I am so sorry. To my sister and my brother-in-law - I am so sorry for my tirade last week when Mom tried to bring us together. I am sorry that I have held onto this for so long. I am so sorry that I put my "hurt" in a place that made it more important to me than you are.

I am sorry.

9.27.2009

Sunday Strength


I will exalt you, O LORD, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. O LORD my God, I called to you for help and you healed me. O LORD, you brought me up from the grave; you spared me from going down into the pit. Sing to the LORD, you saints of his; praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

~Psalm 30:1-5

9.24.2009

Today is...

According to my incredibly official Hoops & Yo-Yo Hallmark calendar, today - September 24th - is PUNCTUATION DAY!

How exciting is that? A whole day dedicated to those little marks that can change the direction and tone of a sentence in an instant....

So... pull our your imaginations and start using those "." and the " and the ' and the ? and the : and the ; and the , and my favorite the !

And we should all listen to Hoops & Yo-Yo. Go punctuate!

9.23.2009

Motivation

All that fast-paced "moving, moving, moving" I did over the last couple of weeks has caught up with me. Last night I cleaned the kitchen and then tried to dust the living room. I made it about 1/2 way around, took a look at the rest of the wood & promptly put the Pledge & rag away.

Praying now this sudden exhaustion doesn't become permanent and is only a temporary hiccup where my body is saying "you've run me ragged for two weeks...give me a day or two off, would ya'?"

I'm going to try to get Aaron to push me out of bed at 5:15 tomorrow morning. Take the dog for a walk. Pray we do it!!!

9.20.2009

Sunday Strength


O LORD, I call to you; come quickly to me. Hear my voice when I call to you. May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil, to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evildoers; let me not eat of their delicacies.

~Psalm 141:1-4

9.18.2009

The rest of Aaron's Party

A lot of these pictures were taken from Christopher's 9 year old viewpoint and there are a few people missing (check out the group shots with the magician - some of those missing from here are in there). We tried to get a picture of everyone.










































































































The Food (sorry for that first picture being so blurry):
~The eggs & bacon you see when you scroll down is candy I made...
































































Meat Candy (oh this stuff is SO good!)










The Magician:













































The Pinata: