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Friday, February 29, 2008

Funny

A friend sent this to me today. I wish everyone had this enthusiasm. The pastor's reaction is absolutely priceless...

video

Fast Mid-Day Meal (not quick)

I’m in the middle of a situation, a conflict, if you couldn’t tell from my post yesterday. And as I was in the shower yesterday morning I could just feel the Holy Spirit telling me I needed to fast and seek Him in resolving the situation. (Isn’t it amazing what comes to you in the shower sometimes?) So, I decided to fast for lunch. In turn, so that I didn’t get the shakes too bad, I also fasted my morning cup of coffee. Here’s how it went…

10:30 am The caffeine deprivation begins to set in with a headache… pop 2 (or maybe 3) Tylenol.

11:00 am Someone begins warming up their lunch in the kitchen - right across the hall from my office. (Is it necessary to do that so early?)

11:30 am Someone else warms up their lunch…

11:45 am A co-worker and friend offers me a cookie. (I think because he knows something is up. Maybe it was his “Good morning,” that I responded to with, “Well, it’s morning anyways,” that tipped him off. Just a guess.)

12:00 pm I get an email from my mother-in-law that is a recipe she is forwarding from the Hershey’s website. (You’ve got to be kidding me…)

12:15 pm An influx of people in and out of the kitchen, warming up food, talking about food, gabbing, etc…. (Oh, for crying out loud!)

12:30 pm I leave the office to walk across the street to Sonic to get some tea. I walk up and push the button and wait… and wait… and smell some tots… and wait… and hear someone ordering a cheeseburger… and wait… (Seriously?)

12:40 pm The car-hop finally comes out after what seems like an eternity and says that the intercom isn’t working and takes my order.

12:45 pm I get back to my office and open my Bible and my BSF lesson and dig into my mid-day meal and am satisfied.

There were forces against me, friends. Most days, like today, there is nobody warming up lunch in the kitchen. And food just almost never comes up while I’m at work. Being offered a cookie and receiving Hershey recipes all at the same time? Are you kidding me? There were times that I could just almost feel the spiritual warfare going on around me as the situation I am in just weighed on me and I dug in my heels about fasting and seeking what God was trying to tell me through His Holy Spirit. It wasn't until I dealt with all that temptation by getting into the Word, that I felt it all release. After spending that time on my lesson and in prayer, there was just a sense of calm and peace that came over me. The peace that passes all understanding.

Thank you to those that prayed for me. You got me through. The Lord is softening my heart and working on a forgiving spirit and renewing love in me for someone who hurt me. (It’s not my dh, by the way, just to clarify)

It's Not Fair

Somber mood today. I just got word that an online friend from the past was induced last night after her perfect little boy's passing at 21 weeks into the pregnancy. It's just not fair.

I understand that death is a reality in this fallen world, but how many baby losses can one person take? It's not fair.

My heart is broken all over again for my friend and her family.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Please pray for me today, friends. I cannot go into details as it just would not be appropriate, but pray for me to have a forgiving spirit today. Thanks.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Miracle Monday

In doing some cruising this evening, I found this blog and she's starting a thing she's calling "Miracle Monday." Take a look...

I think it's a good idea and encourage each of you with a blog to participate. I go back to my original assertion way back when I began this blog. WHAT IF we shared what God was doing in our lives?
If you don't have a blog and would like to share your own miracle, feel free to email it to me and I'll post it here.




Monday, February 25, 2008

Just for fun

This is video of Sarah doing some rock climbing back at the end of December. She had gone up the wall a couple of times, and I asked if she wanted to try to beat her time of 1 1/2 minutes. She agreed, and up she scampered:


video



This is Mike and Sarah at the Father Daughter dance at school the weekend before Valentine's Day. They went to dinner for Sarah's favorite meal, shrimp, and then the dance. They had a really good time and I am so glad to see them beginning to do things like this.



Nathan singing Itsy Bitsy Spider:


video



Okay, this one is fuuuu-nny. Nathan was having a difficult time keeping his pants up around his waist instead of falling down around his ankles while he was walking. His solution... well, you'll just have to see for yourself:



video

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Potty Training Chronicles (Part 5) - Standing Up

Wednesday morning, Nathan finally woke up and came out of his room. I was on the phone with Mike at the moment, so I sent him on back to the bathroom. He comes back out with all of his undies and pants down around his ankles, as is his usual style. So, as I’m still on the phone with Mike (and thankfully not someone else less close to the situation) I call him over to help him get everything pulled back up. Here’s how it went…

Mom: Son, you need to pull your pants up BEFORE leaving the bathroom. Come here.

Son: I’m wet.

Mom: (Confused) Did you go tee-tee?

Son: Yes!! I went tee-tee!!

Mom: (Noticing wetness on son’s bare legs and on pajamas) Did you stand up to tee-tee?

Son: (Really excited) YES!

Mom: *sigh*

Dad: (Only somewhat stifling uncontrollable laughter) Um, I’d better let you go take care of that. Uh, good luck.

Mom: Gee, thanks.

So, the scene in the bathroom once we got there. Imagine pee everywhere… and I mean EVERYWHERE. This was the first time he had ever done this so: the seat was down with pee all over it, there was pee dripping down the side of the toilet, there was pee on the floor… the wall, I forgot to check the wall…

This is a joy that all you mom’s of girls just simply cannot comprehend. Learning how to pee standing up.

It gets better… but Mike is going to have to tell the next story from Wednesday evening.

****

Right before dinner Wednesday evening I took Nathan to go potty and wash his hands. He was very excited to show me how he could stand up to pee. We got to the bathroom and he proceeded to get his stepstool set up in front of the toilet. The placement had to be perfect, I guess, because many adjustments were necessary before he was happy with it. Finally, he stood up on the stool and proceeded to raise the seat. Now, I was too busy thinking about what a smart move that is (he does share the bathroom with his sister, after all) to consider how far back he was standing. Once he got the seat up, though, it became apparent that he was having trouble standing back up straight. I was debating with myself whether I should help him or let him figure it out on his own when he decided to just go for it. His initial momentum carried him about halfway up, but he just didn’t have the leverage to complete the move.

Back down he went – splash! Arms first into the toilet. He wasn’t really sure what to do at this point, and my laughter probably didn’t help. I reached over and helped him stand up while keeping his dripping arms over the toilet. After drying him off with a washcloth, I moved his stool closer and showed him how to lift the seat from the side before getting on the stool. Now it was time to try again. He stood there for a while with nothing happening.

Dad: Do you need to go tee-tee?

Son: No.

Dad: Ok, then let’s wash hands and go eat dinner.

Son: NOOOOOO! I wanna go tee-tee!

Dad: Ok, Ok.

So we waited… in silence...




Dad: Look, if there is no tee-tee, then let’s just go.

Now, this whole time he has been shaking and wiggling trying to go. Finally, as he is staring at it, and it is pointed back up at him, the tee-tee comes. Straight up. Toward his face. Luckily, his shirt stops it and he gets it pointed back at the toilet. Not in the toilet, but AT the toilet. The tank, the seat, the lid – basically every part of the toilet except the bowl with the water in it.

Dad: (reaching over to help) Point it in the bowl, son. No, no – that’s too far – that’s your leg. That’s good, in the bowl. Oh, you’re done. Well, you got some in there – we’ll call it a draw.

Clean up took a few minutes. I suggested changing clothes (at least the shirt) but he was having none of it. I finally decided that it wasn’t that bad and bath time was just around the corner anyway, so off to dinner we went – proudly telling mom how he had gone tee-tee standing up.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Opportunity Knocks

When opportunity knocks, do you always answer the door? I wouldn’t say that I always do. I can think of many times I have lived in disobedience when I have sensed God asking me to do something and I now live knowing that I missed a great opportunity. My goal, however, is to never miss another opportunity to serve Him.

So, when a job at the school opened up last week, I had to explore it. We have always said that the one full-time job that both of us would be willing for me to take would be one at the school because we’ve just always had a vision that I would eventually work there. And, this is probably the main job in the school that I think I could do and do well.

The announcement was made on Thursday (Feb. 14th) that this position was open. Mike forwarded the email to me at work… I have to admit, my work suffered that day. I couldn’t think about anything else it seemed. I inquired about the position via email on Thursday evening and received a response with a job description on Friday morning. I spent Friday afternoon polishing my resume and sent it via email that day. I got a call from the person conducting the interviews on Tuesday and we finally spoke on the phone Wednesday morning. I have an interview on Friday afternoon.

In the midst of all this hubbub, I’ve been doing some self examination and discovery. It was like Mike forwarding me the email about the job opening was the trigger that got my mind to open up as I began to consider whether or not to throw my hat in the ring for this job. As I tried to figure out why this job was now coming open when I’ve just been at my current job for 5 months, I became dreadfully aware of some areas of my life where I have been struggling with temptation that I have been denying for a couple of months now. And it became apparent to me that taking a different job may be a way out of some of this temptation. It weighed so heavy on me until I made the decision to go ahead with pursuing this job opportunity.

However, I became very keenly aware just within the last day or so that the deeper temptation that I have definitely given into deals with my thought life and vain imaginations. Even if taking a different job takes some of the temptation away, my thoughts are still with me and need to be taken captive.

As I have come to this realization, that it’s not just something outside that is tempting me, but something within my flesh, I have desperately calling on God to take the thoughts away. I looked back on our BSF lesson earlier in the year about Christ’s temptation. I remembered how He overcame temptation using the same tools we have today: the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. This week’s lesson also spoke to me as we discussed briefly the passage in Matthew 17:14-21 where Jesus talks of mustard seed faith. That even with that little bit of faith, we can tell a mountain to move by His power and it will. I am challenged to have that faith and to boldly, in the power of the Holy Spirit, tell this mountain of thoughts and temptation to move out of my way!

Something else that spoke to me as I considered the possibility of interviewing for a different job was a passage that we studied last week. Matthew 16:24 is where Jesus tells his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Like so many other verses and passages we have studied, I have heard this many times, but it really came to life this week.

Think of the cross. It was an act of Jesus putting aside his own will for that of the Father’s. Taking up my own cross is the same thing. It’s not that the mere inconveniences of life are “my cross to bear.” My cross is where my will for my life differs from God’s. It is where I allow my own plan for my life to die to willingly let God’s plan be fulfilled.

And it’s not negotiable. The way I see it from this passage, this is part of following Christ. Either we are allowing our own will to die and follow Him or we don’t allow our own will to die and therefore cannot be following Him.

Our teaching leader asked at the end of last weeks lecture, “What are you willing to deny yourself in order to accomplish God’s purpose for your life?” I had to answer that question that I was willing to deny myself the comfort I have in my existing job if need be.

Opportunity is knocking. And as uncomfortable as it can conceivably be, I’m answering the door. We just wait and see at this point if it is a door that I will walk through, or if it will close again.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Swimsuits

For goodness sake, would someone please explain to me WHY ON EARTH a simple one piece swimsuit has to cost $85?!? Seriously? I understand that there is some aerospace engineering that goes into these things, but $85? For less than a yard of material? Are you kidding me?

And why is trying on swimwear so humiliating? I mean you’re there, and this little stall you’re in turns into your own personal version of hell as you evaluate how your body looks in this swimsuit or that. It’s just awful.

Mike is convinced that the answers to these two questions are linked. You see, the process has to be humiliating so that when you do find that one perfect suit that doesn’t make you look like a COW, you’ll spend anything.

As you can tell, I’m in the market for a new swimsuit. I had a couple that are now too big for me and the one that did fit was old enough that it just needed to go away. So, here I am looking for a new suit. And the process began in early January.

I found a Speedo at Costco and it was super cute. I was so excited that I was going to be able to take a suit with us on our trip to Vegas. But, the neck line came down WAY too low for me to be comfortable. It was a little too revealing for me. Mike, of course, loved it. So, that one went back. Then I found one in the Land’s End catalog recently that I think will work, but there’s the cost issue. At first I thought I would just be paying for the Land’s End name, so I decided to see if Khol’s had anything similar for a more reasonable price. They had something similar, but it was still $85. I thought I’d also try Stein Mart, but to no avail.

It really is difficult to find a “suitable” suit anymore. I guess the general public is not as concerned as I am about revealing too much of “the girls.” Of course, most people don’t have as much “girls” to reveal as I do. I like the plunging necklines and I think it’s what I need, but a little less plunge would be nice, thank you very much.

So, to all the ladies out there who are in the market for a new swimsuit for this summer… Good Luck!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

BEEP – THIS IS A TEST…

This is a test of the emergency temptation network.
This is certainly a test.
(The word “only” didn’t seem quite right here)

My friend, Cristel, said to me just the other day that it would be nice if there was an emergency notification system for Christians like the emergency broadcast system in the media. Something that would let us know that we were being tested. The thing is, I think we do have that. I certainly have sensed the Holy Spirit telling me I’m being tested right now.

We studied quite a bit about Peter last week in Matthew 16. First his amazing confession of Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the Son of God as revealed to him by the Holy Spirit. Then, his 180 degree turn as he rebuked Christ for speaking of the things to come and what he would suffer. Then, on to chapter 17 during Christ’s transfiguration when he just wanted to build a structure and stay on the mountain.

What I believe was revealed to me in the latter two of these stories was to not be so comfortable where I am that I am not willing to move forward. In both situations, it seems to me that Peter just so enjoyed being with Christ and having him right there in the current situation that he failed to be able to see and want to follow Christ to accomplish the larger plan that the Father had set before him.

I feel like God is allowing me to be tested to see if I am getting too comfortable where I am. Where I am with Him, where I am in my marriage, where I am in my relationships with others, where I am in my work, where I am in dealing with temptation as I am most certainly tempted to keep things as they are. The alarm is sounding. This is definitely a test. My desire is to pass the test.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The One

The one I love the most
Is moody and temperamental
And yet is sweet and affectionate
My little man.


The one I love the most
Is a little goofy at times
But also kind and compassionate
My princess.


This one makes me happy
This one brings me joy
This one
This one
Is the one I love the most



The one I love the most
Is generous and loving
And so gentle and strong
My man.



This one makes me happy
This one brings me joy
This one
This one
Is the one I love the most




The One I love the very most
Is the Light in my darkness
My Rescuer from trouble
My true Knight in shining armor
My Prince with whom I will one day
Live happily ever after
My Savior.


This One makes me happy
This One brings me joy
This One
This One
This is the One I love the very most.


Happy Valentines Day to the ones I love the MOST!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Potty Training Chronicles (Part 4)

A couple of weeks ago he had been doing so well that he got to go pick out a new train (Thomas the Tank Engine). Well, Mike took him and said that as soon as he saw Max and Monty (2 dump trucks) there was no train to be had.

Well, he’s still doing okay with the #1 side of things, but we’re a little hung up on #2. The frustrating thing for Mike and I is that he can do it. He has done it. Several times. But he won’t always.

On the one hand, it seems like it’s a timing thing. He starts, then stops himself and comes and tells us. So then, we go to the bathroom and get on the potty and he can’t get started again. We will go through this routine over and over again and sometimes it ends in him going on the potty, and sometimes it ends with an accident in his pants.

On the other hand, it seems to purely be a matter of choosing to not go to the bathroom to do it.
Then throw in being in a classroom atmosphere and not having the personal 1 on 1 attention, and that’s a recipe for accidents.

I keep telling myself that he won’t still be doing this when he graduates from high school (I hope) so just roll with it. But it doesn’t work so well. We’re trying to have some negative consequences when he goes in his pants, so we’ll see how that goes.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

HOA

By my own admission, Home Owners Associations can be a pain. Our pastor at the church we attended in Virginia thought so. To Pastor Stokes, it seemed that there was no greater evil in the world than the HOA.

I would agree to a point. Our neighborhood in Virginia was very large and the legal documents for our HOA rivaled the length of many of the multi-billion dollar loan agreements I dealt with when working in corporate banking. Things were micro-regulated down to the color of front door you could have and how the edging around your flower beds could look. Seriously.

He would bust a gut to know that Mike is this years President of our HOA’s Board of Directors. However, after the year he’s had so far (just since September), it’s not a job he will ever take again.

We have a particular home owner who is really got a burr in his saddle. This person knows no other way to communicate about something that bothers them other than to threaten lawsuits.

We also had an issue over the last week or so with a developer who was trying to get the zoning changed from residential to commercial on a piece of property just adjacent to our neighborhood. This lot backed up to several of our resident’s back yards. We even got coverage on a local newscast last Thursday.

http://cbs11tv.com/local/Colleyville.Cheek.Sparger.2.648800.html

At last night’s Planning & Zoning meeting there were so many residents from the surrounding area that they caused a fire hazard and the Fire Marshall had to move some of them to an overflow room. One P&Z commissioner said that it was the largest crowd he had seen for any P&Z meeting.

Both of the residents of our neighborhood that were directly impacted got up and spoke. However, because of this one home owner who chooses to continually threaten the board at the drop of a hat, my husband did not feel that he could get up and speak on behalf of the neighborhood since he had not run any comments through an attorney first for fear of being sued because of something he said. How sad is that?

However, alls well that ends well. It was a unanimous vote against the developer’s proposal and the lot will remain zoned residential. For the time being at least.

http://www.colleyvilletexascourier.com/home/story/649.html

So this particular homeowner has got me to thinking and doing some self examination. I’ve been hearing a lot in BSF lessons and lectures about having a critical spirit. One thing that has stuck with me was when our teaching leader said something to the effect of, “If we don’t truly have God’s love for someone, then it’s likely that they’ll never be able to do anything right.” Ouch. That hits close to home for me.

I can think of at least one person in my life that I tend to always find something that they do wrong. I have to step back and examine if I truly have God’s love for this person and ask for God to give me love and compassion for this person.

A critical spirit. Do I have a critical spirit? I think at times I do. But God is working on me about it.