Monday, March 23, 2009

"What's On My Mind Monday".....

Since I couldn't think of anything too profound to write about today
I figured I would share a few thoughts of randomness:

This is a picture of the shower in my bedroom.

Actually it is a picture of where my shower used to be. A few weeks ago as I was enjoying a nice, steamy shower I heard a loud crash. Upon further investigation it turned out the tiles had fallen right off of the shower wall onto the floor.

Fortunately my bathtub remains unaffected (so far) and we are blessed with 3 other bathrooms that have showers in them.
To be honest this is a project my husband and I have been wanting to tackle since we moved in 6 years ago, but being the procrastinators we are we waited until the walls were literally crumbling down around us before we did anything about it, lol.

Fortunately my husband is quite the handy man and he is convinced he can do this job by himself. The rest of us aren't so sure....

Yesterday I asked Quin,
"Do you think it will take Daddy days, weeks or months to fix the shower?"

He answered with a straight face,

Oh heavens, I hope not!!

I do have to say though that the man I married is not only a good handyman he is also an awesome Dad to our children. Last month he took all of our daughters to the annual Daddy/Daughter dance at church and from what I hear no other Dad could (or would) dance like
my hubby!

Of course he was the only Dad dancing in tennis shoes (due to a bad case of gout).

Whatever the case I am just glad he had some shoes on because this is what his toenails look like.....

When you see a man with toenails painted like this it usually means one of two things:

1) He is a patient Father of little girls

2) Well I just don't even want to go there.....

On the other hand my toes were not much more attractive after I acted on the brilliant idea of giving myself a "black french manicure".
Thinking it would be a very cool and trendy look, I discovered that it only makes me look like I have ultra dirty toenails. Perhaps it would be trendier in the Fall~~ like at Halloween!

Well that is about all of the randomness I can generate for now. I guess it just goes to prove that life is not always deep and sometimes what is on my mind is just plain shallow, LOL!

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Word Is GREAT!

It never ceases to amaze me how God chooses to speak to us individually.

What might be an obvious "word from God" to one person may not even make sense in our own vocabulary.

Have you ever been excited by your own personal revelation only to have those you share it with smile and nod politely?
Or after hearing a sermon that seemed specially tailored to your circumstances you discover the person sitting next to you heard a completely different message?

Personally I think this is one of the mysteries of God and a demonstration of His "Living and Active word." What else could survive the test of time and still be so revealing and relevant thousands of years after it was written? God's desire is to speak to us in a personal way, right where we are at. If only we will have ears to hear and eyes to see.

I was reminded of this over the weekend when my husband got his own "message from God" in a place he would be sure to see it.

Each year he chooses a "word for the year". It is supposed to be a word that keeps him focused on the LORD and one he can apply to his life daily. One year he chose "JOY" (an interesting choice for a guy who is often known as "grumpy"!). Needless to say that was a challenging year.

This year however his word is "GREAT". His philosophy is that he can say it when he is happy but he can also say it when he is frustrated (oh great!). I have to say that so far it has worked pretty well for him. Especially when it comes to the ups and downs of sports, which are a huge part of his life.

Then over the weekend his beloved Missouri Tigers basketball team won the Big XII conference championship so he was actually experiencing some "great joy".

And can you guess what the headline was on the next mornings Sports page?

That's right, it was "GRRREAT!"

And it didn't go unnoticed by my husband who proudly held up the paper and said, "Isn't God amazing? It's my word!"

Thank you God for giving my husband a personal message in a language he would understand, and thank you too for giving him ears to hear and eyes to see. I pray that we would always be receptive to hearing from you!

Friday, March 13, 2009

I started this blogging thing just over a year ago and I am still blown away by how much it has changed my life! Of course my friends and family think I have lost my mind (not that I was all that sane to begin with, lol).

It was strange enough last year when I travelled with a woman I had never met before to a conference in North Carolina and then shared a hotel room with two women I didn't know except for what I had read on their blogs. The funny thing is that none of these women, or many of the other women at the conference, felt like strangers. In a strange way it seemed like I had known them forever. I felt like I came away from that weekend having met lots of long-lost "sisters".

Fast forward to August of last summer when I invited one of those new sisters to spend the night at my house along with a few of her children. I still giggle at my teenage son's reaction. "Dad, did you know Mom is inviting a woman she met on the internet to sleep over?" Of course Dad didn't try to tell me "NO" but he did look just a little concerned about the whole thing.

Early in January she came back to visit and support me after my Dad died. By then she was no longer a stranger and everyone was excited to see our "family friend".

So when a "family friend" says, "Hey do you want to go to Dallas? An old friend invited me to visit and offered us a place to stay!" don't you think it would be rude to say no and make her go by herself?

~~No, a good friend immediately searches the internet and books a trip to Dallas with you.
~~A bad friend would be one that invites you to visit and then makes other plans, leaving you with a non-refundable plane ticket and no where to stay in a strange city.

So that is how Lelia and I found ourselves headed to Texas for a weekend adventure. Of course the whole trip almost didn't happen when I took the "super scenic route" to the airport. But because Jesus was with us we made it in the nick of time!

By the end of the weekend we had shopped, rested, worshipped, prayed, eaten and laughed until we cried. We may have made the original plan but God determined our itinerary:

~~We met another "online sister" when Liz joined us for lunch and dinner.

~~We just happened to run into a celebrity at dinner.
~~We chatted on the phone with Missy who was in Dallas visiting a friend (who could forget what happened the last time we saw Missy? LOL).

~~We got to visit a well known church and hear an amazing (and timely) message on Sunday morning.

~~We deepened our friendship and encouraged one another in our faith and purpose.

~~We recieved confirmation that we believe God is calling us into ministry together.

~~We were able to pinpoint areas of our lives we need to improve (time management, organizational skills, decision making, map reading (lol)).

Looking at this list reminds me that what we planned as a "girls getaway" turned into something much bigger.
But isn't that how God operates when we trust Him with our plans?

Proverbs 16:9 says: "In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps"
I know I can honestly say that I was blessed beyond measure as I let the Lord determine my steps to Dallas!
If you want to read more about our adventure click here to visit Lelia.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Save the Drama

Confession Time: "I am a recovering Soap Addict"

Not the pretty, good smelling, get-you-clean kind of soap but the kind that are on every afternoon while the kids are down for naps kind of Soaps.

It started innocently enough. My grandmother was a "Young and Restless" fan and since I spent a lot of time at her house growing up I too learned all about Mr. and Mrs. Chandler, the Brooks sisters and of course Snapper (David Hasselhoff before he hit the beach on Baywatch).

In fact I will never hear the theme song for Y&R without thinking of my beloved Nana.
By high school I was hooked on "my own" soaps;

--I cried when Jenny died in that jet-ski accident on "All My Children"
--I was disgusted by Dorian and her antics on "One Life to Live"
--I celebrated when Luke and Laura finally married on "General Hospital"
(I really knew I was in trouble when I found myself wanting to pray for some of these characters, lol).

Yes, I was a soap opera junkie!
The funny thing was that all of that drama seemed to somehow rub off into my own life.

HMMM? I wonder:

Why is my husband working late?... Could he be cheating on me?

What did my mother mean by that comment?....
And is she REALLY my mother?

Is my sister plotting revenge against me for some unknown reason?....OK that is very possible but you get the picture!

Why is it that as women we are drawn to drama like a moth to a flame?
Drama is what keeps us watching.
It makes the plot interesting and keeps us from getting bored.
Drama is also contagious.
It spreads quickly and if left unchecked drama can lead to destruction;
destruction of marriages,friendships, families and eventually destruction of self.

Today not only are the same soap operas I used to watch on the air (along with a parental block option) but reality shows are all the rage. Not surprisingly there has been much in the way of negative fall-out for those who have chosen to share their lives (and drama) with the public.

Fortunately I am in a long-term remission from my soap addiction. Every now and then I catch a glimse of a character I recognize (funny how they all look just like they did 20 years ago) but I have no idea what is happening in Pine Valley, Llanview or Port Charles and honestly I don't want to know. I am a mother of 5 daughters and that is more than enough drama for me to handle. I am too busy living reality to spend time watching it on TV!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What is a Big Mac?

What is a Big Mac?

My kids love to ask that question every time we go to McDonalds and I always respond with,

"Two all beef patties,
special sauce,
on a sesame seed bun!"

For some reason this old jingle causes my little ones to break out in giggles and my teenagers to roll their eyes and frantically look around in embarrassment to make sure no one overheard me. I have no idea when I first memorized the detailed description of a Big Mac but for some reason it is permenantly tatooed on my brain.

Recently the thought occurred to me, "how much useless trivia are we storing in our memory banks?" We can rattle off things like advertising slogans, TV theme songs (think of The Flinstones & The Brady Bunch), stories and poems we have read or quotes from famous movies. So why is it so easy to remember the lyrics to my favorite songs and yet so hard to remember scripture?

Although I know that memorizing scripture is important for spiritual health, growth and well-being I have to be honest and admit that it is not easy or natural for me.

In fact many people might question the need for committing scripture to memory in a culture where the word of God is readily available in a variety of formats and translations. We can read the bible in book form, listen to it on CD, watch it on DVD or pull it up on the internet. A quick look at Bible Gateway gave me access to over 20 translations in English alone! We truly are a blessed people.

However it is possible that someday there may be a time we don't have access to our bibles. In such case we need to already have buried the words of the Lord deep into our hearts.


Because it is in those words we will find the strength to stand strong in the face of fear:

"Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident." Psalm 27:3

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my right hand." Isaiah 41:10

Knowing God's word brings us peace in the midst of our trouble and anxiety:

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, present your requests to God; and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Phillipians 4: 7-8

Having the word of God committed to our memory also allows us to fight the enemy and experience victory over sin:

"How can a young man keep his way pure: By living according to your Word. I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." Psalm 119: 9, 11

We may not have the opportunity to reach for our bibles as we are experiencing an attack or facing temptation but if we are prepared with the sword of the Spirit we will be armed and ready to fight back.

"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any doouble-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12

Another practical reason for memorizing scripture is to aid us in discerning the will of God in our lives as the Holy Spirit brings to mind words we already know:

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105

"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:33

In order to be effective Christ followers it is important that we are able to recall the word of the Lord in order to comfort and encourage those around us. ~Many times I have been able to offer a timely scripture to my hurting child just like I might apply a band-aid to their skinned knee.~

On the other hand knowing God's word is essential for our witness to others:

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." 1 Peter 3:15

And that hope is the final reason we need to have scripture seared into our memory:

"I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope." Psalm 130:5

Hope for today, hope for a future and best of all hope to overcome. Jesus described that hope in John 16:33:

"I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33