Sunday, December 31, 2006

For His Name's Sake

Psalms 106:1 Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever."

I sit here typing in the warmth of my home, smelling the coffee brewing this early morning, waiting for the patter of little feet to come down the stairs. I am blessed to be sitting here a free woman rather than in prison, healthy rather than full of HIV, alive rather than dead and saved rather than lost.

Psalms 106:2 asks us the question "Who can proclaim the mighty acts of the Lord or fully declare His praise?" This questions struck deep in my heart and yet it is so simple. Only those who have had mighty trials can proclaim His Might acts. While it is difficult at times to share my testimony, I hold fast to this verse.

Verse 8 tells us "He saved them for His Name's Sake, to make His Mighty power known." So if we do not sing of His praises how will anyone else know of His power? If we do not proclaim of His blessings how can His Name's Sake be glorified? God didn't save the Israelites because they were thankful for His miracles; remembered His kindness, or were obedient. They were thoughtless, rebellious, ungrateful people that time after time turned their back on God and by their own admission "sinned, even as our fathers did; we have done wrong and acted wickedly.". Yet, He saved them. Why? "For His Name's Sake".

The Israelites were in no small trial, they were being chased for their very lives by their enemies. And what was it the God did for them? Was it nothing short of breath taking? Miraculous? Verse 9 tells us, "He rebuked the Red Sea and led them through the depths just as He did through the desert. He saved them from the hand of the foe; from the hand of the enemy
he redeemed them. (11) The waters covered their adversaries; NOT ONE of them survived. (12) Then they believed His promises and sang His praise."

While it is satan that brings adversity to destroy us, God allows that adversity to mature us and to have a reason to sing His praises when He brings us through it. We choose who will be our master and how we will go through that adversity. I am starting to see doors open as to how the
challenges I have walked through were the shoes I needed to wear in order for God to use me where I am now.

Aren't we just like the Israelites sometimes? How quickly do we forget our last battle that God conquered? How often do we cry with worry? God will rebuke our enemies, He will save us, He will crush all our adversaries.

But it will be for His Name's Sake. When was the last time you proclaimed His mighty acts of victory in your life? I challenge you today, no matter what or how big the trial is that you are facing to ask Him what it is that He wants you to praise Him for and who He wants you to share the testimony with of His victory in your life.

So let us be women that Praise the Lord, give thanks to the Lord, proclaim the Mighty acts of the Lord, declare fully His deserved praise, give thanks for His miracles; remember His kindness and obey His commands.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

I have some warm crow pie to eat.

This morning since it is my birthday I envisioned my hubby getting up early to make breakfast in bed, take care of the kids, make me a cake and getting started on his 5 page honey do list. However, come 10am he was still snoring away. I was weighing all my options and at first thought I would add a little something to his lunch and just give him a sever case of diarrhea. But realized that it really isn't his fault. He was diagnosed with RCD after our 1st year of marriage. Romantically Challenged Disorder. Together we have been taking it one day at a time and although we try not to get our hopes up for anything long term, we rejoice with each small sign of improvement.

Today he had one of those days of miraculous healing. After he got up about 10:15 he asks if I wanted breakfast or to go out to lunch. Then he told me there was an envelope on top of the frig for me. I went ahead and took a shower, got the kids ready and then checked the envelope. I figured it was probably some cash to use to buy myself something. I was wrong. I opened the card and found a beautiful homemade card...not by him. My one hobby besides all this blogging is making cards. He went by and saw my stampin up consultant sometime. In 3 days starts their sellabration. He got me a set of markers and the water color crayons I had been wanting for over a year, which means I'll also get to pick out 3 sets of stamps for free. I was for once out of words. Then we left and he took me to the Marketplace Grill. We haven't went to a restaurant (one that doesn't' offer a happy meal anyway) since last Valentines. His thoughtfulness and planning was just so perfect. Guess he'll be gettin lucky tonight. lol.

It's My Party And I'll Dye If I Have Too

Today is my birthday. thank you. Let me know if you need my address to send cards, gifts, money. lol. So my precious little girl pampered me last night while we watched Little House on the Prairie. It was the one with the Runaway Caboose. Very dramatic. First they rubbed lotion (lots of it, to the point I was still sticky when I went to bed) on my legs and feet. I was informed that I needed to shave. Then Gabby painted my toes and fingers managing to get some on the nails. Then she decided I needed makeup to pretend I was getting ready for my wedding. I didn't look, but Gabby said the deep plum eyeshawdow and the blush she used as foundation, along with the sparkly powder she choked me with and covered my arms in, made me look like a Bratz girl. Now if I could just wear a middriff top and miniskirt without being startled when I walked by the mirror! She then had me lay crossways in the recliner so my head would hang over the arm in order for her to brush my hair. It was quite the painful experience and thought I would need to cut the brush out of my hair several times. Then she left. It sounded like she was tearing apart the craft room. I asked what she was doing and in her very frustrated voice answered, "rrrr, momma, I'm looking for the brown marker and can't find it anywhere!" I thought we were done and that she was moving on to coloring. About 10 minutes later here she comes with the brown marker, "found it." with the lid off she comes right at me. "what are you doing?" She tells me, "I'm going to color your hair so it's all brown again instead of all that white on top." Guess I'll be shaving my legs and dying my hair today.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Float like a Cadillac, Sting like a Beamer

As you may know, I have a course of the Bible that I follow and study. While it is not spontaneous, God has never failed to teach me something from his word. It may not always be at that very moment but to hold onto for later. However, this morning was an example of perfect timing on His part. I had a conflict arise a while back. This morning, what was next on my study? Psalms 31. I have always enjoyed the Psalms. Maybe because I seem to relate to David and all his woes at times. Not that I plan on dancing naked in the street this morning, as we love our elderly neighbors.

David was the King. This man faced so many terrible situations, so many enemies. At the time he wrote this particular Psalm, he was facing the most disappointing enemy of all. His own son, Absolom. His OWN son. Absolom had flattered and lied to so many of Isreal's leaders that he ended up winning their favor and running his father out of the country. He disgraced his dad. My children are not old enough to plot out intentional lasting hurt aimed at me. However, when my 3 year old son gets mad he will tell me, "you're not my best friend anymore." That is ok. I'm not suppose to be, right? But what if he was 40 years old and I had devoted my life, time and money to raise him up to follow the Lord and he choose to humilate me, run me out of town, leave me to live in the caves of the dessert and never appear to care whether I even lived another day? I imagine that this would be the deepest kind of betrayal a parent could feel.

So if David can come through this time of hurt from his own child, his own flesh and blood, and give us examples of how to handle it, he is my mentor in the area of dealing with difficult people. Guess that makes him the Dale Carnagie of his time.

One of David's suggestions when dealing with those who bring us down is to not associate with them. Good advise. Look at where most conflicts tend to arise. When we are associated with others that we have not chosen to be with or have not chosen wisely. Friends in college that were not christians led to a life style of partying. Co workers with negitive attitudes that I had to see daily often drained my energy. A relationship that confessed of knowing God led to a terrible ending because their words did not equal their actions. Friends that were friends but constantly judging and ridiculing others eventually turned against me.

Now some relationships we can't just pick up and run from. We do not have to have lunch with the ladies that gossip at work. We do not have to continue to make an effort to keep a friendship alive that is not positive. We do not have to continue a relationship with a boyfriend that is not glorifing to God. But we do have to continue to be related to our family and inlaws. We do have to keep our kids around even if they cause us grief and zap our positive energy.

Jesus did hang out with the sinners, but that was to win their hearts and souls. He did not trust or carry on long standing friendships with them and devote himself to them if they were hard hearted. He did continue to be firm yet loving to them.

In the Disney's movie Cars, Lightening McQueen says, "float like a Cadillac, sting like a Beamer." This is a cute little saying that is easy to remember. We can be as graceful as a Cadillac when dealing with people, and at the same time we can be "The Ultimate Driving Machine" of our relationships that we choose.

I suggest that if you are dealing with a people problem today that you read through Psalms 31.
vs24 Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Am I the Only One?

Am I the only one that feels like there is constant drama in my family? I have 2 sisters and a brother. I'm the only one who has moved away from the little town we grew up in. It seems like at all times someone is in the hot seat. Either a sister in law for not saying the right thing, the brother for not coming around enough, a sister for being in a bad mood, my mom for being pushy. Once you enter the dreaded place of the hot seat you will stay there until everyone has talked it to death behind your back, you somehow find out that you are the one in the hot seat and apologize to everyone for unknowinly being human and making a mistake, or fresh meat bumps you out of the hot seat with a new comment or scerio.

When I am away from my family I start missing them and want to move closer and when I do go visit I often get caught up in the latest drama. Which is one of the main reasons my husband does not want to move closer than we are. So who's in the hot seat now? Myself. It does bother me because I always want to be the peacemaker and like it when everything is running smootly. You would think I'd be used to it by now. I have been in the hot seat dozens of times before....for going to dinner with a sister in law that noone liked, for homeschooling, for going to church too much, for selling Mary Kay, for being too strict with my kids, for not coming home enough, for coming home too much, for saying I wasn't too excited about a new boyfriend and supporting a breakup that never happened, for baby #3, for baby #4 and on and on. I've been in this aweful and well used hot seat at their home, and have not lived there for over 15 years, more times for unintentional things, than I have been in the hot seat at my own home with my husband for things I intentionally did to try to stir up some kind of reaction from him. Is it because I'm just so oblivious to my own stupidity and going against the flow of what is acceptable? Is it because there is little involvement in anything besides that family unit and work to focus on? Is it just a small town soap opera? Or Is it because our priorities are different?

Witness Protection Program

I just thought I'd share this lighthearted story from years past. My husband had taken a job in Springfield MO 5 years ago and we bought a little fixer upper in not the best of neighborhoods, but not the worst either. Directly across the street from us was another young family that we instantly connected with. We are still good friends today even after moving back here to AR. We would play cards at their house, we went to church together, grilled out together. It was just great. Our other neighbors however....not so much. The neighbors in the houses on both sides of us and on one side of our friends. were not in the routine of going to work yet had visitors, dozens of them, stopping for 5 minutes at a time all hours of the day. So while the neighbors themselves were nice enough, you just don't want your kids to be in that kind of atmosphere. So one by one I did my civic duty and left tips on the police hot-line. The 1st bust was quiet and we ended up with some young, alternative college guys that kept to themselves. The 2nd bust was so exciting! I woke up with flashes in our bedroom and thought someone was in the yard. I was right, their were about 10 policeman sneaking up on our neighbors house, I jump out of bed and run to the other room where I can see better. The paddy wagon pulled up and cars were everywhere. They eventually were taking pictures of everyone and handcuffing them and off they went. Our neighbors house was empty for about 6 months then went up for sell. 2 down and 1 to go. The last neighbor across the street that had traffic was not as sever. Plus it was a single mom and her teenage son, so I thought maybe it was a possibility that these were just friends of his stopping by. However, one afternoon a storm came up and Allen was out of town working. Here I am with 3 babies. The tornado was on a direct path to hit our neighborhood within the next 10 minutes. I run over to their house because they have a basement and they won't let us join them. They acted really strange and said they didn't let anyone in their basement. I was so frighten at this point I wanted to scream at her, "I don't care if you have body in your basement!" So I run back home and throw all of us in the tub cover with blankets, grabbed some shoes for everyone and a bottle and pulled the mattress over the top. We sat and waited. The direct path missed us by about 10 blocks. But it was still frightening. We had shingles off, a tree down, and all sorts of wonderful and strange debris in the yard. So needless to say I called in my tip to the police the next day. That night. My dear sweet friend across the street comes over crying and laughing. "Did you call the police on us?" What? No. The police got confused on which house number and searched my friends house. She said the police actually told her that the neighbor across the street had called in a tip! So much for anonymous hot-lines. Eventually they did bust the 3rd and final house on our street. However, if my family and I completely drop off the face of the earth, you'll know it's because I have been forced to enter the witness protection program!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Mountain Top

Often times in the Old Testament God appeared to men on the Mountaintop. In Deut 10 Moses was reminding the Israelites of their sin of creating the Golden Calf while He was on the mountaintop spending time in God's presence. I tried to put myself in Moses' sandals. I personally have never climbed a huge mountain, but I have hiked up a beautiful well traveled path on a Mountain in Colorado when I was in 7th grade. I would have to say that in 7th grade I was in pretty good shape. I had some fancy sneakers on my feet, a well worn path in front of us, a packed lunch on my back and we were headed to the top. There at our destination we were told was to be a lake and one of the most beautiful earthly sights we could enjoy. Not long into the journey we had to start taking breathing breaks. My body experienced a tired I hadn't know before and my shins were on fire. We would break for a little while and then start again. I don't remember how long it took to reach the top, but it was well worth the struggle. There in front of us was a lake that looked as if it were a mirror itself. It was set into in little cove surrounded by boulders and pines; and canopied by the immense blue sky. The smells, the sights, the feeling of attainment was all just perfect. We had lunch and enjoyed feeding these funny little chipmunks that did not appear to be the least bit intimidated by us. None of us wanted to head back down the mountain. As we did, it was much easier going down, we needed fewer breaks in fact we could practically run down. I wasn't tired, I was overflowing with excitement.

I imagine that when God called Moses to come to the mountain top he was rather excited to go and be in God's presence. However, I also imagine that as he began that climb he rather quickly realized that his sandals were not the latest in hiking boots. I doubt that there was any type of path to follow, he might even have had to back track a couple of times to find a better way. There were probably thorn bushes pulling on his robe, scratching at his legs. And let's not forget that Moses is not in his prime of life for climbing a mountain. He didn't have a backpack with a Coleman jug filled with filtered water, a PB & J sandwich, Pringles or even a Jell-O pudding snack for dessert. But, when God called him he went, he didn't just run up a little hill without losing breathe. He committed to climbing a mountain. This was not an easy task. This was not a quick task. Not even a convenient task, he was after all the leader of the clan, he had a lot of responsibilities. But he did it. He met with his Lord.

After 40 days in God's presence Moses headed back down. I am guessing that on his trip down he was floating on air and only being weighed down by these 2 huge slabs of stone he was carrying. He was probably filled with excitement to share this experience with his friends and share what the Lord had taught him. All the slips and falls on the way down, the bleeding calluses on his hands from the stones, didn't matter. The Bible says his face was glowing. However, when he made it, he wasn't exactly met with the rejoicing or welcome home party he invisioned. Instead he was met by a group of "stiff-necked" fools that had lost their way in just the matter of 40 days. They were in the valley worshiping a golden calf and serving the god of self.

When we have been in God's presence we have a glow about us as well. I've heard it put this way. "The view from the spiritual highland is breathtaking". When we make a consorted effort, a choice with determination to meet with our Lord and be in His presence, we can expect to have a joy so overflowing that our faces will glow. Is it easy to get up a little earlier in the morning when we are so tired? It is convenient to devote that time to Him while we have 5 load of laundry waiting on us? Is it something that we can commit to only if we have no other pressing responsibilities? That is a choice we all have to make. How long has it been since you made an effort and sacrificed your desires to make sure you spent time in the Presence of the King? Those who live on the mountain have a brighter view than those who live in the valley.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Get Over Yourself

Some of the Old Testament is hard for me to have a desire to read or put forth a dedicated effort to study. I would prefer to stick with Psalms and Proverbs and throw in some New Testament encouragement. I have never been a big fan of History despite how many teachers told me, "you have to know where you've been to see where you're going." For me I have to be honest and say that I like something a little more upbeat, exciting, inspiring. This morning what I found in the Old Testament was humbling.
Deuteronomy is a book mostly made up of recollection of prior events. A book of remembering and of history. "It is because of someone else's wickedness, not your righteousness" is repeated throughout the beginning of this chapter. The Israelites are about to go war in a battle that Moses is giving a motivating speech preparing them and telling them they have already won. I'm sure there was excitement and whooping and yelling. Men getting all siked up for their next victory. They knew they weren't going to fail. I'm sure moses felt like the exhausted and depleted mother and wished he could walk around and flick each of them on the foreheads at this point. Because he tells them to "get over yourselves. This victory is because those people inside that city are going to lose because they are full of wickedness not because you Israelites are so wonderful. It is not because you are righteous, God is just using you as His vessel to fulfill a promise He made. You're lucky you get to be a part of this promise coming true! In fact, think how bad these people must be when you look back at all the mistakes you have made! I let you out of my sight for a couple of weeks and you make a golden calf? That is just one of many mistakes that have made God so mad at you. I have spent more time praying for God not to kill you than I have spent sleeping!"
I am guilty of being a smug Israelite at times throughout my life. There have been times when something I did, ended with great success and pride filled me up. But I wonder how many of those times really had anything at all to do with me? I know there have been instances when the pride was out of control and I started to judge others against myself, my beliefs, my history. But thankfully I have a God that has flicked me on the forehead, many times. We call them "God's love smacks". I know that just 5 years ago we had gotten judgemental of the "poor" and didn't understand how anyone could be in that situation, just get another job, quit spending so much. And what happened? Allen was demoted and we took almost a $2000 pay cut a month. Who's poor now? And it seems each time we are too dense to figure something out on our own God gives us a little or sometimes a big love smack to get our focus back on Him and the fact that He is in control. Sometimes we just have to get over ourselves.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

As I was finishing making up supper tonight, I could hear my son Brian saying, "It's snowing, it's snowing." I said, "I don't think it's snowing tonight." Well I should have went to see exactly what he was talking about, but I didn't. So about 10 mintues later here he comes carrying his bucket. He says it again, "it's snowing." I say again, "I don't think so." He said, "yes it is, watch." that is when he proved me wrong. He put his hand into the bucket and pulled out a handful fo something. As he open his fist and dropped his gift of snow, I was confused as to what exactly I was watching cascade down through the air onto the kitchen floor. He surely didn't get the bottom off the hole punch. No, that is little pieces of styrofoam. What? Where he did he? I turned the corner and looked out into the dining room. Following him through the dining room and into the living room was the most beautiful little "snowfall" a 3 year old could ask for. The trail stopped at the pocket doors into our living room. Our home is over 100 years old and each time you pull out the pocket doors, out comes little pieces of styrofoam with it. I have vaccuumed it dozens of times as far back as the wand would reach, I think it magically reproduces. My precious little son had reached in and pulled out a bucket full of this stuff and let it snow all over. Through our room, through the arts and craft room, the bathroom, up the stairs...I headed back to the kitchen. I told him, "you'll have to pick that all up." knowing full well that it would be me to vaccuum it all up. "No problem, watch." He lays down on the floor and blows the snow under the refrigerator. "Thank you Brian."

Friday, December 15, 2006

Experience Makes a Difference

"Are you excited?" is the comment that I get asked most often. Not in a derogatory way, but because they are excited about this 4th baby growing inside me. And I am. It is not the same delusional excited I had with #1, #2 or even #3. Makensie, our oldest was was not even 3 years old and Gabby was only 20 months when our 3rd baby was born. So most of my time was still consumed with diapers, feedings, naps and snuggling time. The latter being the most rewarding. The girls were just getting old enough to really enjoy arts and crafts, we had our daily "school time". When Brian was born, it quickly became apparent to me that I was in over my head most of the time. My husband had taken a job with a traveling construction crew and we only saw him on the weekends. I now had 3 little ones and only 2 hands to hold onto them with. It was very overwhelming and tiring for me. Which is why there is a 4 year gap between baby #3 and baby #4. I am excited, however this time instead of thinking of all the time we will have snuggling and caring for a precious baby, I also know what the near future holds: This little one growing up too fast, learning to walk and having to see him tumble, learning to talk and hearing for the first time how he doesn't like me anymore because I've mad him mad. Having to spank him for the 1st time for his sins. The incredible responsibility of raising, training and praying for our children. There are many rewards to having children, however it isn't all fun and games. My heart has never ached as deeply as having to watch our little ones try and fail, being hurt and let down by friends, or to be injured. I want to protect them and keep them safely at my breast as they nurse and sleep, yet that time is so short.

We only have 10-11 weeks left before this new little guy gets here. By this time with our oldest little girl Makensie, I had the car seat buckled in, bag packed, crib set up, the nursery decorated, diapers bought, names picked, toured the hospital, was taking Lamaze classes, had a birth plan, had little socks in the dresser and designer clothes in the closet. Not this time. Each time I haven't been less excited, just more prepared in my head and heart for this addition to our family. We haven't agreed on a name yet, I know where the car seat is and it isn't in the van (which was a recent purchase in so we would all fit in one vehicle), I also know where the cradle is and that it, the car seat, swing or my chest will be the new home for our little man for the first couple of weeks before moving him to the crib. I do need to start picking up diapers, I've seen the hospital before, I usually deliver so quickly there is no need for a birth plan, the plan is just to make it to the hospital. The Lamaze classes, honestly were pretty much just a date night rather than something really useful. We will be converting our school/arts and craft room once again back into a nursery. After the Holidays I'm sure we will start getting more prepared, but if the nursery isn't decorated, he won't know, if he doesn't have the designer outfits we splurged on with our first, he'll never know, if he doesn't have the newest toys, he won't know. But he will know that we love him and are so excited, proud and blessed to have him as part of our family.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Cry out Nicodemus!

Am I just like Nicodemus? Nicodemus came to Jesus at night. I'm sure he probably had a long full hard day and then when the quiet of the evening set in, he was able to clear his mind, and all those questions, needs and desire to know more of this Christ, only then did he go to Christ. But did he run to Him and love on Jesus and ask him for mercy? No. Instead he tried to engage in an intellectual question and answer session. He had seen the miracles, he even knew in his heart who stood before him, yet he wouldn't humble himself to cry out to Him. How many times have I found myself doing this same thing? It is my character that I do not easily cry until I'm at my breaking point. I often will go to my Lord in prayer almost at that point and try to be strong rather than just crying out for mercy in my own life. Rather than holding onto Him as if I were drowning. Afterall, that is how I feel on the inside. Am I so foolish to think that I am really fooling Him? Does He not already now how I feel? Of course He does. And yet I try to come before Him as if He is just a friend, as I try to build a relationship closer to Him. Even our friends can tell when there is something on our minds and troubling us. I enjoy having Him as a friend, but there are times when what I really want and need is more. I find it very hard in life to ask for help. Even just to call a friend and ask for help watching one of my kids for a couple of hours is difficult for me to do. And when I finally do ask for help, I find people are more than willing to do all they can to help me. I personally do not feel put out when people ask us for help. It is my own lack of confidence that I am valuable to others as well. This carries over to my spiritual life. I often find myself thinking, there are more serious situations for God to be hearing about than this petty situation in my life. Surely He must grow weary of hearing my troubles and having me show up for help once again. And yet there He stands before me, hand on my head, stroking my hair and listening to me. He can feel my empty heart and the lack of peace in my life. If only I would just tell him that and beg of Him to help me. He waits for me to asks, He waits for me to seek His mercy, He waits for me to start pounding on the door crying to come in. If I don't ask Him, will working harder help? No. Going faster? Trying to "cowgirl up" and deal with the suffering? No. The only answer is to just to ask Him to renew my heart, renew my life, give me wisdom and strenghth.

As my friend and Lord, I can trust that He is fulfilled when I give up and give Him the reigns. As soon as I do I can collaspe from exhaustion, and feel safe as He catches me in His arms, relax knowing that I am safe in His care. God didn't want Nicodemus or us just to know ABOUT God, but to truely follow Him wholeheartedely. We can engage in all the studies offered in town, get up and read the Word every morning, pray, never miss a church service, worship the loudest. But if it is all in the head as part of an intellectual decision to do so, what are we gaining? Christ wants us to be His disciples. To follow Him and to give up everything, every decision to him. To completely lose ourselves without fear to Him. So rather than another intellectual detour to visit Him for tea and cookies, it is my goal to take the emotional highway and invite Him to live in my heart and life and take care of me. (John 3)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

101 things about me

  1. I’m a follower of Christ Jesus and I'm glad He has changed my life.
  2. We have 4 little ones ages 9, 8, 7 and 2. Some days I don’t think this is my calling.
  3. I love being a wife to my handsome hubby Allen, most days.
  4. We homeschool although some days I don’t think it is my calling either.
  5. We have been in business for almost 5 years. There is a fine line here between things I love and things I hate about being self employed.
  6. We haven’t had health insurance for 5 years.
  7. We have had a lot of financial drought over the last couple of years.
  8. I want to be wealthy enough to be a blessing to other families in need.
  9. Our kids are really funny.
  10. The TV character I most closely relate with is Jordan on Scrubs, which my husband and I enjoy after the kids are in bed if I can manage to stay awake.
  11. I was told after my last baby that I was born to birth, not neccesarily the most useful talent to have.
  12. I am more scared of getting an IV than giving birth and have never had an epidural, the whole needle in the spine thing really bothers me.
  13. I have passed a kidney stone and would rather give birth again. I have 4 more stones left in my kidney’s, however, after having to revive me during surgery, the Dr,'s stopped the procedure.
  14. We almost lost our 1st born after delivery. She was only 4lbs 3ozs, had the cord wrapped around her neck, the cord was in a knot and pulled from the placenta.
  15. The Dr. had to manually retrieve the placenta. Keep in mind #12 and I still hold fast to #13.
  16. I met my husband at a bar and we made fun of him the first week calling him “the drunk guy”. Come to find out he doesn’t drink hardly ever he just acts that way all the time.
  17. I love my parents, but think they are slightly brainwashed.
  18. My mom is the best hostess and loves to take care of us when we go home.
  19. My thighs and rear end used to be two different things.
  20. I like to start my days early, usually by 6am, with a cup of coffee that is about ½ milk and some brown sugar.
  21. I have a scar on my forehead, given to me during a fight in the high school parking lot.
  22. I am thankful that my invincible thinking and poor choices when I was young did not land me in jail.
  23. I have secretly watched All My Children on and off since I was 6 years old and am going through the AA steps over this.
  24. I like to accidently catch an Eminem’s song even just briefly on the car radio. I love KLRC, but sometimes just need something with a little more...groove.
  25. The person I am now, dislikes the person I used to be.
  26. I love a good long nap.
  27. I do not like having to do dishes.
  28. I’m not a very good housekeeper. Our home has only looked like Better Homes and Gardens maybe 2 times.
  29. I wasted my time in college looking for the next party.
  30. I paid to study Floralculture, which is a 2 year degree, at KSU, which is a 4 year college, that I attended for 5 years. Which means that I now know how to arrange flowers. Which is beneficial when my kids bring me flowers they’ve picked from our neighbor’s yard. I know how to put them in a vase. I remind myself of this great talent as I write out my student loan payment each month.
  31. Most of my jobs have been in HR. I do consider my career as Beer Tub Girl (the best paying and most fun job I had) to fall in this category.
  32. I worked at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand for 1 year and got to meet him once. He's shorter than me and possibly looks younger than me also.
  33. I was class president and on the dance team in high school.
  34. I went from being thin and thought I was “sex-on-a-stick” before our 1st born to becoming, “a heavy girl”, in the words of my nurse.
  35. I have thrown a bag a frozen tator tots and a pot at my husband.
  36. Makensie told her teacher the first time they spoke that I had thrown the pot at Allen.
  37. I am scared of anything that could collapse…hotels, bridges, I even sweat sometimes when I’m upstairs. Our next house will be on a concrete slap all on one floor.
  38. I love going to church and having a church family even though we don’t have one right now.
  39. I knew I wanted to marry my husband after our first date and most days I’m glad I got too.
  40. Art is therapy for me. I love to color with my kids, paint, and make homemade cards, decorate cakes.
  41. I love trying new recipes.
  42. I love to watch movies. Especially sappy romances.
  43. I love to write. I have kept journals for myself, Allen and each of the kids and have over 15 full.
  44. I hate to drive. Although if I had a Ferrari rather than a mini van, could listen to a little hip hop music as loud as I wanted rather than Miss Pattycake, be by myself rather than hearing “Brian touched my seat” 500 times, and drive for 2 hours straight through without stopping to potty at every germ infested bathroom along the way it might not be so bad.
  45. I have never seen the ocean.
  46. I have seen Albuquerque twice. We visited, left, drove 2 hours at night, pulled over to go potty, got on the wrong road and drove back into Albuquerque.
  47. I have won $1000 on the radio, our refrigerator from the grocery store and a T-Shirt at a company picnic.
  48. Allen’s dad is the biggest Redneck I know. (See Griffin Redneckism)
  49. When we bought our previous house, the owners left their 200+ lb pot bellied pig, never to return for her. We lived in the middle of town with no fence. We renamed her Sweetheart. I still hold fast to #48.
  50. I have dozens of trophies from my youth from winning tractor pulls. I still believe #48.
  51. I won a speech contest in college and almost failed it in high school.
  52. I took 1st place in state competitions for piano in high school.
  53. I started accompanying the choir when I was in middle school and now rarely ever play even though we have a beautiful upright grand.
  54. After 4 babies I understand the invention of Poise Pads.
  55. I’m a terrible sales person, I don’t like to charge more than I paid. Hence the end of my Mary Kay, Arbonne and Stampin UP careers.
  56. I once made a comment that made Allen’s dad mad enough to not talk to me for 2 months. It was a really funny comment though and I feel worth the loss.
  57. I struggle at being a compliant and submissive wife as I am have a natural born silver tongue.
  58. I believe that God’s plans are grander than our own even if we never understand the difficulties we are going through.
  59. I love cats and cannot stand most dogs.
  60. My brother is one of the funniest people I know.
  61. My dad is addicted to estate sales and once bought so much at a hospital sale it took 5 people 3 days to get it all out. I still believe # 48.
  62. I was recently informed that my lifelong theory of “I bet everyone will be glad I’m here” is not necessarily true.
  63. I tried water skiing once and gave myself an enema.
  64. I love Mexican food and coke (the drink).
  65. I don’t know what time I was born but I do know that I “should be more grateful since it was the worst 36 hours” of my mom’s life.
  66. I lost a brother who was slightly premature at a time that lacked medical advancement and wonder still the man he would have become.
  67. My mom wrote in my baby book that I drove her crazy from talking too much.
  68. It is easier for me to get angry rather than to cry.
  69. I won’t share a drink with others including my husband.
  70. However, I love kissing on my hubby especially when he if freshly shaven. He has really big soft lips.
  71. I am addicted to numbers and lists, possibly to the point of being OCD.
  72. I'm anal when it comes to best prices and coupons.
  73. Wal-Mart is the answer to all my shopping.
  74. I love to study the Bible daily.
  75. My husband’s only chores at home at to fix anything broken and mow the yard. And right now he could be fired without question.
  76. When my husband snores at night I tickle him on the back of the neck. He swears there are spiders in the bed and has had the house sprayed numerous times.
  77. I once but an entire bottle of blue food coloring in my husband’s Dr. Pepper because he ticked me off.
  78. I once threw his boots into front yard with a foot of snow because he ticked me off.
  79. My husband has more patience with me than I deserve.
  80. I love to play board games.
  81. I punish myself by comparing myself to other moms.
  82. I have some great workout tapes...somewhere.
  83. I have many projects started that are cluttering up our home. My want-to-do list is bigger than my time-to-do list.
  84. I love to go camping; it is truly down time for me.
  85. My best friend in college was a guy and he is gay. I have a low tolerance for gay bashing.
  86. During labor with one of my babies, Allen told me he understood my pain, that he had stepped on a nail once.
  87. My husband and oldest daughter are equally clumsie.
  88. My husband is the worst dancer I’ve ever seen, but loved me enough to go dance in public with me once.
  89. We eloped on New Year’s day.
  90. I love to read non fiction.
  91. I have dropped my cellphone so many times the antenna is missing and it barely stays together without duct tape.
  92. I enjoy doing laundry.
  93. I make delicious manicotti.
  94. I am overly smell sensitive during pregnancy and my gag reflex is strong.
  95. I once had a bloody nose while shopping, I thought I had a runny nose, no one told me.
  96. I once forgot to zip my dress and just button it at the top while in Wal-Mart, I thought I was just cold, no one told me.
  97. I love the smell of most candles.
  98. I went on a date once with a seemingly normal guy, until he told me he believe that government was covering up all the alien activity and he thought being a mortician would be interesting. I took the mother ship home quickly.
  99. I look forward to Christ’s return.
  100. My mom is a lunch lady and I pray no one ever makes fun of her because she is really a sweet person.
  101. I only stopped making prank calls when caller ID came out.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Calgon take me away.

During the day it is often hard for me to hear God's voice, after all there are three little ones 6 and under competing for my attention, competing for a toy, competing for the first snack. There is the washer and dryer that run almost constantly, the dishwasher which requires at least one cycle a day, the ringing phone, the fax, the doorbell, the stomping of little feet...Even when the kids are quiet to watch a movie, the TV is on. The thoughts in my head are quick and short lived. "Did I cut up the fruit for snack time? Is the dryer done yet? Did everyone brush their teeth? Where are we at on chores? Who threw the 100 piece puzzle all over the school room?! Who put the dixie cups in the toilet?!" As wonderful as the old Calgon commercials are if I were to lock the door and slip into the tub the peace would only be for about 2 minutes before the knocking would begin and inquiries to how much longer I would be, if I could get someone a drink, if they could take a bath with me. I adore my kids and my heart almost aches with pride and laughter daily at the silly things they do, but as mom's it really does require a lot from us. Our time, our attention, our energy and sometimes a delay on our dreams. I get up early in the morning, usually 4:30am. And this is the most peaceful quiet part of my day. The time when I can make lunch for my hubby, put in the first load of laundry, start supper, do some invoices, journal, study the word and listen to my Lord. Now I'm not a "Superwoman", far from it. After I'm up for about 2 hours, I usually slip back into bed for an hour nap or until the first patter of little feet starts it's way down the stairways. For me, that time with the Lord has been so vital in keeping my heart, attitude and life in check. There has been so many struggles over the years that had I not had the friendship and trust in my Lord, I don't know what my outcome would have been. I have never audibly heard His voice. But there are many times when an answer has came either from a friend, a dream, the Word itself, or scripture that I had read and studied a year ago. If we don't know Him, we don't know His voice, direction or way. So rather than a bubblebath that gives peace for a minute, I encourage you to soak yourself in Him daily which will give peace for life. (Anxiety in the hear of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad. Prov 12:25)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Over the River and Through the woods

Yesterday my dear husband took the two youngest little Griffins to find our 2006 Christmas Tree. I didn't go as strolling through the woods 7 months pregnant just didn't seem wise or fun for that matter. My oldest was still a little traumatized from last year so she wanted to stay home with me. How can someone have bad memories of finding a Christmas tree? Let me just say there are many parts of the movie Christmas Vacation that I can truly relate to.

Last year after church and getting our tummies full, we headed out to a friend's pasture to pick out the perfect tree. I was really excited as we have 10 foot ceilings in our front room with 3 large windows that face the street and I wanted a tall, fat tree. On there way there, we listened it Christmas music and the kids were all chatting, loudly, non stop with excitement. I was giddy with the thought of how much fun this was going to be. Since we were driving and had little ones of the age of 5, 4 and 2 I honestly thought we would drive around the outskirts of the pasture until we spotted the perfect tree and dear hubby could just jump out, cut it down and we'd be on our way. But then we parked. The girls still had their dresses and pantyhose on from church. Allen convinced us that there were better trees in the forest a little ways. So we started our little afternoon hike. We crawled between some barb wire and headed in. I was thankful that I had changed into some jeans and boots. Well, not hiking boots, they were my cool looking "biker" boots as they are referred to, with about a 3" heel. It had been a crisp cool winter so far, but not a lot of precipitation so there were about a 12 inches of dead leaves covering the ground. At first it was like walking in an Autumn story, it was beautiful and fresh and "Oh, help me I'm going down!" Without being about to see the ground it was a little difficult to step around tree roots and boulders on the ground. As I stumbled to the bottom of our first little ravine, I was unscathed. We started up the other side, which was must steeped than the one we just quickly came down. While the outdoor exercise was nice, for heavy girls it is a little hard. Allen stopped at several trees and asked if I liked them, however at this point since we're already in and I'm not the one that has to drag the tree all the way back to the truck, so I decided we weren't going to take just any ol "this will do" tree we were going to leave with the perfect tree. We continued on past probably hundreds of trees. Allen carrying the chainsaw and a 5 gallon bucket to trim some pine branches and gather cones for decorating. After about 30 minutes the kids were getting a little cranky and loosing site of the goal. We had several run ins with thorn bushes and the girls' tights were all snagged. So now I'm carrying our 2 year old, praying that I don't fall with him, the girls are starting to whine and dad is losing patience quickly. Then there is was. The perfect tree. Allen thought it was too big, but come on...Is there really such a thing? He cut it down and said he would head on back to the truck that was no longer in sight. He gave us the bucket and told us to stay on the trail. What trail? Did we come in on a trail? Do I look like a nature gal? "no problem, we'll meet you back at the truck." We were all renewed once again by the excitement of having a Christmas tree. We were walking along and came to a picturesque grove of pine trees. It was breathtaking. We all started gathering cones and the branches were just laying there on the moss and pine needle covered ground for our taking. Oh how I wished Allen could see this. I wish we would have brought hot chocolate and sat and just enjoyed God's amazing creation and the smells of winter and the quiet breath of His air. As we were finished gathering cones and started to head back to the truck, it dawned on me that we had probably gotten off "the path" otherwise we would have enjoyed this little patch when we were coming in. It reminded me of the Garden of Eden, every direction we took trying to get out was surrounded by thorn bushes. Gabby had a direct attack and was now bleeding, Makenise was crying as her tights were now torn to shred's, we were all covered in cockaburrs and Brian was about an hour past the need for a nap time. So once again I'm carrying a 2 year old, this time dead weight as he's asleep, the full 5 gallon bucket of cones and branches and the tree trimmers. I was getting a little frustrated trying to console the girls and explain to them why I couldn't carry them too while trying to convince them, who were both crying and scared at this point, to follow me. I start crying as I realize that we are lost. I kept walking in what I was sure was the direction of the truck. A couple of minutes later, our wonderful hero daddy showed up and asked why we hadn't stayed on "the path". While I was relieved that he found us, which he said wasn't hard to do with 2 crying kids and us tromping through all the leaves, I was still a little irritated with his expectation to believe me that I knew what I was doing in the woods. He led us back to our vehicle and we all headed home, in silence. We did have to cut about 2 feet off the tree when we got home, but it was beautiful. It filled all three windows with it's branches and our entire home with the scent of fresh cedar. As we stood and admired this incredible tree, all the pain of the day melted away. And while it wasn't one of the funnest days for the kids, they still talk about it and I hope it is a memory that we will never forget.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The strange draw of the storage closet

At the top of the stairway, there is a storage closet to your right. Our home is 102 years old so there are a lot of fun little spaces and quirks about it. However, this one room just has always given me the willy's. I know, it's rather silly, but I still don't go in there after dark unless there is someone else with me, even the 3 year old counts. It's dark and the light switch is behind the door which means I have to shut myself in and frantically feel the wall for the switch before the safety of light is restored. If I go in the day time it isn't quite so bad because there is another door with a window in it that goes out to another room that is even creepier, however there are windows in that room so during the day there is at least some light in the closet. Twice now I have about given myself a heart attack. Once as I shut the door behind me I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye, and I did. There at the end of what used to be an old hallway stood a man hiding behind some hanging clothes. I didn't even try to get to the light switch just turned around and about ripped the door off the hinges trying to get out. Once I could breathe again and turned on all the other upstairs lights and peeked backed in, I realized that the man was actually my husbands hunting waders. The closet is the perfect place to store them as that way they are with the 2 deer head trophy's staring me down everytime I enter "the closet". The 2nd heartattack came when I once dared to enter after dark. I shut the door behind me and just knew someone was in there with me. It was pitch black. My fingers finally found my familiar friend of the light switch, which happens to be behind one of the deer heads, (convenient, I know), I flipped the switch and turned around only to be 5 feet away from the vision of a woman. I was unable to move or even breathe. I realized it was just me in the reflection of the window of the door. The kids have also had there run in with it, they were all upstairs playing one day when I heard muffled yelling which quickly turned into muffled screaming and crying. Allen ran up the stairway taking 3 steps at a time. They were all three in "The Closet", door shut, unable to reach the light switch. The door also does not have a handle on the inside, however can be pulled open by tugging on the wire rack on the back of the door. But in the dark, and with 3 little ones just trying to push their way out, it was just trapping them in. For months this was the safest place to hide anything as not one of them was willing to venture in. One of my sisters even told me that she wouldn't recommend watching "The Grudge" while we lived in this house. Thanks. I couldn't watch the movie anyway as I had nightmares just from catching some commercials for it. While this closet is home to all kinds of items that we are thankful for and give us joy such as seasonal decoration, all the kids clothes (it's just easier to have 1 big closet for them), hunting gear, crafts, gifts, junk etc. It is also home to a slice of fear in our home. I hope to say day say I'm a recovered fearaholic but for now, I am a scaried cat.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I just love that discipline

As I was spending time in Proverbs 12 this morning, the 1st verse is "He who loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid." That's kinda harsh I thought. Who loves to be disciplined? Not me. But as I mauled it over, after each incident or period of time that God has brought me to my knees in the event of discipline, only then have I grown closer and more thankful for His power in my life. Most of the discipline I face is because I end up worshipping and relying on another god...myself. I start trying to handle problems myself rather than laying them at His feet. So while in the midst of the trials, it is hard to say that I love what we are facing, I can look forward to the outcome with confidence that God is molding me and pruning me to be more like Him and less like the sinner I am.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

attitude problems

I just got off the phone with a dear friend. We hadn't touched base for a while and it was so nice to hear her voice. She said I had been on her mind and wondered if I was fulfilled just staying home to be a mom. The first couple of minutes my children were quiet and entertained, then the alarm must have sounded that announced I was on the phone. Brian came in mad at who knows what. He was throwing a fit then went out side mad. I followed him out to make sure he was ok and was sure it would be quieter on the phone if I were outside. He walked around the front of the house, I followed but didn't see him. I started to return to the back door and then heard it shut. I figured it was him going back inside since he only had on a tshirt and would be cold. I was right. As I looked through the french doors into the kitchen there stood my little 3 year old, arms crossed glaring me down. He had locked me out. Even the dead bolt was locked. I kept my cool, afterall I was still on the phone and since this isn't the first time to be locked out I simply got out the hidden key. After returning inside he had another melt down just trying to get his belt off so he could go potty. He let me know that he "hated this stupid belt!" and then threw it on the floor several times to teach it a lesson. That was when I said my goodbye's to my fellow mom. It has been a rough day in our house. And a day that has certainly challanged my ability to be happy eating the grass on my side of the fence.

30 hour days?

It has been almost a year since I have updated anything on this site and thought about it this morning. It has been a busy year. Started public school with our 2 oldest this fall then pulled them out to homeschool again. We are expecting baby number 4 in just a couple of months. Allen's business has picked up requiring more paperwork help. We are still struggling along trying to remodel the house. There just don't seem to be enough hours in the day. If only I could sleep less, however this little one growing in me is zapping me of my usual ability to survive on 5-6 hours of sleep. My precious husband was out of long sleeve work shirts this morning and I convinced him it was the newest trend to wear his short sleeve shirt and let his long johns show. He asked if it was also the newest trend to go without boxers? I will be working on the laundry pile today.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Magic Black Cat

I heard whimpering coming from the living room around 3:30 this morning. I sat up and and could see it was Gabby. She was holding her blankie on her ear and crying. After giving her a dose of Tylonol and putting drops in her ear and laying her back down this time in our bed, she slept for about 2 mintues. Then was crying again. She wanted to move to the couch which was fine, I would just snooze in the recliner beside her. Then suddenly the crying stopped as she picked up Angus, our black cat. It was almost as if Angus know she needed her. Gabby carried to the couch and layed down to sleep off and on and while she did still wake and fus, she always was checking to make sure kitty was still snuggled up beside her.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Should I start a sweat shop?

Good Morning. I pray that you house if filled with quiet loving obedient little adults. Our home however if filled with three feisty little children. Every night before I drift off, I have started asking where I felt like I failed that day in my role as a wife, mother, business owner, housekeeper and friend according to God's standards. This helps me identify my shortcomings and make a quick plan of action of what I need to work on the next day. Lately it seems that my plan of action is still not producing the kids I dreamed about and saw in the magazines. Just days after Christmas the joy of new toys has worn off and the arguing has set in. A friend of mine this morning mentioned that in days of old kids had to work out in the fields which consumed more energy so they were too tired to argue. So what additional chores can I come up with in the middle of winter for a 5, 4 and 2 year old to truly wear them out and help them find true thankfulness for their free time? They already help with so much. Brian, the 2 year out just help take all the Dominos out of their box to help decorate the floor only after washing his truck in the low sink in the bathroom that some of you call a toilet. Gabby, 4, cleaned her entire room by pushing it under the bed and into the closet and Makensie is entertaining me by chatting about everything that comes to mind verses rather than doing her school work. I do have some mending to be done, bills to be paid, phone calls to be made, ironing to be completed. Maybe a sweat shop isn't such a bad idea.


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