Monday, December 18, 2006

Blogger Hates Me

You know you haven't blogged in a while when Blogger forgets who you are, and you can't remember either.

Yep.

I think I'll head over to Wal-Mart and get fitted for my leopard print bathing suit and pantyhose.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Excuses, Excuses

Well blog friends I'm back. I must say it's been a rough couple of months at my house, but all is well. I finally had a breakthrough. Wanna hear it? I know you do, that's why you're still reading. It only took me say, oh, the better part of the year to figure this out. Ok, enough stalling...here goes...

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5 New American Standard Bible

Whew! Glad that's out. I know what you're thinking. It's so totally deep and profound and well, hey...that's just me...what can I say?

Seriously I can't believe it's taken me all this time to figure that out. I've heard that scripture most of my Christian life and I've always just sort of glossed over it and not really taken it to heart. So I guess the Lord this year has decided to shall we say...nudge me in that direction.

I've lost a lot this year. Not material goods, but rather my faith in my secure little bubble that I built for myself. My bubble exploded and with no embryonic buffer between myself and Him I had to take a hard look at some things. I couldn't understand what was happening to me or why it was happening. It made me angry.

So I asked God a few questions, most of them along the lines of "Who do You think You are????" To which He simply did not reply. He just watched me and watched over me with that infinite and infuriating patience of His. Throughout this whole year, actually my whole life, I've struggled to understand my circumstances and my environment with my own powers of reasoning. I thought, I'm a smart gal...I can figure this out...there's got to be a formula to this whole relationship thing and why God allows His people to go through all this stuff. HA HA HA! Joke's on me. There is no figuring God out.

So what does a smart gal like me do when she can't figure stuff out? She cries for a while, pouts and has a temper tantrum like any other respectable 35 year-old Super Spiritual Sista. Thank God for God. If He hadn't come along and turned the light on for me I would still be banging my head on the floor. Which hurts by the way, and I wouldn't recommend doing it.

What I'm trying to say is, when all the understanding is gone, nothing is left to us except trust. Whether we like it or not, all of us trust in something or someone. Some trust in sex or drugs, some trust in food and television (YES I WENT THERE!), some trust only in themselves. I've tried trusting in a few of those things myself and television never once helped me pay the bills. (Can I get a witness from some of you other Super Spiritual Sistas out there?)

So then what? When all of our tried and true defenses have let us down, what is next? The only logical conclusion to that is God. We must trust in Him, there is no other way. Job said, "Though He slay me, yet will I serve Him." That is not an easy statement to make, because it speaks of absolute trust in God and His sovereignty.

Now, I've got that "figured out." All I need to do now is put it into action. But that's for another post.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Sisterhood Part I

I had never seen her before, but I knew of her. I had heard her story, along with countless others, from a very dear friend of mine who works with Teen Challenge of East Tennessee. Suddenly, as I pulled up to park in front of the counseling center, she was there on the sidewalk just a little bit ahead of me. She looked directly into my eyes and I felt my heart break. She didn't have to say a word, I already knew her name. I knew the Lord was tugging at my heart to stop for a moment and speak with her, but I was too busy. I had my daughter with me and I had things to do.

So did she.

As I watched, a run-down, filthy pick-up truck drove up beside us, slowed down, stopped...and took her away. I wondered if the john would have the decency to take her some place private. Probably not.

I stole a quick glance at my daughter. Her eyes were wide open with shock. She knew what had just happened. She's almost 14 and has worked with me before, waiting tables at Teen Challenge banquets, parking cars during the fair to raise money. She knows who these women are. What she doesn't know is that she had just come face to face with the woman her mother almost became.

As I write this, I shudder at the thought of how close I was. I don't just know of this woman, I know this woman. We are members of an ancient sisterhood, she and I. One forged out of betrayal and shattered trust. I know her reasons and am well acquainted with her demons. I just wish I had had the guts and the grace to stop for just a moment to talk with her about Jesus. I could have shown her my decoder pin proving my status as an alumnus and I could have extended to her the same Grace that was extended to me. She might have taken me up on it, she might not, but at least it would have been something. It...would...have...been...something.

Instead, I took my daughter's hand and as we crossed the street, I gave thanks. Because no matter how many years have passed and no matter how far I've come, I know that it is still God's grace that gently yet firmly upholds me...keeping me from sinking into the depths. I also breathed a prayer for forgiveness, for another shot, for God's grace to cover me once more.

God save that girl, and save me from apathy.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Trolling

Well, there's nothing like trolling through your past postings to make you cringe and want to cower in shame. I think I saw no fewer than 4 postings that start out with, "Sorry it has been so long since I posted" or some variation to that effect. Guess I need to make a little more time for good ol' Blogger.

Truthfully, as with many things in my life, I usually wait to write until inspirations strikes. See first paragraph for an idea of how often that happens at my house. Unfortunately, waiting for inspiration or until we "feel" like doing something, isn't always the grandest plan. Especially when it comes to worship.

It's easy for me to say, "Thank You God, You're awesome!" when things are going swimmingly. But what do we do when things are horrible? What do we do when everything around us is falling apart?

We grit our teeth and stand on faith. Faith that God is good, that He truly is worthy of all our praise and adoration. Faith that He loves us, and will never, ever, forsake us. It's during those times that miracles happen.

My friend was diagnosed with inoperable cancer two weeks ago. Without any type of warning, without any type of greeting at all this insidious disease has spread into her lungs and liver. "Nothing we can do," say the doctors. Boom, out of the blue, she's staring at eternity. Some precious ladies at church gathered with me and dared to believe that God is who He says He is, and instead of letting this horrible news get us down, we began to stand on faith and worship Him.

My friend went to Nashville for chemo in hopes of slowing down the progress of the cancer. She got the report back that not only has it slowed down...it's shrinking. Suddenly the doctors are scratching their heads and saying, "Hmmm, guess we caught it in time." Really. Is that really what happened?

I think not. I know that Father God who loves us with a love that is at once tender and terrible, has answered our prayers and honored our faith.

You go God.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Frustration

Well among a myriad of other things, I'm having technical difficulties. This is why I haven't posted in a while. As I said, just one frustration among many.

I'm also going through this major self pity party. Wanna join me? Misery does love company. C'mon...join in, look, we can do it together. Ready? 1...2...3...Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!

Ok, enough whining.

Here's my trouble. I want to be close to God. Close as in, face to face. I can feel His spirit drawing me, calling me closer, but I'm not impressed. I've lost my passion. I want to get closer, but I don't want to move and I'm frustrated by that. Ever been in this postition? Nobody can help you when it's like this, because what it really comes down to is a decision. A decision to follow God no matter what. Unfortunately, I'm the only one who can make the decision.

Why are we like this? (I am assuming I'm not the only one hence the term "we") How do we get to be this way? I can see the table set before me....it's filled with good things to eat...I'm hungry...so, why aren't I picking up the spoon and digging in?

I had a really great friend once. One of those rare individuals who was excited and joyous about following God. She made the most of every opportunity to seek after Him and the passion that she had was infectious. It infected me. Now she's gone and I haven't been the same since. Perhaps I lived my relationship with God too much through her. Not a good thing. We can't worship vicariously. A pastor I once knew said that worship is not a spectator sport. Ain't it the truth.

God, renew my passion and joy in You.

" Be rainfall on cut grass,
earth-refreshing rain showers.
Let righteousness burst into blossom
and peace abound until the moon fades to nothing.
Rule from sea to sea,
from the River to the Rim." From Psalm 72 the Message version.

Friday, September 08, 2006

5 Weird Things About Me

I'm a horrible blogger. I have probably already lost my adorable rodent status on TTLB, but I can't bear to look at my sidebar to see. I am so ashamed. Especially after all those nice things that Keri said about me. *sigh*

I'm so bad that I hadn't noticed until today that I had been tagged for a meme. Last month.

Shalee from Shalee's Diner tagged me and is asking me to list 5 weird things about myself or my pet. Since I don't have a pet, I guess it has to be about me. If I haven't already lost all 3 of my readers, this ought to do the trick.

1. I hate long fingernails. Not on other people, just me. I am constantly trimming my fingernails. I suppose it has to do with the fact I type a lot. Yeah, that sounds good...I'll blame it on my job.

2. I love peanut butter and cheese. Together. Talk about heart attack city baby. I don't eat them often, but sometimes a craving for a peanut butter and cheese sandwich just overtakes me. I have to make them when my husband isn't around because it grosses him out.

3. In keeping with a fine southern tradition (and because I love food) I eat ketchup on just about everything. Except cereal. I draw the line there. You gotta have standards, know what I mean???

4. I have two names. At work, people call me by my first name. Family, friends, and church family call me by my middle name. Sometimes it's a struggle to remember who I am.

5. When I was a teenager I was convinced that Boy George was straight. I'm not quite sure if that can be chalked up to weirdness or just total stupidity mixed with a heavy dose of denial. I'll tumble 4 ya, I'll tumble 4 ya, I'll tumble 4 yoooouuuuu...c'mon, you know you wanna sing along.

Well, that's my top 5. At least, of the ones I'm willing to admit to. Now I have to tag 5 people. Do I know 5 other bloggers??? Let's see, I tag Stephanie at Into The Depths, Paulette, Literature Lover, YewNork Babe, and Truevyne. That is, if they are still checking in with me.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Shalee's Diner: The Hot Water Bottle

Take a moment today and stop by Shalee's Diner for a bite. You'll be glad you did.Shalee's Diner: The Hot Water Bottle

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

An Eventful Day

Two very monumental events happened yesterday. I'm surprised that the earth did not stop spinning on it's axis to mark the occasion.

FIRST: My son, my youngest, my baby, entered into...dare I say it...MIDDLE SCHOOL!!!!! Cue: Twilight Zone music.

Now, I handled Kindergarten just fine. I was brave and DID NOT CRY. I did well with Intermediate School, but MIDDLE SCHOOL?!? Cue: Twilight Zone Music. On the outside, my face was calm and reassuring as I dropped him off. But as soon as the car door slammed shut it took all I had to restrain myself from screaming, "No...get back here! You're too young to be sacrificed to those hoodlums!" (Cause, you know, my son is perfect...it's everyone else that's crazed)

In fact, all that escaped me was a strangled "Eep!" Once more, his face, still showing traces of the baby he had been looked into mine. He grinned, waved, and then he was gone. Lost in a sea of pre-pubescent angst and pimple cream. And I was left wondering where the time has gone.

SECOND: (and on a much happier note) My blog was spotlighted by Kari, a blogger at Christian Women Online. Thanks Kari for the wonderful post! (I promise, my head only swelled up the teensiest bit...like...twice it's normal size) If you'd like to read what she wrote...go here.

As I said before folks, it was a monumental day.

Sidenote: Fuddman survived his first day at Middle School. So far, I haven't had to answer any strange questions or worse, re-direct him to his father for information, however, I will keep you posted as the year progresses. Pray. For. Me.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The One Place I Really Want To Go



create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.


I found this at(where else?) EveryDay Mommy and thought it was really cute. It was fun to go back over my life and remember all the places I lived as a kid. I also lived in Germany twice, and visited Holland and Mexico. (Not at the same time.) In case you haven't figured it out by now...I was an Army Brat.

Not only did this map get me to thinking about where I've been, it also made me think about where I want to go. And right now, the place I want to visit the most can't be found on a map.

10"My beloved responded and said to me,
'(X)Arise, my darling, my beautiful one,
And come along.
11'For behold, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone.
12'The flowers have already appeared in the land;
The time has arrived for pruning the vines,
And the voice of the (Y)turtledove has been heard in our land.
13'The (Z)fig tree has ripened its figs,
And the (AA)vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance.
Arise, my darling, my beautiful one,
And come along!'"
14"O (AB)my dove, (AC)in the clefts of the rock,
In the secret place of the steep pathway,
Let me see your form,
(AD)Let me hear your voice;
For your voice is sweet,
And your form is (AE)lovely."


That's where I want to go. The Secret Place. I'm weary of the trouble going on in this world. I'm weary of hearing the stories of JonBenet Ramsey's alleged killer. You know the Bible does say that there are some sins that aren't even to be uttered. We do not need to know every sordid detail in other people's lives.

Yup. I'm tired. I need refreshment and restoration. To borrow some verse from the Dixie Chicks:

Father take me away
Fly this girl as high as You can into the wild blue
Set me free Lord I pray
Closer to Heaven above and closer to You
Closer to You

Yup. I think it's time to soak up some of the Son. Grab a little R&R if you will. See ya'll later.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Lesson in Humility # 142,639

I went to visit my cousin this past weekend. Somehow the conversation turned to blogging and my cousin said, "I don't blog. I think it's very presumptuous of a person to believe that other people might care to read about what they think on any given subject."

Ouch.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Children are a Blessing

I work at a University. With the exception of the other secretary in my office, all the ladies I work with are young professionals. Smart, efficient, goal-oriented women. They have a college degree, (some of them several) and they are confident and wonderful women with bright outlooks on the future. In some ways I envy them.

In some ways I don't.

I don't have a college degree. I got married at 19, had my first child by the time I was 21, and my life has mainly consisted of working to make sure my family survives. I have goals, to be sure, it's just that more often than not, life happens and reaching my goals has to be put off for a while. I'm not upset about it, that's just the way it is. For the most part, I love my life. I am enthralled with my kids, I've been blessed with an amazing man to share them with, and most of all, an amazing network of friends, relatives, and church family to help us through the tough spots. All in all, God has blessed me more than I could have ever thought or hoped or dreamed.

So what does this have to do with the price of bananas in Shanghai?

During lunch the other day, the young professionals in our office were talking about their plans for the near future. One young lady has been married for a year, and they just recently purchased a house. When asked if she wanted to have children, she replied, "Yes, but not until I'm 30. Oh, wait, that's just 4 years away." At this revelation, it was evident that she began to get nervous. She began to stammer about how "their" (meaning her and hubby's) plans might not be ready by then. Talk then began to turn to how children are such a burden and a responsibility. One woman remarked that it gave her the heebie jeebies to think about having a child. As they were talking I wondered, "Lord, when did "mother" become a dirty word?"

Silently, the other secretary and myself shared a knowing look.

You see, she doesn't have a degree either. She is an older woman, and was raised in an era where women cherished their families, and their highest and most loftiest goal, was to be a mother. She has two children and is now a grandmother. And she and I share a deep wisdom that these women, with their college degrees and hard earned knowledge, may never understand.

And that is this...that children, although they come with great responsibility, are gifts from the Lord. And all the hardship, sleepless nights, money spent, and prayers sent cannot begin to compare to the blessing of chubby little arms reaching out for a hug. Or the smell of your newborn's skin as it lies on your chest.

We martyr ourselves time and time again on the altar of the PTA, BandBoosters, and the Boy Scouts for the thrill of pride that cracks your heart as you begin to see glimpses of the adult that is forming in your teen-ager. And then finally, after years of toil and work, the coup de grace. Grandchildren.

Young ladies, young professionals, you are all beautiful and I salute you. But you can have your degrees and your titles, your careers and your tailored suits. Take them all girls and more power to you, but as for me and others like me, we have bigger fish to fry. You see, while you plan for the future...we are busy molding it.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I'm Over It Now

Well, apparently, no one had any suggestions for me. I guess that means we're all in the same boat?!? Either that or it's just that nobody read my blog. Probably the latter.

I'm over my temper tantrum now and am back on track. I still don't have much to say though. I guess I have a bad case of blogger's block.

I just got through listening to an awesome song by Misty Edwards called I Sleep. BEAUTIFUL!!! Misty, if you're reading this (it could happen!)fantastic job!

Man...I need a life.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I Thought This Was A Christian Blog...

Yesterday, I decided to put a video on my blog. For those of you who don't know...the song is called "Broken" and it's sung by Seether and Amy Lee from Evanescence. (I hope I spelled the band names right.)

No, they are not Christian artists, and the song isn't intended to be about the relationship between a man and God. But, I was introduced to this song by the bassist in our worship band. He asked me if I would be willing to sing the song with him in church one Sunday. When I heard the song I fell in love with it. I love the power of it and the aching lonesomeness of the lyrics. And yes, I think it is very applicable to my relationship (as well as other people's if they were truthful) with Jesus.

I am broken when I'm not with Him. When I'm out on my own...doing my own thing, the pressures of the world inevitably break me. Always, I run back to Him, and again I am broken. Broken by the foolishness of my pride and my arrogance against Him. Which is, basically where I'm at today. Raging against my stupidity. Trying to find that place of repentance. It's not coming very easily...for some reason that I can't fathom, I don't really want to let go of my life.

The silly thing is...this is America. I mean, c'mon...it's not like I'm gonna get thrown into jail if I suddenly change my ways are start telling everyone I know about what Jesus has done for me. At least, not yet anyway.

I've read Jesus Freaks. And I was freaked out! Some of those martyrs were as young as 8 years old! And here I can't seem to find enough gumption to get rid of some of the weights and sins that so easily entangle me. Laziness that's what it is...just pure old laziness. And pride. Lots and lots of pride.

So...if anyone out there is by some miracle still reading this (since I haven't blogged in a month)...if you have ANY suggestions that might be help me find my way, I'm all ears.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I Just Thought I'd Try This Video Thingy

I thought it looked neat, so I thought I'd try it. I hope I did it right. I love this song and I love whoever thought up the LOTR concept.

Hope you enjoy it.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Trust

Hello friends. I've been out of commission for the past week or so due to the fact that I was on vacation. The last week has been, you know I hate to use cliches but what the heck, the worst of times and the best of times. Maybe someday I'll blog about it but not today.

Today is about trust. Trust in God to be more specific. I've been sort of chatting back and forth with my pal at Into The Depths about it, and I must say, it's been a difficult thing to think about. How do you begin to fathom trusting in an unseen God, the invisible Ruler of the Universe, when you've been betrayed by almost every authority figure in your life? All of them visible, by the way.

It's a touchy subject, if you haven't been able to guess that already.

In thinking it over, I began to almost despair of finding a true reason to trust God. I mean, as a child, my grandparents took me to church as often as they could. What the preacher talked about planted a seed in my heart and I have always just taken it for granted that there is a God. Of that I have no doubt. But why trust Him? Most of the experiences in my childhood clearly spoke to the contrary. To trust someone meant getting hurt, and I learned early on that survival meant trusting in myself alone.

But after a while, surviving on my own became overwhelming. The pain of some of my experiences was too great to bear and it almost killed me. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. I had to either trust someone, or rather SomeOne, and risk being destroyed, or keep all to myself and let it destroy me anyway. Fortunately, I chose God.

Still, that's just one way of looking at it. It's kind of a skewed way of looking at it if I do say so myself. My reason for trusting God in the beginning shouldn't have come because I felt I had no other choice. I should have made a more informed decision. I could have tried reading my Bible and then making up my mind, but I just decided to go for it based on other people's testimony. Not that I'm complaining, but I could have saved myself years of torment if I had taken the time to study God by His description of Himself, rather than other people's. But I digress.

So, other than the "Do Or Die" method, why should I trust God? What evidence is there of His trustworthiness? Maybe the question should be, why shouldn't I trust God?

What I'm saying is, all my reasons for distrusting God have been based on the actions of some depraved human beings. But is that fair to God? I mean, isn't it sort of laughable to try to compare God to humans? Or vice versa? We know better than to compare the power of a flashlight to the power of the sun don't we? Isn't that sort of the same thing?

In other words, if God isn't human, then why do we judge Him according to human standards? Human beings are weak and can't be trusted. History has shown us that much over and over again. So, if we can't judge God according to human standards (and really we shouldn't be judging Him at all, but that's what we do) then how do we know He is trustworthy? How do we know He is good?

By looking at what God has done, not what humans have done. God created the earth and all the fascinating creatures that dwell in it. He created the heavens and the stars, the sun and moon. Have you ever watched the Discovery channel? Have you seen just how marvelously made our bodies are??? Have you seen the news story of the man who has been in a coma for 20 years and while he was out, his brain re-wired itself? Now he's waking up and talking!!! After 20 years! What a masterpiece of creation! What a work of genius! Our bodies are amazing.

Someone somewhere once said that no mean woman could ever be a good cook, because it takes a generous heart to prepare a good meal for a family. If that's true, if creating a good meal for your family is a work of love, then how much more is it to create a something as wonderful as a man or woman? God is not sadistic, He's not mean, He's not hateful. If He was, it would be impossible for Him to create the beauty that we take for granted every day.

God does not need me to defend Him, and that's not what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to challenge anyone who reads this to look at God from a different perspective. Jesus told the Pharisees (and I'm paraphrasing here), "Hey look, if you can't believe me based on what I'm telling you, at least look at what I've done...look at the miracles I've done, and believe Me based on that."

Take a look around you...look at what God has done...and believe.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Haiku

I really like the depth of meaning that can be found in Haiku poetry. I love the challenge that comes with attempting to convey a picture with only 17 syllables. It's not easy!!!

Here is one I wrote today...hope you like it.

glimpses of the woman
flashing in her child laughter
my heart splits in two

I just dabble in it...I'm not even a novice at it. I just like to try it. It helps to bring in a sense of calmness in an otherwise crazy day. If you'd like to know more about Haiku try clicking here. Hopefully that link will work! :)

Try it out if you get the chance...like I said, it's not easy, but when you get one out it can be very beneficial in relieving stress. If you do try one...leave it in my comments. I'd love to see what you've got.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Insignificant?!? I Think Not!

Ladies and Germs! Please direct your attention to the sidebar and note that I have now been officially labelled an "Insignificant Microbe" by that wonderfully wacky technobear at TTLB. Nevermind that I have no clue what I'm doing, and wouldn't know a ping from a link. Technobear has got me under control! (His name is really NZ Bear, but I think Technobear has a nice ring to it don't you?)

Do not underestimate the power of a microbe! Without us, that juicy cheeseburger you're lusting over for dinner would remain stuck in your esophagus....never able to reach it's intended destination. Without us, dead people would never shrivel up and become fertilizer for daisies!!!! Microbes are important!!!! Microbes RULE!!!!

***NOTE: The blogger formerly known as "Shayne" has taken a short leave of her senses due to mega-amounts of stress caused by a breakdown of her central heating and air unit. As soon as the temperature inside her house lowers to livable conditions she will return. We hope. We apologize to her readers (all 3 of them) for having to be subjected to a not very funny post about nothing. That is all.***

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Light in Darkness

God amazes me. I know that's a really worn out line, and everyone feels that way about God, but truly, He amazes me.

My mother and father are in crisis right now. It looks like their marriage is about to end, and with that knowledge pounding in my brain, darkness has settled into every nook and cranny of my life. The wheres and the whycomes are not necessary. It's exhausting enough just to ponder the fact that 36 years of work and love and tears and devotion are over.

Death in any form is painful, but watching the death of a marriage is particularly excruciating. Smiles should not weigh a thousand pounds. The pain of having to see the fear that lurks in the back of your children's eyes as they wonder if the cancer of Divorce could spread to Mommy and Daddy should be reserved only for perpetrators of the most heinous acts of human depravity. Yet, even here in this evil place, God is making His presence known. He reminded me the other night that He is still here and that He will always be here.

I was out at the end of my driveway. It was around 10 pm, and I was praying and crying out to God. There was no one to answer (so I thought) except the crickets and ever vocal tree frogs. (For those of you who don't know...I live in paradise.)

As I stood there I looked at the pasture across the road and saw thousands of fireflies lighting up the trees. They were going crazy flashing their little buggy behinds off. Even the stars in the sky were luminous and bright. I think some were winking at me!

Everywhere around me light was piercing darkness.

It wasn't much...but it was more than enough.

But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can't see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. Romans 1:20 (MSG)

New Blog Discovery

Ok, ok I know I've been a bad blogger. It's been days and days since my last post but honestly...things have not been great on my little side of the world.

I have, however, been visiting all my favorites and have just today discovered a new favorite. Her name is Antique Mommy and she is absolutely fabulous. If you want to laugh and cry all in the same breath check her out.

You won't be disappointed.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Wanted: Desperation


Desperate:

1 a : having lost hope, a desperate spirit crying for relief : giving no ground for hope the outlook was desperate
2 a : moved by despair victims made desperate by abuse b : involving or employing extreme measures in an attempt to escape defeat or frustration made a desperate leap for the rope3 : suffering extreme need or anxiety desperate for money4 : involving extreme danger or possible disaster a desperate situation
5 : of extreme intensity
6 : SHOCKING, OUTRAGEOUS

This is Webster's definition of the word. Still, I find myself asking...what does it mean to be desperate?

Yesterday morning during worship my congregation sang Breathe. If you've never heard it before, it's on Vineyard's Hungry CD. I think Kathryn Scott is the vocalist. Anyway, the song is hauntingly beautiful, and whenever we sing it I just get lost in the Presence of God.

Yesterday was different.

I found myself wondering if I am truly desperate for God. There is an old joke that says christians don't tell lies they sing them. I'm inclined to believe that.

I love God, truly I do, but am I desperate for Him? Would I go to any lengths to please Him? Would I, like the woman with the issue of blood, be willing to get down on my knees and crawl through the crowd just to touch the hem of His garment? Would I be able to throw all of my dignity out the window and scream out His name at the top of my lungs like blind Bartimaeus to get His attention? Would I be willing to endure insults like the Syrophoenician woman? Would I be willing to push past every hypocritical, religious, member of the church just to kneel at his feet and anoint them with my tears? Would you?

I don't want to be a nut or a fruit loop. I don't think that's the kind of devotion that God is looking for. But to be so in love with Him that I can't get enough of Him...that would be great.

God, make me desperate for You.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Am I Living The Same Day Over And Over?


I'm not sure what my title means, but it sounds good.

Actually, my pastor brought up that point in his sermon a couple of Sundays ago. He said, "Have I lived 57 years, or have I lived the same year 57 times?"

Well, it got me thinking. What am I doing? Am I just treading water, or am I living my life to it's fullest potential? Unfortunately, I think my hands and feet are all pruny from being in the water so long.

I'm not saying that I have to learn to go skydiving or anything like that, but it would be nice to take the time to lift up my head every now and then and enjoy the moment, instead of always waiting for something better to come along. So I am devising a new plan.

I am going to take a moment each day and take a look around. I'm going to attempt to really see my surroundings and just enjoy. I live across the street from a cow pasture. It smells wonderful this time of year, because there aren't any cows in the field (which means no nasty cow pies) and it's overgrown with honeysuckle vines and blackberry brambles. Delicious. I can watch the lightnin' bugs at night and just listen to the crickets and frogs carrying on. I live in paradise actually.

Anyhow, I'm going to take 60 seconds out of my day to look, take a deep breath, and give thanks to God for blessing me with such a beautiful environment. I may even take those 60 seconds to hug my daughter. I'll set the egg timer and make her let me hug her for the whole minute. I've done it before, and sometimes a hug like that can penetrate her spirit more deeply than spoken "I love you's." I'll just look past all the eye rolling and pay no attention to the whole "Mom you're choking me" thing. Or, I might take that 60 seconds to have a farting contest with my son! We'll laugh 'til we pee on ourselves. Maybe we'll hold DramaQueen hostage until she joins in with us! It's gross, but gas works better with guys than hugs do. Go figure.

Oh man ya'll...life is so good. Let's not miss it! I don't care how bad your circumstances are (I didn't say life is perfect, I said life is good) I challenge you to take one minute out of your day to look up, look around, and give thanks. Even if the only thing you can truly be thankful for is the air you're breathing. I'll bet whatever load you're carrying will be a little lighter.

Try it for the next 7 days. You have nothing to lose except 490 seconds of your life. Do check in with me and let me know how it's going! If you want...share your ideas for 60 second life refreshers...I'd love to hear your ideas.

Friday, June 02, 2006

I'm A Chick!

Well, I don't know about you, but all this blogging craziness has just got me bleary-eyed. First I change my template (which I really like), then I get tagged, and now...I'm a chick. Words just cannot express.

I actually dreamed about blogging last night. Is that an indicator that I'm spending way too much time thinking about this? Am I nuts or weird or anything? Have any of you all experienced this phenomena? Drop a comment and let me know. By the way, do check out the Blogging Chicks Blogroll I have installed. Bloghop to your little bloggy content. Ciao ya'll!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

I GOT TAGGED!!!!

I'm in. I've made it. I am here, baby!!! I got tagged! Nevermind that I had to beg like a shameless hussy for it...I got tagged! Thanks to Theresa the YewNorkBabe (what a great name!) we're going to talk about 10 little words friends and neighbors! That's right! It's time to play:

TEN SIGNIFICANT WORDS THAT START WITH THE LETTER "S"

1. Sunshine - love it...gotta have it.
2. Salvadore - one of my favorite Christian groups
3. Shayne - it's my name, it was a pain, when i was a kid so...don't wear it out!
4. Scrumptious - See post below.
5. Snickers - my favorite candy bar
6. She-Bop - a song I used to love to sing when I was a kid. I recently found out what it really meant though and I was ...
7. SHOCKED - That's right. I had no idea that she-bopping is...well...what it is.
8. Sing - that's what I love to do
9. Smalls - the name of a character in one of my favorite movies The Sandlot. "You're killin' me Smalls!" Favorite quote from aforementioned movie.
10. Sally Sells Sea Shells By the Seashore - I'm not sure if that qualifies or not, but I got in trouble for saying it one time. My brother and I were having a contest to see who could say it the fastest. Well, you try it and see what comes out! I couldn't sit down for dinner that night I'll just tell you!

Well...that's it. That's my super scrumdiddlyumptious "S" word list. Betcha thought I was gonna say a wirty dord dincha? If you wanna be tagged let me know. I'll think up a letter for you!

Oh Look, A Meme

I stole this from Everday Mommy. Hope you like it.

BERNARD PIVOT
And, now from that insufferable beacon of self consumption, Inside the Actor's Studio, the Bernard Pivot MEME!

What is your favorite word? Scrumptious
What is your least favorite word? Snot
What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? A starlit sky in the summertime, with the smell of honeysuckle thick in the air.
What turns you off? Children who talk back to their parents and parents who allow it.
What is your favorite curse word? Crap
What sound or noise do you love? My son's laughter.
What sound or noise do you hate? Children cursing (I really don't mean to pick on children...I just hate to hear something so ugly coming out of something so precious)
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Veterinarian or Obstetrician.
What profession would you not like to do? Ditchdigging.
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Good job kid.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A New Look, Intro to the Fam and Weirdo Baseball Parents!

Well??? Whaddaya think? Like the new template? I love black, but I got to thinking about it. It didn't look very warm or inviting. Actually, it looked like I was speeding through a black hole in space, and that's not the impression one wants to give off when talking about Jesus now is it?

I wasn't really planning on blogging at this moment, but since I'm already here...I don't believe I have formally introduced my family to you. I'm married to a wonderful man whom I shall call, oh I don't know let me see...how about Sexy Man Of God? No no no, cause then I'd call him SMOG for short and that doesn't sound good. I know! Sweetie Pie! He'll love that.

Sweetie Pie and I (has a nice ring to it don't it?) just celebrated 15 glorious years of marital bliss and harmony. Actually it's more like we survived 15 glorious years of marital bliss and harmony. I'm starting to wonder just how much more bliss we can handle.

We have two fabulous kids. A daughter named Drama Queen (DQ) and a son named Fuddman. Fuddman is currently involved in baseball which brings me to my real topic for today.

Baseball parents are weird people. Have you been to a Little League baseball game lately? If not, you're really missing out on some major entertainment. But if you do decide to take in a game, think about taking some protective headgear or something...those people are deadly. Why do you think the umpires wear all that stuff? It's not the fear of a wayward baseball my friends. Oh no no no. It's to protect them from little Johnny's parents everytime sweet little Major-League-bound Johnny gets a "bad call."

Normal, sweet-tempered, church going moms suddenly turn into snarling potty mouths and men of God come to blows over which kid should play pitcher. Super couples who used to go to bible studies together suddenly have a falling out because of something that happened on the baseball field. Where does all this craziness come from?

I, too, have felt the pull of anger when another kid or another parent says unkind things to Fuddman, or when the umpire calls a strike on something that clearly was a ball. But why? Why is the need for our children to be the "star" so overwhelming? Could it be due to our own selfish desires to live vicariously through our children's victories and accomplishments?

Man, that was a mouthful.

I want my son to do well. I love my son, and each time he succeeds in reaching whatever goal he has set for himself, a thrill of pride runs right through me. But whether my son succeeds all the time or not is not what makes me a complete person or even a great mom. What makes me great is when I teach him to lose with grace or to get back up when he gets knocked down. And it is God, and He alone, who completes me. For me to put that kind of responsibility on my son's shoulders is wrong. So, dear readers pray for me.

I'm off to watch my boy play ball.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Long time no blog!

Hey ya'll. Sorry it's been so long...lots of stuff happening. My life has just gone sort of topsy turvy, and well....that just doesn't set to well with moi.

Anyhoo, I've a question for you. Why is it that we are never satisfied with God's approval of us? Why are we constantly worried about what other people think of us instead?

Anyone have an answer for me? I'd love to hear your opinions. By the way, for all of you kind souls who have stopped by my humble abode and left your comments, I appreciate you! It's nice to know that there are others out there who may not necessarily agree with your tactics but still understand what you're going through.

During my silent time I have been trolling a few blogs and I've been following along the adventures of Lovebug and Everyday Mommy. Good stuff! If you haven't had the chance to, stop by her place. I promise you, your time will not be wasted.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

On Mercy

Tonight my heart is full and my mind is overflowing with thoughts and ideas that are racing in a competition to be heard and understood. Please forgive me if I ramble or babble. I am not a professional writer and these past few days I've seen some magnificent blogs. I almost have blog envy.

Still, in spite of my shortcomings I find myself at my computer typing madly in an effort to regain mastery over my frenzied thoughts and make them come out in an orderly fashion. What is all the excitement about you ask???? God's infinite mercy. His complete and total love for us. I'm tellin' ya it's got me all twitterpated and google-eyed.

I can hear you saying, "Oh, is that all? God's love and mercy? Yawn. Heard it, read about it, starred in the video." Yes, yes I know you've heard a billion sermons on the subject, but have you ever had a revelation about it? Has God's love and mercy ever become real to you? Maybe you're like me. You know that God loves you but you take that love for granted. Or, maybe you believe that God's love and mercy applies to everyone else on the planet except you. Well hold on to your hats people, because you are about to get a refresher on the depth of God's love and mercy.

First of all, let me just say that God's love and mercy applies to everyone. That's right, I said everyone. I don't care if you've slept with every guy/girl on the block, had fifteen abortions and smoke crack, God's love and mercy is available to you. It even applies to all of us "churched" folk who have become disillusioned, bored, and only go to church out of habit instead of love for God. It's there. For free. No strings attached.

How do I know? I've experienced it. But rather than go into the details of my sordid past, (because, let's face it...I could be lying to you. Remember the author of A Million Little Pieces? Uh, huh, moving on now...) I'm going to give you an example from the bible. The past couple of weeks I've been involved in a bible study about King David. Who he is, what he's like, yada yada yada. Anyway, it's a great study conducted by Mike Bickle of Kansas City IHOP (International House of Prayer). He pointed out an amazing verse that just absolutely blew me away.

Acts 13:22 "And after He (God) had removed him (King Saul...David's predecessor), He raised up David to be their (the Jews) king, concerning whom He testified saying, "I have found David, son of Jesse, A MAN AFTER MY HEART, who will do all My will." NASB version, parentheses mine.

Everyone who's read the bible knows this description of David very well. He was a man after God's heart. However, look at the last bit of the verse..."who will do all my will." Those of us who have read the Old Testament know that David screwed things up a lot. I mean, one very famous instance is his relationship with Bath Sheba. She's married, David takes her anyway and has sex with her (an offense punishable by death in those days), gets her pregnant while her husband (Uriah) is away fighting David's battle. David brings him home, tries to get Uriah drunk so he'll sleep with Bath Sheba in order to try to cover up her pregnancy, but when that doesn't work, David has Uriah deliberately sent to the front lines of the battle where he is killed. So now, not only is David an adulterer he's a murderer. This is a man after God's heart, who will do all His will???? Ummm....what???

How did David get a description like that, not from men mind you, but from God...and yet he's a major screw up??? The answer is this: David was completely sorry for what he had done and went to God and repented. Meaning, David acknowledged his sin against God and Uriah and then turned away from it. He stopped behaving like a lunatic. And God forgave him completely. Not only that, but He restored David to a right relationship with Himself. Immediately. No waiting involved. And not only that, but God totally wiped the slate clean. Once David repented, God never again remembered David's sin. To God, it was as though David had never sinned in the first place; he was a man who "will do all My will."

I'm reminded of my kids. When they were little and they did something wrong, they would just come to me and say "Mommy I'm sorry" and I would hug them and forgive them and they would go on their merry way. Not once did they ever come back and say, "Oh, but mommy, you can't just forgive me like that. I'm a bad person. You have to punish me because of what I've done. And if you don't do it, I'll do it myself. Please mommy, please, put me in the corner." Nope, not once did I ever get that from my kids. They just accepted my forgiveness and all was right with the world. Too bad we're not like that with God. We say we're sorry, and then, when God doesn't strike us down with fire and brimstone we punish ourselves. We beat ourselves up with guilt and shame instead of just accepting the gift of forgiveness and moving on. Or worse, we believe that our sin is so bad and so monstrous that Jesus could never forgive us. How sad. We must make God cry an awful lot. II Corinthians 5:21 says, "He (God) made Him who knew no sin (Jesus), to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God through Him." NASB, parentheses mine.

All of our sins have been nailed to the cross. They are gone completely. All we have to do is accept the gift that Jesus offers, and move into a life of obedience through love. Have you sinned? NEWSFLASH: YOU'RE NOT ALONE. You're not weird. Chances are you've been doing what millions of other people have been doing throughout the ages. Accept Jesus' precious gift of forgiveness, and move on. If you are reading this, and you don't know Jesus, then I challenge you to find a bible somewhere and read the Gospel of John. Go to your local library, they should have a copy, or go to biblegateway.com and read it online. I suggest the Message version because the language is modern and easier to understand. Anyhoo, read the Gospel of John and ask God to reveal Himself to you. I promise you, you will come away changed. I know I did.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

On Patience

God has taught me many lessons through my kids. Some lessons were kind of funny and made me laugh at myself, some made me want to cringe and cower in shame. Some just made me think.

A few years ago, I was at the kitchen stove stirring up a storm, trying to get dinner ready in a hurry. I had stuff to do you know??? I'm not that good of a cook, so I don't take a whole lot of pleasure in cooking. (My husband once told me I had a way with meat if that's any indication to you...) Anyway, like I said, I had stuff to do. Like worry some more over bills that we couldn't pay, (as if my worrying was going to change anything) and growl at anyone who tried to make me feel better. In other words, I was not in a good mood.

As I'm cooking, I'm having a conversation with God. It went something like this:

Me: "God, You know we're in a bind. HELP!!!"

God: (silence, crickets chirping in the background)

Me: "Didn't you hear me God???? I need a miracle here. You know, as in biblical type proportions. And I mean I need it ASAP!!!!"

Enter 5 year old son.

Son: "Mom, is dinner ready yet???" Cute smiles and puppy dog eyes.

Me: "No son, dinner is not ready yet. I'll call you first thing as soon as it is." Roll eyes, think jeez, can't the kid see I'm stirring here???

Me: "Ok, where was I God? Oh yeah, ummm, about that miracle. Didn't you see me tithing last week???? I REALLY need to capitalize on that today if possible." sidenote: My ideas about tithing weren't always altruistic back then.

God: (more silence)

Son: "Hi, mom, is dinner ready yet???"

Me: "Son, you are going to have to be more patient. I promise, I will let you know the minute it's finished." Great balls of fire....I know the boy can see me standing here, stirring away....we just had his vision checked. Why on earth is he so worried??? Doesn't he believe me when I say he'll be the first to know??

Me: "Ok, Lord, You know I can't take much more of this. I really need You to let me know what You're going to do right now."

Son: "Hi mommy. Is dinner ready now?"

Me: Sighing and snorting "Son, I promise you I will LET YOU KNOW. Please be a little patient!" Lord, I have never allowed that child to go to bed hungry...what is the problem here???

God: "I'm sorry, what did you say?"

Me: "HELP!"

God: "No, no, that last part, about never allowing your child to go hungry..."

Me: light bulbs going off "Oh...heh heh, yeah. Well, the thing is God, I'm really needy right now and uh..."

God: "I'm still stirring. When I'm done, you'll be the first to know. By the way, you really should try some of that patience stuff you keep preaching to your son."

Well, there you have it folks, Object Lesson On Patience #12,348. Aren't children great? Isn't God awesome? He did take care of that little matter by the way, just like He always has. So, how about you??? Are you worried? Afraid God has forgotten about your needs? Take it from me...He's still stirring.

Monday, April 10, 2006

An A-Ha Moment

It's kind of funny how you can be driving along, minding your own business, and then POW!!! God enters the scene. That's sort of what happened to me today, but in order for you, the reader, to understand what I'm about to say I have to give you some background info. That way you'll chuckle at the appropriate places.

First, I'm a mom. Two kids and a husband. I'm mid thirties (where does the time go?), and I've just entered the teen-age years with my daughter. I know, I know, I need prayer and a couple of boxes of Miss Clairol. Second, and maybe I should have listed this one first, I'm totally into Jesus. You've maybe heard of a book by Rick Warren called The Purpose Driven Life? Well, I have, or am attempting to have, a relational driven life. In attempting to pursue this kind of lifestyle, I have learned two things: 1. God loves me more than I can ever think or imagine.
2. It's not about me. At all. It's all about Jesus.

Now, when I say that I have learned those two things, perhaps I should clarify and say that although I have learned those precepts, I also tend to forget them quite often and need to be reminded. Especially the second one. Which sort of brings me to my topic in a weird and roundabout way.

See, in addition to the titles listed above (refresher: Mom, Jesusfreak) I'm also a singer. I used to believe that my talent was all I needed and that Jesus should just love my singing and overlook my sin. Well, for those of you who don't already know Jesus, lemme just tell ya...it don't work that way. (Pardon my butchering of the english language)

Recently, I began to understand that my pride about my singing was way too big and my attitude was way off. (You know how it is...diva-ism just isn't a good thing to have in church) So, I sat myself down from the church praise team. As soon as I did that, all kinds of doubts began going through my mind...like this one..."Hey, you know you aren't as young as you used to be...are you sure that sitting yourself down is the right thing to do at this juncture?" Or, how about, "Hey, you shouldn't just sit yourself down like that, you should just slug it out and keep on keepin' on for the Lord." Yeah...mmhmmm....whatever.

Well, today, I was kind of thinking about all that when I had what might be described as an "A-Ha Moment." I was reminded once again that God is sovereign. He can do with me and my talent as He likes, and if that means I sing in the congregation, then I sing in the congregation. It's all up to Him which totally takes the pressure of trying to "make things happen" off of me. Whew...what a relief. Now I don't have to kill my worship pastor for not recognizing me as the musical genius that I am. (V, if you're reading this I would never actually kill you...)

So, are you struggling to get ahead? Worrying that your boss, or your pastor, or whoever is just taking you for granted and that you're not getting the recognition that you deserve? Relax, take a breath for crying out loud. Check your motives...why is the need to be in control or be in leadership so powerful? Remember...it's not about YOU!