Saturday, September 29, 2007

Potty Talk

If you have kids, then this conversation might sound familiar, or at the very least you will understand why I was laughing so hard!

Trevor had been outside working on the car one evening last week. For most of the country, this would mean cool, comfortable temperatures and reasonable humidity but we live on the Gulf coast and for us it means 90 degrees and 95% humidity, even though it's September. You might be asking why this information is important to the story. You might even be wondering why I named this post "Potty Talk". Don't worry...I'm getting to it!

Anyway, when Trevor came in he was hot and soaking wet with sweat. He sat down in the living room to cool off before his shower, and Gracie came walking up to him with a book. He agreed to read it to her, so she immediately jumped into his lap with the book and leaned back against his chest to get comfy. About 2 pages into the story, she got this look on her face and got up off his lap. She turned to him and said in a shocked tone of voice, "Daddy! You tee teed!"

He started to laugh and of course, denied the charge but she would not be convinced otherwise. I was sitting across the room rolling with laughter at the look on her face. It was priceless.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I AM -- When Life Doesn't Work Out Like You Planned

Discussion Questions:

1. It was stated in the Lesson that God has made you "once, twice, three times a lady." Where are you in this progression? Obviously we have all been physically born, but are you 'twice a lady'? Have you been born again spiritually? If you have already received this gift, write a brief prayer of thanksgiving or testimony.

I'm sorry, but for a few minutes there, all I could see in my mind's eye was Eddie Murphy as Buckwheat on SNL, singing, "Fee Tines a Mady"! But seriously, I am a lady three times over, although I never thought of it that way before. I know that He placed me where I am for reason, and now that I am reflecting on it, I thank Him for placing a missionary in my path when I was a child so that I would come to know Christ. I had made a profession of faith in 2nd grade, because all of my classmates were doing it, and it looked like great fun to be dunked in the baptistry. I had a head knowledge of Christ, so I was able to answer all of the pastor's questions and fooled everyone (including myself) that I was saved.

I went to GA camp a few summers later, and there was a missionary who led all of our worship times. I don't remember his name or where he had gone on his mission trips, but I vividly remember a demonstration that he set up one evening. He had placed a pad of art paper on an easel, and using a bullwhip he proceeded to shred it to bits. It was a visual tool to make the suffering of Christ more impactful, and boy did it work! I had seen him earlier that week showing his prowess with it by knocking tin cans off of a shelf with one flick of his wrist, and letting all of us try to use it. (It's much harder than it looks!) Seeing him use it in such a destructive way really brought Christ's sacrifice into full focus for me.
He explained that Christ chose to be beaten and crucified for me, so that I wouldn't have to endure that kind of suffering for my sins. I remember breaking down, and blindly making the trip down the aisle to the music of "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus", and I had. At that moment, I accepted Christ into my life to be in control. I became "twice" a lady.

2. Are you three times a lady? Has God given you a stirring deep within your Spirit to be a 'deliverer'? Do you have a desire or are you already meeting a need in the life of the church, a particular ministry (such as jail ministry, food ministry, etc.) or perhaps individuals who share common issues?

In the past year, I have become three times a lady. (I can't seem to stop snickering when I think or type that phrase) I never thought that I would ever be a Sunday School teacher, but here I am teaching a ladies group every week. I never thought that I would be bold enough to lead a Bible study at work, but yet I am doing it. The strange thing about teaching is that I often say things during the lesson that I never intended to say, but I feel such an urging by the Holy Spirit that I just have to. The unplanned, unbidden words that fall from my lips during those times seem to be the most impactful to the women to whom I am speaking. It's the most addicting feeling in the world, to know that God is using me and I just want to experience it over and over again!

3. Do you ever get tired of waiting for that opportunity to do something
worthwhile for God? Do you ever feel God is using someone else instead of you?

I don't think that we have to wait....God presents opportunities to do His work all of the time. What I feel is disappointment in myself when I realize that I have let an opportunity pass me by because of my own disobedience or rebellion. I know that God accomplishes His will because He is sovereign, but I feel a great deal of shame when I look back and see how much I could have done if I had only been receptive and open to the Holy Spirit.

4. What do you consider 'worthwhile ministry'? Are you like me and sometimes find yourself mistakenly thinking it has to be Big to be Important?

I used to have the "why bother?" attitude regarding ministries that were seemingly small or not important. But then I came to the realization that anything and everything God calls us to do is important. I love the words to this song:

In the harvest field now ripened,
There's a work for all to do.
Hark, the voice of God is calling,
To the harvest calling you.

Does the place you're called to labor
Seem so small and little known?
It is great if God is in it,
And He'll not forget His own.

Little is much when God is in it.
Labor not for wealth or fame.
There's a crown and you can win it,
If you go in Jesus' name.

5. Have you ever taken a spiritual gifts test? If yes, what are yours? If no, here's a good one from Ephesians 4 Ministry. Will you take it and come back with a response? Knowing some of you like I already do, I can almost pick out what your gift is before you say it. I can't wait to see if I'm right!

I had never taken one before, so I clicked the link above and discovered that I have the spiritual gifts of teaching and service. The explanation of the gifts and how we can use them and not stumble into pitfalls was really interesting.

If you want to read more about the study, click here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Esther Bible Study

"Hallelujah, Jesus"

"Hallelujah, Jesus"

If you had been at Houston's FBC around 7 pm last night, this is the song you would have heard being sung by over 3,000 women. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed. I imagined the chorus being echoed back in heaven by the angels surrounding the throne of grace. The Holy Spirit descended and settled on each and every one of us to prepare our hearts and minds for worship and study with Beth Moore.

I was sitting next to Debra, who (as she told her husband), was my blind internet date for the evening. I stumbled across her blog last week, and realized that she lived in the Houston area too and was attending the Tuesday night Esther study. I got in touch with her, and we decided to meet for an early dinner and get to know each other in person.

We sat in line (you would not believe the lines to get into the study) and ate our boxed lunches and chatted. I enjoyed our visit and it was nice to sit next to someone that I knew, because Beth frequently makes us say things to the person next to us. I am not particularly outgoing, and this is usually cause for extreme discomfort for me, but not last night. I had someone to talk to and laugh with during the study, and it was wonderful.

Debra also scored some awesome seats for us! She may be little, but she is quick. I got hung up for a few seconds while the doors were being opened but she slipped through a gap in the crowd and saved me a seat right up front! I normally sit up in the balcony area, because I don't have to fight the crowd to get a seat, and I typically have my choice of where to sit. I think it's funny to watch from above the swarm of women vying for a front row seat. Some people get there hours and hours before the doors open ensure that they get the seat they want.

Now that I have had the opportunity to sit in the front and get up close and personal with Beth, I might be willing to fight the sense of claustrophobia that envelops me when I am in a pressing crowd. And let me tell you, these women are so focused on that "seat" that personal space ceases to exist in the stampede for the prize! I don't mean to say that they are rude or pushy, but it is clear that they are ready to bolt as soon as the doors open.

So, we'll see what happens next week. Maybe I'll try for a front seat again, maybe I'll just sit up in the balcony and observe the chaos. Either way, I will be blessed just by being there.

"Hallelujah, Jesus"

Monday, September 24, 2007

Calligraphy Services

Several years ago, I discovered quite by accident that I have a modest talent for calligraphy. I wanted my wedding invitations to look nice, so I figured out a style that looked elegant to my eye and addressed all of them. That was in 1997, and since then I have done the invitations for various family members, including my brother-in-law and then my sister. They all encouraged me to start a little business for extra money, so when the opportunity arose, I took it and collected the first payment for my work.

I have been hired by several people in the past few years, but it's always been because I was in the right place at the right time, rather than good marketing. I recently fell into another opportunity, and not for the first time wished that I had a business card to include with the finished product. So, I went to the store and bought a business card printing kit and then got so excited by the results that I decided to create a web page.

I figured the easiest way for people to see samples of my work and to compare pricing was to put it on the internet. The sample page of the website is still under construction (because I have been too lazy to walk into the other room to scan a handwriting sample), but the rest of the website is more or less complete. I still need to figure out how to put a Paypal link on the site, but otherwise, I'm done.

So, if you are interested, click here to go to my website. I would love to hear your comments (good or bad), particularly from those of you who have small businesses. This is completely new territory for me and I don't want to inadvertently put something out there that is offensive or difficult to understand.

Spiritual Faux Pas Forgiven

Thank you, dear friends, for all of your comments and suggestions regarding my quiet time! I may not drop in at your house for coffee, or see you at church during the week, but I have come to know and love each of you through our mutual interest in blogging. I want you to know how much I appreciate your responses.

I decided that getting up later was not an option, so I tried saying a quick prayer before I began reading the Word, and found that He opened my eyes wide this morning! I felt like He was revealing Himself directly to me as I read and I was frantically jotting notes in the margin of my bible. At the rate I am going, the book of James in my bible is going to be overrun with my handwriting!

When I finished up with a more in-depth prayer time, I found that I had even more to praise and thank Him for because of the reading! I was so overwhelmed that I found myself on my knees in the dining room, worshiping and glorifying His name in a way that I had not done in a long time. Although I posted my frustrations about being sleepy in a slightly humorous way, it was a real problem and Satan was using it to convince me to just stay in bed. After this morning, I am renewed and my memory verses for this week are:

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

The only way that I will be consistently renewed and refreshed is by reading the Word of God and by having an active and healthy prayer life. I feel like a new person this morning!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Spiritual Faux Pas

As I sit here in my big, comfy chair, sipping on an ice cold Vanilla Coke Zero I am suddenly exhausted. Some sort of supernatural energy must have propelled me through my day, because I am completely and totally spent right now.

Strangely enough, I slept late this morning until almost 7 am because I forgot to set my alarm and Trevor didn't want to wake me. I've been getting up around 5 am for the past few weeks to have my quiet time, and it has been wonderful. Wonderful prayer time, wonderful time digging into the Word and wonderful alone time.

What is not wonderful is the actual dragging of my body out of bed at such an obscene hour of the morning. And let me tell you....although my mantra has been, "It will get easier, it will get easier" it has not! Did I mention that I am not a morning person? Did I mention that even my husband won't speak to me until I've had at least one cup of coffee? What makes me think that God Himself wants to hear what I have to say in that early morning, pre-coffee tone of voice?

Since I'm being honest here, I must also report that I have come dangerously close to falling asleep during my prayer time. I have my coffee right there in front of me, and I've had a few sips to get me going, but it feels a little disrespectful to drink coffee while conversing with the Lord of Lords, so I refrain during my prayer.

5 am + Insufficient coffee= Potential for dozing off

Am I alone here? Please tell me that I am not the only one who has jerked my head up with the horrifying realization that my thoughts had wandered and I was drifting off. My spirit is oh so willing, but my flesh is definitely weak. So I redouble my efforts and pray for focus and strength. I've tried praying with my eyes open, but I get too distracted. I've tried praying at the end of my quiet time, but I like to begin with it so that I can get in the proper state of mind for reading the Word.

I guess the important thing is that I am having a quiet time, although some mornings I think the Lord just shakes is head in disgust at my feeble attempts to communicate. I wonder sometimes if my thoughts sound as muddled as my voice does when I try to speak when I'm really tired. Some mornings, I'm just thankful to have the Holy Spirit interceding for me!

This morning was one of those mornings, and although it seemed as if my day was off to an inauspicious beginning, it turned out to be a wonderful, albeit busy, day. My mom was in town and so I was able to chat with her for most of the morning before she left to go home. Our friends Chris and Ali moved into their new house today, so we spent a good portion of our afternoon and evening helping them get settled in.
I got to bathe their son Calvin, who is almost one year old. I had forgotten how sweet it is to hold a little one in the water and then to wrap them up in a big towel to whisk them away to be slathered in lotion and put in pajamas. He is such a good natured baby and it was fun to do those baby things again. Of course, it was fun because he wasn't spending the night with me and I didn't have to get up at 2 am to comfort him. Everything is relative!

So, it's been a good day with even better friends, and I'm ending my day the way I started it....praising God for the blessings in my life and giving Him the glory for everything. And, of course, setting the coffee pot up for tomorrow morning.....
(BTW...Happy 6th Anniversary Chris and Ali!)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Esther Bible Study

I posted last Tuesday about being excited because I couldn't wait to get to the new Beth Moore Bible study after work. I have to say that I was not disappointed after all the waiting! As always, the atmosphere was charged with the Holy Spirit and the sound of 4,000 women praising God and then digging into the Word was music to my ears.

There were two reasons that I was excited when the evening came to a close. The first was the knowledge that if the introduction was awesome, then the next nine weeks are going to be phenomenal! The name of the study is "It's Tough Being a Woman" and we are going to be exploring some issues that universally plague women all over the world. I have been so blessed this past week as I have done the homework for the study, all the while anticipating what Beth will say about each point I cover during my private study.

The second reason that I was excited, was because my prayer and accountability partner was able to come to the study at the last minute, and we sat together. She rode with a group from our church on the bus, but opted to ride home with me so we could visit and catch up. It was sweet time of fellowship with her and I hope that we can do it again. God has been so good to me in the area of Christian friends and I spent a good portion of my prayer time the next morning thanking Him for it! Praise God for Godly friends!

Anyway, because the study on Esther is not published yet, I am unable to share details because of copyright laws, but I am sure over the next several weeks the effects of the study will shine through in my writing and life. I chose the scripture that is on the Living Proof Ministries blog to be my memory verse last week, and it has rolled around in my head every since then.

"For the word of God is living and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12

I pray that as I study His word that I will be convicted, broken and reshaped into a vessel that God finds pleasing and more beautiful than before.

Monday, September 17, 2007


I was watching television this evening and saw the first previews for the fall season premiers. I have two words for you....

Grey's Anatomy.

My heart jumped into my throat at the thought of reuniting with the staff at Seattle Grace for another season. So many questions many new plots to follow. Then, like a ice cube down the back of my shirt, I remembered. I remembered that I vowed to never, ever watch Grey's Anatomy again.


I was suddenly and briefly disappointed. Then I felt vaguely ashamed that a mere 5 weeks after my oath to stop watching a program that was in no way edifying, my resolve was already beginning to weaken. How sad is that?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Fun With Names

Here's my name.....

Pewter Letter X A N D Sacred R a

To make your own, go here.

Christmas in September

I am so excited! I talked to Ronna yesterday and they are planning to be here for Christmas this year! They will spend the week before Christmas with her mother and brother and then drive down to our house around the 22nd, and spend the following week with us. Whoo hoo!

I called Mama and Daddy, and Amber and David (my sister and her husband) to see if they could come over as well. Barring any natural disasters or serious scheduling issues, everyone will be here for Christmas!!!! This is wonderful news for several different reasons:

  1. The house in which I am living is also the house in which I grew up. We bought it from Mama and Daddy when they decided to move back home to Louisiana. It will be fun to have the whole family back home in the old house for Christmas again. We are so geographically spread out these days, that getting all of us together at one time is quite a challenge.

  2. I have a piano now! This means that we can sing around the piano to our heart's content and it will really "feel" like Christmas. Not to mention the fact that I will once again hear the sound of Mama's playing as I cook and work around the house.

  3. All of the cousins will be together for Christmas morning. One of my best memories ever of Christmas as a child, was the one when we stayed with my aunt and uncle Christmas Eve and all six cousins slept in one bedroom. We could barely stand the excitement of waiting for Santa Claus, and we didn't sleep much that night. When I became an adult, I learned that my parents and my aunt and uncle had a great time that night as well staying up late to assemble toys and arrange them in the living room for a crew of six children! I want my children and my brother and sister's children to have the same kinds of memories to carry into adulthood with them.

  4. My family keeps Christ in the center of the celebrations. One of my favorite traditions is the reading of the Christmas story from Luke on Christmas Eve. We have been doing this since before I was born, first at the annual family reunions at my paternal great-grandparents home when I was a small child, and then at our house as my parents established traditions of their own, and we stayed in Texas for Christmas. I remember it being sort of an honor to be asked to read the story at my great-grandparent's house. The atmosphere would change from loud and rambunctious to quiet and respectful as Papa's worn Bible was opened and read. The person reading was careful to speak loudly and clearly so that their voice could be heard throughout the house and out on the porch where people had spilled out for lack of seating. After the story was read, a prayer of thanksgiving was said over our family and then someone always sat down at the piano and played a carol to accompany the myriad of Christian voices praising God for the gift of His son. The song Silent Night echoes in my mind, but I'm sure that there were other songs sung from year to year. Only after we had focused on Christ and had a time of fellowship, did we begin opening gifts. Because of this ritual and tradition, no one ever had to tell me that presents were of minimal importance at Christmas. It was implied in the way that my family revered God and put Him first. I was never confused about Santa Claus or any of the other secular things about Christmas because I was taught at an early age what Christmas was really about.

  5. I haven't spent Christmas Eve with my family since I've been married. Actually, that's not true. We spent Nathan's second Christmas in Louisiana, but I'm talking about just my mom, dad and siblings. Trevor's family opens gifts on Christmas Eve, so we always spend it with his family and then would spend Christmas Day with mine. I know that getting married involves sharing holidays and splitting time, but even after 10 years, I still can't get used to spending Christmas away from my family. It always feel a little empty and hollow when I am not able to participate in the traditions that I hold so dear.
  6. I would be remiss if I did not mention all of the glorious food that I associate with Christmas. I come from a family of cooks and the food is always homemade and wonderful! Seriously...I could eat at Christmas and then have enough calories stored away to hibernate for a few months.

So, needless to say I am stoked about Christmas this year! As always, it will be here before we know it...I actually bought a few gifts while I was out shopping today.

I've shared a few things that I associate with it's your turn. What are some traditions that your family had growing up? Have you developed any of your own since leaving home?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I AM -- Beautiful to God

What is your initial response when anyone suggests that you are beautiful?

It really depends on how I feel about myself at the time of the compliment. If I am making progress with my weight loss and feel good about my physical appearance, then I can graciously accept those kinds of compliments. When I feel fat and awkward, I feel as though everyone who makes such a comment must be lying. My husband finds this to be more than a little annoying, because he loves me fat or thin, sick or healthy, first thing in the morning or all made up for a date. His perception of me does not change, it's just my own insecurity rearing it's ugly head.

Do you find that you engage in a lot of negative "self-talk"? How much of your thought life does this form of thinking consume?

Again, the negative "self-talk" is directly linked to the amount of weight that I have lost or gained. If I am doing well in that area, I am must less apt to talk negatively about my appearance. It's like a defense mechanism...if I point out how fat I am, or how large my thighs are, etc, I am in control. I said it first, so if someone agrees with me or continues on with the subject of my weight, it doesn't seem as hurtful as if they had brought up the subject. I spend quite a bit of my time thinking about my weight, how to lose it, how I will look when I finally get rid of it, etc. It seems like every decision I make is somehow linked to my size...what to eat, what to wear, how I will look to others as I do my day to day activities.

Has it ever occurred to you that you are a City Girl? How do you plan to use this knowledge?

I've never really thought about it in that way, although I've always known that I was a child of the King. (Actually, when I read that phrase in the study, the first thing that popped into my mind was On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Laura and her sister were looked down on by some of the girls at school because they were "country girls" instead of "city or town girls") No matter what my physical appearance, it's encouraging to know that God thinks I'm beautiful. It's funny, because when I'm teaching Sunday School or bible study, it doesn't cross my mind that I'm overweight. I get so caught up in the Word and in what God has led me to say, that those sorts of things don't even register. Maybe that's the fill me mind so completely with the things that are of God, and stay so busy being used by Him, that the value I put on my physical appearance takes a backseat to the value God puts on my soul.

(OK....I confess. I did the study last week after looking at the Round 1 version of this installment. This question is different from the new one, but I'm just going to leave it the way it is.....)

In what ways has your view of Godly beauty changed as a result of these scriptures?

This week's study and the scriptures that went along with it really made me think about what kind of beauty I am striving for. I'll never be ideal by the world's standards, but that sort of physical beauty should not be my focus. I'm not saying that I shouldn't take care of my is a temple, after all. But my value is not determined by my weight, the condition of my skin and hair or the firmness of my body. I am valued by God because Jesus bore all of my ugliness for me. All I have to do is be obedient and live my life in such a way that the beauty of Christ shines through me. I want people to look at me and immediately see that I am a beloved child of the living God. I want the glory of His character to shine on my face and to be seen in my actions.

If you want to read more about the study, click here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I Am So Lucky!!!!!!

One of the best things about living in the greater Houston area is that I have the opportunity to attend Bible studies led by Beth Moore on occasion. She is leading a 10 week study on the book of Esther and it starts tonight!!! Whoo hoo!

I can't wait for my workday to be over so I get out there to Houston's FBC and get a good seat......

Monday, September 10, 2007

Marriage Monday--Emotions

The topic today is emotion...who is the emotional one in your marriage, who holds back, and how do we handle the differences?

So, who is the emotional one in my marriage? I'm like Donkey on Shrek.... "Ooh! Ooh! Pick me! Pick me!" I am all over the chart with this one! I vacillate between burning rage and icy cold indifference. I usually am quick to admit that I have a short fuse, but the truth is that I also hold things in and let them simmer over time sometimes. It just depends on the situation.

For instance, if I have predetermined in my mind the way something is supposed to happen, I lose my cool really quickly if anything deters from The Plan. I don't like change, and if I have already decided how I think something should happen, I irrationally consider that "change" and immediately react with anger. Of course, the upside (is there an upside to anger?) is that I forget why I was mad like 5 minutes after I blow up.

This works out really well for me in my marriage because Trevor has the longest fuse of anyone that I have ever met. He is patient and very slow to anger. I can count on one hand in the 10 years that we have been married the number of times that he has truly been angry with me. I stopped counting the times I was angry after the first month. This is not to say that I don't irritate him or do things that make him mad, but he doesn't show it the way that I do.

Having said that, when he does get mad you better get out of his way. It literally takes years for me to mouth off one time too many, and then he lets me have it. I leave it all hanging out there for anyone to see, and he holds it in until he can't stand it anymore.

But, like I said, I am all over the chart in this area. Although I typically am quick to anger, and then forget why I was mad just as rapidly (a trait that my husband finds most annoying!), I do have the capacity to stew and simmer about something that is bothering me. If I let it get under my skin, I can hold a grudge and be coldly dismissive for a very long time. I think if the truth be told, Trevor would rather have the fiery hot temper in lieu of the cold grudge. At least with the outbursts he knows what he's dealing with right up front, which feeds his analytical, engineer brain. He knows that when he asks me what's wrong and I say "nothing" that he should just back away slowly and prepare for a siege.

The problem with this response is that by the time I feel he has "suffered" enough and I'm getting over it, he is just reaching the end of his fuse with how I am behaving. He's finally had enough, and I don't understand what he's getting so worked up about!

As you can imagine, the wild variances in my temper also translate into other emotions. I'm wildly joyful about the simplest things, and sometimes overly negative about others. The great thing about Trevor is that my wild emotions are tempered by his ability to handle pressure and to go with the flow. After all of these years, he can see the pre-anger signs more often and put out the spark before it turns into a roaring fire. Now that all this is written out for me to see in black and white, I'm starting to think that I might need to seek professional help!

I often need to be reminded by Trevor to think before I speak in anger, and I have been actively working on this area of my life for some time now. I am starting a self-study of James with this particular personality trait of mine in mind!

For more Marriage Monday, go here.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Up on the Mountain

I got up early again this morning and had my quiet time. No kids, no husband...just me and God. I spent time in prayer preparing myself for reading scripture and had such a revealing, intimate time with the Lord.

I met with my prayer/accountability partner (Ali) this morning and was doubly blessed today with our conversation and prayer. As we talked about our week and the scriptures that we had been reading, I discovered that she had also pulled out an old copy of Beth Moore's Whispers of Hope to help her in her quiet time. As Ronna would say, "Yay God!" I felt that it was more than coincidence that we had picked up the same book for study. I felt so in line with what God wants for my life and I am excited that I am progressing and maturing spiritually. This is one of those "mountain" times for me, and my prayer is that I will be able to persevere through the "valley" times that may be ahead.

It's been a lazy Saturday. I have done nothing more strenuous than bake and frost a layer cake for our friend's birthday party tonight. We're going over for fajitas (thank you Lord, for letting me live in Texas!) and fellowship with some of our dearest friends. I am so blessed that I barely have the words for it....

Friday, September 7, 2007

Time Alone With God

I should probably start by saying that I am not a morning person. This will come as no surprise to those who know me, but I felt that it was important to point it out.

I read Melissa's blog, and followed the link the the 5:00 am Club and was intrigued. I have been very rebellious regarding my quiet time with God and being in the Word aside from my Sunday School and bible study preparation. I have become so accustomed to either not having one at all, or just doing it when it seems convenient that I have completely forgotten what a blessing it is to start my day with real prayer and meditation.

I am ashamed to admit that the last time I really tried to commit myself to a regular quiet time was back in 2003. This is one area of my Christian walk where I am really weak, and I have been convicted of it in recent months. So, this morning I got up at 5:20am and prepared to have my quiet time before the kids rolled (leaped) out of bed. I felt like I needed something to guide me, so I pulled the Beth Moore book Whispers of Hope off the bookshelf, blew off the dust and dug in.

The book is intended to encourage prayer life (another area where I feel like I fail over and over again) and I was so excited to rediscover this tool that would help me stengthen my two weakest points. The devotional is broken up into 70 days of prayer and meditation and I was horrified that I only did 6 of them the last time.


Six measly days. That's as long as I could manage to stick with my quiet time.


So, as you can imagine, I was excited about renewing my commitment to the Lord and to really dig into the Word and be more consistent with my prayer life. As I started to sit down at the table, I decided that I would rather have my shower and get dressed first so that I would be ready when the kids got up. Once I was dressed and ready for work, I went back to the kitchen for a cup of coffee before I sat down to begin.

I can't tell you how good it felt to unburden my heart to the Lord! I felt like a huge weight had been lifted..."Create in me a clean heart!" my soul cried, and God heard my prayer. I was refreshed and ready to dive into the Word, open to whatever He wanted me to see and understand.

I ended up reading the chapters that contained the verses I had committed to memorize earlier in the week, and I was overcome by the truth in what I was reading. I was really getting absorbed the Word, when Gracie came shuffling into the kitchen in her Pull-up. (I guess I'll do quiet time before the shower tomorrow!) My reading became a little sporadic as I dealt with all of her questions and needs as she got dressed. I had to keep reminding myself to be patient with her (it seemed wrong to yell and fuss while I was reading the there a lesson here?)When I told her to go put her shoes on, this is how she appeared.....

After a quick shoe change, I finally got her settled in the playroom with a DVD and was able to finish my reading. When I said my final "amen", I felt so good and ready to face the day. I can't wait for tomorrow morning and the chance to do it all over again.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful that:
  • I have a prayer and accountability partner that I meet with once a week.
  • She loves coffee as much as I do.
  • She encouraged me to get a notebook in which to record scripture that I want to memorize and to write prayer requests.
  • I remember to write in it!
  • We have the financial ability to fly to DC in October so I can attend a conference with my wonderful sister-in-law at her church.
  • Trevor made it home safely from always makes me nervous when he travels.
  • Nathan is adjusting well to 1st grade and that he still screams my name in joy when he sees me come through the front door after work.
  • My daughter has an independent spirit (although I don't feel thankful when I'm watching her balance precariously on the edge of the fort on the swing set).

To be perfectly honest, I'm just thankful in general. I genuinely believe that things could always be worse, and that we should be happy with what we have been given.

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!

Praise Him all creatures here below!

Praise Him above ye heavenly host!

Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost!


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Commentary Contest

I am all about reading commentaries. Especially commentaries with Reformed theology. There is a drawing for 6(!) commentaries at Challies and I am feverishly crossing my fingers and hoping that my name will be pulled. (please, please, please, pleeeaaase!)

Anyway, if you are interested in throwing your name into the hat, just click on the link below. Good luck!

sept Giveaway

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

It's Just Wax

As I write this, Trevor is laying on the living room floor with both kids rolling around on top of him. This is one of their favorite pastimes. The more rambunctious, the better.

As I watch them, I am struck by how happy our lives are and how quickly it could all change. Trevor is flying to Tulsa on business tomorrow and I always experience a bit of anxiety when he travels. My mind always wanders down that road. You know the one....what if he never comes back? What if his plane goes down, or he gets in a terrible traffic accident, or there is a tornado? Even worse, who is going to do all the dirty work around here?

I had a renewed appreciation for my husband this past weekend. Without going into the gory details, our sewage pipes backed up and needed immediate repair. This happened, of course, on the Sunday night before Labor Day and we didn't even want to contemplate the cost associated with calling a plumber out on a holiday. So, Trevor pulled up a few deck boards to access the pipes and started trying to clear what he assumed was a blockage.

Three hours later, after threading the water hose through the pipe no less than 23 times, trying the power washer once or twice and then going back to the water hose he finally got the water flowing through the pipes again. It will still probably require a professional plumber, but at least we can call him at our leisure and after adequate time to budget some money for the visit.

As I sat in the front yard at 10:30 at night with him, I was overcome with laughter. His arm was literally up to the shoulder in the pipe and you would not believe the stuff that was overflowing out of it. I got the giggles, because of an incident that took place about a year ago. In the days following my grandfather's funeral, my brother, Trevor and my brother-in-law David went about fixing things in my grandmother's house. One of the jobs was replacing both toilets which were original to the house when Granny and Gramps built it.

If you have ever seen the wax ring that sits under the toilet, you will understand this story. It's a light brown color when it's new, and after time has passed it turns to a really gross dark brown color. So, as the boys got further and further along with the toilet replacement, the cleanliness (or lack thereof) of their hands became the running joke.

Every time one of them would touch something questionable, they would just say in a not-so- convincing tone of voice, "It's just wax."

So, as I sat there watching Trevor slog through our sewage, we kept saying, "It's just's just wax." We were tired and the situation had stopped being fun about an hour and a half earlier. I could not stop laughing but at the same time I was so appreciative of Trevor and his willingness to touch all of that "wax" to fix our plumbing.

If I had been single when the toilet overflowed and covered our bathroom floor, I would have shrugged, cleaned up the water and paid a plumber my children's college savings to get the problem fixed. But, because I have an amazing man who can fix anything, I don't have to do that.

So, here's to a safe trip and arriving home in one piece. Seriously. I don't do wax.