Sunday, December 31, 2006

December 31, 2006

Revelation 21:5
And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Dancer For Money

I'm your private dancer

I need....

1. A vacation.
2. A total house make-over.
3. A pony tail (I'm already tired of styling my hair for all of the three minutes it requires). This should be fun to grow out. I blame you.
5. Time to read all my new books.
6. A purse I like. Apparently it doesn't exist.
7. To take my Christmas tree down.
8. A manicure.
9. To study my Bible.
10.To clean out my car.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Bloggers & Other Wanderers

As you can see, I'm working on a new look for the new year and the one year birthday of my blog. I am a techno-dummy so I'm slow and not at all efficient in this task. I won't even tell you how long this effort has taken me. For those of you listed in the Blogfam links whose links won't link, I apologize. I've called in Jay for tech support but he is fed up with me and tired of playing blog for the night. I may work a little longer or I may just grab one of my new books and call it a night. I'll do my best to hook everybody up over the weekend.
I'm exhausted.
Hey! I finally realized that I had my blog set to Pacific Time! Now I don't have to change the time every day!

Thursday, December 28, 2006


'til you just can't boogie no more.

Oh Dear

Don't be alarmed but when I was driving home from work Mac called my cell to make sure I didn't need to go to the bathroom.
Got home to find the bathroom gutted. No toilet, no sink, walls painted a different color. Floor, uh, missing.
Wish I would've brought a cath kit home from work.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Gifts

We don't purposefully pursue huge piles of Christmas gifts. I've never been one to need to see boxes to the ceiling to feel Christmasy. Nonetheless, somehow when Christmas morning rolls around there we sit in the middle of wrapping paper and boxes and presents galore.
I'm at a kind of a nice point in my life, the lean days of not enough money are becoming more memory than reality now. And boy am I glad! But I gotta tell ya, this new-found prosperity makes Christmas a little more challenging, believe it or not. Because there's not all that much we are waiting and hoping for in December. I want a new pair of earrings; I go buy 'em. CDs, perfume, get the idea. Same with daboyz and the Mr. We're blessed. And grateful.
So as I sat in the middle of this great abundance on Christmas morning I was curious about what I'd receive from these three guys. I had no doubt that the shopping had to be a challenge.
So what did I open up?
Love. Sweetness. Thoughtfulness. And my favorite gift of all. One I never get tired of. One that thrills me every time I open it. The gift of being known.
I got eight new books. Everyone looks better than the last. Everyone I would've chosen myself.
I got a soft and warm fleece hoody in the color everyone at works says is "your color", I mean my color. You know what I mean.
I got two new pairs of Sketchers. Need I elaborate?
I got a stack of new washcloths, something I'd mentioned in passing a month ago to the Mr. that I wanted.
I got a clear coffee mug which is the perfect thing to drink coffee from and a bag of Starbucks to go with.
I got my new favorite flavor body spray that I didn't even know was my favorite from T~ with a fabulously ridiculously trivially important book in a Hanukkah bag. Perfection.
I got Wyatt fudge and Margie cookies.
I got two, TWO quilts and a groovy watch set with multiple bands from my staff at work.
I got lots of other stuff too, all perfect in all kinds of different ways.
I got a beautiful, crazy mixed up pile of me wrapped in shiny paper and bows.
From a beautiful crazy mixed up buncha people that know me.
Man, do I love that.
I am humbled and thankful.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

They used to wake us up before dawn to see if Santa came, now we often get out of bed early and make noise hoping they'll awaken to join us.
They've had Christmases of wild extravagance and those when a new winter coat was their main gift.
Now they watch A Charlie Brown Christmas with me because they know I love it.
Their eyes sparkle when the old Christmas ornaments are unpacked as they remember the years gone by. They talk about the days when their Great Grandpas were alive and how thankful they are for the memories.
We don't go see Santa at the mall anymore and we don't get special Christmas pictures taken in velvet knee pants and Peter Pan shirts. No more treasure hunts for "guys" led by clues and maps made by their dad on Christmas morning (this was how they found their action figures in the old days.)
Jay can't eat wheat, maybe Mac can't either. No more sticky buns and hot sweet tea on Christmas morning. It's coffee all around, or maybe cocoa. We use my Gramma's Irish coffe mugs and it's special all the same.
The children's Christmas programs are memories and the sloppy wonderful homemade ornaments are too.
I didn't fulfill their every Christmas wish, but they fulfilled mine.
My heart, my soul and my undeserved gifts...daboyz.
Time will fly faster then reindeer and sleighs my friends; cherish the moments.
And from our home to yours, a very Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

December 24, 2006

Luke 2
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Who IsThis Christ?

1. Wonderful
2. Counselor
3. Prince of Peace
4. Holy One
5. Redeemer
6. Lion of the Tribe of Judah
7. Ancient of Days
8. Savior
9. Messiah

Friday, December 22, 2006

He Knows If You've Been Bad or Good...

So off I went to work this morning with the boss's card needing at least 15 more signatures and my Godiva chocolates to go with proving I am a loyal and thoughtful Clinical Coordinator.
Got there and found out through a staffing error we were short a nurse. Then we had fourteen discharges (this means nothing to anyone but the nurses out there, I know.) It was very un-festive.
Two patients got into a fight because Schizophrenic A was convinced that Schizophrenic B was the "little tiny man from Kalamazoo" who lives under her pillow and "grows giant in the Lord" to preach on Sundays. Schizophrenic B was quite alarmed at this news and was trying to "disappear" Schizophrenic A so he didn't have to climb under her pillow. Security was called, shots were fired, I mean administered.
After work was the Behavioral Services celebration at a local joint I think might be a bar or something like it. Planned for weeks. I promised to be there. I should've gone there. I just couldn't go there. I couldn't give one more moment of my life to my job, even if there were free chicken fingers involved. I was fried and couldn't wait to get home to daboyz and the Mr. There ain't a connection to be had or a conversation to be conversated that could've convinced me.
I went by the uniform shop to get a Christmasy scrub shirt for Sunday because I'm working. They didn't have any I loved being that I've waited too long so I settled for one I didn't hate. Pulled out my coupon. Expired. The sweet cashier let me use it anyway.
I finished up there and left, feeling worn out and truthfully knowing I should have gone by the party but unable to make the car drive in that direction. Got almost to my street and realized in the crazy day I had at work, I hadn't finished the boss cards nor given the boss her Godiva chocolate bar which was still in my purse. So I ate it. God help me I ate that sucker as I drove through my neighborhood and I don't care. Clearly I'll have to re-purchase before Tuesday when I'll sheepishly present my late card and replacement candy.
I'm glad to be home although there is a lingering odor that I think might be cabbage from the corned beef and cabbage I made the other day. I think the leftovers got scraped into the garbage so I gotta check in to that.
I'm worn out. Wish I'd have gone to that party, glad I didn't. Will regret it tomorrow.
Then I walked into my living room and there on my tree is a brand new sock monkey/zebra. Jay reports my mom came by with it earlier.
Now why in the world would I want to be anywhere else when there are three men, a warm house and a brand new sock monkey/zebra just waiting to welcome me home?
Think I'll change the garbage bag, light a few candles and let the day roll away...
Maybe it's not bad or good, for goodness sake...
It's just life. Actually it's good even when I'm bad.
Kinda like Jesus.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas, What A Gas

To your left is a picture of me as I finished up my Christmas shopping this evening. What you cannot see in this picture is me attempting to drive in the dark raining Michigan night (dark because it was 5:00 p.m.) and weaving uncertainly on the road quite unsure of exactly where the lane was. It is also hard to identify my main preoccupation throughout the affair, which was horrific gas pains caused by a giant salad I ate for dinner in some attempt to control the damage wrought by a week of cookies, baklava, and other assorted yummies at work. Unfortunately now I am fat and gassy. Seriously, gas hurts. Stop laughing. It is quite remarkable that I look so composed in this picture.
The malls and stores had not been very busy on my last few trips when the majority of my shopping was done. Tonight however, the worm had turned.
I actually had to wait for a full minute for a break in traffic to make a pedestrian left into a store from the mall corridor. Mac was chatting nonstop obvlivous to my rising panic and have I mentioned that I was experiencing some discomfort at the time?
All this , mind you, was because the same thing happens every year. I am not an over-buyer. I love to buy for those nearest and dearest to me. But most people are not near nor dear to me. And even amongst those chosen few we have either agreed not to exchange (MARGIE!! YOU BETTER NOT HAVE BOUGHT ME A GIFT!!!!) or we have drawn names. I don't feel the need to buy for every one I work with, the boss, the parking lot line painter, etc. At the start of this final work week before Christmas one of my co-workers asked if we were "doing anything" for our two immediate supervisors. "I'm not!" That's what I said. "I'm not!" I would've pitched in should a collection hat gone 'round. But I like to keep it real. Actually I'm lazy. But anyway.
Then this morning it hits me, what the freak is wrong with me? I have to at least acknowledge my co-workers! The stack of cards in my mail box and the gifts I've already received make it even harder to stick to my guns.
I had plans for my staff, mind you. I've got their small and inconsequential prizes ready for distribution. But my manager and director? Sigh.
So I grabbed a few cards to pass around for mass signature. Of course, this means that 50% of the people won't have signed and I'll have to fill in their names. I picked up some Godiva chocolate bars.
Also had to buy something for my grandmother which is slightly more challenging than bringing a worthy gift to Baby Jesus. I bought her a purple sweater. On the way home I remembered the purple sweater she gave me a few months ago she had purchased for herself and not liked. Too bad. Grandma's getting another purple sweater.
I still don't think I have enough stuffing stockers.
I hope Santa brings me some Mylanta.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

I know that most people in Michigan dread snow, but come on! It's almost 50 degrees today! I'm pretty sure reindeer get sick if it's this warm!
To the right you will find a picture of my house last year at Christmas. As you can see, it's ever so charming. How can you resist having the holiday spirit when it's snowy and glowy?
Come kids! There's no time to loose. We must pray for snow!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Keeping Watch By Night

Sometimes you search the sky looking for that Star of Bethlehem to guide you and you just can't find it.
Everybody knows my son, Jay, has Celiac Disease. We dont' like it. But he manages. He adheres to a strict diet and that controls the disease. When he inadvertantly consumes something containing gluten, he pays and ugly price and we're reminded what a nasty disease it is.
Yesterday our younger son, Mac, was assessed for Celiac Disease. He will have blood drawn for a definitive diagnosis on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. He has the more subtle symptoms of ealier disease that we missed in Jay. One of the more not-so-subtle symptoms is that he's lost 13 pounds in not quite two months. This from the not-so-subtle lack of appetite he's acquired in that time. My big football player son is starting to look a little skinny.
And I'm reminded how fragile life is.
There is no bright and shining star to guide me to a stable where all will be made right and my boys will be made whole. Just the same sky and the same ground and sounds and sights that were there last week before it hit me that he's sick. Like a few years ago before we had heard of Celiac Disease.
I won't play hero. I'm sad. I don't understand this. Why would one, much less both, of my kids end up with this bizarre autoimmune disorder that no one has ever heard of? There's a loud loop playing in my head accusing me of doing something that caused this and it compels me to examine their infancy to identify my crime. I'm mad with no one to be mad at. I'm afraid without an escape route in sight. I'm stomping my feet and screaming it's not fair.
Even so, I know there is indeed a safe refuge when I decide to lift up my head. The star continues to shine for those who really seek it. And the stable is empty, but my Redeemer remains waiting for my wounded heart. No longer a baby but a Savior.
We'll take the tests and wait for the results and ask for your prayer in the meantime. Something is causing this weight loss and poor appetite. Maybe Celiac is the least of the threats looming on the horizon.
No gold, frankincense or myrhh today from me. I bring sadness, anger and fear to lay at the throne.
And even as these run through my fingers like sand one thing remains...I will worship.
Come and sing a song unto Zion for Jay and Mac today, ok?

Sunday, December 17, 2006

December 17, 2006

Isaiah 59:20
And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Happy Hannukah!

1. Relax, Jesus was Jewish!
2. Matzo ball soup, yummy!
3. Light that shines forever (sound familiar?)
4. Dreidal
5. 8 Crazy Nights (terrible movie)
6. Mennorahs
7. Gentiles who can't spell Hebrew words and spellcheckers that can't help.
8. Presents for eight nights!
9. Jehovah
10.The holidays are like buttah, enjoy!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Just A'Swingin'

My son has decided to take swing lessons and has recruited me to join him if he "can't find anybody else."
Needless to say I'm flattered. At right is a picture of the Mr. and I just the other evening.
Who out there is brave enough to join the fun for a little winter-time exercise? Think how fabulous we'll look come spring!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Only because I love Kelly...

Will I respond to this blog tag crap!

A - Available or single: Umm. Unavailable and double.

B - Best Friend: The Mr., My Metro Homegirls (you know who you are), Fam

C - Cake or Pie: Yes please.

D - Drink of choice: Black coffee

E - Essential Item you use everyday: Moisturizer

F - Favorite color: Green

G - Gummy Bears or worms: worms

H - Hometown: Taylor, Michigan

I - Indulgence: Chips & Dip

J - January or February: January

K - Kids & Names: 2, Jay & Mac

L - Life is Incomplete Without? Jesus & Those 3 men I live with.

M - Marriage Date: October 25, 1986

N - Number of Siblings: 1

O - Oranges or Apples: Oranges

P - Phobias or Fears: Failure.

Q - Fave Quote: If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do matters very much. Jackie Kennedy

R - Reason to Smile: Life

S - Season: Autumn

T - Tag 3 or 4 people: If you're reading, you're tagged.

U - Unknown Fact about Me: I stuttered terribly in school.

V- Vegetable You Don't Like: Red peppers since an unfortunate food poisoning.

W - Worst Habit: Intolerant.

X - Xrays: Nose when Baby Jay wacked me with his bottle.

Y - Your Fave Food: PASTA

Z - Zodiac Sign: Taurus but it's all a bunch of bull. Ha!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Rejoice! Rejoice!

"Do you find Christmas just isn't as exciting as when you were a kid?" This from a co-worker just the other day.

I told her I love Christmas, no, I'm just as excited now as ever about the holidays. We chatted a few minutes and away she went. I felt a little sorry for her, wondering why Christmas used to be exciting and now it wasn't. I thought about it quite a lot. Have been thinking for several days now. I think I have figured it out.


As a kid I loved the sparkling lights, stockings on the mantel, surprises under the tree. I loved the Christmas specials on television, the family celebrations and the special food. New Christmas outfits for church and sacred moments at our church's Christmas service the Sunday before Christmas.

I loved decorated classrooms and Christmas cookies baking and Christmas carols on our record player. I loved it all. And today, I love it all.

Not because of cookies or presents or lights and tinsel but because I was raised not to observe Christmas but to celebrate it. I am afraid that too many people caught up in the festivities of childhood Christmases were only observing the prettiness and perhaps never learned to celebrate. Because to celebrate, we need something to celebrate over. Lacking the celebration, even sparkling lights and shining gifts can grow commonplace.

My kids aren't little any more. They go to bed with a wink and a grin on Christmas Eve and stumble into the living room on Christmas morning with sleepy eyes knowing that Santa has come to fill their stockings. They have grown, like me, to treasure the old ornaments that have now become a part of their childhood which has gone by us so quickly. They aren't tired of Christmas either. They are not observers, you see.

We are celebrators of our own redemption. We are stunned at every consideration of Emanuel, God with us. I cannot hang enough lights nor sing enough songs to do justice to this miracle. No, not the miracle of a virgin birth or a star leading wise men to a manger. Not angels speaking to shepherds. None of this is worth a celebration. I celebrate my birth on Christmas. And the birth of my husband, my sons and all those who are called to this Christ of Christmas carols and candle-lit chapels.

So this is why Christmas is more exciting for me today than when I was a kid. And it is my prayer that this is a tradition my kids will carry on to the generations beyond. If you are a celebrator and not an observer, the Christmas lights will forever be exciting with the knowing of your salvation.

So little boys (like the ones pictures here in 1989) and little girls who wished for Barbies and Love's Baby Soft, will never lose the child-like amazement at God, with us.

Am I the only one crying?

O come, O come, Emmanuel, And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here. Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Wisdom from on high, Who orderest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show, And teach us in her ways to go.


O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save, And give them victory over the grave.


O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.


O come, Thou Key of David, come, And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high, And close the path to misery.


O come, O come, great Lord of might, Who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times once gave the law. In cloud and majesty and awe.


O come, Thou Root of Jesse’s tree, An ensign of Thy people be;
Before Thee rulers silent fall; All peoples on Thy mercy call.


O come, Desire of nations, bind. In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease, And be Thyself our King of Peace.


(John McNeal)

Monday, December 11, 2006

A Long Winter's Nap

The electric blanket is on as I snuggle down into my black wrought iron canopy bed. Beside me lies the love of my life, the Mr. The temperatures plummit as is the way of winter Michigan nights. Bright starlight shines outside as the house quiets and settles creaking on time-worn foundations.
I become aware of something then. It is familiar enough to not alarm, and yet powerful enough to disturb the slumber I seek. It parts my hair and makes me squint as I open my eyes in frustration. What is this force that interrupts the chill night air and steals away the promise of sweet, warm sleep?
Is it the famed Nor' Easter?
A blizzard? The Winter Warlock of Christmas tales come to vent his wrath on mankind?
No, it's the Mr. with this freak high-powered exhale he does when he sleeps. Sometimes accompanied by skull-vibrating snoring but oftentimes just a weird pursed lip sort of rotten night-breath blast either into my face or the back of my head.
There is no way any person could exhale this hard and not be doing it intentionally.
It makes me want to sock him in the eye.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

December 10, 2006

Matthew 1:19-21
But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Do You Smell What I Smell?

1. Almond extract.
2. Pumpkin spice.
3. Gingerbread.
4. Coffee (of course!)
5. Evergreen.
6. Cold snow & furnace heat.
7. Cinnamon.
8. Cookies baking.
9. Ham.
10.Organza Perfume (my favorite from the Mr. for Christmas 2 years ago.)

Friday, December 08, 2006

Dance of the Sugarplum Godfather

The one thing that can solve most of our problems is dancing.
James Brown

Thursday, December 07, 2006

When You're Strange...

I don't generally respond to these tag type blog deals; but I'm tired and lacking inspiration today so I'll play nice with MSU gal's challenge to identify my weirdnessess. Only we're gonna play by my rules.
What do you guys think is weird about me?

Be nice.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Visions of Biscotti Danced In Our Heads

Every year the Mr, the Metroband and a few others show up at the hospital to sing Christmas carols with the patients on the psychiatric unit and the Alzheimer's unit.
That is not what this post is about.
Sunday afternoon the Mr. sat down with his bass and his sheet music to practice for the upcoming carolling.
That is not what this post is about.
So Dean makes himself a cup of hot tea, gets out his bass and settles on to the floor. I gave him one of my Stella Dora Biscotti to go with his hot tea. He doesn't want to eat it right away but he's worried that if he puts it down the dog will eat it.
THAT is what this post is about.
So he put the biscotti behind his ear, like a pencil.
And he is singing Jingle Bells softly to himself as he practices.
And the dog comes flying by out of nowhere, leaps at him and grabs the biscotti then continues running down the hall to eat it.
Yes, the Mr. does have a slightly injured dog-bitten ear.
What kind of yuletide freak show am I living in over here?
THAT is really what this post is about.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Immunized By Love?

It's a silly thing. A moment that passed in a flash but more slowly in my heart. Meaningless beyond the confines of those ten seconds. Of no import to the outside world, no hidden lesson in it. Nothing for you to take away to apply in your home. Just a silly moment with five people, a bon fire and a cup of hot apple cider.
We went to Greenfield Village on Saturday for their Holiday Evenings Event. It was cold. FREEEEZing. Long underwear, snot frozen to your nose, fashion sense long-gone cold.
Here and there on the street corners were little bon fires to stop and warm up a bit before venturing on. Scattered throughout were chestnut (roasted on an open fire) stands, strolling muffin vendors and hot cider & cocoa stands. We gathered around a fire and the Mr. took orders for hot drinks. A little bit of debate amongst us all concerning cocoa vs. hot apple cider. What to choose? We placed our orders with about an even half split.
Back came the Mr. with the hot drinks, my parents sharing a cocoa and the Mr. with his hot cider. So the Mr. takes a sip and passes it to me. I take a sip and offer it to my dad, my mom. Mac tries it too. Then back to Dean who finishes the remaining cider.
Just a passing inconsequential moment around a bonfire. The least of all the moments of the evening to be sure. Not worthy of a photograph. Not even commented upon in the moment. Certainly not blog material. But sweet to my mind.
In a world of air kisses and pocket-sized hand sanitizer we still drink out of each others cups and kiss on the lips. I heard nothing of germs, "I've got a cold", "Do you have a cold?" Not a pause in accepting the community hot apple cider. No second thoughts by the Mr. on finishing what was left of his drink after passing it by four other people.
I don't know, I just liked it; this fleeting breath of a moment. To my silly heart it spoke of unconditional unflinching crazy passionate devoted germ-infested love.
Nobody ever gets sick from that.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Jack Frost Nipping At Your Nose

The Mr., Daboyz, Dad & Mom, sister Amy and guest Sara (a different Sara)and I went to Greenfield Village for what may become a yearly tradition. I'll tell ya when we thaw out. Kathy and Brooke were scheduled to come along too but Miss B got an earache and ended up staying home to all of our disapopintment. I think we have to go again next year just to include the two absentees!
Anyway, for the first time in my life, I had chestnuts roasted on an open fire. A steaming warm paper bag full. Let me tell you, fire-roasted chestnuts are high on Christmasiness and Yuletide fun. And gross. Nonetheless we passed them around, peeling off the woody shell to nibble away at the spongy meat-like inner-nut. Then we smilingly offered each other the remainder of the bag. Then I crammed them into Mac's backpack when he wasn't looking.
So I have in my possession roughly 20 leftover now cold chestnuts roasted on an open fire. I gave some to the dog and it was good times for several minutes while she spit them out, rolled around on them and tried to break them open. When I finally peeled one for her and gave her the nut itself, she spit it out and walked away. Jazz lacks Christmas spirit if you ask me.
So I'm thinking I might go buy some miniature wreathes and hot glue those bad boys on them for each of we Greenfield Villagers as a keepsake of the evening. I'm not at all artsy craftsy but I think I could manage that. Perhaps I could fashion some kind of Christmas ornament or something. Or some earrings for my mom.
Next year we will probably have forgotten that we were so cold we couldn't feel the snot dripping off our noses and that our legs actually stung as they thawed. We will have rewritten history so that the pitch black danger of the Village paths will have become lit with the golden glow of kerosene lanterns along the way (which throw off less than no light, let me tell you.)
We will call the $2.00 hot cocoa worth the price and laughingly pull out the long-johns and yank our hats down to our eyeballs.
My guess is off we'll go en masse to Greenfield Village Holiday Evenings because this crowd only needs one go at something before we grab it, call it a tradition and claim it as our own.
Will I buy another bag of chestnuts roasted on an open fire?
My mom's gonna need a necklace to go with those earrings.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

December 3, 2006

John 4:25
The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us."

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Do You See What I See?

1. It's A Wonderful Life
2. Charlie Brown Christmas
3. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
4. The Man Who Came To Dinner
5. Holiday Inn
6. Little Women
7. Miracle on 34th Street (original)
8. White Christmas
9. Ruldoph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
10.Frosty The Snowman

Friday, December 01, 2006

And A One And A Two

It's off to the symphony with us this evening! Mozart's Mass it is. He really should see someone and have that thing removed....
Will let you now all about it later!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!!

Had a great dinner with Margie and Phyl this evening. Sat on the beautiful furniture. Shared some giggles and some talk and some life. And did I mention a fantastic dinner? Even got the leftovers to bring home!
Today they are promising snow tomorrow. Snow! I love snow! Don't love cleaning my car or driving in it so I'd like to be inside somewhere watching it fall but if it comes, I won't be complaining.
White Christmas ahead?
Anybody up for a round of reindeer games?

Sleigh Ride!

Ok here is my dirty Christmas secret. I am so ashamed. Of all the beautful, holy Christmas music out there; this is my favorite.

Sleigh Ride
Written by Leroy Anderson

Just hear those sleigh bells jingling
Ring-ting-tingling too
Come on, it's lovely weather
For a sleigh ride together with you.

Outside the snow is falling
And friends are calling "Yoo-hoo!"
Come on, it's lovely weather
For a sleigh ride together with you.

Giddy-up, giddy-up, giddy-up, let's go
Let's look at the show
We're riding in a wonderland of snow
Giddy-up, giddy-up, giddy-up, it's grand
Just holding your hand
We're riding along with a song
Of a wintry fairyland!

Our cheeks are nice and rosy
And comfy cozy are we
We're snuggled up together
Like two birds of a feather would be

Let's take that road before us
And sing a chorus or two
Come on, it's lovely weather
For a sleigh ride together with you

There's a birthday party at the home of Farmer Gray
It'll be the perfect ending of a perfect day
We'll be singing the songs we love to sing
Without a single stop
By the fireside where we watch the chestnuts pop
(Pop pop pop!)

There's a happy feeling nothing in the world can buy
When we pass around the coffee and the pumpkin pie
It'll nearly be like a picture print by Currier & Ives
These wonderful things are the things
We remember all through our lives

Just hear those sleigh bells jingling
Ring-ting-tingling too
Come on, it's lovely weather
For a sleigh ride together with you.

Outside the snow is falling
And friends are calling "Yoo-hoo!"
Come on, it's lovely weather
For a sleigh ride together with you.

What's your favorite Christmas carol?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Oh Christmas Tree!

First of all let me say that the Mr. put up and decorated the tree while I was at work which I appreciate but also means it's not over loaded with all the stuff I feel I need to put up every year! I added a few touches of my own; see if you can spot them.
Moving on, there's the clear bulb I bought in high school and kept in my hope chest for two years waiting for my own home. Got it at Hudson's on clearance after the holidays in 1984.
There's the red bass guitar, in honor of some sexy musician I know.
There are snow babies dating back to Jay's birth in 1988 and as recent as last year in honor of daboyz. There's the required Frankenmuth names bulbs and the Hungarian bulb that once hung on my gramma and grampa's tree.
There are baby's first Christmas x 2 and Yukon Cornelius and homemade ornaments made for us by friends. There's the tree topper that's an angel/labrador retriever just because it's funny.
There are Christopher Radko's and knock-offs thereof that are my absolute favorite kind of ornament. I got my first a few years back; a little penguin my mom had attached to a gift. It was the beginning of a love affair. Everytime I see them in a store I have to stop and stare for a while.
I have hand-made ornaments tucked away in the attic that I don't display anymore because they've grown too fragile with age. They were made by chubby little boy hands that I can still feel in my own when I look at the crumbling gingerbread houses from days gone by.
There are nurse ornaments, of course. And a Summit Academy Dragons #51 ornament from just last year before we knew that it would be Mac's last on the field. Now it hangs from our tree in tribute to his heart.
There are the little Bible character ornaments that I bought when daboyz were tiny as gifts for their Sunday School teachers and liked them so much, I bought extra for myself.
Oh, that's just the beginning of my un-fabulous sentimental Christmas tree.
Have you spotted those Sara touches yet?

This post dedicated to Margie; who inspires me with her Christmas tree and in many other ways every day.

One Day At A Time

By no means am I a prolific writer. But I do have a particular method by which I write. Generally I make notes of my thoughts and feelings; whatever's rattling around in my heart. When I have the time; I sit down at my computer and write essays about those ideas. Said essays become my posts. I write anywhere from five to fifteen at a time; save them and then post them when I feel God nudging me. Some never show up and more than once I've gone back and deleted something I realized in hindsight was all me and no HIM.
I'm not saying that every day there is something comparable to Daily Bread here. You know full well it's just as much foolishness as anything else. I'm just explaining the way I work. And in fact, I'm curious. How do you write?
Well, this time of year there is a definate shift in the gears of my spirit. I'm a winter and holiday lover. Being that this is the first week following Thanksgiving; this traditionalist is proclaiming the Holiday Season of 2006 official. And with it the expected ruminations in my own spirit and daily re-examination of my life and my blessings.
This time of year; it all comes into sharper focus for me. My redemption. The Gift we prepare to celebrate. I'm a sentimental fool for the next four weeks.
So in honor of this; I'm going to manage this blog a little differently too. I'm going to write daily about whatever's on this holiday-leaning heart. It might be deep and insightful but it's likely to be silly and celebratory. Because that is what I am this time of year. Deep-thinking and out-loud-laughing. Pausing to reflect and rushing to shop. Focusing on the real meaning and panicked about the perfect Christmas outfit.
I'll likely post in the evenings this month because I won't have the daily post already written and saved. It's off the cuff. It's an opportunity for me to take a look in black and white where my heart is and to share with you the only gift we ever really gift each other...the self.
So open me up if you like. No refunds if I don't fit. No guarantees I'll be what you hoped for.
But I promise, if you'll come along; we'll have a lot to celebrate.
Happy holidays.

Love & Grace,

Psalm 42:8
By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


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

Saturday, November 25, 2006

I'm Thinking About...

1. Christmas plans.
2. My mom & dad.
3. The Farm (dreamed about it last night).
4. Kell (hope you're feeling better, love you).
5. Mac's senior year stuff.
6. Can't remember my hair appointment.
7. Greenfield Village.
8. How much I love winter mornings.
9. My Christmas tree.
10.Why did this picture post so large?

Friday, November 24, 2006

How Beautiful Heaven Must Be

1. We read of a place that’s called heaven,
It’s made for the pure and the free;
These truths in God’s Word He hath given,
How beautiful heaven must be.
* Refrain:
How beautiful heaven must be,
Sweet home of the happy and free;
Fair heaven of rest for the weary,
How beautiful heaven must be.
2. In heaven no drooping nor pining,
No wishing for elsewhere to be;
God’s light is forever there shining,
How beautiful heaven must be.
3. Pure waters of life there are flowing,
And all who will drink may be free;
Rare jewels of splendor are glowing,
How beautiful heaven must be.
4. The angels so sweetly are singing,
Up there by the beautiful sea;
Sweet chords from their gold harps are ringing,
How beautiful heaven must be.

Mrs. A.S. Bridgewater

My pastor at our former church; Pastor Ron Ramey, would often sing this song at funerals. We’d also sing it as a congregation during worship. An old hymn that you’re not likely to hear in this post-modern church era unless you’re sitting in a Southern Baptist church with blue-haired saints. I’m not a Southern Baptist blue-haired saint; but it moves me nonetheless.
I hear this song in my pastor’s sweet voice with Tina (t-fab) singing harmony and picture the tear-streaked faces of the family of God as we all considered this place that’s called heaven.
I don’t know what heaven will be like. As a kid when I heard about 10,000 years of worship I was quite convinced that it sounded pretty boring and miserable. I’m not a scholar of pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib or New Jerusalem theory. Frankly, I just really don’t feel drawn to that specific study at this point in my life. Seems like of all the scripture; that part will pretty much explain itself eventually.
So for now; I like to let my mind wander in wonder of how beautiful heaven must be. I know it is the sweet home of the happy and free. I know it will be a place of rest for the weary and I have been so weary at times that this promise has been my only hope.
I don’t know what heaven will be like but somehow; it still makes me cry to think about it. I think I’ll live in my Farm there, I really do. I think my grandpa will make apple pies and green beans in heaven. I think I’ll find the unfulfilled longings of my heart there and I will be finally full of the things I yearn for. I think that there are pulls in my heart that will carry over to heaven and I will be completed there.
I think my son will eat wheat in heaven with a big smile on his face.
I think Mac will play football in God’s big, big yard (any Audio A fans in the house?)
I don’t know what else I’ll find in heaven but I don’t think it will involve floating on clouds for 10,000 years.
What do you think heaven will be?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.
~H.U. Westermayer

1 Chronicles 16:8
Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Good Day!

Good morning and happy Thanksgiving Eve Morning to ya!
I'm off work today on a "floating holiday." We get two of these a year and you have to use them by mid-December. Every year I completely forget about them and end up taking them on some bizarre mid-week day because everybody else took all the good days. I tried for Friday after Thanksgiving but was too late, so I opted for today. It'll be good because I can do my Thanksgiving cooking and preparing today and we have lifegroup tonight.
So I'm making those pretzel jello squares. Have you had them? They have a pretzel crust, cream cheese layer and then a jello layer. Jay loves them and I can use gluten-free pretzels so it's all good. I'm using lime jello with pineapples per his request and making a second batch to drop off at the hospital tomorrow for those working the holiday. Personally, I wouldn't have chosen lime jello but it seems to be a crowd favorite. Being that I abhor any recipe that involves steps of any kind, it's critical that I was off work today to do the crust, add the creamy layer, let it set, prepare the's very complicated business indeed. I don't know how I do it. :-)
I'm also in charge of stuffing being that there are so many of us for the holidays that the amount of stuffing which fits inside a bird isn't sufficient. And man, I do love stuffing! Amy (my older sister) hosts the dinner at her home and everybody acts like "isn't that lovely!" and all that garbage but the truth is it's a ruse to lure us there so that after dinner we're forced to decorate her 25 foot tall Christmas tree! Anyway, back to the stuffing. Amy is "intimidated" by stuffing (her words) which works out great because then I am stuffing-woman and we all know that stuffing is the easiest part of the meal. Don't tell her or I'll get assigned something with steps and I'm not up for that with all the jello stress and all. Which reminds me, how do you make stuffing? It's all very personal where dressing is concerned. Some people add oysters which sounds good to me but my mother gags at the texture of oysters. I think people add raisins sometimes too which is clearly demonic. And don't get me started on gizzards and such. I use pork sausage, onions and celery.
The Mr. is sure to jump up with a start tonight around 9:00 p.m. and remember that tomorrow is Thanksgiving and he'll insist on running to the grocery store so that he can make punch. The Mr. and Amy are punch freaks. I don't personally care about it but the masses demand it on every holiday. He's got a whole ice ring and sherbert system. I personally enjoy a diet Canada Dry with dinner. Shaken not stirred.
So we all got our dinner contribution assignments which is how we do it 'round these parts so no one is carrying the entire burden. Then everyone but Amy will assist with clean-up since it's her house. While we're in the kitchen cleaning she will sneakily get daboyz to haul the tree decorations up from the basement to assemble her elf slaves for the trimming of the tree the top of which can be seen from outer space much like the Wall of China.
So you can see why I need today off to start jello-ing, sauteeing and prepping for the marathon garland draping.
Oh, not to mention the overwhelming joy and worship that overtakes me when I consider another year with more blessings than I could have thought to ask for.
It's a good day.

Philippians 4:19
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


I thought you guys might like to see a photograph of my house. I realize that many of you have never met me and this is a nice opportunity to share a little of my life with you.
What’s that? You doubt this is my house? You don’t think I really live in this place? Well! Indeed!
Does it seem a little silly? Did you ever really believe for a moment that this is where I live?
No? Huh.
Well, it is silly. This isn’t my house. This is the Hearst Castle, a.k.a. San Simeon. Truth be told, even the Hearsts couldn’t support this beauty, it’s now a state park.
My house is much more humble than San Simeon. San Smith is actually a 60+ year old bungalow with a ribbon drive and in need of much repair and remodeling. In addition to its structural challenges are the people who dwell there in various states of disarray and disorganization. Oh, and it’s not nestled in the mountains either, or on the Pacific coast. Or even in a particularly nice neighborhood.
I’m not proud of my house. It’s not that I have dreams of a more impressive abode. The thing that makes me un-proud is that we don’t take good care of our house. So I don’t really want people dropping by. I don’t like the way my house represents me.
It would make sense then, for me to take care of things. I should be a better, MUCH BETTER housekeeper. That’s a no-brainer. I should put those twenty pairs of tennis shoes at the front door in a closet and hang up the multiple jackets thrown on the dining room chairs. I should sweep the floor and dust the end tables and scrub the bathroom.
The Mr. should do the yard work and keep up the exterior and put his pop bottles in the bag on the stairwell instead of leaving them in the living room at night.
Daboyz should stop making a general mess of things with backpacks and schoolbooks and cereal bowls.
You get the idea. We are all contributing to this less than mansion-esque abode we occupy.
So I don’t have people over. Of course, my anti-social personality doesn’t do much to inspire change.
But have you ever had one of those moments sitting in your messy house when you hear a car pull up in your driveway unannounced? In general, here’s the Smith response;
“Oh crap!”
Because we really don’t want people to see how we live. We’d like a little warning so we can prepare a facade. Stage things to look like we don’t live this way.
The older I get, the less facades satisfy me. I don’t want to be someone too proud to let people see my messy living room. I want to either clean it up, or be honest enough to show it. Facades wear me out.
Likewise, I don’t want to be in relationships built on smoke and mirrors. I can deal with a lot of garbage, but insincerity isn’t one of the things I tolerate well.
Most importantly, I want to pull down the facades around my heart. Some of those are so tall and wide that I myself wonder what’s behind them. I wonder if I’m brave enough to peek around the corners and let God do some remodeling or if I’m truly so attached to the props that I prefer to go on pretending.
I have made a little headway around San Smith. I will tell you you can’t come in because my house is trashed. At least I’m honest.
I haven’t gone as far as I’d like, to the point where I am a good keeper of this home so I don’t have to choose between letting you see the mess or turning you away.
I would like to be invited into your heart too. Facades torn down for honest conversations and real relationships to flourish.
I want to expose the hidden corners of my heart to God so he can show them to me in through the reflection of the cross.
The problem with living in a bungalow and pretending it’s a mansion is that you start to believe your own press and pretty soon, there’s nothing real left.
And nobody left to be real with.
Including yourself.
Including God.
You have to be brave to open the door and admit that you’ve gotten a little sloppy. Or a lot messy.
But once you do, God shows you how beautiful it can be.
To be real.
And not behind a facade.
He’s calling us....
Come out, come out wherever you are.
Anybody out there?

1 Corinthians 13:12
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

Monday, November 20, 2006


This post comes to you per the request of my youngest, Mac.
I've written enough about the boy that you probably already know all you never wanted to know about him!
Mac played varsity football for his high school his sophmore and junior years and then quit this year after his coach pressured him not to go on a mission trip to Thailand. As you know, Mac went over seas and left the glory days of football behind...
Kind of...
He was never a star on the field, just a good solid dependable center. He did have the biggest, noisiest, eatingest fan-base!
Anyway, Mac is a hard worker and ethics driven young man and didn't think twice about not playing his senior year. Even though he was reminded that this decision would destroy any athletic scholarship potential for him. He followed his heart and left it all to God.
He has continued to receive invitations to apply for scholarships to play at schools who know he isn't even on the team this year. He just kind of looks them over and pitches them, says he isn't interested in playing. Like I said, he never did eat and breathe football in the first place.
Last night while he was at church Albion College called and spoke to his dad. They know he didn't play this year. They also know his academic record and they've watched video of him on the field. They want him to consider Albion and a football scholarship. I just told him about the phone call and he said he's been seriously burdened about letting God use football for his education if that is Christ's will for three days now. So he asked for serious prayer, from me and everybody else.
Albion wants us to bring Mac for the weekend after the first of the year for a tour and interviews to discuss what might be available.
Maybe a scholarship. Maybe not. But he wants to see what's there and let God light a fire in his heart to burn to glorify Him.
So please, pray with Mac as he decides where to go to college.
We'll keep you updated.

Mac & Family

Sunday, November 19, 2006

November 19, 2006

Proverbs 23:8
The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Things That Made Me Puke

1. Motion sickness when the Mr. got into bed.
2. The cup of broth the Mr. brought to me.
3. The word "broth."
4. Laying on my stomach.
5. Sitting up.
6. Laying on my back.
7. Laying on my side.
8. Breathing.
9. The Mr. cooking chilli at 1:00 a.m. Sunday morning. Yes, 1:00 A STINKING M.
10.Trying not to puke.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Emancipation of Me Me

I am woman! I am invincible! I am pooped! ~Author Unknown

Would somebody please unliberate me?
The other day I was having a debate with a man at work that was disguising itself as a polite conversation. Half-way through this exhausting song and dance the guy says this to me,
“Surely you must be aware that as a Caucasian male raised in a post-modern feminist society that my deepest respect and admiration are first for your ability to rise above those invisible constraints that an anti-feminist government would seek to impose on you”
At which point I replied,
“Now you’re really ticking me off.”
I don’t want to be liberated being that I never considered myself a captive.
I don’t want a career or my own paycheck.
I never asked for the privilege of making it in a man’s world.
I certainly do not need the admiration and deepest respect of a PhD talking head because I can hold my own in a verbal sparring match.
I am sick and tired of being a modern woman in a post-modern feminist society.
I would like to poke Gloria Steinem in her liberated eye ball!
And Susan B. Anthony can kiss my fanny!
And if someone would point me in the direction of a suffragette, I’d like to tell her a thing or two!
Here’s what the feminist movement has done for me.
I am forced to work forty hours a week outside of my home when I would prefer, no I would love, to be a homemaker.
I can now eat in restaurants most of the time because I’m too tired to cook the healthier and less expensive meals I’d be thrilled to prepare if I hadn’t spent the last eight hours on my feet.
I live slightly below the quality of life my grandmother lived back in the days of Leave it to Beaver. Wanna know why?
Well, I’ll tell ya why.
Because we smarty pantses have gone out into the work place doubling the ratio of persons to available jobs. The real estate market and cost of living in general realizes that there are DOUBLE INCOME households out there so we are not farther ahead, we’re just paying twice as much.
By adding more bodies to the race for jobs, we have created a competition making it harder to get jobs.
We are rounding the corner on the third generation of latch-key/daycare kids whose moms have to hustle for a paycheck.
We are facing a generation of moms who have lost the desire to pursue the art of homemaking because they are too busy sparring for promotions.
We are women who don’t take seriously the choice of the men we enter into relationships with because we foolishly believe we can make it with or without said men. So we settle for losers. Then we spend the next eighteen years fighting said losers for child support and sharing custody of our babies with men we ourselves won’t live with.
And we are raising men who can live into pension age acting like little boys because they don’t have to rise to the challenge of earning a paycheck and caring for their families.
Here’s the simple truth as I see it.
I am not liberated.
I am shackled to a different sets of chains than those who went before me.
I have no more choices, they are just different ones. I have to work. I don’t want to.
Thank you so much my feminist foremothers for stripping away my right to stay at home and create a life to my own specifications.
Thank you that I’m exhausted every night. That my grandchildren will probably be in daycare from infancy. That little kids with colds have to go to school because mom can’t get a day off of work.
Thank you that the cost of living is fast surpassing my two income household.
Thank you that we can so easily walk away from marriages because we can make it on our own.
Thank you that we don’t to be careful about who we enter into relationships with because we don’t need anybody.
Thank you for taking away my choices.
Am I angry? Yeah I am.
Because there are lots of us out here hustling for a career we don’t want because somebody decided that being a homemaker was for losers.
And you know who called us losers? Our own kind. Women.
Somebody, please unliberate me.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


I have no answer to the following question but I’d love to hear your input.
Just how far from God’s heart are we?
Hey, maybe you’re not far at all. Maybe you’re right there seeking, serving and reflecting Christ with ever fiber of your being. So maybe this is just my deal. How far from God’s heart am I?
Because I wonder why I was given this particular life. There are people in other countries and within miles of my home starving, suffering and dying. I could do more. And I don’t.
I mentioned in a top ten list that one Saturday morning I had thought about adopting a baby. And then I decided not to. But seriously, why are there babies in foster care, in orphanages, dying of starvation while Christians have warm homes and enough resources to house one more child?
Do you ever wonder if there was a divine purpose to the life you were given and if you’re only living in a tiny corner of the house God wants you to build? There must be some thirty nine year old woman somewhere in the world who can barely make it. Someone whose kids are hungry or who is mentally challenged or who is being beaten up by a drunk husband.
Why isn’t that me? Is it because God piled up wealth for my distribution and I’m hoarding it?
Or is it just the way of a fallen world that children will live and die in orphanages without a soft bed or a mom and dad to love them. Does God expect us to run full force to save everyone we can or does he accept the pain of some contrasted against the blessings of others as just the way it is?
Should only people who burn in their spirits for another child adopt one? Or should every Christian who can support another baby go rescue some child in need?
Are some aspects of sacrificial life just presupposed or do we wait for the divine knock on the door before we respond in full? I'm not just talking about a check written to some organization, as wonderful as that is. I'm talking about taking some kid without a family and being the mom and dad they lack. I'm talking about a full-on life investment.
Is it gonna be ok when we stand before God to present a solid tithe statement or is he gonna ask why a baby died in Africa of starvation that I could’ve saved?
Am I guilty?
I’m afraid of the answer.

Acts 4:32
All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Thank You

A while ago I wrote a post about energy; and my lack of it. I said I was going to ask God to give me more strength and stamina. Lots of you guys prayed along with me. I did ask God to grant this request in my life. I didn’t do a full-on fasting, on my face kind of thing. I just talked to God about it. I went on with my life just trying to be aware that when that weariness settled on me; to fight it by asking to be made stronger by Christ. This opposed to my past response of being frustrated and just trying to gut through the tiredness. A small change? Yes and no.
The reason I’m back on this issue today is that a few days ago I realized I wasn’t as tired as usual. I’m not exactly talking about a hummingbird metabolism or anything, just a slightly less worn-outness than I’ve grown accustomed to. I kind of noticed without noticing that I didn’t look as tired at the end of the day as usual. I noticed that I’m more likely to do a little more like making dinner at home instead of ordering out. I noticed my house isn’t as trashed as usual, I’m doing a little better at staying on top of things.
The difference isn’t what you might put in the miracle category. Nothing to write to a televangelist about or anything. Just a very slight change, a gentle shift in the direction I was asking for. So subtle that I almost didn’t notice it.
I still go to bed very early but when the alarm goes off; I’m ready to get up. I don’t have that inner feeling of not being able to keep up with my life; which is going a long way toward evening out my emotions.
I doubt my family even notices any difference but I can see it. I don’t know if this is it or if I’ll continue to get stronger.
The thing is; I have this tendency to ask God to do something for me. The small stuff, the daily stuff I want him to bless. But shame on me, I think he does an awful lot that I just take in stride and don’t stop to acknowledge that it was HIM. Really, isn’t it all HIM?
Today, I need to say something to him. Maybe you need to say the same thing?

Dear Gracious Father,
I asked you to increase my strength and you have granted my request. I thank you. I give you all honor and glory due you for your merciful touch to my body. I give you this extra measure of energy and ask you to guide my days that my actions would please you. Let me use my time and my strength in your service. I am sorry, God, for the answered prayers that I didn’t acknowledge. I know that in you I live and move and having my being. You are so constant that I take you for granted. Please forgive me. I give this life and this body to you. I ask you for continued health and strength. I ask that you would form me into the likeness of your son and guide me in your ways. This life is yours God. Don’t let me forget that. I love you. Thank you. Amen.

Psalm 18:32
It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Good Morning Yesterday

Lamentations 3:22-23
Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Oh it’s so easy, isn’t it, to tell someone to leave the past behind them? It’s so easy. And so stupid. What kind of idiot wakes up in the morning and simply decides that because the clocked ticked over from p.m. to a.m. that the world has changed? Come on.
Yesterday’s baggage is right there next to your bed waiting to trip you. I know this because I fall over my own baggage pretty regularly.
We can’t put our past behind us so neatly as to just stop thinking about it. I don’t even think God really wants us to pretend yesterday or last week or the past ten years never happened. I think he wants to be in it with us. We wouldn’t need to be rescued if we weren’t in peril, right?
So this morning my prayer for us is not that we live in denial of our situations but that we live in recognition that we will not be consumed.
My intention today is to put a name to those things that have made it through the midnight hour and are there leering at me in the sunrise. I recognize today’s pain and problems. I am aware that I will be up against challenges that I’d rather run away from.
My agenda is not new this morning. But God’s compassion has not emptied out. His faithfulness is there every morning.
I will not be consumed.
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Allow myself to introduce myself...

I was blog-hopping and found myself unsatisfied with the rather abbreviated profiles I found and wondered if anybody else is as nosey as myself and wonders about fellow bloggers? No? Well, here’s some basic info about me that you clearly don’t care about.

My name is Sara, I’m thirty nine years old. I’ve been married to Dean (the Mr.) for twenty years, started dating him when I was fifteen. Our “going steady” anniversary is November 19, 1982.
I have two sons who are 17 and 18. Jay is a freshman at the University of Michigan Dearborn and Mac’s a senior in high school. Jay wants to be a writer, Mac a middle school math teacher/youth pastor.
My husband works on the line for Ford and I’m a nurse. Specifically I’m the Clinical Coordinator on the inpatient psychiatric unit of the hospital I work at, aka charge nurse. Been a nurse since 2004.
If I had my way I’d be a full time writer and teacher of God’s word living on a farm somewhere. Frankly the biggest thing standing in my way may be my own laziness, I need to get some manuscripts out there and see if anybody’s interested. At least then I’d know for sure! Which leads me to one of my major short-comings; decidedly unmotivated. Blah.
I am socially inept and a loner at heart. I have the potential to be a shut-in but my husband pries me out of the house semi-annually against my will. I’m a book-worm and will read the back of the shampoo bottle if there’s nothing else around. I’m a terrible house-keeper and yet I love home interior type things. I don’t want a career, I want to stay at home and make soup!
I love God and find His word endlessly fascinating, and yet I don’t study it like I should; see above sentence regarding the reading of shampoo bottles. I wish I was more of a servant and less selfish. Margie makes me want to hide under my bed in shame.
I have struggled most of my life with depression and a few years back had the worst episode in my life. I became a barely functioning shut in. Went to work, came home and unplugged the phone. Stopped going to church. Stopped everything but laying in bed. After about a month my husband had had enough and with much prayer took authority over his house and his wife and insisted that I get it together whether by counseling, medication or pure force of will. He stopped fielding my phone calls and making excuses for me. He physically pulled me out of bed. I still have a tendency toward melancholy but that suffocating spirit of depression hasn’t reared its head since. I think Dean showed it the door.
Speaking of which, I am a firm believer in spiritual warfare. I get angry at the devil and hell and believe in standing up and refusing to be pulled under. I believe we have authority over our homes, our children, our marriages, our bodies, our country, our churches....I believe we have complete authority period. I don’t believe this means we are spiritual magicians who say the magic words and get what we want. I do believe it means nothing passes into our lives without passing by God. We are not victims of the universe. We are warriors.
I believe that life is short and will pass by before we know what hit us. I feel loosely tied to this leg of the journey and believe the real part of my life will begin on the other side of heaven. I believe there are things I will long for now because they will be given to me there. I believe I will be finally whole when I’m free of this flawed flesh I’m living inside of now.
I am impatient and intolerant. I think with God’s influence these two things make me pursue holiness and hold myself to a higher standard. I know that most of the time these two things happen under my own influence and I act like a fool.
I think that I’m quite average looks-wise and I’m ok with that. I know that without make up I basically turn into a blank canvas and if I go out in public this way people ask me if I’m sick. No, this is just what I really look like. I have oppositional-defiant hair. It has to be very short (like now) or in a pony tail. It refuses to comply with any styling efforts whatsoever. In heaven, I will have Meg Ryan’s hair. I suspect she won’t be using it.
I have a very ugly body but under clothing it’s acceptable. I cannot wear a bathing suit. Seriously. Having lost weight my body is saggy and yucky and without plastic surgery, I’m best kept under wraps. Happily, I hate swimming so it’s all good.
I also hate pretty much all physical activity of any kind. I do enjoy the outdoors but for limited periods of time and only in ideal conditions. I am always cold since I lost weight. Except for lately when I have night-time hot flashes and in the mornings when I’m very sweaty and must open the bathroom window. I am not sure if this is pre-menopause or induced by the overwhelming stress of attempting to fix myself up enough so that no one asks me if I’m on chemo.
I would eat like a lumberjack given my druthers but having the metabolism I do; I must eat very carefully as I gain weight for no good reason whatsoever and lose weight in virtually untrackable increments. I cannot add salt to anything or I retain more water than the Hoover Dam.
I like casual clothes although I enjoy dressing up. Because I’m crazy I will prepare obsessively for dressy occasions but when the event arrives, I’m always disappointed in how I look. I’m most comfortable in Levis and t shirts. But always earrings as I’m not an animal.
I’m funny but have to be careful because I can also venture into offensive.
I like old movies but few new ones. I hate chick flicks. I watch virtually no television except M*A*S*H reruns. I think reality television is the downfall of civilization.
I think that’s enough for now, anybody still out there? Hello? Is this thing on?

P.S. please write about yourself! I promise to read.

Psalm 139:1-3
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

November 12, 2006

Job 5:17
Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I Must...

1. Master blogger and stop relying on daboyz for links and technical support.
2. Organize my coat closet.
3. Bag up unused/don't fit/don't like clothing and give it away.
4. Start doing Pilates again.
5. Make monthly menues and grocery lists.
6. Get a Sam's Club membership.
7. Learn to cook different dishes, I'm so boringly predictable.
8. Dedicate a daily prayer time instead of flying by the seat of my pants.
9. Try those Mr. Clean eraser things or whatever they are.
10.Buy a freezer for the basement.
(11. Stop puking.)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Overwhelmed Again

Mark 7:37
People were overwhelmed with amazement. "He has done everything well," they said. "He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak."

Yesterday I talked about being overwhelmed in the sense of feeling like I can’t deal with the negative. Today I’d like to put a post script on that thought; overwhelmed with amazement.
I am actually writing these two posts back to back in the same day as God has been revealing the juxtaposition of the two ends of the spectrum that being overwhelmed represents.
I am pausing to think about my attitude and where I’m more likely to feel overwhelmed. Is it the negative sense of overwhelming burdens, disappoints and offenses that occupies my thoughts most often? Or is it the overwhelmed concept of how very blessed, graced and honored I am to be one of the children of the Most High? And while we’re talking about it, how can these two extremes co-exist?
There is a local school in our area called Jo Brighton. It’s a training center for special needs people and they specialize in job-training. At our hospital, there are always Jo Brighton kids in the hallways learning to do tasks like delivering papers between departments, sweep the floors, organize flyers. The Jo Brighton kids always make me smile. Sometimes they can be found running down the hallway at full tilt in a foot race laughing their heads off; or careening around a corner with a cart full of papers threatening to fly off in all directions. You’ll usually see an instructor not far behind gently but firmly reminding them how they must behave to work in the hospital.
Those Jo Brighton kids always smile and apologize and you can see them trying very hard not to be quite so inappropriately enthusiastic in their duties.
Last week I was walking down the hallway at the hospital when a couple of these precious Jo Brightoners were walking toward me. One was a young man with Down’s Syndrome and the other was a young lady with cerebral palsy. The young man was dressed neatly in stylish beige cargos and a polo shirt. With his chubby hands and wide grin he was showing off what was clearly a prized possession to his friend. His hospital identification badge. He was holding it out from the lanyard around his neck with pride beaming from his almond eyes. His comrade walked beside him with an uneven and clumsy gait. One arm was drawn up and withered at her side. Her speech was severely impaired. She smiled at her friend and pointed with her good hand at his badge as she lurched down the passageway at his side.
“You look weal nice in dat pitcha. You look like a good worka and a nice fren.”
“I’m gonna be da bes worka. You gonna be a good worka too.”
“Yeah, we gonna be good workas and good frens, huh?”
It took a matter of seconds for these two “worka and frens” to walk past me and for me to overhear their conversation. I stopped to watch them as they walked on down the hall. She clumsily bumping into him, he continuing to admire his brand new badge and encourage her about how proud he was of her hard work.
So simple. So overwhelming.
I can get out of bed and stand on my own two feet. I drive a car and go to work and collect a pretty decent paycheck for it.
I am saved by grace and loved by many.
I am a good worka and I have good frens.
This is what should overwhelm me.
And it does.

Psalm 65:2-4
O you who hear prayer, to you all men will come. When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave our transgressions. Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts! We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple.