Saturday, March 31, 2007

Proverbs of the Gross

1. Cheese on a tuna fish sandwich is gross.
2. Chipped nail polish is gross.
3. Greasy hair is gross.
4. Smelliness is gross.
5. Gizzards are gross.
6. Eating donuts out of the garbage is gross even if they were still in the box.
7. Chewing with one's mouth open is gross.
8. Weak coffee is gross.
9. Inappropriately used apostrophes are gross.
10.Dentures that are not regularly removed and cleaned are gross.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Sweatin' in Bed

"I've done my bedroom exercises every day for a week now. I'm feeling really good." said the Mr.
"Oh my goodness, please shut up right now!" said Mac.
Drum roll please...the Mr.'s bedroom exercise consist of him laying in the bed lifting weights. This way, says he, the whole process is much easier on his back!
Meanwhile, don't be alarmed if ever you are at our home chatting with me in the living room and happen to hear a suspicious squeaking from upstairs...
It's just the Mr. gettin' buff.

So mom, you were right.
Mrs. Mac, those bedroom exercises are why he needs these bedroom exercises.
Margie, puleeze!
The rest of you...get your mind out of the gutter!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Bedroom Exercises

OK, pop quiz for those of you who think you know the Mr.
What are his "bedroom exercises?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Gospel According to Irony

Tonight is our bi-weekly lifegroup. Actually we had lifegroup last week but it was because we were off a week from canceling so this gets us back on track. We're doing this DVD driven series called "Just Walk Across The Room" that our church is also following on Sunday mornings. I'll be honest with you, I'm not a fan of video/DVD Bible studies but tonight, I'm not complaining. That's because I am not prepared. I didn't study. I intended to, I meant to, I wanted to. But Wednesday seemed to arrive faster this week than on normal weeks, I think a day disappeared somewhere in there. So the good news is that Bill Hybels will do most of the teaching tonight. The bad news is, I will still be leading the discussion.
The great news is that my lifegroup happens to be comprised of some of my best friends who will openly mock me but love me nonetheless.
The ironic news is that this week's verse is as follows...

1 Peter 3:15
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Small Picture

On Am's blog the other day, she wrote an excellent post about divorce. In the comments we all went back and forth talking about the causes of divorce and Margie posed a valid question, to paraphrase...what about the small stuff?
Does the small stuff in life count or should we rise above taking notice of things that might seem inconsequential? Margie talked about shaving one's legs as an example. She's rather obsessive about this, but I digress. Could hairy legs cause a divorce? I don't think so. But I do think that a bunch of small stuff that no one takes the time to tend to causes a mountain of problems. Add looking like Sasquatch to the other thousand little things, and just maybe it's one thing too many.
We try around here to lighten each other's load whenever we can. There's a trick to that, however. And without doing it right, it's a noble but useless gesture. The trick is to know your loved ones burdens and let him or her decide what is the "small stuff." What is a small issue to me may be a back-breaking load to my husband. I need to not brush off his weariness by calling it small, but decide if it's small to me, I'll be the one to carry it.
Smallness is a matter of perspective.
The little things are the stuff we might call pet peeves. Unimportant to all but ourselves. And yet, haven't we all been pushed over the edge by our individual pet peeves? Does it ever really help to have someone tell us it's no big deal? No, it doesn't help. Because to us, it is a big deal.
So my husband doesn't particularly care if I've shaved my legs recently. Maybe that's because I have approximately four leg hairs in total; maybe it's because he just thinks I'm so freaking gorgeous even if I am a Sasquatch. But he does care about spooning at bedtime. Another small thing? Not to him. If I push him away when he tries to cuddle, it hurts him. I'm not talking about S-E-X, I'm talking about falling asleep in each other's arms.
I need to know what matters to him, and those are the big matter how small.
And if you don't think that small things matter, consider the mustard seed.
Small things have big influence.
Matthew 17:20
He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

Monday, March 26, 2007

Love And Marriage

Some friends from church have asked me to "guest teach" their life group for a month or so and the topic is marriage.
Marriage is one of my favorite subjects. I love being married and feel like I was born to be married. The commitment, the love, the work and reward of it is so symbolic of the position we all take as the Bride of Christ. Marriage is rich in spiritual meaning and all the sweeter for it when experienced in the real world.
So I'll probably be blogging quite a lot about marriage and relationships and perhaps even divorce, (check out Am on the right for some thoughts on that topic) as I try to put words to my heart in the next month or so.
I'd like to ask you to pray for the Mr. and myself as we embark on this new opportunity to teach the heavenly perspective on daily life. I'll admit that I'm a little challenged in that we don't have a text book marriage ourselves...not a great deal of candy and flowers (nor shaved legs Margie) propelling this union forward.
And if you're wondering, my dear Lifegroupies; what of our Wednesday night group? It will march forward as always. We'll just be leading a second group for a while as guests. Never fear, I'm sure once they get a load of us, they'll send us back from whence we came!
So dearly beloved, feel free to share your thoughts and questions about one of the most mysterious and common experiences in the world...marriage.
Isaiah 62:5
As a young man marries a maiden, so will your sons marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

March 25, 2007

Ecclesiastes 3:12
I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


1. Fine point sharpies
2. Green.
3. Laughing.
4. Nicknames.

5. Reading.
6. I Love Lucy.
7. Tennis shoes.
8. Dancing.
9. Open windows.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

God & My Dell

Isaiah 61:2-4 proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.

God lives inside my computer.
I know this because I’ve been using for a hundred years and looked up a thousand verses and yet this one always pops up when I click on the site on my bookmarks. Why this particular verse of all the ones I’ve searched? Oh, I’m sure there are some tech freaks out there who can offer me some explanation but I like my own. God lives inside my computer.
Since I use BibleGateway every single day, sometimes several times a day; you’d think I’d ignore this verse when it pops up, but no. I always stop to read it and I always think to myself, “Man, that’s good stuff!”
What more could you ask for?
You’ve got your ashes. Clearly whatever castles you’ve built are burned to the ground.
You’re in mourning...the death of? Dreams, plans, relationships, ideas...?
Despair. It’s the ultimate “I got nothin’ here.”
So you’ve burned your life to the ground, you’re sitting in your own mess crying and you’re hopeless. Then in walks God and you get a crown (and who doesn’t love that?); the oil of gladness. I don’t know for sure what that is but I’m thinking it’s a fabulous perfume and it is so pretty it makes you glad just sniffing on yourself. A garment of praise? Clearly that is a new outfit just perfect for getting your praise on. Mine makes me look like Charlize Theron.
So now you’re looking good, smelling good and wearing a crown. Things are definitely looking up.
Next thing you know, you’re an oak of righteousness! Righteousness! You are looking so beautiful in spiritual places that the splendor God is displayed in you. YOU!
In fact, you are so fly that every broken down mess you’ve made for the last how-ever-many years is about to be rebuilt. I’m thinking this means you’re moving into a deluxe apartment in the sky-hy-y.
It doesn’t even matter if your mom, your grandpa and your great great granny were jacked up. It’s a new day baby.
Seriously, what more could you want? If you invite God into your computer, maybe you can look like Beyonce. Something to think about.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Insert Theme From Sandford & Son Here

I'm working on forgiveness. Wanna know who I'm mad at? Nobody. I'm working on forgiving myself. Working on believing I can be more than my history would predict. Giving myself a new day and another chance. Getting outside of the box I so happily/miserably live in.
I'm kind of fascinated right now by the idea of forgiveness, probably with Easter around the corner it's a natural thing to think on. There's a song on the radio now called "By His Wounds"; it's on the Glory Revealed CD. I can't get enough of it; I keep seeking back to Track 2 to hear it again and again. Amazing thing, forgiveness.
There's lots about myself I don't like. I think I need to change and forgive myself. I need to push myself in some areas and give myself a break in others. I need to know myself and what I need to feel fulfilled and not hold others responsible for that feeling, or lack thereof.
Right now I'm looking around my house and I don't like what I see. It's messy, neglected. It needs an Extreme Makeover. I've been mad at the Mr.; Daboyz and myself about it. I can't over-state how much it bothers me. I thought for a long time I was ashamed, and that's partially true. But not all true.
I need a place to fill me up and calm me down and I need my house to do that. Some people need girls' nights out, dinner dates, movies or vacations. Not me. I need my house to wrap itself around me and give me back to myself.
My house is teaching me a lesson about forgiveness. I need to forgive myself for doing a poor job of becoming a career woman/homemaker. I need to forgive the Mr. because he sucks at home maintenance; and admit I've done a poor job of explaining to him why this matters so much.
If I don't forgive, I won't move on. And oh, how I want and need to move on. I need my house back.
No more heels dug in with stubborn determination. If you don't like how you're living; time to pony up and fix what's broken. There's a metaphor in there somewhere.
Can you forgive your house for being a dump? I'm tryin'.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Oy, My Aching Head

I don't feel like blogging today. I have a very bad headache that started yesterday and continues. I have taken three 800 mg. Motrin so I'm just sitting here with a headache waiting for my stomach to perforate so I can go to the hospital, have emergency surgery and finally gain the sweet relief of general anesthesia.
As a fun-filled aside to my creaking skull, the hospital blew a water main early this morning and we were without water from 11:00 a.m. on. The plan? Let me quote,
"We'll pass out biohazard bags. Please have your patients stool into the bags. They will then give the bags to staff for proper disposal."
This is what we need. 36 mentally ill people wandering around with bags full of poop.
I refused to pass out said bags, hence the toilet's are overflowing on the 3 Rehab.
So I waded through the lake surrounding my car and here I am.
As I've mentioned before...Smith happens.

Jonah 2:5
The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

March 18, 2007

Isaiah 38:19
The living, the living—they praise you, as I am doing today; fathers tell their children about your faithfulness.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Self-Affirmation Saturday

1. I'm down five pounds.
2. All of my fingernails are just the right length.
3. I'm funny.
4. I'm getting better and better at my job.
5. I can finally support myself financially.
6. My hair is very fluffy today, for now at least.
7. I'm a learner.
8. I'm a thinker.
9. I'm loyal.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Today I had the pleasure of both my staff and my bosses being less than pleasant. I realize I'm entirely incompetent, but would someone please get me out of the middle of this mess?
I am really doing the best I can!
In this picture, both the ape and the man represent me.
I'm deep like that.
I'm running late for my haircut so I don't have time to find a verse. You go find me one.
Or I'll crush you under my monkey feet.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Small Stuff

"His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.' Matthew 25:23

I can't quite decide if I am a detail-oriented person or not. I think probably not.
I refuse to make any recipe with steps. When my mom drags me off textile hunting, I nearly have a panic attack just watching her compare swatches. I think I may have told her to get a move on at one time or another. I'm a fast talker and get frustrated with people who need me to slow down and explain myself. I have scrap-booked and it was very satisfying and yet the thought of doing it a second time fills me with dread. When I'm listening to report at work I want to scream "Just get to the point!"
So I guess I'm not detail-oriented.
Lately though, I've been noticing that God is making my faith a little more detailed than it used to be. He's challenging me to be faithful in small things that my big-picture brain would naturally walk on by. Things that seem insignificant, invisible even. Things that no one will see and that don't have any spiritual significance, at least until recently.
It all started several months ago as I was getting into my truck after work. There on the ground was a half full bottle of water. I thought to myself, "Geez people are pigs." and then got in and shut the door. Then there's this nudge in my heart; "So why don't you pick it up Piglet?" I couldn't think of any reason that I shouldn't other than it didn't occur to me until that moment. So I opened up my door and picked up that cruddy water bottle.
And I swear to you I felt God smile.
After that there were more opportunities to attend to insignificant matters. Walking down the hall at work all alone I noticed a piece of paper on the floor. I walked on past it and then doubled back to pick it up. Just then someone came around the corner and said, "How great that you stopped to pick that up. Good for you."
And God smiled again.
Scrap papers on the ground. Water bottles. I continue to be held responsible for tiny things that for some reason, God is noticing all of a sudden.
I don't know what the big picture lesson is in all of this, but I'm really liking God smiling at me. I'm looking for details to tend to for Him. Nonspiritual stuff that is somehow stretching my heart.
Just last Sunday at church I went to the ladies' room and walked in to a stall to find, you guess it; unflushed stuff. I turned around to walk into a different stall. Closed the new stall door. Then returned to the poo poo stall. And flushed.
And God smiled. Just because I flushed some poop.
He's easily pleased with me I think.
He sets my bar really low, which is apparently where my baseline is.
So I'm working on the small stuff. No, I'm not going to Jo Ann's with you mom. And I'm not making any multi-step recipes either. That jello pretzel thing at Thanksgiving nearly did me in.
And that crummy water bottle from months ago? Still in the cup holder on my car door. I'm working on this detail thing. Plus if ever the Mr. takes a swig from it; that will totally crack me up.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Grooving On A Tuesday Afternoon

As threatened yesterday, I am again writing off the cuff as I have nothing saved.
It's beautiful here today, 74 degrees according to my truck thermometer! I even removed my gloves for the drive home! Makes me want to do something like spring cleaning. This impulse is sure to pass by my next day off; it always does.
We had a mock JCHAO inspection today. JCHAO is the agency that accredits health-care organizations and we have to pass yearly inspections. I was glad we were having a dry run of sorts since it's my first year as charge nurse. When my manager debriefed us as to areas of concern; I thought "Well hot dog! We did purty good!" while her reaction was not as impressed.
You wanna know something, we did do well. Only about three identified areas to work on and those are already in the process of improving. I was happy with the results. These inspections don't terrify me. I figure I'm honestly doing my best and I honestly always need to improve. It's OK to identify the stuff that needs work.
Hey! I just realized there is a life lesson in there!
It's ok to not be perfect as long as we're willing to take the lessons and be continuously striving toward the goal of pleasing God. I know it's because of God I can be peaceful in what was a stressful environment for others.
As long as I'm seeking him, it's gonna be ok.
Giant breasticles, as yet unnamed; not withstanding. But that's another story.

Romans 8:1
...therefore this is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus...

to get your groove on metrostyle; click HERE!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Is Hooter's Hiring?

I worked all weekend so I have no new and inspiring posts for you. More alarming, this leaves me with daily thoughts that I feel the need to share as opposed to carefully written and edited ideas. Unedited, you'll be experiencing things like the following story.
I've gained so much weight that I'm utterly disgusted with myself. I had been trying to quietly get back into control and telling myself it wasn't all that bad. Surely I could turn it around. Well, after dinner at Chilli's I went to the bathroom and apparently it's worse than I realized.
I misjudged how much bustier my bust is and smacked my breasticles right into the divider on the booth as I rounded the corner on the way to the restroom.
Breasts so large you can't round a corner without self injury?
Here's your sign.

And here's your verse. I'm not sure what it means exactly but I think it means that Jesus likes me fat.

Isaiah 10:27
In that day their burden will be lifted from your shoulders, their yoke from your neck; the yoke will be broken because you have grown so fat.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Healing of Daniel Mullen

This Sunday afternoon the temperatures were pushing toward fifty and the sky had the clear and sunshininess that hints at spring. Daboyz headed home after church and the Mr. and I went together somewhere else.
We went to Nixon's Funeral Home.
Daniel Mullen is dead.
Some of you recall my requests for prayer for Daniel over the last few years. He started a battle with a rare form of cancer two years ago that ended on Thursday evening of last week. He was nineteen years old.
I'll spare you the details of Daniel's journey toward heaven. It will suffice to say he fought the good fight and kept the faith. He has received his reward from the Christ he loved.
We stood in a line of about a half dozen people at Daniel's casket. Many others milled around talking quietly or crying. His grandmother and aunts sat on a couch in front of Danny holding hands and whispering love to one another.
We stood in front of this young man, so changed by his illness from the pictures his parents had placed around the room. Changed and even ravaged by disease, he still looked like a little boy. Just a teenager with the typical goatee of his generation and gel in his hair. His suit was too big because the cancer had cost him so much physically. His face was both old and young.
We shook the hands of his mom and dad who seemed there and not there. Polite and preoccupied. I wondered how they remained upright.
Please remove Daniel from your prayer lists, he is healed and cancer-free. Remember his family as they learn how to live without their precious boy.
As for me, I wondered today what in the world I could ever complain about again. What could make me speak anything but gratitude for what my life is. How can I be occupied with anything but my Jesus, the only hope I have ever had.
Danny, rest with Jesus and please give my grampa a hug.
And Father, remind me of the lessons worth learning and the thoughts worth thinking.
Let me never complain about earthly matters.

2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

March 11, 2007

Psalm 55:11
Destructive forces are at work in the city; threats and lies never leave its streets.

This is the post I prepared for today being that I thought I was working. I set my clocks forward and lost an hour, got up at 5 a.m. Showered and was putting on my coat when work called and worked reduced me. So I didn't sleep in and can't fall back to sleep. I can have my Sunday off which is sweet. I still say that destructive forced are at work in the city. p.s. for those outa-staters, above is a real picture of the hospital where I work.
Happy Sabbath!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Working Through the Weekend

1. All work & no play makes Sara a dull girl.
2. All work & no play makes Sara a dull girl.
3. All work & no play makes Sara a dull girl.
4. All work & no play makes Sara a dull girl.
5. All work & no play makes Sara a dull girl.
6. All work & no play makes Sara a dull girl.
7. All work & no play makes Sara a dull girl.
8. All work & no play makes Sara a dull girl.
9. All work & no play makes Sara a dull girl.
10. All work & no play makes Sara a dull girl.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Good Morning

Psalm 30:4-6
Sing to the LORD, you saints of his; praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
When I felt secure, I said,"I will never be shaken."

It’s funny how the Holy Spirit brought this verse to my mind. I was thinking about my morning drive to work. I have a routine. I listen to the local Christian radio station which plays modern praise & worship during my drive in. It just made me think “joy comes in the morning.”
Then I thought, “weeping endures for a night but joy comes in the morning.”
Naturally this made me get on the computer to find the entire scripture and there it is. Is it rocking you like it rocks me?
So many times I’ve not just been ashamed of who I am right now but ashamed for who I used to be. I was a glorious mess back in the day. That isn’t what I’m really thinking about though. I’m thinking about the rejoicing of the morning. The morning of my heart when I finally awakened to the love and favor that was waiting for me. I had to grow into that understanding. I was the child of an angry God for a long, long time. Believing in Christ’s love for me and feeling it were two different things. On the former I had no issue, the latter eluded me.
I’m actually sitting here now trying to remember when I turned that proverbial corner into love’s embrace. I think it started when my marriage bottomed out. I say started because in the midst of that crisis I sure didn’t feel particularly loved or loveable. But what I did experience was true and utter desperation for a touch of God like I had never felt before. Not that I’d never needed anything or prayed before. But I really felt that if God didn’t save, literally save, my life; I wouldn’t walk away from this in one piece. Being driven to my knees in utter dejection I found in my humiliation a gentle God that I hadn’t seen before.
At twenty five years old and with a husband who openly hated me on a daily basis; I saw nothing in the mirror worth loving. My night of weeping was four years long. The four years grew progressively empty until I was praying not just in passing, but locked in my bedroom and on my face. That is where the gentle God reached me. I had emptied out my “I’m sorries.” along with my list of offenses and sins and failures and faults. I moved to my angers and bitternesses and fears. Once all that had been spoken there was just me drowning in my own tears with just the tiniest frail hope that maybe God would bother with me one last time. I saw no other relief but death. If this sounds ugly and harsh to you; let me assure you it was an ugly and harsh time. I wished for anything that would get me out of this crushing agony.
Do you wonder why this would be the place that I felt the love of God? If you’ve been there; you know exactly what I mean. The emptying out of the self is a painful process. The stripping away of pretense and preconceived notions of Christianity and God, for some of us at least; happens with such terror that we almost lack the courage to face it.
The church couldn’t help me.
My faith didn’t immunize me.
My intelligence couldn’t solve it.
My fortitude didn’t soothe the pain.
My family couldn’t save me.
I had to let go and let go and let go and it felt like I was melting from the inside. For four years I melted away until nothing was left except what was real. And what was real was love.
The layers of my own understanding peeled away leaving me soft and vulnerable to whatever God really was to me. To me, he was the joy after the long night of weeping.
If you are in that night, do not deny the tears or the process of the melting away.
Only the morning is real.
Awaken to love.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Me I've Lost

I’m given to feeling disquieted even when there seems to be no reason for it.
As would be appropriate approaching one’s fortieth birthday, I’m doing even more examination of my life than I do normally. And normally I examine things obsessively; so you see my situation. It’s the feeling that the time for planning to do is a luxury I can no longer afford.
I have accomplished a good deal of that which I had set before myself. I have a wonderful marriage to a wonderful man, who; at the risk of hyperbole, I will state that I adore. I have thus far succeeded in raising my kids into young men of honor and stability. The truth of the matter is; from here it is their own steps that will predict their futures more so than my decisions on their behalf. I have lost the weight I needed to and continue in the battle against that addiction with which I presume I will always live. I have returned to school, finished and gotten a solid job.
I have found a church into which I am finally a “good fit.” I have settled into a ministry that I love and pray that God will continue to use me and to grant me more opportunities to teach. I have the most amazing circle of friends in the world.
And so, why am I at times disquieted?
I think as the tasks of life have been ticked off; done and done and done, I’m left with the next step. Introspection stands before me demanding my attention. I am learning to move from doing into being in my life. Honestly I find it just the littlest bit daunting.
I’ve spent quite some time now trying to figure out just what might be lacking in what seems to be a well-rounded if not spectacular life. I think I’ve put my finger on it. Certain things which I’ve sacrificed along the way to make my journey a bit more aerodynamic could now fit back into my life. Sounds rather vague doesn’t it?
There’s nothing dramatic on the list. It’s just that in the process of raising kids and going to school and juggling various stresses and challenges I ran out of energy or resources to enjoy some window dressings in my life. I feel I have become almost entirely made of functionality. I’m no martyr, believe me. I am not shearing my own lambs to make socks or anything quite so impressive. It’s just that there are little details to life that all of us enjoy. Food for the soul, one might say. Sometimes lately I look around and think that the only thing I’ve hung on to just because I love it is reading.
Now as the requirements to my life have changed I find myself hungry for those other things that simply filled my heart up. Some simple and some more complicated. A fresh coat of paint throughout my house is on that list. Actually quite a few home and hearth type things are quite lacking as I’ve pared my existence down over the years to accommodate little more than studying and adjusting to a new career and seeing daboyz through to graduation.
I’ve jettisoned some things that I just couldn’t seem to carry through being not so strong as I sometimes appear. Now I look back and I’m ready to restock my life with the stuff I threw overboard.
I want my house to be not just a roof over my head but a refuge. I need it to be a place that feeds my tired spirit at the end of the day. So I need to get to it and reclaim these “four walls and a lid” to quote my pastor.
I need to be a better keeper of this place because much of the mess is no one’s fault but my own.
I need to expect, nee demand, some help from these other three grown-ups who live here.
I need music instead of television in the background and flowers in my front yard and a picnic table in back for summer evening hot dogs on the grill.
I need drives into the country and by The Farm. I haven’t been there since 1976 being afraid of the emotions. Now I need to feel them and to sit in my car on the side of the road and cry if need be.
I need to do my laundry and groceries on week nights so my weekends are available for resting or movies or museums or whatever might fill up my empty spaces.
This is just a taste of the stuff that slipped quietly away from me and leaves me feeling disquieted for the lack of it. It is nothing monumental to be sure. All just little things that make up the me that has gotten caught in the business of doing and not being. Childhood treasures I could have again should I just make it a point to keep them in my hands.
I’m not sure any of this makes sense to you but it is very much what’s on my mind today.
In a month I’ll be forty, and I’d like to be completely me from here on in.

Psalm 20:3-5
May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. Selah May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. We will shout for joy when you are victorious
and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Developmentally Delayed

Life can be summed up prettily as a matter of perspective. I began seeing this a long time ago in the differing interpretations the Mr. and myself would find in any given situation. He was always assuming the other guy meant no harm and I always knew for sure that the other guy was a no good snake. While you’d think this would have struck a nice balance between us, it generally caused conversations to degenerate into me yelling and him looking self-righteously smug. And me fighting the urge to clock him.
Over time I’ve come to realize that God is everywhere, not just in the sermon of the preacher or the Daily Bread on my kitchen window sill. Oh, we all know this intellectually but it’s a great big leap for most of us to really internalize it into our spirits so it works like it’s supposed to.
I think of God as the ultimate teacher, forever finding new ways to catch the attention of me, his student. And I, like most students, get bored with the lessons. My mind wanders and I doze off during instruction. So, as any great teacher does, he finds a new route. On the issue of perspective he used Oprah.
I think Oprah is a humanistic egomaniac, but nonetheless, God used Oprah as an object lesson. He’s that good of a teacher.
So on this particular day a hundred years ago when I still watched Oprah, she said something spiritually significant. I’ve no idea what the particular theme of the day was but she was talking about having lost her keys whilst jogging and Stedman saying more or less the following to her...
“You lose your keys every time you go jogging. The question now is not where are your keys, but why do you keep losing them?” and Oprah’s realization that repeated problems must indicate that said problem has not been properly dealt with. And that it would keep resurfacing until dealt with.
And that my friends, was my lesson in perspective.
The Mr. is the master of non-confrontation. I mean, to epic proportions. Seriously, he can’t even see the confrontation. It’s pathological. It is no secret between us that I consider his refusal to look at problems as unhealthy.
I, on the other hand, will confront the crap out of life on a daily basis.
Who’s right? Oprah is right.
We all have different Achilles heels when it comes to spiritually growing up. We want to simplify it into the wrong or the right. It’s better to forgive! It’s better to deal with problems! What is really better is to say to God, “Hey, this is a repeating theme in my life. Is there a better way for ME to handle this?”
In childhood, there are developmental milestones that we look for. A kid who doesn’t roll over, doesn’t walk, can’t socialize; will stay in that particular stage of life until that milestone can be reached. And if it isn’t reached, there’s a problem called “developmental delay.” When it’s chronic, it’s a diagnosis that indicates some serious challenges in that kid’s life.
Spiritually, we can be developmentally delayed. We pretend that we can skip over this or that milestone and still keep maturing. Not so. You have to roll over, sit up, scoot, crawl, walk and then run. When baby doesn’t roll over, mom or dad started working with them on the skill. Helping them roll, guiding their little bodies, encouraging and applauding the efforts until the milestone is reached.
Likewise, God will keep taking us back to that lesson until we achieve the milestone. The problem is that we don’t even recognize that we’re being instructed. Especially if our perspective is skewed. And it is often a matter of relationships that find us with the wrong focus.
When I would find myself frustrated (ie enraged) with someone, I would have a list of their offenses to back up my reaction. And while Dean tried to argue the point he would do so defending the other guy. He didn’t mean it. I misunderstood. He was having a bad day... Blah Blah Blah! Have you ever had one of these conversations? Does it ever work? Do you ever say, “Oh, Irving was having a bad day and didn’t mean to flip me off? Well! All’s forgiven! I shall make him a cupcake to show my goodwill!”
Well, if this approach works for you, you are more mature than I.
How did I finally learn my lesson? I stopped looking at Irving and started examining my own responses. And I let God start reshaping them because the lesson I was missing was it wasn’t about what a jerk Irving is. The lesson was that it was time for me to grow up just a little. Time for the next milestone of life for my spirit. And until I learned to focus in on my own responses, I was put back in those potentially offensive situations over and over again. I thought I was the victim of a lengthy line of jerks. In truth, I was a student being forced to repeat lessons that I hadn't passed. God kept bringing Irving back into my path until I started changing my perspective and therefore, my responses.
We all have individual Irvings. Being confrontational is just one of mine. There are enough lessons to last me a lifetime. I just keep trying to see the next one and deal with it. I’m no dummy, I finally figured out that the sooner I changed my perspective, the sooner I’d be done with the issue. Being self-centered and not liking unpleasantness in my life, I’m now happy to reach the milestone and move past it.
The question of the day is this, does there seem to be a repeating them in your life? Especially relationally? Are there Irvings out there causing you grief over and over? If so, check your perspective.
The one in need of the lesson might be you.

Ephesians 4:23-25 made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

A Fab Of My Own!

In honor of my girl's birthday; here is a pop quiz of Tina and Sara Trivia...

1. She went with us to see Donny Osmond in Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. What did Dean offer Donny as he hovered above us?

2. What famous pop song from Batman did we rewrite to suit our own needs? (this one's a gimme if you've been paying attention...)

3. What's the next line in this lyric..."if you're ashamed of me"_____

4. What item did I use youth funds for in order to decorate the youth room at Christmas?

5. Who said the following, "But you see in dealing with me, the relatives didn't know that they were dealing with a staunch character and I tell you if there's anything worse than dealing with a staunch woman... S-T-A-U-N-C-H. There's nothing worse, I'm telling you. They don't weaken, no matter what. "?

6. What was the name of our youth group?

7. Come on and_______this thing called Christianity.

8. Faith is like_______________ .

9. Dean once picked T~ up from where?

10. The pervert who wore daisy dukes drove what kind of vehicle?

Happy birthday to you, my sweet sister friend. I love you. And I remain glad you were born.

Monday, March 05, 2007

GO TO BED FOR GOD'S SAKE! thus sayeth the Lord.

Jonah 4:4
But the LORD replied, "Have you any right to be angry?"

“Maybe it’s just me.”
Have you ever thought that? It’s just the tiniest acknowledgment of responsibility. Maybe. I’m not sure but there is a slight possibility that this is in some small way potentially my fault perhaps.
The other night we were driving home from dinner, we four. As per usual the conversation was all over the place and 99% nonsensical and just trying to keep track of the discussion required a roadmap and a translator.
At some point the babbling turns to me, specifically my anger when daboyz stay up late.
Let me remind you that daboyz are seventeen and eighteen years old.
One more important bit of additional background that you need is that my parents have warped me in many ways, one of which was a strictly enforced 9:00 p.m. bedtime until I moved out to get married at age nineteen. This caused such developmental hazard that to this day I consider nine the witching hour and feel alarmed and afraid to find myself awake at such a time. I head for bed at 7:30 just to be sure I’m asleep lest the bogey man get me. I am now biologically incapable of being awake past nine because of my upbringing. You are about to see why this is vital information.
Daboyz stay up later than 9:00.
Every night I awaken around 2:00 a.m. At this point I invariably realize that my bladder is full and from here I proceed to pretend I can hold it until morning. At 3:00 a.m. I decide that my kidneys are going to explode and there’s nothing for it but the trek down the stairs to go to the bathroom.
It is during this sacred ritual that I will, on a regular basis, find one or more boyz wide awake watching television or on a laptop or just sitting around being awake. At three a.m.
It’s downright unGodly.
So as we’re driving home daboyz decide to bring up my sporadic rants at three in the morning when I “catch” them unasleep. In my own defense, I usually only sigh disapprovingly these days.
Daboyz feel my anger is unfounded as they do not stay up to the wee hours on school nights, are never tardy to class and have suffered no ill effects for their folly.
Why, they asked, do I get so angry about them being up late?
I had a few ideas flit across my brain before I had to admit the truth, “Maybe it’s just me.”
Maybe there’s no good reason to be mad. Maybe it’s just a stupid thing I do that I need to knock off.
Angry is kind of a serious thing to be. I have overused it myself.
And there’s lots of kinds of angry. Stupid angry that you just should knock off. Justified angry that you need to express appropriately. Angry that is justified that you need to not express and instead choose grace to cover over. Insert your own favorite flavor of angry here.
Regardless, angry is a serious thing to be.
I’m starting to think that “Maybe it’s just me” is probably a pretty good first reaction when angry starts asserting itself. Perhaps that would provide a moment, an hour or a day to consider the question that Jonah had to answer...
Have you any right to be angry?
And if so, so what?
I’m going to work on praying in response to anger before acting.
I suspect there are an awful lot of times I’m going to find out that it is, after all, just me.
But I still think daboyz should go to bed.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Sunday, March 4, 2007

You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.2 Corinthians 3:3

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Favorite Books! (Some of 'em Anyway)

1. Little House Series
2. All Creatures Great & Small Series
3. Lovely Bones
4. Narnia Chronicles
5. Case for Christianity
6. Screwtape Letters
7. Stranger Beside Me
8. Sybill
9. Power Of A Praying Wife
10. El Biblio

Thursday, March 01, 2007


Wonder what kind of brilliance I've been up to lately? Perhaps it's time for another installment of Sara's Random Acts of Crazy.
A Sunday or so ago I had a migraine and so reached into my purse to take a 600 mg Motrin. Popped it dry and about twenty minutes later I say to Jay, "Man, my mouth is really dry." Ten more minutes later and I say, "Wow, I'm tired."
Three days later at work I reach into my purse to pop yet another Motrin, pull out the bottle and realize, I had taken the belladonna based pill my son takes for his Celiac Disease reactions. We nurses don't worry much about specifics when taking pills. Meanwhile my few and far between bowel movements became fewer yet. (Yes, we have bonded that much.)
As you can see, things are pretty much status quo 'round here.
How're things on your end?
Matthew 15:17
"Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body?