Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Holy Unhealthy

"No one is perfect. Dean isn't perfect. Every relationship has problems."
"No, Dean is not perfect and neither am I. It takes the perfecting hand of God to make this work."
"Well, there is still no such thing as a perfect relationship."

This conversation happened a long time ago. Maybe ten or so years ago. A friend was in a destructive relationship with a man that she just could not sever. It hurt me and on a human note, it made me angry. Not righteous anger, more of a self-righteous anger. I was bothered enough to challenge the relationship but I will admit that I did not pray often enough, nor correctly about it. I did more opinion-sharing that interceding.
In the time since I was young, we have made a subtle exchange in what we want out of life. We look for "healthy" instead of "holy." It seems easier to swallow. It is much nicer to tell someone they need to make healthy choices than holy ones. The problem is that healthy can be defined within the individual while holy is entirely focused on God. Anorexics look at fat people and call themselves healthy.
We make decisions based on our emotional response and when we feel good about something, we call that healthy.
Did you know that holy doesn't feel good in the short-term? It goes against the nature of flesh that we reside within. It is the very point of holiness, to crucify the desires from within. Holiness is entirely uncomfortable.
I am very far from the daily pursuit of holiness. I am emotionally balanced and relatively successful and happily married and close to my entire family. By all appearances, I am quite healthy. Not to mention my blood pressure and glucose are perfection. My cholesterol is great. My weight is about ten pounds too high but that isn't earth-shattering. I am educated and employed. I have friends who support me and love me. My house is warm and my pantry is full. I drink eight 8 oz. servings of water per day and limit my caffeine to two cups of java in the morning. I am healthy.
But I am not holy.
I laid in bed recently reading. This is how I go to sleep every night. I was reading a novel that was neither healthy nor holy. Just entertaining. The Lord nudged me, put that book down and pray. I pushed the thought aside like a gnat buzzing around my head. A few more pages. Put the book away and pray. "Lord, blah blah blah. In Jesus name." A few more pages.
"Put that book away and pray. How far away from me are you?"
How far indeed. It made my chest ache. I put the book away and turn off the light and instantly a one line prayer arose from my spirit, "God fix his life; God fix his life; God fix his life" Over and over these four words poured out of me. It was like the old days when preachers spoke about "My spirit groans within me..." My spirit was groaning with this prayer that was laden with urgency. "God fix his life." No details came to my lips although I knew the specifics that this man needed." No pretty thees and thous or poetic phrasing.
"God fix his life."
Some battle was raging in heavenly places and I almost refused the call to arms. No, I did refuse it. I was nearly dragged kicking and screaming away from a crime novel to wage war for someone I love.
How far away am I? So far I only crave holiness in starts and stops and will trade it for worthless dirt.
We cannot be healthy and not holy. I am not healthy. When all is given to God's glory, then I will call myself in pursuit of holiness. I have divided myself into too many pieces. I cannot be six parts holy and four parts flesh or I am unholy. I am blinded by "health."
God forgive me.
Set me aside fully for Christ, and I will be whole. I will be holy.
I will finally be healthy.

Holy: 1. Set apart to the service or worship of God; hallowed; sacred; reserved from profane or common use; holy vessels; a holy priesthood. ``Holy rites and solemn feasts.'' --Milton.

2. Spiritually whole or sound; of unimpaired innocence and virtue; free from sinful affections; pure in heart; godly; pious; irreproachable; guiltless; acceptable to God.

3 John 1:2 Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Greektown or Marty Get Your Gun

On Saturdays the Mr. and I usually have lunch at Panera and then do our weekend errands together. Well, we were tired of Panera and having a bit of a bicker over where we should eat. I dared him to go to Greektown. For those out-of-towners out there, Greektown is a small area in downtown Detroit populated with fabulous Greek restaurants. The Mr. does not like to go downtown. He is a'skeerd.
Taking my dare, Dean hopped on the freeway and we headed for The D. I suggested that we park elsewhere and ride the People Mover (Detroit's version of Chicago's El). So he got off the freeway and headed for the only slightly familiar area of town, the Comerica Park area where he spends at least 3 or 4 evenings a summer watching the Tigers. There is an underground parking system throughout Detroit. We decided to park there, hop on the People Mover and take the scenic route to Greektown. We were being very adventurous.
So we drove down the ramp to the underground garage. This is where the little machine spits out a ticket that you will use as you exit to find out how much you will pay. Just as the machine produces our ticket, some guy comes running over, gets between us and the machine and takes our ticket. And he says this, "That'll be $10." My sweet Mr. pulls out a ten and hands it to him before I can say anything. So now the man has our parking ticket and our money and we are under the D. I told the guy to give us our ticket so we could pay as we leave and he says, no. He keeps the ticket. I argue a bit and he walks away to get us a "receipt." I say, "You know this guy is scamming you." The Mr. is looking anxious at this point.
The man comes back to tell us, "The girl that does the receipts went to the store. Don't worry. We'll be here when you get back."
So I lean across and say, "Give us our money back. We're not parking here, just let us out the exit." Well, the Mr. and the man reach some kind of agreement wherein we get a hand-written
receipt and we will park. The man gets to keep our ticket and our money.
We hop on the People Mover and by the time we get off at Greektown, I've finally convinced the Mr. that we have been ripped off and I have him terrified at the prospect of attempting to get our car out of the garage with no ticket to prove that we actually paid in the first place. I regaled him with a few scenarios of auto theft and slashed tires just to make it more interesting.
After a delicious lunch we got back on the People Mover with great concern. We returned to the park under which our car is parked. To enter the garage, one must go through a door into this plexiglass structure and take stairs down into the garage proper. The door is locked. We walked to another entrance, locked. And here's your sign. Literally. PUBLIC PARKING GARAGE OPEN MONDAY-FRIDAY. CLOSED SATURDAY AND SUNDAY. Did I mention it was Saturday. Oh dear.
Now the Mr. is very anxious, and so am I. Luckily at this point, Grady from Sanford and Son pulled up. We tell him what seems to have happened. He says, "Well you're not supposed to fall for that." And then he drove away.
We called our friend Marty who is a very manly unanxious man and also a Wayne County Sheriff whom we knew to be working at that very moment at the downtown jail. He felt we would probably be able to simply walk down into the garage via the vehicle exit ramp and get our car. We were both concerned about the wisdom of this idea being that a gang of banditos surely awaited us with socks full of pennies with which to jack us up.
Marty felt sorry for us, poor pitiful people that we are. He loves us and so he does not make fun of us to our faces. What he said to his sheriff friends might be another story. To the Mr. he said, "Go have a cup of coffee. I get off work in an hour and then I"ll come there and get your car out for you." This was a relief. And it also made me mad. I did not want to wait an hour. I want my car back.
So whilst the Mr. continues to talk with Marty, I took my pepper spray out of my purse and headed down the vehicle exit ramp. The Mr. called out, "What are you doing?".
"I'm going to get my freaking car." says I.
So he decided that he would go with me. And down into the cavern we went. And there were the banditos. And there was our car. "Unlock it now with the remote." I told the Mr. It's a good thing for us I am a pretend undercover secret agent so I know all the tricks. I figure, I'll blind 'em while Dean starts up the car and we'll crash through the gate.
The banditos must've been scared by the menacing look in my eye because they did not even look at us but pretended to be carefree by singing and cracking wise.
We got in the car and pulled up the gate. It looked like we were gonna have to crash the gate doing 98, so I said let them truckers roll; 10-4. (That's a little 70s musical throwback for ya.)
Then a large African American woman hollered out, "Hold on!"
She came over as I got my pepper spray at the ready. She leaned over. She pulled the panel off the gate and jimmied something causing the gate to rise. And we drove away quickly.
Paying criminals to park illegally in the Detroit underground parking system, $10.
Getting away alive, priceless.
Next week we're eating at Panera.

1 Chronicles 11:15
Three of the thirty chiefs came down to David to the rock at the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Of Soup & Desserts

Green leaves turn to gold and red around these parts and cool temperatures have prompted us to embrace Autumn knowing full well that winter is coming. This time of year always settles us down to quietness and more predictable routines. Daboyz no longer get up and go to school together, a fact that makes me a little sad if I think about it too much. Our time of high school football and snuggling up in the stands while I pray through chattering teeth for no injuries is only a memory of time that went by way too fast.
Now Jay works and goes to school, Mac is a full time student. Both have their own lives that don't dance to the same rhythm we once shared as a family. We find ourselves, this first year of no more "children" at home, finding different ways to stay together. I see us over the last month gravitating toward one another on the weekends. The Mr. and I make no plans for Saturday evening or Sunday, making ourselves available should daboyz be at home with us. And more often than not, at home with us they are. It is an unofficial but on purpose way of being a family; knowing our time together is more history than future, at least under the same roof. Oh sure, there are dates and plans that come along and nothing official requires anyone to be home on the weekends. But all things being equal, we like to find ourselves settled into our warm and comfortable living room watching a DVD or even just the television shows we have recorded from the week prior and saved to share.
Part of this new tradition is eating homemade dinners and I have started making something sweet to nibble on through the weekend. The dessert dish lasts just about through until Monday. I usually make a pot of soup as well that we share and the last few bowls make evening snacks for daboyz after we've gone to bed. There is nothing fancy in these meals and desserts but it anchors us back together despite this season of life that might make us drift too far too fast. I remain grateful beyond words that these boys of mine eat soup and dessert with us on cold Saturday evenings. I awake on Sunday mornings and sip coffee with worship on my lips knowing that they will awaken and attend church with us. God has been so very generous to this house.

3 Chicken breasts, 2 Cups brown rice (dry), Beef broth, Crushed or diced tomatoes, 2 Packets taco seasoning, small can green chillies

1. Cover chicken breasts with broth, bring to boil and cook through. Remove and cut into bite-sized pieces.
2. Return chicken breasts to broth, add rice and bring to boil.
3. Reduce to simmer, add taco seasoning, tomatoes, chillies.
4. Simmer about 30 minutes or until rice is cooked.

**Great with cheese quesadillas. Try sliced Colby Jack cheese for easy prep!

This week I was lazy on the dessert. I made gluten-free chocolate cake from a mix (thank the Lord for such luxury!) with coconut pecan frosting from a can. And it was fabulous!

Finally, let me be politically incorrect and decidedly anti-feminist. I not only prepare these meals, I serve my guys. For us, it's loading up your bowl in the kitchen with mom at the ladle and then hunkering down in the living room for movie time. Then I bring in dessert. It is not service like a waitress, it is servant-hood as a ministry to my family. This world does not make ministry to one another in our homes a common practice. Find a way to serve your family, even if it is a cup of coffee in the morning. It will bind you together in heavenly places, I promise.
Oh, and a nice bowl of soup with some chocolate cake for dessert doesn't hurt either.
Blessings to your home and family.

Joel 2:26 You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Some Enchanted Evening

A few years ago, my friend Cathie scored some tickets to a Halloween party sponsored by her favorite morning radio crew. It was a great time and here and there you've seen the picture taken of myself and the Mr. in our pirate outfits.
About a week ago, Cathie told me that the magic was gone, she could not seem to win tickets to this year's event. We all gave up hope. Then on Wednesday night she called my cell to report a miracle! She was caller number 25 and we were going to the Magic Halloween party! The Mr. ultimately couldn't go so I tapped my sister, Amy, as my date. I recommend having a sister whom you can force to attends events with you if you're lacking a date. Being last minute, we hadn't anything prepared in the way of costumes and didn't want to spend lots of $$ on something from a costume shop.
I called Amy at work on Friday and told her I had decided to be a cowboy/girl/person. Being that I already have fabulous boots, it was a no brainer. She tells me, "I'm going to be a cowgirl too!" Well, initially this seemed like such a cute idea it was sure to make everything that much more fun! Two cowgirl sisters!
We decide to meet with the other two nurses who are going to the party at a local hotel so we can all drive together. Amy arrives and gets out of her car. I am wearing my jeans, denim jacket, black cowboy hat and boots. Amy is wearing a skirt, red & white gingham shirt, SPURS!, a straw hat a minute....something strange...long brown braids. Amy has purchased a wig.
So there I am in my jeans and jacket. There she is in her Hee Haw Honey outfit. Are you getting a picture in your head. We do not look like adorable cowgirl sisters. We look like "life partners". And I am the butch. I said BUTCH.
Well, my friends Cathie and Donna thought this was hilarious to be sure. So hilarious that at the party, Cathie decides to kick it up a notch. One of the morning crew d.j.s stops at our table to welcome us and Cathie says to him, "And this is Sara and Amy. They're life partners!" Mike the disc jockey mumbles something like "Well, hey, that's cool..." and wanders away never to drift past our table for the remainder of the evening while Amy and I shout, "No! We're sisters! Really!"
The unfortunate proof of this travesty is in the photograph of Amy and me that you see here. We are going to have to make more careful wardrobe choices for the Melissa Ethridge concert.
And please, stop calling us Ellen and Portia.
Although obviously, I would be Ellen.

October 28, 2007

Isaiah 33:20 Just take a look at Zion, will you? Centering our worship in festival feasts! Feast your eyes on Jerusalem, a quiet and permanent place to live. No more pulling up stakes and moving on, no more patched-together lean-tos. Instead, God! God majestic, God himself the place in a country of broad rivers and streams, But rivers blocked to invading ships, off-limits to predatory pirates. For God makes all the decisions here. God is our king. God runs this place and he'll keep us safe. (The Message)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A Truly Trivial Post

1. We went to the Henry Ford Museum for Sweetest Day, which is where we took this photo.
2. We were married 21 years as of October 25.
3. When I have PMS his feet make me angry.
4. He hates jumbalaya.
5. Apparently I have a Popeye left arm.
6. I had to sit on the Mr.'s lap for the picture because our butts were too wide for the bench.
7. We always think we look much younger than other couples our age, and then we see pictures and cry.
8. I call him Deano, he calls me Sari.
9. Mac recently said that when we got married, his dad rounded up and I rounded down in potential. Therefore, he takes relationship advice only from his dad.
10. I can pretty much talk him into anything.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Lesson Learned

The Mr. and I went to Chilli's the other night for dinner. It was the dark and cold end to a long day and we were tired. We really wanted to eat and head home for a long autumn's nap.
We noticed that the service was pretty slow. Our burger and salad seemed to be taking a long time. We speculated that there must be a new cook or problems in the kitchen. Maybe somebody called off. Eventually we lapsed into a comfortable tired silence waiting for our meals.
Across the aisle sat two elderly ladies. They were already seated and sipping their soft drinks when we arrived. After we had been waiting ourselves quite a while, I noticed they didn't have their food yet either. They continued to chat and seemed to not mind the extended wait. Eventually the waitress came out and delivered one of the ladies her fish dinner. Her companion's food was not served. The manager came over and spoke to the second woman, "Sorry, your meal was overcooked. We're making you a new one right now. It'll be a few more minutes."
"Ok", said the woman. The two continued to converse as only one ate her dinner. Quite a few minutes later the replacement meal arrived. The first woman's meal was almost gone. Just as the second lady began to eat, across the restaurant several people broke out in song led by the waitstaff, "Happy birthday..."
The elderly woman who had waited heaven knows how long for her meal put down her fork and knife to sing along doing a little jig in her seat and smiling broadly. After the song she applauded the birthday boy, picked up her utensils with a smile and continued eating her belated meal.
Oh, for a heart that radiates such joy that the people across the aisle in a restaurant feel Jesus just for being in the same room.

Proverbs 15:13 A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Ugly Love

"Another of my favorite loves is the love that has been fought for and regained. This is not a pretty love, but it is a mighty love. There is a strength and determination you see in couples with this kind of love that creates an air of steadiness. I am in awe of this kind of love." Kaymac
Not a pretty love, but a mighty love. This is one of the most powerful descriptions of love that I've ever heard. It describes, finally, what love really is. No roses or star-crossed lovers but tears and sleepless nights to sustain us.
The Mr. and I have never been romantic. We don't care about cards and when we exchange them we often read them, thank each other and then throw them away that evening. If there is a note inside, they are put away sometimes for keepsakes. Sweetest Day and Valentine's Day mean nothing.
And we are not in a pretty love.
I am about as blunt as a person can be so I think if he needed a pretty love; he'd have moved on long ago. We are here together today because when he threatened divorce I did not promise we'd be friends and wish him well. I told him I'd make him miserable until my dying breath. I gave him two choices, dig in and fix this hot mess or leave and I'll mess you up forever. I hate "friendly" divorces. It's an oxymoron and the emphasis is on the moron.
I will awaken him in the middle of the night if I'm angry or scared. It is, I assure you, not pretty. We will stand toe to toe in pajamas with puffy eyes sparring until we get where we need to be. We do not spare one another the truth nor do we use the truth to do harm.
If I ask him, he'll tell me my butt is fat. I'll tell him his is if he doesn't ask.
If he tries to snuggle and it ain't a good time, I will dissuade him with a gentle, "Get off me!"
When I talk to people who are so committed to being positive and gentle with one another that they don't know how their spouse feels or what their spouse wants, I think that person is a positively gentle fool. I like to get to the bottom of Dean's heart this way, "What the freak are you talking about?"
I will eat the last cold White Castle out of the fridge even if he wants it and I know it. He will watch football even if I want to watch Brigadoon. Neither of us will lose sleep over the disappointment we've caused the other.
He bought a single orchid to put in this giant ceramic vase we have. I told him it looked stupid. Well, it did.
We ain't pretty. You can't go to war and be pretty. And if you're gonna make it for the long haul together it's time to lock and load. If you are afraid to speak your mind or be seen with vomit stains on your shirt, you're missing out. If you can't raise your voice and demand to be understood, you might be very lonely while living in a full house.
I am not advocating being verbally abusive or crass. I am telling you that before this man walks out of my life I will trip him at the door and Gilooly his kneecaps. I will hobble him like Kathy Bates did in Misery. I will cry the ugly cry and scream until the neighbors complain.
Before I will wonder if he knows me like I want to be known I will turn off King of Queens and tell him to 'LISTEN TO ME RIGHT NOW!'
Before I sink into dark despair from the depression that is wired into my head, I will say flat out, "I'm depressed, help me." The end of the game where I wait for him to realize I'm sad is too far away. I decline the right to not speak my needs and then hold his ignorance against him.
In high school, on Saturday nights we'd go out and be back to my house by around 9:00. At that point Dean would visit with my parents while I showered. Then there I would sit with wet hair and no make up while my long hair air dried. When it was finally dry I'd set it on pink sponge rollers so on Sunday I'd be beauteous. This may have been where we turned ugly.
Love is not pretty. It's work and war and settling for nothing less. It's holding back my hair when I puke and rubbing his feet after work.

Love happens in the trenches where you see what you are made of. Love causes death...sometimes on a cross and always to yourself.
Sometimes it's gotta get ugly to see the beauty.

October 25, 1986

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I Like...

I like tuna fish sandwiches. I like my new cowboy boots and my turquoise scrubs and my burgundy cords from last year that I forgot I had. I like my hair today and my fingernail polish. I like sleeping in a sweatshirt when it's cool and rainy outside like last night. I like that I have a medium weather coat with a hood for fall days.
I like my purse from Kohl's that's brown and black and burgundy.
I like that Jay e mails me stupid stuff. I like that Mac calls me at work if he needs me and that I have a job that allows me to talk to him.
I like my nursing school ring. I like disco.
I like Autumn and that there's home made soup warming for me right now. I like my gramma and grampa's antique Grandmother's clock that is on my landing. I like when my mom buys me magazines and also when she takes me out to lunch in Greektown (like yesterday).
I like it that my contact list on my e mail account is about two miles long because I have many friends and when I e mail prayer requests I get about a thousand replies overnight.
I like blogs.
I like my clothes ironed and creased. I like it that Folger's extra dark roast is just as good as Tim Hortons and I save money.
I like it that my friend calls me Beara and my manager calls me Sister.
I like e mails and notes in the snail mail. I like bottled water and my new kitchen appliances.
I like planning going to Greenfield Village Holiday Nights with my family even though my snot will freeze to my face and my dad stops at every bonfire for three years at a time. I don't like chestnuts roasted on an open fire but I buy them and I do like them when we all share a bag together.
I like it that my friends agree with every crazy idea that I come up with and pretend I'm brilliant.
I like flannel sheets. I like the watches my friends at work bought me with a bunch of different bands. I like having a new car and I like that it's orange.
I like it when someone trusts me enough to cry in front of me.
I like books and especially reading in bed right before sleep. I like sock monkeys. I like my church and hearing my husband sing and play bass.
I have been redeemed by such a great love, why not enjoy the window dressings of life?
What do you like?

Job 33:28 He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit, and I will live to enjoy the light.

Monday, October 22, 2007

When Life Stinks

It's really easy to get in a rut. To carry yesterday's stuff into the morning hours of today and let junk that should've had a limited shelf-life become a permanent resident of our thoughts. We all know about bitterness if we've dealt with someone who always ends up talking about the thing that hurt them; even if it was many years ago.
Satan can torment us with yesterday's pain because he attacks us with condemning thoughts as though we could somehow change the past. It's a perfect torture, regret with no fix. Of course, in Christ we are offered the simple exchange of our pain for his blood. We accept it and then forget to use it, like a costly perfume we reserve for special occasions only to find it has lost its scent from sitting unused for so long. Please, don't quibble about the things I've done vs. those done to me in terms of hurt and relief. The exit ramp runs the same way, toward Jesus. We will trust him with our eternities, just not our todays. And the perfume sits in the medicine cabinet benefiting no one but the Ben Gay one shelf over.
I have decided to just knock it off. Stop thinking about the crap that weighs on my mind. If I can't stop thinking about it right now, I can certainly stop talking about it. P.S. if you stop talking about it you will by default, stop thinking about it. And if you stop talking and thinking about it you will by default, stop dreaming about it.
Of course, if you feed a rabid dog, it will hang around for more. Your choice.
For years, the Mr. has given me Organza perfume for Christmas. It's a luxury I have, in lean years, told him to pass on. But he has always come through, even if the bottle was tiny. I would wear the perfume only on special days and Sundays to save it. When I started working I started using it on the weekends figuring if I ran out before Christmas, I could afford more. Lately I've been wearing it here and there through the week. And then you know what happened? I ran out. Being that Organza is pricey and Christmas is a few months away, I did the sensible thing and went to Bath & Body Works to buy a cheapy perfume to hold me over. Of course, because it's cheap, the scent does not last so I bought shower gel and lotion in the same scent. And spent the same thing one bottle of Organza would cost. And the scent disappears before I get to work in the morning. So silly.
The comfort of Christ will not run out, the sweet scent of surrender will surround you every day if only you would accept it in exchange for the pressures of life. Don't let that gift sit on the shelf until you forget how good it makes you feel. Enjoy the fullness of your sonship or daughtership.
When you get up in the morning, ask for God to cover yesterday's mistakes and minimize the damage. Ask for wisdom to manage today better and learn the lessons that go with it. Give the people who bring hurt to your doorstep over to Christ and pray for their peace so that their blessings will cover you by association.
Use the good perfume. It makes the bad days nicer.

Lamentations 3:22-24
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 I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Autumn Feast

When the Mr. went to Alabama for the weekend, daboyz and I took advantage by eating the stuff WE love and he hates. So we didn't eat out for a single meal. The Mr. is one of those people that only eats what he loves. If it isn't his favorite, he won't be unkind but he won't just eat it either. He'll just sit there and eventually go get himself some Mexican. That's kind of discouraging when you're cooking.
Anyway, Jay can purchase gluten free bread at a nearby specialty store that is pretty much useless unless you make grilled cheese out of it so we started with that goal...grilled cheese. He likes peasant soup but can't eat in restaurants because their soup is always thickened with flour. So I made a home made peasant soup of sorts to go with our grilled cheese. That was Saturday. To top it off on Sunday I made jambalaya. The Mr. HATES jambalaya. I'm think this will prevent him from going to heaven.
Finally, for something sweet I made apple crisp. Again, desserts for Jay is a challenge. So I found a recipe with little flour which I switched out for tapioca flour and using mainly oatmeal as the "crisp."
I was a very popular mom.
So popular that when the following weekend rolled around daboyz were already asking for a repeat. Although Margie is the recipe queen, I thought I'd share these favorites. I assure you they are easy as I refuse to make anything involve multiple steps. For autumn days, I think you'll enjoy 'em! Warning: All measurements are estimates. I measure nothing, it's how I roll.

Peasant Soup aka the Lord's Souper (per Jay) aka Pleasant Soup (per Mac)
1 lb. cubed veal (use meat of your choice if this horrifies you) (or get over it!)
3-4 potatoes, cubed
1 can peas
1 bag frozen carrots
package celery
1 large can beef broth
1 large can crushed tomato
basil, pepper, garlic, salt to taste
**I think onion and green pepper would be good but daboyz don't like 'em.

Brown veal in olive oil. Add potatoes and quick fry with veal to soften and season. Add beef broth and seasons and bring to boil. Add tomato, celery, carrots, peas and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Have a grilled cheese, colby jack please, to go with.

Easy Jambalaya
1 package kielbasa or Dearborn sausage if you can get it.
Minute Rice brown or white rice, six cups (prepared)
2 cans red beans
1 large can crushed tomato
white pepper, cumin, garlic, chili powder, paprika to taste

Simmer sausage and add cooked rice to pan, stir in to season rice. Add beans and crushed tomato, season to taste. Eat!

Apple Crisp
4-6 apples, peeled, cored, sliced.
Cover with 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 cup brown sugar or Splenda brown, 1 TB sugar or Splenda, 1 tsp flour
Put into 9x11 pan sprayed with Pam.
1 1/2 cup quick cook oatmeal, 1/4 c. flour, 3/4 c. melted butter, 1 cup chopped walnuts mixed together until crumbly. Spread over top.
Cook at 350 for 45 minutes. Serve warm!

Even if you're a busy person, find one day a week to cook something wholesome and delicious to enjoy as a family. I'm telling you, even scrambled eggs and toast will do. Don't let the good old days of family dinners be lost to your home.

October 21, 2007

Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we ARE healed.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

About Arlene & Barry

1. I don't remember not knowing them.
2. Barry's green suit.
3. The first time the Mr. saw Barry he was hesitant to invite him to play piano at church. I was the church pianist at that time. Insert hysterical laughter here.
4. Barry played keyboard at our wedding.
5. Barry & Arlene took us out to dinner at Mama Mia one Sunday night right after we were married. It was the first restaurant meal we'd had in weeks. We were broke and they paid. They didn't know we were broke, they just loved us. It filled my heart and my belly.
6. Their daughter baby sat daboyz. They called her Amburger.
7. When we were talking about divorce, they refused to allow it. They prayed us through without ever taking any side but God's.
8. They grew from the same roots I did.
9. They came to our house the day we brought home each of Daboyz.
10.They are my family.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Praying & Praising

Fell asleep on my fabulous couch and never did post! Anyway, it's off to bed with me now but I wish you all a beautiful weekend ahead. My Mr. informed me early in the week that he wanted to be with me and do something fun and special so that we shall do, and my choice! I have a plan but it's a secret for the moment.
Whatever your week has held, it is behind you and another one waits to fill with whatever you choose. There will be surprises ahead, to be sure. Still you will respond by your own mind which direction your days lead. As for me, I choose to let worry stay in the yesterdays and embrace the wisdom earned to invest in better tomorrows. They will be made better by the heart in me that becomes new every day in Christ. So today finds me grateful, peaceful and looking forward to the new me created in the coming sunrise.
May your worries roll away with the week past. May your joy be full as your heart is made new. And remember, in the's all a matter of praising or praying.
There aren't really any decisions at all.

James 5:13
Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

What, Me Worry?

Me: God! What do I do? What do I do?

God: Chill, I got this.

Me: Kay.

I had about ten minutes today of thinking too hard about something unpleasant. During that time I came up with absolutely no ideas. This is new to me. Usually in that amount of time I could've come up with at least twenty very stupid ideas that seem brilliant in the moment. I would then proceed to enact at least two of them in some impulsive manner. Afterward I devote many days to worrying about my reaction to the things that worry. Today, however, my mind was a vast wasteland. Not a thought or idea in there.
And then ya know what? The worry and the wonder went away too.
All in all, progress!

Luke 12:25-27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? "Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

When The Journey Is Too Much

A few months ago some of us went to Barry and Arlene's home for a prayer gathering. Just an informal moment when a bunch of us came together to pray for Arlene's strength and healing. In we walked and there sat Arlene on the couch. Dean and I don't spend lots of time at the Wilburn home; they're busy and we're busy and that's just how it is. The great thing is, it doesn't matter. The point is, I feel at home there.
I'm not one of those people who can settle in and relax anywhere. I am really entirely at ease in a few places and mainly prefer to be in my own home. But through the years I have run headlong into pain and problems that left me running to others for help, comfort and just plain old love. Those were the times when I was so soul-tired that my own four walls just weren't enough. I needed to be taken care of. Arlene's couch reminded me of those times.
I've laid on my gramma's couch under a soft afghan when I was sick while she made me soup. I've cat-napped on my mom's couch when daboyz were babies, stealing some down time while she and my dad took over baby duty. I have the most wonderful couch in the world, soft and cozy and perfect for snuggling when you don't quite want to go to bed but you wouldn't mind a snooze.
I've never stretched out on Barry & Arlene's couch, but I bet they'd let me if it would make me feel better. I feel welcome on the couch of Pat/Trish too. I'd not hesitate to make myself at home on a number of couches if the world just got too heavy for me to bear it and I needed a little TLC. In fact, I believe that T-Fab has a red couch that would certainly be available should I need to run away from home.
God understands when we're just too tired to keep on pushing forward. He knows when our feet get tired and our minds can't think another thought. He always has someone there who is willing to let us use their couch until we are strong enough to get back on the road. My couch is available too, should you need a place to lay with a soft afghan while someone makes you soup and feeds your weary soul. I'm an excellent soup maker and as I mentioned, my couch is superb.
Don't ever feel ashamed when you need to lay down and rest. There's a couch somewhere waiting to welcome your weary body.

1 Kings 19:4-7 ... while he himself went a day's journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. "I have had enough, LORD," he said. "Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors." 5 Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, "Get up and eat." 6 He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. 7 The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, "Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you."

my awesome couch>>

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Word

How punishing words can be. Think about how hard it is to accept an apology for hurtful words, they keep ringing in your ears even when the speaker repents. Think about adults who still feel sting of words heard in childhood. Think about hearing yourself saying something and then the immediate horror of it coming out of your mouth.
I have to keep a close watch on my words. I use them foolishly. And then I feel physically ill for the next hundred years while my own soundtrack repeats in my head. I have asked God to never take that discomfort from me because it keeps me careful as I learn to hold my words in check. I often think my regrets of today will save me from worse regrets tomorrow.
I hear doctors speaking to patients and see the dread that their words cause. The same information wrapped in different words might leave hope instead of despair. I know how to speak gently to my husband or how to give the same message dripping with sarcasm and humiliation.
We have all been the recipient of unwanted opinions that turn a good day into a bad one. Recently a co-worker said to me, "You've quit your diet, huh? Bad choice. The truth hurts dearie." Seriously. Then she walked away chuckling. Yes, I know I have gained an entire size. No, I don't like it. But only just now did I stop feeling like I could turn it around and start feeling ugly.
With the world of e mailing and blogging at our finger-tips, how much more we need to give our words to Christ every morning. There is no inflection or facial expression to interpret my words. I have hurt people who misunderstood my meaning because I dropped an e mail instead of making a visit. Trying to be cautious I write my blogs ahead of time and then post them after several days to be sure that I am not being hurtful, intentionally or not. Likewise, I have more than once deleted or archived a post that was a response to something specific. Confronting someone on a blog is dirty pool. I've done it, I know. It's a coward's method for public humiliation.
Words are powerful. They are the essence of God that spun the earth into orbit. They are the life spoken over our dying souls. They are the resurrection of our savior and the offering of our lips.
Dear God, may the gift words you have given me be tempered that I would bring you glory. May I wrap life around the message of death spoken by the enemy. Forgive me when my words are given to satan for his use. Redeem me continually.

1 Kings 8:59 And may these words of mine, which I have prayed before the LORD, be near to the LORD our God day and night, that he may uphold the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel according to each day's need...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Well, I Never!

I used to be a Christian who could say with a straight face, "I could never..."; you fill in the blank. Have an affair, be a drug addict, beat my kids, cheat on my taxes... I remember a sobering moment years ago as I heard someone say something with a conviction I'd often heard in my own voice, "I could never let myself be fat." I weighted 275 pounds at the time. Wow. Turns out that someone else looked at me through those same self-righteous eyes I had been turning on other people. It was then that I reconsidered my I-could-never theories.
Today I think, "Yeah, I totally could...." If my life had a title it would often say, 'there but for the grace of God go I.' Oh, I could...
I could have an affair. You heard me, I could. My I-could-never days happened to be during those 275 pound homemaker days. Read between the lines here, I didn't have an opportunity. Today I weigh less, have more self-esteem, look better and guess what? I have opportunities. I've been propositioned. And no, I have not had an affair. Not because I-could-never. Had those men crossed my path back in my unhappily married days, it would have been the perfect storm. A pretty me + a miserable marriage + a nice guy who appreciates me = adultery. I often think that God knew I couldn't be trusted with the opportunities then, I would've folded. Today I not only look better, I am better. I am whole and healed and more importantly, humbled. I know the depths of my own heart and I guard what resides there. I require the Holy Spirit to stand guard.
I could never be a drug addict? Alcoholic? Easy to say being raised in a drug and alcohol-free home and married to a guy from the same place. I never tried the stuff. If I had, I assure you judging from my food addiction that I'd be a junky.
And yes, I've wanted to knock my boys across the room. And yes I've been so financially strapped I'd have probably cheated on my taxes if I knew how. And if that shocks you, I'll tell you something else, I've made late payments on every debt I have and given a lot less than 10% in the plate on Sunday. Guess what? It's all cheating. Used the phone and didn't pay for it? Ain't that cheating? Hello? Anybody out there?
I am capable of magnificent deceit given the right conditions. I have a particular gift for evil. I can hold a grudge until it screams for mercy and tell you I'm praying then forget all about you.
I could never be anything but a cheating, abusive junky unless God took over the real me and covered me in grace.
I can hate and kill and sleep with other people's husbands. I can steal and lie and shoot heroin in a dark alley. I can be so self-righteous that I can't see beyond my own arrogance.
But I could never make myself worth saving.
The only way to stop the thief and the murderer and the prostitute who lives inside of me is to take her honestly to Christ and sacrifice her. I have to stop believing I am beyond doing anything. And stop believing others are beyond redemption.
It's all about Christ. When he becomes all that matters, I could never be what I used to be.

Psalm 38:18 I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Ecclesiastes 4:12 ...A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

This was my wedding verse. The three strands being myself, the Mr. and Christ. We got married with the determination that only in Christ would our union remain unbroken.
When our marriage started to struggle, I wondered where that determination went. How quickly we were unraveling and why wasn't Christ holding us together anymore? Four years of pain passed before the I learned how to receive my miracle. It was simply forgiveness. Yes, marriage requires a lot of forgiveness. And doesn't the Word teach us that forgiveness given is the requirement for forgiveness received? Why is it such a mystery then, that this should be so?
In the darkest days, I was convinced that my husband was having an affair. I "knew" who this woman was. She worked with him. Today I truly cannot remember how I reached this conclusion but it was a belief I held in my marrow. I could tell you I was angry but that would be not quite right. I was tormented. I was devastated and humiliated. I was dying but still breathing. My soul was burned. No matter how I railed at him to confess, Dean denied this adultery that I was so sure of. This did nothing to reassure me. We were so unhappy that there was no rest for my mind. This was the four years I mentioned.
Having screamed and cried and wished for death I became exhausted. I felt too tired to have an eternity in heaven. And then I gave up. I laid on my face for more nights than I can count with no words left in me; my very soul begging to be saved from this torment. I had nothing left and finally laid there in complete silence of mind and body. And Jesus told me to forgive him. I didn't want to, especially since he hadn't yet confessed much less requested my forgiveness. I knew though, that my unforgiveness was the thing that was killing me. If I could not forgive, I could not be forgiven. Could this then be the true source of my agony? Was I actually being crushed by the weight of my own condemnation by refusing to allow forgiveness to flow into and through my life?
Still, I could not forgive him. I could not stop the rage that had become all that I was. So I started praying a pitiful prayer. "God, make me want to forgive him." That prayer was months long. Then I wanted to forgive.
"God,make me strong enough to forgive him." Several more months. And the fights raged on.
"God, I forgive him." And I was saved.
I told Dean I loved him at least twice a day, morning and evening. He said nothing. And I forgave the silence. And I was lifted.
I submitted myself to him while he wouldn't look me in the eye. I cleaned his house and cooked his meals and raised his sons. And I was peaceful.
And four years passed.
And he came home after midnight shift and woke me up. And he said this, "I love you. Please forgive me."
It was easy because it had already been done. Oh, not by me. I am not able to forgive anyone. But Christ in me pushed the foolish ways of my understanding aside and forgiveness received us both together.
Did Dean have an affair? Do you really want to know? You'll have to ask him. I have told him never to reveal it to me. I choose to forget because that is the requirement of forgiveness. I release my right to ask any longer. I do not look for signs of infidelity. The woman? I cannot remember her name. I pray that God has blessed her and given her all the good things he intended for her.
Forgiving is a choice that starts with a simple prayer, "Make me want to forgive." And it flows from past to present and then like a wave it covers the future with glory.
Do not allow unforgiveness to torment you. The weight you carry is consequence of stopping the forgiveness God intends for you by not allowing forgiveness itself to reside within you.
Embrace forgiveness so that you can be embraced. This is not a marriage lesson, it is a life lesson.
And it is true, the cord of three strands will not be broken.


Dean's favorite verse...

2 Chronicles7:14 ... if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

About Dean...

1. He is a bass player and singer in our church band.
2. He is two years older than me.
3. He always puts gas in my car.
4. He always says I have my RN as in, "And then Sara got her RN" which drives me nuts because I do not have my own registered nurse.
5. He laughs a lot.
6. He buys my feminine products in emergencies and knows exactly which kind to get.
7. He has small ears.
8. He's a good driver.
9. He thinks I'm smarter than I am.
10. He talks way too loud all the time.

Feel free to add your own!

Friday, October 12, 2007


The Mr. is about 30 minutes from his folks' house, thanks everybody for your prayers! I had a long day but came home to find my mom had dropped off one of my favorite dishes, Hungarian cabbage & noodles AND some home grown tomatoes to go with! Since Jay can't eat noodles and Mac doesn't like it, it's all mine!
Before he left the Mr. had our carpet steam-cleaned and did some straightening up and cleaning out around our house. It's cool and breezy with the windows open and I'm going to treat myself to the quiet house and wonderful food. I have de-braed, wearing a hoody and pajama pants already I'm settled in with a book and my thoughts.
Please continue to pray for Dean as he'll be turning right around to head back on Sunday. I have an unspoken request for myself and I'll probably be able to share more next week.
My unreasonable conversation went well. You see, God keeps pressing Dean and I to extend grace and mercy to someone and there are concerns that we are being taken in by well-meaning people. We're not handing over our bank books or anything, we're just loving open-handedly. We can't argue with anybody's opinions because chances are that they are right. We just feel a blind unreasonable love. I argued with God about being tougher in our attitudes with our friend and here is what my spirit feels...
It is better to give grace and mercy to someone who turns their back on it than to deny it and see them lost. Thank you for your prayers although I know I was vague in my post. More wisdom is needed in the situation. Just ask God to move in David's (not his real name) life. And in the lives of those he touches.
Well, I'm off to relax.
Love you guys!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Come, Let Us Be Unreasonable

Tonight I have to be unreasonable.
I've been praying about something and thinking and figuring and wondering and talking and God has finally cracked my skull open with some divine light. The answer I have sought is unreasonable.
It demands that people do something that makes no sense. It requires action that won't fit into a formula. It can't be measured or quantified by results. It will not necessarily produce anything that will prove we did the right thing. This plan that God insists upon is all together unreasonable.
I will have nothing to stand on except my own conviction. And that is something I myself have doubted all along. It is inescapable. It is unreasonable. A few silly people have said that my input will count for something and here I am, advising we all be unreasonable.
In a few hours I will have an unreasonable discussion that leaves me vulnerable for failure. I have asked God to promise that this leap of faith will be successful but he won't pinky swear. He says we have to be unreasonable. Something about the substance of things we hope for and the evidence of things we can't see. In other words, no promises Sweet Pea.
I hope you'll take a moment or two to pray for this unreasonable situation although I'm sure you're wondering what in the world I'm rambling about. I'd like to say I'll fill you in later, but probably not. It's not only unreasonable, it's private.
The only reason I'm willing to have this get-together of the unreasonable is that it took an unreasonable act to save my life.
So as far as I'm concerned, the unreasonable is entirely...reasonable.

Isaiah 55:9
"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."

p.s. The Mr. leaves for Alabama first thing in the morning to attend his dad's surprise 80th birthday party on Saturday. He'll return Sunday and back to work on Monday. It's a 12 hour drive one way and he's going it alone; between work and school Daboyz and I couldn't come long. Please pray for his safety and that he stays awake driving! Thanks!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I am a woman of phases. I wear make up for a while, then go bare-faced. I want my hair short! Long! Curly! Straight! Pony tail! Anything but a pony tail! Jewelry! No jewelry!
Essentially, I am a flake.
Sometimes this ever shifting personality tires me out. I am forever wondering about what next. I am longing for some kind of consistentsy and changing on the inside all at once. I think I know what I want to pursue in the future but when the future gets here, it ain't what I want after all.
I'm in another one of those moments of trying to figure it out. It's where God wants me that I'm wrestling with. What he wants of me. Some things of which I've been absolutely certain have recently fallen out from under me as though built on a mudslide. And yet, the time I've spent in pursuit of these things, I know, has been within his will.
Some people, I suppose, are made for change. And I am one of them. How that can be I don't know because I always consider myself opposed to change.
Well, it's another one of those times for me. Seasons again, come to call. Only my personal Ecclesiastes is always an open-ended statement...A time for.......what?
I feel a squeezing and a shaping of my life into another form coming. I have taken a few steps of preparation. I am, as always, scared. I am, as always, telling the Lord that I'm not up to the challenge. He is not a Savior who pats me on the head, he tells me that I am indeed not up to it, so I better hold on even tighter to him because here we go!
I feel like I have one of those old divining rods and I'm searching for water, needing to be aware of the slightest tremor or I'll miss the mark.
And so I search after my shepherd's voice. Afraid for sure. Sighing with frustration that it's time again to learn and grow when I was just settling in. A little bit excited. A little bit sad.
I think I'll change my hair color and put on my cowboy boots and just make it a full-on make-over.
Since I was a little girl it seems like I've been lacing my prayers with a common theme, "God, you know what you're doing; right?"
So far, so good.

Isaiah 5:19
..."Let God hurry, let him hasten his work so we may see it. Let it approach, let the plan of the Holy One of Israel come, so we may know it."

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

We Are Marshall

Yes, I'm home!
We left Sunday after church for our third annual Marshall, Michigan anniversary trip. This year, I think we finally got it all right!
Right B & B (National House Inn). Right room, thank you Jesus (Brookes Suite). Right dinner (Schuler's Sunday brunch). No Ichabod Crane sightings I'm glad to report!
This was as perfect a weekend or getaway as we've ever had. Let me tell you how much God knows our hearts, and cares about what's in there. As you remember, last year I had asked for this specific room and the Mr. booked me for the Haunted Honeymoon Package causing less romance and more sarcasm than anything. So this year we carefully reserved the room I had originally hoped for, the Brookes Suite. Second floor, antique furnishings, claw foot tub, fireplace. Sweet little country room with what looked like yellow furnishings online. We got there and my heart overflowed with joy; the paper was almost the exact same paper as my room on The Farm. I felt like I had stepped back thirty years and was being held again by those sweet walls that used to embrace me. It was not yellow but ivory background with large pink flowers. The view out the second story windows was again, just like the tree-top view from my old room of leafy branches against a bright blue sky. This may seem silly to you, but it was like a tiny wound in my heart that I had grown accustomed to living with closed up. I think the grown-up in me said a better good bye to The Farm than the child had after just a few minutes laying in that old iron bed looking out the window. Some part of my heart realized that it wasn't really gone for good because those sweet days are forever a part of me. Remember that wallpaper Mom?
We ate lunch at Schulers and got there just in time for the Sunday brunch. Prime rib, ham, french toast, waffles, sausage, eggs, pot stickers, gnocchi, beef stew, salads, cheese & crackers, salmon, dessert...there is no way for me to list all there was on that buffet. Take my word for it, it was fabulous.
We walked around town a bit to walk off that great food although most of the shops were closed on a late Sunday afternoon. Back to our room where I swear to you, I was happy to stare out the windows! The Mr. watched football while I read. Margie called. Twice.
Later we strolled down the street to the historic tavern for bar burgers which we took back to eat in bed watching the moon backlight those tree branches that used to live on my Farm.
Monday morning we enjoyed breakfast at the inn. Waffles with blueberries, quiche, muffins and fresh preserves. Oh, and strong black coffee of course! Served in a Marshall, Michigan coffee mug that I really wanted to take home. Nothing special about it other than the Marshall emblem on the side and it was just a nice big deep mug.
We packed up and took a walk around Main Street to enjoy the shops during business hours. Mostly just window-shopping. We walked in to one of our favorite places and there was my coffee cup on sale! Again, God sees what small things will fill our hearts. I enjoyed my coffee before work out of my own Marshall mug!
At the Mole Hole, another favorite, we bought a Christmas ornament. I love Christopher Radko ornaments almost more than sock monkeys on my tree. We got a taco ornament because every Christmas Eve since Jay's diagnosis with Celiac Disease, we have Mexican food.
Every year since 2005 the Mr. and I have enjoyed our anniversary get-away to Marshall. The fist year he bought me a charm necklace like the one pictured here. Some years I get one charm to add, some years I get a few. We even buy my mom and sister a charm every year and last week Amy reminded me to get her her annual new charm.
I have charms that say family; truth; faith; laugh and joy. Every year I reach for the "love" charm but that slot is always empty. It must sell out the quickest.
This year God put the final detail on my trip because the "love" charms were finally there! I now have the charm I wanted that first year we went to Marshall.
So there's my anniversary weekend. It may sound like a lot of inconsequential moments to you, but the details of life make us who we are and it's the finer points that weave my own heart together. The Farm was real again for a few days. I'll hang my shiny taco ornament on our tree with a smile. I will wear my necklace that is starting to grow heavy with happy memories.
And I'll drink my coffee from my Marshall mug.
That should be more than enough to remind me of how well God knows me.
And loves me.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

October 7, 2007

1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

You May Not Know...

1. That I play piano. Used to be the church pianist. That was a dark day in the history of the church.
2. That my second and third toes on both feet are webbed. And Crocs don't fit me because my foot is not "tall" enough. My feet are pretty much flippers.
3. I am almost always achy and rarely without a headache.
4. Stress will, within a week, result in a sore throat in my world.
5. I failed Sociology in college straight out of high school. Apparently, not going to class or doing the homework negatively impacts one's grade point average.
6. Mac was an accident. I got pregnant while on the pill. Found out when I was in a car wreck and at the hospital they did a pregnancy test before they'd x-ray my whacked skull. No x-ray. Which explains both Mac and my current mental capacity.
7. I have terrible eye lashes, by that I mean relatively non-existent. Those that I have point in all directions, cannot be tamed with an eye lash curler and fall out constantly. And they're transparent. I have worn falsies (eye lashes!) to more than one formal occassion.
8. I buy tons of clothes that I wear once and then revert back to my stand by t-shirts and jeans.
9. I have gained 12 pounds.
10.I can't stand Hilary Clinton. I have sent her e mails promising to, for the first time in my life, actively campaign against a candidate should she run for president.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Boot Scoot Boogie

Finally Friday!

This week has lasted at least a month. But it's all been worth it because this is the weekend for the annual Bed & Breakfast Anniversary Get-Away! Hooray! Looking forward to our trip has been keeping me pushing forward all week.
My cowboys boots arrived today, yeeeha! The Mr. took me out to dinner and then we stopped for some smell-goods at Bath, Body, Bed, Boogers and Beyond or whatever that place is. I have some new jeans that are groovy and excellent-fitting. So great, I bought a second pair! The Mr. also, having been laid off for a while, has purchased groceries, done yard work, stocked up on gluten-free goodies and even put some fresh Autumn flowers on my front porch for me. He knows when we go away I obsess about all the undone stuff at home so I think he's trying to take away all my excuses not to relax.
I am ready to let life roll off my shoulders and Be the Mr.'s bride. Be a woman who does the best she can. Be a cowgirl in some fabulous jeans. Be good-smelling. Be blessed, and know that I am.
Happy Friday my friends!


Picture above taken last year in the Ichabod Crane Suite. We'll see if the Mr. booked the right room this time!

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Who deserves to work for the Lord? In Jesus' day there was no organized church with a building and a sign under which ministry was performed. It was like a game of faith tag. Jesus tagged you and off you went; with nothing but your willingness to speak for your ability.
Today we do background checks and require applications of our "workers." I don't really have a problem with that. This is, indeed, a different world than that first century church occupied. There are dangerous people who could harm others with the banner of ministry if they were so inclined. I have filled out an application myself in our church, to teach a lifegroup. I didn't mind. I considered it a good opportunity to reflect on where I am in life and what God has done for me. In a way, that application became my own epistle. I'm happy to tell you, I got the job. I am allowed to be an official Metrosouth lifegroup leader.
Of course, had my application been rejected, I am not so sure I'd be applauding the process.
It makes me ask, who do we reject?
The guy who is a recovering addict? The never-married mom?
How about the clearly undisciplined one who does not take care of his body as a temple of the Holy Spirit a.k.a. the obese guy.
Do the married couple spotted bickering in a local restaurant get the stamp of approval?
Jesus required willingness of heart and submission of spirit to His Lordship. But what about the woman who has both of those and a life of chaos to boot?
I am not writing this because I have the answers. I just wonder where that line is, that a person becomes undesirable to work for Jesus.
And what can they do to fix it?

1 Corinthians 1:26
Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are,

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Why Pray?

Because God can remove every cancerous cell with a wave of his hand.
Because God can choose to breathe life into a body that should've already given up even if the tumors remain.
Because his thoughts are above our thoughts and his ways are above our ways.
Because it is an honor to be a part of God's handiwork.
Because we love Arlene and will push satan away from her with our bare hands given the opportunity.
Because we are fallen, but standing.
Because God told us to.
Because Jesus already beat cancer.
Isaiah 53:5
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment of peace that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

1989, It Was A Very Good Year...

Happy 18th birthday Mac!
We are so proud of you and we love you so much!

Isaiah 54:10 Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,"...

Monday, October 01, 2007

How I Spent My Summer

As summer gives way and fall blows its crisp breath on my life, I always look back on the season and wonder if I used it well. Something about the childhood days of summer vacation has never released its hold on my perspective and so I am determined not to waste the warmth and sunshine. Michigan is greedy with such gentle days.
No longer do I count the minutes floating in my backyard pool or evenings gathering fireflies. Now I collect mornings in front of open windows with strong coffee in my mug and not having to shovel snow off of my car before work. And I also measure my seasons in more eternal ways. This summer of my fortieth year will not come again. How am I now better? Did I not only feel but express love more than in summer number 39? Do I understand my redemption in deeper places? Does my faith hold me strongly enough to cast my eyes toward eternity with longing instead of history with mourning?
In the school days we would settle in to write the essay, "What I Did During Summer Vacation." We should all mark the passing seasons with such an examination.
Yesterday I wrote this essay on my heart. More accurately, the Holy Spirit gave me the answer to the question..."What I Learned During The Summer Season."
We, the Mr. and myself, were turning left at a local intersection having just gotten a Starbuck's coffee in celebration of the cool Autumn day. We had been chatting during our errands about this and that. Muddling through trying to understand people we love and worry about. I heard myself say this, "What we want and what we do does not always line up."
I thought myself in that instant rather clever and profound. That thought had never occurred to me before and there it was, spoken out loud as though I had been in the desert fasting for forty days seeking wisdom.
And the Mr. replied with equal insight, "Wow, yeah."
Before you rush to reserve your seat at my next seminar, let me assure you I've passed enough seasons to know this was the Lord and not my own brilliance shining forth.
This is what I learned during my summer season. Be gentle. Stop trying to figure out the heart of man, it doesn't make sense. Give grace beyond reason to people whose actions contradict their words. Don't demand shame and humiliation to win mercy.
If our actions always expressed our hearts, I would not be 12 pounds heavier this summer than last.
My house would not be messy and my yard would be an English Garden.
I would have spent hours with my grandmothers and not moments on the fly.
I would be deeply submerged into the study of the Word and have spent those summer mornings on my knees and not in front of that open window.
And so on.
Let me walk into the next season with a hand full of second and third and thousandth chances for us all to learn how to discipline our lives to our hearts.
Let me first of all, put my own heart in proper order.

Romans 7:15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.