Sunday, November 25, 2012

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Christmas x 10

1. Christmas lights
2. Christmas music
3. Christmas cookies
4. Christmas cards
5. Christmas trees
6. Christmas wreaths
7. Christmas decorations
8. Christmas Eve
9. Christmas morning
10. Christ

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thankful anyway!

How was your Thanksgiving?  If you ask me, even the crummiest Thanksgiving is generally pretty wonderful.  I spent the day in bed, the Mr. having shared his creeping crud with me.  Home sick today as well.  So I'm thankful for a Mr. that stepped in and hosted dinner for 11 people with me being basically useless.  I wasn't up to eating but everyone seemed to agree that the dinner was great.  Second thankfulness, that my mom and sister brought sides and appetizers!  So the Mr. supplied the turkey, stuffing, green beans and dinner rolls.  My mom brought appetizers and mashed potatoes as well as carrot cake and pie.  My sister contributed sweet potatoes, appetizers and more pie.  And I laid in bed and coughed.  I was frustrated for a bit but then decided to just enjoy the day as it was, giving in to my disappointment with being sick would've been what ruined the day. 
I don't have much more to say since I didn't eat or play games or watch football.  Also, I'm pretty worn out having sat up on the couch for thirty minutes this morning.  So I think I'll drag my sorry self back to bed.  Just wanted to give a shout-out to Dean for saving the day!
Photo taken on Friday, November 16. 
Note to self, stop kissing people who have cooties.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Let not your heart be troubled, behold He comes...

I had some serious time with the Lord this morning, so thankful at his nearness to us.  The violence in Israel had my heart heavy and even fearful.  I was warring with feeling obligated to watch the news and being too overwhelmed to see what's happening.  So when I awakened I decided that I needed to get down to business with God.  Hence the You Tube video I included in this morning's post.  As I laid my burdened spirit at the throne, I was reminded that Israel cannot be defeated.  Say that with me out loud; ISRAEL CANNOT BE DEFEATED. Yes, the earth groans with the agony of birthing pains but the glory that is promised beyond the pain, my God, the glory!  The words of Jesus hold incredible truth and power today...

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  John 14:1

Believing in Jesus means that we are sure of our future, that we are redeemed and free of the threats of this fallen world.  We are living in a temporary brokenness, we are not yet home.  Yes, we feel the pains of this world as she prepares to be delivered of the weight of sin by the coming of Christ.  Our tears are not that of hopelessness...

For his anger is but for a moment,and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night,but joy comes with the morning.  Psalm 30:5

Our spirits feel the fear of the nations of the earth, but we are not to be deceived.  The threats that press in against the armies of man can do nothing more than usher us finally into the presence of our Savior.

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.  1 Thessalonians 4:16 & 17

Don't be afraid.  In these dangerous times, we can rejoice even as we know we must work to gather in this final harvest.  We are protected within the arms of God and so, whom shall we fear?  We need only fear his displeasure should we fail to reach and reach and reach into the world plucking one person at a time from the battle for their souls.  The only weapon we need is love, the love of Jesus by which we are saved and when all the kingdoms of the world collapse; it is his love that will stand.   Praise him today, worship him with tears running down your face, lift your hands and raise your face toward the clouds.  Behold he comes, riding on a cloud; shining like the sun at the trumpet's call.
There is no God like Jehovah.

Today, pray for Israel

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A list of things which refer to other things on the list of things

1.  The Mr. & I were photographed by Kelly for our Christmas cards...fingers crossed that she made us look unnaturally attractive :)  No pressure.
2.  Aforementioned Mr. is sick sick sick.  Head congested, cough, sore throat. 
3. Number 2 is exceptionally inconvenient as he was supposed to grocery shop today and now I have to...wahhhhh!
4. Thanksgiving dinner at our house on Thursday!
5. We have our daybed in about 100 pieces on the living room floor.  Mac is on assembly duty.
6. I have officially requested the bird chair posted earlier in the week for Christmas.
7. Speaking of number 2 again, every weekend I make a pot of homemade soup which the Mr. never eats.  I believe that's why he's sick.
8. Does anyone know where my dark green fleece jacket with the shawl collar is?
9. Back to number one, I wore darker make-up on the advice of the Google.  Now I'm pretty sure I looked like a chubby transvestite.
10. Speaking of number 7 which refers to number 2, I am making a chunky chicken stew today.  Which the Mr. won't eat. 

What?  You didn't realize the Mr. was a sexy cool black man and I was a leggy super model?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Married on the promises of God

In 2 Corinthians 11:2, Paul writes these words;
I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.

As I wrote earlier in the week, the Mr. and I have been on a journey over the last year, learning to love each other better and more deeply.  In praying about how to be a better helpmate to Dean, the Lord often turns my heart back to consideration of the church as the bride of Christ.  I have always believed that the example of marriage in the flesh is given to us as a picture of how God loves us.  I've always wondered if our dismal ability to stay married indicates how little we understand His love.  With that in mind, the Holy Spirit prompted me earlier today to study scripture about God's promises and to consider how I could act out those promises for my husband...

Matthew 11:28-29
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Do I make our home and myself a place of rest for my husband?  Or am I a source of his weariness?  Am I a burden to his soul, or are my demands upon him light?  When our lives are stressful, do I present myself with calmness and peace (...take my yoke upon you and learn from me...) or do I escalate his worries with my own anxiety? 

As his wife, I must make our home a sanctuary; the place he yearns to be when life is stormy.  I learned when Dean was caring for his dad how important it was for me to speak truth over him and to model faith and calmness in his presence when he felt that things were spiraling out of control.  When I got caught up in the fear and worry that he was experiencing, I could see the lines of strain deepen in his face.  But when I spoke in quiet tones that everything would be fine, that God was faithful and he was not alone because I promised to stay at his side; those lines would disappear and I could see his muscles relax.  As Jesus promised that we could bring our cares and weary hearts to him for rest, I promise to create a haven of rest for my husband.  When he cannot find the calmness of the Holy Spirit, I will bring it to him as I pray over him and speak life over his heartache.  I will allow him to be tired and even to feel weak in my presence, I will not mock or belittle his burdens.  I will be gentle and we will learn together to rest in Jesus.  I will build a home where chaos cannot take hold.  I will rub his tired shoulders and soothe his mind. 
When he feels the weight of life pressing in, I will give him rest.

Rambling thoughts on a chilly morning...

Good morning Friends & Neighbors!
Do you love the cold Michigan mornings?  No?  I kind of do. Actually, my first thought this morning was "Wouldn't it be great to be waking up in Traverse City with Lake Michigan outside my window?"  LOL.
Can you believe that Thanksgiving is in one week?  What in the world happened to the first half of November?  I suspect this means Christmas is coming soon. 
Mac is off work until further notice, injured his ankle and we're praying it heals with rest so he won't need surgery.  In the meantime, he's chipping in a bit around here keeping the house straight.  I'm not glad he's hurt but it's nice to have someone to clean the kitchen after dinner. 
I've stumbled across a mystery series of books that I'm enjoying, Agatha Raisin series.  Kind of a Miss Marple sort of thing.  Good cold weather reading. 
I got a cute blue sweater and tomorrow Kelly is taking a few shots of us for our Christmas cards.  I need to lose fifty pounds in the next twenty four hours.  You can take a break from praying for Mac and pray for that. 
That's all I got.  Have a good day!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Obsess much?

On the lookout for this coffee table.  There's a similiar one on QVC for $131, never ordered from QVC so I'm hesitant...

Sample room: Sherwin Williams Tidewater Blue paint.  P.S. I need those paintings.

C.S.Lewis Room last Christmas

This chair is my boyfriend.  He's too expensive but I lurv him.

This chair is my 99% choice for the living/C.S. Lewis Room.


Reminder, this is the daybed I'm using in place of a traditional sofa.  I ordered a chocolate brown quilted cover set.

I think I'll put everything in place and paint after the holidays so I'm not losing my mind.  In the meantime, I am going to lose my mind minus the painting.  Thoughts?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

And I thank God for the lighthouse...

Every once in a while, I'll scroll back through my archives to see what photographs I might have taken a year ago.  Today, I ran across the photo above, taken on 11/11/11, during our anniversary trip.  It's a lighthouse on Lake Michigan in St. Joseph.  Dean was still dealing with the death of his dad and the painful memories of his last days with him, watching him fade away with dementia. 
Our anniversary trip is usually the best week of the year.  But last year, like a boat on the Lake Michigan waters, we felt tossed and troubled.  A stormy sky seemed to hover above us and the comfort we have always found in one another felt strained.  That week's vacation didn't renew us as we had hoped. 
When I ran across this photograph, an old song came to mind..The Lighthouse.

This old song, like so many from my childhood, brings back memories of Sunday nights in church as a little girl.  It soothes my soul like it did then, when my little girl's heart could feel the anointing flowing across that sanctuary with its vaulted ceilings and green padded pews.
More than that, there is a specific memory when I see a lighthouse or hear this old song.  
Dean was a bass player in a Southern Gospel group during our courtship.  On weekends when other teenagers were doing, well I don't know what they were doing, we were at churches where he was playing.  If I was going to date a musician, this was what our dates were going to be.  I'd sit near the front since I usually didn't know anyone while the guys played.  I'd wait patiently while they tore down and then he'd drive me home after church. 
I wasn't a night owl even in those days.  It was true love that inspired me to venture out on those Saturday and Sunday nights.  By the time we'd be driving home, I'd be fighting to keep my eyes open.  This was in the olden days when cars had bench seats so I could scoot right up next to him (what seat belt law?)  He'd put his right arm around me and I'd lean in to him, pretty soon the street lights and the sleepiness would lull me into almost sleep.  Being the sweet guy that he was, Dean didn't try to wake me up.  He let me be quiet and still, maybe it's then I recognized that this was where my peace would always be.  One one night we were driving home from Ohio.  If you've ever driven through Ohio into Michigan, you know that's the ideal place for being a sleeping passenger in a car :)
As I snuggled into my boyfriend's side with my eyes closed, I listened to him singing...

And I thank God for the lighthouse; I owe my life to him...Jesus is the Lightouse and from the rocks of sin, he has shown his light around me that I might plainly see.  If it wasn't for the Lighthouse, where would this ship be...

We were both kids, still in high school.  This was the soundtrack of our courtship.  This was the love song, and it was sung from God to us.  From the lips of my seventeen year old boyfriend, it was the most beautiful sound of my life so far.  And still is.
We've been tossed on stormy seas and spent days underneath gray and threatening skies.  But Jesus has always been there in the storm to guide us safely to harbor.  Last night, I sat in an auditorium watching my forty seven year old husband playing bass and I watched him lift his hands in worship.  Afterward, I snuggled into his side right side and fell asleep remembering those days and overwhelmed at the goodness of God. 
Those stormy skies of a year ago have passed over and we are once again in peaceful waters.  To many people, date nights in old churches and long drives singing southern gospel to pass the time would seem a laughable courtship.  Not much cool about it, I suppose.
But how grateful and humbled I am that my boyfriend sang Jesus to me while I slept. 

For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.
Psalm 18:39

Saturday, November 10, 2012


1. Dean's playing at the River Raisin Theatre in Monroe tonight.
2. I'm going shopping at Ulta, I lurv Ulta!
3. Getting excited that the holidays are coming.
4. I'm so happy about my new day bed, got me decorator dreamin'.
5. In the mood to do some baking.
6. Sometimes the people on HGTV who are suffering with a too small master suite make me nuts.
7. Designing our Christmas cards on the Hallmark site can keep me entertained for hours.
8. Loving a few last mild Michigan days & some time with coffee around the fire pit.
9. I can't think of ten things so...bye!
Can you find the Mr. in this poster? (right side, middle with white bass)

Friday, November 09, 2012

C.S. Lewis room updates, 'cause you know you wanna know!

My cousin posted this pic of a daybed she needs to sell on Facebook, so there ya go!  I was trying to figure out if a day bed would be a good choice for my living room since we don't have a guest room.  A cute cottage style bed for a great price and lots cheaper than a new sofa...the best of all worlds!  I can live with it and if it doesn't suit me, nothing lost.  I'll bless someone else with it and get a sofa. 

I don't know about you, but I always think of these kind of moments as Jesus reminding me how much he loves me...right down to the little stuff.  So why in the world should I worry about Obamacare?  LOL!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Election Day thoughts...

1. Do not consider your ballot more than it is.   God, being merciful, will not allow the people of the United States nor the president to do that which is outside of his will.  It is our daily prayers for our nation, our humble prayer about our vote and most of all, our lives before God that will impact this country in the long term.  Pray, humble yourself and vote.  And tomorrow, regardless of the outcome, pray more.
2. Christians celebrating the principles of Romney because they are most like our own.  Any possibility that we might be grieving the Lord?  Mr. Romney's faith instructs that he will someday have his own planet.  Oh, but he's pro life!  Yes, there are lots of folks who have "right thinking."  And thank God for them.  But have we elevated thoughts above submission to God's word?  Because they are certainly two different things.  I don't support President Obama with my vote, but I support him in office with my respect and prayer.  As surely as Mr. Romney can have right thinking with wrong (deadly) theology, so can Mr. Obama be so influenced.  Please don't misunderstand,  I am not chastising Christians who vote for Mr. Romney.  But my heart aches when I hear him celebrated.  Be cautious not to minimize the significance of his faith.
3. If we have prayed for our nation and this election, we can be peaceful.  In fact, we must be peaceful.  Once we have laid our country at the feet of Jesus,  we must not pick it back up and speak as though any man can exert his will above God's.

Praise the Lord, O my soul!
While I live I will praise the Lord;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Do not put your trust in princes,
Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.
His spirit departs, he returns to his earth;
In that very day his plans perish.
Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,
Whose hope is in the Lord his God,
Who made heaven and earth,
The sea, and all that is in them;
Who keeps truth forever,
Who executes justice for the oppressed,
Who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners.
The Lord opens the eyes of the blind;
The Lord raises those who are bowed down;
The Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the strangers;
He relieves the fatherless and widow;
But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.
The Lord shall reign forever—
Your God, O Zion, to all generations.

Praise the Lord!

Psalm 146

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Shaturday Shtuffy Head

1.  Have a spectacular head cold going.
2.  Putting away the Halloweeny decorations.
3. Venturing out to pick up a few Thanksgiving decorations.
4. Making a pot of chicken soup, see number one.
5. The C.S. Lewis room is empty...decisions, decisions, decisions.
6. I got a particularly fabulous hair cut this week.
7. We need to get our Christmas card pics done with Kellerbell.
8. Using leftover red wine to make a pot roast...yuuuuuummmy gravy alert!
9. I really just want to lay in bed and read.
10. I reserve the right to not do any of the aforementioned in lieu of number 9.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

To thine own self, let grace be sufficient...

Are there things that you will go 100 miles out of your way to avoid?
Not things like rattle snakes or zombies.  Things like conflict, confrontation, difficult conversations or even apologising.  I do.  I am a gold medal avoidist.  I'm sure that's part and parcel of being an introvert.  Being around others for happy stuff is draining, negative stuff makes me want to crawl up my chimney to hide.
The Mr. is a conflict avoider.  Shew, is he ever!  He's so anti-conflict that after the dust settles and you ask him if he's glad that he finally dealt with something, he'll say no.  He still wishes he could've avoided the unpleasantness.  Lots of people say that's a wonderful trait.  But you wanna know a secret?  It isn't.
Nor is my avoidism. 
If you are nonconfrontational because you have a peace-keeper's heart and that is what God has called you to do, to still troubled waters around you, that's different. In fact, that isn't really avoid, it's taking control by restoring order.  But when we avoid because we are afraid, that's not good.  No action (or lack thereof) motivated by fear comes from God. 
So how do we manage ourselves or people in our lives who are stuck in the deep muck of avoiding difficult stuff?  One classic coping tool is to ask one's self, "what's the worst thing that could happen?"  Maybe that will work for you.  I think more often, what we are truly afraid of is whether we will be able to manage the emotions of the moment.  Perhaps we're unsure of our own capabilities to take control of something important.  Sometimes we fear that once drawn into a situation, we'll have to make choices that will disappoint or anger others.
Are you afraid that the worst thing that could happen is that your advice will fail?  Your confrontation will spark a war?  You'll lose your temper, cry or become tongue-tied?  The other person will become angry and stop loving you?
I've done a lot of self examination over the past few years as I've stopped warring against the me that God created and embraced the me that is introverted.  I've realized that some of the experiences that are hard on introverts cause a feeling much like offendedness or anger when others don't catch my more subtle requests for space.  Yet, how to be true to myself and not fall into the trap of avoiding because of fear?
In the words of Shakespeare, "to thine own self be true."
You see, my friend,  God created you very specifically.  Weakness and strength in balance.  I'm not talking about self-centeredness.  That's not being true to one's self at all.  It's that you know the truth of who you are, the truth that God spoke into your soul. 
If you are at all like me, you'll have to ask Christ to introduce you to that soul that he created because from the first breath we take, the world tries to grab us and mold us into something that is universally understandable and comfortable to the majority.  Which really flies in the face of the way our Creator does things!  So I had to spend lots of time talking to the Lord and letting him show me the parts of me that I kept tucking away.  Basically, I spent a lot of years trying to avoid being weird.  Turns out, God gave me an exceptional amount of weird. 
Back to the avoiding issue.  Now that I know myself better, it's my responsibility to submit my self before my God.  When the traits of my personality trigger unGodly responses, I need to seek the Holy Spirit to remake me in the image of Jesus. 
But, do you want to know the most powerful thing I've learned?  That more of me is ok than I had previously thought!  I just need to know and understand myself well enough to explain my needs and weaknesses and how I work my way through life.  An example?  When the Mr.'s parents lived here, their home felt like chaos to me.  I thrive on a different kind of environment.  So I explained myself to Dean.  I can go spend hours with you and your mom and dad but it will wear me out. I won't feel like going out to dinner later, and fair warning...I'll be grouchy. I will be able to maintain control but I'll need to come home and be by myself with a book for the rest of the night.  OR I can stay behind and let my spirit and mind rest and fill up on the things God made me needful of.  And when Dean got home, I'd be calm and relaxed and ready for an evening out...and grateful for being understood and accepted.
He always chose the second option.  Not just out of kindness for me, but because he really likes going out to dinner and a movie on the weekend so we both got what we wanted. 
Does any of this make sense?
Figure out what you avoid.  Ask God to introduce you to yourself.  Submit all of the parts of yourself to the Holy Spirit.  Acknowledge that God loves you and it gives him pleasure when you learn the truth about yourself.  Be able to explain yourself to others and hold yourself accountable not to excuse bad behavior with the Popeye Protocol (I yam what I yam!)

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9,10

Costume donations?

Shoe people!  We need left over Halloween costumes at Kingswood.  Every year we have a Halloween party for all of the patients at the hospital and trick or treating from office to office for the kids.  Everybody loves to dress up, including the adult patients. 
If you have gently used costumes that you'd like to donate for our patients to enjoy next year, please let me know or send them to:

Henry Ford Kingswood Hospital
Attn: Sara
10300 West Eight Mile Rd.
Ferndale, MI 48220