"Blessed is she, who has believed, that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished." Luke 1:45

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

He loves me, he loves me...why?

How is it that I am so flighty that I can write a post like this one and then completely forget it to the point that I did this weekend?

What started out as a serious but somewhat amusing conversation with our friends ended up completely destroying our weekend, and we are still in our respective corners.

I struggle with money and finances. I am horrible at them and I admit that I am irresponsible and not a little insensitive about it. I know that money is the number one thing that my husband worries about.He will lose sleep over it, work it around in his head endlessly and get somewhat depressed about our financial situation. I also know that he does his best to be understanding about my struggles with it and that he doesn't want to have to be the "bad guy" or the money police. Unfortuately, we didn't try very hard to be understanding this weekend.

We started off on money and let that just flow over into everything going on in our lives. At least I did. I let it get to the point where every suggestion and comment was a direct attack against me. One built on the other until I was convinced that he felt there was nothing good in me to be found. We haven't really gotten back to the honest communication yet, so I am not sure where he took it. There is still way to much pride and not nearly enough God in the middle for us to talk it out yet.

Now, add to that the fact that I sit here with the full knowledge that neither of us, even for a minute, considered sitting down to pray or ask God to help us and then there is just shame. What a disappointment to Him and ourselves that He was the last thing we thought of to help us strengthen the marriage that he is creating. He could communicate the truth we both see in a loving way. He could keep tempers under control. He could help us come to common ground.

I admit that I have a sensitive nature and take things way too personally. Nothing he said was a personal attack. He just sees what he feels is the best way and wants to help me out. Add to that my temper and very independent nature and well, can you see where it went so wrong so fast? I should have. I should have turned to God at the very get-go but my very stubborn self always thinks I can do it alone.

Sometimes I have to ask myself: "He loves me why?" If you are asking yourself, "Does she mean Bob or God?" the answer is both.

How wonderful that He is such a mercy-filled God. We sure don't deserve it. If only we could let go of our pride and remember that no matter what this world has for us, we have God and each other. Everything else is meaningless and could easily be gone in a second. By "we" I mostly mean "me". No, I don't think Bob was guiltless in this, but I, as usual, pushed it way over the limit.

If you think to pray for us over the next few days as we work through this, that would be a blessing.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I Finally Know Which One I Am

Have you ever watched a movie about a group of girlfriends and they each are very different but work together perfectly to make a fully supportive, diverse and exciting group?

I have seen several such movies lately, which got me to thinking; "What does my group look like?" What I learned sent me to the M&M's.

I have a friend who is very organized and task-oriented
I have a friend who is very sensitive and gentle
I have a friend who is very logical and focused
I have a friend who is very sweet and gentle

So, I have a group of friends who are organized, sensitive, logical and sweet. How wonderful! What great qualities they all have. Of course, these are not the only qualities, but they are the ones that they each have the most gifting of (at least in regards to my relationship with them).

So, you may be asking, what is my "gifting" to this circle? I too asked this question. I was really confused for a little bit. I am not overly organized, I can be insensitve sometimes, logical is not a word I understand, and I can be sweet, but not so much that I could be described that way. So I searched my soul and re-read my blogs and really paid attention to my interaction with them. What did I learn? Who am I in this well-rounded circle? Why did I feel the need to run to the M&M's?

It was when I realized that I am the COMIC RELIEF! Good Lord! I am forever tripping, falling, mis-pronouncing, forgetting, mistaking, putting my foot in my mouth, and just generally not showing that I have a clue most days.

I am the Lucille Ball of my world. Oh, Lord, have mercy!

The Update I Forgot to Post

this is a follow-up from my Color from head to toe post.

I forgot to let everyone know that yes, I did break my toe.

For those of you who don't know me well, I always assume, not just the worst, but the bizarre and crazy as well. I decided to go to the doctor, knowing full well that the only treatment for a broken toe is taping it to the next toe (buddy taping). I was worried when it broke the bone went crooked and would heal in a weird way. So, yes, I have X-rays. Not only did I break it, it is broken diagonally. The doctor said that it might take a little longer to heal that way, so I am taping for at least another five weeks. I am hoping to get some tennis shoes on in the next couple weeks. No, nothing weird or bizarre. Just broken.

Also, for the busted blood vessels: they went away. Then they came back when we took Kevin to Six Flags. Now they are gone again. The NP said that she thinks it is from walking so much while at Six Flags. She did schedule me an appointment for a vascular surgeon in September. If nothing else I will hopefully find out why my lower legs, ankles and feet are always swollen. I am fully expecting the broken blood vessels will be back by the time we get back from Six Flags tomorrow. (What? You didn't know that I was going AGAIN? Oh, yes! This time with the Jr. High kids in our youth group. Glutton for punishment? Probably!)

Finally, yes, I am still loving the red hair. It has faded a little but is still plenty red. I still feel sassy as well. I don't know why I feel better when it is red, but it has always been so. Maybe it just makes me feel more true to my Irish roots, or maybe it is just handy to let people know that a temper is contained in here. Whatever it is, I just like it red.

so, there it is, the exciting and important update.

The End of the Baseball Season

Well, Kevin is done with baseball for this season. He had a great summer and got to play in the all star games. Their team didn't win the tournament but they did win their first game, and they had a lot of hits and plenty of RBI's.

Kevin played short stop for the tournament and really liked it. He got to catch three pop flies. He said that was a lot of fun. He was once again really great in the batter box. He gets a hit every time at bat, and manages to score most of the time too.

He really showed a lot of improvement this year. It was a rocky start with the fractured elbow but he luckily didn't have to miss much and got right back into the "swing" of playing.

We live in a small town, only two teams in Kevin's age group, but we travel around our area of the state and manage to have a pretty good season.

Bob really enjoyed assisting the coaches this year. He loves hanging out with the kids and getting to know other parents in our town better.

I am so proud of Kevin for doing his best, and I know that his dad is too.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What a great day!

First off, my apologies to God. I doubted his ability to give what I asked for. We had a lovely day, low 80's, cloudy with a little sun and glorious breeze. I had to put this picture in just so you could see how He blessed us with perfect weather.

Now, I have to say...Six Flags was great! Kevin was really nervous about the rides but he pushed through and managed to ride everything we would let him. Some took longer than others. It took him most of the day to get the nerve up to ride the Batman but as soon as he did, he loved it! He went on it two more times! Bob laughed at me as I repeatedly checked his safety belts and restraints. I don't care. I was being a mom. This a picture of my guys on the Evel Knievel. Bob is in the orange shirt at the top, Kev is right next to him. This is the first drop and it is quiet scary!

He did great on the wooden coasters (which really make me a LOT nervous!). We all loved the Tony Hawk. It was so much fun to just whip around the turns. We even rode the log flume and carousel, which took me back to the days of amusement parks as a kid.

We played a few of the carni-games and just hung out. It was good family time. We slowed the afternoon down with a ride around the park on the train.

Bob said that he thinks Kevin doesn't have a problem with our relationship, I am the one that is so concerned. I tend to think he is mostly right with a little wrong thrown in. I am really glad that we took the opportunity to go.

Here is the final picture. I took this while we were waiting for the train and I just had to share. I have to say, I think I have a very handsome son and I think he is pretty cool, even though he is getting to the age where trips like this with just his parents are pretty lame. *sigh*

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Anticipation Level Rises

Well, we are headed back to Six Flags tomorrow. This time it is just Bob and Me and Kevin. This will be Kevin's first time at Six Flags so I am really scared and really excited. I hope he does well with the rides. We are praying for no rain and short lines. Not much we can do about the heat though. It's the mid-west in summer. It is seriously humid and not a little hot.

I am praying my foot does ok. I have devised a very ugly but effective taping method for my toe which seems to support it and keep it pretty immobile. The post-op shoe just makes my arch cramp up so I am only taking it along in case my toe really starts to hurt.

I am planning to pay the completely outrageous price for one or two of the roller coaster pictures (assuming Kevin will ride them). I think those would make great scrapbooking pages and will be a much better view of him on his first ride than I would be able to get. I will of course be getting pictures of him strapping in for the very first time (hopefully. They have developed some really strict rules about taking out your phone or camera in the line).

I am hoping this will be a great day for us to re-connect. We have not managed to get on the same page this summer. Lots of arguing and yelling and disrespect. Not just on his side, I am pretty sure I have been a really bad example on respecting others where he is concerned.

Abby will be spending the day with a friend so we will be focusing all our attention on Kevin, something that hasn't happened nearly enough lately.

Please pray that we have a great day together as a family.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

He and Me

He surrounds me if I only look. The sun, the moon the beautiful world on which I walk. He surrounds me.

He touches me. When I hold my husband's hand, hug my son or cuddle my daughter, He touches me.

He hears me. When I am alone with my thoughts, when I praise him in song, when I lift up my prayers, He hears me.

He speaks to me. In scripture and verse, in the call of a friend, in the center of my soul, He speaks to me.

He died for me. He rose for me. He lives and breathes and intercedes for me. One day he will come back for me.

He and Me.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Words of Light

~Philippians 4:8-9 ~
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

I struggled with PPD with both of my pregnancies. I was not a Christian when I was pregnant with my son but I was with my daughter. I was so scared that I would have PPD again and I didn't want to go through it. I had sworn after Kevin I would never have another child but God had other plans.
All during my pregnancy my dear friends prayed for me specifically to be guarded against another bout of PPD. Well, God did not protect me from that burden. With Kevin there was anger and hurt and disconnection from him. With Abby I suffered from intense fear that something would happen to her. Hour after hour my brain worked against me, conjuring image after image of all the horrible things that could happen. I would just sit in a chair and hold her and sob over all the things I was thinking. I was very overwhelmed with grief that I had to now share her with the big wide world, even my husband and son. She had been only mine for nine months. Now we would lose our special bond. I actually grieved over this.
My amazing hubby was such a wonderful rock through it all, very understanding and encouraging, but he just couldn't make it better. I tried medication but I just felt like I couldn't feel God. One of my dearest friends told me that he felt that maybe the medication was hindering my ability to hear God's voice since it was repressing my emotions. I went off the medication and after a bit I felt more connected to God but no better regarding the PPD. (special note: medication did not work for me in my situation. If you need medication and it is effective for you, please take it.)I think I did a pretty good job of hiding how bad it was from most of my friends but God saw it all.
During one particularly difficult day I went to see a friend who gave me a book based on this scripture. I never finished the book, but this scripture burned itself into my mind. How true these words were! I had been allowing these thoughts to tie me down in fear and uncertainty. Here was the hope that Jesus brought me...and the hope I had lost sight of. I started repeating this verse over and over and over...and over. Whenever things would pop up in my brain, I would imagine that it was a direct attack against me and would think (or sometimes say or shout) Phillipians 4:8! "This is NOT from God...I choose to believe that God has only GOOD for me!"
There was no immediate fix. I had to trust God to carry me through this fight when I just couldn't see the way anymore. I had to daily, and sometimes hourly, choose to follow God's words of light instead of drowning in the darkness of my own thoughts.

It has now been 10 months since Abby was born. I am about as close to "normal" as I will ever get. For this situation I have found that "the God of peace will be with me". Even though the PPD is fading into my past, I still use this verse on a weekly basis. All too often I tend toward the less positive view, even though I have been described as "outgoing and cheerful". So when those less-than-lovely thoughts come up, I remind myself of what I SHOULD be thinking about.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

New color from head to toe

So, a woman needs change every now and then, right? A little something to shake things up and help her feel vibrant. I have been feeling a little washed out lately. I needed a little change. A "spark" if you will. I decided I would color my hair. This is a labor of love for me because I change my color all the time and so I put a lot of thought into matching my hair color to things like season, mood, attitude etc. I have been light brown for quite a while and so I decided to fire it up with a little bit of red. What do you think?

Next are those lovely red "patches" on my legs. After all, they are a new color on me.

The photo doesn't do them justice. They are actually a little bit darker. Anyway, I did decide to go to my family GP and make sure they were nothing serious. Apparently they are busted blood vessels. Blood work is out to check my platelets but other than that she said that it was probably from all the walking/heat/swelling during the youth trip to Six Flags. I do have an appointment with a vascular surgeon in September to check my circulation and do a few tests. My legs should be back to normal in a few days.

Finally, I have a brand new color. I just got it this afternoon. I was in such a hurry to get home, get changed and head back out that I was not really paying attention to using a little skill I like to call spatial judgement. While trying to run up my front step I mis-calculated where to put my foot and slammed my little toe into the wheel of Abby's stroller. By the lack of immediate pain, I knew that when it finally did start to hurt, it would really HURT! I was quite right in my thought. I have found that the more clearly you pronounce the word "ouch" and the more ways you find to liven it up, the more satisfactory it is. "O-U-C-H" OW-OW-OW-OW CH!" "OWCHY OWCHY ARGH!" Anyway, I am pretty sure I have broken it. I have swelling, a nice bruise and no mobility.

Once again, the photo doesn't do it justice. The purple is much prettier in person!
So, there it is. How I do vibrant in my life. Creative huh?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Screams and Sunburns

Hey all!

I just got back from a day at Six Flags with some of the teens from our youth group. It was a lot of fun and "officially" I will say that I feel that I am doing well developing the trust relationship needed to fully function in my ministry calling.

"Unoffically" I have to say that man, it ROCKS to act like a teenager!

That said, I am finding it harder and harder to keep up. My bladder needs attention more often then theirs, my heartrate spikes at lower thrill levels and my body is just gettin' tired!

I could laundry list the things that hurt, are burnt or both. I won't though...ok, not completely. I do have these big red patches all over my lower legs that really sting when I took my shower, they are not sunburns but they sure aren't comfy. if you have a clue what they could be, please!, let me know! I also will mention the lovely tan line that I got from my tank top. Bright side: the farmer tan I had on the one arm that rests on my car window while driving is gone!

Well, I just wanted to post a little update to let everyone know we are back; alive, sunburned and slightly hoarse from the screaming (at least I am) but happy and ready to get some SLEEP!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Like to Laugh?

If you are looking for some really funny videos check out Natalie Witcher's blog


Thanks for the laughs!


Ahhhhhh...ponyshoes. My mouth waters and my stomach rumbles when I even type the word.

For those of you asking, "What in the WORLD is a ponyshoe?", let me clarify.

It is a little preview of heaven.

I get mine at Darcy's Pint, a little pub/restaurant in Springfield, Illinois.

Take a piece of Texas toast, toasted and place it on a plate.
Place a large, juicy hamburger patty right on top
Cover with golden crispy crinkle fries
Now, pour over all a generous amount of cheese sauce (Darcy's is white american...mmmm!)

That my friends, is a ponyshoe. You can get a horseshoe but it is twice the size. You can also substitute the hamburger for many tasty options. I like ham, turkey, bacon, walleye or veggie. My hubby's favorite is buffalo chicken. It comes with a side of buffalo sauce you pour right over the top.

Anyway, If you are ever in my area, I will take you to lunch at Darcy's. It is where all great friendships (and full stomachs) are made in my area!

A-Z Me

I copied this from Micca's blog. Check out her blog in my links!

A is for Age
32...I loved wavin' "see ya" to my twenties

B is for Burger of choiceRight now
My hubby grills the best burgers

C is for what Car you drive
I drive a Ford Focus ZX5

D is for Dog’s name
Nikita...I was in love with the show "La Femme Nikita" when we got her. She's part german shepard, part chow. Very sweet and loves my son. I think she is too tired to try to train Abby so she just ignores her.

E is for Essential item you use every day
99% of the time I never leave the house without eyeliner and mascara

F is for Favorite TV show at the moment
Summer's pretty boring for TV (we only have 4 channels) but during the fall/winter season I love Bones and House

G is for favorite Game

H is for hometown
Texarkana, Ar.

I is for Instruments you play
Not a one, but I always wanted to learn to play the violin

J is for favorite juice
Don't really drink it. Sometimes I get orange juice but it has to be Simply Orange. That stuff is like eatin' an orange off of the tree!

K is for who you’d like to Kiss
My hubby and the kids

L is for Last restaurant you ate at
Darcy's Pint (Home of the world's best ponyshoes)

M is for favorite Muppet
Snuffluffugus (I have NO clue on the spelling of that)

N is for Number of piercings
4 ~ two in each ear. I really want to get my upper ear pierced but I have heard that really hurts so I will just keep wantin'.

O is for Overnight hospital stays
Three – one for Kevin, one for Abby and one for kidney stones.

P is for People you were with today
Family, co-workers, my dear friend Missy and her parents and a bunch of people at the county fair

Q is for what you do with your quiet time
scrapbook or read or work on lessons for the small group I teach.

R is for biggest Regret
That I didn't sit down and have a face to face chat with my Mom about the really important things before she died. I do know that she loved me and I loved her and that we were friends. I just hope she really meant it when she said she was saved. I have to wait 'til I get there to know for sure.

S is for Status
Married for 11 years

T is for Time you woke up today
7:30...I didn't hit the snooze!

U is for what you consider Unique
they way that I love each of my kids

V is for a vegetable you love
I love summer veggie mixes...squash and zuchini and carrots

W is for Worst habit
Not staying focused

X is for the number of X-rays you’ve had
I have no idea. There have been that many.

Y is for Yummy food you ate today
Grilled cheese and a salad

Z is for Zodiac sign
Taurus: sign of the bullheaded...and boy, ain't it the truth!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Chasing Rabbits

So, I have a huge project that I need to get done as soon as possible, but it requires using the resource area of several websites. I, great intentions in hand, sit down this morning determined to get at least half way through this project by the end of the day.

I now have forty-five minutes until quitting time and I have hardly made a dent.

I have been chasing rabbits all day. I see something, check it out, get an idea and head off in a whole different direction. When I finally remember I have an actual purpose and goal, I fly back to my original project.

Five minutes later, I am chasing rabbits again.

I wish those darned rabbits would stay in their cages!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Taste and See!

"Taste and see that the Lord is good!" Psalm 34:8

Over the 4th of July I learned just what joy and abandon you can have while experiencing this verse. Have you ever stopped to really look at your life? So many things that we take for granted are gifts that God has given just for our joy and pleasure, and yet we take them for granted.

Do we really need a sunset that has every color from gold to raspberry to deep purple? Couldn't we live our whole lives without feeling that crisp autumn air as the leaves drift down in multi-colored waves? Summer would still march on without strawberries, watermelon and barbeque.

How wonderful that we have a God of Abundence! He looks beyond our needs and supplies us with things that are meant to enhance our lives with joy and contentment.

Things like chocolate cake!

I have been focused so much on the "meat and veggies" that I had forgotten about the sheer wonder of chocolate cake! So concerned with trudging through my day that I forgot to look around at all the little "I love yous" that God gives us.

So, what opened my eyes to seeing the abundance of God? Well, see for yourself...

Yes, that is Abby, enjoying her first ever taste of chocolate cake. If she could form multi-syllable words I am sure that she would be saying "Taste and see that the Lord is GOOD!"

Don't you wish you could remember what that first-ever taste of chocolate cake was like? Finding out that there was more to it than the meat and veggie world you had been living in? The joy and wonder of the experience? That you could keep that feeling every time you had another slice?

I have discovered that I want my relationship with God to be just like that first ever taste of chocolate cake. I want to remember that he takes joy in supplying abundantly where we don't even know to ask.

I want the wonder and excitement of my first meeting with him to always stay just that fresh in my heart.