Wednesday, October 06, 2004

This has been a rather pain-free day! I'm so blessed!!!! God, You are so very good and faithful to me, even when I don't deserve it!

There were some rough moments. In the Taco Bell line was tough. Smelling James's food was hard. Walking into Winn Dixie to get cat food/litter wasn't pleasant (the bakery smells, the deli smells . . . ). But I got through it. This is the hump day, and I'm almost to bed, so I'm on the down hill slide now!

BUT . . . when I start getting comfortable is when Satan attacks. I have to keep in mind that it's not been me, but God who has made these past three days possible. Nothing, absolutely _*nothing*_ is me. I'm in awe of it, because I would never have believed it possible! But I CAN do all things through Christ which strengthens me! I'm hungry right now; I think I'll go ahead and get some soup and some milkie-milk.

Today was a fun day out on the farm. Tomorrow will be a LONG day. But it's all good!

I helped Michele get things together for Sunday and the Russia meeting. I think it will be good! I'm enjoying working with her. My roommate for Moscow will be Sherri Tate! I'm so excited! We will have a good time, I think. :)

Taste and see that the Lord is good. God is so good, He's so good to me. :) I love you Lord.

No matter the storms, the trials, whatever I face; You are my all. PRAISE YOU!

And so begins day three of the liquid fast.

It's been a lot easier than I expected it to be. My desire for real food has been sporadic and quirky -- like wanting popcorn really badly! Strange, no? YES! Anyway, I just truly believe that Valerie has been all over this with prayer. She's such a tremendous prayer warrior! The only real problems I've experienced were a *terrible* headache on Tuesday morning (and really, it started Monday evening and woke me up off and on throughout the night) which was finally cured with an Excedrin migraine (which I didn't want to take until the morning), and some very troubling acid reflux. The acid reflux only hits when my stomach is empty, or when I fill it with tomato soup! Go figure! :) I think I'll call Dr. Englert's office today and see if I can get him to write a script for me that Todd can pick up tomorrow morning. That would be very nice. Of course, by the time it gets filled and starts working -- in about two days -- I'll be finished with the fast! But if I'm going to be eating smaller, it's a good idea to have anyway. The over-the-counter pills do well with heartburn, but they don't fair too well against the acid reflux, when my stomach is empty.

Taste and see that the Lord is good! That verse keeps running through my mind. Praise God, He is *so* very good! I _do_ delight in Him. I enjoyed Monday's working -- it allowed me to see His creation and appreciate it and all He's done -- doing -- for me! God is *so* good! How I love my Lord.

I pitched a fit Monday night. How sad. They finally brought in the trailer for the lot across the street. I was truly unChrist-like in my response. My flesh is still so weak. I had to confess and repent of my poor attitude and ask for a clean heart and a love for those moving in. Now I'm fine. God is so quick to give us what we ask for, when we ask for the right things!! Praise Him!

Today I'm off to the farm, and then to the church to help Michelle with Russia stuff. Whoohoo! Should be a fun day. I'm also gonna purchase my mums and pumpkins for the porch. That will be fun, too! Let God be glorified in all I say and do and think today! To Him be the glory, great things He is doing!!


Tuesday, September 28, 2004

To God be the glory! Great things He is doing for me!! Today was a great day. I felt hungry several times, and was able to eat within (for the most part) the parameters of hunger. I had a small piece of Sarah's birthday cake -- it was *marvelous*! I didn't have a second piece, or a cupcake, nor did I dig into the candy. Thank You, God! I know He is my will.

Todd and I had the conversation I knew we would have when I got home. I know that through God, I can have a better control of what I spend. He asked that we both pray about an accountability system, so that spending doesn't ever get out of control. I think that's a good idea. It's hard to not have a checkbook, sometimes, because I need gas, or have to do something . . . but on the other hand, it's like carrying a loaded gun around with me. I think perhaps having to trade checkbooks everyday might be an interesting accountability. I don't know. Prayer is definitely the key.

Poor Todd. He works so hard -- I know he does. I know he'd like to feel like he was able to put away a little -- have a little to work with.

God, I really need your help with this. Please show me the way out when I'm tempted to spend beyond _YOUR_ desires, Lord. Thank you.

And praise You for the eating stuff! Let my mind be filled by Your good word! It is satisfying and wonderful. Forget the bread of grain -- give me the Bread of life!


Monday, September 27, 2004

I'm taking steps. Action.

I know how badly I need to resolve the weight issue. It's just so hard! I know that this body is God's temple. I want to live a long, healthy life. I want to play with grandchildren (some very distant day in the future). And while I know that my time on this earth is not guaranteed, I also know that if I maintain my current weight gain, I'm not doing anything but hurting myself and those I love.

I truly believe that the principles of the Weigh Down workshop are sound. And I know that so much of my problem is a heart thing. I don't eat when I'm hungry. Or rather, I don't *just* eat when I'm hungry! I eat when I'm celebrating, when I'm sad, when I'm stressed, when I'm angry . . . get the picture. It isn't pretty, I know.

Weight Watchers is great, but it still doesn't address the "not eating when you're not hungry" issue. Today I've been . . . better. I've had so far:

2 Banana Muffins
2 cups coffee w/FF coffee mate
1 serving of chicken pot pie
10 melba toast crackers
> 1 ice cream bar <
1 piece of cake
2 bottled waters
1 7-up

Hey -- I'm *really* hungry right now, too! I picked up some vitamin B12 at the store. I'm very seriously considering a 5-day liquid fast. It would help shrink my stomach and clear my head. I think I'll use the first five weekdays of the break. I don't think it would be a good idea to start this while I'm dealing with the last week of the quarter! Besides, I really want to be able to pray during this time of fasting.

Lord, You know my heart. You know how much I hate being so overweight. I do want to be a living sacrifice to You. I do want Your love and grace to be reflected in me. And I do want You to be who I turn to with my joys, sorrows, fears, and stresses; not food. Please allow me to have a teachable spirit as I embark, again, on a journey of relearning how to eat. Lord, please keep me humble. Please be my strength and my sustenance. I love you Lord. Praise You for the right desires You give me. Praise You for allowing a means of escape whenever I'm tempted. Lord, please readily call to my mind the Scripture I need to combat my enemy -- my own lustful and gluttonous desires.


Lord, through You, I can do all things. Praise God.


Friday, July 23, 2004

I don't wanna I don't wanna I don't wanna.

Work starts in four days.  (Well, really three days, but I won't be there for the first day because I'm taking Jocelyn to BMC for pre-registration.  HA!  So there; take that.)

School starts in ten days. 

I really don't wanna.

Parent orientation is on Thursday, July 29th.  Mandantory for all teachers. 

Todd and I are just back to being civil to each other.  I don't know what's wrong with me.  I get so angry with him.  Sometimes I feel like he's being purposefully obtuse or thickheaded with me.  Or truly believes that I'm stupid and can't *possibly* know what I'm talking about.  It gets very frustrating.  As does repeating myself to him over and over and over.

Lord, I know I'm supposed to concentrate on *my* faults -- the things that take me away from fellowship with You.  Things that cause me to hide from Your presence.  And I know I'm not doing that.  Father, restore in me a desire to have a good relationship with my husband.  I don't need to focus on Todd, but on YOU! 

I'm going to do something (again) a little different in my Sunday School lesson tomorrow.  I think I'm going to use Brother David's idea about presenting a timeline of US history to the class, with the presidents, wars, and anything else major that was taking place during that time frame.  Then I'll compare it to what we've been reading in II Kings.  I hope it helps take some of the unwillingness to study those books away.  It's just HISTORY!  :)  We'll see.  I really liked the idea, anyway!

Todd sounded tired when I talked to him.  They were out on that fire for a long time.  In fact, Engine 6 was still there when I talked to him, and it had been over five hours.  Wow.  He's walking neighborhoods for Parker Griffith (I can't *ever* remember that man's name) this morning.  Hope it goes well.  I know how badly the fire fighters want Loretta out of the city.

I need to go through and call my class role today and let them know (or remind them) about Jamey Rangel (I can't remember how to spell his name, either) being at the church for the next few days. 

It's Saturday.  Three more days.  Lord, enable me to take my mind off of what's coming and focus on the here and now!!!


Wednesday, July 14, 2004

We sang one of my favorite songs in choir practice tonight. "Let the Rocks Keep Silent." That is such an amazing song! I just want to close my eyes and lift my arms to the Lord when I sing it! Let those stinking rocks keep silent -- I'm certainly not gonna let them outspeak me in praising my Lord!!!

Brother David led the service tonight. He gave a really great history lesson on the Great Awakening in July, 1741. Until he said the first title of the sermon that started the whole thing, I was drawing a blank. But when he said, "Sinners . . ." I knew the title of that sermon was, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" by Jonathan Edwards. I remember something from American History! It will be interesting to see if the SOS American History covers that as well.

Quite a thunderstorm blew through here earlier, but if the weather service is correct, it's the last we should see for a couple of days, at least! It's sad to me. Storms frighten me now. Up until May 31st, storms did damage to others. Now I know my home is susceptible to storms. At least we have a roof that doesn't leak -- no holes in the ceiling -- and INSULATION! It amazed me the difference insulation in the attic made, when it's 95 degrees outside! Crazy stuff.

I'll go to bed out-singing the rocks tonight!

Five more days until Jocey comes home. Yeay!!!!!

Whenever I think to myself that I'm getting what it means to be a Christian, it should be a sure sign that I need to stop myself short and get in God's Word, because I'm clueless.

This morning's devotion from Oswald Chambers, was the Scripture,

But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
I've never had a problem understanding that verse. If someone hits you on one side of the face, turn the other. In other words, don't strike back. But it goes so much more deeply than that! The phrase that caught my attention was,

...but spiritually, if a man does not hit back, it is the manifestation of the Son of God in him.
That was followed by,

When you are insulted, you must not only not resent it, but make it an occasion to exhibit the Son of God. You cannot imitate the disposition of Jesus; it is either there or it is not. To the saint personal insult becomes the occasion of revealing the incredible sweetness of the Lord Jesus.
Wow! What an incredible person Jesus is. I think back on times when I've received an insult in silence, but not in the Spirit of Christ. How I've nurtured that hurt, instead of casting it out in Jesus's name and letting His light takes its place. How silly of me. I can't turn the spiritual "other cheek," but Christ, through me, certainly can!

Second, this caught my attention;

The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount is not -- Do your duty, but -- Do what is not your duty. It is not your duty to go the second mile, to turn the other cheek, but Jesus says that if we are His disciples we shall always do these things.
It's not my duty to do more, to give more, to forgive more--it's the Christ in me that wants that. How freeing is that? Therefore I'm not doing above and beyond in my own power, but through the power of Jesus Christ! Amen!

Last, Chambers summed up something I've been teaching/preaching/trying show by example to my Sunday School ladies. Never look for right in others, but never cease to be right yourself. In my words, instead of picking out the faults of others and expressing my needs, I need to be focused on correcting my faults and meeting the needs of others.

Lord, more of You, and less of me. Thank you!


Monday, July 12, 2004

Have I mentioned how much I do not care to return to school in less than a month?

We had dinner at the Eason's home yesterday. It was quite a lot of fun! I do believe it is the first time a family from school (with the exception of the Websters) has ever invited our family to their home! Their family is just darling -- they have nine children, but two of them are away (college-aged). Still, seven children, plus James, and there is wonderful chaos! Sarah is a very lovely young lady. Not just in looks -- but she has a very lovely spirit, as well. She gets it from her mom (and Jesus, of course).

Brother Rodney is preaching out of Psalm 57. This psalm was written by David when he was taking refuge from King Saul, in a cave. David recognized that although he was hiding in a cave, his real refuge came from God alone. He cried out to God, and God placed him under the shadow of His wings. What a beautiful picture of God's care for us! Not that bad things won't happen; but that our souls are free in Jesus! PRAISE GOD!

Today they are coming to put insulation back in the house! Whoohoo! It has been so hot here of late, and the lack of insulation has made it all the more HOT! Our poor little A/C unit is probably wonderding why it's having to work so hard!

The cats are annoying. Guenevere is as she walks around the house at night with the mouse in her mouth saying, "Mee-ew. Mee-ew." in her little pussyfoot voice. And Merlin is in the morning, as he prowls for food (in reality, his aim is to wake someone up so they will put food in his bowl), screeching, "Meeeerow. Meeeerow." in his deep baby-cat voice. I love my cats. Except when they are making noise.

What a wonderful day today will be. God is already at work, and He's already blessed me beyond what I deserve!


Friday, July 09, 2004

What a DAY!

Jocey's CD player is installed. When they installed it, they had to replace two fuses that were burned out. Those two fuses fixed a myriad of minor problems that we thought the car had. All better now! It's quite amazing to me what difference two tiny fuses can make.

The Michaels family is really undergoing some difficult times. Courtney had another surgery yesterday. Reda called me today. She'd gone to B'ham yesterday to visit. Courtney appears to be doing better, but there's a long couple of years worth of road ahead of them. I need Holy prompting to be diligent in my prayer for them.

I'm working on getting an e-mail group set up for all of the FRBC ladies. Quite a job, that! I hope to get out a card to everyone about next week's lunch at Victoria's cafe.

This has been such a strange summer. I feel so ... dislocated. Or something. I dunno!

I had a school dream last night. It's begun. It was a bad one, too. I was already stressed and crying in the dream. It was really strange. At least I can rest assured that it can't be as bad in reality as it was in my dream last night! Perhaps that was God's point. I need to remember to leave it in His wonderfully capable hands, and to count it all joy. Rejoice in it, even!

I'm going to go take a picture of the new firefighter tag on Jocey's car. Yeay!!!


Thursday, July 08, 2004

Joy, joy, joy!

Today, we purchased Jocelyn's car. She worked so hard for the money to pay for it! I'm incredibly proud of her. It's a darling little car. It's a '95 Dodge Neon -- neon blue. Four doors, new tires, getting ready to have a brand new CD player -- what more could an 18 year old heading off to college ask for??? I think she will really like it.

I miss her! The shift in our home, as Jocelyn heads to college and leaves me here with Dad and James, is amazing. The testosterone levels abound! WWF and Cops and the Spike channel . . . . Not to mention the "bonding" time on the Xbox! It may prove to be too much for me. I'm thinking I may go into house decorating mode to counteract the maleness!


Tuesday, July 06, 2004

I try, although I don't always succeed, to daily read the selection from my devotional, My Utmost for His Highest. I've started underlining the passages that really speak to me. It's a little difficult, because the language is a little archaic, but I get the gist! :) I may go back someday and get the contemporary version.

The past two days have been dealing with worry and calculating without God. The best line was, "Resting in the Lord does not depend on external circumstances at all, but on your relationship to God Himself." WOW! My faith determines my ability to rest in the Lord. Regardless of the surgeries, tornadoes, whatever; if I have faith in my God -- if my relationship with Him is secure and close as it ought to be -- my worries will cease to exist! Not my circumstances, mind you -- the surgery, the tornado damage and whatnot is *still* there. I just don't have to worry about them!

Monday, July 05, 2004

I'm excited about silverware. Really! I ordered new silverware online very early this morning. Oneida -- Satin Flight. I got such a great deal and it looks so nice! I guess at forty-one years of age, when one finally gets a halfway decent set of silverware, one gets a little excited!

My sister has a new baby. Lucy Eliza. She's is quite the darling. Just about as perfect as a baby can be! She was born on June 9th, so she's not quite one month old. Julia is breastfeeding and Lucy has quite an appetite. Jocelyn, who is staying with Julia and her family to help out for the summer, made the comment that feeding Lucy was like an every fifteen minute ordeal!

Joc: Aunt Julia's like, "Lucy, you just ate fifteen minutes ago!"

Julia: The Dairy Queen needs some down time!

Egads. While I really enjoyed holding a tiny baby and she smelled so lovely and was so sweet, there are some things I do not miss! Not in the least.


blessed . . .

I wonder who it was that decided that things happen in threes. Not that I would have preferred fours, fives, or sixes, but *one* thing would have been sufficient, I'm sure.

In late April, James had an accident and injured his knee. I've never seen a kneecap move that far before. I've never heard my nearly-all-grown-up son in that much agony before. It was painful for a mom to see; I can only imagine how painful it was for him to experience.

Not a month later, we came home from church on Sunday evening, and there was an oak tree laying atop the Tercel. What can you say in response to something like that? There was no inclement weather -- hardly even a breeze that afternoon. The tree had just finally had enough (it had lost it's twin about a year earlier), and it topped over. Onto the Tercel.

Let me tell you -- it's a pretty final feeling, to come home and see a tree fallen on top of your car. Final for the tree, and most definitely final for the car! But it wasn't. Todd *drove* the car out from underneath the tree. The only real damage was to the hatch and rear window. Todd said it and I believe it -- that car is to us as the sandals were to the children of Israel wandering for forty years.

The following Sunday -- one week later -- we had the storm of all storms (at least, the most storm I care to see then or ever) move through directly over our home. And into our roof, our kitchen, Jocelyn's room . . . an F1 tornado. Brought about four or five trees with it and dragged 'em through our yard and into the back of the house. What a mess! Todd was on shift that night. We had absolutely no warning -- I just barely got the kids heading down the basement stairs when it hit the house. Crazy, crazy stuff.

So. Three major incidents. Three -- count 'em -- one, two, three. Whew! But through all of it, God is *so* faithful! In each of those situations, I see Him answering prayer after prayer after prayer. Taking care of needs only He knew about to begin with. I so often think of God as this major, awesome force, and forget how personally involved He is in _my_ life. How intimately connected He is with my feelings, needs, desires, and thoughts. Yes, He's omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent; but He's so much more. He's my Father who art in Heaven. Praise His holy name. Little ol' me. He holds *me* in the palm of His almighty hands. He hides *me* in the shelter of His grace. What a mighty God I serve. Wow.

James had to have surgery, but he's doing physical therapy and recovering quite nicely. The doctor had to re-attach the tendon to the bone with screws and fishing line. Todd said if that's all it took, he probably could have done it. Yeah!

We got a $254 check back from the state two weeks ago. We'd forgotten about it, so it was like 'gimme' money. Todd decided he really needed to get the hatch fixed and replace the rear windshield of the car. The auto-glass people said it would be about $250 -- but suggested he look in a junk yard (excuse me, auto salvage dealer) and see if he could replace the whole hatch. He did find one -- perfect fit and all -- and was able to replace the whole hatch, windshield and all, all by himself (with a little help from Jose, who showed him how to remove the hatch from the salvage car) for only $54. Now that's a God thing!

The work progresses on the house. I'll have a whole new roof, kitchen, bedroom, and workshop by the time it's all said and done! I've been able to do some things in the kitchen I'd really wanted to do, but hadn't been able to afford. It's GREAT! That whole thing about lemonade out of lemons is so true, only it's renovations out of tornadoes! Gotta love it. And I've decided that if I give my concerns over to God, and not let them eat me up internally (or not throw them at others), He handles my little problems so marvelously! I'm SO BLESSED!