Thursday, November 23, 2006


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Today was a nice change of pace; Todd and I walked together, outside. It was a beautiful morning for it! Only one car passed us, and while we heard several dogs, nary a one came chasing after us. Just lovely! We waited until 7, so all the school traffic was out of the way, and evidently, most of the commuter traffic was gone too. Very nice. If I can convince him to do that every third day, it would be *great*!!

Then, I was very convicted about questioning my husband's integrity. I went to him and asked his forgiveness. It would have been very easy to have said nothing, but it was so utterly wrong of me. I should have championed him, instead of letting my pride get in the way, and questioning his judgment.

And the craziness begins. This weekend marks the beginning of our craziness: James and I both working three jobs; Julia and her family coming to stay with us for a week; Jocelyn's play and all that stuff; my birthday; our weekend away . . . manic! On top of all that, I start directing Children's Choir this weekend, we're painting the living room, MOPs starts up, and there's the Women's Annual Bake-Off! I hope I survive!

God? Where would you have me serve *You* today?



Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Thanks, God. I *know* I could not have done the treadmill this morning without You! It was so stinking early!

James needs to be getting up soon. But I wanted to share how good God is, even in things like "30 minutes on the treadmill" -- He's faithful to assist when I opting to be obedient. The thing is, why do I get it in some areas, but not in others? I'm so _stubborn_.

Joshua 1:1-18 is where we are this week in Sunday ... er, excuse me ... Cross Training. The passing of the mantle of responsibility from Moses to Joshua. I imagine Joshua was pretty overwhelmed with the task. I wonder why it was passed to Joshua and not Caleb?

The key verses, to me, are 1:8-9: Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. !!!

No small task -- but pretty simple instructions. Let's see where my instructions come from today: Luke 20:1-8. Do I appreciate the authority under which I am placed? Do I understand that it comes from the LORD, Most High? I forget, a LOT, that I'm His. I need to re-commit to that *every* morning.

Lord, I'm Yours. I need Your protection. I need Your presence. I need You to empower me to be all that You would have me to be today. Father, I need help staying focused on You. Let me be grounded in Your Word today. Jesus, thank You.

Buenos dias!


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

You know, there is something incredibly empowering about walking . . . why do I stop? Huh. Let me just say here and now, I hate Satan. And I hate that I'm trapped in this old, earthly, stinking flesh. Between the two, I allow myself to fall again and again. I get too cocky and self-sure, and forget to ask for God's empowering and His strength. I am nothing without Him.

Nice walk this morning. I put together a good set of songs! Music and/or companionship make all the difference in the world when I'm walking.

I'm a little confused about the USDA's pyramid thing. According to it, I only need 2 1/2 cups of vegetables a day, and 1 1/2 cups of fruit. Together, that only makes four servings. What happened to 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day? I'm not sure what's going on!

It's just 8:00, and I've walked, made the bed, fixed breakfast for both Todd and James, I've had coffee and my fruit for the day, I made James's lunch, and I'm journaling. God, You're so good!

A lot of needs in our church right now. Desperate, life-changing needs. I think Satan's on the warpath at FRBC.

Lori Quick is talking about starting an aerobics class at the church, four days a week; two in the morning and two in the evening. What fun that would be! I would sign up in a heartbeat! :)

God, please allow me to be sensitive to Your will today. Please empower me to make godly choices, inspired by You. I want my focus to be You, today.

There is only You.



Monday, September 25, 2006

Yeah. I know.

I think I may have waited too long to get on here this morning. I'm already as cooled off as I'm going to get; my music has stopped, and I've got things to do before I leave for work this morning. Egads!

I'm approaching this with a different mind set this time, I hope. I wanted to do the right thing, but I think my reasoning was wrong. My focus was on me, even though the benefits for my husband were clear. My focus in this, just like everything else, needs to be on God. If I'm not doing what I'm doing for Him, through Him, because of Him, then I'm going to fail fast.

My desire has to be in what He wants for me, not what I want for myself. Some of what I want is okay; to be healthy and fit. Some of what I want is not -- to be sexy and desirable and shapely. My thought is what clothes I can fit into again and be a hot mama, whereas God wants my focus to be on housing His glory. Especially since He's brought my attention to the modesty/feminine area. Whoa!

So my concentration won't be on miles and points, so much as on pleasing God by time spent exercising this temple daily, and truly good nutrition.

God, I pray You will keep my teachable; that I won't be dulled to Your prompting!


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I'm still very intrigued by the relationship of the Trinity, One to Another. Father, Son, & Holy Spirit. Unity in its most perfect form. What an example to the fellowship of Believers . . . working together in perfect harmony.

Another nice walk this morning, and an even better time of prayer and praise. I can't think of a better time to walk than when I'm fellowshipping with my Lord. He is the *best* walking companion!

I had such fun in my applique class last night, although I still believe the way I was taught is a lot easier than trying to fold that mess under with a needle every step of the way! Except for stems -- those now make sense! A lot of discussion about bias last night. Good thing I know how to figure out where the bias is on a piece of fabric! Anyway, it was a fun time.

Jennifer got a new cat for the shop -- his name is Cash. I wonder if it was supposed to be "Johnny Cash," and they shortened it to Cash? He's Kitty Cash to me. :)

Tonight I am actually going to have dinner with my husband! How great is that? I don't think we've actually eaten dinner together since last Wednesday. Only tonight, I don't have to run off to a meeting!

This is the day that the Lord has made!! I will *rejoice* and be glad in it!!

Oh my soul!


Monday, July 17, 2006

Hey -- before you jump on me, know that I *have* been journaling -- just not online. It doesn't matter where I journal, just that I *do* journal!

I had a nice walk this morning. Not too brisk; I wanted to be able to close my eyes in prayer when I needed to. What a sweet time of prayer. God, I'm so grateful to You. Praise You for Your perfect goodness.

Car wrecks, car vandalism, relationship break-ups, ministry opportunities, retreat planning; all that in the midst of regular life. Thank God I've got my Jesus to lean on. Thank You God.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Perfect unity. Jesus prayed that His disciples would experience that same unity and oneness. This is central to Christian fellowship. Unity. Of course, it can't be perfect this side of Heaven, but it can certainly be improved!

Rest beyond the river.

My God is so good.



Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Another day, another diet. Haha . . . just kidding, same diet. *grin*

I'm not sure what I'm thinking about today. I'm not sure, I'm not sure, I'm not sure.

I love my husband.

I can see Jocelyn living a long, single life, and enjoying every God-ordained moment of it. But don't tell her I said that. I can just as easily see her as a godly wife and mom with four children, having a blast taking care of God's gift of a family. Wow. What will my Jocey be, say, in six years down the road?

Singleness is definitely *not* for James!

Repent, repent you sinners and vipers. That's not for anyone but me.

I'm in a strange mood today. Perhaps it's because of the weight watchers. I need to be diligent and non-manipulative with it this time. I WANT TO BE OBEDIENT. I hate failing.

I also hate feeling disconnected. Blah.

Oh! I did get the Round Robin yesterday! Yeay-rah! I'm in! It was a lot of fun to sit down last night and read all the letters. Whoohoo! Now it's my turn to write.

It's also my turn to get into the shower. I'm so discombobulated (?!?) today. God? Throw me a life line!


Monday, June 26, 2006

I think it's time to try WW again. (For the umpteenth time.)

Lord, You know how much I want to be obedient in this area, and how *hard* it is for me. Please be my strength today; not my will power, but Your will power!!

And James. My sweet son, James. Lord, I lift him up to You. I pray You will continue to give him direction, Lord. Allow him to be sensitive to Your guidance; to be able to discern between his emotions and feelings, and Your direction. Speak to him in the quiet of his day, and allow him to hear You clearly.

I don't want to be a Jehu -- who starts off on fire and follows God's instructions to the letter, and destroys all the trappings of Baal worship, only to fall prey to the golden calf. I want my life to be a testimony of obedience. A visible testimony of obedience. Starting now!

Through the power of Jesus Christ.


Sunday, June 25, 2006

I let too many things interfere with my commitment to journal on a daily basis. It's a shame, I know, and I've really got no excuse. It's a shame because God has shown me some really cool things this week, and I should have been noting them as I learned them -- not waiting to play catch-up, at the week's end. Not to mention, God was pretty clear to me at the beginning of the year when He directed me to be faithful in journaling. Not *my* will, Lord, but YOURS be done. Except, I haven't done it. {sigh}

I want to relate to these girls. Lord, I really want to relate to them, and have them be able to relate to me. Father, what do You want? How do *You* want me to proceed??

I want to be skinny and healthy and fit. I'm tired of obesity. Blah. I spit it out of my mouth. (Unfortunately, the problem is the food that I *don't* spit out of my mouth!)

It's incredible to sit back and watch Jocelyn grow and lean on the Lord. It's the same with James. My children are growing up. I'm so humbled by how God has grown them and strengthened them, despite me. I'm so grateful; beyond words.

I love my husband so much. He cares for me -- in so many different aspects. Father, I praise You for him.

We had the Burketts over for dinner last night, and went out to dinner with the Wrights on Friday night. Wow! We had a great time both nights. It was so sweet to fellowship with brothers & sisters in Christ, outside of church! Friday night is Kasey & Greg's "guy" shower, which should be fun. Lord, please prepare me so that I can fulfill the role I'm supposed to fulfill that night!

I have 2.5 hours until we get to go back to church and sing with the Mike Spec Trio!!! I'm very excited!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

And, a picture or two from our weekend getaway to Mountain Laurel Inn Bed & Breakfast in Mentone, Alabama (which I *highly* recommend)!!

This is the view from our cabin porch. It was *very* secluded, private, and romantic! The paved path leads from our porch back to the main house (where we ate breakfast).

This is a view of the falls, from the trail that ran from our door (practically). It was a breathtaking view; quite spectacular! It would be fun to go back in the spring, when rain had been more plentiful! It's been rather dry up in the mountains, and it was reflected in the waterfalls.

This final picture is from the other side of the falls. See the tiny little overhang, that juts out just below the trees? That's from where I took my picture of the falls. Good thing I took that picture first!
There's a cave cricket somewhere down at my feet. *shudder*

In chapter one of Job, God asks Satan where he has come from.

Satan responds, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it." In 1 Peter 5:8 we get a fuller understanding of what Satan's been doing. ". . . like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." With that understanding, let's start the conversation over:

The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?"

Satan responded, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it, like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."

Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant, Job? ..."

This just BLOWS me away! God knew what Satan was up to! God knew why Satan roamed the earth! God KNEW Job would withstand Satan's attack. I wonder if in keeping Satan busy with Job, some poor soul who *wasn't* up to the task of withstanding Satan's attack was spared (for the time being).

I just don't believe there's ever been a time when God could have substituted my name for Job's. As I look back at the trials and periods of testing I've faced (which are minute, to begin with), and how I responded, I'm so ashamed.

God is in control. God is in control. God is in control.

I am not.

The thing is, I shouldn't even want to be in control! I can't see before, during and after! I can't know what's going on in the hearts and minds of those around me (and those not around me). I don't have all the information!! How can you be in control if you don't have all the information??? Only God has all the information! Only God. God.

So why do I sometimes try and be in control? Why do I pretend that I'm capable of handling any given situation? I know perfectly well that I am not equipped to be in control. I certainly know that I'm not sovereign. What is it in my stubborn self that requires that I make a fool out of myself (more often than I'd care to admit), by trying to be in control?!?

I want God to be able to say to Satan, "Have you considered my servant, Denise? There is no one in the earth like her; she is blameless and upright, a woman who fears God and shuns evil."



Monday, June 19, 2006

What a delightful long weekend we had! Todd & I took a trip up to Mentone, Alabama, and stayed at the Mountain Laurel Inn Bed & Breakfast. It was simply wonderful. The cottage is tucked back into the woods, and surrounded by acres of trees and wildlife. The hostess, Sarah Wilcox, is truly gifted in hospitality. From the moment we arrived, to the time we (reluctantly) checked out, she bent over backwards to make us feel welcome and comfortable. I come home feeling awed by God's glorious creation, and relaxed and ready to face the world again!

It occurs to me -- especially after watching it happen with Jocelyn this weekend -- how ready God is to provide for our every need, when we have faith and trust in Him. Jocelyn's pulled wisdom tooth that had given her trouble before Europe, came back in full force in Tahoe. She woke up Friday morning in pain and misery. They took her to an oral surgeon in Reno, who took care of everything, free of charge. Todd & I had deposited $300 in her account, to make sure she could cover everything/anything she needed -- and all she needed was $104 for prescriptions. It's such an awful feeling to have your child be sick or in pain and out of your reach. Until I remember that my child was His child first, and as much as I care for my girl, He's going to outdo me (and rightly so) every time! Lord, Abba Father, how grateful I am to You.

Our SS lesson this week, which I will be teaching, is on Job. The main theme is, "God is in control." If they don't learn anything else, if I can make that one truth abundantly plain and clear to them, it will be a successful lesson, in my opinion. God, what would make it successful to You? What do these girls need to get from this Scripture on Job? I pray You will make me very sensitive to Your word this week; that I will be able to understand and discern what You are speaking through Job's trials, and that I will be able to clearly communicate it to our class. Lord, I pray you will bless them this week in such a way that they recognize it as only You.

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to work I go!


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Do you know how hard it is to do something that you *know* you're supposed to do, but you really don't want to do it? Pretty difficult. I can relate to the Israelites. I am one. I'm a stubborn child of God who knows what she's supposed to do, and consistently decides to do it her own way (which is never the right way) instead. I _know_ God wants me journaling daily. Do you know how many times in the past week I've sat here, pulled up this very page, and then, with a click of the mouse, shut it down? You know what I've done next? Most typically, I've pulled up a game, instead. Good gravy! I've done this before, too. Only this time, I'm not going to let days turn into weeks, and weeks into months. It's got to stop!

Unconfessed sin is typically what does me in. When I've got the burden of unconfessed sin strangling me, I don't want to do what God wants me to do -- because I'll have to confront that sin, lay it before Him, and repent. That can be extremely hard for a prideful person, such as myself, to do. Instead, I leave it unconfessed . . . and wrap the painful truth of God up in some hard material, like an oyster does with a annoying grain of sand. And while pearls are of value to us, it only brings death to the oyster (as someone comes along and pulls the oyster out of its comfort zone, yanks it open, and forcibly removes the pearl). Yuck. I don't want that!

But it's so painful to lay myself open to God -- to expose the rotting, stinking earthly flesh. It's painful and shameful. I think the shame is hardest. God, why? Why do I constantly fail this test? How do I give this to You? How do I allow You to work through this? I don't do the things I want to do, and I do the things I know I'm not supposed to do.

It's come down to whether I choose to believe Satan's lies over God's truth. I can NOT have it all. I can't make my own decisions and choices, and still retain a right relationship with God. Do I trust in God's provision? That's the thing. It's a matter of my wants over God's provision. I've grown up hearing Satan whisper the lie of "you deserve it" and "you should have that" and "if you want it, go for it" and "whatever it takes". It makes me weep to realize how I must break my Father's heart. I need to reflect on this.



Saturday, June 10, 2006

Proud mama? I think so!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I never realized, before this morning, that a second killing followed so closely on the heals of Cain's killing of Abel. As one of Cain's descendants, it sounds as if Lamech, the first polygamist noted in the Bible, used Cain's sin as an excuse for his own. I've done that. I've measured my sin against a sin committed by someone else; to downplay what I've done. But God doesn't look at it that way. My sin is measured only against His standard of perfection. That's why there is no acceptable sin.

I'm in the book of 1 Kings in my quiet time, now. Reading about the kings of Israel (the Northern kingdom) makes me think of the hymn, "No not one!" I know the context is different, but there surely wasn't one king who reigned in Israel who was righteous. No not one.

Of course, the kings of Judah (the Southern kingdom) weren't much better.

Today is primary election day in the grand state of Alabama. Go Judge Roy Moore!


Monday, June 05, 2006

Oh taste and see that the Lord is good; He is good -- He is good!!

He certainly was good to Solomon. But the minute Solomon started taking His blessings for granted, it went to Solomon's head. The beginning of the end. I'm just like that. At some point I stop being grateful, and start getting ... expectations? Perhaps I start feeling like I *deserve* the goodness -- it's my right, my just rewards. Lord? Help me to remember today that what I deserve is death. I'm a sinner saved by Your grace alone, and that is the only blessing I truly needed. How I praise You for that! You are good -- You are good!!!

My Jocey is serving God in Tahoe, and my James is headed to a camp in Roach. What a name for a city! Todd and I are on our own again this week. Wow. I'm praying that God will really impress upon me ways I can show my darling husband that I respect him. I'm a very loving wife -- but am I a respectful wife? This week I'll pay close attention to it.

Time to see what Sunday's lesson is about!



Saturday, June 03, 2006

Oh yes -- two things I wanted to share! One was an incredible bloom off of our magnolia tree, and the other was a glimpse into the lovely tea party that Jocelyn & I had on Tuesday! Enjoy!
For three days I didn't walk. Lemme 'splain . . .

Wednesday: We got up at 4:15 am and left at 5:00 am to take Jocelyn to the airport {sniff} and from there I went straight to work, where I stayed until 5:30 pm, and went directly to the Roger's home for the SCUBA event for our 7th & 8th grade youth.

Thursday & Friday: No excuse. Except my hips hurt really badly and I had to be at work incredibly early, and I just didn't do it.

I noticed (realized) that when I didn't walk, I didn't journal. Guilty conscience, I suppose.

I'm journaling today, so guess what?!? Yes, I walked this morning. A lovely creation walk with my husband. They're my favorite!

Do you ever wonder if you'd have done thing differently if you'd been either Adam or Eve (as appropriate)? I like to *think* I'd have run from the serpent, and cried out to God for help, but I know in my heart I'd have done the same thing Eve did. Perhaps I wouldn't have even offered the little resistance that she did. Hah -- maybe I wouldn't have even needed the serpent to speak to me. I'd have just seen the fruit and eaten. The reason I know this is because of how I respond to temptation when it's presented. I listen to the lies, instead of running from
them . . .

But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness,
godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. 1 Timothy 6:11

It's frustrating to know what I'm supposed to do, to know in my heart that it's really the best choice, and to still choose wrongly. Ugh. It's a good thing I'm not God -- I'd have no mercy or compassion for myself. Lord, I thank You that You love me. Father, I ask You to continue to draw me near to You. Lord, discipline me and correct me when I need it (which is often). I thank You that Your discipline reflects Your love for me. I'm so lucky to know You hold me in Your mighty hand. I love You, Lord!


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

And the numbers, please:

Mile completed 18:09 (I *purposely* walked slower today!)
Total distance: 1.87 miles
Time: 35:08
Calories burned: 243
Fat calories burned: 76

All in all, not a bad showing. I was completely depending on God -- oh, from say about the 3rd minute on. My legs hurt so this morning! It's either all in my head (because they feel fine now that I'm sitting), or it's because I walked so late yesterday. I hope I didn't wake the whole house walking. But I gotta walk! :)

It is so easy to read through the Bible--particularly the Old Testament--and sit in condemnation of the people I'm reading about. I have to be so careful not to give in to that temptation. I am the people I'm reading about! When I read about David giving in to the temptation of Bathsheba, it's *me* giving in to whatever fleshly desire reigns strong within me. When David then heaps lie and sinful action on top of lie and more sinful action, that's *me* covering my own guilty tracks. And when God uses Nathan to bring David into repentance, that's God telling *me* that He wants to draw me back into right relationship with Him, if only I'll bow in humility, admit my sin, and ask forgiveness.

Lord, I'm so ashamed of my actions; please forgive me of my arrogance, particularly when it comes to the reading and understanding of Your precious Word. I pray that You will allow me to be strengthened by You through this day. That my countenance will reflect Your love and glory. And that my words and actions will mirror You. Please enable me to focus on You; Your purpose, desire, and leadership. Thank You, Lord. :)



Monday, May 29, 2006

Okay, I give in . . . I felt icky, so I walked. Some. See for yourself:

Mile completed: 16:25 (getting better!)
Distance completed: 1.16 miles (you'll see why next)
Time completed: 20:07 (I just took a quickie walk)
Calories burned: 151
Fat calories burned: 47

Okay, I feel *better*! Tomorrow, I'll get my early start. Especially since I've got to be at work early, and Jocelyn wants us to have our tea party in the morning! It may be time to feed the cats and go to bed!

Thanks, Lord, for not letting me falter.


From everything. I didn't work, didn't walk, and I didn't do much of anything. I had planned to walk with Todd this morning, before he went on shift, but I went to bed with a migraine, and woke up with it worse.

We had Kim and James and Dallas and Jocelyn for Sunday dinner yesterday. It was fun! Both girls helped me in the kitchen. The menfolk all hung out in the living room. It was a fun meal and a happy memory.

I can't believe Jocelyn is heading out again in two days. Good gracious, I am going to miss my girl!

SS went spendidly yesterday! We had two visitors, and I think the girls really enjoyed the lesson. This Sunday is the account of Adam & Eve in the garden, along with the first sin. Lord, I pray that as I study this week's Scripture and lesson plan, You will give me understanding; that You will open my eyes fresh and anew to Your Word. Father, I ask that You impress upon me the information You would have me share with those lovely girls.

And they are just darling.


Saturday, May 27, 2006

Good gravy!

I missed Thursday, due to travel, so Todd & I had determined that when he got off shift this morning and got home, we'd walk the creation walk. At 7:30 this morning I get a call -- he's stuck on shift working overtime. POOH! I was really looking forward to a creation walk this morning! Then the flesh started creeping in . . . well, it's Saturday, you don't really need to walk. You're allowed to take a break! Egads! So I asked James if he would walk with me -- I didn't think he would, and he didn't disappoint me. :( So, dagnabbit, I put on my treadmill playlist, added a couple of songs to make it 30+ minutes long, and hit the treadmill!

Mile completed at: 16:49 (!!)
Miles walked: 1.86
Time: 34:03
Fat calories burned: 75
Calories consumed: 242

Look at those numbers! Thanks, God -- I *know* I couldn't have done that without Your encouragement!

I'm dripping. Ewwww. I made a determination last night -- I really do believe that perhaps all the aspartame I've been consuming of late is adversely effecting my memory. Splenda for coffee/tea; only Diet Coke and 7 UP, with Splenda, for sodas, and more WATER. I'll try it for a couple of weeks and see if memory starts to improve. If it does, I'll continue in that same vein. If not, I'll do some more research.

I was incredibly irritable yesterday. Most especially with the people (my family) who deserve it the least. Lord, why do I get that way? How can I prevent my irritability from hurting my sweet husband and children?

Today Dallas arrives. Tomorrow is Sunday (YAY!). I need to get cleaning!

Oh what a beautiful (and incredibly hot) morning!



Friday, May 26, 2006

Creation walk, today -- it was a nice morning for a serious walk!

My children are finally home, safe and sound! Hurrah! I missed them so very much. I've got to take advantage of the time I have left with them! :)

There's been a lot of talk about the Da Vinci Code book/movie lately. I finally hit upon the main reason I don't want to read the book or see the movie. If someone were to write a novel about my daughter, son, husband, or any of my family, that painted them in an ugly light, or slandered them, or was derogatory in nature, even if it was the best fiction around, I wouldn't read it. Why would I want to? How can I treat my Lord and Savior any other way? Why would I want to read such averse speculation about my Jesus? I don't, and so I won't. It feels very good to know and understand exactly why I don't want to have anything to do with it. Thanks, Lord.

I've got to go to work today -- I hope I have a pile of stuff to keep me busy, 'cause I know I'm going to want to get home and be with my Jocey!!

C'est la guerre!

Lord, be my strength today, please? I'm so irritable right now; and I'm not sure why. I need to lay it at Your feet and let You take over! Not me, but You. Not me, but You. Not me, but ONLY YOU!



Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Today was a treadmill day. It's harder, because it's not nearly as interesting scenery or company, but it is nice to be able to track what I'm doing. Plus, I can play the perfect walking music and count down the songs! Speaking of tracking . . .

Mile completed: 17:15
Miles completed: 1.30
Total time: 24:05
Calories used: 170
Fat calories used: 53

I'm still not quite sure about the significance of the fat calories, but since it's on just about every exercise machine there is, I'm sure it's relevant. And I expended 53 this morning!

God's good -- it's so tempting, when no one is here, and no one would ever know -- to just not walk. But He gently prods me (He doesn't push or force, for which I'm grateful), and I'm obedient, and it feels so good. :)

My babies are on an airplane--right this very moment--flying over the Atlantic Ocean. How I can't wait to hear from them! They left at 1:00 pm (France time) and will arrive in DC at 3:00 pm (EDST),which will be 2:00 pm CDST!! In essence, for me, they will have traveled from France in an hour. Not too shabby! I've missed my darling children sooo much! I can't wait to get them tomorrow! Lord, I pray You will continue to bless their travel; place Your mighty hedge of protection about them as they fly, travel back through customs, pick up luggage, and head back to Severna Park -- and especially as they drive tomorrow, Lord -- I ask special favor for my parents; that You would hold them close; keep them alert and aware as they drive; and deliver them back home safely. Thank You, Jesus!

In my quiet time today, I finished up 1 Samuel. There was an interesting not in the commentary which caught my eye. It noted that Samuel, when spoken to for the first (realized) time by the Lord, responded, "Speak, for Your servant is listening." While Saul, when called by the Lord through Samuel, to be anointed as king, responded, "Who am I that you would speak to my this way?" Samuel was ready to do and be whatever the Lord wanted. Saul put God in a box; he projected his own imitations on the most high God.

When we put God in a box, are we not just as surely putting ourselves in a box? There is *nothing* righteous my God can't do. That being the case, should He so choose to use me, there's nothing I can't do, if I'm fully obedient and rely on God. Therein lies the rub. That fully obedient part gets me every time. It's easy to nod your head and smile and agree, but truthfully, it should break my heart and cause me prostrate myself before my most Holy Lord and beg forgiveness. Thank You Lord, for Your mercy and love.

Mice. I need to tell about mice. Most folks have cats to deal with a mouse problem. We have cats that cause a mouse problem. Good gravy! But I'm late -- mice will have to wait for another time!!

I may not get an opportunity to journal online tomorrow -- we'll leave at 5 am, and probably not get home until after 9 pm. But I'll have my darlings home again!!



Tuesday, May 23, 2006

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. . .God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:1-2, 27

By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. Hebrews 11:3

These two sets of Scripture are the basis for our lesson on Sunday. I'm brimming with God-given ideas about how to teach this Scripture to our girls. I pray that the Lord will keep my heart and mind open to His direction!

Todd and I walked again this morning. It was very early -- 5:45 am -- when we started out! But how beautiful! The air is cool and dewy and it smells delicious. There aren't any technology noises; just birds and frogs and hidden things. And the occasional dog! But at that time of day, even the dogs are at a minimum! Only one car passed us. We had a nice walk. Another 1.75 miles in 30 minutes. Go us!

In my quiet time I've been reading about Israel's first king, Saul, and his subsequent demise. I know I've said this before, but I think it bears repeating. Reading the accounts of the early Israelites can be so disheartening -- because instead of learning from their mistakes, I just seem to _repeat_ them. Ugh. It's so easy to lose humility when put in a position of importance. Or given any responsibility. It's nothing to start creating ideas of what *I'll* do, or say, or accomplish; forgetting I'm there to do God's will, certainly not my own. I don't have to come up with anything -- I just need to be about what HE wants to accomplish. Otherwise, I'm just in His way -- a hindrance to His will -- and He will remove His favor, as He did with Saul. OBEDIENCE. HUMILITY.

Hmmmm...I wonder if I can come up with an accrostic for my name that would describe the sort of woman God desires me to be . . .

D edicated to His service
E xalting His holy name
N ever forgetting His sacrifice
I nfused by His Holy Spirit
S ubmitting in humility before Him
E nchanted by His presence

Wow. I'd like to truly be a DENISE -- except I'm having trouble with the N. I'll have to come back to that.

Lord -- I desire to be Your servant today. I pray you will guard me from evil; draw my focus to You; and allow me to be sensitive to Your guidance today. How I love You. Please give me an "N". :)

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And He created me. May I be a pleasing image of Him today.



post script: I found an "N" -- a pretty good one, too, if I do say so! Thanks, Lord!


Monday, May 22, 2006

Happy Monday Morning!!

Well, today I said, "Pooh!" to the treadmill. But not to fret -- I walked outside with Todd, instead! We walked just over a mile and a half in 30 minutes. I have no idea what my statistics are, but it felt good! I really do prefer walking in God's creation over walking in Todd's creation (the treadmill is in his study). The sights, sounds, and smells are so much more interesting! The only thing I could do without is the assortment of neighborhood dogs. Grrruff.

Interestingly enough, our SS lesson this week is on creation. Perhaps I will be more aware of God's creation this week -- all aspects of it -- as I study and prepare for the lesson.

I enjoy walking with Todd -- we have some of our best conversations when we are walking together. I wish we did it more frequently. But I can't complain -- I think I'm probably the holdup!

God, I pray that You will give me wisdom and discernment through this day. Enable me to rely on You as my sole source of strength and leadership. Protect me from my own fleshly desires. Enable me to see Your escape when I'm confronted with temptation, so I know in what direction to flee.

I ask that You would continue to allow Your presence to be felt within the traveling quartet. Bless their travel time to Paris and their stay. I know they're probably feeling a little travel tired by this point -- refresh them and lift their spirits. Protect them and keep them safe.

Thank You for being my Lord and King, and yet, You're so personal. You hear me when my requests are their most trivial, in the scheme of things. I love You, Lord.

What a happy day!


Sunday, May 21, 2006

What a *glorious* day!! I _am_ rejoicing in it!

What a sweet time we had in Sunday School this morning. I can tell that I am going to so enjoy those girls! What darlings! Jennifer did a great job in teaching this morning. I need to be prayed up and prepare to study this week! God -- work through me; speak through me; give me Your holy understanding of the Scriptures we are covering in this week's lesson. Teach me; I want to stay in awe of Your word and Your creation. Use me, Lord, I pray!

Strawberry Delight in pie form is pretty good, too. !!

This is the kid's last night in Switzerland. Tomorrow: Paris!! They fly out of Paris on Wednesday at 1 pm, and arrive in the states at 3 pm. What an amazing thing time is! I do pray for my dad's well-being as they drive to Wytheville. It seems crazy to me to try to do, but who am I?

On to service . . . what a great job the Lord did through Brother Steve in this morning's sermon! I'm really enjoying his "Desperate Households" series. Tonight promises to be great, also -- the Da Vinci Code! Whoohooo!

I didn't have time to cry this morning when they presented the graduates. But James looked so nice in his picture! I have such beautiful children. Wow, God. Wow.

I really need to get Todd out of bed!



Saturday, May 20, 2006

Oh what a beeeyoootiful evening!!!

It's been a nice day. Relatively quiet, once I got home! I headed to the church this morning for the Construct-A-Craft event. Excuse me, the opportunity! No one else showed up for it -- at least they hadn't by 10:30. That's when I left. But there were folks there working on the new children's set. It's looking awesome! I can't wait for the rest of the kids to see it! Anyway, after that, I ran some errands, came home, and worked on James's graduation announcements. Bittersweet moments. My baby, all graduated from high school. Wow. In another two years, Jocelyn will be graduating from college. Ooops, better reign in the time machine!!

I continue to pray for James, Jocelyn, Mom & Dad. Tonight's their last night in Munich, and tomorrow they head to Switzerland! Land of CHOCOLATE! :)

Did I mention that Kim sent me a Mother's Day card, because she knew I wouldn't be able to spend the day with my own children? That was SO sweet! Dallas called today. Just checking in. I like the significant others my children have chosen. God is good.

I'm excited about tomorrow. I wish we had been able to picnic with the girls today, but say law vee. It's a neat series we're getting into. I am anxious to see how the girls respond. Some questions for them:

1) When you read Scripture, should you be reading it to understand what it means to you? Or should you be asking what it means to God?

--How can we apply Scripture to our lives without first understanding what God intended when He had a particular verse written?!

2) Did Jesus have a Bible?

--Not as we know the Bible, but Jesus *did* have God's Word. The Old Testament was His Bible!

3) What was the Old Testament called during Jesus' day?

-- The Law and the Prophets! The Law was the first five books of the Old Testament -- The Pentateuch -- recorded by Moses, and the Prophets refers to the remaining books in the Old Testament.

4) Since Jesus saves us by grace, are we under the Law?

-- Jesus Himself said that He came to fulfill the Law, not to abolish it! He knew that we could never measure up to God's perfect law; and so He became the perfect sacrifice on our behalf. When we submit to Jesus, we submit to God's perfect fulfillment of the Law!

I'm going to make a Strawberry Delight Pie.



Friday, May 19, 2006

This morning's visit to the treadmill will purely completed through God's strength and not my own.

Otherwise I'd have given up after 1:30 minutes. Trust me, flesh was trying to RULE this morning. I am sore every where. Even my neck! But to God be the glory, here are this morning stats:

Mile completed: 17:46 (!!)
Time: 22:07
Miles: 1.17
Calories burned: 152
Fat calories burned: 47

Yeay God! I think, "I can't," and God says, "No, but I can! Think on ME." Thank You, Lord!

While I'm here, God? Do you think You might push me out of the way when it comes to eating habits today? I'm willing and You are definitely able!

James and Jocelyn are in Munich today. How fun! I miss my precious babies. On real player right now is dc Talk's song, Time is Ticking Away. How appropriate. It seems like just yesterday that Jocelyn was the precocious toddler quiping, "She'll be three in March!" And James was my darling little boy, running the length of the daycare center's window to wave goodbye to mommy. How fast it all goes. And if the last twenty years went by that quickly, how in the world am I going to survive the speed with which the next twenty go by?!

Good morning, world!


Thursday, May 18, 2006

{gasp} {huff} {snort} {gasp} Water . . . !

Yes, all of that means I did do my treadmill workout this morning! Look at me, Ma! :) And, I'm happy to record, my times are better than yesterday! And I don't even hurt! Plus, I finished my mile in 18:24, which is a four minute improvement over yesterday!

Time: 20:37
Distance: 1:08
Calories: 140
Fat Calories: 44


I did forget to bring my water bottle up there with me -- that made it a little difficult. But I persevered. I still haven't heard from James or Jocelyn or my folks. I guess I really didn't expect to, still, it makes me miss them all the more. One week from today we'll be picking them up! And the whirlwind continues. I keep looking at the summer and thinking how fast it'll go -- I need to just focus on one day at a time. One day. One focus. the One focus.

Really, I need to go through my day focusing on Jesus, and time will pass just as it should. As He intended it should pass!

I finally understand what we're supposed to be doing as SS leaders. You can't apply Scripture to your life, until you understand what God is saying through His Word. Otherwise, you risk misapplying His Word, and that is so dangerous. So our job is to explain what God is saying through the selected passages -- making sure the girls understand specifically what God means -- so that Derek or James can come along and show them how to take those passages, and apply them to their own lives _correctly_. I'm glad it finally hit me. :)

So, yesterday, Satan missed me on the treadmill, but he got me in the Kroger. And I LET him. That's the rub . . . I can choose to NOT let Satan trip me up. God, I am weak -- but YOU are strong. I said something to Sondra yesterday about starting again -- but I think I'll just be about it for a while before I speak about it to anyone else. Just one day at a time and One focus a day.

{insert poignant thought here}


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Let everything that has breath PRAISE HIM!

And I just got off the treadmill, so I have _just_ enough breath to do just that!! :)

I'm tired of the online/notebook journaling debate. I've been so wishy-washy about it, that I've not done either. At the beginning of this year, the Lord was very specific with me. Very plainly He told me that if I would be faithful to journal, He would be faithful to working through my weight/dieting issues with me. I knew that, as simple as it sounded, this would not be an easy task -- all one has to do is look at my bookshelves of jounals (that don't have more than one-third of the pages written in) or look at the dates (and the huge gaps of dates) in my online journal, to know that I'm not a consistent journaler! I've tried and failed and tried and failed. What I now need to recognize it that it's not the failing that's important -- what's important is that I continue to try.

So. Here I am.

I did get on the treadmill this morning. That's another thing He's been dealing with me about. For, oh, about four years. No time like the present! I started and my left knee was really paining me, as was the arch in my right foot. I think that's Satan's way of seeing how serious I really am about being obedient. Nothing hurt when I finished. I walked for 22:35 minutes, completed 1.02 miles, and burned 41 fat calories and 133 regular calories! Shoot, I had a yogurt, mini-bagel, and coffee for breakfast this morning. The way I figure it, I burned all the yogurt calories, and all the fat calories from my bagel! :) I can spin, don'tcha know!

It was a little sad to see it take so long to complete a mile. I was just going to walk for 20 minutes, but it was so close to a mile, I just had to continue.

The only thing I really dislike about walking (or exercising at all) is sweating. I sweat bad! Yuck. On a positive note, though, I figure that the cooling down time will be a good time to sit here and journal!

Diet. What a word. It's so confusing. Which one? How long? What should my priorities be? What diet is really the best for my health and well-being? Argh!!!

God? What say You? You know my body better than anyone could -- including (especially) me! Lord, I lay it in Your capable hands.

I feel thinner already.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

That is an incredibly thought-provoking verse -- Judges 21:25. It was the last thing I read in my quiet time this morning, and I've thought about it off and on all day.

Everyone did what was right in his own eyes . . . sounds a lot like the general attitude of the day.

I'm guilty of it myself. There's nothing like reading God's word to bring about conviction. Oh Lord, I'm so grateful You draw me back out of the snare of sin; You forgive and restore, when forgiveness and restoration are desired.

In these days there's no God in America; everyone does what's right in his own eyes.

Watch out, America.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I need to post here more often, if only to read my own heading: Count it *all* joy. Sometimes I forget how important an act that is in the Believer's life. No matter what difficulty I'm experiencing, I need to remember that all trials and tribulations can be used by God to shape and mold me into the the follower of Christ I need to be.

Words more easily spoken than realized, yes? Yes!

I spent my quiet time in the last four chapters of the book of Joshua. Sometimes I really dislike reading about the children of Israel, but only because it reinforces how much like them I am. Wayward and so quick to forget all that God has done for me. One thing that struck me this morning was Joshua pointing out to the Israelites -- several times -- that God had fulfilled _all_ of His promises to them. That realization serves to emphasize how important it is for me to "count it all joy." Because God fulfills His promises.

See, the thing is though -- God does things differently than I would! Heh -- good thing. Who would want a god that does things the way *I* would do them. I just have to remember that the best way doesn't mean it's the most comfortable way. And regardless, I need to count it *all* joy.