Monday, November 18, 2013

Claim Your Peace,Mama!

  When my daughter was not yet a year old, she had her first seizure. Inside, I was terrified. I had never seen a seizure nor had to deal with something like this with 2 young children right beside me. They were scared, they had no idea what was happening to their sister. But, I was able to remain calm throughout the calling of 911 and the shaking and drooling and crying children, in control through the entire 13 minutes that she seized. When the paramedics finally arrived, they stated back to me that they had never seen a mother so completely together and able to function.
It's a challenging word. The very nature of it contradicts our mind, our life and our world. Personally, I love a challenge, so I chase after peace. I have for years in many various ways & places. But, this is to be a short story, not a novel. So as not to bore you, let's just get to the point, shall we??
   Is it entirely possible for a woman to have more peace in her life than conflict? Or should I say distress or fighting or frustration? Worry. Agitation. War. All these can fit the antonym for peace. And I say YES. It is possible to have peace every day, in the calamity or the ordinary.

What's that you say? It's an absurd statement? 'We're only human!' you say. You sound like one who allows the world to toss you back and forth-high on the non-eventful moments and down deep on anything but! But that's reasonable-with all the trouble the world brings, there's no way you can maintain peace all the time! Ahh.....truth be told, only Lord Jesus had peace 24/7. And that was because He was completely yielded to the Father. Completely. And Yielded. I am not completely yielded to God, nor do I expect in this lifetime to be so.                                                                            
But throughout Scripture we are told, and commanded, to be at peace, to accept Peace, to live in peace, to go out in peace, etc. What are we then doing when we receive peace as the world does? Being faithless, that's what. In that very moment we are choosing to blot out the very face of God and turn our own way. Have you ever heard someone say that no, we can break down and then afterwards seek His Peace? That it is ok to freak out first and then be obedient? Like if we are informed of a cancer or accident or death, then it's perfectly acceptable to fall apart and afterwards pray for peace?

                                                        This logic frightens me.
First, I believe, it tells God He is a liar. That even through His many, many words we are to be natural first. (Luke 19:42) It is natural to react but we must choose to react to either the Prince of Peace, or the destroyer, to whom we were slaves to before Christ came.
Second, I also believe this faithless belief pollutes our church and other weak believers. Putting forth as truth that we are to react first, then seek, is dangerous. (John 17:17)
   Over and over we are instructed to accept His gift of Peace. And like exercise, it's hard! But the more we practice and do it, the easier it becomes and the fitter we are. Changing from glory to glory. God tells us frankly in His Word that His peace will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. I trust that. I have to choose to do so! Oswald Chambers wrote 'Reflecting His peace is proof that you are right with God, because you are exhibiting the freedom to turn your mind to Him. If you are not right with God, you can never turn your mind to anywhere but on yourself.' We are to be constantly looking to Him to be receiving His peace. This takes time every day to do and heaven knows, God gives us enough opportunities to practice His promises! Ha! In sports, you play like you practice. So if you ain't giving it your all off the court, when the bird hits the fan, you will flail. And we've all seen people in our lives-even in the church- fall utterly down deep. And it's shocking, but telling. We are to have our feet ready! (Ephesians 6:15).
   Now, I know some of you may see me as unemotional or unrealistic. That's fine. It's been a tough road for me personally, and I have much to work on, but this peace thing I've got. Perhaps it's because I believe I am truly nothing good without Him. That unless I rely on Jesus as often as possible, I will fail and fail miserably. I don't always succeed and I make a lot of mistakes.But you would see that I am not an emotional rollercoaster, which can be the result of the absence of Christ. And it's challenging to keep our eyes on Him. Sometimes I wish I had Jesus Glasses which would enable me to see Him right away!
   Let me finish that story of my daughter and my ability to maintain control. I did cry and allow myself to fully feel my fright, but only til later did God allow that. Because of His wonderful promises of Peace and Grace, my boys were able to not be so scared that morning and every other time she seized. They were then more able to help her and others and, eventually, effectively handle worse emergency situations in our lives and the lives of others. Moms-you've got to hold it together!! Keep praying, keep seeking, keep getting back up.
   I have the feeling, because I'm winning at this myself, that you can do this! You have to do this! For yourself, your family, our church and our great commission! We don't have to be vulnerable to what the darkness brings! What would happen if we truly took the authority Jesus gives us and acted on it? Peace in our minds when our thoughts run to the dark....peace in our family in the midst of chaos...peace in our finances while the checkbook tells us different.... We are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus- let's truly believe that and change our world.We can boast of what God is doing through us! God bless you!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Worth the Wait!

So you just found out your pregnant and the due date seems,like, forever away.
You discovered the sex of your baby and picturing the little one makes you want more time to do the baby room right.
Sleeping is becoming uncomfortable but you like the way your body looks truly feminine now. Staying this way would be nice for a while. 
                             You're the center of attention-in a good way-for once. Life is wonderful.

You're HUGE. Those feet of yours are swollen and achy. That once-cute-butt behind you now resembles 
2 overgrown sacks of potatoes.It's hard to tell your ankles from your thighs. You just know that people can't tell for sure if you're with baby or maybe you've been to Sweet Frog once too many.

 Heartburn, acne, sore boobs-when will this end????

It's funny how pregnancy can mimic labor in an odd sort of way. It's exciting, unknowable and strange.
You're thrilled because "Finally! I'm pregnant!" & "Finally! The baby's coming!"

Both processes share similar progression of emotions: impatience... pain...agony...'I'm going to die!' you've never known.

(Of course, this is not an exact replica of all pregnancies and/or births. Blah, blah blah. I hear you keeping it to yourself right about now, and I thank you.)

For me, being a Labor Assistant is so wonderful because I am blessed to witness the growth-the becoming-of each mother as she travels through the land of gestation and its challenges and rewards. If it's her first then I know she's totally unaware of how much she will be changed from this process, and I am more than thrilled for her and her family. Nothing has the ability to transform you like carrying another human being inside of you and being responsible for that life. And, if you believe in God, then the whole deal is even sweeter because you know that this child, this gift from Heaven, is just that- a heavenly gift. 

For God to entrust that little soul to us to love and hug and clean and kiss and disciple is a responsibility that, I'm sure, no one in their right mind would willingly sign up for. At least not until they've already done it once, because we're fools after that first time. And we're fools in love. And only when we allow ourselves to trust in God and understand that we here on Earth know nothing..........then we get just a glimpse of Him and His Purpose for us. 

                                                  Ok. Off track a little I think. I keep doing that....

All that waiting and pain and lack of rest and exuberant love spills out furiously once that new child makes it's first cry. Definitely worth it. I would go through all of it again just to hold one more baby from my own womb. I don't care if it was natural, dulled with pain killers or a cesarean- your beloved little you is here and finally it's complete. How precious are you, dear mother. Hold on. Wait patiently.

                                               You still have puberty to go through, after all.  

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My ADHD Ode to Autumn

Where I come from, it's pronounced winner. Apparently, winner is not accepted everywhere, like American Express. The local folks 'round these here parts enunciate each letter. It just seems to roll right off their tongues. Or, as we say in Philadelphia, tungs. That time of the year when wooder turns to ice.

         So, anyways, winTer is coming and, if today is any indication, coming quickly! It's dang cold here in Central Pa.! I know it is November, but for some reason, (self medical diagnosis: Seasonal Apprehensional Laziness), every year I FORGET how cold 'cold' is. Relatively speaking, that is. Please- no need to school me about the ratio of cold to bone from those of you who live in actual freezing regions of this here United States. And stop the stories of how tough you are because you can still manage a normal life in sub-arctic weather. Grocery shopping in 6ft high drifts with 3 toddlers strapped to your back only because you're carrying the dog & kitty in front with a hot pizza, again. You stink.

I love Fall. Not The Fall, mind you. You know, the one where Satan decided he could do better without the Lord and all that horribleness. I hate that one. No fun in that. I'm talking about Autumn!! That Fall. And not just because it's beautiful, or just perfect for that jacket you bought last year for super cheap off-season, or because Thanksgiving is beckoning. 

But because everything is appearing to die off. That's where the beautiful comes from- you see it in the leaves and on the forest floor.Even stepping on them and hearing the crunchy sound of their leaf-bones delights children of all ages. It's beautiful the way the magical woodland creatures gather their berries & hide their nuts because if they don't, then they will starve to death.  I know, I know. 'What's so beautiful about things dying?' How can Death be beautiful when it's terribly sad? Soon those crimson leaves will be soggy and mashed up under our tires or choking our gutters, and the trees, who will be naked in the frigid air, are going to be begging for even a light sweater of snow. Bare, frozen, painfully chilly-quite morose actually.

                 So, I'll bet now you are expecting a Faith-Tie-In of sorts.A sermon to remind us of the cycle of life. 'Ok, everything dying off is beautiful because God makes all things new.' Or 'When we die to blah-blah-blah...blabbity blah blah.'  No! I find Autumn beautiful with the world seemingly dying off because.................................

                                   Then I can stay in the house & wear fat pants all day long.
                                                                           (seems legit.)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Why, I'm really not flattered, you freak.

Have you ever been stalked?

I mean, followed continuously by someone? Followed in your internet activity, your work life, email, banking, social circles, etc? It's creepy, not to mention for a large portion of those experienced with being stalked-it's dangerous.

"According to the Supplemental Victimization Survey (SVS), individuals are classified as stalking victims if they experienced at least one of these behaviors on at least two separate occasions. In addition, the individuals must have feared for their safety or that of a family member as a result of the course of conduct, or have experienced additional threatening behaviors that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.
The SVS measured stalking behaviors as:
  • making unwanted phone calls
  • sending unsolicited or unwanted letters or e-mails
  • following or spying on the victim
  • showing up at places without a legitimate reason
  • waiting at places for the victim
  • leaving unwanted items, presents, or flowers
  • posting information or spreading rumors about the victim on the internet, in a public place, or by word of mouth. 
  • creepy,right?"

I have a stalker. And it's a female. Weird. In fact, I'm quite sure she's reading this right now and trying to come up with some kind of way to blame me for even writing this! And as with so many stalkers, mine is crazy in the head too. In fact, it has been determined that this person most likely suffers from BPD. This is Borderline Personality Disorder. Classified in 1980 as a real disorder, here is more information:

'Because some people with severe BPD have brief psychotic episodes, experts originally thought of this illness as atypical, or borderline, versions of other mental disorders. While mental health experts now generally agree that the name "borderline personality disorder" is misleading, a more accurate term does not exist yet.

Most people who have BPD suffer from:

Problems with regulating emotions and thoughts
Impulsive and reckless behavior
Unstable relationships with other people.

People with this disorder also have high rates of co-occurring disorders, such as depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and eating disorders, along with self-harm, suicidal behaviors, and completed suicides.'

I have had bank account issues with this person in the past where she got into my account and tracked income and purchases.I came soooooo close to prosecuting this whacko, but the detective said that it would not be worth it in the end. Internet crime was rarely prosecutable then, although I do wish I would have made an example of her now. So now, everything is double password protected. 
This sad human has greatly interfered with my family relationships and friendship to gain what from it???I do not know. I do know for a fact that she is a drug addict and addiction is typical of those suffering with BPD. I have no idea (she is not kind enough to give me a heads up) when said stalker will drive by, prank call or try to wedge themselves into my life again.A protection Order does nothing because you'd have to be lovers or blood related-which thankfully we are not. but it's still creepy to know someone's watching you.

Why would someone stalk in the first place? Don't they have their own life to attend to? You would think so, but no. There are a million reasons why people get obsessed with other people. For mine it's envy, jealousy and insecurity. (Well, duh. Are the first two really just symptoms of the latter?) Either way, it's sad. I haven't had to call the police on her for quite a while now, although I've had to send someone to track her just to make sure my kids and I are safe. I am aware of where she works, lives and hangs out because it is smart to be proactive in this situation. I've had to make my children aware of this person and their craziness because it might factor into their reality one day.Children shouldn't have to know such things.

But won't this post have the potential to stir the beastly woman?  Probably. Or maybe not. I don't care. I already have a long report built against this person just in case they interfere again. It was a secret, but I guess now she knows. Oops! But I do care if YOU have a stalker or know someone who does. Never take it lightly. Report them and every incident you have. Stop waiting and protect yourself.

For any problems or concerns about stalking, please contact 

Don't wait or think too long. Serious problems can arise very quickly and to reason this out of your mind as if this is not potentially dangerous is foolish. For me, my creeper has done a lot of damage in my life and I can never repair it. BUT I feel good knowing that I am not the one with a drug addiction. Not the one wasting my life obsessing over other people. Not the one out of control or the one who has to find self worth in men. Nor the one who has to find sick satisfaction from spying on their stalkee. (Is that a real word? I'm using it!)

No, I have Peace granted to me through the Prince of Peace.I do what I can to keep me & my children safe.I live a life of integrity and high values and can rest my head on my pillow at night because I know The One who protects me." Psalm 4:8: In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety."

Monday, September 9, 2013

When You Poison The Dog (Accidentally!)

                                               This is my dog. Oh, and there's the cat.
                                                    (The cat stories will have to wait.)

Poor Isabella. Or as I've called her at times: Dog. Pretty simple and to the point. After all, dogs aren't my thing. They're not my 'cup of tea' nor the welcoming face I long to see at the end of a hard day. Dogs smell and they bark and they pee on the floor (a lot) and they just aren't cuddly like kitty kats. And they smell.

But our Isabella is turning out to be quite another story. She might just make it here in our little rowhome in South Central Penciltuckey. (Sound it out.) You see, the kids got her for their daddy for Father's Day last year: "So cute Mommy! She has a curly tail, Mommy! She looks like a sausage Mommy!" Part Pug, part Terrier-somethin'. Cute. Small. Little poops. Deal.
      But then Daddy divorced Mommy and LEFT the dog. Sometimes, I didn't know which was worse. I know you think that sounds bad...because it does. Who cares, it's my story.
Anyhoo, so now she's mine, as the kids remind me EVERY DAY. How lucky we are to still have her...yup....lucky ducky doggie.
Naturally then, the Dog gets fleas. And, being a small dog, I resist the Frontline and knock-offs because I care about this dog now. So we fight with essential oils, among other things. And it was a tough battle for a bit there. Until the other night when I ACCIDENTALLY poisoned the Dog. Yes. Me. It was horrible.(It was a long day and I am one tired mama!) I woke up in a panic because I realized I used straight Tea Tree Oil on her topically, instead of her usual treatment. The bottles were so easily confuse-able!! So I woke up to a dog that was half paralyzed and had hypothermia.
         Have you ever ever poisoned your dog? Your childrens' dog?? Let me tell you-it's not a good thing to do. These kids would need years of therapy after this, on top of everything else! I called Animal Poison Control ( )  and those people wanted $39 before you could even speak to someone. What???So, instead I googled the crap out of Tea Tree toxicity to dogs and was mortified to find out that most dogs her size slip into a coma and never wake up...............................
                                                            But this one did.

I immediately gave her a bath with Miracle Soap, because boy-did I need a miracle. (It's actually wonderful stuff. Find it here: )Then, after wrapping her in warm towels, I used a syringe to shoot activated charcoal-laced water into her mouth. She was so weak at first, but eventually she was able to drink from my hands. She slept for a loooong time.
  That was 2 days ago. This morning, when I came downstairs to check on this little doggie that I love now so much, she was back to her old self. She had already pooped on the floor and her tail was thumping like crazy. She was barking at neighbors and playing -eat-your-thigh with the kitty again. She's been running all day, in fact. You would never know that I almost killed her stone cold in the last 48 hours. Praise God for this miracle. She should, by all accounts, be dead. I read that even 10-15 drops can kill a dog this size. And poor Isabella, I must have rubbed in 25-30 some odd drops deep into her legs! Yikes!

      But, I guess she's meant to be here with us. She's obviously not going anywhere soon.

Thursday, August 29, 2013


  In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength. Isaiah 30:15

Feel Me. Am I not leading you safely, faithfully? Will you believe Me, your Master, that all this is really to bring the answer to your prayers?   Remember that I am the Supreme Being who knows all and control all.   Directly you put your affairs, their confusion, their difficulties, into My Hands I began to effect a cure of all the disharmony and disorder.     You must know that I shall cause you no more pain in the doing of it than a physician, who plans and knows he can effect a cure, would cause his patient. I will do all tenderly as possible. Tell me that you trust Me in this.-from God Calling-1945

Soothing words in a jarring world. Forget the world for a moment-in a jarring heart!! I wake up to news of yet another young person dead, another family broken, a bank account beyond empty, discontentment. It is at times overwhelmingly too much. But this devotion, this morning, brings me hope. Reminds me that I have never really been in control, ever, of anything and to just breathe. Jesus in, Jesus out.

    Today I have to take a step-physically-because God brings me to it. I'm not sure why He wants me to go to this place, I just know that my spirit will not settle until I do. I've been in this situation before. Even so, nervousness and doubt knock at the door, but I ain't answering. Just because these undesirables show up on our porch doesn't mean we need to take the front door. God always gives a back door, my way out. I'll face them later. It's not cowardly to not face these temptations-He does tell us to flee at times. Ain't nobody got time for that.

   Then-seriously Beth Ann-He brings to my mind the face of my friend. My friend who will be moving to one of the most dangerous places in America to be a missionary. With her husband. With her 4 children. A place where the smell of death & deceit shrouds the streets and no sane mother would live, let alone visit. The temptation to run from that would probably be huge, and seem reasonable. So anything I do today, in the light of that!, is a breeze.

But no, my temptation, my test this morning is meeting this one person and being in my own confidence. The Good Lord has given me strengths, but how often have I confused them with my own?? How do I, going into a place filled with pain & confusion, not be angry & WANT to fix it all? No, I pray my life today shall rest in His Almighty Hands for every minute of every hour. While waiting, while talking, while driving & eating & cleaning & greeting. His Name covers us in power and protection. His Plan has already been fulfilled. So, as you go forth-wherever you're to go-I pray you are filled with quietness & confidence this whole day.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Friday Night Lights OUT

I am not a football mama.

I feel kinda weird saying it out loud, and perhaps it's a goofy thing to even have to put out there, but there are too many mothers that seem to know their way around the whole 'high school football' thing. And I admit I am somewhat intimidated.

The kids did a card blitz tonight. I had no idea in heaven what that meant and when I asked-the answer I got-with rolling eyes from other moms - was "Um, they sell cards." ??????? Hello...................still lost.....................

AND this was after I waited an hour and a half for my boy to finish practice in the 93 degree heat because I read his schedule WRONG. And this horrible mother, yes, I blamed my son for it. Geesh.................I am that mom at times. Yes.

       I apologized, of course.

Maybe being one of only 2 homeschoolers involved in public school football makes it awkward. Maybe it's the fact that I still can't stand the whole jock thing. But yet, I love being able to drive home that one kid that is our neighbor who would be forced to walk the 2 miles home otherwise. I love seeing my boy with his gear on. And the tired excitement that adorns his face every day I pick him up. And I love being able to pray with him every morning alone on our way to the stadium.

Tomorrow is the Booster Club's annual Potluck Dinner. I can't say I'm excited, but I can tell you that I am nervous. I feel just like I used to back in high school when everyone was buzzing about the football game that night, but yet I wouldn't go because I didn't know anything about anything. But now I am forced to attend because my son is playing freshman year football. Gee, thanks big guy. And with not being married anymore, I have no one to hide behind.

Don't get me wrong. I love my handsome boy and will do anything for him. Even including attending whatever football activity he needs me to. With a proud smile on my face.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

This Christian Doula

This is not the post that explains what a doula is. This is not the post that argues for homebirth vs. medical facility birth. This, also, is not the post where I make only friends and not some enemies. This is the post where I state:
       Not all doulas are HIPPIES.

So glad to get that off my chest. Whew! Oh, and by the way, not all doulas are New Age, nor tree huggers, nor soft spoken-gray haired old women who haven't had a baby in 60 yrs.

   I am a doula. Your birth partner. I believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to eternal life. I've already prayed for you. I pray during your labor-sometimes out loud, sometimes in my head. I will ask you where you stand with God. I wear make up and dye my hair. I hate tie-dye. I wear skirts because I'm lazy and probably didn't do the laundry. I raise my voice and am not afraid to be bold. I am strong enough to urge you on when you want to quit, and gentle enough to hold the puke bucket & move your hair out of the way.

                     I find life funny.

   I am confident in your ability to give birth. I believe in you. Judgments about your life and previous personal choices are not my business. I dispense information that I find necessary to your best health and well being, whether it's something you wish to think about or not. I am patient.  I believe there is more than one way to have a baby. Breastfeeding will be brought up as it is proven to be the best food/medicine/comfort to every single baby that is born.
   I believe each birth presents challenges and blessings to the entire family. A confident birth leads to a confident mother, which leads to a confident child. I don't care whether you choose the hospital, your home, a birth center. Whether you plan a c-section or your labor leads to one. Whether you want interventions or want to go natural. Whether you're married or not. Whether you're 16 or 43. Whether you're white, black, Jewish, Muslim, covered in tattoos or even from New Jersey.


  Jesus calls me to love God with all my heart, mind and strength and there's no way I can do that without loving you, and caring for you, and educating you and supporting you. And I love you more than you could even imagine. I  love the hippies-I do!And let me be clear here: I know not every doula is New-Agey or a hippie. There are some beautiful, wonderful women out there doing this too. Some are young. Some have gray hair. Some have piercings. Some are plain. And some of them are even Christian.

                    Find what you need.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Meaty, Not Milky

C. S. Lewis in his book, Mere Christianity, summarizes the call of Jesus this way: “Give me all. I don’t want
so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want you...No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there. I want to have the whole tree down. I don’t want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think are innocent, as well as the ones you think are wicked-the whole outfit.”

   I'm sickened by the justifications. Excuses that, instead of dying everyday, cause me to bleed out slowly. He calls me. He calls us. Why am I still who I am? 

   This rebirth is not to be taken so lightly. Our Christ was willingly flogged for us. Spit on. Humiliated. Jeered. Striped naked. Bloody and broken and bruised and battered all to be taken like a pill: maybe it works for me today, perhaps tomorrow I'll pray and try better.

    Jesus was serious then and He's serious now. How come the demons believe more than me? Why do I go back to selfishness and contentment so easily? Why is He so very patient as to put up with a terrible soldier such as myself? Why do I keep going back to thinking that it's all about me? That I am so weak that He has to dote on me, kissing my boo boos, reassuring me constantly, fix my mistakes, blah blah blah. It's all for nothing if one doesn't get up and take responsibility for their new life. He came with a sword, for heaven's sake, not a box of Kleenex.

    Not that my God doesn't so all those things. He does because He loves us. But, oh the calling and adventure we will miss when we're focused on ourselves 24/7-whether with good intentions or bad. If I'm spending 3 hours every day petitioning the Lord for favors or miracles, yet seemingly missing the opportunities to share Him with my neighbor over a cup of coffee, I have failed. If the healing that my loved one needs has not come yet, (which it hasn't) I must trust Him in action. Yes pray and pray and pray, all the while helping others to find their Healer and praying for them as if their tragedy was my own. We must be in action-while praying and petitioning and repenting-or else our feet become muddied and stuck, and we  are then of no use to Him. 

   The seriousness of His Purpose slips by us so quietly as we relax into the Good Christian role. The Holy War we are to be engaged in is still waging and people are still dying....for eternity. I can't be content with myself any longer for I am not yet made complete.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I'm hesitating now but make up my mind by the end.

                                                 My (Attempt at) Media & Technology Fast 

     Today marks the first day of a 7 day withdrawal from modern media & technology. Well, late this afternoon does-( that's why I am writing this now.) Our group is working through The 7 Experiment by Jen Hatmaker, and it is a fascinating run. Lots of different perspectives on how to 'fast' various mediums such as the classic FOOD, but also clothing, stress, waste and much more.

    But, this day, I have to resolve to do it. And do it honestly. Because no one is here looking over my shoulder to hold me accountable. And that, my friends, is a little scary. A little too much freedom. Now I can only be responsible for me. Ugh........................I could cheat in so many ways. I know this because I have already thought of a thousand... And one.

    Jen stresses personal relationships throughout (and hopefully for long after) this fast. Relate with the family. Neighbors. Strangers. Mailman. You get it. The reason is not for me to gain more friendships or glory or a winner's ribbon, but to be the church and love others. To be missional. Maybe even live dangerously. 

    I WANT to do this. But I WANT this to be horribly difficult just so my pride can feel justified, like the 'struggle' was worth it. (That's ugly, I know. Get over it. I'm human.)

   As if it's really such a big stupid deal. With all I've learned & gained through the fasts so far, why am I nervous over this at all? How selfish am I really? I grew up without all this junk, for heaven's sake. I. Am. Such. A. Baby.

      I pray that this WILL mean something. That I will be seeking my Lord & King like never before during this week. That I will feel weak so He will be my hero again. I pray I have the guts to share Christ if the Holy Spirit allows. That my kids will see Jesus in me. That I will see Him in them. That, through this study, I will become the woman I think I am, not the hypocrite I tend to be. I want others to see Christ, which really means I am to be small and unnoticeable and forgotten, but He is not. I want another woman who is just 'normal' to be saved. It doesn't have to be some big dramatic thing or some horrid sinful creature that accepts, but rather an ordinary woman living an ordinary life who learns of the extraordinary God who loves her. That's cool.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Making The Connection

    This is not the best time for me to stop and write my blog. Let alone to sit. I have way too much to take care of here at the homestead: too much laundry. too much cleaning. too much necessary's. Sometimes though, that's just what I need-to stop and take a moment and SIT.

    The pampered pooch is being ignored. I sent the kids outside to do whatever as long as they stay out of the road and don't drink whiskey. I turned on the tv to block out all my other responsibilities- (please tell me you've done that too at some point.)
   Tomorrow is my annual swap with my friends. I haven't pulled a thing from my closet. I love to put off the inevitable. I am excited about the event, mostly because it's a terrific excuse to hang out and run my mouth and and only close it long enough to stuff something sugary in it also. And all for a wonderful cause. Good for us because we have the opportunity to 'purchase' new-to-us items like stain-free clothing with no holes or a purse without a sticky candy stuck since Easter or a sweet pair of shoes that we don't need to feel guilty about later when we realize it's October and we've never worn them in 7 months.

   But, even better than that! All the clothing and items that didn't find a home are then taken to my local homeless shelter that happens to house, sadly, too many women and their families. And these are articles that I can feel good about giving to them because they're clean and in style and probably not cheap either. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want someone else's sweats or ugly Christmas sweater, especially when I already have hardly a thing. There's nothing about a cheap donation that makes you feel good or pretty or even human. And I want everyone to feel good & pretty & fully human.

   What I give-what we give- matters. Jesus said when we care for the least we are caring for Him. And I'm not willing anymore to offer Him my least. He deserves my best. And so do others. I will still give my ratty clothing to Goodwill as they in turn make rags from less than perfect clothes. But now, as God helps me to make the connection from my heart to His, I will be more deliberate  to give my best. Clothes. Food. Friendship. And also, I guess, housework. Everything I do has the potential to be a blessing to someone else, and that includes my children, so it's back down into the dungeon to do another load of clothes. Clothes that I am blessed to even have. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

The 3rd Branch Up: 13 Cent Fish Are Too Expensive

The 3rd Branch Up: 13 Cent Fish Are Too Expensive: Littleme was worried about her goldfish, Shakespeare. He lived in a smallish bowl with pretty floaty leaves and a submerged dead tree. Appar...

13 Cent Fish Are Too Expensive

Littleme was worried about her goldfish, Shakespeare. He lived in a smallish bowl with pretty floaty leaves and a submerged dead tree. Apparently though, Shakespeare is a filthy little bugger. And he refused to keep his bowl tidy.

Well, Littleme declared he needed a newer, bigger home. Actually, she announced that it would be me who would be cleaning his apartment until our little poet gets his new digs.

Ugh............I have been checking Craigslist, Freecycle and everywhere else for a cheap or free tank for this fish-to no avail. "Mommy!!!!! I have to have this fish for my science project......I have to..........." Silly mom, fish aren't for kids...............

     So, yes, I bought the little aquatic thingy. Well, really-Littleme put out the coins for the poor lonely orphaned creature and now it's ME who's paying for it. Hahahaha....ugh. And now, yes, Shakespeare has his own grand mansion complete with pretty gravel, several of the best plastic plants available from China, and it's all for himself. (Maybe I should rename her as LittleBetterThanMe.)

As for me, I have just lint in my pockets now-no more cash for fishy fishy that cross my ocean. But I really do have just a little something more; I have a front row view of the little girl who's heart just bursts with love for 3 inches of orange cuteness. And you can't put a price on that.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Everyday Nothingness

     The sun comes up. The sun goes down. Somewhere in between those 2 great events miraculous things are supposed to occur. Reading too many blogs-a full harvest of opinions and drama and intellectual teachings-can sometimes lead one to believe that without a great happening, then life just was so.......ordinary for you......

       I kinda like  ordinary. Some days. I don't often feel pushed to achieve because of others, I know when to move and when to sit. Usually. Ok, I'm lazy at the core. Seriously lazy. Which is why I do read too many blogs. Because it requires almost no brain power to keep sucking words in day after day....But do all those people really do all those things they advertise?

   Who cares. Where was I even going with all this?? I forget...because I'm lazy, remember?

 Anyhoo, today I had one of those days where even though I went to a lot of places, talked to plenty of people, took care of my children-fed them even!-worked a part time job, walked the dog, paid a parking ticket that wasn't mine, had coffee with friends and perhaps I even vacuumed, I did all these things but still felt like I accomplished NOTHING. Ever have that? Drives me nuts. Is it just a female thing? I've never heard a man complain about that kind of thing. In fact, that would be weird.
                                         Weird like this random picture of a BLT sandwich.

  So today I claim that my day was filled with the usual everyday nothingness. Nothing extraordinary. Nothing miraculous. Not even anything remotely creative. Ahhh......But, I can say that in all the average-ness, I did love. And listen. And help. And encourage. And those are often the most perfect days. Praise God.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Dogs Bark

     Newly divorced, I'm still lost in these woods. I recognize some of the trees, distinguished by their bark-their coverings that vary in beautiful color and texture. I know the maple and oak well. Firs outline the mountaintops. Fond particulary of Birch, I am taken by their peeling and chipping-seeming to be falling apart-yet made perfect by the Creator.

    I feel like that today. Made and Perfected by Christ, yet my spirit seems touchy and picky-not ready to be shed completely-pieces of me still cling. To me. Sometimes I pick at it like a bad sunburn. Pulling layers off in sheets here and there. Often, I'll prick a piece not quite ready to be removed and be shocked at the sensitivity underneath-the ouch and the pink. I'm so impatient for this to be over.

    But the forest envelops me. The tall, leaning figures cloaked in brown and green reach out to cover me, protect me. I feel strong surrounded by these aged wisemen as I watch their tops sway, caught in the wind. Suddenly, a dog barks. I lurch myself to safety up the trunk as quickly and clumsily as I am able in this older flesh-frame. The barking gets louder. Closer. Truer. Under.

   I dislike mad dogs and there's one beneath my position snarling, growling, showing his menacing grin. Having learned this lesson before-Praise God!-I clambor up two more branches to more than just out of reach. I still see the dog, but can rest assured since canines can't climb. His barking intensifies as he realizes his teeth aren't going to taste my flesh today. The arms of this Tree hold me. This sanctuary protects me. And I realize this is the safest place to fall apart, to shed my bark.

   Some time passes and the dog tires himself out with his foolish game. It's not really me he wants. He isn't finding what he needs to seek out. He's just an animal until he's willing for his Master to reign him in and love him and train him.  I know this. I used to bark too.