Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving and Such

Just a quick update on our weekend. It was great fun.

We got up at the butt crack of dawn (that's at 3 AM, if you were wondering) on Thanksgiving and headed to NYC for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Our cousins were staying in NYC and had a suite at the Trump and were gracious enough to allow us to come for the parade. Their youngest daughter was in the parade cheering. When the team came through we all looked down from the tenth floor and tried to pick her out of the 700 girls who oddly had the same shade of blonde hair in a pony tail with a white bow. But we found her. At least we all said we did. It made us feel good.

Now let me tell you something about the parade. It's not as good as the Powell parade, first off. I just need to get that out there. Hometown parades are far better. And if your hometown is NYC then yes, you have the best parade.

There were lulls in the parade. I mean it's not like on T.V. when Matt and Ann say, "And here comes Cee Lo Green and right behind him is Kermit!" No. It's more like, "Oh there's Cee Lo Green [go to the pastry table and pick at the pumpkin muffin and pour some juice, hear the crowd yelling, run back over] and there's Kermit!" But it was so much fun! It's something that we probably will never do again (because let's face it, we're not going to stand after sitting in a warm corner suite with pastries).

This is my favorite picture, Kermit's booty. The floats look to be about ten stories high on T.V. right? Well, they're not. Because we were ten stories up and this is what we saw.

After the parade we said our goodbyes, caught a cab back to the ferry and off we went to the in-law's house. Dinner was fabulous. Of course any dinner with mashed potatoes is fabulous. Friday was a veg out day. It was great to chill and sleep and chill and sleep. Then Saturday we did yard work, bought our Christmas tree, and decorated the house. Sunday was church and homework and then back to reality and the gym this mourning, I mean morning at 5:30.

I love holidays and I love family and I love Kermit's booty.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks.

Next Year.

Next year at this time I might be a mom. It's a weird concept to grasp now days. It's always been in a few years or maybe in a couple. But today it's next year.

Holidays always make me think about where we will be next year. I remember when I was single and another year would come and go and I had no one with me at Christmas. And I would think, "Maybe next year I'll have a boyfriend or a fiance or even a husband." But then another year would come and go and it seemed as if other people's lives were progressing and mine was the same. Then suddenly, I had a friend who, for a very short time, was a boyfriend then quickly a fiance and then what seemed like forever (11 months) finally a husband. And suddenly it felt so normal.

As I look to next year and the reality that our paperwork is almost finished and ready to be sent over to that big ol' country in Africa, I am thankful that I get one more year of quiet with my husband. That we get to go to NYC tomorrow and hang with family then down to southern edge of New Jersey to spend time with more family. I'm thankful that we can get a Christmas tree this weekend and I can turn on my favorite Pandora Christmas station and decorate all afternoon while Martin watches football and falls asleep. I'm thankful that we can buy fun things for each other for Christmas without worrying or debating its practicality.

For next year we may be walking around like zombies from sleepless nights and adjusting children. We may be calling our friends asking them to buy a Christmas tree for us and asking if their kids can come over for free pizza and decorate our house for Christmas. We may be getting Amazon boxes filled with diapers, formula, and toys instead of making trips to the store. We may be having English lessons with our older children.

And it will all be worth it. Just like these last quiet 10 years being alone with my husband have been worth it. And for these things I'm thankful. God has given me more than I could want in ways I never would have expected. And why does that surprise me when his word says he wants to do more than we could ever imagine or think.

And for quiet times that are here and crazy times to come, I give thanks to my maker. For he is so good and worth it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Breakdown

Today, I am recovering from a near breakdown. Who knew you could bake breaded chicken for dinner and three hours later be blubbering in the family room over computer and marketing books, You Tube tutorials, notes and a computer?

But you can.

And I did.

My school has changed their due dates from Sunday night at 11:59 to Monday night at 11:59. The only thing that means for me is I don't work out on Tuesday mornings because I've been up until midnight on Monday compared to not working out on Monday mornings because I was up until midnight on Sunday.

This session has been different than my other sessions. I think it's kind of like babies. You're always surprised how different the new baby is from your previous one or ones. Like you forget they have their own DNA and personality.

I am in a marketing course and a computer programing course. My major is management and computers so one would assume I spend the majority of my time in the computer course. It's why I decided to go back to school, yet again. It made total sense to me at the time.

But well, my marketing course has a group project that is 20% of my final grade and there are drafts due throughout the entire 8 week course. And I'm in the group with a bunch of military people who chose to design and market a device to, you guessed it, THE MILITARY. Awesome. The most I know about the military I've learned from the following: Saving Private Ryan, G.I Joe cartoons and that's about it. That's really all I got. I wasn't allowed to watch M*A*S*H growing up. I mean, my husband does watch some military shows on the telly but I get so nervous when they're out looking for bombs I have to leave the room and look at craft websites to soothe my soul.

I've never worked on a group project over the Internet and I'm going to tell you how I feel about it. I hate it. Like genuinely hate it. Like I want to stomp on it and do the Dance of Joy that Balki did on Perfect Strangers. But instead I obsess over it. I don't want to be the slacker so I spend hours researching the device they want to design and market just to get close to their level of knowledge. Then I volunteer for the hardest part of the project. Awesome.

And do you know what we call this? The fear of man. And by we, I mean the Bible and God and Jesus.

So that leads to last night. Sitting in a pile of papers, books and computer crying because I couldn't grasp variables in codes. A foundational piece of coding and I had not spent enough time on it because I was working hours on that stupid project. And I had to take a midterm for the marketing course that I had spent hours on that stupid project. All because I wanted to be awesome.

I sure hope I learned my lesson. And I know that my poor husband regretted coming home from the gym last night. I'm sure he was hitting himself thinking about how he should've climbed up the gutters to the second story and gone through a window so he could've avoided me. But God used his words to me and his silence. And he used my stupidity. I sure am glad it's good for something. That's what we call "working ALL things together for good." Stupidity might be one of the main ingredients for that. At least it is for me.

Monday, November 7, 2011

So How's the Weight Thing Going?

When I first started blogging I counted the days that I had been alive (it was a slow work day, okay?) and then talked about how much I needed to obey God in all things and one of those things was my weight issue. I HATE talking about it. And I really HATE blogging about it. It's mainly because I fail most of the time with losing weight and who wants to write about their failures unless it's things that happened years ago that you have been able to overcome?

I named this blog "Two Steps Forward, One Step Back" because that seems to be the pattern of my life and I have a very slight feeling it's the pattern of many people's lives. Unless you're my dad and in that case you should have a blog entitled, "10,000 Steps Forward, 2 Giant Steps Forward." It's not because he's perfect but because he's goal oriented. He loves to set goals AND reach them. Me? Not so much. I like to set them then enjoy the ride to reach them. If I reach them, then hooray for me. If I don't, then at least I'll have tons of pretty pictures and stories of my journey.

So how is the whole weight thing going you ask? It's going okay. Thanks for asking.

I've actually gained some weight this year. Can I blame it on the ridiculous stress at work and the ridiculous paperwork for our adoption and the ridiculous full-time school load? Yes. I can blame it on all of that. But at the root of all of that is a bigger problem. My heart. I run to food when I'm stressed, sad, happy, bored, busy, lazy, and on and on I can go. I shut off my consciences and turn on my "I deserve this" button and off I go. And that folks has brought me to a dangerously high weight. I'm not the largest I've ever been but I'm close, a little too close. My clothes are doing the typical "you need to go up a size" things on me. You know, sleeves too short. (Did I put this in the dryer too long? NO, your arms and shoulders are fatter and therefore are taking up more arm space which means your long sleeve shirts are more like three quarter length.) Pants too tight in the rear (I won't elaborate on this. You're welcome).

So what is a girl to do? I went to the doctor. I had to. I needed a physical for our adoption so I found a doctor close to work (you see, I didn't actually have a doctor) and went to hear it from her. She was great. She checked my blood pressure and it was normal. She sent me for blood work and that was normal minus my cholesterol but she thinks I can get it down naturally (and I will because this girl ain't goin' on meds). Then I told her I wanted to be healthy. I didn't want to be size 6 or 8 or maybe even 10. I simply wanted to be healthy. And that woman said the sweetest thing to me. She said, "Honey, just lose 50 pounds and you'll be fine." Now some of you are thinking, "50 pounds? That's a crazy amount of weight!" But I was thinking, "I can DO 50 pounds!"

I am about three weeks or so into this "Honey, just lose 50 pounds and you'll be fine" diet and I have to say it's not bad. As of November 1 I am down five pounds. I'm getting up most days during the week and going to the gym before work. I'm not going for an hour of intense training. I'm simply going for 30 minutes on the elliptical. Soon I'll add some arm weight lifting to that a couple times a week but I'm not worrying about that right now. I'm eating raisin bran or granola with skim milk in the morning and then some raw nuts in the mid-morning. I'm eating tuna or salmon or a lean meat for lunch along with some whole wheat crackers or bread. For dinner, I'm eating the usual stuff - grilled chicken, turkey burgers, turkey tacos, etc. If I crave something sweet at night I'll eat a little something. And on the weekends I lighten up and try to enjoy some things I might be craving.

Now didn't that sound like a normal person talking? No plan. No fancy additives. Just eating less and more healthy and exercising. I know I'll have to tighten things a bit more when I plateau but I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

And for now, it's working. My pants have that familiar looseness to them. My shirts are getting back to their long sleeve status. I may have a relapse at some point. But I do fear my doctor. She's a little thing but also Italian so I don't want to cross her. And consistency is a beautiful thing, people. If I get up every morning with the same routine then I have less of a chance to forget to spend time with God in his Word and praying. I don't crave that yummy chicken biscuit from Chick-fil-A (most mornings). I don't panic and wonder what I'll do for lunch.

That's how I'm doing. It's nothing fantastic. It's nothing mind blowing. But it's working. And I go up a level on the elliptical every week or so. This morning I went to level three and it said I burned almost 300 calories. Which is not at all surprising cause I was going all fast for about three minutes doing 8.1 mph. And that is pure craziness.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


James 1:27 "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world."

I've been mulling over some thoughts in my head. There is much dialogue with these thoughts but I won't really get into them right now. But here's a run-down.

Adoption is not saving a child.
Adoption should not be a foreign concept to Christians.
Adoption is really ugly.
Adoption is really beautiful.
Adoption looks different to everyone.
Adoption is a LONG process.
Adoption can be a lonely process.
Adoption puts you in your place (out of the center of the universe).
Adoption is not for the faint of heart.

That's all for now.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Quick Get a September Post In!

I have so many posts sitting in my edit folder. I really need to finish them. But those posts are thick and heavy and this post will be light and fluffy.

A few weeks ago Martin and I went on a little adventure. I'll give you the brief background of this adventure then there will be pictures. I feel pictures make a blog very light and fluffy even if they are of destruction.

A few months ago a friend of Martin's came to him at church. We'll call him Bob, because well, that's his name. So Bob owns an insurance adjustment agency. He is contracted out by insurance companies to assess damages caused by things that harm houses (nature, people, equipment, animals?). Bob does the leg work and gives a recommendation for how much money the companies should give the homeowners. Are you following me? I know you're on the edge of your seats. He knows Martin has an office in Northern Pennsylvania and asked if he could give him some jobs (go to the houses and take pictures and measurements). Martin agreed because it sounds easy enough and it's extra money. Then Hurricane Irene happened.

Most of the news was focused on North Carolina, New Jersey, and New York. Then after the hurricane passed it focused on Vermont. Well, little did I know that Northern Pennsylvania was hit hard by the mighty Susquehanna. That river caused devastation to small towns. Martin said it best, "Rivers are a dangerous mistress. They lure you in with their appeal for fun but can swallow you without so much as a warning." Sounds like a proverb huh? He's so wise.

So, Bob emailed Martin and asked if he would like to spend a weekend up there doing jobs for him. Um, yes. We both took off of work on a Friday and were on our way to our fun, adventurous weekend bright and early. We had jobs scheduled for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It was hard work. I won't go into detail about every house. We ended up working 18 houses in three days. We made quite the team and if you know us, you know it's a weird thing that we actually worked well together. But we've found (via making a cheesecake together) that if we both have separate tasks that are used to finish a job we do very well.

We saw destruction everywhere. And the stories! They were so sad. A 75 year old man and his dog stuck on the second floor of his home for days while the river washed through his house. He said a styrofoam box floated by one day and he got a broom to retrieve it. Inside was a donut. He shared it with his dog. You can't make this stuff up, people!

House #14 will forever be etched in my mind. Most houses were nice homes that happened to be near the river. Some were people's second homes. This particular home, #14 we'll call it, was probably in bad shape before Irene came through. The basement had been full of water for days and the first floor had about four feet of water in it at one time.

Martin and I ventured down the stairs to the basement. The thing about flood water from rivers vs. lakes is that rivers not only have mud in it, there is a current. So the houses get left with this thick mud after the waters recede. I have to tell you, this house was not only gross, the people were too. We had dealt with nice people the whole time and this family, well let's just say they had no problem showing their depravity. As we were walking down the stairs I remember that we had not locked the Jeep. It was Sunday and we had checked out of our hotel room that morning and everything was in the Jeep, including my purse. Martin was in front of me and as we were carefully walking down the steps I spotted his keys in his back pocket and asked him to stop. I fished them out and locked the Jeep. The last thing I remember was the honking of the Jeep assuring me it was locked.

Next thing I know I'm at the bottom of the stairs. Martin is leaning over me and there are people yelling. I didn't pass out, I think I've just blocked the horror of falling down the most disgusting stairs in the universe. The worst part was that my bum was sitting in slimy, thick, river mud. Martin helped me up and I looked back and there was a step gone. Oops. I told Martin to just measure so we could go.

It was terrible but I got through it and I'm pretty sure I'm stronger for it. If not, then I at least got a sick day at work out of it on Monday. We finished the last four houses (don't worry, I changed my pants) and we were home by 9 PM.

I have a heavy post about this weekend in my folder and I'll post it soon hopefully. It's about the depravity of man and how it seems to conflict with how nice people are. It was a big struggle for me. But this post is fluffy so we won't get into that!

Here are some photos of our weekend. I didn't take any pictures of the houses we worked on. I didn't know if that was nice or legal to do that. So I took pictures of their neighbor's houses. Because that's moral, okay? Don't mess with my logic.

This is a corn field that was at the bottom of the river for a few days. It was like a giant came and smushed it with his shoe!

This house shell:

Belongs on top of this:

This used to be a house and the river is down below.

There are a lot of jokes I could say about this but I won't cause it's somebody's home and vacation home smushed together.

We saw The Red Cross in action. They brought food to homes that probably aren't on Google Maps. Dirt roads are everywhere in these small towns and The Red Cross found them. Too bad they weren't bringing the good news of Jesus with that food. Oh who am I kidding? There are some that could've been.

So you know Mormonism right? Well, up in these parts is where Satan (disguised as an Angel) gave Joseph Smith the tablets with the special glasses and blessed him and his friend to continue the priesthood. So it's kinda sacred ground. Mormon's had come from Utah to help with the clean-up. It was Mormon's, The Red Cross, and FEMA. Didn't see much of the church around. I did see some church signs that read, "Flood victims, we're praying for you." Reminded me of James 2:15-17, "If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and filled,' without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." But then again, hello, my name is the pot and I'm calling the kettle black. It's easier to point the finger than to do something about it.

So this is where the blessing from Satan to Joseph Smith happened.

I was reminded while driving up the Susquehanna that God's mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness. There was lots of lamenting in those parts. Just as there were in the book of Lamentations. How appropriate it was. And how appropriate that if you look up, suddenly the destruction around you isn't so bad.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Anniversary Weekend in NYC

I went to bed last night with wilted pillows.
I had to make my own breakfast this morning.
No one greeted me when I came downstairs as "Mrs. Fern."
No one hailed me a cab this morning.

I'm obviously going through withdrawals from NYC.

The one thing I cannot get used to is tipping everyone. It's more than cruise ship tipping!

Martin and I don't stay overnight in NYC much. We've actually only stayed the night once before. The city is less than two hours from our house so we usually drive up to Weehawken and take the ferry over for the day.

When we were thinking through where we wanted to go to celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary Martin immediately thought California and I immediately saw dollar signs. So we compromised on New York.

We left Friday morning and headed up. Once we got to the city we checked our luggage into the hotel and headed out. We aren't typical tourist. We love to walk hand in hand around the city and take in the atmosphere and talk. We'll stop at a shop here or there but usually we go with no agenda and stay away from super touristy places. As I said, usually.

We didn't do much on Friday. We ate at an unique place called CRISP. It was uber-healthy. I thought I would be hungry about three minutes after I finished eating but I actually wasn't hungry for about 10 minutes! I had a "burger" and it had hummus and goat cheese on top with fresh basil leaves. It was good but messy.

We got back to the hotel and checked in. The last time we stayed at The Alex we had a two bedroom suite and Jack and Kami came with us. Our hotel was on the corner and our view was like this,

But this time we got a one bedroom suite and our view was like this,

I was a bit bummed but on Sunday we were walking back from shopping and I noticed the building across from the hotel was still being worked on (I say still because I remember them working on it two years ago when we came). There were construction sheets and scaffolding all over it and there was work being done with a jackhammer out in the street. And it hit me, God gave us a stinky view but a quiet side. We were able to sleep and rest without being forced out of bed by crazy construction all weekend (crazy that they actually work on the weekend!). Martin wasn't convinced by my revelation. But I know I was right.

Friday night we ended up staying in and ordering room service because there was a lightening, thunder, and rain show put on by God. We ordered burgers (real burgers for this meal) and watched the show from our not so good window seats. I need to show you a picture of the burgers because they cost more than my weekly grocery bill.

On Saturday, I only had one request. I asked if we could be tourist for a few hours and go on the double decker tour bus. Because he loves me and it's our anniversary and my birthday weekend, he said yes! So we bought our tickets and we stood in this line for about 25 minutes.

It was honestly us and hundreds of our foreign friends. By the way, don't listen to the news about the economy. When you walk around NYC you realize the world is doing just fine. They are coming to NY, spending their money and loving every minute of it.

We hopped on a tour bus with an amazing tour guide. He was dry humored, had quick wit, smart, and loved the city of New York. We learned all kinds of random facts that will make us look smart in conversations with strangers and casual acquaintances.

I took a few pics, one being the World Trade Center Building 1 being built,

Then a picture of the Flatiron Building cause it's cool and I was on a high bus,

And writing in the sky. I'm pretty sure God didn't write this like in Daniel 5 because I bet He's a cursive writer not a dash guy. But it's still cool! It said, "Tickets on sale now" Of what, not sure.

I'll let you know one of our random facts of NYC, the World Trade Center buildings took so long to build because the dude that leased the buildings took the insurance policy out. But the government owned the property because the subway station was below the towers. So when it came time for the rebuild, the government told the dude to pay for the rebuild and he told them they could pay for the first building and he would pay for the rest. The government said no. There is more to the story but you're gonna have to do one of three things. 1. Ask me. 2. Find our tour guide and ask him. 3. Google it.

Saturday night we went to dinner at Ponte's in Tribeca. It was great. The cab driver duped us. I should've told him which way to go but I got that insecure "I'm not a true New Yorker" feeling and let it go and we ended up taking a 45 minute ride that cost us $28, and that was on a $0.50/mile meter. To compare, we went home on a $1.00/mile meter and it cost us $11. Don't worry, he didn't drive us to New Jersey and back, he just sat in Holland Tunnel traffic until the last minute then drove around it. Never Again, I say, NEVER AGAIN!

Here is a great picture of Martin at the restaurant sporting his new shirt, his first purple shirt ever,

This last picture is of my spoils from Anthropologie. We have a store close but it's not as large as the one at 30 Rock. So I took my 15% off coupon for my birthday and headed in. I got two books, one on modern day etiquette and one on random tidbits on life. Then we got more monogrammed mugs (our new "thing") and a new measuring cup thing. I don't know what you call it but it looks like something that would've been in my grandmother Lawson's kitchen.

We stopped by Martin's brothers house in Hillsborough on the way home yesterday and we were home by five. Go us.

It was an awesome weekend. I know these days are short for us. When the kiddos arrive we'll be spending weekend getaways in more economical places like the Hilton. I'm kidding, kidding! But I won't be camping - I'm just not that kinda girl.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Yankee View of THE HELP

I know I'm not a Yankee but I do live up here in New Jersey and last time I checked, it was above the Mason/Dixon line and although I grew up in the beautiful state of Tennessee and had a southern set of parents and two sets of southern grandparents, I have now lived away for eleven, yes eleven years. I am still southern at heart and the longer I stay away the more I realize it.

Last night I went with my mother-in-law to see The Help. I read the book and loved it and like everyone else who has read a book then gone to see the movie, I was nervous. I read the night before that the screenwriter/director grew up with the author so I was excited that there was heart behind the movie.

We went to dinner first and as usual, I talked my poor mother-in-law's ear off. She's just a great listener and whenever I leave her company I always kick myself for not asking her questions and making her talk. We arrived to an almost empty theater. I picked the perfect spot, you know, the middle, middle. And I knew people would sit all around us because everyone loves the perfect spot in the theater, right?

I was observing the people who were walking in. I didn't know what to expect with this movie up here in the North. There were a few couples but mostly women coming in (not surprising). But as I watched them come in, I noticed that all races were coming in. I got a bit excited. I mean, action movies pull people from all walks of life. But dramas and comedies? They are usually divided.

As the movie started I was stoked that no one sat directly in front of us. It was like my own personal screening if I squinted the entire time. I did not.

I loved it. I loved the costumes and sets, the way the screenwriter/director brought parts of the characters together. I loved how he didn't waste his time with developing characters that didn't need to be developed in a movie. But more than anything, I loved hearing everyone in the theater laugh together, cry together, gasp together, and scream together.

It was a great experience.

I am a southern girl and always will be. I say "go catch the bath water" and "I need something to bear down on" and "I fixed this for dinner" and "I usta could but now I can't." My children will probably say these things too.

I am not proud of the racial heritage my southern roots held on to and in some aspects still hold on to. But as I think about allowing my daughter (assuming that God gives us at least one) to one day read and watch this movie, I smile to think that our family will be trans-racial with a twist of North and South. And I know my grandparents wouldn't know what to think about this but I do know my God smiles on it. And that's all that really matters.

By the way, I am not a movie critic nor do I claim to be. The last movie I watched in a theater was AVATAR in 3D. That shows you my frequency in front of the big screen. And you will never see me writing something about that film. Trust me.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Chaos and Shambles!

I wish I could describe to you the chaos I am feeling right now. It's in my heart but it is because of all that is going on in my life. Oh please, don't think this is a deep post. Cause it's so not. It's more of a lets not cry over it but chuckle and move on post.

We just finished getting some things done in our house. We're doing the next step to our adoption and having the homestudy completed. And although we don't need to have quarter round trim put up to our molding where our hardwood meets it, I wanted it done. And the homestudy seemed like the time to do it. Makes sense right?

I mean why not get the quarter round trim put up all over our house and oh by the way, why don't we have them paint over our red in our living room and dining room and put up pretty wainscoting in the dining room and paint over the dark trim in the living room and dining room and paint some things in the family room and please, paint the steps too? Why not? And why not do it all the same week that I have finals and am starting Biology 101 again (it's of Satan, people). Why not? And oh, I'm sorry you need me to put everything in the middle of the room in every room? Sure no problem. I'm on it.

Now our walls look like this (with a another coat or two on the bottom, of course you know that, I just felt I needed to clear the air. You're welcome.):

And if you remember from a post back in the spring, our walls looked like this:

I'm super excited that we now have a safe color on the walls and trim. That way if we ever move or something crazy like that, we won't have to call someone in to paint because red is not every one's friend as I've learned on HGTV.

The guys are gone (except they have to come back tomorrow because they forgot to paint trim and our sliders in the family room) and our house is in shambles. SHAMBLES I tell you! Dust everywhere, furniture piled on everything, empty bookcases with bags and bags of books everywhere. It's just bad.

But add the shambles of the house and school together and you get COMPLETE CHAOS AND SHAMBLES! Here's the thing, I took my statistics final in the midst of dust and debris Tuesday night and I ran out of time. The short of the story is, the air conditioner wasn't working. I walked in the house after getting my hair did and instantly I looked like Ashely Judd in the movie A Time to Kill. You know, glistening with sweat. [It was about 459 degrees in New Jersey Tuesday.] Thankfully Martin fixed it. It was something mechanical. I ended up getting a 73.4 on the unfinished final. I've maintained an average of 83 to 86 all semester. And this test was 26% of my final grade. Well I now have a 79.6. That's right, FOUR tenths of a point away from a B. I'm on pins and needles waiting for my final grade. Will they round it up like they taught us in statistics? I mean they should. We should always practice what we preach even in math don't you think?

I'll keep you posted. I know you too will be on pins and needles.

And to top it off (I haven't talked about this in quite some time) I was going to the gym at 4:45 in the morning but I have recently stopped because my life is in SHAMBLES. My goal is to start back Monday morning. I love it when I'm there but I have to go to sleep at like 9 at night just so I feel rested.

And the one thing I keep saying to God is, You're making my life crazy so when the babies come I won't think it's so bad aren't You? He's so sweet. He loves those kids so much he doesn't want them to see their new mother have a breakdown.

Monday, June 27, 2011

25 Years Ago - Part 2

I said tomorrow and it's been well over a week, maybe two. Sorry friends.

Before I move on, I think I need to describe what kind of child I was. I didn't do that in my last posting. If Nellie Olesen from Little House on the Prairie and Anne from Anne of Green Gables, somehow morphed into the same person - it would be this person:

I was mean and a know-it-all but I also had a sweet side and an imagination that knew no limits.

Moving on.

We were sworn to secrecy when we returned to Columbus. I don't know how I kept my mouth shut other than the thought of the punishment I would receive if I did tell.

I don't remember too much about those few months before we moved to Tennessee.

I've always liked change. When we pulled up to our new mansion (split foyer, early 1970's style) I was in love. I didn't have a parking lot to ride my bike around but I did have a backyard with no fence to separate me from the front yard. And the oh, the front yard was huge and our driveway was so long (and by long I mean it fit more than two cars) and we were allowed to ride on the street! I also had my own room which had two, yes two windows. We joined a neighborhood recreational club (and by club I mean a pool).

And just like that, a soon to be fourth grader, was transformed into a suburban middle class American child.

I have debated in my mind about whether to go into detail about what my life was like after we moved to Tennessee. You see, it suddenly became like everyone else's life. I had a great group of friends at church and school. I spent my summers riding my bike, swimming and hanging out with friends. I was a terrible sister to all my siblings. I wanted to be a cheerleader like it was nobody's business. I wanted everyone to like me. I had a love/hate relationship with being a pastor's daughter.

But I think what I want to zero in on is my blindness. Let me clarify, my spiritual blindness. I had done the "asked Jesus in my heart" thing when I was five and like most children who grow up in a Christian home, I played the part very well. When I was a preteen, I matured enough to know that if I stopped pitchin' fits (and oh could I pitch em) and accepted what my parents said, I would not get grounded and in turn be given more freedom. Some kids figure this out way early but my strong will seemed to win out over rationale and common sense until puberty.

By my teenage years, I was doing pretty well playing the part. I was in a Bible study group with some kids after school and we had to do our quiet time. I remember trying and failing. Wanting to want to have a desire to read the Bible but just not getting it. And always feeling condemned by God because I forgot. I was on the youth council (which was a group of teens who got to go on retreats with the leaders and "plan" stuff - it was awesome). I went to youth camp and we'd all cry and talk about how great God was and promise never to sin again. And I think I "rededicated" my life about 734 times.

I think this type of life looked the same for a lot of teens growing up in the 90s. And by my junior year, I was done. I was over it. I wanted out of my small suburban town. Out of my fishbowl life. But I couldn't because I was still in high school.

I won't get into all I did in high school. It was stupid. I wish I got highs from studying and excelling in classes but I didn't. I remember my dad telling me I was the smartest out of all his children (sorry Aaron, you may be a doctor but I obviously got the brains) but that I was the least motivated to use my smarts (he probably only told me that thinking that would motivate my "well I'll show him" will, but it didn't work.)

By college I was a bonafide drifter. Well a college drifter. I went in and out of college. At one point I dropped out and became a waitress. Oh and not just any waitress, I wore barn dress, apron, and tennis shoes. I was what they call classy.

And by the ripe ol' age of 21 years old, I got burned out on the world. Thank you Jesus for my A.D.D. cause I got bored quicker than most do! So guess what I did? I got saved! Nope, just kidding I didn't. I actually started straightening my life out. Got back in school and did really well, started getting involved in church, met and started hanging out with some people from church. My life really seemed to be going well. But something was missing. I blamed it on the fact that I was jaded and my new church friends weren't. But through a series of events, nothing life shattering just honest people telling their stories and knowledgeable people teaching Truth from God's Word I realized that I didn't have a relationship with Jesus. I wasn't truly a Christian. I was just a girl who was raised by a mom and dad that loved Jesus and taught their children about Him, hoping one day they would follow Him.

That's when I became a Christian. When God chose to save me. It didn't matter that I was a bible drill champ. That I said a prayer when I was five. That I acted like a good Christian for years and picked myself up after being in the depths of a pit. God chose to save me when things were good. When I had fixed everything. Everything but my heart.

I don't waste my time wondering if I had come to God years earlier how things would be different (don't get me wrong I went through a time when I did). This is how He intended it. And since I've been changed by God, I've been a very good legalist on one side of the pendulum and on the other (yes legalism exists on both sides of Christianity). I keep thinking I have reached the middle where I'm balanced but my ever-loving God then shows me where I need fixin' next. He's so good that way.

Thankful for this journey. Thankful you're here too.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

25 Years Ago - Part 1

I didn't know this was going to be such a long post so I've split it up into several posts. I love writing about things I haven't thought of in years.

25 years ago next month a tan and brown conversion van came into a small town in Tennessee filled with seven people. They had came from Ohio. A husband with Jim Bob Duggar hair, a wife with Michelle Duggar qualities and their five children who were nothing like the Duggar children. Nothing. Okay, enough with the Duggars.

I was in that van. I was eight years old and maybe the biggest brat that ever walked the planet (sometimes I think God is being gracious by not allowing me to have offspring, other times I realize He's bigger than that and my babies are going to be my babies no matter where they come from - and Lord please help me!).

I grew up for the first eight years of my life in Columbus, OH minus the first couple of years living in southern Ohio. My daddy is a preacher. Has been since before I was born.

I have very vivid memories of Columbus. We lived in the little parsonage that was in the back of the church. The church parking lot was our giant bike riding playground. We'd hang out on top of the dumpster (I can still smell that sour stench) and talk with our friends.

We lived in a bad part of Columbus but I didn't know it (Oprah says if you didn't know you were poor then you were po' - and lemme tell ya - we were po'). I didn't know our neighbors were drug dealers. I just knew we couldn't go over and we couldn't play in the front yard (my mom feared there would be a drive by shootings). Some nights my brother and I would sit on the back steps of our house and watch red, blue, and white lights flash in the sky. It took a few times to realize it was police cars next door. We couldn't buy ice cream from the ice cream truck because of fear of drugs in the snow cone (at least that's the story I got, it might have been a ploy to get me to quit asking for a snow cone, not sure yet).

I had the all American childhood, it was just in the hood not the burbs. And I loved it. I loved that the kids came to our backyard and played kickball. I loved riding my cousin's hand-me-down banana seat bike from the seventies around the church's lot.

I loved that I could run over and see my dad whenever I wanted. And that sometimes at night, when people would break into the church (seemed to happen all the time) I could get up and watch the helicopters fly around over our house with my mom while she waited for dad to come back home safely.

When I was eight my dad sat me and my older brother down and told us we were going to my cousins wedding in Tennessee but that while we were there, dad was going to preach at a church in the town next to where he grew up in Knoxville. I didn't know what all that meant but I did know that if we moved, I would be close to my grandparents, aunt and uncle, and cousins and that was the BEST idea ever. It would be like Christmas every day.

I remember the Sunday we visited the church. It was pink, the sanctuary that is. Pepto Bismol pink. I knew we were on display so I tried to act mature. I guess as a pastor's kid you always know you're on display. You grow up having most people critique your every move good or bad. It's a right some members of a church feel they have.

My dad was asked to come and be their pastor. The church was First Baptist Church of Powell. And little did I know, our lives were about to change.

More tomorrow.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Double Dipping

I've never been in a small group before. A place where we sit around and read then discuss God's Word. A place where people actually ask how you made out last week with your big work project you asked prayer for. A place where you can discuss (ahem, argue nicely) things that are grey. A place you can go without your husband if he is working or out of town one week and feel welcomed. I've never had this. Until now. And now I have two. Martin and I like to call it "Double Dipping."

Our friends Kellyanne and Bob have been building their dream home for about a thousand years and it's finally finished and all the years of talking about starting a small group has finally taken shape and every other Sunday night we meet at their dream house (which is secretly my dream house) and eat a huge meal, talk, laugh, and sit for a bit and discuss marriage and how God sees it. There are a mix of thirty somethings, forty somethings and fifty somethings. It's a perfect union of community and fellowship. The kids are usually upstairs or outside being loud and not having to worry about bothering us because we don't care.

But before this group started meeting, we started going to another small group. (Hence the double dipping.) Our other small group is a bit different than our dream house Bob and Kellyanne small group. It's full of twenty somethings and thirty somethings and tiny kids that scream and play in a basement full of every toy known in America, or at least that's the rumor. I love being around the young moms. It's fun to think I'll be a part someday (but just an old mom - fine with me). This group is my study group. I say that on two levels. 1. I study the moms. I mean really study them. I study how they react to their kiddos coming up to pee. I study how they respond to their husbands when they are more tired than I can comprehend right now (and trust me I stayed up late some nights watching LOST). I study how they act around each other. I'm kinda an outsider. Oh please. Don't feel sorry for me. I do it to myself. 2. They study the Bible. I'm not saying they are more spiritual than my dream house that Bob and Kellyanne live in group. That group is full of people in hardcore ministry in our church and it was designed as a place of refuge and safety. But this group, the young but not too young to call them the young married group likes to really dig in the Word of God and discuss stuff. We're reading the book Radical and well if you remember I went a bit crazy with that book so it's good to discuss some things in a group that doesn't want to sell all their things and move to Camden without even praying about it (me, that's me I am referencing). It's all about balance I'm learning.

So those are our small groups. We also have a Sunday School but we won't get into that. Let's just stick with the Sunday night small group at the dream house that Bob and Kellyanne are going to give to me and the Thursday night small group with the millions of tiny children. I'm enjoying double dipping. I think it builds our spiritual immune system. Get it? Double dipping spreads germs and when you put a spiritual spin on it, it's funny. No? Okay, well I tried.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Let Me Tell You Who I Love

Last week in small group we talked about why we don't tell others about Jesus. Now y'all I'm going to let you in on a little secret: I hate telling people about Jesus. Well, let me rephrase that, I hate telling people who don't love Jesus about Jesus. I'll talk till I'm blue in the face about Jesus to other Jesus lovers. We'll cuddle up with some good coffee or tea and talk all about him. But for someone who doesn't love Jesus, to talk about him, I'm as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rockin' chairs.

I stayed pretty quiet during the discussion (for some - you know that's not normal, for others - you just don't know me well yet). The discussion pretty much was the same as others I've heard. "People know I'm different but when it comes to telling someone, I'm scared."

Well, it's just like the Holy Spirit to not let me just brush this aside. I've been fighting with him. I mean like, good, justifiable excuses. I'm so stinkin' good at them. I know I missed my calling as a lawyer. But as I've dug deep down to the bottom of my soul, my heart was yet once more exposed. And peeps, it ain't pretty.

You see, the reason I don't tell others about the Jesus that found me as a twenty-one year old is not the one I love. I love me. I mean, I really love me. I get up first thing in the morning and all I think about is me. How can I make the day go easier for me. What food can I get in my body for me. What clothes will make me look good. I wish I had better make-up for me. I want to make a nice dinner for he'll praise me. I need to exercise so I can eat whatever I want or so I'll start losing this stinkin' weight. Goodness gracious, I even pray for our future children selfishly (Lord please let them be loved by someone so they don't have attachment issues when we adopt them cause that will be so hard) Me, me, me, me.

I don't not tell others about Jesus cause I'm scared (I am - like really scared), I don't tell them about him because I love me more than them and I'd rather not share Jesus. I don't regularly pray for those I know know something about him. I don't ask those who are witnessing regularly about the ones they are sharing Christ with. All because I don't care.

Here's the good thing out of all of this, my conviction is one of the proofs I am saved. Who we are without Christ is U.G. to the L.Y.

And this is where I am. I know so much about God and doctrine and I love learning it but right now I'm like the Pharisees who liked to talk about God and learn about God and then they were content leaving it at that.

For the last several months I've gone through a depression. After reading a book that called me out on my sin, I didn't know the next step. Do we sell our house and move to Camden? They need Jesus over there. I wrestled like I've never wrestled before. But as usual, I thought I needed to do more for God right now or I wouldn't be approved by him. And it hit me the other day. God told me to go over and talk to my neighbor (I'm not the friendliest neighbor in the world). I obeyed and went over to talk to Carol. By the time I walked over there, sweaty palms and shaking (she's super nice person - I just got scared at the thought I might bring up the Jesus thing)she had gone inside. I chatted with her kids for a bit and oo'd and aah'd over their new frisbee and left knowing one thing, I obeyed the Spirit right then. But that's not where I stop. It's where I start.

So, I ask you to pray with me and for me; that I will tell others about Jesus. God doesn't need us. But I've taken that and twisted it and justified it to God doesn't want us to help and honestly, my actions would say that I'm a functioning universalist. *gasp*

That I won't just look at this and turn away and forget it like the man in James 1. That I'll allow the Spirit to mold me and make me into the woman he wants. And I know that woman is one who talks about her Jesus outside of her safe zone. And out of that, comes service to others, and true radical living.

On my wall in my kitchen we have written, "My biggest fear, even now, is that I will hear Jesus' words and walk away. Content to settle for less than radical obedience to him." (David Platt) May it never be.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Why Me and My Kindle are Breakin' Up

I have a strong affection for my little Kindle. I like reading it before I go to bed and I have a great Spurgeon devotion that I read (well, try to read) day and night. I have my ESV Study Bible on it - so I don't have to lug my Bible to church on Sunday. I have some great books and my oh so favorite Fortune magazine is delivered as soon as it's released. (I love Fortune magazine. - I devour every article, giggle at the geekiness of it, and read little blurbs to my husband - which I'm sure he LOVES.)

So why in the world am I breaking up with it? I'm not, exactly. I am keeping it for all I mentioned above. What I am quitting is having my devotions on it. I wish I could say that I've been doing my devotions (a.k.a reading my Bible, meditating on and memorizing Scripture) as well as I read Fortune but alas, something has happened and I am not. I guess you could say that I am looking at reading the written words of God like I read the rest of the Kindle's content, when I want and when it's convenient.

So, I'm dusting off my old MacArther NKJV study bible and heading back downstairs to my trusty devotion chair in the living room. It's what I work best with. And if it works then why fix it? I tried to upgrade and it works for things like Spurgeon and Fortune but not for the Bible, and I'm totally okay with that.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Tomorrow is Martin's birthday. He'll be 32. I am so thankful for him. We went out to eat with his parents, brother and his girlfriend, Missy then ended the day at our house where we had red velvet cupcakes (more like tiny cakes) and coffee.

It was a good day.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Good Wife

There is a girl on Facebook that I am "friends" with. We went to college together and had mutual friends. I think her then boyfriend and now husband and my then boyfriend now husband were in the same dorm. I remember having one conversation with her. She's from California and uber cool. She's a photographer and a mom and a wife and a lot of other fab things. I guess I'm a bit obsessed with her. I don't mean to be but she is very real and I just love real.

I don't feel like I get much real in my life. I try to be real but my real isn't uber cool like hers.

She's been reading and quoting a lot of this book Created To Be His Help Meet: Discover how God can make your marriage glorious by Debi Pearl. So of course I bought it on my Kindle because she's so uber cool.

Let's just say it's been rocking my world. Seriously. I don't realize how much false teaching has crept into my heart lately. I know that's how it starts, false teaching, creeping in and slowly taking over like an ink stain on a piece of paper.

In 2 Timothy, Paul warns Timothy that in the last days, people "will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power." He says to, "avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth."

I like to think I am all strong and mighty but Paul (through the Holy Spirit) knows the woman's heart. It is easily strayed.

Back to this book. I'm in the middle of the second chapter, there are twenty-four and folks, it is practical! I tried something I read yesterday but let me give you a background first ::

Martin's car broke down and we had it towed to the closet Jeep dealership. We don't know this dealership and the estimate was $500. I hate feeling at the mercy of someone you don't trust. Days went by and we got the run-around - parts backordered, maybe tomorrow, maybe the next day, we'll call you. You all know the drill. During all of this we both had to go to work and Marin's job is, let's call it mobile. He has to travel a bit and he's generally gone from 6:30 AM to 7:00 PM. And I have one of those cushy jobs that goes from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM with an hour break for lunch. Guess who was in control of the car? Yup, my mobile husband.

We both compromised our schedules. I went in super early. He went in a little late. He left super early. I left a little late. The weekend was hard too. But Tuesday came and it was a glorious day, the Jeep was ready!

But there was a catch, Martin was working 2 hours away from my place of employment and the Jeep was 45 minutes away from there. After being in my office from 7:15 AM to 5:45 PM yesterday I decided to go downstairs to relax on one of our stiff 1980's lobby couches. I got a snack and Sprite out of the vending machine, propped my feet up on the 1980's coffee table, and got my Kindle out. Now, I knew Martin would be there in less than an hour and would probably be hungry but honestly, I didn't want to get him anything. Somehow in my mind, since it was his Jeep, it was his fault. So no, I wasn't going to get him anything.

But let me tell ya'll, this book has put so much into perspective. I am his help meet. And one practical thing I got out the chapter or so of reading was that I needed to be a happy wife. One who smiles and laughs in front of my husband. We are in a competition with the world and people in it and I need to be a place of relief for him. I immediately purposed in my heart right there to make our 45 minute trek down to the dealership a happy time. I went and bought him peanut M&Ms and saved half my Sprite. And ya'll, we had the best trip down. While there we looked at cars in the showroom and agreed we hated the new Jeeps (they were much too pretty for our taste) and went looking at some minivans. I am anti-minivans but only because my heart is so full of pride and yuckiness. We went to dinner and I let him sit facing the Flyers game (that's hockey, mom). It was the best night.

And the weirdest thing happened, I went to bed with a happy heart. Funny how we let the lies creep in to our lives - that if we make our husbands [insert coworkers, friends, parents, children] pay for our discontentment that will make life better.

I guess the old saying "A happy wife, a happy life" is true. It's just all about how you look at it.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Last week at this time I was mourning a dream that I felt God had led Martin and I to. And I was a mess. I was crying (which isn't that big of deal since it has seemed like a daily thing for the past two months) and feeling like I had physically lost someone or some people, little people that I had yet to meet but I loved already, maybe a sibling group or a couple of babies. They didn't have faces but I knew them deep in my heart.

Today, a week later, I am happy to say I'm dealing. I still feel like I've lost children that I've never met. I see families for the first time and physically ache that I don't have children. I have honestly never felt that before. I've never seen couples with children and wished I had a family like that. I would look at them with an anticipation of what was to come. And now I feel like that dream died. I don't know how else to say it. I know it's not final, this cut in adoption allowances in Ethiopia, but for the first time in this journey, Martin and I both feel like we're supposed to simply stop. Stop planning. Stop dreaming. Just stop. I guess this is a tiny feeling of how women feel after a miscarriage.

But there is hope, which is not something I felt last week. But not the kind of hope I've had for the past year or so. My hope was in things to come. But this hope is completely different. It's just hope in Jesus. That's all. Nothing more. Nothing less.

I don't think I ever once questioned God sovereignty in this journey. Our pastor talked about the sovereignty of God today and I was reassured that I was not doubting what God is doing or has planned. I'm not mad at Him. I simply like to know a bit of what He's doing. I like to be "in" on the plan. Just a glimpse. And for a long time God has allowed that.

But now, I realize Martin and I are in a play as extras, performing and watching things unfold as we're acting. And suddenly, the curtain has closed and the lights have been turned off and we're left standing there, waiting for the next scene to start.

And we're not in charge. We're not the Director (or even the executive producers which I like to think sometimes). We're just extras. And that's awesome, cause folks not everybody gets to be on stage. Not everyone is asked to perform. But for some reason we were chosen to do so. And because of that, I'll wait. I'll wait for my Director to give directions. And until then we'll stay put and keep our eyes on the Director. We can't see Him, it's too dark. We can't always hear Him. We can't feel Him but we know He's there because He never moves. He never waivers. He is constant, our Constant. So we'll wait until the lights come back on. And when they do, watch out! I will appreciate so much more because trusting and obeying during the darkest times makes the light so much brighter.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

So What Does This Mean?

Read an article last night that said they are stopping adoptions in Ethiopia by 90%. Not sure what to think. I feel numb. I know God has a plan through all of this. I know He works things out for good. I know He is in control. I know all of this is for His glory. I know the world doesn't revolve around me. But right now I'm just numb. I am angry at one thing: Now that Ethiopia is going to be taken away (I'm jumping to conclusions, but just let me right now) - I see that yet again I filled my heart with Ethiopia and the plans there instead of God. I made something else my idol. My ever wandering heart has been exposed yet again and I am thankful for that. Because if I never have children, if I lose it all, well, then blessed me the name of the Lord.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pizza Anyone?

A few days ago, okay yesterday JJ Heller (wife, mom, singer, songwriter, crafter, pizza maker) put a pizza recipe on her blog (which I will post a link at the bottom of this post). It sounded so yummy and tonight I stopped by the store and got the ingredients I didn't have at home and while Martin was off at the gym training for his half marathon (that he doesn't know he's not going to be allowed to run if I have anything to do with it - if you're confused by that then you can read this post and it will make sense).

Martin doesn't always love weird things so when he saw the little pizzas I made he was sceptical. But no worries, he not only ate his little pizza but also his little pizza I made him for lunch tomorrow (good thing he went running!).

Here are the pictures. I sure wish they were scratch and sniff! :::

Here is JJ's blog post with the recipe. One ball of pizza dough made four little pizzas. Amazing!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Exposing of the Heart

I'm selfish. Sometimes I'm the last to know about it but because I am a child of God, He loves me so much (and Himself even more) that He exposes my sin and demands a change.

I've been going through a transition at work. My job hasn't changed but I was hired under our CFO who took over the duties of director in my department until we found someone. For almost two years I worked under the best boss in the world. I really mean that. I knew it would come to an end at some point and in January it did. My new boss is wonderful. He is getting to know the job quickly, he has a passion about it and has been very patient with me during the transition. But there is one thing that I don't like: Change.

I say I like change and I welcome it but I say a lot of things and think deep down that I mean it but when my actions are put to the test, I usually resist. So I've come home several nights in the past month frustrated by change. It's not because my new boss has done something wrong or mean or even changed my job. It's just I really liked it the way it was more than how it is now. And the crazy thing is - it seems that the way it was, was better - but having a new director in my job is best.

My mind automatically goes to the Israelites and how they thought Egypt was better than being in the wilderness. They were in bondage in Egypt. In the wilderness they were free. They were treated like animals in Egypt. In the wilderness they were given food every morning (that fell from the sky for goodness sakes!) and the Most High God led them around. Yet, because it was wasn't familiar, they complained and wanted to go back.

I'm embarrassed to say that God has exposed this resistance to change in other parts of my life. I sit here with tears in my eyes this morning. Not out of conviction but because today is February 3 and today Verizon Wireless customers can pre-order the iPhone. And I'm not getting one. I've waited a year for one. I decided against getting anything for Christmas so that I could buy one when they came out this year. But Martin and I decided that getting a smart phone, especially one that cost $199 (just for the phone), would not be wise right now since we're trying to save and pay for our adoption. I wish I could say that I want some babies from Africa more than an iPhone but honestly, right now I want an iPhone more. And that is embarrassing and sad and ridiculous and stupid and so short-minded. And it exposes a selfishness that didn't just come because of this circumstance. But because I have allowed it, for awhile, to come in my heart and stir and fester by soul.

So as I confess this before God and my blog readers (mom and mom Fern), I'm meditating on some words of Truth:
  • For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" Romans 8:15
  • So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. Roman 7:21-25

The iPhone will be old news in a couple of months. But the battle for my soul will be ever constant. And I have to stand guard and keep falling to my knees at the cross of the One who saved me because I am a worthless wretch without Jesus.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I Think I'm Going To Stop Counting

I ask you a question:
Is it okay if I stop counting my days?
(and another question)
Would that go against everything this blog is about?

You see, I spent the other night counting my days in my past entries because I realized I had miscounted somewhere and had to change my days in SO many posts. Which really messed up some of my posts that I mentioned the day in. I think I corrected it all.

Martin wanted to make a cute little spreadsheet for me to figure out my days but I really like counting with my fingers so I politely declined. I need feedback. If you think I should continue counting then I will (this is day 367, by the way).

The last few weeks have happened in a blur. I'm not very organized at this point in my life and it shows by the lack of blogging. The following are ways I'm not organized: my house is messy (not to the naked eye but if you sit down you will see the dust bunnies creeping out from under the couches teasing you). My devotion time has been a bit sporadic. I mean if I sit down at home I'm good. But it's mostly at work for a few minutes when I feel super guilty (which is the old man creeping in - thinking I can win my Father's approval by checking devos off my list). My exercise has stopped. I could give you really, really good excuses. One being work. It's a crazy time for me but I could still find an hour to work out if I really wanted to.

On a positive note, Martin and I are trying to be purposeful and sit at the dining room table for dinner every night and talk. My man is so busy with his big boy job that we go days without talking. We chat but talking is so rare. We're trying to do that at dinner and after. Also, we are being tight tight tight on our money. We are going to have to sacrifice when we have kids and unlike most people we are going to sacrifice to get our kids. SO God has allowed us to be tight which has kicked us both in the pants to do our part. This means Starbucks only as a special occasion (Martin's weakness) and out to eat for dates a couple of times a month (my weakness). We have done some practical things like cut some things off our cell phone and cable bill, canceled Netflix and a few others. That helps our monthly fixed bills.

So one day - will I have all that is unorganized and the great things we are working on all together? Not sure. But I'm sure gonna try.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day 347 - New Thoughts

I've said it before and I'll say it again! I love sermons. I love lectures. I love to think. It's really weird because fifteen years ago I would have rolled my eyes to those sentences above. But now I find great joy in listening to sermons at work and then thinking through them on my usually silent drive to and from work. And let me tell you, I love music but as I've gotten older I have found that great conversations go on in my head with God and me during those 20 minutes to and from work.

I listened to Beth Moore as she spoke this year to Passion. Passion is a college seminar, if you will. It is tons of speakers and really cool Christian song artist all together down in Atlanta. I've never had the privilege to go and probably never will but they have put the speakers online for us old people and that makes me so very happy.

Beth, that's what I call her. I follow her on Twitter and she puts pictures of her camping trips up so I really feel like I can call her by her first name. She talked about renewing your mind. And then this morning I read about that in Ephesians 5. Something she said hit me and it's given me a new way of looking at things. It's nothing new and I should have known it (and I do know it) and I should be doing it (it's a discipline that doesn't happen by osmosis). Beth said that instead of taking something that has happened in your past or present and purposing yourself to not think about it any longer you need to change the way you think about it.

Have you ever done this before? I will purpose myself not to think about something that happened either going on now or in my past. It's usually something that someone has done to me or someone I love. I get so upset thinking about it and I'm ready to fight. Then I'll get convicted and confess my stupidness and resolve to not think about it any longer. Then I find myself telling someone about it three days later and getting all upset again. And so goes the pattern.

Beth (remember we're good friends) was saying that renewing your mind is not forgetting, it's replacing God's redemption over your life and your past. So it's almost like a filter. And when we filter our past and our circumstances in this way we are seeing them as God does - which is: everything happens because and for His glory (that's what John Piper talked about but that's another day).

Whoop! Whoop! Friends, what is more priceless than gold is a Truth from God's word put into real, everyday practice.

I highly recommend you watch/listen to the speakers at Passion. Ben Terry, one of my favorite bloggers ever has all of the videos up for your viewing pleasure. I think I might watch to them all about 100 times. Click HERE for the link.