Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Rolling on into Christmas like it was no big deal....

I've just noticed! It's almost Dec. 1st and I haven't complained once that Christmas is too commercialized or overdone yet!
This is an accomplishment for me.
I guess I feel blessed during this time.
Even though my husband is stressed beyond belief, I feel less stress than ever. yikes. That's an invitation right there for it to be heaped on, LOL.
Yesterday, since Sheffie is feeling pressure at work, I prayed all day for him, off and on. Wow. What a difference that made. I know he had it rough, but I must admit that I felt so much lighter all day.
No thoughts of pressure or when am I going to have time to get a tree, or put up decorations or buy presents earlier. Nope.
Jeremy, a senior this year, is blindly going about the season while we RANT ON AND ON about how he needs to get essays done for college scholarship applications, but none of that yesterday. And he worked on it yesterday too. Hey! Maybe I don't need to rant? ha.
Yep I like this peace and joy thing that goes along with prayer. I think I'll keep it up!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Why "What I Wore Wednesday" Doesn't Work For Me!

Exhibit A

Reason 1: This pic was taken looking into my sliding glass door in the back of the house, hence, I have no full length mirror.

Reason 2: I wore this yesterday, well, at least in the afternoon.

Reason 3: All....All my clothes are UGLY! Not just these people. I'm in a faze, and have been for quite a's called "Over 45 and shouldn't try to look like I'm 20".

But, my friend Denise always looks so cute. So Since I am avoiding this trend in blogging, you may go over there and visit. She has style. I do not.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The List:

Everyone has a list. Where this craze came from I have no idea, but I feel compelled (by peer pressure) to do the same. Actually we say every summer that we are going to do more as a family. It's time to really write it down.
So here we go. I will try to find a cool chalkboard or whiteboard like Denise or Kristen to post it and check them off. Go check theirs out.

Here we go:
Go bowling weekly
Make homemade icecream
Go to the secret swinging bridge spot in Yosemite that no one knows about
Play scrabble as a family
Walk 3 miles at least once or twice a week as a family
Make a movie for church youth group
Help with an Eagle Scout Project
Raise Meat Chickens from chicks
Make pesto
Visit Monterey at least once to see the whales
Host a dessert party where my kids make the food
Rent a party boat at the lake
Go camping with UK
Get a refresher course for SCUBA diving (Jules)
SCUBA in Monterey
Make a duvet cover (yikes)
Dinner 8 with church friends (3xs)
Cupcake decorating class for Meg and Me
Stargaze from Sentinel Dome
Fireworks at Bass Lake
Kiss my hubby for 7 sec. everyday (great goal for me NOT kids)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Removing an organ...sorta

It's been quite a while since my last post, but I do have excuses. None of them good mind you, but I have them. Well, in all seriousness, I have nodules. Nodules on my Thyroid gland.

After this week, I don't have any more nodules or gland.

Yes that's right.

I agreed to have them, it, removed forever and ever, amen.

I have been hanging around the house the last 3 days waiting for the feeling of sluggishness or overtiredness (is that a word?) to hit me. But alas, nothing. In fact, I feel quite energetic. I have been taking a synthetic thyroid hormone replacement and it's not bad!!!!!!

Well, not so far. In fact, if my incision were not sore, I'd have to say I'm feeling on top of the world.

Don't you wish you could replace or remove parts of you that you just didn't like? And feel great afterward without harm or penalty?

My oldest son is learning to drive. My daughter had her first experience today behind the wheel. I have come to realize that the mom-behind-the-wheel needs a transplant or a complete removal!!!!!

The person I sometimes become behind the wheel of a car is not out full view of two teenagers and it's ugly sometimes. I still don't understand why I get so frustrated, but I do.

I need to have that removed, right away.

I need a synthetic replacement until I can produce my own attitude worth having in the car with them.

It's one of those areas in life that demands constant tuning, redirecting, and releasing control over. Yep. It needs to be yanked.

Hopefully, Jesus never had to drive the chariot. My guess is he had to drive in some way.

All I am asking for today is forgiveness for almost running that bike rider down today. And, a little interceding from a fellow driver. Thanks!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Armor for the Weak

You never know when the moment will hit.

You never know when she will feel the full impact of the world.

You never know when the impact will bring you to your knees.

Last night I witnessed teen after teen receive awards and we all clapped.

Sometimes the names were repeated over and over and the applause rose.

Often, I thought, "Who are these kids?"

Apparently my daughter was listening, and not talking through it.

Apparently she heard those same names being praised over and over and felt, in her heart, that she didn't have much purpose or talent or gift.

Haven't you been there? Don't you remember?

When you first felt you didn't measure up? I do.

I felt it all my life.

At first it's an inkling that they are special. Then it's hearing them being praised by someone you admire. Then you realize: they have IT.

Of course, you can't quite describe it, but you feel it. It weighs heavy. It pulls, and measures, and reflects a distorted picture that looks so similar to who you really are, but not quite what you want to see.

Don't you remember what it looked like?

I do. I've seen it off and on my whole life.

And, for the first time, the picture, painted with long strokes, finally becomes clear and vibrant.

I don't measure up.

My daughter saw herself in that painting last night after a banquet honoring students whom she has eaten lunch with, rode in the car with, stood next to in line, and sat behind in class. She saw that she...didn't measure up to THAT standard.

My heart ached as I heard her express on the ride home that she wasn't really GOOD at anything, just OK. Out of her came a dark, long breath that spewed disappointment, hurt, failure, unrealized dreams. Oh, how I ached.

Haven't we all heard the liar. Haven't we all entertained his theatrical play, weaving lies with truth, until the two became one. My heart bursts.

She, with her happy-heart, witty banter, and ever-loving friendship, saw only her faults.

I drew a long breath before I exposed the lies, one by one.

But, last night, she couldn't hear it.

She felt the sting of rejection that closed off the confident young lady.

I felt that same sting, but many years earlier than she. Even though I had carefully given her instruction and even though I praised her all dropped to the ground like an unused toy. Forgotten.

Yes. This young woman is experiencing the bitter herbs that the world, the deceiver, serves to us along with sweet tea and cake.

It was a difficult moment for this mommy-at-heart who is a fierce lion when it comes to her cubs. It brought tears for hours as I hugged her goodnight. Even harder? Knowing that this is a long line in her course of becoming a grown-up woman. The line will extend her whole life with the deceiver whispering in her ear.

Prepare me Lord Jesus for this next phase.

Prepare our Armor together.

Forge her a sheild with your promises, a sword of swift return, and a helmet that drowns out the shouts of the world.

Prepare us together, because I will NEVER let her be defeated by a lie as long as breath lives in my lungs.

The war has just begun for her and I. We will stand united.

Friday, May 20, 2011

What happens when love and intimacy die away...

No, I'm not splitting up with my husband or anything. That is still all good.

What I am speaking of is an intimacy with God.

In the last year, I have felt a real distance coming in my relationship with Him. In fact, I have had trouble with even picking up my bible. It saddened me and shocks me all at the same time, and I keep saying to myself, "What is it?".

Intimacy builds in marrage when you invest in the life and in love of that person. Communing with their heart becomes something you seek. Many might put a sexual intimacy in this same catagory. But, for women, we know that the sexual intimacy must come through our hearts first. Letting our hearts be vulnerable. Letting our hearts cry out for that person to really know it.

It has finally hit me that I haven't cried out for God to know my heart in this last year.

I slowly closed that avenue off as I saw a strain in our financial health, in a difficult relationship with my children earlier, and with the strain of it all...eventually a hurt deep inside by a friendship that kind of through me over the edge. I simply couldn't pick up my bible. I couldn't pray. Nothing came out that resembled hunger for my relationship with the only one who could really heal my hurt. Nothing.

I couldn't pick up my bible, but through the persuasion of a persistent friend, I picked up Ann Voskamp's book, 1000 gifts. This beautiful book shouldn't have been a substitute for God's word. It shouldn't take it's place, but He used it to draw me to him inch by inch.

You know how when you're mad at your husband or he's done something to urk you, you kinda want to just stomp off? Then pretty soon the little urk becomes apathy and you have forgotten how to reach for a kiss or hug. You don't even miss it. It's just a numb existence at that point without a feeling. Well, that's where I had been. Numb.

Well, I am slowly emerging. Sometimes it requires a little pin-pricking to get a feeling back. Sometimes it requires a long-hug. God, my gracious God, has been waiting for me patiently. Sometimes he allow me to get a poke, a sting, by something I read. "OUCH" as I read that my selfish, ungratefulness has brought me the lack of joy. Then, He turns around and washes a deep, long-hug as I weep at my kitchen sink.

It's plain weird for me to make a connection with God as if he's a husband, but in this case that's what I feel. He want express his love gently, as I need it. But, I think he's waiting for me to let down all the defenses. He's waiting for that final giving of myself to him. I'm almost there.

Letting go of lies, disappointments and hurt is like getting your teeth clean. I hate the scaping off and the way it makes me so uncomfortable. But, I love running my teeth over the smooth, clean edges and the lovely clean taste.

I need a good scaping and God is going to work taking the callouses off.

I'm waiting for the emergent new heart.

Monday, May 16, 2011

So is it wrong?

I blame William and Kate.

I would not normally do it but I found that after watching the royal wedding a couple of weeks ago that I now want to eat Brie cheese all the time.

Ok, back up.
That day I made scones and tea and waited until my daughter returned home from school so that she and I could watch together. I found that while I was waiting for her to return home, I craved it. I wanted it. I didn't have it.
No matter. Scones and tea were soon served and life went on it's merry way.
But now, I want to have it all the time.
This is not the sort of craving that just comes around and then is never thought of until months later. It's an everyday crave.

Here is the problem. I had some wine on Sat. and also had my fair share of brie (which I bought to go with the wine, and only with the wine).
Today, I had it for lunch. On crackers. Without the wine.
What next? I may be dipping into it now until its all gone. Everyday. Maybe twice a day.

I thinking that a fast with only veges for a day or so is in order.
Would that help with cravings?
If you have had a craving that didn't go away, what did you do?

Multitudes on Mondays, Blessings Galore...

... A walk around the lake in the crisp morning air

... A blue heron at the blue heron restaurant, funny

... A dog always happy to see me no matter what

... The hat covers my un-showered hair

... A text of encouragement from Corrine

... A sore muscle, which means it got worked!

... A new fence that came as a result of the sweat of a good man

... Monday, all day, at home with my boy

Friday, May 13, 2011

blessed by...

...a smiling clerk who was sweet, sweet strawberries
...a young man on a trip of his own today
...a girl excited by her day and so willing to share every bit of it with me crossing the parking lot, even if it was because I am perceived to be "old" by my 10 yr.old
...iris budding into purple pleasure
...chocolate tidbits called Flicks
...soothing music while cooking
...reading blogs of encouragement from fellow sojourners

But you love me anyway...

When I hear these lyrics I am reminded that it WAS my sin that nailed Jesus to the cross. This was the very thought that caused my heart to turn at age nine while I physically nailed nails to a cross one Sunday Night at an evening service. My youth pastor talked about personal sin and responsibility, and I remember the guilt convicted me to tears as I hammered.
Many times I have carried that conviction and guilt throughout my life. I believed that my sin was so dark that I wasn't sure that Jesus could ever see past it.

This song brings me the peace I need. I haven't forgotten that my sin nailed him, but I know that his love reaches past that sin. Not only has he conquered it, but he reaches out, takes my hand and says, "I love you." I'm not "kinda a Christian". It's all that matters in who I am.
It's like being kinda pregnant. Either you are, or you aren't. He grace loves, erases and embraces that old sin...and then discards it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

All Things Crepe-y!

I don't know what it is about these little packages of love and fruity goodness, but I know that I must cook them and them.

I'm really trying to eat a low carb and calorie diet right now, but it has brought out some pregnant-like cravings that I just can't stand.

Crepes and Blintzes are all I want.

I want them with sour cream at noon.

I want to eat them on the moon.

I want their

yummy, fruity glaze.

I want them on all even days.

It tortures me! I need to be done with this low carb diet.

Or, I need to just make a whole big bunch and take them to someone else's house and watch them eat them. No, I don't think I could resist.

What tortures you with cravings?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Gifts of a Child's World

I diligently write out a list of gifts each day to give gratitude toward my God. This brings me joy.

My children need joy. If I do the math correctly, and they are expressing their gratefulness as well, doesn't it seem wise to assume they will have joy as well?

I always assume that they are care-free and happy.
But, in reality, with my 2 oldest, going to public school everyday has brought a shadow over them at times. It's the shadow of what the non-Christian world experiences everyday: divorce, pain, feelings of inferiority, heartbreak, selfishness. The list could go on. They feel it's weight as well as the weight of expectations, disappointment, and frustrations.

So, today is their first step into the water. The water of the rushing river and torrent of time that can bring us down. Now, they have trudged here before. But today is their first day to make a list of gratitude. I want their river to slow with the weight of their acknowledgement, their appreciation.

Garrett started the morning reading my list, seeing the things I have noticed, loved and given gratitude for over the last weeks. With a new, purple composition book in hand, he started with 4 items this morning and the first was just talking about gratitude with me. What joy! He sees the purpose and hopes for joy!
The others, my two oldest and husband, will be later today. Thanks to Ann Voskamp for the 7 Things template on her website to get them started.

My gifts so far today:
...young boy finding happy moments in a journal
...small eggs from our chickens
...hearing her hum the tunes of the musical we saw yesterday tomato plant ready to grow

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Oh how it shines

Ever been so proud that it just shines?
My son made me feel that way today.
It may seem simple to you, but it was one of those check-off-the-list moments today.
He drove to Fresno (30min.) and then to Madera(another 20 min.) and then home (another 25 min.).
Altogether, a few hours of driving and some shopping with my eldest teenage son, was bliss.

It seem that having happy moments where all are having a good time with mom are fleeting these days whether because of time, or stress of school work or just teen-grump syndrome. We laughed. We talked. We shopped. We had lunch together.!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh how I wish I could hold these moments forever, never letting go. It really was just yesterday that he was cooing and we were leaning over the bed giggling in delight over his cute movements and dirty diapers. Oh where has that gone.
16 1/2 years forward. Now we are just Mom and Dad.

Can I love him more? I don't know.
How much more does my Savior love him. It makes me cry to think someone could ever love him more, but I know that Jesus does and always will.
Thank you Jesus for that. Because I can let him down and I can fall short, but you will ALWAYS be the never-ending love that carries him.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


I have been blogging about a wonderful book, One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp. Well go here
and get it free!!!! Plus a cute notebook to go with it. Thanks Denise.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

When you try to slow...

the world, life as a rushing river, takes you canoe and dumps you into a cold water.
As I try to slow the rushing river of time yesterday, the torrent carried me off with it.

I made an errand run into the city to get some much needed groceries and supplies, while my Young-at-Heart son stayed behind with bronchitis. I made my trip swift from place to place so I could return home to teach a small troupe of 4-Her's how to make bread in the afternoon. Just as we were mixing ingredients, a call breaks the merry atmosphere. My daughter, 1/2 years into high school, cries in pain. Her ankle. She thinks it broken.
Again I find myself flinging past another moment to admire, off to rush to another I want to forget.

Where to find blessings and gifts? I don't have time....

But as it turns out, today shows yesterday's blessing. Though swollen and tender and not holding her weight, it is not a broken ankle. We were spared hours of waiting in room with the sick and injured. I tenderly ice massaged her ankle and with the morning, came a relief in some pain.

Though yesterday I was not able to wade in the torrential river of time to slow it, today I am.
I sit with my legs under me on a long couch, dog snoring under my feet.
Today, I wade in the water and slow it current, to use the weight of each significant blessing to stop time.
...Bird choruses
...sunshine warming my back in morning drench
...quiet ticking of clock
...clickity-clack of the keyboard of Young-at-Heart hard at math

I breathe deep. Holding on to these moments and knowing that the restoration of soul is taking place after such upheaval from the day prior.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

1000 gifts...or so I hope

Ok, I'm reading it...again.
Yes, I read it.
Yes, If you read it, it will make you want to re-read it.
No, you won't be able to stop yourself from voicing your gratitude. Not to me. To God.
Isn't that what this life is about? What it should be about?

We can't truly know salvation, or at least know it's fullness in this life, unless we express our gratitude and recognize the gifts God has bestowed on us. Life change comes when we receive life with thanks and ask for nothing to change...I wish I had said that, but that was Ann Voskamp's words, the author.
Like Ann, I crave more time to manage just the life I already have. To savor the joy that comes from slowing the world to pick out the greatest to the tiniest gifts, now, here.

But aren't we flowing at a neck-breaking, heart-breaking speed? I am. I never see the blessings I have and because of it, I complain, and complain and complain.

I have started a list of my 1000 gifts. I started writing down those things that stop my motion and call out in their small voice to be noticed. I hope to bring so of those to light here. To capture them in sight and written prose so that on the days when I am caught up in the river of rush, that I can look at them, refresh the love for the savior and the saved, and bring the joy back.