Sunday, February 26, 2012

beyond the tears


The cat's outta the bag.  Tonight as we cozied up amongst the AWANA crew to talk about announcements and pray, he spilled the beans.  He said it out loud.  I admit to being a little shocked as I haven't told some most of my family yet and this public proclamation was a tad bit surprising.  Nonetheless, it was out there.  And I don't think they saw it coming either.  I sat, staring down at my binder, trying hard to make out the words, but my brain felt disconnected.

Mr. D began to pray and as he spoke our name, my eyes welled up with tears.  Sniffles could be heard all around our group and it was the first time I'd felt sad about this venture.  He finished praying and I glanced up, immediately seeing Mrs. D's expression.  The tears spilt down my face and she caught me with a long embrace.  I couldn't help it, knowing how much I'd miss my church family made me numb.  It was the second church I'd ever really and truly felt a part of, part of something greater.  It's the place where I found my faith after it had been broken.  These people, they assisted in the reconstruction and transformation of it.  They sent love through cards, emails, phone calls, hugs, you name it.  All in the hopes of building us up, showing us the love of God.  And it worked.  They've helped us become who we are today. 

In our yard, they've sat, sharing hot dogs and homemade ice cream.  Their kids have torn through this house, romping with our children.  The sound of laughter and sweetness enriching these four walls.  And they've come to the trenches.  We were still in bed, when early one morning after returning home from a long trip and hearing our tragic news, our Pastor knocked on the door.  We were still in our jamas when we sat down to talk it over.  The lengthy conversation ended as he prayed with us, all along reassuring us that God had a plan.  We have come to sincerely adore these people who have loved us immensely, expecting nothing in return.  More than words can express, I will miss some of them the most. 

We still have an undetermined amount of time before we all leave but, they promise to come stay with us.  To break bread and set a spell.  And I will hold them to it.  We promise to visit whenever we come back, to haunt the Myers' farm because it's a kid haven and to send cards and sweet little handmade gifts.  I hope they will hold a special place in their hearts for us as we will them.  Even so, I will be forever grateful for the love they've shown us.  May they eternally be the light of the Lord and may God's abundant blessings rain down upon them.

Friday, February 24, 2012

and so, a new season begins

A long awaited call came yesterday.  It didn't play out like I had imagined.  Instead, I approached with caution, and low and behold, it took a total of 6 hours for it to truly sink in.  When it finally did, I was washing my face before bed when I burst into tears.  Tears of joy. 

Two things have transpired my heart and my life lately.   Pastor E has been imparting upon us an attitude of service.   "When you walk through the doors at church, do you come to serve others?   If we all showed up, ready to serve each other, what would that look like?   Would it make a better church?   A better world?"   Then, I came across this quote here, Mother Teresa said, "Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness. Kindness in your face. Kindness in your eyes. Kindness in your smile."   So, as I pass people at work, at the grocery store, I make an extra effort, to try and show them the love of Christ.  Even if it's just a smile.  Then, as we continue along our separate ways, I wonder, 'God, did they see you?  Your love?  Can they feel it?  Because I can.'  And genuinely, I can.

I know there will be family and friends who will question, who will not be thrilled.  Will they scowl and blubber and I wonder, will they not see the delight in all of this?  Will they not see our excitement, our enthusiasm?  A new adventure enveloped in faith.  Will they not see God's hand at work?  An answer to prayer.  Indeed, this is something I have prayed long and hard over.  Something that's been in the works for over 6 months now.  Something that's hung in the balance, always lingering in the back of my mind.  I never gave up hope, while this far off dream often seemed dim at times, it's finally happening.

So, will these people, our dear friends and family, will they hold it against us?  Will they be self-regarding?  Will they smile, hold back their tears and wish us well, meaning it all along?  Will they see this as a "see ya later" or will it be "good-bye"?  I hope they will choose the former rather than the latter.   Who am I kidding, I cried when we watched Ramona & Beezus and Ramona's cat died.  Made me think of my ol' Kolby-cat.  He's gettin' up in age, ya know.

In about a month, things will be different around here.  It'll be a while before our lives really change, but again, we'll be starting a new lifestyle.  One that will slowly fall in to place and we'll remember those days from the not-so-far-off past.  We'll still be here, but everything else will be a little unusual.  Like the last time, we'll deal.  We'll cope.  We'll make it through.  I'll prepare the best I can and we'll continue our daily lives until the next call comes in.  

What if none of this works out?  God has a plan, even when we don't, even when we can't fathom what He's doing.  I know that for a fact.  The event that led up to this was something we never saw coming, but we now know He had a reason for it.  It was not to put us to shame.  We've all taken something away from this.  We've all used it for His good.  To witness to others, to lead us to a greater, deeper faith, to grow.  And here we stand, putting out trust in Him again, taking our faith to an even higher level.  It's riveting, exciting, intimidating and frightening.  I'm stepping into this new season with amazement of the boundless love, mercy and grace He's poured upon us when we are so undeserving.

Monday, February 20, 2012

playlist frustration: part one

Can I just air my frustration with  Thanks.

There are songs I would love to put on my playlist, but they're just not available!  *grit teeth*  So, this is another song that we love and crank the volume up to, screamin' it out in our kitchen or as we fly down the highways. 

It's the Newsboys - "God's Not Dead." 
Before you click play,
turn up the volume L.O.U.D.!
  I promise it's sooo much better that way.

Tell me you don't love it too?


My heart lies still tonight.  Still and peaceful as he returns home from another far off place.  There are a lot of things I've come to find peace in.  Being a wife and a mother is enough.  Data-entry and being a "gopher" is humbling.  Waiting on the Lord is transforming.

To my amazement, I received numerous phone calls and emails today from women I have come to love with great respect and understanding.  The above topics were discussed and there's just nothing better than dialogue laced with faith, hope and love.

Self.  Once upon a time, I thought I needed a career, to be successful, to bring home some bacon in order to be somebody, to feel like I was something in this world.  The problem is, I never needed to be somebody in this worldBeing a diligent, fervent child of God, wife and mother is fulfilling.  It was I that was holding me back.  Once I fully turned my eyes upon Jesus, the feelings of being adrift and inadequacy completely vanished.  Instead, they were replaced with content.  Pure, joyous, peaceful content.

Work.  Work is good.  It's a show up and do your job sort of thing.  It's not important, it doesn't consume me.  They're flexible and the people are nice.  I don't talk much there, I just do my job.  I was over reading at life with a personal God and I saw this quote by Mother Teresa, "Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.  Be the living expression of God's kindness.  Kindness in your face.  Kindness in your eyes.  Kindness in your smile."  So, I question, is just my presence, my cheery, diligent, sincere attitude showing them the love of God?  Can you see His love in a person's face?  Can it be felt through a passing in the hall?  A simple "Hello. How are you?"  Is it that simple?  I hope that when no words are exchanged, His love is shining through my eyes, through my smile.

Faith.  I am still curious. I continue to wonder where God wants us. Why do "those" people with their opportunities continue to call or check-in if that's not where He wants us to be? Nevermind though, I don't fret about it.   I refuse to. Maybe we're not meant to be there.   I don't know.   I pray about it and I drop it in His hands and wait.   Maybe it's all a test of my patience.   See Lord, I'm growing.   Slowly, but surely.   We're growing.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

new breakfast recipe + weekly meal plan

My Banana Pudding with Meringue

I was excited to find a new breakfast recipe over at The Happy Housewife.  And it just so happens I have some browned sausage from our homemade pizzas that I'm gonna substitute for the bacon.  Sure, I've made breakfast casseroles, but never thought to make it in a muffin tin.  What a fantastic idea. 

Ya see, the man is a breakfast food fanatic.  He loves him some breafas' food...pancakes, waffles, cinnamon rolls.  Why, tonight he begged me to make cinnamon rolls for dinner.  Aye aye aye!  It's a running joke around here that he's gonna go off to college and then own a chain of IHOPs or Waffle Houses.

Well, Mexican Week is over (although I'm gonna sneak a little in anyway.)  As for groceries, we're stocked up.  So, the meal plan for this week is going to be to clean out the cabinets.  While I haven't decided on the final order of things, this is what it's looking like...

Crock pot Deer Roast - 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1 envelope onion soup mix
with Real Mashed Potatoes, Corn Pudding, Green Beans, Yeast Rolls

Sausage Gravy & Biscuits with Fried Apples

Chipotle Chili Cornbread Bake

Spaghetti & Garlic Bread with Salad

Tacos & Spanish Rice

ooooo, homemade pizza!

This was the scene here last night before we left with friends to see Courageous and also when we sat down for lunch after church today.  We love Paula Deen's recipe for pizza crust and sauce.  It's become a staple 'round here. 

The thick crust melts in your mouth when applied with garlic butter.  And since I didn't have any pepperoni, I made pig pie - bacon and sausage (kinda forgot I had ham too.)  You won't believe how quick and easy these recipes are and you'll need only minimal ingredients.  You can find more of Paula's great recipes here.

(From her magazine, Cooking with Paula Deen)
Paula Deen's Pizza Sauce
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced (I use a garlic press to make this even easier)
1 - 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 tsp. Italian seasoning

In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until tender. Stir in remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often.

Note:  I make the sauce first so it can be cooling down while the dough is doin' its' thing.  And really, you can't mess this up.  Once again, I was overly confident and dumped 2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning thinking I remembered the recipe, instead of 2 teaspoons and it still tasted fine.  Also, Mr. C likes his pizza with extra sauce, but this recipe makes enough for 2 pizzas, so I always freeze half for another time.

Paula Deen's Pizza Crust
1 - 1/4 oz. envelope Rapid Rise yeast
1 tbsp. sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water (105-115 degrees)
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. olive oil

In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, combine yeast, sugar, and water; let stand for 5 minutes.  In the work bowl of a food processor, (or use a mixer with a dough hook) combine flour and salt.  Pulse several times to combine.  With processor running, slowly add yeast mixture and oil.  Continue running processor until mixture is combined and forms a ball.  On a lightly floured surface, turn dough out and knead for 5 minutes.  Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning to grease top.  Cover, and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, for 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until doubled in size.  Preheat oven to 450°.  On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out into an 18-inch circle (or use a jelly roll pan and make it rectangular.)  Sprinkle a pizza stone evenly with cornmeal. Place dough round on top of stone, folding edges over to form crust. Prick dough with a fork.  Add desired sauce and toppings and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Garlic Butter
6 tbsp. salted butter
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced

In a small bowl, place garlic and butter, microwave until butter is melted.  Serve with crust.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Thriving Family plug

Photo courtesy of Thriving Family

"Date Night Q&A" came from here.  Thriving Family is a Christian marriage and parenting publication from Focus on the Family.  You can get your FREE subscription here.  This is a great magazine ~ not a thick read, so it won't take days to get through it ~ but packed with excellent marriage, parenting and family activities, tips and ideas.  Did ya catch all that?!

There is a little note - if you subscribe online (which is what I did) you'll have to fill out your credit card info, but you will not be charged (I wasn't.) 

Check it out!

i'm sorry

I haven't really known where to start.  See, when I laid everything out, having had such big hopes and dreams, when they all fell down, I didn't quite know how to pick myself up.  What to say.  How to sift through all the pain and put it into words here. 

I've spent a fair amount of time sulking this week.  And no, I'm not proud of the fact.  I'll be the first to tell you, pouting doesn't help at all.  In fact, I felt like I was mentally stuck in a hole of frustration and couldn't get out.  Eventually, I realized I had to quit dwelling on what we didn't have and focus on the things that I was truly thankful for...For a God who reminds me that I am neither forgotten, nor forsaken.  For my husband who is as much in love with me now as the day I met him (and who I think actually enjoyed the game of "Date Night Q&A" on our Valentine's Day dinner.  Try it, it's fun.)  For a daughter who's never too old to have her mama do her hair.  My sweet boy who'd give me all the kisses in the world if I asked.  The exhilarating makeover I've given our bedroom which now makes it a haven instead of a dungeon and the quiet, warm nook in our basement that I adore.

There are little things too...WPER, which keeps my faith alive daily.  My pups and kitten who unconditionally love me every day of the week.  Our delightful feathered flock who run to meet me and then follow wherever I go.  My beloved sewing machine and the blogs in which challenge me to be creative.  See, there are so many things that I overlook every day.  Trivial, they are not.  It all just becomes routine and I forget to stop and smell the roses.  It's moments like these when I must take the time and discern these precious gifts.  I have to refocus.  Readjust the lens and see life for all the good it holds.

{Chapter 2 of our big, big story}
The weatherman says we're finally getting snow this weekend.  Five inches, perhaps.  Normally, I'd be excited.  Slightly.  But I'm not at all.  You see, those opportunities which patiently hung in the balance, they're still there.  They call for him to be on a plane Sunday night and I'm not too keen on all of this - flying and bad weather.  Heck, any traveling and bad weather don't mix.  Honestly, it's making me a little anxious.

If there's one thing I continue to learn over and over (and maybe one day, God, it'll sink in) is to wait patiently.  I have a problem with that.  I don't do it well.  I'm a bit on the anxious side.  While it's always been a problem, anxiety has been toned down quite a bit over the years, but from time to time, it still tiptoes in.  Anyway, I refuse to put it on screen, my excitement.  I don't want to see it there when/if disappoint strikes.  I appreciate you playing the game.  I write.  You read.  We all wait.  BOOM!  Tragedy strikes and I have to recant.  That's the painful part.  I don't mind sharing, not a bit.   It's when I have to regress.  That's when pain stabs deeply.

I don't regret my hope, my faith.  They are true blue.  I Loathe the disappointment.  With a capital L.  So, I'll just say that we're up for another game of opportunity and I'll try not babble on about it.  I'll do my best to keep it away from here.  To hoard it all in my heart, bottle it up and toss it to God like a hot potato.  To let go and let God.  I'll TRY.  No promises.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

busted heart

I'm gonna level with you, this week has been rough.  The feelings of doubt, confusion, and discouragement weighed heavily on me.  It's been too much to decipher and too difficult to type into words.  All I know is that my heart is broken.  Life could be different, so much worse, but right now, this is my bag of troubles.  I've struggled to hand it over to God.  I'm not gonna pretend I'm not screaming out inside, "God, what is your plan?!  Email me the details.  Call me.  Gimme a clue here!  Please."  I know every thing's in His time, but there are days when I'm not so patient, when my faith is weak.  I have unquestionably LOVED this song ever since it came out.  As soon as it was available, I made it #1 on my playlist and unquestionably, it's helping hold me up right now...

(I've turned my playlist off,
but to hear more great music
~like "Hope Now" by Addison Road~
scroll to the bottom and click play.)

Monday, February 13, 2012


Hmm, there's really no good place to start this.

Among numerous other frustrating and totally annoying things going on right now, is the grotesque sound of my dog licking himself behind my chair.

I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Just a few frustrating things:

1)  Dang you, Dave Ramsey!  You've turned my husband into the nerd!  If I knew he wasn't gonna read this, I'd spout of a few more things, but I'll just stop right there.

2)  Opportunity called.  Unfortunately, it's the wrong one it's not the one we've been waiting for.  Instead, this is the one that drug his feet for so long that we thought this was through and done with.  Before, C slightly hesitated.  Then this Op talked the talk, but in the end, didn't walk the walk.  He's the reason we've kept things under wrap this go 'round.  Now, he hears the competition's given Daddy-O a shot, a really nice shot and he immediately calls, like his drawers are on fire wanting Mr. C to get over there pronto amigo.  This is what I'm hearing...

3)  Next, Opportunity #2 (previously #1) is pulling out the big guns, calling for Daddy to ride "the big plane" and be there by Monday?  What the?!  You can't just roll up in here like that!  You can't make demands when you lagged the first time.  No.  Uh uh.  Homey don't play that!  But we are.  And it's putting a bad taste in my mouth.  They better pull out all the stops and make it good!

4)  Op #1 (Did I lose you?  Hang in there for a sec.) hasn't called.  Opportunity #1 are the folks we've been waiting to hear from. They're the ones aforementioned in the last, oh, 10 previous posts or so.  They're a week overdue and they too, are beginnging to push my buttons (as of tonight, because now we're in a pinch.)  That's OK, I told Daddy-O to lay it all on the line.  Be up front, a straight shooter.  Let them know that the phone's ringing and we got company.  They better make their move or lose the game all together.

5)  I don't want to go grocery shopping tomorrow or clean.  I want a mental health day!  (Sounds like that of a toddler wanting to eat twinkies for breakfast instead of oatmeal.)

6)  Come closer, lend me your ear, I'll rant some more...I'm over having animals in the house.  I hate carpet, my vaccuum cleaner and steam cleaning.  I despise paneling, blue bathroom tile, fake olive-colored marble countertops, knotty pine cabinets with ancient black hinges and pulls from 1978.  The boxes sitting in the kitchen are killing me.  Whine, whine, whine!  I'll stop here before I get in over my head.  And really, let's all be honest, that's enough.

You get the point, right?  It's just one of those days.  I got up at 5, baked a cake and prepped the chicken taco soup, went to work, and I'm tired.  At this point, being tired just adds insult to injury.  I don't know if any of this makes a darn bit of sense tonight, but I'm tired and I'm not editting it.  If you have questions, ask.  I'll forewarn you:  This is all just a rant.  I'll be better tomorrow.  Once I get some sleep under my belt.  Promise.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

a little weekend blurb + meal planning

It was an ordinary weekend here.  Minus the 5-minute blizzard, the 17-degree cold, and a chicken-house remodel.  We made it a point to stay home, all of us.  We ended up having some guests for lunch on Saturday.  Then spent the rest of the day cleaning and relaxing.  Yes, it was a good weekend.

Maybe this week will hold answers to the lingering questions that rally 'round our hearts.  I'm completely at peace and I'm patient.  I won't be dwelling on it.  I'll continue to pray and wait for answers, but it will not consume me. 

Never mind that though.  It's Mexican Week at our house - YIPPAY!!  I'm ecstatic to be making some new dishes and some old stand-bys.  Lately, I've been asked how I've been coping with getting dinner ready by 5:30 every. single. night. and feeding 3 more, for a total of 7.  First off, a meal calendar is essential.  I create one for the month and it works extremely well.  Do I ever veer off of it?  Yes, on nights when I'm extremely tired or things are off track, I have easy backups.  The calendar also helps in grocery shopping - I know exactly what I'm getting and I don't go overboard at the store.  Secondly, my work schedule allows for me to get home at a reasonable time and on those nights I use crock pot recipes or quick and easy meals.  Tuesdays and Thursdays, dinner is a little more extensive.  All in all, I haven't  had to add much more in quantity as I can't seem to cook small meals anyway.

While I haven't decided on desserts yet for this week, here's what the meal plan looks like...

Monday - Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup -
                                  changes = chicken broth, no beer;
                                                      1 can diced tomatoes,
                                                      1/2 can diced tomatoes w/green chiles
                                                     fresh cilantro
                                                     1/2 tsp. cumin
                                                     1 garlic clove, pressed
                     Velveeta-Sausage Dip -
                                   additions = 1 can black beans + 1 can corn

Tuesday - Arroz Con Pollo 
- OOOPS!  It's Valentine's Day/Singles Awareness Day, we're going out!

Wednesday Crock Pot Fajitas (deer), Mexican rice, refried beans smothered in Monterey Jack

Thursday - Chicken Enchiladas

Friday - Tacos

My passion is food.  It always has been and while there are many things I love, "To eat and drink and find satisfaction in all your toil - this is the gift of God." ~ Ecclesiastes 5:18

Friday, February 10, 2012

living in the present

There's still no news.  Not even a peep.  An email on Wednesday stated there was still no decision.  For now, I continue to pray, continue to carry out our daily lives, just like any other day.  My excitement is folded and neatly packed away until further notice.  I know there are people praying for us and I know my God is good, no matter what His will is.  We may not understand now, nor ever, but He has a plan even when we're not sure what He's doing.

Tonight, Miss K and I attended a party at a friend's house and it really sank in...this girl is totally growing up on me.  She's slowly quickly becoming a lady.  She loves jewelry and accessorizing, clothes and  shoes.  I loved it that she wanted to spend quality girl time with me, that our friends adore her and she's been everything but legally adopted by two of them.  

K has always been the center of attention, not in an obnoxious way, but a quiet, shy lovable way.  All of her friends fight over who's going to sit beside her and do things with her.  All of our friends want to kidnap her and take her home.  They have plans of where she'll sleep and who'll she'll room with.  It's sweet to see them love on her and I appreciate that she is inspired and encouraged by these wonderful examples of strong, Christian women.  I pray that she soaks all of that in, deep into her bones, engraving it into her heart and saturating her mind.  That in addition to watching us as parents, she would learn from them what it is to be a fervent mother and profoundly, rock-solid in her faith and walk with the Lord.

For now, Miss K thinks of the near future.  She's excited to be hosting a mother-daughter party just before Mother's Day in order to get gifts in before the actual "holiday."  I'm eager too.  It's been a while since we've done a big "just girls" event.  Let the planning begin!  We're also hoping for snow this weekend.  They're calling for flurries tonight and into tomorrow, but snowfall this season has been pitiful at best.  In any case, the kitchen is stocked full of diced tomatoes, black beans and Spanish rice in preparation for "Mexican week".  So bring on the snow, how 'bout a couple feet?!  I know, I know.  Be careful what you wish for.  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

still here

Can I start off by saying, oh, just shoot me, I didn't have a picture for this post, but I love this mug. Love it! My mother hates it, with a passion! ~ snicker ~ Anyway, let's get on with it.

So, no news is good newsRight?  We heard this morning that no decision had been made and my excitement ran out of steam yesterday.  It's dead, slain by the wait peace.  "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."  ~John 14:27.  I am not troubled, yet continually hopeful.  Either way, life must go on.

Last night marked another great Bible study.  My chocolate pies and pig pickin' cake turned out well and everyone commented on their tastiness.  ~ Smile ~  That's always a plus.  Eatin' meetins are the best. 

Our lesson was from Genesis 29 and was on Jacob.  Ol' Jacob, he didn't pray for a wife, but he let his emotions overtake him.  He worked 7 years in return for Rachel's hand in marriage.  Things didn't quite go as planned.  Instead, he was tricked by his father-in-law, Laban and ended up married to the wrong sister, Leah.  (We'll get to that further down.)  So, that led to 7 more years of laboring in order to secure another marriage to his beloved Rachel, the younger sister of Leah.

We talked about how flesh and works are not how we find God's grace.  How faith is the only way.  When we are on "the Christian Path", we all will run into sin and make mistakes, but we must choose grace instead of returning to our worldly self or to use our flesh or works to overcome those feelings of guilt.  Grace begins at our very lowest point.  God sees us exactly as we are, yet he still loves us.  "Since we have been made right with God by our faith, we have peace with God.  This happened through our Lord Jesus Christ, who has brought us into that blessing of God's grace..." ~Romans 5:1-2

These were some of the key verses and high notes...
Psalm 46:7 - "The Lord All-Powerful is with us; the God of Jacob is our defender."  Ya see, God is always there, always with us, when we're doing right and when we're doing wrong.  He under no circumstance recants His promise to never forsake us.  So, when Jacob was making wrong decisions, God never revoked the promises He made to Jacob in the dream:   

  • To give him and his descendants the land on which he was lying.

  • That his descendants would be numerous like the dust of the earth.

  • That all peoples on earth would be blessed through him and his offspring.

  • To watch over him wherever he went.

    The "Sowing and Reaping Principle" - Galatians 6:7-8 reads "Do not be fooled; You cannot cheat God.  People harvest only what they plant."  Eeew, how true is that!  Also, Proverbs 21:30 states "There is no wisdom, understanding, or advice that can succeed against the Lord."  Here we are again, Jacob wasn't relying on his God, he was relying on himself to find a wife.

    "You meant to hurt me, but God turned your evil into good to save the lives of many people, which is being done." ~Genesis 50:20  This is just one of those powerful verses from the Bible that you carry in your heart.  Miss D used it when speaking of poor Leah, the older sister that "had weak eyes" meaning she was more plain and not as beautiful as her sister, Rachel.  Leah's father, Laban schemed up this crazy plan to trick Jacob into marrying Leah.  Back then, the women were heavily veiled, so Jacob probably never saw his bride and the Bible says in Genesis 29:23 "But in the evening he took his daughter Leah and gave her to Jacob, and Jacob lay with her.

    Poor, poor Leah.  She loved Jacob and longed for his affection, but she saw how much more he loved her sister and then in Genesis 29:31, it says, "When the Lord saw that Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah, he made it possible for Leah to have children, but not Rachel."  Leah never deserved what circumstances she was in.  Her father had most likely forced her into the trickery involving Jacob, but just like all people, did she deserve it?  No.  Do people deserve to have medical conditions, physical deformities, or the simple, yet hurtful wrath of others?  No, and it goes back to that verse..."You meant to hurt me, but God turned your evil into good to save the lives of many people, which is being done." ~Genesis 50:20  and this one, "So God will choose the one to whom he decides to show mercy; his choice does not depend on what people want or try to do." Romans 5:16  Wow!  I love this powerful stuff.

    It was a good night to be at Bible study and I missed you D!  I know I haven't gotten back to you yet, but I'm off tomorrow!  I'll squeeze in some time then.  And I can't tell you how much I appreciate your prayers.  Praise God I'm off, it's been another busy 4-day work week.  I know, I know plenty of people work way more than that, but I usually don't and so it throws me off.  Just sayin'!

  • Tuesday, February 7, 2012


    Well, from my post yesterday you can guess, excitement snuck in.  Really, it didn't sneak in.  It kicked the door down and shoved a double barrel shotgun in my face and I put down my baseball bat and surrendered.  I fell hostage to the anxiety that settled in and resided with me all the livelong day.  The same goes for today and I keep telling myself to drop it, let it go, give it a swift kick in the rear cuz this all might be for nothing.  But my hope remains in the Lord.  I know what I want.  And I want it now.  But it's His plan.  In His time.  His perfect time. 

    I was privileged to get off at noon today.  Still not sure if that's a blessing or a curse?  At work, I have to keep my composure it's easy to keep my composure.  Effortless almost.  At home, I have all this time on my hands.  Well, to tell you the truth, I should be baking cake, but I'm not.  To tell you the truth, I am in tears

    I knelt down and prayed, crying out to God that my hope would not come back void.  That my excitement wouldn't be a waste.  That my ever talented, loving husband would suffer no more.  That whatever His will is, we would accept it.  I told Him how fortunate and thankful we have been to have the living arrangement we have and maybe it's time for us to move on.  Maybe, this is His plan. 

    I got a few good minutes of peace out of that conversation with God.  Now, that's all I'm praying for.  His perfect, all-consuming peace.

    this is it

    Today's s'posed to be the day.  Yesterday, I could hardly contain myself.  I sat at my desk, mind racing, trying hard to concentrate on my work, but it wasn't happening.  I waited, waited for the buzz of my phone.  I had played it out in my would buzz, I would look, it would say, "We're going to..., I got it!"  I would text back, "SERIOUS?!"  Then say THANK YOU LORD, silently jump up and down in my cubicle, doing a happy dance and I didn't know if I'd be able to keep it together, to not disturb our entire office, but that's what it looked like in my mind

    By lunch time, it was killing me.  So, I texted, "Anything yet?"  "No" he replied.  Again, I wrote back, "OK, sorry to bother you.  Have a good day!"  Then, a while later, my phone buzzed and my heart sank and I felt slightly light headed as I grabbed it and read, "No bother."  Dang.  And all through the day, I kept checking, to see if some how, some way I'd missed it, the sweet buzz of a phone that held the answer to the next possible season of our lives.

    Painfully, I waited out the rest of the afternoon.  He came home from work and things weren't going so smoothly for me.  I was a mess.  I'd been asked to work the next day, which I cheerfully accepted.  Not a problem.  I'm usually there three days a week and the other two are grocery and house cleaning days.  So, it was going to throw me off a little, but I would cope.  Everything paled in comparison to finding out their decision.  I didn't care where I was or what I was doing, how messed up my schedule would be this week, it all revolved around that one thing.

    My dad, granddad and sometimes my brother eat dinner with us most week nights now.  So I called my dad and enlisted him to pick up something for dinner because a friend and I would be providing refreshments for Bible Study Tuesday night.  Ultimately, my plan was to get my baking done quickly, so I wouldn't be up half the night.  Not cooking dinner meant I could proceed with baking and save time.  Instead, I'd baked a lemon cake from an ancient cookbook and it stuck to the pan!  Oh heavens to Betsy, not now!  On top of that, my dad called later saying he wouldn't be able to pick up dinner, he'd been delayed at work.  And so all my plans were being sucked down the drown.  At one point, I stopped and I said, "God, maybe this evening is not going 'according to plan', but maybe it's because tomorrow will be fantastic."  I yearned for that to be the outcome.

    C came home.  "Any news?,"  I asked.  He'd gotten an email - no decision yet.  That was good, we weren't out of the running.  At 6:30, the phone rang.  I answered and an unfamiliar voice asked to speak to him.  I wondered was this it?  They are an hour behind us.  It could be.  He said hello and that was the end.  It was an old friend and co-worker checking in.  Dang.

    Yesterday was agonizing,  and yet, today holds our fate.  At least for this opportunity.  There are more who hang in the balance, who also wait to hear what today holds.  I've prayed a lot in the last few days.  A lot being more than usual and for things other than the norm.  I haven't prayed for this to happen, but for God to put us where He needs us to be, for His will to be done.  I've prayed for strength to handle whatever answer we receive, but honestly, last night, I prayed that my hope would not be lost and that the Big Man would come through.  I know it was selfish and I admitted that to Him, but I make it a point to not be selfish when I'm praying [under normal circumstances], but again, this isn't a normal circumstance.

    I long to take that leap of faith.  To leave all that's familiar to me.  To venture out.  To follow dreams.  Would I miss this place?  Would I miss everything familiar to me?  Yes.  I've answered those questions here and in my head over and over.  But I know his dreams and I want to follow them.  Wherever they may take us.  And if you're reading this D, you'll be the first to know when the call comes in.  I promise.

    Saturday, February 4, 2012

    how fitting

    I was just picking up as I walked past our quiet little reading/game nook in the basement, I felt drawn to my devotional book.  So, I put down what I was carrying and opened it up to discover this...

    It's All about Perspective

    I am confident I will see the Lord's goodness while I am here
    in the land of the living.  Psalm 27:13

        On any adventure or journey, we will almost always encounter trouble or difficulty, but that doesn't mean we've missed God's will.  In the Chinese language, two characters make up the word crisis.  One character means "danger," and the other means "opportunity."  During the time when our dream or goal is delayed or maybe even looks impossible to accomplish, our perspective is all-important.  We can choose to focus on the difficulties or on the opportunity those difficulties set before us.

        As a woman on a plane buckles her seat belt, she noticed a strange thing:  On one side of the airplane a sunset filled the entire sky with brilliant color.  But out of the window next to her seat, all she could see was a dark, threatening sky.  As the plane began to taxi down the runway, the woman heard a gentle voice within her:  You have noticed the windows.  Your life, too, will contain some happy, beautiful times but also some dark shadows.  Here's a lesson that will save you much heartache and allow you to abide in me with continual peace and joy:  It doesn't matter which window you look through; this plane is still going to California.  So it is in your life.  You have a choice.  You can dwell on the gloomy picture, or you can focus on the bright things and leave the dark, ominous situations to me.  I alone can handle them, anyway.

        If we learn this life lesson, we will be free to live life as the great adventure it is.  No matter what happens, we will be able to remain hopeful and confident in the One who is leading us on this great journey of following Christ and his plan for our lives - CHERI

    Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.
    -Corrie Ten Boom (1892-1983) Holocaust Survivor, Author

    Friday, February 3, 2012

    I wait

    Oh, I just can't handle this waiting.  No, not for opportunities.  No, tonight, I'm just waiting for him to get home.  Yeah, yeah.  I know, he's hardly been gone a day and I'm frantic.  I couldn't stand to come home after work.  So, my little fam and me, we made it a night out on the town.  I picked them up from school, we did a little shopping, ate McDonald's and hit the newest Wal-Mart for a birthday gift.  Wow, life sure is different once you grow up.  Different in a totally awesome, mature adult sorta way.

    And no, it's not Valentine's Day yet, but yes, I bought him balloons, candy and a card.  To say, I'm proud of you, you're more courageous than I could ever imagine being, I miss you soooo much and I love you to the moon and back.  When I'm crazy frantic, I clean.  Like a mad woman.  I have almost spit shined his work room downstairs.  I did a little redecorating, washed clothes and dishes, straightened up, built a fire, vacuumed downstairs.  So, I needed a bite to eat.  This metabolism doesn't ever give me a break.  And I like to blog read while I snack alone.  So, here I sit, having read a bit and feeling anxious.  Cold chill, jittery anxious.  It's the worst.

    Early week promises to give answers as to the opportunity currently on the table.  When I think of how far I've we've come - wow - it's mind-boggling, never woulda thought it.  Never, in a million years would I ever have considered this.  Ask me a few years ago?  I would've balked and told you h-e-double hockey sticks NO!  We're in a different place now.  A different season.  With faith comes unimaginable courage, inconceivable strength. With God, anything is possible.   Anything.   So I stand firmly behind him, supporting this awesome dream and willing to follow wherever our great God leads us.  Our faith is vast.  Is there still room to grow?  Oh heck yeah!  And our children know that no matter where we go, God is always with us.  Always.  

    Would it be easy to leave this familiar life?  Living in the same town for 32 years where change is slow and the pace is unhurried?  Where almost everyone is related "some where down the line"?  And those who aren't kin are friends who become family, lovingly known as "Granny June" or "my cousin, Trey"?  Where the library's been in the same historic building since the the beginning of time and the high school has the "original 1950s-era cafeteria windows" it's always had?  No, it's not a run-down town.  Don't get me wrong, it could use some sprucing up here and there, some new businesses in old buildings would be nice, but its got history.  This little town, it's a jewel.  It's not the kind of place where food is delivered to your doorstep.  Nope.  Instead, you hop in the car, then sit down to eat amongst friends and neighbors.  Where you raise a family, have a big yard, raise chickens just cuz.  The kind of place where your neighbors howling hounds aren't a nuisance, but a welcome sound of the country.  Simply put, no.  No, it would not be easy to leave, but who said life is easy?

    Yes.  This little town, I would miss it, but if this isn't what God has in store for us, well, we'll make new familiar.  Home is not where you live, it's not the building or the town.  Home is from scratch meals made with love, hot chocolate and board games, snuggling up to watch movies, a book at bedtime.  Being together, that's home.  Will it be easy making new friends?  We'll cope, we don't have the same friends that we've always had.  Just like everything else, friends come and go.  How will we adjust to the cooler weather?  God works in mysterious ways and I'm happy to admit that I'm not afraid.  Not a teensy bit.  I love what Paul writes in Romans 5:3, "We also have joy with our troubles, because we know that these troubles produce patience.  And patience produces character, and character produces hope.  And this hope will never disappoint us, because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts..."

    Again, I wait.

    Thursday, February 2, 2012


    For awhile now, I've been asking myself are these thoughts insane?  Completely nuts?  I'll be cooking and they creep in.  My head spins when I think of the all the little details and I put them to bed with prayer.  I know that there's a plan for us much more grande than we could ever imagine.  I just keep wondering, 'Is this it, Lord?  This time?'  Oh, the excitement pounds on my door and I struggle to keep it at bay.

    It's been quite some time since I last asked the questions...1)What is my purpose, my place in this world?  What I am I supposed to be doing with my life?  2)Who am I?  What am I all about?  3)What has made me who I am?  4)And do I really like that person?  5)Are there areas of my life that need change?  Peter writes, "To your faith add goodness, to your goodness, add knowledge. To your knowledge, add self-control. To your self-control, add patience. To your patience, add service for God. To your service to God, add kindness for your brothers and sisters in Christ, and to this kindness, add LOVE." ~2 Peter 1:5-7
    While those questions are complex, I've unearthed countless answers with the help of Bible studies, inspiring leadership and encouraging friends.  From these sessions, I've gained insight and strength.  And while life is continually a work in progress and things don't always go as planned, this journey has, at times, been wearisome, yet worthwhile.  Which leads me to believe that I am neither nuts nor senseless for the notions that I entertain.  I am trusting in Him to lead us, to give us the strength and courage to follow, and endurance to see us through trying times.

    Now, I sit here alone having devoured comfort food, which pacifies me on normal occasions.  Tonight, not so much.  I'm feeling bloated and gross.  T.M.I., I know.  It was like old times this afternoon, him hopping a plane for work while I stay back to hold down the fort.  It should have felt natural.  Yet I sit here forlorn and in fact, the solitude is utterly unnerving.  Any other time, I'd be relishing a new read and content with this time alone.  No, it's not the solitude.  It's the fact that our future sits in the palm of February's hands.  While only God holds our fate, she cradles possibilities and opportunities that leave me feeling edgy.  In the past, I continually shoved the excitement down and oddly enough, I don't feel even a pinch of excitement.  In fact, more than anything, I feel jittery.  Nope, it's not excitement.  It's not fear.  It's not anxiety.  It is restlessness.  I. hate. the. wait. 

    So, to Miss February, could you please get a move on?  This is killing me.  To Mr. God, I'm trying to be patient, really I am.  I hope you'll agree, I've done well thus far.  Is this it?  Is this when you'll reveal your grand plan for this season of our lives?  We're ready.  Is it time to throw your change-up?  Mr. God, that is not a challenge, it is that tiny hint of excitement peering through the crack.  Romans 15:13 - "I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with much joy and peace while you trust in Him.  Then your hope will overflow by the power of the Holy Spirit."  Oh yeah, thanks for the hope and your perfect timing.