Sunday, February 28, 2010


It's a little rough around the edges.

It's got a few dark spots here and there.

It's a bit withered and weary.

It's not perfect.

But it's still beautiful.

Philippians 3:12-14

12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

in the moment.

{wood violets in my front yard}

It's Saturday. It's raining. It's a great day.

I hope your Saturday is quiet and beautiful...

Friday, February 26, 2010

Libby's 10 things.

Well, she wore me down. She was relentless. She pouted. She sulked. She gave me dirty looks.
So I said, "Fine. Make your own 10 things list...see if I care!"

So she did.

1. Pedicures. There's nothing like having my feet done! All that digging in the dirt wrecks havoc on a girls feet and nails!

2. Apples. I love apples. And I hog them whenever that mean lady that keeps us in this stinky cage all day brings them out to mean us.

3. Freedom. There's nothing quite like being able to relieve myself wherever and whenever I want to. You know you're jealous.

4. Bugs. Oh how I love bugs.

5. Gossip. I am the best at letting the WHOLE neighborhood know what's going on around here.

6. A nice long bath. There's nothing like a pile of dirt and some sunshine to rejuvenate a girl's senses and get her ready for yet another day of it all. *sigh.....*

7. Having my own camera. Oh. Wait. That's right. That mean lady that keeps us in this stinky cage all day didn't GET me my own camera. Whatever.

8. Frantically scratching and pecking at the door to this stinky cage. It makes that mean lady feel bad and let us out. I've heard her say that we are "destructive". Uh huh...we'll see what she has to say about that when her vegetables are growing like gang-busters thanks to my...uh...freedom.

9. Long walks on the beach. Don't ask...don't tell. What happens in California stays in California.

10. Having my photo taken. I am quite photogenic...all my sides are good.

The End.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

10 things...

One of my favorite people in the whole wide world, Sarah over at bee house hives, "tagged" me yesterday to tell 10 simple things that make me happy. Libby was a little annoyed that she wasn't chosen.

But I told her that she needed to be a blogger to play. Upon hearing that she requested use of the computer and her own camera. Chickens...they can be so high maintenance. goes.

grey skies and rain. Friday night. dusk. newborn baby breath on my neck and their wrinkly little frog legs. laughing so hard my eyes water, my stomach hurts and I can't breathe (and maybe even need to cross my legs...just in case!) being taken for a drive by my hubby. geese flying overhead. a handwritten note in the mail. a stack of books from the library and a whole day with nothing to do. fresh brown eggs from my own backyard.
Whew! There. I kept it to 10. But I could go on and on.
Simple pleasures for a simple girl...there are so many.
And if you are reading this...consider yourself TAGGED. If you do play...leave me a comment so I can come and read what makes you happy!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wednesday in the Word.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

A Time for Everything
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

a poem.

Let Everything Happen

Rainer Maria Rilke
God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.
Flare up like flame
and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you:
beauty and terror.
Just keep going.
No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
It brings to mind something else...
Psalm 139:13-16
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
* * * * * * * * * * *
I opened up my email this morning and my sweet friend, Kristin, had sent me this poem. I think it's beautiful. I hope you enjoy it, too. Isn't the first sentence so beautiful?
Can't you just imagine the hand of God creating you...knitting you together...forming you...placing everything just so...making you perfect in His eyes.
And all the while He's speaking to you, to me...whispering to us the truths of life. Whispering to us how much He loves us and how much He'll miss us while we're away.
Whispering to us...asking us not to forget Him.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday, Monday...

Did everyone but me know that it was a 3-day weekend? I had no idea until last night at around 8pm when Seth informed me. Talk about being in my own little world!

These are not my photos...they are some of my Flickr Favorites that I made into a Mosaic. These are fun to make every now and then...especially when one hasn't taken any pictures of her own as of late. Ahem.

My poor camera...she is neglected. Cast aside. Lonely. And because of that...she mocks me. Not really. I just like to say that. It cracks me up. Isn't it nice that I can amuse myself so easily? I think it has something to do with delirium...

* * * * * * * * * * *

So, it's Monday. And my boys are off of school. And I am starting my new work schedule today, officially. I trained a bit last week then got thrown into the fire to fend for myself on Thursday and it was totally fine! I like it. And I'm telling you, the time flies when I'm in that back room ripping boxes open and frantically entering stock into the computer. I get there...clock in...put on my handy-dandy purple apron and next thing I know it is 5 minutes past the time I am supposed to clock out! It's nice. Except that there really isn't enough time to actually receive the entire UPS delivery on a daily basis. Between getting called to the front register to cover for breaks, lunches, bank runs and long's all I can do to receive 10 boxes per shift.
Anyway...enough about boring stock rooms! What has my life come to?! That is the LAST time you will hear about stock rooms on this blog. Stock rooms are not if you only knew the bubble wrap, plastic, cardboard and wasteful packaging I throw away on a daily actually makes me feel a slight bit nauseated. It goes against my recycling nature. Completely.'s how they do it and I've been told to "let it go" and "get over it". So...I will. For now. Until I get settled in and can maybe figure out some way to lessen that waste. I don't know how exactly...but...I'll figure out some small way to make it better.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

One day at a time...right? When I think about everything I've got on my plate...and that every evening this week has something going on...I get so anxious I can hardly breathe. So, what I have to do is focus on the issue at hand. And right now, at this moment, it is getting ready for work. I can't think about school tomorrow night and the chapter that needs to be read in preparation for my quiz. I can't think about Seth's band concert Wednesday night and bible study Thursday night and Seth's traveling game Thursday after school and Ian's practices Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Or the fact that Chris and I are double-booked tonight and Thursday night. I can only think about this morning. And getting ready to go to work today.
One day at a time. One obligation at a time. Focus on what's in front of me and do that as best I can. Then...move on to the next it as best I can and move on. Before I know it I will have made it to the end of my day, having done all that I needed to do, without freaking out or hyperventilating.
What I need to remember is that this situation is temporary. Going back to college is not a lifelong thing (trust me...contrary to my school history...I'm getting it DONE this time!). It is a year and a half out of my life. Once I have my bachelor's degree in my hot little hand I will get a job (hopefully) and then I will only have one thing to focus on. I won't have to focus on work and school. I will just focus on work.
I will still be running around with the boys...but really, that is temporary, too. before I know it they will be grown and gone. And I will long for the days that we ran to meetings and games and concerts and youth groups.
Yes. This is a busy time. But it can be done as long as I keep my head straight and keep things in perspective. And with God's help, I can do that.

Matthew 19:26

Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Helping the environment.

Looks impressive, doesn't it? Cute, reusable bags from a popular and trendy organic food store. Looks like I mean it..and know what I'm doing...doesn't it? Looks like I really care about the world...and the environment. It looks like I am really doing my part...wouldn't you say?
Well, doesn't it help to actually use them? I mean, I use them. I take them with me to the beach..and to baseball games...and when we go out of town to carry our hotel room snacks. But I never, ever, ever remember to take them to the store with me! Ever!
Doesn't that defeat the purpose?
Maybe I need some of those bags that stuff in a little sack that attached to your key ring. Then I'd have no choice but to remember them. Maybe something like this cute pink just screams "eco-friendly" doesn't it? Well, it screams something. Maybe I should consider the green one...or black. No need to be all obnoxious about it!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wednesday in the Word.

We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties. ~Oswald Chambers

Psalm 17:6

6 I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer.

Do you remember my "adopted son" Tim? I shared with you about him here. Well, through a totally unexpected source, I found out that Tim has returned home to Southern California. Did you hear me? He went home. I don't know if he is sober. All I know is that he went home to be closer to his family. And to me, this is a HUGE start. It's also a testimony to the power of prayer. It is PROOF that God answers prayer. He hears our prayers and He answers them.

James 5:15 says...And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up.

I continue to pray that the Lord make Tim well. And that He continue to lift Tim up...up out of the muck and the mire.

And...I thank YOU for joining with me in prayer for Tim. I can't find the scripture...but it's something along the lines of "where two or more are gathered"...basically if there is more than one praying for the same thing, He WILL answer our prayers. Thank you for agreeing with me in prayer for Tim. God answered us. Tim is home. I don't know if he's out of the woods I will continue to pray for him. And I will remember that God DOES answer prayer.
Thank you, God, for listening...for answering...and for taking good care of Tim...and of me.

Monday, February 15, 2010


This is the little corner behind "my chair".
The built-in shelves were here when we moved in. This area once housed a wall heater but when they remodeled this place before we bought it, they installed central heat and air, took out the wall unit and replaced it with these shallow shelves.
Because I'm a knick-knacky kind of girl, I immediately filled them up. Each year they change a bit...something added, something taken away. But for the most part, this is how they've always looked. Framed doilies and watercolors from my mom. Framed photos of my sweet boys when they were 3 and 6. Old jugs that I picked up at a barn sale years ago. A small cross collection. Seth's silhouette from kindergarten. An Eiffel Tower figurine from when mom went to Europe with her girlfriends from high school. And a few other odds and ends.
Can you see the large black case and the large tan case poking up from behind "my chair"? Those are both guitar cases. Chris keeps his music equipment there...because we have nowhere else for him to store it all! The hazards of living in a small house...the living room is the entry is the music room is the storage closet is the...well, you get the idea.
Life is really busy lately. School. Church. Work. Kids. Homework. School projects. Sleep-overs. Cooking. Shopping. Sleeping a little in between. Oh...and I can't forget...the never-ending pile of laundry. It's like clowns piling out of a VW.'s late. And I'm tired. It's time for some sleep. xo

Friday, February 12, 2010

thinking out loud...with *after-thoughts.

It's Friday. And I'm glad. I think I mentioned once or twice or 18 times, Friday is my favorite day of the week.
And even though this weekend is turning out to be a bit busy...I know that I can still enjoy today.
I work at the book store today from 10-1. I was offered a new position earlier in the week! Starting today I am going to be our stores ICS person. And do you know...I don't even know what those letters stand for?!! (That makes me laugh at like me...jump first, check for water later...sheesh)
I do know what I'll be doing, though. Inventory. Shipping and receiving. Keeping the backroom stocked and organized. And I am pretty excited about it.
The good things about this job 8% pay increase. (*Add that up from minimum wage...what is it? Like 4 cents?'s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick as my mama says! Hi Mom!)
Predictable hours!!! THIS one is HUGE. I have been wanting something that I could do while the boys are in school. Something that would allow me to drop off...pick there after school...and this is it. 10-1 Monday through Thursday. Ideal, if you ask me. Especially for my schedule...and my boys' schedules...and my husband's schedule. It's ideal...for us. (*We're still working on how this will work out during the summer...but it'll work out.)
I told them I'd have to leave Friday's open so that I can go to our business and do payroll and payables and such. (*Although, yesterday while at the elementary school there was talk of a 12 week day a week...possibly Fridays. So...we'll see what that's about when the gal calls me.) I will also be able to go to our office after work on some days, if necessary. (*If the Friday thing works out...then I WILL be going to the office after the book store. But a coule of afternoons a week should be enough.)
A lot going on, eh? A little overwhelming? Yep. But...BUT...I know that if I take it all one day at a time...I can do it. I can work a few hours a day. I can get all my office work done in one day a week. I can have plenty of time for my own school work. I can have time to hang with my kids...and cook good dinners...and even some time to do something crafty here and there. I can. It's just going to mean that I need to be a better steward of my time. I'm going to have to make my time count. No more wasting time on the computer. I will not stop blogging...or reading my favorite blogs. I don't consider this a waste of time. I consider this an outlet...a conversation..."me" time. I consider it spending time with friends...even if I've never met some of you in real life!
What I mean by wasting time on the computer is that, once I'm done reading favorite blogs...and sending emails...I'm talking about what I do once I'm done with all of that. And what I do is search and search...and look and look...and click on link after search of...of....what? What more am I looking for? I don't really know. And then...before I know it...too much time has gone by doing nothing. Finding nothing. Learning nothing.
So. No more of that. Yes...I'll click a link now and then if one of YOU has recommended that I do so. But I won't go out searching for...I don't even know what. I will do what I need to do on the computer...then I will log off. And I will pick up a book instead. (Sociology, anyone?) Or a garden planner. Or Mother Earth News. Or hey...maybe I'll gather that pile of fabric and start cutting squares for the quilt I'm going to make! Basically, I need to be more productive. And it's totally doable. As long as I am careful and mindful of my time.
Speaking of which...gotta go!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Busy, busy, busy...

I'm working today at a local elementary school. I am on the sub list for secretarial positions and I got a call the other day to work all day in the front office. So...I accepted it.
Then...a few hours later...I got a call from my manager at the book store asking if I'd be interested in a permanent part-time position doing inventory and receiving 4 days a week...3 hours a day. Umm...yeah! I'm thinking this will work well with the boys' school schedule. MY school schedule. And it will mean a reliable paycheck. Even if it IS a small one! So...I start training for that tomorrow at 10am.
So. Today. Work all day in the front office of an elementary school. Come home...make dinner...then head out to bible study at around 6:30 or so.
Tomorrow. Work from 10-1. Go to the shop to do payroll and banking. Then...pick Ian up from school at 3 and get the weekend started.
In the middle of everything I need to find time to do an "experiment"...more like a "study"...for school and write a 4-6 page paper about it. Rough draft due Tuesday.
Pray for me. It's gonna be a crazy coupla days!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wednesday in the Word.

{set apart}
Psalm 16:1-2
1 Keep me safe, O God,
for in you I take refuge.
2 I said to the LORD, "You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing."
"Apart from you I have no good thing."
Thank you Lord for blessing me with good things.
Thank you for your care...and your protection.
Thank you for this me to make it count.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Random ramblings...

Libby...she's such a camera hog. A few weeks ago I took my camera out back early in the morning to take a picture of the sunrise. As soon as she heard my camera come on she rushed to the chicken wire...awaiting her photo op. She is always the first to come to me when I have my vain, that Libby.

Egg production is rising again. Between the molt being done and the weather warming slightly...we're getting about 2-3 eggs a day again. I want to make a quiche. But if I do...I'll have to eat the whole thing by myself because my family doesn't care for quiche. Does quiche freeze well? I'll have to do a search on that. If it does then maybe I can make several small quiches...freeze them...and then eat them for lunches. Hmmm...has anyone ever frozen quiche?
Ian is staying home from school today. He told me last night that he wasn't feeling well...stuffy nose, headache, etc. Then this morning he got up early for his shower...and afterward told me he still wasn't feeling well. So...back to bed he went with a cozy comforter, a pile of pillows and a good book. We'll call it a sick day. We all need one every now and then.
So...with Ian sick...I think I will: (bullet-points anyone?)

  • make a dent in the laundry.
  • Review my chapter in preparation for tonight's quiz and make sure I have a sharpened #2 pencil!
  • clean floors
  • dust...again...always...
  • make chili in the crock pot...rainy day, school night, perfect
  • download photos onto the computer...not sure how many I have on the camera...or what they're even of..!

On that note...I think I'll start with a shower. That's a good place to start...thank you FlyLady!

Monday, February 8, 2010

That was Fast...get it?

{earl grey with milk and the best honey I've ever tasted...thank you beegirl.}
Well, it's been a week. And the Fast is over. I can't believe it's been a week already! I went a whole week with no caffeine. No coffee. No diet soda. No sugar. No bread. I survived on quesadillas and soup and salad and avocados. Not a bad way to fast, I'll have to admit. I wasn't starving, that's for sure. would have been nice to have some toast with peanut butter and honey. Or a bagel and cream cheese. Both are very quick to whip up...which is nice when you are hungry. It would have been really nice to have some sourdough with that spinach dip I served for yesterday's football food. But...I didn't. Instead I had some whole grain pita chips. And it was fine.
So...I'm not real sure what to think at this point. I'm not sure...yet...that this fast was as spiritual as I thought it was supposed to be. I was expecting more spiritual enlightenment. And maybe...if I weren't so hyper-focused on might have been? I know that it was enlightening in that I didn't realize I was dependent on soda. I know that I used to be. But I thought I was over it. I thought I had a handle on the soda consumption. comparison to how I used to be, I do have a handle on it. But, it's also got a handle on me. So I need to be aware.
A friend of mine fasted at the beginning of the year. She did the Daniel Fast to a tee. And she said she asked God the whole time for a word...for truth...for an awakening. And all three weeks...nothing. But then the following weekend, as she was out on her run, God just poured into her new and amazing things. So...I'm not losing hope. It's not too late. It's NEVER too late.

But. Today. Today the fast is over. And yes, I am enjoying a cup of coffee. A cup and a half actually. And it's good. But I'm not as relieved as I thought I would be to have it. Which is good. I am glad that I won't get a headache at around 11am though...I won't miss that. I plan on having a diet soda with lunch today. I wonder if it will taste so delicious...or if it will taste like chemicals? I'll let you know...
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
So what's going on today? I'm headed to the shop...and to lunch with my hubby. I'll do some paperwork and pay some bills...get some tax stuff ready. Then head home this do nothing this evening except make some dinner and read my homework text.
This week will be a bit tomorrow night. A meeting Wednesday night. Bible study Thursday night. Oh...and subbing at one of the local elementary schools on Thursday in their front office. I've subbed there once before and it was a great experience. The people are really nice. It's a nice way to spend a day while making about a hundred dollars. It would be nice if I could sub once a week or so while going to school...just for some grocery money.
And...I'm a little bummed about the Super Bowl. I wanted the Colts to win. I have liked the Colts since Tony Dungy was coach. And I like Peyton Manning. I'm not a big football kind of gal. But...I don't mind it. It's comforting to have it on in the background. I guess because my dad always watched football when I was growing up. So there's something about that sound that let's me know I'm safe. That all is well.
Time to start the day...xo

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Gray Saturday...and a good find.

{my little boys...about 10 years ago...this picture hangs on the side of the fridge...I miss those days..}
It's Saturday...and rainy...and gray...and lazy! Ian has been playing video games all day. Seth has been laying on the couch...or on his bed...or on MY bed...all day. He did get up first thing and go for a physical and then some conditioning for baseball. But since then? He's been down. And I am letting him. His days are long...Chris drops him off at school at 6:40 on his way to the shop. He goes to school all day...then straight to practice after school...and then home around 5:30 or so. That's an 11 hour day! So I figure if he wants to relax...he should.
Chris has been going like crazy too. He ended up taking a nap today! He rarely I figure he must have needed it.
And me? I've done some laundry. Run to the store. Stopped at the thrift shop. And then to the used book store. And...guess what I found? One of the exact books I've been looking for!! What are the chances of that? I've had this book on my Wishlist for months! I first found it at the library and loved it. Eventually I had to return it...but then I checked it out again a month or so later and still have it! But now...I can return it because I have my own! And the best was $4!All of the books are half price so it was marked at $7.50. And since I have store credit from bags of books I've taken there in the past...I only had to pay half of that! $3.75 plus tax. It made my DAY!
Oh! You probably want to know what book I'm talking about, eh? This one...1001 Natural Remedies. Its contents are Natural Health Remedies, Natural Beauty, Natural House and Garden and Natural Pet Care. It talks about Natural Medicines and gives a list of items that the author considers to be "indispensable for a basic natural medicine chest." Things like Chamomile, Echinacea, Epsom salts, Ginger, Sea Salt, and Tea Tree Oil.
1001 Natural Remedies has something for everything from acne to water retention. How about making your own facial scrub using oats, yogurt and honey..? Or maybe you want to make your own deodorant. Bring on the witch hazel and your favorite essential oil. Need to remove toilet rings? As easy as Borax, lemon juice and a pumice stick.
I am so excited. I can't even believe that I found it...considering it was on the bottom shelf, behind a big box of books. So how I saw it is beyond me. It was like finding a needle in a haystack. I'm so excited!

Friday, February 5, 2010's Friday!

Friday is my favorite day of the week. Love it. Especially the Friday night part. The end of a busy week...the hope of a long weekend...maybe pizza and a movie or two. Friday...the best day.

{Taken in the reflection of the old church window last week...say cheese!}

It's raining. And I think its supposed to rain all weekend. Tomorrow at least. Not sure about Sunday...but a rainy Saturday with nothing to do makes me happy. It means I can putter around the house. One of my favorite things to do.

I didn't end up going to the office yesterday. Chris ended up heading out of town on a job so I just ran my errands and then visited a friend. That means I have to do all of my business stuff today. And that means a full day at the office.

I have to say, I feel really blessed to be able to work with my husband. Being together and running the business together...working together...and yes, fighting at times...has been really good for our marriage. And when I think about being able to see him during the to him whenever I lunch together...I realize that I am really fortunate to be able to see my husband so much. Not every wife gets to. Not every wife wants to. But I like it. I like his company. And I'm pretty sure he likes mine!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Day 4:

Breakfast: Quesadilla on whole wheat tortilla with refried beans and a sprinkling of cheese. Ice water.

Lunch: Potatoes sauteed in olive oil and a bit of butter and a small salad. Ice water.

Snack: a cup of tea and a small bowl of potato salad at my friend's house.

Dinner: Whole wheat pasta with pesto and olive oil and a salad. Ice water.

Snack: a clementine.

Thoughts: Day 4 was better. I missed my diet Coke...but I didn't cry about it. (I don't think I cried about the diet Coke...I cried at the frustration that I needed it...a real eye opener.) I call that progress. Being on this fast has made me think a little harder about what I actually put in my mouth. From the frozen chocolate chip I pop in my mouth without a second thought to licking the peanut butter and jelly off of the knife while preparing Ian's lunch. No... I don't think these things are bad. All things in moderation, right? I'm just saying I am aware...which is a good thing. They say you're not supposed to do a fast to lose weight. And I totally agree. But I'm just wondering if my awareness...and some of the new menu ideas I've learned...might lead to a bit of weight loss as a by-product? Because during this fast I've eaten more salad...and so has Chris by default. I've eaten whole wheat tortillas and pasta...and liked it. I've cut meat out of my diet...which is fine. I'm not a big meat eater anyway. But I do like it. And I have no thoughts of becoming a vegetarian. None at all. Again, all things in moderation. I have cut out most dairy...and I am missing it. I love milk. I love cheese. Again, in moderation. But it is a healthy part of my diet. As far as bread? I won't say that I miss bread, per se. But I miss the convenience of it. A quick piece of toast with peanut English muffin with butter...a mini bagel with cream cheese...very convenient. And quick. I do miss that.

All in all, Day 4 was much easier. I still wanted a diet Coke. And last night I did tell Chris, "Babe, on Monday, you are taking me out to lunch!" I don't usually demand things...but hey...lack of caffeine does that to a girl. So we're going to go to Murillo' of our favorite Mexican food places. We're going to get our favorite lunch specials...and a big, fat, diet Coke! So bad...I know. But I can't help it!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Where did the week go?

I can't believe it's Thursday! Since starting school I feel like my week goes from Tuesday to Tuesday. I wonder what I'm going to do when I start taking TWO classes!? Yikes.

I haven't been to the office yet this week so today is the day. I've got to do banking, bookkeeping, lunch...and then a few errands. Like a stop at the store. We're out of toilet paper! How long has it's been since you've run out of toilet paper? I never run out of toilet paper!

It's gray and dreary out...perfect weather in my opinion. And it's supposed to rain this weekend...which really makes me happy. I can't wait. Not sure what's going on for the weekend...other than my nephew spending the night and a football game on Sunday. Other than that...I'm thinking we've got nothing going on. How nice is that?
Hmmm...why do I feel like I'm forgetting something? I'll have to think about that.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Fasting - Day 3:
Breakfast: Quesadilla on whole wheat tortilla with refried beans and a sprinkling of cheese, applesauce with cinnamon, juice.
Lunch: Quesadilla on whole wheat tortilla with refried beans and a sprinkling of cheese, salad, ice water and a clementine.
Snack: dried fruit and nuts.
Dinner: Quesadilla on whole wheat tortilla with sauteed mushrooms, onions, red pepper and spinach with a sprinkling of cheese, ice water.
Snack: a clementine.
Thoughts: I'm feeling better today. I started feeling more myself yesterday about halfway through my shift at the book store. My friend/boss always makes a bank run in the afternoon...and she always brings us coffee from S-buck's. But...yesterday...I declined the offer. She looked at me like I was crazy...but didn't question. Later, we were talking about something else, and fasting came up so I told her. She said, "Why didn't you TELL me? I'd have gone to Jamba Juice instead!" Isn't she sweet? She is so nice...and so cool. We have a lot of fun working together. is Day 4 and I am feeling better. I still really want a diet Coke...but I'm not weepy about it. Thank goodness...! I felt like such a wimp! I was really trying to prepare to have good healthy food for this...and I gathered up a lot of variety...but I'm finding myself eating the same things. As you can see from yesterday's menu! Quesadillas...all day. But they were good. And they were healthy. And they were filling. So...I had one for breakfast today, too!
I am making some modifications to the diet because I believe that the main thing I'm supposed to be fasting from is caffeine...mainly the soda. So I'm still eating healthy. And I'm not eating sweets. I'm adding in small amounts of dairy. And it's OK. This is obviously not a strict Daniel Fast. But I am using it as a guideline. And before I add anything I pray and I ask God if it's OK. And He is quick to answer. So as long as I am obedient...and don't drink's all good!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wednesday in the Word.

Psalm 139:23
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
You may have noticed that I share a lot of scripture relating to anxiety. As a matter of fact, I am pretty sure I've shared Psalm 139 with you least once! Anxiety is something I deal with on an almost daily basis. It came on full force about 9 years ago. I woke up one Monday morning unable to stand up straight because my back hurt so badly. I called in sick to work...I was an aide in a special ed classroom at the time. I stayed home...took it easy...and hoped I'd be better by the next day. Well, I woke up Tuesday and I still couldn't stand up straight. So I called in sick again. And I stayed home. I don't know why...or what happened...but that night, I just sort of lost it. I couldn't think straight. I couldn't stop crying. I couldn't breathe right. And all I could hear was ringing in my ears. I didn't know it at the time...but I later learned I was having a full-blown anxiety attack.
I ended up calling in sick for the rest of the week. I could barely function. I was so terrified to leave the house. It took everything I had to get Seth to school each day. Finally, on Friday, I couldn't' take it anymore. And I ended up in the office of our women's pastor. I walked into the church office...immediately began to cry (something I'd been doing ALL WEEK)...and fell into her office.
After talking and crying..a lot...she gave me one of the most useful spiritual tools I've ever been given. She explained to me that anxiety was an attack of the enemy on my mind...on my thoughts. And that when these thoughts started to enter my mind I needed to say six simple words..."In Jesus' name, I rebuke you." She explained to me that anything I ask of God, in the name of Jesus, shall be done. So when I rebuked the the name of Jesus...he had to flee. HAD to. And the amazing part? He did. Immediately.
At the beginning of my learning to deal with anxiety, he would return shortly thereafter...hoping I'd forgotten how to use my spiritual tool. But as time went on...and I had more and more faith in God and His perfect care of rebukes became more effective.
I still deal with anxiety...almost every day. Sometimes it's just a little nervous flutter in my gut. Sometimes it's a little stronger and I am shaky and unable to get full, deep breaths. Sometimes I'm nervous about a certain situation. And sometimes an attack comes on from out of nowhere...for seemingly no reason at all. The important thing is that now I am able to realize what's happening. I usually feel them coming on. Sometimes they sneak up on me. But they no longer prevent me from leaving the house. Now, when I feel an attack hit, I pray and then I speak it out...I tell Chris, "Honey, I'm feeling anxious for some reason." Then we'll talk about it for a minute...I take a few good, deep breaths...and then move through it. Many times, just speaking it out...telling someone...makes it lose it's power and loose its grip.
You may wonder why I never chose to get on medication for it. I don't like medication. My that medication, while very helpful for some, is too readily prescribed. I didn't want to be reliant on a pill. And I don't think God wanted me reliant on a pill either. He wanted me reliant on HIM. So...that's how I chose to deal with anxiety. I understand it's different for everyone. But I also understand that God is a BIG God...He's bigger than anxiety...He's bigger than depression...He's bigger than cancer...and He's certainly bigger than a pill.
Again, this is ONLY my OPINION. An opinion based on what God has done for ME. I am not condemning anyone for taking pills. But I do believe that for some...they're not necessary if we would just learn how to deal with the symptoms and the triggers using Godly tools, rather than masking them.
The bottom line is, God is good. And He loves us. ANd wants the best for us. He knows our hearts and our anxious thoughts. He wants us to be mind and body. He wants us to lean into trust rely on Him. And these trials we go through...these tests...are allowed as a way of strengthening us and drawing us nearer to Him. Not nearer to a pill. At least that's how I see it...
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Some Thoughts of Fasting on Day 3:
First of all, I want to thank all of you for your comments, for your support, for your encouragement, and for your helpful advice during this fast. You are all amazing...and I'm glad you are there for me. On a not so positive note...and I'll just give you a warning...some grumbling is about to ensue. SO...walk on by if you don't want to hear honesty that includes much whining.
I know this is not what a fast is about. I'm supposed to be focusing on the Lord...and listening for His voice...and I am. I'm just also a bit distracted. Luckily, He is very patient with me...thank goodness.
It's Day 3 and I still have a headache. I've decided, I am not good at fasting. I feel like a failure. And apparently, according to what I've read, discouragement is common when one is fasting. From what I've read, it will pass. I hope it passes soon..because it's getting on my nerves. I'M getting on my nerves! I cried in the shower today...CRIED. Partly, because I want a diet Coke. But mostly because I am being so pathetic about the stuff!! Get a GRIP, girl!! And I just want to say that I hope you realize, those of you reading this, that I am writing this honestly. I pray that it is not a deterrent should you choose to do a fast. I recommend it. Obviously, it is VERY enlightening. I just don't like it.
That last sentence just made me laugh...I wonder if God is laughing at me, too? Maybe with me? Let's hope...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I just got home from school...

...and I got a B on my first quiz. Lame. I'm so irritated. I really wanted an A. It's open book for crying out loud. top it off...? I missed two True or False questions...and I KNEW that they were True, yet I marked them with an F! What is THAT all about? Lame.
So...I'm a little disappointed. But I'll live. And hopefully I did better on tonight's quiz...hopefully. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the next week. And my toes.
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Day 2:
Breakfast: leftover baked potato, cubed and sauteed in olive oil with sliced red pepper, garlic, salt and pepper and a small bowl of unsweetened apple sauce with cinnamon.
Lunch: Homemade vegetable soup, 1/4 cup cottage cheese and ice water.
Snack: dried fruit and nuts and a clementine.
Dinner: Half of a quesadilla on whole wheat tortilla with refried beans and a sprinkling of cheese, cup of vegetable soup and ice water.
Snack: dried fruit and nuts.
Thoughts: You may notice that I added a small amount of dairy to the mix. About halfway through my day I realized that what I really need to be fasting is caffeine. I realized I don't necessarily need to be doing the Daniel Fast. Honestly, when I found out we were going to be doing a week-long corporate fast I just decided on my own that this is the one I'd do. But what I'm finding is that the real issue...for this fast, my reliance on caffeine. It is pathetic how badly I am missing diet soda. Seriously. I almost cried today when talking to Chris about it! I know part of that was being tired. I stayed up too late too many nights in a row...which makes me weepy anyway. But still! Get a grip, girl!
Anyway...I will continue the Daniel Fast since I started it...but be prepared to see a few modifications in the menu. It may be closer to the Daniel Diet. (And if you're interested you can do a search to see the difference between the two because I am too darn tired to go into it!) You may see small amounts of dairy here and there...and maybe a glass of juice or two. What you WON'T see? Coffee. Or Diet Coke.
On a physical note...the headache was less today. And the fatigue was less, also. I was still a bit foggy...but more myself. Thank goodness.
On a rebellious note...I am telling myself that I can't wait until this week is up so I can drink a big ol' glass of diet Coke. Let's hope that tomorrow I can start the process of focusing on God rather than on a drink. Pathetic...I'm telling ya...if nothing else, this makes you realize how weak you are. And how...demanding our bodies can be. And I guess this shouldn't surprise me...being an addictive type and all.
OK...the eyelids are drooping. Time to call it a day...and pray that tomorrow, things continue to improve. Night...xoxo

Behind the scenes...

Tuesday. Everyone is off at their respective destinations...the boys are at school, Chris is at the shop, and I am here, at home...fumbling through my thoughts.

{remnants of a photo shoot}

It's cold out today...and the heater is humming. I love that sound. One of my favorite times of the year is that first time I turn the heater on...when winter is finally here. There's that sound of the heavy furnace generating warm air and the smell of dust and whatever else burning off after a long hot summer of rest. It lets me breathe a sigh of relief.
Today is Day 2 of The Daniel Fast. And thanks to your participation in my Poll, I've decided to share it all here with you. I'll post about it least as time allows. And I will write about it at the end of my posts so that anyone who isn't interested in the play by play of a fast can just skim right over it and go about their day.
I will continue posting as usual...aboutItalic life and whatnot. Life does not stop just because one is fasting. That's part of the move through it. Life goes on...and because I'm chatty, I will keep on talking about it!

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Isaiah 58:6 "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?

Day 1:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with butter and craisins, half of an apple with natural peanut butter. (Note to self: when not adding sugar to oatmeal, do NOT salt the water. Salt is used to enhance flavor...but when there is nothing there to enhance, it's just plain salty. Ick. I only ate about half of my oatmeal and gave the rest to the chickens. Also, too...get crunchy apples.)

Lunch: Leftover stir fried vegetables and brown rice. (Everything was mushy so I ended up eating a small baked potato instead!)

Dinner: Sauteed portobello mushroom with garlic and parsley, small baked potato, tossed salad, ice water.

Snack: dried fruit and nuts.

Thoughts: Day 1 was kind of rough, I have to say. Not having caffeine affected me more than I thought it would. Typically I have two or three cups of coffee in the morning. And I really felt the affects of not having it. I had a headache, which is typical of fasting as you are ridding your body of toxins. But I also got extremely tired around 11 or so and had to lie down for about 20 minutes. Not a big deal. But I don't normally do that, so I felt lazy. I also didn't have any diet soda. And I have to say, this was the hardest part of the fast so far. I can handle no meat. I can handle no bread or sugar. But no soda? No coffee? Rough. What this tells me is that I need to pay attention to my reliance on these things. Is having coffee in the morning necessary? Or is it now just a habit?

Something I'm noticing is that I find myself thinking more about the discomfort...hunger pains, headache, unmet cravings...than I am thinking about the reasons I am doing the fast in the first place. I imagine this is normal. But each time I have a thought of discouragement...or irritation...I try to turn it into a prayer. I try to focus in on God rather than what I want. Which is basically what this all boils down to...fleshly desires? Or obedience to God?
Fleshly desires...I am realizing that I do not deprive myself of...anything. If I want something, I have it. Want a piece of candy? I eat it. Want a glass of soda? I drink it. And all without a second thought. I need to consider this...and pay attention.
I am feeling a bit foggy. I just feel a little off. Probably the lack of caffeine. And maybe lack of protein. (Note to self: add beans to today's lunch) So I'm hoping that I do OK at class tonight and that I am able to focus clear enough for my weekly quiz. I'm also hoping that I can stay alert during lecture. All FOUR HOURS OF IT.
As you can see from yesterday's menu, I am not starving. I am eating good food. It's tasty. It's filling. It's pretty healthy. The only difference is what I am not having. So my goal today is to think on what I DO have and not what I don't. And to think on good things. Like the rain that just began to fall....thank you, Lord.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Day 1.

It's Monday. February 1st. Already. And it's the first day of my Daniel Fast.
I always prepare our coffee the night before. Last night, I only put together enough for Chris. This morning, I am drinking water instead. And it's good...and ice cold. And I'm thankful for ice water...and water in general. I take it for granted.
So, some of you have expressed an interest in hearing about the fast as I go along. I created a Poll in the side column for you to vote on how much I talk about it. Do you want to know what I eat? How I prepare it? Scriptures that come to mind? Do you want to know it all? Or just a little. Go take the Poll...let me know what you think!
I took the picture last week when I visited the little church that Chris and I got married in. It's in the middle of an old, beautiful cemetery. Some of the headstones date back to the late 1700's. It's amazing. I love it there. It's not too far from me...maybe a 10 minute drive. Not bad. The picture is of the inside of the church, as seen through the window. So it's also got the reflection of the landscape. Kinda fun.