Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tree Worm and Ball

No, my title is not names from a Tolkien novel. It is what became of one of the junk trees over the back fence in my backyard. One day it was a fully leafed (is that a word?) tree. It had huge leaves all over it. The next day Don went outside and found this:

A tree completely devoured by this and his pals:
Yummy Tree!

Daisy was not impressed, so she found a tree limb and decided to play (check out the tongue, my lord!)

Then she found this kickball.

Oh Heaven!
O how I love to frolic with my ball

And run....

and run....

Awww, bliss

Wait, what's happening?
Yep, you guessed it. After about 5 minutes of blissful ball playing, the ball sprung a leak. Daisy's teeth punch a few holes in it and it went kaput.

Awww, the life of a puppy owner. I love my silly dog.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Dear God, Help Me to Zip It!

Does anyone remember Dr. Evil and Scottie in the movie Austin Powers? I laugh so hard every time Dr. Evil tells Scottie to "Zip It!" and then Scottie gets soooo frustrated. Well, I've realized recently that God has been trying to get me to Zip It, but I haven't been listening. Anyone have that same problem? I feel like I need to get my word out there because "so and so" needs to hear it. Pahlease, I'm not that important. God has brought this problem to my attention a lot recently. I think He wants us to have a talk about this. We've all been there, haven't we? Someone completely discounts your opinion on a matter or the way you have been cleaning your house your entire life or cooking or wearing your clothes or doing your hair or how you speak and on and on and on. I have been faced with this time and time again in the last few years. Sometimes I just cry because they really hurt my feelings or I get incredibly angry or very frustrated or I just brood about it for a long time and then I finally explode all over my poor husband. Yeah, see, that's one of the big problems with putting myself in such a state - I hurt others around me.

My biggest problem is my mouth at work. I get so frustrated for a variety of reasons (i.e. my coworker never got my important email because she doesn't know how to open the email application or open an attachment), none of which constitute my haughty and rude responses. I think it's ok to say certain things because I'm not saying it to the "offenders" face, just to my coworkers. Ummmmm, yeah, not cool. Or how about this, you know without a doubt how something should be done and if only the company would do it, it would save a bunch of money and things would work better. But no one will listen to you because you're the young one. Talk about frustrating, but not my place to give my two cents. Even though I have done so on occasion, but again, not to the party who offended. So how am I any better than that person? Well, three things happened recently that have brought this issue front and center.

1) Last week I started my new Bible study, Can We Talk? by Priscilla Shirer. The first week is called Fire Starter (ie our words start fires in our lives and others lives that hurt). Yikes! So here are the verses from Day1 and Day 2:

James 3:8-11
8No one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. 9With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; 10from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My breathren, these things ought not be this way. 11Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water?

James 1:19,26 AMP
19Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and slow to get angry. 26If anyone thinks himself to be religious (piously observant of the external duties of his faith) and does not bridle his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person's religious service is worthless (futile, barren).

Matthew 12:34-36, AMP
34You offspring of vipers! How can you speak good things when you are evil (wicked)? for out of the fullness (the overflow, the superabundance) of the hear the mouth speaks. 35The good man from his inner good treasure flings forth good things, and the evil man out of his inner evil storehouse flings forth evil things. 36But I tell you, on the day of judgement men will have to give account for every idle (inoperative, nonworking) word they speak.

Quite convicting, especially since the sentence to begin the week is: Your words revel the truth about your character.

2) Dr. Chuck, my pastor at Broadmoor Baptist Church, gave a very convicting sermon last night. Here are a few points which stuck out to me:
  • To say you love someone and then talk behind their back is hypocrisy.
  • To love someone who is hard to love simply because it's what a Christian is supposed to do is not love.
  • Instead of asking God to change a person so you can love them, we should be asking God to help us love that person as he loves us, despite their imperfections.

His sermon last night and yesterday morning are great to listen to regarding this subject. Check out any of Dr. Chuck's sermons and you will be blessed.

3) Sunday School this week. One of the husbands in our class taught this week and we were in the book of John. We studied John 15:1-8 The Vine and The Branches -1I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit.... After we read this verse we began talking about our mouths at work - do you think God is trying to tell me something? But I realized that I am not the only one with this problem. Men and women alike have the problem, it just manifests itself differently.

So anyway, I'm working on my words reflecting my heart while giving my heart to God and letting him mold it to reflect his Son's.

"Dear God, please help me to 'Zip It'.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Oh the Humanity!!!!!!!

Ok, so I'm about to venture into the world of weightloss. Um, yeah......(crickets chirping).

(I need to insert this disclaimer: I am perfectly ok with my size 6 body - if I never lose weight again, I will happy. So I don't want anyone to read this post to think that body image should be based on your clothes size. It is all about you and what you want for your body and what is healthy. I want to be healthy and baby-ready, that's my purpose - not to make anyone think that their body is not good enough. Thank you, please continue)

Anyhoo. If you know me you'd be like, "What?" Because I am not overweight (really), but none of my clothes fit. NONE. They are either just a bit too small or too big. Their too big cause when my body exploded into the hypothyroidism body that it is today, I panicked and bought clothes that just were ridiculous.

I have to stop right here and give my little rant on hormones...I gained 15 pounds in 1 month because my thyroid decided to be a jerk and stop working. Those of you who feel my pain, give a little shout out. Yeah, it sucks. So I went from a size 4, swimsuit competition-ready body to Squishy (that's my lil nickname for myself now) in ONE MONTH! Did you hear me say ONE MONTH?! Quite a shocker. Oh, and this is the best part...4 months before my wedding!

Not cool, not cool at all. And I could not lose the weight because the doc couldn't get my dosage levels correct. Whatever. But the best part (really) is that I learned I have the best man in the whole wide world (if you are a regular reader you might already know this - I mention it just a bit). He never once made me feel like I wasn't pretty. He loved me for me. (Sigh, Tear).

So I made it through the wedding satisfied with my appearance and completely joyous over my marriage. I settled into newlyweddom and forgot (mostly) about my weight. Then summer came. Thank you swimsuits and 1000 degree weather. I think we should go back to Victorian times when realy women covered themselves from head to toe in the dead of summer. They never had to worry about a spare time. Despite that, I made it through last summer and promised myself that I would be back to my old self by next summer.

Well, here's next summer and guess what - no weightloss, none. This is way harder than I thought. I was under the impression that I could actually make myself work out on a regular basis (Oh how I kid). Um, didn't happen. I am spoiled, I admit it. I'm accostomed to haveing t0 7 years of training for swimsuit competition with an army drill sergeant as my trainer yelling at me for 6 hours a day. Because, I mean, once the cause of the Fear of God is gone - what's my motivation?

The motivation? Never, ever having to see my upper arms wave goodbye. Plus, the Hubs and I would like to become parents some time next year. And did you know you could gain like 50 pounds when you're pregnant? So I figure I need to get a head start because 50 pounds is enough without adding 15 more.

So I am starting WeightWatchers Online today. Mark your calendars. My goal is to be 15 lbs lighter by 01/01/10. Want to join me? Tell me your secrets? Got any good recipes or time saver tips? I am desperate people. You're looking at a diet (sorry, PI, weightloss) virgin. I have no idea what I am doing.

Well, here I go!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Big 3-0

Oh goodness. I turned 30 last month. 30. Now, I'm not one of those people who laments her youth and acts as if I've turned 80. I like being 30. I don't obsess over my hair or makeup, don't worry about what others think (not like in high school), and I don't constantly doubt myself. The thirties bring such a sense of confidence and freedom. In my teens, I was such a basketcase. Always worried over something - especially fitting in. College were those searching years, trying to figure out who I was. Then, my mid and late twenties were mostly about figuring out what I wanted to do with my life (Have I figured that out yet? Hmm I wonder).

Even though I'm 30, I still feel like that 22 year old - just graduated from college with no idea what I want to do. I feel like that was yesterday. Countless pageants and titles, 5 moves in 5 years, 2 grad schools, 1 masters degree, 3 jobs, 15 pounds, and the best husband in the world. Life moves so fast. I think that my 30's will be about savoring the moment, and not trying to rush through to accomplish the next "milestone." I just want to enjoy who I am and where I am.
I'd also like to slow down and make my life about the important things and not about wearing myself out trying to go to as many events and parties as possible.

Here's me turning 30 at my birthday party

Do I like turning 30? I don't know...
Yes, Yes I do, very much thank you.

So, yes, I'm 30, and thank God it's finally here.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bath Time!

I just have to give you all a glimpse into a little thing we like to call "Bath Time." Oh we have so much fun. Don gets to wrestle the Daisy and Bruiser in the tub. I get to clean up the aftermath. It's a good time for all.

Somebody likes bathtime

Somebody does not

Some Kind of Crazy

I did such an injustice for womankind last week, please forgive me. My husband and I spent 4 days digging out and planting a flowerbed in my backyard (not to mention the money invested). It looked so great, I was proud. Then, two weeks ago I came home from choir practice and saw the destruction. Daisy, the yellow lab puppy, thought it would be so much fun to dig in the soft dirt and dug out my entire begonia border.

The Culprit

It was awful! I have never been so mad. I threw my purse in the house and, of course, screamed to Don, "Look what your dog did!!!" Notice the 3 exclamation points and the fact that she's not mine all of a sudden? So, then I hiked up my beautiful Ann Taylor Loft dress, got down on my hands and knees in the destruction once known as a flowerbed, and replanted every begonia. I was outside for 45 minutes. After 15 minutes I started bawling. I mean not just "sniff, sniff, tear, tear"; it was the ugly cry. Red face, running mascara, snot.

Once I finished the reconstruction, I went inside. I was covered in dirt from head to toe. I stood in the doorway of the living room and waited. Don was innocently watching TV. He turned and jumped off the couch. He was horrified at the sight before him. He had no idea I had been replanting the flowerbed. He thought I was so mad I needed time alone. Well, thanks to our wonderful "monthly visitor", I tore into him like never before. I think bats may have been able to hear the high pitched ranting which ensued. After unleashing my rage on my poor husband, I broke down again. He was like, "I'm so sorry, what's wrong now?" Crazy woman replied, "I'm sorry you're sorry. You didn't do anything wrong. I don't know what's wrong with me. You're the best husband ever." I mean, he is a saint. After all of that and a shower and a bowl of ice cream (delivered to me in my comfy chair by the hubby), I turned to my Don and said, "Wow what was that? Crazy, huh?" The saints reply, "I love you." I know - the best man ever.

So anyway, I lost it over some flowers. I gave men everywhere the excuse they need to call all of us insane. But, I also realized the love of my life is the most wonderful man in the world and I could never love anyone else the way I love him.

"Dear God,Thank you for creating Don - a man who loves me despite the person I am."

Amen. Hallelujah.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Caution: Work In Progress

The hubs, the great and wonderful graphic designer, will be working on my header (unbeknowst to him). So please forgive the look, it will be better soon.

To Love the Unsaved

Wow, I stumbled upon this verse today and it just spoke to me:

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which God has called you. Ephesians 1:18, 19

I was saved at the age of 14. Now, I've had my ups and downs, like most of us; but through it all I always knew my Heavenly Father was with me. I may have been defiant at times, but deep down I wanted to and still do want to please him. So that's why, since 14, I've always struggled with the fact that some of my family members are not saved. Sometimes I feel like I've failed in part of my purpose because I haven't just come right out and had "the talk" with these people concerning their salvation. Part of it is fear and part of it is frustration with them. But I have to say, it's given me a heart for the lost to see my family member's struggles. Now don't get me wrong, these people are wonderful and sweet. They pray and believe there is a God, but they haven't surrendered themself to him through his Son (anyone else know what I'm talking about?). But they have given me insight into the lost of this world. Everyone wants to be acknowledged or loved or admired or made to feel special. So they spend their entire lives climbing a corporate ladder, or climbing the social ladder, or buying the big house so they feel a sense of accomplishment (even though they really can't afford the house, the cars, the boat, the 4 wheeler, the spa, the clothes, etc). The sad part is that they feel great when they have these things but when they go away - all of a sudden, "why would a loving God do this to me?" They can never see their role in it all, pursuing a life they were never meant to have and that is so much less than the life God had in store for them.

The other part, is the difficulty in talking to family members from another generation. I mean, they are the one's to teach you, so it's a big slap in the face to some if you try to tell them about Jesus. They take it as if you are telling them they are a bad person. Let me just say this right now, I never have and never will believe that the unsaved are "bad people." They are lost, not bad. Now they may do bad things, but so do Christians. The difference is that Christians have a heavenly Father to run to when they realize the mess they have made of things. Believers still have to face the consequences of their actions, but they have the joy of knowing that they are forgiven - maybe not by anyone on earth, but they are by the One who matters-God. Unbelievers have no hope.

So anyway, it's tough to talk to unsaved family members about their salvation. That's why this verse just touched me today. It says everything I want those people to know: I love you and I pray and yearn for you to have the hope that God wants to give you. Embrace the full life of purpose and joy he has for you. Give your disappointments, hurts, fears, and disillusionments to him - that 's what he wants.

Anyone else struggling with this issue? Let's support each other. Have you faced this trial and overcome? What was the result?

The Great Worship Debate

This weekend my husband and some guests at our home had a very interesting discussion about worship in the modern church. It was basically Hymns vs Praise and Worship. I was completely shocked at how strong a grip some believers have on their hymns. They are absolutely unwilling to let go. Which is perfectly fine, but why bash praise and worship music? I don't have a favorite style of worship music or an opinion that only one style is holy, but this conversation got me to thinking. I was not raised in the church, but saved at the age of 14.
Even then, my parents were not and still are not saved, so I have a completely different perspective on the issue. I've been in churches that only sing hymns, those that only sing praise and worship, those that sing a mix. To expound on that, I've also been to churches which play music in all different styles: southern gospel, rock, gospel (I love me some Yolanda and CeCe!), contemporary, classical. At each place God spoke to me - no matter what the style or form of the music, it didn't matter. It's as if we are saying that the Bible written in Hebrew is more holy than the Bible written in English. God still speaks to other people groups through the Bible written in their language, so what does it matter that it's not the original Hebrew? My opinion is that as long as God is in the inspiration and writing of a song and in the selection and playing of a song, what does it matter the style? God still speaks. I mean, are we saying that God can only speak and work through hymns? My God is big enough to speak through rocks, why not a heavy metal, grunge style praise and worship song?

So this begs the question, if you feel God can only speak through hymns, is that your opinion or God's truth? Are you alienating people from your church because you are saying their worship style is wrong and against God's word? Or are you, in our ever-so-lovely Baptist way, patting them on the shoulder and with a pitiful look in your eyes saying, "Oh darling, you'll understand and feel the same way when you reach my level of spirituality?" If you say you don't mean it that way, sorry, that is how unbelievers and young believers interpret it.

I also wonder, for those clinging to their hymns and absolutely unwilling to believe that God can be worshiped through other styles of music, how are you different from the Pharisees? They clung to tradition and ritual which led them to not hear God...they bucked the new style, Jesus. They bucked Him because He didn't look or sound like what they thought was reverent and holy. Are we doing the same today? Is the style of music used to worship really worth splitting a church over? Why are we letting the Enemy pit us against each other and tear us apart? We should be focused on our LORD and spreading his word to our world. Instead we are focused on styles of worship music? I mean, can anyone else see the silliness of the situation? (As a side note, singing in church on Sunday morning is only one form of worship, are we serving and worshiping Him in otehr ways as well or just so focused on singing that we let those things go to the wayside?)

This is just my opinion, I plan on doing a scripture study on this subject, but I'm just curious about your opinion. Have you been apart of a church that was destroyed from such matters? Do you think I'm completely off base and want to prove me wrong? Let me know. Because I really need someone to tell me how this debate is more important that the Great Commission.

(Note: Listen to Track 10 of Travis Cottrell's Jesus Saves for another's Biblical perspective)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Love of Dogs

I love my dogs. They have brought Don and I great companionship and laughter. They calm you when everything seems to be falling apart and they always know when to cuddle up with you because your sick. But I never understood shedding until I had a lab. A whole lotta shedding. I think my sofa, which used to be brown, is now a very stylish shag blond. Not to mention that I have to empty the vacuum cleaner three times before I finish the living room (ONE ROOM!). Oh and then it's so fun when they get sick. Like this week when Bruiser, the Maltese, comes and wipes his lovely stinking ear infection all over me. Yeah, that's how I found out he had one. I guess he got tired of dragging his ear on the floor so he figured I would notice the infection if he put it all over me. Aww, the joy of "motherhood."

If I have one more person tell me how owning a dog will have me prepared for real parenthood, I think I may scream. Because how many children will pull my gutters off my home just to have fun. Daisy the Lab, thinks it's the funniest thing in the world and she's so proud when she lays the gutter at your feet on the porch. Shock and Awe are not adequate to describe my feelings at that moment.

So, I love my animals, (really, I do) but I don't think I want anymore after these go to be with their Creator (well, maybe if their cute, I might consider it). And Creator, thanks for the many memories.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Water World

Ok, so there are days when I love being a grown up and owning a home and then there are days like yesterday. My hubby and I live in a established and OLD neighborhood. We love our home and our neighborhood, but we hate our old pipes. Yeah, that's right, old pipes. If you had asked me 10 years ago if I would care if my home had old pipes I would have laughed in your face. But oh yeah, I care a whole lot. Since, because we have old pipes, every open drain and toilet in my home overflowed yesterday, several times. And it got on my carpet. I don't even know if the emergency fund can handle this one all on its own. So I'm waiting for D to talk with the plumber and see what he says. Plus, I have to find someone to come and vaccum the water out of my carpet before it turns to mildew. I guess I could look on the bright side...maybe I'll get my hardwood floors. God I love how you answer prayer!