Sunday, November 22, 2015

My Nose is on Fire

Long, long ago in a far away place...we used to use VHS tape to record events.  We'd use those tapes, and then tape from the copy of the tape.  Basically, you'd see the quality of the recording go down with each generation of copies.  Yes, it was a loooong time ago.

I remember one time I sat down to watch a Christmas Extravaganza that the music department had worked hard at presenting.  When you direct something like that, you don't get the whole picture - so I sat down (by myself) to watch the taped results of months of work and rehearsal and sweat and prayer.

You know what I remember about that tape?  Every time the camera was focused on my face, my nose looked like a flame was coming out of the tip of it.  My nose looked like a Bic lighter.  That's all I remember - large nose - fire coming out of said nose!  The quality of the repeated copying had made this phenomenon happen.  Super great.  Don't remember a single song - just that my nose was on FIRE.

I was reminded of this a couple of weeks ago when a dermatologist took what turned out to be a wart (what?) off of my nose.  She then decided to cauterize it.  I opened my eyes up and saw smoke coming from my nose.  Oh yay.   So weird.

What could I possibly learn from these two experiences????

Well, one is pretty big.  Stay close to the original.  The further we get from the original, the more chance that what we are seeing and believing is not real.  I watch people get further away from the simplicity and very power of the cross.  The simplicity of Jesus is powerful. but I watch people being drawn to things 6 degrees away from Jesus that sound much more exciting and prestigious and even spiritual than...Him.

The second experience reminded me that fire is necessary for healing at times.  Maybe I'll attack that thought at another time...

For now -
Jesus said - - -I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me. 
– John 14:6
Jesus said - - - forgive and you will be forgiven.
– Luke 6:37
Jesus said - - - “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves 
and take up their cross and follow me. 
- Matt. 16:24

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Toilet Paper Gratitude

I've traveled to places where there were stores, but no food on the shelves.

I've been honored to eat unwashed strawberries with dirt visible on them - it was the best that that family had to offer a guest.  I ate them with joy, even though I knew my system would deal with parasites for weeks after returning home.  

I've watched flies enjoy the food before we did at a picnic with abandoned children.  The food favorite was bread with meat grease spread on it.  Not a ice chest in sight.  

As we start the month of November - a month given to gratefulness - I have a vivid picture of the first time we went to Romania.  Things changed as the years went by, but the FIRST time we went - the toilet paper was so rough it had splinters of wood in it.  It was (dab don't rub) rough....and that was in the hotel we stayed at for awhile!  I took home a roll of that toilet paper to help my perspective stay in check.  

I'm a Costco toilet paper purchaser.  (I don't like to run out.)  Even at Costco, I stand and compare - deciding between namebrand and Kirkland - softer or larger roll.  Really?   

I have a challenge for you.  Will you deny yourself something - every day of November?  Not to lose weight and look better.  Simply to say "no" to your flesh and "yes" to gratefulness.  I am aware that it is a weird request - but as I write this, I really sense that the Holy Spirit will reveal to you what those 'deny yourself' moments will look like.  

Matt. 16:24 - Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me."

"When a person doesn't have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity. 
 A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude."
~Elie Wiesel

Thursday, October 15, 2015

I Love Lucy ❤️ - The Fat Fight is ON...

We've been going to (what is considered a large) gym in our town for about ten months.  The size seemed intimidating to me, my pre-conceived ideas of what the people would be like wasn't a draw, and even how to dress to fit in added to my reluctance.

But - one day after officiating at yet another funeral - DW and I marched into the 'club' - wearing our 'we were just at a formal funeral' attire - and committed - to something, anything that seemed sane and physically wise.  Sometimes funerals motivate a person.

I've treadmilled and weight machined and even been given direction from a trainer for a little while.  Then,  I decided to try joining a class - a Zumba class.  I'm trying new ways of exercise because I know I need it.

Going by myself to a class that I have no backround in felt intimidating.

The fact that I got flipped-off in an unique way by a lady in the parking lot didn't ease my anxiety. She was aimed to turn right but evidently really planned to turn left.  I was in the way.  Bummer.

I walked in - slid my membership card  through the scanner and tried to find out where the class was being held.  Someone actually kind of walked me there while they talked about personal stuff with someone else who joined us as we walked.  Suddenly she  She pointed the way and went off with her friend.  Hmmmm....

Now I wait outside the room with some women who look great in leggings.  Bummer.

The class leader asks if there are any new people - I raise my hand.  She tells me she will POINT in the direction or the body part we are to pay the most attention to.  Nothing verbal.  Ok then.  ("Run, Forest, Run" came to my mind.)  I stood in the back of the class trying to see what she was doing, figuring it out...just when she moved on to the next move.  There were some bellydancing moves in there somewhere.  Seemed to be some salsa.  (What I know about salsa always involves chips.)

(Side note:  My parents felt strongly that dancing led to beer or becoming pregnant.  They took me out of dance class at school in the 4th grade.  They would have taken me out of the Hokey Pokey if they knew how close to dancing that really was.  I have NO dance experience.  None.  Zip.)

I completed the hour long class.  No, I don't know if I'm going back.  We'll see.

(Please click on the 'Watch on YouTube' access for the short video available at the top of this blog!)

The whole thing reminded me of what it must be like for someone who wants to gain ground spiritually and decides to come to our church. It seems big.  What are the people who go there really like?   Does someone flip THEM off in the parking lot if things don't go well out there?  Please say, no.  Do people who are comfortable at our church look like they actually want the new person to come and experience what has been life changing for themselves?

Do we give just enough hints as to what is going on that a person ALMOST feels like they can follow along before we change and do the next new thing?

Does ANYONE say, "Please - come back.  Try again.  Things won't always feel so weird.  It's new, but it's great.  I love to come."  Does anyone say things like that?

I'll probably hear about the unholiness of zumba exercise - well, actually Dennis will hear about my unholiness, BUT - it has been a great visual for me.  If you want to gain ground with Jesus, I want you to know how proud I am of you and the steps you are taking.  I know those steps are sometimes hard or intimidating - and the newness makes you wonder if you'll ever 'get it'.  You will.  You will get it because Jesus is calling YOU.  He's calling you to freedom.  And, you are not alone on this journey.

I'm trying the "Group Centergy" class next - "grow longer and stronger".  :-D  I'll let you know how that goes!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Thank you...

Thank you to every woman in my life that has showed me the faithfulness of God, and has been faithful in the hardest of circumstances.

Thank you to every woman who has smile lines, and kind eyes.

Thank you to every woman who has trusted me with their story, and allowed me the honor of praying with them.

Thank you to every woman who has been through h-e-double toothpicks, kept going - finding a strength and joy and richness on the other side - and been willing to share their journey.

Thank you to every woman who has gifted me with a belly laugh -  or "I can't breath, my face hurts, my diaphragm is cramped" laughter time together.

Thank you to every woman who has trusted me with their tears.

Thank you to every woman who has SHOWED me what, "be strong in the LORD and the power of His Might" actually looks like.

Thank you to every woman who lives -  "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness."  You know who you are.

Every day, I have been embracing what I am grateful for.  I started to try to write out names of people, and decided to do it this way - with categories - with how much I've seen Jesus in people - with gratefulness for those who have shared their hearts, their pain, their joys, their journey with me.

Thank you.

Monday, August 31, 2015

My bloomers surprised me

When we came home from our road trip I noticed that a plant I had (from my dad's funeral) looked to be in pitiful condition.  Plants don't last long in our home - I always apologize to plants and goldfish given to us because my track record with them is really, really not good.

I am currently in a "let's get rid of things" mode, so when I looked at this plant I thought it's time had come.  I cut off the dead leaves and watered it and kept it only because there was no more room in the garbage can.

It perked up.

And to my amazement it actually has 2 "blooms" on it this week.  It hasn't had "blooms" since my mom died (after my dad died).  It has 2 blooms from out of nowhere...just pointing upward...randomly.  For no obvious reason.

Truth is, I've watched many a plant die in my house.  My past experience was definitely influencing my anticipation of that plant's future success.

This got my attention.  It's a picture of things/people I've prayed for ... for a long time without seeing any "blooms" yet.  Am I close to saying, "DONE PRAYING  -  still NO BLOOMS"?  It reminded me that there is SO much that I can't see that's going on (with most of life).  My job is to stay faithful and obedient and hope-filled.  The Life-Giver's job is to make things bloom.

Let us not become weary in doing good, 
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
(Galatians 6:9 NIV)

This is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 
For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long, but they will produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever! So we don’t look at the trouble we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NLT)

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Can You Hear Me Now?

Voices are pretty interesting to  me.  They represent something that you just can't get from the written message - like an email or a text.  But, if I really know someone well, I can hear their voice in my head while I read their message.

Our friend, Stan, used to leave messages on our voice mail.  I kept them all because they made me laugh due to his sense of humor, or cry because of his heart for God and for us.  He's Home now - no more messages.  And, some freak thing happened at some point (with electricity and our voice mail) that resulted in the loss of all of our saved messages.  Bummer.  But, I recently received a video that was made of him, right before he went Home.  It's weird, but good, to hear his voice.

Our friend, Gaylon, also had a crazy sense of humor, heart for God, and heart for us.  I got to go over to he and Sally's home one evening to sing songs of worship.  After we sang, Gaylon started talking - with a wavering voice that did not match his state police, bomb squad, doctorate spirit - he talked.  About how much God loves us.  And then HE prayed for US.  I quietly scooted my phone close to him and recorded his voice in one minute bites so I could keep his voice.  He went Home a couple of weeks later.

We were on a raft during the early part of this year, seeking out whales.  They were plentiful.  At one point the naturalist who was leading the group put a microphone in the water so we could hear the song of the whales....whales we couldn't see....whales who had a specific song they sang over and over...whales who shouldn't be able to sing because they have no vocal chords and can't breath through their mouths.  Those whales had a song.  It was amazing.

I've been asked a bunch of times, "How do you hear God's voice?"

My first answer to that question is always, "You LISTEN."  You say to Him, "I'm listening for You."  You don't hope the He yells loud enough so you can hear Him over everything else.  You quiet your heart, declare the treasure that hearing His voice would be, and then listen.  Will it match His written message (Scripture) - yes.  Will it stand when you ask someone else who is a Listener, "Does this sound like something God would say?" - yes.  The more you're with Him, the easier it is to recognize His voice.

There are few things that I will quarentee, but this is one of them.....God really loves to talk to you.  He IS talking to you.  (Like that naturalist putting the microphone in the water for us, you might need help from someone who knows His voice and His heart.  Don't be afraid to ask someone to help you, pray with you, pray for you.)  It's time.

Psalm 91:15 ESV
When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble;
 I will rescue him and honor him.

John 10:27 ESV 
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

Jeremiah 33:3
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Don't get mad at glitter...

The coolest thing happened a few moments ago....
               ok - maybe not the COOLEST - but pretty cool...

The sun is shining through these high windows we have in the family room and for a few minutes I saw glitter on something made of wood.  Why is the cool, you ask?  Because it means that grandkids have been here!  We did stuff with glitter and it's hard to get all the glitter gathered after a project.

The gentle reminder of the presence of our grands.  Smile.  Smile.  Smile.  They don't live close, so every visit is a treat.

There's some green spray paint on the floor of the garage from a "make your own foos-ball" project.  Smile.

Gentle evidence of their presence.

Evidence of the presence of God is not always a loud shout, a mighty wind, or a pillar of fire.  Sometimes it's gentle or quiet...or just.....there.

This is where I learn the most about the treasure of "abiding".  I will always be one to ask for the loud shout that I can hear clearly - but I am currently learning more about learning to hear the Whisper.

Today we went to a memorial service for a baby who lived on earth for 3 days.

This week we have a service for someone who lived into the 70+ of years - who's life was closely entwined with Dennis'.

Last week, when baby Ezariah breathed his last breath here, and LeRoy breathed his last breath here, another young man (a family member with a huge, huge heart - in his 30's) breathed his last breath here.

When my personality longs for loud shouted answers from heaven, my heart is (reluctantly) learning to abide and know He is here - He was THERE in all those moments.  It might be as gentle as my teeny tiny speck of glitter in the sunlight - but I KNOW that He is and was there in each last breath.

I look from the glitter to a newly framed picture of Dennis and his hunting buddies (LeRoy being one of those),  and ask myself...will I get lost in the loss?

Glitter can remind me that the kids aren't close enough to hug, it can remind me that life can be messy (in so many ways), or it can bring a smile because of the good moments it brings to mind.

I can get frustrated because God doesn't answer me the way I want Him to, or I can say...Your Presence in any way, shape or form is enough.

Psalm 73:28  
But for me it is good to be near God; 
I have made the Lord God my refuge, 
that I may tell of all your works.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Hammock Ninja Warrior

Galatians 6:9
Let us not become weary in doing good, 
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Hammocks are...weird.  Fun, but weird.  It sounds so romantic - "let's go read in that hammock out there."  Whatever.  First I get on, then DW gets on which means I either roll (somewhat violently) toward him or roll off the edge of the really fun looking hammock.  (Is that even how you spell "hammock"?)  

Next, we try to balance so we can read.  Did I mention that I had a Diet DP sitting on the grass that I wanted to drink every once in awhile?  Or, that DW likes to SWING the hammock if we are feeling at all stablized?  

The fact that we got a selfie while still on the hammock is pretty great.  (Yes, I enjoy small victories!)

Maybe your tired of me talking about looking for the good....being surprised by small blessings....being intentional and grateful for even the smallest gift.  

It's part of my way of fighting back.  I WILL NOT give up.  I WILL NOT give in.  I WILL NOT quit the battle.  And, part of winning that battle is joy.  I see, feel, and am surrounded by sorrow - but I will not give up my joy.  I will not.  

It's easier to get (& stay) on a hammock by myself, but it's more of a joyful experience to try to share that hammock with DW.  Sometimes those joy moments take some work, but they are worth it. 

The enemy hates joy, so we will pursue it!  Let's pursue it together. 

This is what happens if you put a bar of Ivory soap in the microwave.  
Just thought you'd like to know - - - :-)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Boogers and Bellybuttons...

Two of our grandkids stayed with us for a couple of weeks.
So much fun.
So much energy.  (Them - not me! No problem reaching my 10,000 step goal everyday.)
So much laughter.
So many "moments".

What a gift.
But I did learn some things...

1.  Kids are super honest
2.  Kids remember a lot
3.  Boogers don't bother them as much as they do me
4.  The singing bellybutton man looks better when they do it than when I do it
     (and no, I will not explain what that is to you)
5.  Kids ask hard questions
6.  I want to do everything perfectly for and with them, just like I did with our kids
7.  No one is perfect

After a few days it became apparent that I needed to help the kids center in on good things.  For every  negative thing they said about someone or something, they had to come up with five positive things.  Sometimes they had to really think about it - but, they couldn't go back to playing until they came up with five genuinely good things.

It changed our conversations.  It changed our focus.  It was good.

I need to remember how much it changed things, because sometimes I remember the negative more than the positive. Sometimes I don't take the time to really, intentionally concentrate on the positive.

We passed this tree when we went on a jetboat trip.  In this tree is a bald eagle.  It's on a limb on the left side of the top of the middle tree.  You have to know where to look - and you have to look with intent or you will miss something very cool in the middle of the ordinary.

Be an intentional "blesser" - an intentional seeker of the good.  I'm not talking about denial, I'm talking about what you meditate on, what you allow to take root in your heart and impact your mood and attitude the most.  

"Whatever is true, whatever is honest, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good report - if there be any virture - if there be any praise - THINK ON THESE THINGS."  Phil. 4:8

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I don't honk...usually

I think there are "honking" people and non-"honking" people.  I am among the non-"honkers".  Honking rates right up there with the one finger salute to me (unless a life is at stake).

"Honkers" want you to know what they think of your driving - I prefer to talk about your driving in the quiet of my car.   (No, I don't get honked at very often...)

But the other day a weird thing happened.  I was on my way to an exercise class (no, that's not the weird thing), driving down our road.  I saw a neighbor out walking...with her the leash like it's accustomed to doing...but she was looking and talking to something across the street.  I slowed down in case there was something exciting I didn't want to miss.  She something... and I don't know exactly what happened, but my elbow slipped and honked the horn.  I don't know if it involved a 'wave back' reflex or what, but there is was.  I honked.  Right next to a person.  Bummer.

Then, I saw it.  A small little dog was right in front of my car.  IT was what she had been talking to and waving at.  IT was coming to greet her dog, but was so small and dark it blended into the black top.  It stopped because I honked.  I stopped because I honked.  I've heard of Jesus 'taking the wheel', but not Jesus 'honk the horn'.   The neighbor who owned THAT dog came out and got her, waved his thanks and went back home.  The other neighblor waved at me to get going.  Life moves on, I guess.

Life would not have been good at our house if I ran over a dog.  Really.  Honestly.  Not good.  I pray for dogs who are in trouble in movies - even after Dennis reminds me that it's a MOO-VEE.

I made it to the exercise class late, only to find that it's led by a new teacher and involves new positions - many (it seems) are named after animals.  We have a dog that goes down a lot, something about a cow and a cat.  There was a mountain at one point - and - my fav - the flying squirrel (which is evidently different than the superman exercise - some discussion about that).

Here's my deal today.  For all the things I wish were going differently right now, there are tons of things that have happened for my good (and the good of those I'm praying for) that I don't know and won't know until heaven.  The protection, the divine appointments, the preparation for future divine appointments.  The pouring out from heaven - just out of His love for us - that we don't really see or understand.

I want to live each day with an anticipation...of Him.  I want to live each day with a gratitude that it's not up to me and my limited understanding - He's HUGE, His perspective is HUGE, His love is HUGE, His purposes for us are HUGE.

How my elbow slipped and honked I'll never know - but, yay!  I will say, "yes, please", and "thank you, thank you, thank you" to all that He is and all that He wants and all that He has planned....even if it involves doing things in a way that I am not used to.

Evidently, I am now a "honker".  But, I still will not look into the cars of on-coming traffic to see if I know the drivers.  I just won't.  You should be glad that I stay focused, and not be ticked that I didn't wave at you when you drove by.  Really.

Praying that you see the blessing in your moments...
with love....

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Holy Spirit by Francesca Battistelli Lyric Video

We'll be doing this song this coming Sunday...  I've not had a song come to me from so very many different people like has happened with this song.  It's time...

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Things that rhyme with fifty-nine~

What rhymes with fifty-nine??????

mighty fine   blood line   benign   divine  
              align    intertwine    shine    a sign   unique design
                                    foul line   front line   goal line   finish line
                                                  recline    draw the line   redefine  streamline
                                                           shoreline      shoreline      shoreline     


 I am trying to find something fun about turning 59....59....59
 There has got to be something fun about this.

 I have gifted friends who I'm sure will be of GREAT help on FaceBook.

Although fun doesn't seem to be my theme this year, there are some things that are solid - things represented by the words you read at the start of this blog.  Truth.  Miracles.  A call to redefine and deeply abide.  Nope, not "fun", but Rock stuff that is a push back to ANYTHING the enemy has intended for harm.

Ok - so  -  here's what I know...

"And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns."  Phil. 1:6

" 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised."  Rom. 4:20-21

"13 I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD."    Psalm 27:13-14

P.S.  I really wanted to include "porcupine" in the words that rhyme with fifty-nine.  Can't seem to stay mature for very long..... :-)


Sunday, March 1, 2015

I wonder...

I wonder...

Am I like my mom?

Why does my chin hair grow so fast but my eyelashes don't?

Is it okay to wish that patience wasn't so important?

Do they make toilet seat covers differently these days?  It seems like I have to punch out the middle part more deliberately than I use to.

Is the skin on my fingers really loose?  My grandson said it was - there's a lot of "loose" on my body these days, but my finger skin?   Really?

Why do people break their promises?

Is it normal to stash cash in my underwear drawer?  I found some cash there that I don't remember hiding.  It was a nice surprise - like finding $5 in your coat pocket but....huh.     (Of course I can't do that anymore since I've now announced it here on my VERY popular blog.   All three of you now know that there MIGHT be some cash in my underwear drawer!)

Why does it bug me so much if someone blows their nose onto the ground, but it doesn't bother me to blow the contents of my nose onto a tissue and keep it in my coat pocket for several days?

Does it mean something if you send an occasional text to the wrong person?  (Like a text you meant for your husband but it went to the person who actually texted you last.  Ugh.)

I know you're expecting me to wrap this up with an ah-ha moment and great scripture.  Not gonna happen.

Just wondering....

Oh, ok - here's a scripture....Psalms 139:14 - "Thank you for making me so complex!..."  Dennis will love that - he likes to tell me how "complex" I am.  :-)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Brown is the new orange...

Just want to check in and report that orange spray tan DOES EVENTUALLY fade.  When last we 'talked', I had just tried my first spray tan because my whiteness can be scary on many levels.  Okay - my first premise might be a bit imaginary but - I think cellulite looks better with a tan on it.  There.  I said it.

The orange glow was only present on my hands and feet - the rest of me was reasonable.  I scrubbed my hands in a variety of creative ways to some success of fade.  But, my feet....oh my feet.  After our flight landed in Maui I took off my shoes, whipped out my flip flops from my backpack, and rolled up my pants that can magically turn into capris.  Oh my stars.  I discovered there is an advantage to fog.  My feet looked orange in GP, but in the Hawaiian sun light they looked just crazy.  Dennis' parting comment (in between laughing episodes) was to point out the stripes (which were below the leopard-like spots on the back of one leg).  When Dennis laughs hard it scares me a little.  He turns red, his eyes tear up, and no sound really comes out.

I waited outside the rent-a-car place for what felt like forever....looking at my feet....finally turning my pants back down to their longest coverage.  Ugh.

Fortunately (?) it rained a lot the first few days we were there.  We still walked on the beach whether it was raining or not.  That is good news for orange feet because sand is a wonderful exfoliate!

Why oh why do I share this with you?  Because.

Because it's not a bad idea to not take everything so seriously.  It's much more fun to relax, and laugh till you cry and can't hardly catch your breath.  And you know what?  We have that choice.

Hang in there with me - - - (this is longer than I usually write)

When you remember your day, what stands out?  The wonder?  The delight?  The good?  Or - the hard, negative, disappointing things?

Let me demonstrate...

We went to an official Luau (with several hundred of our fellow tourists).  In recounting this experience do I tell you that the guy sitting across from me didn't come to the table until most of the meal was finished because he was in the bathroom (and his friends kept talking about him throwing up)?  Do I tell you about sitting at the table that was furthest away from the stage on the side - almost behind the action?  Or, do I tell you that the water was gorgeous - beeeautiful sunset - graceful hula people - and we were the first table to get to go eat?

Whales were abundant and I am a whale lover.  I love that action.  We went out on a raft to get as close as we could.  It was a RAFT.  One man was super upset because he had to sit on the rubber side.  (There were a few seats in the middle of the raft but it was small.)  He wanted to be on the big boat with 1,000 other people...and seats and rails, etc.  It made the start of our adventure a little stinky (and delayed), but what I want to remember is the whale watching.  The baby whale that kept jumping out of the water and kind of spinning - like 15 times.  The graceful action of seeing the tail as a whale went under.  The sound of the whale's song.  The naturalist said that they sing their song without vocal chords or being able to breath through their mouths.  THEY don't know what the song means, but I know.  ALL CREATION SINGS PRAISE.  The different voices singing at the same time brought tears to my eyes.  It makes me cry as I write.  I recorded it.  I want to remember that God creates beauty - the majority of which we do not see or notice or understand - it's wonder-filled to me.

So my challenge for us is to choose what we allow ourselves to meditate on.  Not in denial, but rather a choice to be grateful and not lose the joy and the wonder in life.

Luau - obviously didn't want to pay a pro to take a pic!  Ha.

Webber gourmet lunch.  Nothing beats a sandy sandwich....
(Also, checking to see if DW reads my blog!  Teach him for laughing at my 'tan'!  :-)


Romans 15:13
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by 
the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." 

Proverbs 17:22
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Psalm 33:21
"For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name." 

Romans 14:17
"For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of 
righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." 

Rev. 5:13
And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Spray Tan Debacle

There are many things in life that don't go the way the directions suggest they will.

In preparation for a break time we are looking forward to, I decided to try spray tanning.  The white of my legs could scare small children and it seemed like an easy fix.  A fix that lots of people take advantage of.  You know, all those Olympic ice skaters and such.  I can do this.

I didn't want to have a real person.....spray me.  Somehow asking them to close their eyes didn't seem wise.  So the answer was this automated spraying deal.  It talks to you from the moment you step in the room.  Let me describe how this goes down...

You are directed to put protective lotion on your hands and feet - which I did liberally.  Then you step into the time travel machine and wave your hand to indicate to the machine that you are ready.  There are numbers on the floor.  You can see those numbers clearly when the time machine isn't filled with fog but once the fog starts spraying it's kind of interesting.

The sprayer goes up and down, gently misting the color on.  It's meant for people of all heights, so it continues up as if I was 6' 3"  instead of 5' 3" - causing the mist to keep falling from on high until that cycle ends and it starts misting downward.

You change positions by putting your feet on different numbers as directed.


Now, step out and wait for the applied fog to dry before putting on your clothes.  Wait.....wait....wait....

The real person at the front desk gives firm advice not to get wet in any way for the next 6 hours.  It's pouring down rain outside.  POURING.  I have an umbrella - probably the largest one we own.  I made it through the rain but getting IN the car with the door closed is another story.  It rains on the inside of the door. In my rush, I close the door on my wet umbrella which sprays water all over me.  Oh yay.  Really?

But again, my thoughts go to looking like the Olympic ice skaters and even slightly on those body builders that are always so tan.  I THINK that's my subconscious expectation.  In just a few hours, I'll look like that!

Well, by this morning I HAVE changed colors.  But evidently, the lotion that's suppose to repel the tanning spray actually attracts it in my case.  ANY WHERE I put the lotion is darker than where I did not put the protective lotion.  My feet and hands are glowing with color.  No - really - GLOWING.  Oh yay!

I share this for a couple of reason.  One, it's just funny and so true to how things go in my world.

But also,  in so many ways it reminds me that we love shortcuts.  What's the quickest way to get my desired result - physically, emotionally, spiritually.  I'm thinking the shortcut way will always end up biting you in the backside in some way.  Relationships grow because we invest in them, strength grows because we exercise, knowing God's heart and voice increases because we spend time with Him.  Period.  The "spray tan" version of anything that is important will  - not  - last.  It might feel good for a moment - but it looks and feels shallow and even fake.

So, I will go to church tomorrow.  Do I wish I wasn't leading worship from the piano with my glowing brown/orange hands?  Yep.  Oh well.  Man looks on the outside, God looks on the heart.  Sigh......:-)

Friday, January 23, 2015

I am not Mother Teresa

I want to be like Mother Teresa - today I am not so much.

But you know what encourages me?  Scriptures that have words like, "line upon line, precept upon precept"...  or ..."His mercies are new every morning, great is His faithfulness"....   Scriptures that give permission for process.  It's really not about perfection, it's about the journey.

Romans 14:4 - Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

"For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway."  ~Mother Teresa

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Why I'm married and still smiling...

This week will mark our 39th anniversary.  Yep, crazy.

Things about our "us"-ness that makes me smile...

A couple of weeks ago Dennis decided to teach about truths found in the song, "Hark the Herald Angels Sing".  That's fine.  They were good truths brought out of the FIVE verses of the "Hark"song.  He wanted me to sing the entire song at the end of the sermon.  I have a thing about Christmas carols and Easter songs....I always mess them up when I play them.  It's a psych thing, I'm sure, but it's what happens.  I almost made it through the song.  It was the last verse that got me, and my hands basically played the chords to another song while I sang the final "Hark" verse.  He closed in prayer and turned around and started laughing at/with me.  He knows I give it my best shot but sometimes...

I smile cuz he eats whatever I cook - for the most part.  He does get super excited when we get invited to eat at someone else's house.  Hmmmm....  Someone keeps sending me cooking magazines.  When we get to heaven, I better not find it it was him!

I smile cuz he doesn't make me go hunting with him or eat the meat that he loves so much.

I smile cuz he gets my love of technology and tech gadgets, even though he's not drawn to it.

I smile cuz time has not worn down his passion, his resolve, his desire to be absolutely obedient to God no matter the cost.  If anything his passion, resolve and desire for God has intensified.  His life has been threatened, his motive has been questioned, our house has been violated more than once, I have heard people tell him to his face that they want to destroy him  - and yet he pursues what God asks him to pursue.  He is not bitter, he still looks for the most vulnerable in any situation and tries to defend them, he believes and teaches the Word, he's not perfect - but all of this (about him) makes me smile and very grateful.

There's so much more that comes to my mind that makes me smile - but for now - I love that we're coming up on 39 years together and I love that we are still smiling.