Saturday, June 30, 2007

What Happens in Children's Ministry Stays in Children's Ministry

P&S and I had a blast "reenacting" Civil War times this weekend for the elementary kids at church. We were the Southern Belles (although we called P&S Little Bo Peep most of the time!).


In a mere 14 days we will be moving from my "dream house" into something that is not exactly what I ever dreamed about, but I'm excited anyway.

Except that it is in the "country".

I don't really "do" country (I'm not as bad as Zsa Zsa, but think Green Acres). I have started laying awake at night worried about snakes and rabid raccoons and all sorts of things I just know lurk on my little 2.10 acres that I will soon call home. Now technically, we don't have a barn or a farm or anything like that, but we also don't have street lamps and sidewalks so that's the country, right?

Now, don't get me wrong, I would hardly say we're downsizing, it's just that I'm going to be like 20-25 minutes away from Wal-mart for heavens sake! Yes, I know. That could be a good thing.

Thankfully, the inside of the house is great because the outside is a faded tan rectangle. No need to use your imagination, just picture a faded tan rectangle on a 2 acre hill with wilderness and wildlife roaming about.

And, a jacuzzi tub in the master bathroom.

Oh,'s all going to be ok.......

Friday, June 29, 2007

I'm Not Always So Random

You may think I just randomly choose the music on my playlist. Nope. Whatever the current song on the top of the list really expresses what I'm feeling that particular day.

For example:

I don't want to be a flame....I want to be a raging fire......

What does it take to go from a flame to a raging fire? Is it safe? What are the consequences? That's what I've been thinking about this week. Here is what I figured I need to work on to achieve this.

1. Taking my thoughts captive and having the mind of Christ. Garbage (sin) and Christ can't dwell in the same space. Do you ever come across someone who just pushes your buttons or rubs you the wrong way? Yeah, God is dealing with me on that. He keeps reminding me that they are made in His image. Enough said.

2. Compassion. That's what moves me from wanting to do the right thing to actually DOING the right thing.

3. Time. I would have to say that Jesus was a raging fire when He walked the earth as a man. Maybe if I spend more time seeking after God that part of Him will rub off on me, too. Sort of like when I'm around someone with a Southern accent....pretty soon I find myself with a bit of a drawl and saying y'all.

So, there you have it. Probably more of an explanation then you really cared to know about my top songs! I'm finding out that being a raging fire isn't always safe, but if God is in it we can change our world for the better. If He's not, it's just destructive.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

My oh My, Look What the Mailman Brought Me

Oh my word!

Did ya ever get a letter in the mail that you weren't expecting from your birth father who you haven't spoken to in at least 5 years because you just don't know where he fits in your current life letting you know he's praying for you and is sorry he wasn't there for you growing up?

I did!

Nice guy, nice wife, nice daughters.....really. But, I did not meet them until I was in my 20's and every time we talked or we visited I ....

1. ....felt like I was cheating on my dad who adopted me when him and my mom got married before I turned 2. Unfortunately, they divorced my senior year in high school.....but, he'll always be my dad and I love him a ton.

2. ....didn't know how we fit into each other's lives. As my kids got older I didn't really know how to explain who they were and the few times I was around him and his family, it felt so awkward.

So, I did the seemingly immature thing and just lost touch with them. It was not a conscious decision, it just sort of happened. I'm seriously not bitter or traumatized, I'm just .......not interested? I guess? This is starting to sound so cold and calloused....really, I can't explain myself! Part of it is being so busy I can barely keep in touch with any of our family members, both near and far!

I have to respond to his letter and I don't want to hurt his feelings. I have prayed about it and I really do not feel convicted about not having a relationship with him. He is a believer, so that's good. He's just not my "dad" and there is no point in being his "friend". It is just allllllll so awkward!!

Can someone please call Dr. Phil for me??

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Some Good Reads

One of the reasons I love summer, besides the obvious reason, is because I have a little extra time to read just for FUN.

Here are the books you will currently find in my library bag....

Mending Places, Saving Grace, and Finding Faith- a series by Denise Hunter
Jury's out on these...liked the story lines A LOT about forgiveness, but the books themselves were a little too soap operaish for me (spare me the gory kissing details, and he had that "look" of desire in his eyes, etc....yuck....other than that they were pretty good).

Reunion (Book 5 in the Redemption series) - Karen Kingsbury (just finished this one last night, bawling) I read this series out of order, this one should have been first, but I read the Firstborn series's that for a confusing sentence?

Skin - Ted Dekker

Straight Talk on Decorating - Lynette Jennings ('cause I need all the help I can get!)

The Martyr's Song - Ted Dekker (this may possibly be a little too intense for me, we'll see)

And, I just got a call that the new Karen Kingsbury series book (Sunrise? I think it's called) is on hold at the library for me. Love Karen Kingsbury. Love her.

What's in your book bag this summer?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Adventures of the Emergency Room

We had a very interesting weekend, besides our mission from God. #2 had a lot of pain in her little girl parts and we ended up taking her to a small local hospital where she was diagnosed with her 3rd urinary tract infection. I thought by avoiding the 2 major hospitals in our area it would be a pretty quick trip.


We were the only people in the waiting room and still waited about 45 minutes to go back to our room, where as you can see from the picture we had a lovely time of silliness waiting for the doctor. Our doctor was quite an interesting cookie, he came in the room after reviewing her "test results" (translated her 6 drops of pee we managed to get into a cup, AFTER she peed on my hand) and said it appears she has WHVABCLMNOP. And, then he smiled at me condescendingly while I just stared at him to see if he would start laughing.

He didn't.

Sooooooo, even after he explained what that meant I still didn't know what he was talking about, but you better believe I nodded my head like I understood everything he was saying.

"Ahh, yes, the WHVABCLMNOP can be treated with Bactrum, but her cleavical abdominal urinarial thinger-ma-bobby may have a kink in it that is causing ohmygoodnessalotofpain to occur in her lower right quadrant."

Or, something like that.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

You Want Me To Do What? (Part 2)

Go here for Part One of this story.

..........We introduced ourselves and I told them we went to church with their friend (who, thankfully, had visited earlier that day and told them we might be coming). We told them we had been praying for them and then they said.....

"The prayers must be working because this has been her best day. They are removing some of her tubes and she is sitting up and talking".

OH MY WORD times 100!!!!

The doctors have been telling her parents that they didn't know what was wrong with her so they cut her open the length of her body and she needed 4 surgeries to sew her back together because the infection had caused so much swelling. Then she got a septic infection (no idea what exactly that is, just that it is bad). She wasn't conscious or breathing on her own and the doctors told them she wasn't going to make it. They had no idea what was causing it and she's been in the hospital for 2 weeks.

And, then people prayed.

So, I could give you more details, but they openly shared what they've been going through, how it has affected their family emotionally (her twin is almost in denial, perhaps in fear that it will happen to her also). She has a long path to full recovery, but she will probably be moved out of ICU tomorrow...PRAISE THE LORD!

We shared some scripture with them and then asked if we could pray with them. The four of us bowed our heads and I have never felt so much a part of God's miraculous will as I did in that moment. I will remember this night for the rest of my life. They were very grateful that we came and after hugs and a few more words of encouragement I cried tears of joy as we walked to the elevator and they returned to sit by their daughter's bed. Her mom said she wanted to jump in bed with her and snuggle up close and that about broke my heart all over again.

It wasn't because I am fearless or a "Super Christian" wasn't even about me. But, God healing this girl and allowing us the honor of witnessing it did change me. I don't want to give up or get distracted by things that will make no difference tomorrow. I've fallen victim to that....we call it "surviving". And, that's not good enough for me anymore!

We must continue to pray for this family that God will finish the good work He has begun and they will not live in fear of it ever happening again.

I also remembered to give my kids lots of lovin' because we just never know what tomorrow will bring and I don't want to miss an opportunity to let them know how special they each are.

You Want Me To Do What?

I hesitate to post this story, because this wasn't anything we want any credit for, but it is so wonderful that I have to share it. I don't for one second want to try and get a pat on the back, because this was the work of the Holy Spirit.....

This morning at church someone had a "word of knowledge" about a person with an infection. There were others "words" given, and then we, as members of the congregation, were asked to pray for the people that needed healing for these things.

First of all, I just love that about our don't need a title to pray for someone, if you love the Lord and believe He can heal people, you can ask Him!

So, I went over to pray for a lady I didn't know. She was weeping and explained that there was a 17-year old girl in the hospital dieing of an infection and the doctors had no idea what was wrong with her and why it was happening. She was not breathing on her own and her family was told she would not make it. I had no idea if this lady was related to her or worked at the hospital and she just told us her first name. We prayed and this faith rose up in me and I believed God wanted to heal this girl. She told us the family members were not believers so we prayed for healing and salvation.

As I walked back to my seat, I felt the Lord say to me "Go pray with the family tonight at the hospital". He didn't ask me if I wanted to go if I felt up for it, He said "Go". I immediately leaned over and told my husband because I was honestly afraid by the time we left church I would talk myself out of it and the thought of doing that brought tears to my eyes. How many times did I hear God direct me and I made excuses for not following His instructions? I needed accountability because it isn't everyday that God tells me to visit people I don't know at the hospital their teenage daughter is dieing in. I checked back with the lady who we had prayed with, who turned out to be a friend of the family and she filled in the information I would need to meet with them, basically their first and last names. The thought of actually going through with this alternated between exciting and terrifying all day.

Around 6pm, we dropped the kids off at VBS (funny how that worked itself out?) and went over to the pediatric ICU at the hospital. As we were driving, The Husband looked over at me and said, "So, what's your......uhhhh.....". To which I finished his sentence "...plan?". "Yes, " he answered. Well, here's the funny part and another reason I knew it had to be God:

I had no plan.

The planner had no plan.

Zip. Nada. Zero. Just show up at the hospital and wait for God to direct us.

My flesh was freaking out.....what's plan A? Plan B? This is absurd! Are you going to walk in and explain that you're there to see people you never met before in the pediatric ICU? Could they arrest people for something like this and call it trespassing?

No, God was going to work it out. I knew it.

We headed up to the pediatric ICU and smiled at the nurses station as we got off the elevator. It was so funny to see The Husband glancing over at me as if any minute I would shout "By George, I think I've got it!! Here's what we'll do....". Instead, I said we were here to visit and they signed us in and gave us an ID tag. We then sort of wondered down the hall to a family waiting room and asked the volunteer at the desk where we could find this particular family. She told us she would check their daughter's room and we could look in the waiting room to see if they were in there.

Uhhhhh.....I had to explain we had never met them before and didn't know what they looked like. Long pause. (Please don't call security). She said okay and left to check the daughter's room. The nurse there told her they had gone to dinner, but seemed like they would be back. Alrighty, we decided we would take a little hospital walk and come back in a few minutes. This part was probably the closest I came to backing out. I was really trying to come up with an opening line without using any disturbing words like bizarre, strange or awkward, but I came up with nothing. Again, I decided I would rely on God and let Him do the talking. The Husband so graciously was going along with all of this, no questions asked!

We headed back up and really started to feel like fish out of water. How would we know who they were and how would they react to us coming into their lives uninvited? This was so out of my comfort zone! I may as well have been on a mission to Mars!

We noticed a couple go into the waiting room and The Husband saw pictures hanging off the man's backpack. He thought that was the couple, but the lady looked too young to have 17 year old daughters! As we were trying to decide if we would approach them or not, we saw the volunteer get up and say something to them and they all started to look around. We realized it was them so we stood up to introduce ourselves. Gulp.

to be continued.....

Friday, June 22, 2007

Guess Where We Were Today!

We spent the day hanging with some friends at The Boardwalk in Hersheypark. It was fairly uneventful except that I noticed how many beautiful trees and hanging flower baskets they have all around.

It was so relaxing I went even though for the last 48 hours I am fighting what I think could be strep throat. I popped some Motrin and out we went for 5 hours of Hersheypark happiness.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Just had to add the Newsboys song to my play list because I am FREE!

Free to live for Jesus, without striving and competing.

Free to dance and sing and behave undignified if it puts a smile on my Father's face.

Free to admit my sin and know that He doesn't love me any less.

Free to serve Him and others with no strings attached.

Free to rest and place my cares at the foot of the cross.

I am free......

update: For some reason the Newsboys aren't working so I added another version of the song.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My Loudness is Finally Taking Its Toll

I finally went to the doctor today for my "voice problem". Back in November I strained my voice yelling at #3. Seriously. And, I feel bad about it, but man, she was being crazy, dangerously disobedient and I snapped. I apologized to her a million times and we have moved on, but my hoarse voice is a constant reminder of that day. And, a constant reminder of blowing it with my kids.

At first, I decided I had reaped what I sowed, but I am genuinely sorry and have been praying for the Lord to help me have self control and not yell at my kids. They need a firm tone, but I can get really loud. And, I don't just yell at them, I'm always yelling to them (outside, upstairs, at Hersheypark, etc....). I have no excuse, but I'm LOUD. I try to be meek and mellow, but that is like trying to put a square peg in a round hole. To top it all off, my job has me constantly speaking on the phone, non-stop for 3-4 hours a day. By the end I sound like Demi Moore with a chest cold. Only, not so sexy.

After countless people asking me if I have laryngitis or if I am really tired, I decided this just might be something to check on. I'm tired of joking that my voice is changing because I've just hit puberty. My doctor decided I needed an appointment for an ear, nose and throat specialist. It's a shame I already knew that, but had to pay him a $15 co-pay to make it "official". He decided it is probably my vocal cords since my throat looks fine. Ah, duh. It was funny to hear my kids try not to tell the doctor that I yell at them. He asked #3 jokingly, "Does your mom yell at you a lot?", and she wouldn't answer him. Then #1 spoke up and said "Well, she doesn't yell a lot at us, just a little". Bless their little hearts! Seriously, I have been so convicted of the yelling, even if it is a little, I don't even want to joke about it or make excuses. I come from a long line of "yellers" and I want to break that curse off 100% of the time, not just 95% of the time.

I'd like to say I try to talk less and quieter, but I would be lying. I still sing loudly at church and yell down the street to the kids and occasionally yell at the dog to knock it off or she'll be tonight's dinner, etc.... But, I may have to seriously try and give my voice a break!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Little Bling for My #1

I tried to do a "before" and "after" picture of #1's bedroom furniture, but I forgot to take pictures of the tall chest before I painted it! But, I think you get the idea ....the wood was "before" and the black and pink bling is the "after". I would have taken an "after" picture of the dresser, but I haven't finished it yet and besides, I broke my camera!
The "after" picture looks a little splotchy, but I think it was the flash and some touching up that was still wet. #1 came home from camp and was jumping up and down with excitement when she saw it. The other dresser isn't looking quite that nice, the top is all bubbly and the paint is not adhering all over so I may be covering it with some kind of something...I don't know? Do they make funky contact paper....or maybe a table runner in pink fur?? I seriously thought about gluing down rows of fuzzy feather boa, but maybe that is a bit too over the top.....

Monday, June 18, 2007

A Little More Hersheypark Happiness

I was not very Hersheypark Happy, but, it was not Hersheypark's fault!

These are the last pictures I was able to take on my camera. Last night we headed over to my little Hershey slice of heaven and 5 minutes into the park I dropped my camera and it broke!

I was so upset, we had just bought the camera last summer and seriously, folks, when you're moving you really don't want to purchase anything unrelated to the move except maybe food and occasionally some gas. But, it is summer and I need a camera so let me know where the deals are, okay?

We did, of course, have a splendid time at HP. We even snuck #3 on the Lightening Racer twice (she's an inch below the height requirement). She wants to ride every ride in the park and can't wait to ride the Great Bear (which I won't try to sneak her on since I don't want her falling out of the harness!).

When we go in the evening we have a tradition of riding the carousel as our last ride, but The Husband opted out since we had made him ride the Flying Falcon with us. I was sandwiched between #1 and #3 (#2 had plans away from home last evening). Every time we went around #1 and I would wave or make a funny face at The Husband. We were cracking up and I noticed The Husband making faces back at me and frantically pointing. At first I was like "How cute! He's playing our game!", but then I realized he was telling me to look at #3 who was climbing off her horse and just sort of dangling backwards on it!!!

Oh my word!

I asked her what she was doing as we were spinning at full speed and she decided she wanted the "baby" horse in front of us and was attempting to get down when I grabbed her by her backpack. This was not an easy feat since I, too, was moving up and down on my horse. I plopped her back on, but she was backwards, then she was side saddle, and as soon as the ride slowed she hopped down with me scrambling after her thinking we are going to get in SOOO much trouble from the worker.

I honestly had no idea why my 5 year old had just morphed into a 2 year old with a 30 second attention span. Very strange.....

And, on a very hilarious side note... there is a new form of punishment at house! "If you don't knock it off I'm going to blog about it and everyone on the Internet will see how mean you are to your sister".

It works every time.....

Friday, June 15, 2007

I Think It's Safe to Talk About It Now

All week #1 has been a Christian Drama Camp and the mom in me didn't feel safe discussing it on the Internet. But, since we are picking her up in a few hours I can finally unload my feelings.

I may have made a few mistakes with this. She had a pretty bad camp experience when she was 8 at a different Christian camp where her counselor had snuck off with her boyfriend. The girls in the cabin followed her and saw them kissing. This really messed up my #1. Thankfully, after nearly a year, she seemed better. She had felt guilty and shameful, as if she was the one behaving inappropriately! And, did I mention there were only 3 other girls in her cabin that week and one of them was so homesick she cried or had a temper tantrum if the counselor would try to talk or sit next to any of the other girls.

Soooooo, fast forward 3 years and let's try again at a camp she is more familiar with. She really wanted to go to drama camp even though the ages listed were 12-14 (she's eleven), the camp cleared her to go. I thought some of the older girls would take her under their wings and act like a big sister to her.

I've been known to be naive at times.

Actually what they've done is speak harshly to her and ignore her. They tell her to "Move, my friend is sitting there" and she said the worst thing is that everyone besides one other girl and her counselor say "Oh my God" constantly. She wants to talk to them about it, but she had decided they think she's is too young to know anything. And, she is (in my opinion) devastated to be reminded, even at Christian camp, it is uncool to be Christlike.

We were expecting this in Middle School, so you can imagine our disappointment when it happened on her vacation in what we all considered a safe place.

I also found out why they have age ranges. It is so they can administer the correct amount of sleep deprivation for that particular age group. She goes to bed after midnight and gets up at 6:30. There is no going back to the cabin to rest unless all the girls go and maybe that is from 1-1:30pm. They must do all the same activities together with no free time on their own. Isn't that a ton of fun when you're in the same cabin with 6 other "teenage drama queens"? Sorry. Now, I'm being mean.

No wonder in the Bible first-borns got the double blessing. They deserve it after all the "I guess that wasn't such a good idea to send her to drama camp with teenagers she doesn't know" mistakes!

I will tell you this. Every mommy instinct in me wanted to bring her home early. I would not have even known any of this if we had not picked her up for a few hours to attend a special event at our church. She was exhausted, had a headache and was holding back tears (unsuccessfully). She put on a good act at first (she is in drama camp, you know!), but I saw through the facade and when she broke down she said she didn't want to tell us so we didn't get upset and worry about her. We prayed with her and encouraged her to address rudeness in a polite way and to understand that God tells us life is going to be hard, but He'll never leave us. I felt peace as we drove away and as much as it hurts, sometimes it is good to know you're kids are having to learn the tough stuff and it will develop a stronger character in them.

I think she is going to come home with a greater understanding of what being a good leader is about and hopefully, she will be even more compassionate about reaching out to kids who seem lonely and rejected. We will not focus on the bad stuff, but I will encourage her to ask God what He wanted her to learn from the experience.

And, then I'll take my own advice and ask myself what does God want me to learn from this experience?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Not My Scene

I was thinking of embarrassing moments while I was in the shower the other day. If you knew my most embarrassing moment then that would make sense. I would share it for you now if we were one-on-one at a Woman's retreat, in our PJ's, after you feed me expensive chocolate and coffee and it is after midnight. Only about 7 people on the planet know this story (excluding my doctor's office, who I am sure got a huge laugh out of it at their office Christmas party). It's so funny it is a crime not to blog about it (right Thrills?), but even I know where to draw the line!

Speaking of drawing the line...OH MY WORD.....I wondered aimlessly down the girly toys aisle at K-mart and was SHOCKED, I mean mortified at what the Barbie Dolls were wearing (or shall I say "not wearing"?). Now, let me tell you a little secret. I'm a bit of a fence rider with the whole Barbie Doll issue. I like the Mommy Barbies, modestly dressed, no navel showing Barbies, Ballerina Barbies. Well, I have now entered another anti-Barbie stage in my life. I know us moms complain of Barbie clothes, but honestly, they reflect what all the supposedly "cool" girls are wearing, even if we do disagree with it. However, Barbie has crossed the line from trendy to hoe. The My Scene Barbie (Go Go Disco) has a low cut shirt and short skirt with her middriff sticking out for all to see. I gawked at her on the shelf. It is really so sad. I used to be angry and self righteous and Church Lady-like about this, but now I'm just sad. Sad that girls are going to play with this Barbie and think it is acceptable to dress this way. Sad that some of those little girls will grow up and dress that way and allow themselves to be used and abused by the opposite sex. Sad that those young women will take that baggage into their marriage one day and pass it down to their own daughters unless they are set free from this bondage by the healing love of Christ. I speak from experience there.

Thank you, Jesus for your healing power!

I never did get to finish the point of this post. I wanted to ask how we can change this trend before G-string Barbie hits the shelves. I really don't know the best way to approach this outside of my own home other than to pray. I've never been very good at boycotting things or starting a revolution or anything like that. Praying is good. I think I'll just stick with that for right now and keep my heart free of judgment and criticism for a world that really doesn't know Him. Yet.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Walk With Me in My Journey Through Fantasy World

From a home improvement stand point some people are visionaries. That's me! I can dream and research and have everything set in my head of how things should happen. Most times, when I attempt to actually make it happen, it doesn't quite turn out the way I was hoping. But, then there are people who are given the vision and they make it happen. They don't care about what the vision is, just making it happen. I'm married to one of those people. Most of the time, this is a pretty good match, but I've gone off the deep end this time....

I have decided that I am going to give each of my kids a room worthy of Extreme Makeover, Home Addition, only for MUCH less money. Instead of new furniture, I'm painting theirs. The Husband cannot understand why I am doing this instead of packing the house (ummmm...Honey, we still need some pots and pans and the coffee maker since we're not moving for another 4 weeks. In fact, let's just load the coffee maker in a backpack on moving day and it can ride in the van with me so it doesn't get hurt).

Here's where the Ty Pennington in me starts to kick into overdrive. Anyone watching the show sees his OCD, ADD nature and that's me right now.....should I go with the natural varnish maple planks or the enhanced maple plank or the country maple plank?....Oh My Word! That's just the floor.....don't get me started with the paint swatches.

I'm really trying to keep this a surprise for the kids, the only input they had was for a theme and a color or two. Here's what I have to work with and so far, so good....

#1 - "Pop Star" looking funky, hot pink and black. I'm trying to keep it reasonable since I keep telling her in 3 or 4 years she may not think it's cool anymore! She's the one with the paneling. I thought a mirrored closet door will also make the room appear larger and help her get ready.

#2 - "Garden room", we found this gorgeous reversible JC Penney bedding set at Gabes for $24.99! It is in bright watercolors with flowers and butterflies, but not traditional looking butterflies, no butterfly could ever match these unless it was hand-painted. This is presenting a I'm thinking of having a friend paint a garden mural on one wall and hanging up some white picket fencing. Yes, I'm serious. Any takers?

#3 - "Pool Room" - this kid is part mermaid and wants a pool room with a lifeguard chair. She can't be easy and want a "beach theme", no it must be pool. This very small room will be blue and she wants clouds. I have found some cute flip flop accessories, but thought a cloud or flip flop blanket would be cute, so keep your eyes open and let me know if you see one, kay?

So far, so good. It is the painting that could be challenging. I'll be sure to take before and after pictures. Maybe I'll actually surprise myself and not look at it and say "Why did I do THAT?".

I want you to be able to hear my kid's happy shrieks when they have their "reveal"! They've been working so hard to get ready for this move I want them to know I appreciate their good attitudes.

Oh...and, please pray that The Husband catches my vision and doesn't scowl so much! I would hate for his face to freeze like that!

And, I guess I should also be praying that I make my requests reasonable, that would only be fair!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I Never Realized I Was Joining an Accountability Group!

Yesterday, I had to take #2 and #3 to the same soccer field near our house. #3 had her last night of soccer clinic and #2, believe it or not, was starting practice for the travel team that begins games in SEPTEMBER. Insane. But, anyway, we were running late for NO reason other than "go get your soccer ball", "where are your socks?", "I don't know where your water bottle is, where did you leave it?", etc.....By the time we got to the field a mere 2 minutes away I was feeling a little frazzled. As I got out of the car trying to figure out what direction to head in and who to drop off first, #3 forgot her ball. I was juggling my chair, my thermos of iced coffee and ironically, my copy of The Worn Out Woman. I grabbed her ball and kicked it over to her, but since I am obviously not the soccer star in the family, I kicked it under the car next to me.


I get down in the gravel and try fishing the ball out, using my chair. It wasn't working. I began to feel the familiar buildings of a Mommy Temper Tantrum, but in the back of my mind, I realized I would be blogging about this so I should probably remain calm. Through clenched teeth I told #3 to please remember to get her ball next time so Mommy is not laying under a car in the gravel with my underwear sticking out for all the soccer world to see (stupid mid-rise, trendy shorts). Both girls looked panicked as if they knew if that ball didn't come out soon, I was going to blow like Mount Vesuvius. I finally fished it out and dropped #2 off since she was on the way to where #3 plays. Halfway to #3's field she asks me to tie her shoes, which keep coming open. So, I bend down to tie them (we are now 10 minutes late) and as I do my thermos of iced coffee tips and spills and like t-i-m-e s-t-o-o-d s-t-i-l-l as I tried to gather my wits about me.

You can do just about anything to me, but DON'T MESS WITH MY COFFEE. Thankfully, again, I was reminded that I would probably blog about this so I tried to stay in "my happy place". I chuckled that I felt so accountable to do the right thing, but I figured that can't be a bad thing, right? I grabbed my Worn Out Woman book and opened it to where I had left off about a month ago. The next page I turned to talked about finding friends you can be accountable to!


Monday, June 11, 2007

Riding the Waves

I am not what you would call a "morning person", so when I would hear people say that they got up at 6am every morning to spend time with the Lord I could not relate. Oh, I'm sure it was great for them, but it was never anything I thought I could time with the Lord would just have to be short bursts in my noisy day. More of me rambling to him and meditating on a single scripture than actually studying His Word and having conversations.

No wonder I was feeling overwhelmed and drained.

About 2 months ago (when I quit Curves) I started naturally waking up around 6:15ish and decided to take that quiet time to be with the Lord and usually when I finish, I then do my bloggy business for the day. Both with a cup of quality coffee.

Spending that time with Him in the morning, consistently, is changing my life. He is changing my heart. This morning He gave me a picture of being in the ocean, out body surfing the waves. I wait and get ready for the "big one". I'm looking out in the horizon and thinking "here it comes!" But, it's not big enough. So, I wait. And, I search. And, I wait. And, I search. It's peaceful, but I want more! Suddenly this huge wave forms and I'm caught up in it. In a rush of exhilaration I ride it to the shore. It was amazing and worth the wait!

When I asked the Lord what that was about, He told me that is what I am experiencing in the spiritual right now. I am to wait on Him and search His Word because He has an exhilarating ride planned for me....and, to be peaceful and content in the process! But, I can't give up and get out of the water!

I thought that was pretty cool. So, I will continue to offer Him my trust and keep searching Him out in every situation. And most definitely, keep getting up and letting Him speak to me in the quiet of the morning.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Our Theme For Today is Pink

I have had a sunburn that just started to fade until another trip to The Boardwalk at Hersheypark (have I mentioned we enjoy going there?) yesterday. I've actually grown used to the pain, especially where my bra strap DIGS in, it's great, really. Sunburn means it's summer and my white ankle bracelet looks swe-eet on my reddish/white/tan leg.

Now, we have 2 cases of pink eye in our home right now....the first to bring home this lovely dose of communicable disease would be #1. Poor #1 leaves for Drama Camp tomorrow, but her doctor has cleared her and declared her noncontagious. #3 just showed signs of a swollen goopy eye and putting the drops in her wasn't pretty. In fact, if anyone would have been looking through our windows they would have reported us for child abuse. The Husband had her in a head lock, arms pinned with BOTH of us on top of her. I managed to get a few drops in as she was thrashing about, but I think she may have cried them back out anyway! She cries every time I tell her I am going to call the doctor because she doesn't want to "drink the yucky medicine". Honestly, if they weren't signed up for VBS on Monday I would just let her wake up with her eyes pasted shut and not bother with meds. But, with #1 at camp this week, #2 and #3 will need to go somewhere for entertainment! I'm thinking the VBS people may hesitate to accept my children with green slime running out of their eyes.

Well, if anything else pink turns up at my house I'll be sure to give you the full report!

Friday, June 8, 2007

I'm Just So Hersheypark Happy You'll Just Have To Live With It

I've decided that in honor of my glorious theme park of champions, I will blog about them every time I go this summer. That could be boring for you, but I'm sorry. Other than moving I have nothing else to talk about besides just finishing a suspenseful Ted Dekker book called Three. I'm a Christian fiction junkee in the summertime and have caught up on all my Karen Kingsbury series books until the library gets my new ones in. But, enough about literature....I have more important things to discuss.

Have I mentioned how clean Hersheypark is? I was in the wave pool today and all was new, glorious, sparkling and clean as far as the eye could see. <squealing with delight>. However, the lifeguards, and there are many, like to blow their whistles, shrilly, in short bursts every .75 milliseconds and that got to be a little grating on the nerves, if you know what I mean. I being a lifeguard in my younger years, realize 95% of all lifeguards are on a power trip, but even these lifeguards looked annoyed with themselves for having to blow their whistles so much. Apparently, the rules changed this week and you must stand up in the wave sitting, laying on your belly or "riding the waves".

It's okay, HP, I still love you!!!

I didn't even mind shelling out $20 for Nathan's hot dogs and fries for our lunch since we were celebrating the end of our home school/cyber school year. AMEN, THANK YOU GOD, He gets all the glory for my surviving this past year. Seriously. I love you all my homeschooling friends, you're my heroes. I'm just so glad my kids don't hate me.

But, again, back to HP. It was too hot to go on many rides outside the water park area today. Our new strategy is to go around 4pm and do water rides, then do regular rides when The Husband meets us after he gets off work. I just have to figure out how to work dinner into that equation because I can't feed our family of 5 every week at the park.

Alright, I'll spare you the rest of the not so exciting details like the roomy changing areas and how the Rodeo went backwards today (they don't always do that). Now, I'm off to the library for a new book!

Help For the Home Improvement Challanged, Please?

We are set to move on July 14th! Everything has gone so smoothly, despite the sellers trying to force us out of our contract because they received a better offer. We are locked in and have done everything on our part. Our agent said their agent calls every day trying to break off the contract, and thankfully we covered all the bases.

The people buying our house sold theirs yesterday so they will be lifting the contingency as soon as all their contracts are signed on their end of things. That will move things along quicker than we planned!

We had a home inspection at our new home and just being there again made me so grateful and excited that it is going to be ours! It is a place that we can have even more room to entertain. I walked the property all the way to the end and I had to stop and rest before I could is a pretty steep hill in parts and is over 2 acres. I won't have to worry about going to the gym, I'll just do a couple of laps out back!

My question to you clever, creative people is this...can I put a wallpaper border over paneling? #1's bedroom is in the lower level and is paneled (it's not outdated, it's vintage, right?). I plan to paint the paneling, and we found a great border, but it's a little expensive. I don't want to special order it and put a section up only to find out it looks awful. I think it can be done, especially with regular wallpaper I was just wondering if anyone has any experience with this.

Thanks for leaving your 2 cents!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Equipping and Releasing (and Giggling Lots, Too)

Last night was my last night teaching our Girls Night Out class at church. For the last 8 weeks, Crafty Mama and I have tackled some of the tough stuff while teaching the girls about real servanthood.

I think this topic was so important to me personally, because when I became a believer I didn't serve for the right reasons. Sometimes, I still have to guard myself of that. One of the words that was prayed over me during my amazing experience was that God doesn't want me to be a people pleaser. I often struggle with not wanting to offend someone or let them down, so I do things out of obligation, rather than calling. I have to also guard myself from pride, it is subtle, but pretty soon I would do things just so other people would see I was doing it!

These were all things that burdened my heart to teach 25 amazing girls. We must serve humbly, like Jesus came to serve. He didn't do it for attention and He did it with "no strings attached". Translated in little girl terms means: don't ask for a certain assignment just so you can be with your friend or do something you think is more fun. Serve because you are a representative of Christ. And, ALWAYS do your best!

I think they "got it" after 8 weeks of praying and serving, most of them understand how God calls us to serve. I'm sorry it's over because I will miss them and their loudness and their sweet hugs on Wednesdays!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

I'll Bet You Never Saw Hand Sanitizer Come out of a Horse's Nose!

I did!

Yesterday, I attended an East Coast conference for promotional product distributors in Atlantic City. My 2 bosses, J & J, who also have been our friends long before I ever worked for them and I drove down. Well, "drive" may not be the right word, J just sort of aimed the car wherever there just happened to be a free 3 inches of space in Philadelphia rush hour (way too reminiscent of driving with The Husband in NYC during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade).

But, we arrived alive (Thank You, Jesus) and started to walk through aisles and aisles of pens, cups, shirts, light up thingies, umbrellas, beauty products, you name it. Along with the hand sanitizer that came out of the horse's nose, we also saw tissue boxes where you pulled the tissue out of a nose. The rep explained they could make the tissue to come out of virtually any body part, ears, eyes, and then he laughed so I'm thinking at some point he made one come out of a butt, I don't know??! But, why would you make a tissue box that made tissue come out of an eye? That's just wrong.

I walked around with the non-driving J and he "trained" me. In exchange, I filled him in on all the fine points of blogging, it was really more like a 30 minute tutorial and he may actually read this, so, J, I expect you to leave a comment so I know you were here!

J and I talked to a rep that gave us some cool hand sanitizer that looked like it was in a pen. He explained that it would last forever (does hand sanitizer regenerate itself?), so our clients could give it out at golf outings instead of expensive shirts and hats that people will just throw away. Yeah, because I know if The Husband gets a $35 PGA golf shirt and a $2o hat at a tournament, he comes home and trashes them so I won't have to wash anything. Uh, I'm not thinking so.

When you are at these shows you get an ID card with a bar code on it and wear it around your neck. This basically replaces handing out a million business cards. It took me awhile to get used to people asking me if they could "scan me". At first I was like, "Dude, I just met you". Haha! Just kidding! I did let some girl rub a jewel tattoo on me that said Vegas Rocks, but thankfully it fell off 5 minutes later (now there's a good product that lasts awhile!).

It was interesting and entertaining and I got lots of stuff. My kids really like me working for J & J since I get to go to shows and bring home lip gloss, stickers, key chains, tattoo's and notepads for them.

I really would've liked the horse thing to bring home as a conversation piece, but it wasn't a sample we were allowed to take! I could call and ask them to mail me one though.....

Monday, June 4, 2007

Part 2 of My Extraordinary Story

Bear with me...I've had a bad migraine all day that I think is a result of trying to detox myself off of caffeine. I felt so bad I drove to Sheetz and bought a bucket of Diet Coke to try and counteract, but it's too late. So anyhoo....on with the rest of my story.

After I had a good cry on the steps I assured all of my children that everything was going to be ok (I didn't believe it entirely). As I was vacuuming I asked the Lord to give me a scripture, something for me to hold onto. He immediately spoke to me I'll turn your mourning into dancing and your weeping into gladness. Ok, I was starting to feel a little better!

The Husband and I were left with a decision to make. We talked out every scenario (ok, I talked out every scenario) and hoped a good night's sleep would shed some light.

The next morning we went to church. At church I ran into some friends who I quickly filled in our predicament. They prayed for me and when they finished, one of them said that while we were praying God had given her a verse to share with me, Weeping and mourning may last for the night, but His joy comes in the morning! I got goosebumps and realized He was trying to tell me something! Now, was I going to listen?

During the service I had pretty much resolved to go up for prayer, but to go to someone who knew our situation. Just typing that now sounds so silly to me, but I just didn't want to have to be up there with someone I don't know, blah, blah, our house, blah, blah, contingency, blah, get the picture. At the end of the service it was like God Himself spoke these words to me (it was actually one of our pastors):

Jesus was broken so He could be given.
3 minutes later.
You are being broken so you can be given.

Oh my word! No wonder I have a migraine. I cried so hard at those words that I thought my head would explode. I'm crying again just typing it.

At that point, I had decided I was going to leave everything in God's hands, the house, the kids, the ministry He calls me to, my marriage, my unsaved loved ones. I am not going to stick my foot in any door He is trying to close for my own good. If this house situation was one of those doors I was okay to let it close. I told Him that if He wanted us to have that house, He was going to have to do something because I was not going to try and "figure it out" anymore.

Ok, He's not done with me. Someone has a word of knowledge (for those of you who don't know what that is please let me know and I'll explain, it's cool and it's God, that's all you need to know for now) about a person who has a racing heart. That's me! Ok, I'll go up for prayer. So, I go up and there are lots of people waiting to be prayed for and this lady next to me is weeping. I feel kind of awkward just standing there waiting so I pray with another ministry worker for this lady. When she's done I hug her a long time and realize I need to go pick up my kids from their classrooms. I see some friends of ours praying for someone else so I figure I can get the kids and come back and get prayed for in a little while.

By the time I come back, my friends are no longer praying for anyone, but they need to talk to someone and it's important. So they ask us to wait and say they'll pray for us. I go down to where The Husband is sitting and he asks me why I didn't stay up there for prayer for my heart racing. I told him I was waiting for our friends and they could pray for my heart and the house. He kept bugging me to go up and get prayed for right then and there about my heart and I'm like what's your problem, leave me alone! I will, I will! So, more out of a desire to make him leave me alone I walk up and things are winding down. I am sort of standing there, again awkwardly, because I don't know if anyone realizes I'm there to be prayed for or if I'm waiting to pray for someone or talk to someone so I'm getting a few curious glances, but no takers. Now, I'm really frustrated that The Husband sent me up here because I look like an idiot.

Oh my word, this is my longest post ever! Take a moment and visit the restroom or grab a drink if you must.

At some point, this dear couple who we have known a long time but who don't really know what we are walking through ask me if I want to be prayed for. Now, this particular guy has prayed for The Husband a few times and shared some very powerful prophetic words with him. I'm so sorry this is in Christianese for those of you who may not be following...please let me explain more one-on-one if you don't know what I'm talking about! So, I start to share while I'm there and he doesn't even let me finish. He starts praying and tells me first thing God doesn't want me to cry. Huh? I'm thinking, does he mean right now or did God tell Him I've been crying for the last 18 hours? So, DON'T LAUGH, I was trying not to cry just in case he meant right now. He begins praying things over me that blew me away....confirmed words that had been spoken before and proclaimed new things to come. I'd share with you more specifically but I'm still digesting it all. I will tell you I managed not to cry until I thought we were finished and he says to me, Wait, there is one more thing God wants me to tell you.

You were not an accident.

Well, forget the no crying thing because that word went so deep inside my soul that it took my breath away and I broke down.

How did this man know that my mom got pregnant with me when she was a single 18 year old girl who went a little too far at a frat party? Okay, a lot too far. But, I am the result of that. Not many people know that and it's not like I try to keep it a secret, but I know my existence alone is a reminder to my mom of what happened. I don't need to make it worse by proclaiming it for all to hear (you know like blogging about it on the Internet??!!). I had to share it because of the context of this story. I had allowed a terrible lie to live inside me for as long as I can remember:

If abortion were legal in 1970 I wouldn't be here. I was a mistake. A result of my mom's sin. But, I never dwelled on this on a regular basis, but I believe it is a root of a lot of the fear and rejection that I do battle with.

I am not an accident.

We left church filled with peace and a resolve that God will work everything out the way He wants to and that's okay with us! My phone was on vibrate for the service so I turned it up and stuck it back in my purse. We were pulling out of our church parking lot and it started to ring. It was our real estate agent and she had an offer for our house come in just moments before. Someone to buy our house! We could buy the other house now! We thought how remarkable it was that someone would call on a Sunday morning after looking at our house weeks earlier and make just the right offer at the right time.

Could God have lured me to the alter to pray for something I thought was a need, only to find out He had other plans for me up there? To reveal to me I am not an accident, that many will come to know of His faithfulness by my testimony and that HE LOVES ME.

That God of ours is tricky. I am so glad He cares about me so personally. It may be "all about Him", but He sure delights in us!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

This is Part One 'Cause I Know It's Gonna Be Long

God is so good at being God. He really does things that we cannot lean on our own understanding to try and figure out. But, He is good.

This story begins yesterday morning at a women's breakfast at our church and leaves me here, fresh from the real estate agent's office, where I signed a contract to sell our house by the end of July. In between, I was broken, wounded, confused, humbled, awed, thankful and victorious.

Do I know how to pack some excitement into a 24 hour day, or what?

My friends and I met up Saturday morning and enjoyed a morning of fellowship and encouragement. Our guest speaker was Cheryl Owens Patterson, a cancer survivor who loves God more than life itself. She spoke on hearing God's word and holding onto the promises He gives us. It was really a beautiful message that I tucked into the back of my mind for any future crisis I may need to face. Seated at our table was my good friend and her mom, who just went through surgery to remove breast cancer. We got to pray for her and I was overwhelmed with such compassion at her brokenness I even questioned God about it. Lord, I know I've been asking for greater compassion for others, but I thought my heart would just burst for her, is this what increased compassion is going to feel like, a burden to pray without ceasing?

Then the "phone call" came. The phone call was from my realtor who told me that another offer had been made on the house we planned to buy. It was for more money and to move in sooner with no contingency (meaning they did not need to sell their house to choose a closing date, they already could commit). Now, we were locked in for the purchase price but if we didn't agree to the time frame of July 10th we would lose this house. We had 48 hours to decide and no offers on our house that we have had listed for 4 weeks.

I was crushed. Not so much about the house, but once again I thought I had misheard the Lord speaking to me. What had I just heard at the Women's Breakfast just 6 hours earlier? Listen to God's voice. I wasn't sure I knew what that was now and I wept from the depth of my soul. It had very little to do about the house and very much to do with the failure I felt inside....horrible mother having no patience for my kids and homeschooling them, horrible Christian who can't figure out what God is trying to tell her, horrible decision maker, period.

#1 sat next to me at the top of our stairs while I just wept and wept. She said nothing, just sat there with me. It was so comforting, yet so strange to allow my child to see so much raw emotion coming out of me. I really didn't want to scare her, but at the same time I needed her to see that life isn't always going to be easy, and quite frankly, I barely had my wits about me. I will always remember those few moments with her not leaving my side, quiet (and that is rare for her!), and just being there for me. What a wonderful friend she was to me in that moment!

I'll have to finish tomorrow....I'm exhausted!

House Update

I haven't much time, but I must let you all know that as we pulled out of the church parking lot this morning our agent called with an offer for someone who wants to buy our house. We just have to work out a few details and pray that they can buy it quickly....we must settle on our new house by July 10 and we don't want to pay a double mortgage!

I'll write more about this amazing experience when time permits....this post doesn't do it justice! I will say PRAISE THE LORD (but, I would've said that no matter what!). Really.

Saturday, June 2, 2007


I'm in pain right now. Emotional pain.

Another offer came in for the house we wanted to buy and we have 48 hours to match it. Basically that means we must remove our current contingency that says we won't buy it until our house sells and agree to go to closing within 45 days. Or, the new people get it.

I feel paralyzed right now.

I looked at other houses we can afford (I guess it is fair for you to know that we are "downsizing") within our school district and there is literally nothing we can move into that will work anywhere near to what this other house had to offer.

We have a choice and I am just devastated at having to figure this all out in the next day or two.....

1. We hope and pray for a miraculous offer to come in by 4pm on Monday for our house (we have a showing tomorrow, but if they decide they like it and make an offer on Tuesday, it will be too late).

2. If option #1 doesn't work out then we have to give up the new house and still try to sell ours and hope we find a house we can live with.

3. We don't sell our house and pray for God to provide the income to continue to stay here. That needs to happen by August.

Here is what my devotion for today says..

Your ways are not my ways, Lord God. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are Your ways higher than mine. I may not understand Your ways, Lord, but they are always prosperous. I have considered my ways, Lord. I choose Yours instead. Lord, if being obedient to you causes me to suffer, I know I should commit myself to my Faithful Creator and continue to do good (1 Peter 4:19).

That helped, but it still hurts. I'm seriously in tears. After I got off the phone with our agent I was so angry....I felt like I can't ever get anything right....the reason I have such a hard time making decisions is fear of making the wrong ones, which seems to happen alot. And, one of the biggest, BIGGEST things that gets me furious is wasting time and money. The idea that we got our house ready to sell and then having to end up pulling it off the market makes me weep. And, really...the reason I'm blogging instead of calling my friends right now is that I really don't want to hear the very same thing I would tell someone else....

Don't worry, God has something better for you.

Some days I have a tough time believing I deserve anything better. I am trying really hard to be thankful that this is just about a house and that my family is safe and healthy and we have food to eat, but after a few moments I go right back into "whoa is me". I feel like I start to understand my life is not my own and then BAM, crisis hits and I'm cowering in a spirtual corner. I hate confusion and not being able to discern if this is God closing a door or the enemy attacking the plans He has for us. My prayers sound very desperate and childlike right now.

Help me, God. Please help me...only You know what I need right now. You exchange my mourning for dancing and my weeping for gladness. Please help me to hear You.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Please Don't Hate Me

Some people call me a coffee snob. It's true.

Apparently I'm also a bit of an amusement park snob. We visited Knoebels today with our cyberschool and please don't be mad.....I was not impressed. I'm wondering if the reason so many people like it is that they have nostalgic memories as a child, because it can't possibly be because it's old, dirty and the roller coaster nearly chattered my teeth out of my skull!

I'm not at all into buying tickets for rides (it brings back haunting memories of Ocean City, MD where $50 in tickets will get each of my three kids 2 rides for the night)....ok....perhaps, I'm exaggerating a bit, but with 3 girls of various ages wanting to go on all different rides and I must compute IN MY HEAD how many tickets I will need.....OH MY WORD!!!! Someone help me before I explode. An all day hand stamp was not an option I considered since I refused to spend $60 on something I already get as often as I want with our season passes.

Knoebels could have had a jump up on my beloved Hersheypark if they would serve Diet Coke. They don't. I had to choke down Diet Pepsi. I guess I can add "soda snob" to my resume, too.

We did have a good time, but that was mostly because I got to spend time with my kids, Plain and Simple and Classic Mama, who just make me laugh whenever we're together (sorry about that flashback P&S, I still think you dreamed it).

And, we got free lunch. I'm all about the free stuff!