Thursday, December 31, 2009

so why this blog name and what's up in 2010

When I started blogging I wanted a place where I could put my thoughts, feelings, observations, advice, wisdom, funny stuff, recipes, etc. It all seemed pretty random and although I'm a just-the-facts kind of gal at work, I do tend to ramble when telling stories, which I love to do. Plus it's my blog so I could be totally unfettered by any expectations other than my own.

I've lived most of my life taking care of people. I'm a first born, an over-achiever, with a much younger sibling, inattentive parents, and a mother-nature kind of heart. When my parents divorced I was 16, went to work full-time while finishing high school and then to college. I married at 19, was a mom of 2 by the time I was 22 and have spent the bulk of my adult years married to my best friend and raising the two most incredible daughters.

In the last few years, I've cared for my alzheimer's dad until his death in November. So now I'm reassessing. What does life look like in 2010?

I'm still married...26 years and counting. I want to spend more time dating my husband. Enjoying the freedom we have as a couple without children at home, without great responsibilities from others. I want to find more things to do together. I want to serve together more. Be involved together more.

I'm still a mom...but my daughters are 23 and 25 and discovering what their lives look like as adults. I enjoy watching, participating, supporting...but I'm an observer now, not a coordinator. :-)

And then there is me. What do I want to do for me this year? I want to know God more this year. Spend time with Him. Listen to Him. I want to do more art, learn more, express more, develop more as an artist. I want to get into shape this year, but not by dieting and exercising on a plan...I want to invest in my health and longevity by changing habits, making the effort to invest in me. I want to get more manis and pedis.

I want to dance more...sing more...celebrate more! Life is too short and moves too quickly not to spend a little time every day celebrating that today is a gift! Tear that wrapping off and get to the good stuff. Hug someone you love, HECK, hug someone you barely know. Play a game, do a puzzle, go for a walk, snuggle more...and remember always God loves you.


Monday, December 28, 2009

trust AND follow

So I had this thought hit me yesterday. We were at Frontline with our daughters and the guy speaking made this comment "It's good to trust in God and to follow Him..." and it hit me, do I only trust? Am I really following Christ?

I have watched my life be built, brick upon brick, layer upon layer, on an unshakable foundation of trust in the Lord. I have faced all manner of events and situations with the absolute knowledge that I trust God and I know He has a plan for me. Jeremiah 29:11-14 is one of my life passages of scripture.

But do I follow Him? Do I stop, look and listen to where He is leading me? Or do I set off on a path, knowing He'll take care of me, trusting in His ever-present help in times of trouble?

Honestly, I don't know. But if the thought hit me that hard, I think I need to find out. God is subtle with me that way. Kind of like a hammer to the head of a nail. But really, sometimes it takes that with me. I reach the end of my chain at a dead run and like the old cartoons, it pulls tight, lifts me off my feet and BOOM! on my butt I sit.

So, here I sit. Pondering...what does it really, truly mean to follow Christ? Not the Sunday school answers that pop into my head, but the heart-felt, will-bending, I-know-that-I-know kind of answer.

Well, I'm going to find out.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Timely Reminder

My friend, Jen, posted this the other day and I wanted to share it with you.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote this Christmas poem, Christmas Bells, during the American Civil War, 1864. It appears in many Christian hymnals under the title I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, however, the fourth and fifth stanzas, which speak of battle, are usually omitted.

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Till ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound the carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn, the households born
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head
"There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

With all the talk of war, inflation, recession, unemployment, healthcare, etc... I just wanted to remind myself that greater is HE that is in me, than he that is in the world. I am rejoicing today for my Savior is born! And I'm resting in the knowledge that He has already prevailed with Peace on Earth and Good Will to men.

peace...and Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

It's UPtime America!

If you see injustice, STAND UP
If something needs to be said, SPEAK UP
If you make an appointment, SHOW UP
If you make a mistake, FESS UP
If you’re overstepping, BACK UP
If you get behind, CATCH UP
If they knock you down, GET UP
If you’re out of line, STRAIGHTEN UP
When your boss instructs, KEEP UP
When your elders speak, LISTEN UP
When your teachers teach, SIT UP
When your preachers preach, WAKE UP
When your country calls, MAN UP
Ladies too... WOMAN UP
When the fight is over, MAKE UP
If you’re being hard, EASE UP
If your heart is closed, OPEN UP
If you want to buy something, SAVE UP--
It’s not an entitlement, so SHUT UP!
If you make a mess, CLEAN IT UP
If you drop trash, PICK IT UP
If a car is waiting for you to
walk across the street, SPEED IT UP
If you’re cold busted, GIVE IT UP
If people fall down, HELP THEM UP--
Not the government, YOU STEP UP
If idiots start fighting, BREAK IT UP
If the music is wholesome, TURN IT UP
If the message is poisonous, THROW IT UP
If your words are vulgar, CLAM IT UP
If your words encourage, KEEP IT UP
If your pants are baggy, PULL THEM UP
If the belt’s too loose, CINCH IT UP
If your fly is down, ZIP IT UP
If you’re dressed half naked, COVER IT UP
If you can’t afford stuff, PASS IT UP--
No “bailouts” folks, PONY UP
If you made a promise, you BACK IT UP
And you can take your whining and PACK IT UP
It’s called personal responsibility, so TAKE IT UP
This country was founded on it, you can LOOK IT UP
It’s the American way people, so TURN IT UP
Because when life gets boring, you SHAKE IT UP
When life is good, you SOAK IT UP
When life’s unfair, you SUCK IT UP
When life is funny, you can YUCK IT UP
When life is sad, just LOOK STRAIGHT UP
And life’s too short people, so LIVE IT UP!

Or you can watch this or go here.

I have always told my kids that their response is their responsibility. She just takes it to a whole new level.

We are so blessed as a nation that we have become lazy and selfish. It's time to give it up, stand up and get this nation headed in the right direction - UP!

This was my motivation for today, just thought I'd share.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas in Oklahoma

One of my favorite things this time of year are all the Christmas lights. Here are just a few I've seen this year. All these photos are from my phone. Hope it lends some Christmas spirit to you!


Monday, December 14, 2009

Never done this before...

Ok, so for a long time, my husband and I have celebrated our anniversary in November by taking the day off and doing all our Christmas shopping. We love it, it's peaceful, no one else is out and walking across a parking lot is not a near death experience!

NOT this year...I was out of town, he was out of town and life invaded to the point that we are now 11 days from Christmas and I have 1 present purchased...and it was online.

Now I'm not saying panic has set has, but I'm not saying!! I went to Walmart for groceries and barely escaped with my life. And that was INSIDE the store, I'm not even talking about the parking lot!

So hubbie and I are now making a plan. I'm wondering what stores are open at 1:00 am, would we be safe to shop then and how much can I get at Walmart and 7-11?

Those gift cards are looking better and better...and besides, they buy more after Christmas right? RIGHT? I mean that could be my reason...couldn't it??

peace?? :-)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Thoughts for today...

It's been pretty quiet at work this week. I'm grateful for the slow down, but it does give me time to are some of the random thoughts I've had.

I was calendaring some work items and saw my dad's b-day in January, just couldn't make myself take it off the calendar for next year.

Andrea is graduating from college on Saturday, wonder what new dates we'll be celebrating next year?

Is 2010 the year I'll lose this weight?

Wonder what my future (as in they aren't even dating anyone kind of future) sons-in-laws birthdays will be?

Wow, it's 2010 already!

What day of the week is Jim's 50th b-day on? WOW, I'm married to an almost 50 year old!! (2011)

I'm not sure quiet time is good for me. Too much thinking, too many possibilities. But it also gives me time to reflect on good things. I try to be a grateful person. I think it's important to recognize goodness everywhere you can.

So here's my grateful list:

I'm grateful for my relationship with God. He is my strength, my comfort, my guide, my peace and my safe harbor. I cannot imagine life without His ever present goodness in my world.

I'm grateful for my husband. He is my best friend.

I'm grateful for my daughters. They bring me such JOY!

I'm grateful for my mom and sister. For my brother-in-law, my niece and nephew. They add color to my world.

I'm grateful for good friends, long-time friends, new friends, twitter friends, facebook friends...The support and love they offer without strings, a constant source of encouragement to me.

I'm grateful for a job I love, with people I love, doing work that daily impacts the souls of men, bringing hope where there is very little, and welcoming people into an eternity with Christ.

OK, so time isn't so bad. It's refocused me and I hope it has blessed you and challenged you to take some time and be grateful as well.


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The Winner's Circle

Another timely reminder of God's love from Max Lucado's When Christ Comes. Hope it blesses you!

"The Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free." Ephesians 6:8

For all we don't know about the next life, this much is certain. The day Christ comes will be a day of reward. Those who went unknown on earth will be known in heaven. Those who never heard the cheers of men will hear the cheers of angels. Those who missed the blessing of a father will hear the blessing of their heavenly Father. The small will be great. The forgotten will be remembered. The unnoticed will be crowned and the faithful will be honored.

The winner's circle isn't reserved for a handful of the elite, but for a heaven full of God's children who "will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him" James 1:12

Did you notice that last part? The part about love? That really is all, God loves us and He wants our love in return. No works, no ultimate sacrifices, no grand deeds...just a loving relationship. Accept His loving offer of salvation through Christ's love displayed on the cross and enter into the Winner's Circle. I'll be there waiting, too.