Monday, December 31, 2007

2008




Wow, where did 2007 go?

Is it just me or does time seem to go faster as we get older?

Well, here we are facing another year of whatever is to come.

This is the day that many will make New Year's Resolutions. I stopped making resolutions long ago, because I never ever stick to them.

But this year, I will.

I resolve to be a better person tomorrow than I am today.

I resolve to try and not get upset over the small things that bother me.

I resolve to help my husband with our budget and stick to it so we can get out of debt.

I resolve to be thankful each day for the things I do have, and not fret over the things I don't have.

I resolve to smile more, laugh more and sing more.

I resolve to learn one new thing this year, even if it is a challenge.

I resolve to be kinder to others, to give of myself when and where I can.

I resolve to try not to whine and complain.

I resolve to try and have a good day each and every day.

And I will remember each day that God is with me, loving me, caring for me, holding me, carrying me and leading me.


And my prayer for each of you who reads this is that all of you are blessed many times over throughout 2008.

See ya next year!!!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Bleh

I am so tired. Thursday night, I worked till 8 pm, had to pick up some things afterwards, like dog food, so didn't get home till 9, came home to a pile of dishes in the sink, ugh. Cleaned up, then tried to relax, and go to bed since I had to be back at work for 4 am the next morning.

I laid down a little after ten, couldn't sleep, tossed and turned. I think I get worried that I won't hear the alarm when I have to get up so early. I finally started to doze, when around 11:30 Maggie started to howl and cry outside.

I got up and went outside to see what her problem was, she seemed fine, so I told her to hush and go lay down. She looked at me, went in her box, and quieted down.

My hands, wrists and ankles were hurting like a toothache, so I took an OTC pain reliever and went back to bed to toss and turn. I think I finally started dozing off when the alarm went off at 2 am.

I jumped up in panic, 'I'm UP, I'm UP!!!'

I stumbled out of bed, drank some coffee, got ready for work, and off I went, feeling like a wet dish rag all day, and 1 pm couldn't come fast enough.

I finally got home feeling totally exhausted and just wanted to go to sleep, but hubby was home so we sat and talked for a while, worked on our finances for the next couple of weeks, and then sat until about 5, when we both decided we were hungry.

We could have eaten some of the left over turkey.

Yuck.

We decided to go to the Chinese buffet, sounded good to me, he drove and I didn't have to cook.

After stuffing ourselves, we came home and went to bed, hubby to watch tv and me to fall into an exhausted sleep. Actually, I think I passed out cold.

At around 11 pm, hubby woke me saying something about the cops being next door. I really didn't care at first, but then curiosity got the better of me and I got up to be nosy.

There really was nothing interesting to see, two cop cars, lights flashing as they talked to the neighbor and his passenger in a car. The cops did take the passenger, who knows why?

We went back to bed then, I started dozing and hubby woke me again.

"What's that noise?"

There was a persistent noise in the basement, coming through the vents. At first I thought it was the cats, forgetting for a sleepy moment that they are gone.

After a while, the noise stopped, neither one of us willing to go down and check it out.

I soon fell asleep again, to dream that Noodles showed up, half starved and bedraggled. The noises in the basement must have conjured her in my dreams.

In my dream, I was feeding her and then cuddling her and telling her that no one was going to take her away from me again.

It was so real, that I woke up feeling empty and missing her so much.

And I don't feel rested at all.

I have to work tonight and tomorrow, then I am off Monday.

I am drinking my fourth cup of coffee still fighting the effects of drowsiness, which doesn't seem to be working.

Maybe after a shower I will feel better, and hopefully I will sleep better tonight.

And if my hubby wakes me up....

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Quiet Christmas

Christmas is just not the same.

Oh, it wasn't a bad Christmas, just quiet.

We went to the Christmas Eve service at church at 11 pm. When we got out it was a few minutes after midnight, and Boo immediately started bugging me about opening her presents when we got home.

'It's not Christmas yet.'

'YES it is! It's after midnight!'

*sigh*

'Mommy! Can't I open one? You always let me open one!'

She's not spoiled, not at all.

*snort*

'Fine, I'll just wake you up at six in the morning.'

'I don't think so.'

My need for sleep outweighed my common sense, and after all, she had a point, it officially was Christmas morning, so guess who got to open her presents?

I gave her the Christmas Eve present first, which of course was pajamas, it's always pajamas. A tradition my mother started when I was little.

Then she ripped into the rest, she didn't get much, but she did get things she really needed, like socks, and under things.

And of course, the horsie.


Which the dog was a little freaked out by.



And here is a better one of Glory, getting into the Christmas Spirit. Well, kind of.


She really wasn't all that happy with the whole Santa hat thing.

We then went off to bed, waking later than usual Christmas day. There was no rushing around. I did cook a big meal, we have LOTS of left over turkey.

We called everyone we could think of.

Of course, I felt like crying when I was talking to my other children. I could hear my grandchildren in the background, and my heart longed to be with them all. I held back the tears, I didn't want to upset them.

I also called my Grandma, and got to talk to my Uncle who traveled from Texas to Michigan with my nephew to spend Christmas with Grandma.

I called my Dad and got to talk to my little brother, who is really not so little anymore, being a big old grown man, married with four sons.

I talked to both my sisters back home, and my little niece who at 8 years old sounds so grown up.

I miss everyone, I miss the hustle and bustle, the kids squealing, the grownups laughing and talking, the food, the family and friends, all the busyness and activity.

I cooked, we ate, Boo went off to visit her boyfriend, DT watched tv, and after clean up, I fell asleep on the couch.

It wasn't a bad Christmas, it was just not the same.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Gifts

My Dad has been telling me for several years now that he is giving me a thousand dollars.

Someday, in the year two thousand and never.

Ya see, my Dad is a promise maker, but after many, many years of broken promises, I take everything he says with a grain of salt.

He may have the best of intentions, but he never follows through.

So on Saturday, I actually received a Christmas card from him.

In shock, I quickly opened it.

Hubby watched me then started laughing as I took the opened the envelope, glanced in the card, then shook the envelope upside down.

'Still looking for that thousand dollars?'

'Course I am! Do you think MY Dad would lie?' I said, giggling.

Hubby just rolled his eyes.

In exaggerated disgust I tossed the obviously empty envelope on the table.

But really, I am just glad he thought of me, over the years, cards, letters and even phone calls have been rare things. Visits even rarer. I haven't seen my Dad in 13 years, and as for calls, I usually call him.

I want a relationship with my Dad, of course I do, especially since he was out of my life as a child.

And he is my Dad, and despite his faults, I do love him.

I have a Dad who is imperfect in his humanness, as we all are.

I accept that, he will never be the father I always lacked and always longed for. When other little girls were being tucked into bed by doting fathers, I was crying myself to sleep.

Over the years, and through the tears, I learned to turn to my real Father. One who will never break a promise, will never abandon me, will never hurt me. One who will wipe away my tears, hold me close, and give me comfort.

He is truly the Father of the fatherless.

Today is Christmas Eve, and on this day many people the world over anticipate receiving gifts. Fancy gifts, expensive gifts, homemade gifts, thoughtfully picked out gifts, weird gifts, unappreciated gifts, even ugly gifts or useless gifts that will be re gifted somewhere down the road.

But after a while, those gifts become meaningless, empty, broken and eventually forgotten and discarded.

However, there is a gift that has been bestowed upon us that will never fall apart, will never rot or rust and will never wear out.

A gift that man has anticipated since the beginning of time.

John 1
The Word Became Flesh

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.

3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

6There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.

10He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.

14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

15John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.' " 16From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. 17For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only,who is at the Father's side, has made him known.


On this day we celebrate His birth, but the truth goes farther, to His death that redeems us, to His rising to the right hand of the Father, and ultimately to His return to gather His own to Him.

On this day we should anticipate not only the celebration of His birth, but the promise of that great and glorious day of His return.

Although it would have been nice, I didn't receive money from my dad, that's ok, it would have only lasted for as long as it took me to spend it.

I have received a much greater gift than money, an eternal gift, the Gift of His Son, Mighty God, Lord of Lords, Emmanuel, God with us, Alpha and Omega, The Word, Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace.

Jesus Christ, my Savior and the Savior of the world.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Expect the Unexpected.

In a couple days it will be Christmas, and when I think about the real meaning of this day, I become awestruck.

In the days of Christ's birth, the Israelites were under Roman oppression. They kept watching and hoping for the Messiah, but what they expected in the Messiah was not what they got.

They expected Him to come save them from oppression in a blaze of glory. They expected Him to be a mighty warrior who would lead them into victorious battle against their oppressors.

What they got, what we got was a little baby. A baby born in a lowly manner, to a young girl, and laid in a manger. He wasn't born in a palace surrounded by riches and servants.

Jesus did come to save us from oppression, but not the kind of oppression that the Israelites suffered, it wasn't our physical bodies that He came to save, it was our very souls. He came to save us from the oppression of sin.

Sin which separates us from God.

He came to save us from eternal death.

He came to free us from oppression of the soul, so we can enjoy true freedom under the banner of God's love.

From His lowly birth to His gruesome death, He accomplished His goal, and it wasn't in the manner that we as humans would have expected from God.

He didn't send a soldier, He sent a Shepherd,
He didn't send a rich man, He sent a poor man,
He didn't send a powerful man, He sent a merciful man,
He didn't come to destroy, but to heal,
He didn't come to condemn, but to redeem,
He was born so that He would die,
He died, so that we may live.




A Strange Way To Save The World


Two thousand years ago, there was no room in the inn for Him, but there is room in our hearts if we just let Him in.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

To do list..

I am one of those people who needs to write lists and cross things off, it gives me a sense of satisfaction, and keeps me on track.

Today, I was supposed to work, but after talking to my boss yesterday, he told me to take today off since I worked Saturday when I was supposed to be off and I would have had mega over time. It was ok by me, I would have had to work a seven day stretch, and I needed time to get some stuff done.

Last night I wrapped presents, packaged them up and got them ready to put in the mail today.

This morning, I wrote out 35 Christmas cards, (late as usual), addressed them, stamped them, and then I was off to the Post Office. I dropped the cards in the drive by box, then parked to take the packages in.

I had two big boxes and one small one. I pulled them out of the back of the Jeep, balanced them precariously on top of each other and slowly and carefully started walking to the door.

Of course, I wasn't careful enough and the small one went flying to the ground. Sighing, I set the big ones down on the ground, and suddenly a very nice woman came running up, 'Here let me help you!' She very kindly carried one for me, held the doors open and helped me inside.

See, there are still kind people in the world. I was very appreciative and thanked her and wished her a Merry Christmas.

After posting my packages, I went to pay my water bill, and return the way, way, WAY overdue library books which have been staring at me for weeks now.

Off to the bank, the grocery store, where I got a 15 pound turkey for $0.29 a pound, can't beat that. They also had a ton of different things for $0.50, like frozen waffles and bags of frozen veges. Yes, love deals like that.

I had to go to another store for dog food, since that store doesn't carry my brand. I also picked up shampoo and razors since I forgot to get them at the other store. See, I need lists!

I came home, unloaded the groceries, put laundry in the washer, cleaned the kitchen up, emptied the dishwasher, took a break.

Laid down for a half hour.

Till Boo came bee bopping in the house like gangbusters.

She left, I laid down again, and for some reason Maggie, one of our outside dogs started hollering and fussing.

I got up again, went to the door and yelled at her, and gave up on the nap.

I then went to the dollar store, picked up some small things for Boo, then went to the hospital for my rabies shot.

Joy.

One more shot to go and I am DONE.

Came home, called my friend Crystal, and started making a pot of Chili while I gabbed with her.

Got off the phone, emptied the dryer, filled it again, and filled the washer again, where DOES all the laundry come from?

I then ate some Chili with chunks of cheese.

Brrrrrrrrrp.

'Scuse me.'

I then tackled the bathrooms, yuck.

But they are shining now, and marked off my list.

I swept the floors, including all the leaves that keep shedding everyday off my ficus tree, it's worse than the dog.

Folded laundry.

Dusted the living room.

Took a shower and I am beat.

I am thinking about all I did today, no wonder I am tired. It would have been easier to go to work.

I still have this cold, it just doesn't want to quit already. I also think I pulled a stomach muscle from coughing, it hurts and I have to hold it when I do cough.

I also have more presents to wrap, and I really hate wrapping presents, I am just not good at it, my back ends up hurting, I get frustrated with it.

Oh, and I did buy Boo her horsie, it is really cute, and I cheated and bought a gift bag for it.


I posed him in front of my Charlie Brown tree, and I had a hard time getting him to sit up, since his head is so big, he kept falling over.

I could have bought her a pair of jeans, well almost, but this is so much more fun, don't ya think?

So I am done with Christmas shopping, and it's not even Christmas Eve yet! Which is really good for me.

Now it's time for bed.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Perspective and Prayers

Today, ok, I admit it, the last few days, I have been weepy and sad. I cried yesterday, the day before and a couple times today.

I can't put my finger on the why, oh I have several different things, for one, Christmas, so close, a holiday I used to get so excited about, it didn't just mean the celebration of Christ's birth, of course the most important aspect of it, but it also meant, family, my family, gathered together.

It didn't matter about the gifts we gave or received, or how much food we ate, although we did do those things, but what mattered was being together. We had some pretty lean Christmases over the years, somehow we would get through, together.

It's so different now, I find myself missing the days when my kids were little, I miss those Christmas Eve nights when I would read Luke 2 to them before they went to sleep. I miss having them jump on my bed Christmas morning in all their young exuberance and excitement.

They are all so far away, and I can't even see my grandchildren.

So I guess I am feeling sorry for myself. I am really tired, have been sick, the loss of the cats still weighs on me as does my DIL's miscarriage, we are really struggling financially, and I spend more time alone without my husband than I should.

And then I heard heartbreaking news, and I wonder why I have been feeling so sorry for myself, when things like this happen. It has a tendency to put things in perspective.

There is a young lady who really needs prayers, her name is Kayla, she has been fighting cancer for some time now, please visit and leave a comment and say a prayer or two or three for her. She beat this before, she can do it again.

I have so much to be thankful for, and this young lady has so much to live for, all her hopes, her dreams, and the love she shares with others.

God can and does give miracles, let's pray that He gives Kayla one.

Tonight, I am shedding tears, but not for myself, my tears are for Kayla.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Just stop.


Feeling a bit overwhelmed with Christmas just a week away, a list a mile long, being sick and having to work everyday, this morning I just wanted to cry.


I went to pick Boo up from school to take her to her internship, and as I sat in the car waiting, I looked up.


The sky was a clear blue, with big puffy clouds hovering here and there, and for that moment, time seemed suspended and I realized that sometimes we just need to stop and be still.


Stop and notice what is all around us, the beauty of nature, the blue sky, the squirrel climbing the tree, and other things, like a baby's smile, or the lonely, poor, cold man walking down the street. Sometimes, we need to stop and just say Thank You.


Thank You that I have a mind to think and reason.


Thank You that I have a heart to love with.


Thank You that I have arms to hug with and hands to work with.


Thank You for my eyes that can see beauty.


Thank You for my ears to hear.


And Thank You for my nose to smell the aroma of food and flowers.


Sometimes we get so busy with all the life things, worry and stress, work, family and friends, school, bills, money or lack of, constantly going, pressuring ourselves to keep going, keep performing, keep striving, that we forget to stop.


We forget to reflect, we see but we don't observe, we hear but we don't listen, we say we love, but we don't show it, we, well, we get so wrapped up in the busyness of our lives, in the problems, the activities, the things, that we often overlook the most important things.


Sometimes we just need to stop.


Be still.


Reflect.


Observe.


Listen.


Love.


And give thanks.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I'm so sick! Whimper!

I am so sick I didn't even go to church this morning, unable to barely even function.

I feel bad about not going, I rarely ever miss church, it was a case of my mind saying go, and my body saying, sleep.

So I slept, most of the day, and didn't accomplish a thing.

When I finally woke around threeish, I still felt pretty yucky and had a hard time opening my eyes, and I was super thirsty.

Crystal is really sick too, she called me and told me she didn't make it to church either.

This is what in the south they not so affectionately refer to as THE CRUD.

It truly makes you feel cruddy.

I was so out of it, I realized after my mind became somewhat functional, that I hadn't even taken a shower or brushed my teeth since yesterday. Upon that realization I truly felt disgusting. So I took a long, hot shower, scrubbed my teeth and felt if not 100% better, at least more comfortable.

I feel like I could really use a couple of more days of rest, but I have to go back to work tomorrow.

Oh JOY.

I don't wanna.

I really, really don't wanna.

*sigh*

I guess I am not singing in the choir since I barely have a voice and I have a cough that sounds like a dog barking.

Woof, woof, woof.

Unless by some miracle I get better soon.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Changes AGAIN!!

Yep, I've been messing around with my template, so bear with me, cuz it may change again. Who knows?

I came across that pic and really liked it, I tried it with my title, and didn't like it, so for now, sans title and description.

I had a terrible couple days at work, stress levels are high, customers are zeroing in on bargains and it has become a shopping frenzy.

I was supposed to be off today, but we are short staffed and the manager took advantage of my good nature, and I was going in for 5:30 am. Yuck. I was supposed to leave at 2:30, yeah right. I was stuck there till 3:30. I told one of my co-workers, I am stuck in Wally World and I can't get out!!!

My boss then asked me if I could work tomorrow.

Ok, I am NOT that much of a door mat, and I actually, for the first time since I have been there told her no, NO, NO!!!

Tomorrow will be my one day off till Christmas Eve, I have a terrible cold, I am terribly tired, and really need a day to relax, a day to spend with God, and refresh my weary body and soul.

Last night at work was terrible and I ended up crying to one of the big managers no less, sobbing in frustration.

It was horrible and embarrassing, and I went in today with trepidation and of course, EVERYONE KNOWS.

I am hoping the rumor mill moves on quickly to the next person. Not that I wish gossip and harm on anyone, I don't, I just don't want all that attention on me.

It's been a very long couple of weeks, there has been heartache and stress, and tomorrow, I am going to just take time to pray.

That is what I really need.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Wellspring of life.

Proverbs 4:23
Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life.

There was an incident this morning that made me think of this verse.

Boo had asked me to go to McDonald's this morning before school, I haven't had time to do my weekly grocery shopping so I really don't have anything quick to make for breakfast.

So off I went while she got ready for school.

On the way, a woman in a white car cut me off.

Fine, I guess she was in a hurry.

She turned into MickeyD's ahead of me and went to the drive through so she was right ahead of me.

I was distracted for a moment and when I looked up, she was giving me the finger.

I have no idea why, since she was the one who cut me off and I didn't even respond to it.

I just ignored her, I find that it's better to just ignore the actions of nasty, mean people.

The worst part was that she had her young children in the car.

What an epitome of good parenting, right?

Afterwards, this verse came to my mind, and I realized that what is in the heart comes out in personality and actions. I then said a prayer for this unknown woman.

I pray that my actions will always reflect what God has done in my heart. And if I don't, then I pray that God will convict me so that I will do better.

I always believed that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

I remember an incident a number of years ago. During one holiday season, right before Thanksgiving, I was working in a book store. A woman came to the counter to make her purchase and she wrote a check. The store's policy was that we needed to see their driver's license when someone wrote a check. Apparently this woman had a problem with that, and just started reading the number off to me. I said, 'I am sorry, ma'am, but store policy says I need to actually see your license.' Angrily, she threw her license at me.

I calmly punched in the numbers and handed her licence back to her and finished the transaction. When I handed her the bag and receipt, I smiled brightly and said, 'Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!'

She was quite taken aback, because after all, why would someone she was so rude to be nice back?

Romans 12:20
On the contrary:
"If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."

Some days it is really hard to be nice to others, especially during the holidays when people seem even worse than usual. But maybe that person is having a particularly hard time, maybe they are going through a divorce, their child is in trouble, problems at work or unemployment, or even a death in the family. We have no way of knowing.

Sometimes, all that person needs is a smile and a kind word.

And a prayer.

We may not know that person and their needs, but God does.

We may have a hard time loving the unlovely, but then we aren't always so lovely either, and God doesn't have a problem loving all people, lovely or not.

Maybe we need to learn to look at people through God's eyes.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Finding the good things

Even during sad times, God showers blessings, if only we open our eyes and look for them.

My husband was worried that the insurance wouldn't pay for my shots so he called them, the good news is that they are paying for it 100% AND they are waiving the co-pay since I have to go so many times. At $50.00 a visit, this is good news indeed.

Last night, Boo and I attended a play at The Andy Griffith Playhouse. It was A Dicken's Tale, adapted from A Christmas Carol. The church provided everyone with free tickets, which was pretty cool. It was a blessing to spend time with my daughter, and we really enjoyed it.

I got my schedule for the week of Christmas, we are closed Christmas day, and somehow I am scheduled off Christmas Eve. I am also off this weekend, and I am hoping I can get some stuff down around the house and maybe some Christmas shopping done, since I haven't even started.

On the way home last night, Boo made me laugh. We stopped at a little convenience store so I could pick up something we needed quick, Boo waited while I ran in. When I came out, she yelled, 'I WANT THE HORSIE!!!' I looked at her in confusion, 'What?'

'LOOK,' she yelled, pointing inside the store window, 'I want the horsie with the big head and little body.' I looked and sure enough, there was a big stuffed horse hanging there.

All the way home, she repeated over and over, 'I want the horsie! I want the horsie!'

At 17, she can be such a little girl at times, and maybe I will surprise her with the horsie for Christmas.

She has a gift of making me laugh when I so need it, my daughter is truly a treasure.

Yes, even during sad times, I can find many things to be thankful for.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Old things pass away.

That statement is so true.

I was reading some of my posts in my old blog from Christmases past, waxing nostalgic, I suppose. Missing family and friends, missing snowy wintry mornings, the hustle and bustle of preparing for Christmas, the Pennsylvania mountains capped in snow.

And Noodles.


Last night, it hit me so hard that she is gone and I cried and cried, Boo heard me and came in my bedroom, sat behind me and wrapped her arms around me. Even with her own hurt and heartache, she wanted to comfort her mama.

Oh, I loved all the cats, but Noodles was so special, so unique in personality, that from the first moment I set eyes on her in the pet store, I was in love.

It was that little orange face.



Last night it hit me that she is really gone, maybe it was when I came home from work and she wasn't there, running across the yard to see me.



I think that if she had died naturally, it wouldn't be easy, but it would be a bit easier to accept.



The part that really hurts is that they took her away as if she had no value, as if she meant nothing. As if no one loved her.



But she was worth something, she was loved. And she is sorely missed.



I am working through my grief one day at a time, one prayer at a time. Some people may not understand the grief one feels at the loss of a beloved pet, but it is real, it is painful. She was part of my family, and every where I look there are memories, her laying in the kitchen window, dashing across the yard, rubbing against the dog.



I would tell her to give me some love, and she would jump on my lap and rub her face against mine, purring and happy.

Some day, I know that the hurt will ease, and I will be able to remember her with a smile, but for now, I grieve her loss.

In the meantime, I grasp onto the hope I have in Jesus, my greatest Comforter. Last night I had a dream that I was walking in a meadow, I was heartbroken and lonely and crying. I found a path that led to a beautiful valley and Jesus was there, just sitting there as if He was waiting for me. I went to my knees before Him and told Him that I wasn't worthy for Him to even look upon, but He lifted my face and looked at me and told me that He loved me. I cried at His feet, and He put His hand on my head.

Even in my dreams I seek Him.

Psalm 147:3
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Trials

James 1:2-4
2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 1:12
12Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.


Being a Christian does not guarantee a perfect, problem free life. Although many people believe so, then they are disappointed that it isn't so.



James wrote the passage above knowing that we would face many trials. We suffer through things as many others do, but there is a difference.



As a Christian, we have a God who provides us with the things we need to get through the tough times. And we can claim the power of Christ as we struggle and muddle through. He has provided us with powerful tools, if we only are willing to use them.




The things we suffer open us up to a greater faith, faith not in ourselves or our own abilities, but faith in a God who loves us. Faith is a gift from God, and when our faith is refined and strengthened through our reliance on God, our lives become a testimony to others.

Prayer, which is more than a cry for help, it is direct communication with God. And when we pray we should always have the attitude of praise, thanksgiving and worship no matter what we are going through.

Through prayer, we develop a closer more intimate relationship with our Creator as we continually turn to Him. He allows us to go through these things so that we will turn to Him. Often we have a tendency to turn away, those are the times He keeps pushing us down until we are on our knees. He even allows are hearts to be broken, oftentimes over and over again, until our hearts are wide open to His love.


There are two things which He gifts us with so that our burdens are easier to bear.

Hope, even a small flicker of hope can grow and burn brighter and brighter. Hope for what is yet to come. Hope for tomorrow. Hope for an eternal inheritance as co-heirs with Christ. Hope for the day when all sorrow will no longer be, when all tears are wiped away and all hearts are healed of brokenness. Hope that there will be a day when all sickness and disease no longer exists, when all sin is vanquished and we will be perfect beings reflecting God's glory.

We also have peace. Peace that comes from the knowledge that God is always with us, during good times and bad. Peace in knowing that He does not forsake the ones He loves. Peace in the promise of what is to come, that all this will pass away, but His promise and His love never will.

James tells us to persevere during the testing of our faith, this doesn't mean we don't suffer, or grieve or cry, it doesn't mean that we need to be strong, we can't in and of ourselves. Our strength lies in the Power of God's love, in the hope that is ours through the Power of Christ's sacrifice, and through the peace that He gives us in the knowledge that He is in control, and through our faith in the One who longs for a deeper relationship with us.

Through loss and grief, we gain love, peace, hope, joy, maturity, strength and a closer walk with God and in the process our God is glorified!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Long week.

I don't know exactly what I did, but now my template is white, just white, and I am just too tired to mess with it anymore tonight.

I am finally done working my seven day stretch, and I am off tomorrow!

Woo Woo!!!

I feel better today, although I did go for my shot tonight and my arm really, really hurts. Three more to go, and I am not looking forward to it.

I went to church this morning and ended up crying in Sunday School, I love all my brothers and sisters there, they were so sympathetic and some even cried with me.

My friend Crystal is going through a rough time right now as well. She is only bearing things because God is seeing her through. This Wednesday is the one year anniversary of her brother's death, I posted about it last year on my old blog. He was only 31, so that is looming large in her mind. She is pretty broke and is struggling financially. And she had more bad news this week, her aunt has been diagnosed with cancer in her kidneys, lungs and spine.

Crystal is the dearest, sweetest woman I know. She cried over my cats as if they were her own. Every time she sees her own cats, she cries because it reminds her of my own loss. She is going through her own troubles, yet she she grieves with me over my loss. God has provided me with such a wonderful friend in her, and I pray that I am as good a friend to her as she has been to me.

It has been the longest couple of weeks for me, I am beat.

So I believe I am going off to pray, read my Bible a bit and then sleep.

Tomorrow is another day, and maybe I can tackle the piles of laundry that seems to have multiply over night.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Rainbow Bridge

Rest in Peace.

Noodles and Knock Knock and babies.

December 7, 2007





Friday, December 7, 2007

What happened?

Sheesh, if it's not one thing it's another.

I am sitting here looking at my blog. I accidently clicked it off, when I went back, my background was changed!!!

I don't want Santa on my blog, I liked my snowflakes!!

Now I have to fix it, grrrrrrrr.

And I will lose all my links and widgets and have to do it ALL over.

What a pain!!!

I AM NOT IN THE MOOD FOR THIS!!!

And I want to know HOW my template got changed!

*breathe*

Ok, I need to calm down, I am just really still upset about my cats, and this is a minor thing, and I really shouldn't get all that upset about it.

Right?

Right.


Yesterday, Animal Control set box cages up in my basement since the cats have free access.

They are all trapped, it's awful.

This morning, I heard one of them crying through the kitchen floor.

I am crying with them, and I can't bear to go down there. I wish Animal Control would just come and get them, this is torture.

Not that I want to lose them, but this waiting is killing me.

When I got up this morning, I fed the dog, and had to remind myself that I didn't need to feed the cats. When I let the dog out for her morning ritual, it was hard not seeing the cats on the back porch waiting to be fed.

As for the rabies shots, they have changed things, no longer are they administered in the stomach. I received one in my arm, one in my behind, and the last one and most painful, was one needle which was repeatedly shot in around the wound area. The other four will be administered over the next 28 days, on the 9th, the 15th, the 20th, and January 3rd. They also put me on antibiotics for any secondary infections that may arise. Fortunately, I had my tetanus shot in 2005, so that is still good and I didn't have to have that additional pain.

It was so bad, I told the nurse that I would rather give birth.

But the needle pain fades, the heart pain is another matter.

On top of the loss of my grandchild, this is hard to bear.

I know with God's help, I will get through this.


DT held me last night as I sobbed, he is just as upset, he really loves Knock Knock (Enoch).

I am so thankful that my dogs are safe, I don't think I could have handled the loss of them as well.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Never ever assume

As I write this post, I am in pain physically and in my heart.

I assumed Noodles rabies shot was a three year shot, and I was wrong.

There was a raccoon in my yard yesterday, Animal Control came and got it. Noodles went after the raccoon, and they fought.

Today, Animal Control called.

The raccoon had rabies.

They came to set traps for my cats.

Enoch and the two kittens were too young for shots.

Yesterday, Noodles scratched me.

Tonight, I had three rabies shots and I have to go back for four more.

My heart is broken over Noodles and Enoch. They are my babies, and they are taking them and going to put them down.

Never assume your animals are safe.

I could have taken a chance and not went to the hospital, and I may have been dead in ten to fifteen days.

Rabies is a gruesome, painful death.

As painful as the shots are, I had rather be safe than sorry.

How weird is it that all my dog's shots were three year shots, but the cat's wasn't?

There is nothing I can do to save my cats.

And it breaks my heart.

Five things Meme

I've been tagged.

Yep, my new friend, Loveable tagged me with a meme.

I am supposed to list five weird/random facts about me then tag five more people.

Now we all know how much I LOVE memes, (can you hear the sarcasm?), but since I am such a nice person I will play along.

Besides, I can't think of anything else to write about at the moment.

So here it is, five weird/random things about me.


1. Where does a five feet tall, 110 pound woman put five slices of pizza with bacon and mushrooms? I have no clue, all I know is that I can stuff myself till I feel like I am going to explode, an hour later be starving again, and I don't gain an ounce. This is a blessing I am really thankful for since I absolutely love food.


2. Sometimes when I am home alone, I put a favorite CD on and sing my heart out. I really do love to sing, but it's hard for me to sing in front of others, something I am working on.


3. I have a tendency to get excited about a new interest or activity, then lose interest after a while. I get bored easily, so I don't like to do things that are repetitive in nature. I think that is one reason I have had so many different jobs.


4. My one wish is that I didn't have to work, I miss being a stay at home wife and mother. I get frustrated easily because there are so many things I want to do but work cuts into my time and I have a hard time just keeping up with the everyday things like laundry and housekeeping. I hate being on an employer's time schedule, it really irks me.


5. I love cake, so much in fact that I once ate three-fourths of a full sheet cake over a three day period. However, I don't much like chocolate cake, I would rather have yellow or white cake. I don't like chocolate ice cream either, I don't eat much ice cream due to a intolerance of dairy products, but when I do I always get vanilla ice cream. I do like chocolate, as long as it is in candy form, and I prefer dark over milk chocolate.

Well, there are my five things. I am supposed to tag five people, but I won't, I will just leave an open invitation to anyone who wants to play along.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

One down...

six more to go.

Days of work that is, I am working a seven day stretch.

Joy.

Then I get one day off, then work one, then a day off. I would rather have my two days off in a row, but it rarely works like that.

*sigh*

I'm not really complaining, it just makes for one tired Deni.

Tomorrow night I have my first choir practice, I talked to the manager and asked him if I could leave work early to go as long as I got my work done and he was fine with that.

I am excited and really nervous about it! I tried to practice with the CD when I got home from work last night, but my throat is a bit sore so I think I sounded awful! I need to get some throat lozenges before tomorrow.

I think I am trying to come down with a cold, the sore throat, a bit of congestion and sneezing are pretty strong indications. I hope not, that would put a pretty big damper on my singing.

I did have this past weekend off which was nice. DT, Boo and I put up the Christmas decorations on Saturday, but yesterday it was so windy that half of them blew down. I set them on the porch till I can get them back up.

It's a hard thing for me to decorate the house for Christmas, even though I love the holiday so much. It always brings out nostalgia and homesickness. A tear or two is always shed, then I gather myself together and get it done.

There are so many memories tucked away in those boxes marked Christmas, ornaments that hung on my mother's tree, things my kids made when they were little, gifts from loved ones and good friends. A lifetime of memories.

Now I need to make new memories to go along with my new life.

I have a lot to be thankful for during this Christmas season.

I am posting one of my favorite Christmas songs, I think it says it all.


Sunday, December 2, 2007

Today was a GOOD day!

Oh it started out a little rough, I got up early not really wanting to, made my coffee and sat for a bit to wake up.

I took my shower, and I really need to start getting my clothes ready for church the night before.

I took out my beautiful green sweater dress, a thrift shop find, and ironed it, only to discover that the hem has fallen out.

I thought I would just tack it up quick, but of course a sewing needle was not to be found, not in my sewing machine, or even the pin cushion or even in my cross stitch stuff. Now I know I have needles, but where they may be is another story.

So I ironed my black velvet that DT bought me quite a few years back.

After doing my hair and makeup, I was running a little late, but I made it to church in time.

They made an announcement that they were still looking for singers for the choir.

Singers or would be singers were to see the music minister for a CD and book after services.

I said to Crystal, 'So you gonna drag me up there to sign up?'

'Nope, although I would like to, it's up to you, but you should just take the plunge and go for it.'

'This is a scary plunge.'

'Yep, but if you fall, Jesus will catch you.'

She is right, of course.

So I took the plunge and signed up, got my book and CD and told him I would try to make it Wednesday, I have to see if they will let me leave early from work.

I then came home, made dinner, so that DT could eat before he went off to work.

I cleaned up and laid down for a bit, setting the clock so I could go back to the church this evening for the new members tour. They were also looking for volunteers to help with the gifts for the shut ins.

Crystal called me at about 3:30. I was in a dead sleep.

'Are you going to church to help with the project before the tour?'

I blearily looked at the clock. I would never make it I thought since that was at 4.

I told her no, I wasn't gonna make it.

But then I thought, oh why not, I may be a little late, but at least I will be there.

I felt yucky from my nap so I dashed in the shower for a quick rinse, dressed and went out the door.

It took me way longer to get to church than I expected. The city was having their annual Christmas parade, and all the roads that I needed were blocked, I ended up turning around three times, had to come back by my house to get on the back road, and end up going way way out of my way.

But I did get there by 4:30.

I helped for a bit, then the Pastor gathered all us new members and we took the grand tour.

At the very end of the tour, I asked about the library/media room.

The Pastor started telling us about it, then mentioned that they need people to work in the library, cataloguing and sorting.

'PICK ME!!! PICK ME!!!'

I didn't hesitate a moment, I jumped right in and volunteered.

I have been stumbling around in the church looking for where I fit in, and now I suddenly have two things.

The singing thing has been thrown in my face over and over, the shy part of me just didn't want to accept it.

And suddenly another opportunity comes out just when I least expect it.

Music and books, my two most favorite things.

My sister told me the last time I talked to her not to worry that God would lead me to where I belong, and that doors would suddenly open. I see that she was right, and it's awesome!

I prayed about it and just let it rest in God's hands, trusting Him to lead me where He wants me.

Now if I could just find it as easy to let go and trust Him in ALL aspects of my life.

But I guess as long as I am taking steps forward in my walk, even if they are baby steps, it's progress.

And I feel good, really really good, I am excited and uplifted and praising God!

2 Samuel 22:47
"The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock!
Exalted be God, the Rock, my Savior!"

Friday, November 30, 2007

Weakness

I am weak.

Yes, my faith especially.

Sometimes when things aren't quite right in my life, I am tempted to look to outward things of the world to make me feel better. These things sneak up on me, and wala, I feel a bit better. For a while.

But then it soon passes, what has happened?

Things of the world aren't lasting, a compliment from someone soon fades, things bought soon are forgotten or broken, clothes wear out, food is quickly consumed, and the list goes on and on.

And then when that happens we are off to seek the next thing that we think will make us happy, and if not happy, then maybe just better.

And it turns into a never ending merry-go-round, seeking and looking, and never quite achieving the happiness we seek.

Even Christians can fall into this trap.

We see something we want, or we feel something in our life is lacking, and too often we want what the world offers instead of seeking the One True Source of lasting joy and eternal peace.

Last night as I said in my last post, a man at work flirted with me. It was a HUGE ego boost, of course it was, and I basked in it, even if I didn't fall into the temptation of flirting back, I relished the feelings it invoked in me, and then my thoughts turned to what I perceive that I don't have.

A PERFECT MARRIAGE.

Show me one couple who has a perfect marriage and I will wash your feet.

On the surface maybe, but where you put two sinful people together you will eventually have some kind of problems.

Even Christian couples.

And I don't know where my husband stands spiritually. Oh, I know he believes in God, he believes in Jesus, but I am not sure where his heart lies. Only God knows that.

But this isn't about him, this is about me, and I am weak.

For a little while, I looked to something other than God to fill me.

Ok, now this is a shady area. There really is nothing wrong with receiving a compliment and enjoying it, what is wrong is when you try and replace the real source of joy with something so fleeting.

Nothing on earth can replace the Love God has for me. Nothing else can fill me and satisfy me.

I've been down the dark roads of life, and the places that those roads took me to left me empty and lonely. I was broken, embittered and hungry. Sin was an illusion, a fake, false satisfaction that never lasted longer than the moment, yet it deceived me over and over again, and I would think, 'Next time, next time it will be different, better, lasting.'

Oh, how wrong I was!

I thought I was in control, but I was out of control!

Last night was just a pale reflection of my past, a reminder of who I once had been. I am no longer that person, and I don't need a false sense of self-esteem to make me feel better.

All I need is my Lord, my Savior, the Lover of my soul.

My life is in His hands, and with Jesus by my side how can I be lonely?

Deuteronomy 31:8
"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

so tired

I am so tired.

It just seems like this week is dragging. I have to work tonight, then I am off Saturday and Sunday.

Yay, for weekends off.

I plan on sleeping late tomorrow.

I probably won't though, this internal clock of mine will wake me at approximately 6 am.

I want to dig the Christmas decorations out tomorrow.

DT is not working tomorrow, he already has 50 hours in this week and still has to work tonight. The poor man is exhausted. He went to bed at 6:30 this morning and within five minutes was cutting zzzz's.

I am glad he's not working tomorrow, he not only needs the rest, but we really could use some quality time together.

He did kind of hurt my feelings yesterday. I went to him and put my arms around him and said, 'I am looking forward to spending time with you on Saturday.' He said, 'I am working Saturday.'

I looked at him feeling a bit rejected, after I had told him I don't know how many times that I was off, and he had told me how many times he wasn't going to work since I was off.

He knew the look on my face didn't bode well for him.

He said, 'Are you off on Saturday?'

'I told you I was.'

'That's right, then I won't work.'

'Don't stay home on my account,' I said. Ok, I know I let my hurt rule my tongue, it flew out before I could think.

But he is staying home, and now I am feeling like I manipulated him into it. I would rather he stay home because he wants to spend time with me, not out of a sense of obligation or guilt.

I am just so tired of being alone. Boo is always off doing her thing, she is a teenager after all. In the mornings, DT is sleeping, I then go off to work, he leaves for work at 4 pm, I get home at 8:30 pm, and he gets home at 5:30 in the morning.

Sometimes I just feel like I am not a priority in his life. Last week, he left to go hunting with his buddy, I spent Thanksgiving with strangers, although I am thankful I wasn't alone, I would have preferred being with my family.

Last Christmas, I was alone. Boo was in PA visiting her Dad, DT was off hunting, and here I sat.

I don't begrudge DT his hunting, it's his thing, and I won't keep him from something he loves to do, I just want a little time for me.

I guess I was hurt yesterday because he didn't sound as if he wanted to spend time with me.

Sometimes a single person will say to me, 'At least you have someone.'

Yeah, ok. What they don't realize that marriage can be lonely, and it shouldn't be.

My woman's heart longs for more. Oh, I am not going anywhere, I have no desire to seek another, but yesterday a man I work with flirted with me, and ya know what? It felt good to have someone pay attention to me.

I was a bit flabbergasted, I really am not used to it, and I get tongue tied very easily, so I brushed it off, and I am definitely not interested.

But it was nice.

And I guess it just made me think about my marriage, and how DT used to say nice things to me, and flirt with me, and want to spend time with me.

And how much I wish we could get that back.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Drawing closer to God

Last night I talked to my DIL for quite a while, she felt a little better yesterday, but she described feelings of anger and loss. A normal reaction.

But she is immersing herself in the Word of God, she is looking for answers.

JP took his family to church on Sunday, knowing that they needed to be with the people of God.

Tragedy can so often drive us away from God, we see this often, and there have been times in my own life when I allowed that to happen, letting myself become embittered and angry, blaming God for my problems.

But turning to Him in times of sorrow, can bring us closer to Him, opening our hearts to experience His full all encompassing love, compassion, and mercy.

I believe God uses the hard things in our lives to draw us closer to Him, if we just turn and seek Him.

But too often we only turn to Him when things are bad, we must not forget to worship and praise Him in the good times also.

I love to read the Psalms, and recurring theme I find awesome in the Psalms of David particularly, is that he always gave God the glory, no matter the circumstances. David was often depressed, lonely, and frightened. Enemies pursued him, surrounded him, wanting to take his life. But even in the midst of all these things, he always praised God.

We can not know fully God's mind, he is beyond our mere human understanding, but we can know and accept that He is a just God, that He knows us better than we know ourselves, that He is faithful, even when we are weak, that He is compassionate when we are suffering.

My son and DIL suffered a loss of a child, and who can understand better such a loss than God?

I grieve the grandchild that was lost, but even so, I rest in the presence of my Lord, I find comfort in Him, and I have not lost the peace and joy that has been given me through His grace.

And that is my fervent prayer for my children.


James 4
8Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Grandparents grieve too.

Today, it's really hit me hard, I cried in church, I cried at work, and I am still crying.

JP called me in desperation, wanting Bible verses to help his wife. He loves her so much, and the loss of their baby is devastating.

I found some verses that I hope will help, but then I in turn, called my Pastor's wife, who is a grief counselor.

I broke down in tears again.

And she said something interesting, that I, as a grandparent have been hit with grief twice. I not only lost my grandchild, I hurt because my child hurts.

And there is really nothing I can do or say to make his hurt less or his wife's hurt less. I can only love and support them, and share in their grief.

A lot of people minimize a miscarriage, mostly because secular society doesn't always agree that a fetus is a real child.

I beg to differ.

Miscarriage is a real loss. It was a real baby.

God's word says in Psalm 139

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

God knew that child from the moment of conception, and all of that child's days were ordained.

And a joyfully expectant mother loves the child that is forming inside her.

I remember when I conceived my son. I knew the moment I had conceived. Two weeks later, I was sure. Another two weeks went by and it was confirmed.

As young as I was, as scared as I was, I was more terrified of losing him. He laid under my heart, developing and growing for nine months, how could I not love him? He was a part of me.

Today, he is a grown man, a husband and father, and now a grieving father who is trying so hard to hold his family together, to help his wife through this, to be the strong one.

When he called me Friday morning, he was crying so hard that it broke this mother's heart.

If I could take his tears I would. If I could take his hurt I would. If I could take his lost child's place, I would.

But I can't, I am helpless and I am grieving.

I have decided that it's ok to grieve this loss.

It's real, it's painful.

And I am not alone.

Psalm 147:3
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Changes Again!

It seems I can't enough of change.

So I putzed around this morning, and changed my background.

What do you all think?

Christmas is coming. I love Christmas.

There are a few things I want to add here, but I don't have the time today.

I need to cook.

Today is Thanksgiving.

Oh, I know it was really on Thursday, I am not that dumb. But since I had to work, and DT and Boo were off to do their own things, then I am having it today.

I really do need to get off here, I have a lot to do.

Sweep the floor, finish laundry, run to the store, stuff the bird, and you know, all that fun stuff.

Later this afternoon, Crystal is coming to join us, Boo and her beau will be here, and DT and his friend are planning to arrive sometime this afternoon, if they can drag themselves from the woods.

I am ok today, as upset as I was yesterday with the loss we had, I have God filling me up, and I have so much to be thankful for.

And besides, that child must have been very special indeed since God took him or her home.

That gives me comfort.

I still have all my wonderful children, my SIL and DIL, and five sweet grandchildren.

I have my four sisters and a brother. My Dad and my Grandma.

A plethora of other family members.

Two best friends.

And my dear sweet husband who when he heard about the baby being lost, insisted that he is coming home early to be with me.

I have my God who strengthens me, Who loves me beyond measure, Who guides me along my path, Who carries me when I am weak, and Who has given me so much to be thankful for.

Even though part of my heart is saddened by the loss of a grandchild, I come before God with a grateful heart, my heart is full with His love, peace and joy.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Prayer request

Please pray for my son, JP and his wife, Jenn.

Jenn lost the baby.

They are devastated.

And I am heartbroken for them.

I know that we can't always see God's purposes, but He is faithful, and all things work for the good of those who love Him.

Even the harsh things, even the sad things, even this.

To my unborn grandchild,

I love you Baby, even though I will never hold you, I will never play with you, or count your fingers and toes.

But I know that you are in God's arms and that you are loved more than I can I say with mere words.

Your parents miss you, they cry over the loss of you, as do I, but you have a Heavenly Father who can and will love you forever.

Someday, when I get where you are, I will be able to love you and hug you like I long to do. But in the meantime, you have a great grandmom, and a great great grandmom there who will step in, until I get there.

You also have a cousin there baby, who you can play with, so I know with such a wonderful family, that you are safe.

And I know you are in a place of complete Joy.

You will never face hardship and heartache, you will never suffer loss as we do, and for that, I am thankful.

I love you, Baby.

Mommom

Not Alone

My family abandoned me for Thanksgiving.

No, I am not feeling sorry for myself, just stating a fact.

DT's best friend showed up from PA on Tuesday. He got a little lost and ended up at Mickey D's, so I went and rescued him.

They left that afternoon to go hunting down in the swamps on Cape Fear River. Hubby called me yesterday morning, highly disappointed, he missed a buck with a huge rack.

Boo spent the day with her boyfriend and his family. They invited her when she told them I had to work.

Then my schedule was switched from 11 am to 8 pm, to 4 am to 1 pm. Which was ok, I would rather have had my afternoon off on Thanksgiving.

I was extremely tired though, on Wednesday, I worked till nearly 8:30 pm, came home, got a few hours sleep, up at 2 am to go back for 4 am. And Wednesday night was horrible, being the night before a big holiday we were extremely busy and I ended up not getting out of there when I was supposed to.

I slept 11 hours last night.

Told you I was exhausted.

When my friend Crystal found out that I was going to be alone yesterday afternoon, she invited me to her families. So I went.

It was nice, lots of people I didn't know, but I did have a good time. It made me truly Thankful that God has provided me with such a wonderful friend as Crystal.

There was a young woman there who invited me to her house on December 15th to celebrate Christmas. I think she felt sorry for me! And I felt sorry for her, because this young woman has Polio.

But after talking to Crystal, this woman certainly doesn't need pity, she is strong and capable, and apparently very good hearted. I will pray for her though.

I felt like I made a couple of new friends, which is awesome.

Afterwards I came home, settled the animals, changed into comfy clothes, made a cup of tea, and then I called my son. I had already talked to Pookie in the morning when I took my lunch break, and I hadn't had a chance to talk to JP yet.

My DIL answered and I talked to her for a few, she is finally pretty much over her morning sickness with baby number three. Then I talked to Blake, who was very excited because they got a Spongebob table and chair set, then Hali got on the phone and babbled something I couldn't understand except for the word, 'Mommom'. Well, at least she knows who I was! Then JP finally got to talk, he sounded as tired as I felt. He is a hard worker, plus coaching Blake's peewee football games, which by the way, they won the tournament, so football is done for them.

I did have a bad moment on the phone when I had to tell myself not to cry, I miss them all so much and they are so far away. It was when JP told me that Blake is really stretching and is 4 feet tall already, and I said, pretty soon he will be as tall as me! It was just a reminder of how much I am missing with my grandchildren.

I had one of those moments on the phone with Pookie, when she told me how Delilah's potty training is proceeding and the little pip finally figured out that she is supposed to pull her panties down to go potty.

But I am thankful. I am thankful that all my children are doing well, that my grandchildren are healthy and thriving, that I have a new grand baby on the way, that I have family that loves each other.

I am thankful that I have a good husband, who works hard and who loves me.

I am thankful for my friends, those here in my life and on the net.

I am thankful that I have a roof over my head and a place to lay my head at night when so many others don't.

I am thankful for a full belly when so many others are hungry.

I am thankful for my health, when others suffer from so many problems.

I am thankful for my church home, where I have another 'family' who truly cares about each other.

I am truly thankful for the simple pleasures in life, a cup of coffee made just right, a sunrise, the colors of the leaves on the trees, cheesecake, hugs, long talks on the phones, an email from a friend, a good book, public libraries, road trips, and music.

And I am thankful for my God, for my Savior, for His love that carries me through each and every moment of my life.

I am never alone, even when it seems I am.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving

On this eve of Thanksgiving, I am posting two videos. The first, Amazing Grace in remembrance of my grandmother, Mammam, and the second, It Is Well With My Soul, for my mother, who both now reside in Glory and are now giving thanks for eternity.

This is Chris Tomlin's version of Amazing Grace, it's a beautiful video. The second one tells the story of how and why it was written, after the writer, Horatio Spafford lost all five of his children.

What an amazing testimony!

Let us remember what Thanksgiving is really for, it's not about turkey or pumpkin pie, it's about giving all our thanks to the One who gives us all we have.

May God bless you all!!!

I love you!






Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Changes Part 3

I am praying for an unknown person or persons in the church. I don't know who it is, and neither does anyone else for that matter, except God and the person who did it.

Apparently, (from what I have been told), some people in the church find change hard to accept. And have tried to have the pastor removed, of course under the guise of anonymity.

A letter went out to all the members, an anonymous letter. "Please prayerfully consider that Pastor ***** will moved to another area of ministry, so that we can be united."

Of course, this caused an uproar, and is definitely not the majorities opinion.

As I stated in my last post, a woman in class stated how satan will get shook up right before an awakening in the church and will cause something to happen to oppose it.

It blew up in satan's face.

I have been attending there for a year, in the last several months, especially in the last weeks, the sanctuary has been packed full during the contemporary service (one thing some people don't approve of).

This past Sunday was no exception, it seemed there were even more that the week before.

At the end of the service, the pastor made an alter call for prayer, deacons went forward and knelt, many, many others followed.

A few minutes later, people rose and began going back to their seats, but then suddenly, one person went and stood next to the pastor, then another, and another...until everyone there, stood and joined him, encircling the sanctuary, and joining hands in a moment of solidarity and unity.

The Minister of Music began singing, "We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord, we are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord. And we pray that our unity will one day be restored, and they will see we are Christians by our love, by our love, they will see we are Christians by our love!"

And one by one, the people started singing along, until the whole sanctuary swelled with our voices filled with unity and love.

I looked at the pastor, now with his wife and daughter by his side. He was choked with emotion, he was touched so deeply that so many would stand by his side.

Two days later, I am still so deeply touched when I think of that moment, of the outpouring of love that filled the sanctuary.

We talked with the pastor and several others afterwards, we are not angry with the person. But this person obviously needs prayer. And they definitely need love.

And maybe this is God's way of removing the chaff.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Changes Part 2

Sometimes change is hard to deal with, sometimes we resist changing something about ourselves, or we are not happy with changes around us.

We become stuck in a rut, and we like it there, because we feel safe in familiar territory.

OK, we may feel safe, but there are hazards to resisting change.

We can become narrow minded for one thing, we want things the way WE want them, and it doesn't matter what someone else thinks.

There is no challenge in staying in the same place, we limit our potential for learning and growth.

Sometimes, though we may resist, God pushes in a direction we do not want to go, and our world will change forever. It shakes us up, wakes us up, and we change in ways we didn't expect or didn't think we even needed.

Imagine what would happen if a mother robin didn't push her babies from the nest. They would end up crippled, unable to leave and stuck there, unable to even feed themselves until they slowly starved to death. Not a pretty picture.

The mother pushes the baby out of the nest for a purpose, so they can learn how to fly!

That's what God does to us, He pushes us from our own self made nests.

Thank God He does!

When I lived in Pennsylvania, for the last few years there, I really felt stuck. Oh, I had my family, I had my home, a job, friends. But I was in a rut, with no direction, no real life, just existing day in and day out. In some ways I felt like I was suffocating with boredom, in other ways I felt starved. I didn't know what I was longing for though, something unnamed, something that I couldn't see.

Then something big happened.

God pushed me out of my nest. And I landed here in N. Carolina.

I admit it, I didn't want to move here. Even though my heart longed for something more in my life, I was so used to my rut, I was safe in my rut, I didn't have to force myself to make hard decisions, I could stay in my shy little shell, and just exist.

But God wanted more for me.

And my life has been changed.

Ironically, when I was in that rut, even though a big part of me wanted to stay there, I also prayed for whatever was missing.

God answered that in a big way.

My life has changed. I don't think I would have grown and changed in the ways I have if I would have remained there.

When we did arrive here, I was so scared. I didn't know anyone at all, I didn't have a job, I got lost on several occasions trying to find my way around town, which was really scary since I didn't know anyone I could call for help or directions.

But over the course of the last twenty months, God has really worked in my life.

Of course, I have had a lot of bad moments. Not too long ago, I wrote a post on my previous blog which reflected all my doubts, all my fears, my loneliness, my depression, everything.

Yesterday, in church someone stated (because of something that happened in the church which I will get to in my next post), that when a spiritual awakening is about to happen, satan gets shook up and opposes it in one form or another.

Satan was bombarding me with all kinds of bad thoughts and feelings.

But the harder he lambasted me, the more I turned to God, the more I prayed in desperation. I prayed so hard, I think my knees bled. I cried out to God, and when I didn't have words, the Spirit cried out for me.

And I was rescued from despair.

God doesn't want us to stay in the same place, He wants us to learn how to fly. He wants us to grow and learn, He wants us to use all our gifts and talents to our full potential.

And I don't think He is done with me yet!

Who knows where He may lead me next?

But now I know that I can embrace change, it's not the bad thing that so many make it out to be.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Changes Part 1

I haven't just changed my blog.

I've changed.

But it's not a work that I did myself. God has done the work, I am simply the clay and He is the Potter.

Lately, I have felt some things just falling away from me. As I strive with a willingness to follow Him, I am changing.

And yes, they are good changes.

Of course, I haven't just sat back and waited for some miracoulous change to over come me, I willingly surrendered my life, my WHOLE life to God.

I stand on His promises, I pray without ceasing, I worship, I am convicted, and I am learning to love others.

Worry and fear and stress have been a dark cloud over my life, depression dogged my foot steps. For a long time I felt as if the weight of the world was on my shoulders.

In Matthew 11, it says:
28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

I have read this and heard this passage hundreds of times, yet never quite understood it.

Until now.

I am no longer burdened by the worries of this world. I went to Jesus and He has given me rest in my soul.

My heart is no longer heavy laden, it has been lightened.

No, my problems haven't magically gone away.

My mortgage is still late, bills are still piled up, Boo has a lot of needs, DT is still working alot, as am I.

And yes, we are both tired.

I am tired physically, but my soul is WIDE AWAKE and BURSTING with the JOY OF THE LORD!!!

The worry and fear of our financial woes has fallen away.

God will provide! I know this is true, and I have chosen to trust Him in ALL things.

I have changed.

I refuse to wallow in self pity. I push envy and selfish ambition away.

For I discovered something, it's NOT ALL ABOUT ME, it's ALL ABOUT HIM!

I am not entitled to anything, and everything I do have is a wondrous gift from God.

My family, my job, my home, my friends, my church, even my pets!

I now come before Him with a grateful heart, and each day I am humbled because of what He has done for me.

He has covered me with His Grace. He has shown me mercy when I deserved none. He has loved me unconditionally, even when I was whining and fretting, even when I was at my worst!

Just as He loves you and you and even you, yes, YOU!

It's ok that my readership has seemlingly declined, it's ok that I don't get comments like I used to.

What matters is that someone somewhere out there may some day read my words and find the peace and joy that I have.

As many of you know, I have gone through many struggles, many trials, and big changes.

Many of my struggles were mental and spiritual, many of those struggles are gone.

I am still a work in progress, I am still finding my way through a whole set of things, I am learning and growing. I am studying and praying. I am striving to be who God wants me to be.

Most of all I am trusting Him, something I had a problem with for a long time.

How can I not trust Him? He died for me so that I may live!

Hallelujah!!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Confessions

I have a confession to make.

This one will shock you.

Really.

Ready?

I am two timing my husband.

That's right.

I am.

I have two guys.

I have two guys who love me.

One loved me so much, He died for me.

Yep. He died.

And a most brutal death it was, He didn't just die a simple death, He suffered tremendously.

But guess what?

He still lives.

Yep.

So I have two guys.

Two guys that love me.

The other is my husband, DT. And I know he loves me too.

The first guy's name is Jesus.

Isn't that awesome?

And you know what?

He will never fail me, unlike a human man.

He is always trustworthy, unlike a human man.

He will never hurt me, unlike a human man.

He is perfect. Can we say that about human men? I can't even say that about myself.

As much as I love my husband, I admit that I love Jesus more.

I can't help myself, I am in love with Him.

And why shouldn't I be?

He has done more for me than any man on earth has done.

And as much as I love being married, I know that even if I wasn't, I still wouldn't be alone, because I will still have a guy.

Jesus.

'Thank you, Jesus for loving me, even when I am unlovable. Thank you, for always being there for me, even when I have turned away. Thank you for picking me up when I stumble and fall. Thank you for being my strength when I am weak. Thank you for being faithful, when I am unfaithful. Thank you for dying for me, but most of all, thank you for living for me. I love You.'

Friday, November 16, 2007

Just some random thoughts.

Today I prayed, "Lord, help me to be thankful for my job!"

Ugh, bad day, enough said.

I wonder how it could be 70 degrees two days ago, and now it's in the 30's.

The cats left me a nice really gross present the other morning, a dead squirrel. But not just any dead squirrel, this one was nicely stretched out to about three feet long and nearly bisected in the middle.

The two kittens I still have were playing tug of war with it.

Ugh.

Why do my animals persist in the grossest activities?

I have to work on Thanksgiving day, how nice that I don't get to spend the day with my family.

By the way, who shops on Thanksgiving Day?

I want to say thanks to all those who do for ruining the day for so many others who have to work.

I must have been insane to get back into retail.

Who even has money to shop?

Yesterday, I was a traitor and shopped at another grocery store. I got a deal on a turkey though, if you spent $25.00 or more, the turkeys were only .32 cents a pound. I got a 12 pound turkey for under $4.00.

Can't beat that.

The stupid ccccccccccccccc on my keyboard keeps sticccccccccccccccccccccccccking. It's getting really aggravating.

I need a new keyboard, I have had this one several years, but it will have to wait until I have some extra cccccccccash.

Grrrr.

Is there such thing as extra cash?

Is there such a thing as enough cash?

HAHAHA, yeah right.

For the last month, DT has been bringing up the subject of me taking classes at the college.

I finally told him yesterday, I don't want to.

I just don't.

He didn't believe me.

*sigh*

He wanted me to take management classes.

HAHAHA, yeah right.

I told him I don't need a college degree for that, I already proved that, and after being a manager for all those years, why would I want to get back into it?

UGH.

It's bad enough being a peon in retail.

I'm really tired, my back hurts, my ankles hurt, my hands and knuckles.

I am getting too old to work this hard.

Some nights I hurt so bad, it's hard to get a good sleep in.

I envision myself eventually being crippled up with this arthritis.

Scary thought.

I guess being active is a good thing though.

My dog's hair is finally growing back after her flea infestation this summer. It was a long drawn out battle, but the buggers are finally gone.

Next year I am treating my whole yard.

The neighbor treated his yard, and his dog didn't have a flea all year, that's because they all came to live in my yard and on my dogs and cats.

It makes me really glad I don't have carpets.

Although, I would really like carpets, maybe someday if I am ever pet free.

I am down to one chair for my kitchen set.

I bought those cheap plastic stackable chairs this summer.

How pathetic is that?

Hey, at least they are chairs.

Besides, replacing chairs is the least of my worries.

I am not really looking forward to the holidays.

That's sad, ain't it?

It's not the fact that I really don't have the money for Christmas, it's being so far away from the rest of my family.

I will try and make it nice at least for Boo though.

I talked to Pookie last night and she said it snowed all day yesterday up there.

I don't miss snow.

Not at all.

Well, I think I am done rambling for now.

Have a good night all.

*hugs*

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Jonah Moments

We all know the story of Jonah and the Whale. God commanded Jonah to go to Ninevah and preach against their wickedness. Instead, Jonah ran from God, ended up on a ship, then tossed overboard by a bunch of frightened sailors, to end up in the belly of a whale for three days and nights.

We don't know much about Jonah and what kind of man he was before this happened, but we can conclude one thing, he was frightened to do what God had commanded him to do, he was frightened more of the people of Ninevah than God. So much so that he disobeyed God and ran away from Him. The Bible uses the word, flee, in fact, a much stronger word than ran, a word that conveys a sense of panic and hurry.

Jonah tried to run away from God and his command as fast and furious as he could.

The only problem was, he really couldn't get away from God. No matter how fast Jonah ran, no matter where he went, God could find him.

Jonah was foolish, maybe, and definately a coward.

But don't we all have Jonah moments?

Even days when we are foolish and cowardly?

God can and does at times show us exactly where He wants us to be, what He wants us to do, and we will come up with a million different excuses not to do it. Or we ignore what is right in front of us, opportunities and open doors.

We try and run away from God just as Jonah did.

Sometimes God gives us opportunities that don't seem to fit us, so we discount them right away. A shy person having the opportunity to stand in front of others and speak, for example.

We think, "Surely, not I, Lord!"

But God's purposes are greater than ours, and He wants us to stretch and grow beyond our own self limited boundaries.

A number of years ago, in my previous church home, the pastor approached me about joining the outreach committee.

I didn't even think about it, I certainly didn't take time to pray about it.

Taken aback, I said a resounding NO.

No way, not me, uh uh, as visions of approaching people I didn't know filled my head.

Definately one of those Jonah moments in my life.

A couple posts ago, I wrote about how so many have told me to join the choir.

Another Jonah moment, but this time, I am thinking and praying about it.

God wants me to stretch and grow, He wants me to overcome my fears and shyness, and He wants me to serve Him by serving others.

Something that I have been praying about for a long time, where exactly I fit in the church. I have been asking God to lead me.

The thing is, it's been so easy to ignore what was right in front of me.

But too many people have said something to me, it's getting harder to ignore.

When one person says something, it's easy to discount it, it's hearsay, when many people say something, it's testimony and not so easy to ignore.

So I have decided that if I can work my schedule out with work, so I can attend practice, then it is definately where God wants me to be.

It's not exactly what I envisioned for myself, but God knows best where I need to be.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Thank you!

I can wake up in the morning and listen to the birds sing...

Thanks to a Veteran.

I can go to work each day and work where I want to...

Thanks to a Veteran.

I can excersize my right to vote...

Thanks to a Veteran.

I can hug my family and say I love you...

Thanks to a Veteran.

I can take a road trip, a vacation or simply go shopping without worrying about safety...

Thanks to a Veteran.

I have a home to live in, and I don't have to worry about bombs destroying it...

Thanks to a Veteran.

I have the right of free speech, the privilege of driving, and free choice...

Thanks to a Veteran.

My child goes to school in a well equipped building, with heat and resources...

Thanks to a Veteran.

I can read whatever I want to read, including the Bible...

Thanks to a Veteran.

I can also worship Who I want in any form I want...

Thanks to a Veteran.


Thank you to men like my Dad, who served in the US Army for over 30 years, and served in Vietnam for seven of those years.

Thank you to women like my Mom who was in the Women's Army Corp (WAC) and worked in the Pentagon for National Security.

Thank you to young men like my Son in Law, who served as a US Marine in Iraq.

Thank you to all who served and did their duty from WW1 to the present war we are in.

Thank you to the ones who served during times of peace as well as war.

Thank you to the ones who were lost and to those who survived.

Thank you.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

What a FRIEND!!

I just love when friends get a kick out of embarrassing you, don't you?

It all started some months ago, I was in church singing my little heart out. Directly after service, two different men that were sitting in front of us turned and asked who was singing so beautifully.

My oh so wonderful friend Crystal points at me.

Thanks.

Over the months, several others have complimented me.

I don't get it.

I never thought of myself as a particularly good singer, although I do like to sing.

Last Sunday, Crystal's mama went to church with us.

In Sunday School, she said and quite loudly I may add, that I should join the choir.

Ok, now wait a minute, this is going way too far.

My face burned as EVERYONE turned to look at me.

Then this week, three more people, all complete strangers, told me the same thing.

Then my oh so wonderful FRIEND, who I do love (sometimes), drags me up to the woman in charge of the choir and tells her, SHE NEEDS TO BE IN THE CHOIR!!!

No, I don't.

I am quite content to do my thing in the congregation.

I am feeling pushed and pulled into a direction I am not sure I want to go in.

In new members class, we talked about service.

I've been attending there for a year now, and have been a member since June. I am looking for where I fit in.

Surely, it's not the choir.

Please, Lord, not that.

I can't get up in front of all those people and SING.

Not me. No way.

*sigh*

Crystal said to me, maybe I am just fighting against it too hard.

OF COURSE I AM, I DON'T WANNA!!!

And what is the worst that could happen.

Uh, how about making a complete and utter fool of myself.

Choking, not being able to sing.

Turning beat red in front of everyone.

My voice cracking.

Tripping on the way up there and falling flat on my face.

See, ANYTHING could happen.

After all, I am NOT very graceful, I can't walk without my feet sticking to the floor, so I am sure to really embarrass myself.

Is this what You want of me, Lord?

Ya know, this would be a huge step of faith for me.

Ok, I admit it, this scares me to death.

"For God did not give you a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of self-control."

Point taken.

I'll think about it, K?

*sigh*