Saturday, April 23, 2005

Breathe Him In

Christian author, O. Hallesby wrote:
"The air which our body requires envelops us on every hand. The air itself seeks to enter our bodies and, for this reason, exerts pressure upon us...The air which our souls need also envelops all of us at all times and on all sides. God is round about us in Christ on every hand, with His many-sided and all sufficient grace. All we need to do it to open our hearts. Prayer is the breath of the soul, the organ by which we receive Christ into our parched and withered hearts...As air enters in quietly when we breathe, and does its normal work in our lungs, so Jesus enters quietly into our hearts, and does His blessed work there."

Inhale His grace and mercy; exhale your worries and trials. Breathe Him in so He may sustain you. And do it without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

I found the above quote in a book by Karol Ladd, The Power of a Positive Mom. I really needed to be reminded that my prayer should be continuous. It is necessary for my well being.

The Passion

I was recently reading a post of my husband's about how much he loved his job and how much fun he had on a daily basis. He is truly passionate about what he does. As I looked around the house at the beds that needed to be made, dishes washed and laundry folded, I thought--if this is what I am supposed to love and be passionate about I am in big trouble! Unless of course, we are talking about Mel Gibson's version of The Passion a.k.a. "the suffering". ;)

Such is the life of many stay at home moms. I can see where it can be hard to have joy in housework. No paycheck and people really only notice when you don't do a good job. There are no vacation days, sick days or benefits. So I talked to God. "Really, Lord, I will try to be passionate about this, but it may be a little tough to swallow." Shouldn't I feel an inherent passion for being a stay at home mom if this is His will for me?

My sweet heavenly Father quickly reminded me of several things. First of all, my job first and foremost is to be a helpmate to my husband and secondly to raise, love and spend time with two beautiful girls who love the Lord with all of their hearts. All the other responsibilities are just incidental. (And some days it is okay to let them wait.) Secondly, I am needed just as much around the house as Terry is at work. Now THAT, I am passionate about!

Although we haven't discussed it, I bet Terry has duties along with his job that he's not so crazy about either, but he does them. So, I will continue to make the same beds each day, wash the same dishes and try to make the house a calm and peaceful environment for us all to enjoy.

Reia just informed me it is raining next door. (Their spinklers are on.) And, she wants to "clean" her umbrella. The dishes can wait for an hour. I am going to go spend time doing what I am passionate about. God is so good!!!

Monday, April 18, 2005

Not Enough Time in the Day?

I have heard it said, and said it myself.."There are just not enough hours in the day to get everything I need to get done, done." Here is the true problem with that statement--God created the day and all of the hours in it. Since, as far as I can tell, God doesn't make mistakes, there indeed ARE enough hours in the day for us to accomplish His will for our lives. So, what's the problem?

For me it is usually the following: Not Choosing What is Better

Martha (of Mary, Martha and Lazarus fame) had the same problem. As she "busied" herself with the dinner prep, and Mary sat at Jesus' feet pouring over Him and every precious word out of His mouth, Martha became more and more irritated. Not only at Mary for doing "nothing", but Jesus for allowing her to do nothing! The nerve!

But Jesus rebukes Martha. (Luke 10:41-42) "Martha, Martha you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her."

Have you chosen too many good things to fill up your time? (Making dinner for your guests is not a bad choice. After all, it needed to be done eventually.) I bet don't have enough time to complete all of your tasks. Or, when you are done, you are completely frazzled and spent. Or have you chosen what is better? You would have enough time if you allowed for the latter.

I Cannot Give What I Do Not Have

Fellowship Church has a women's retreat (Get Your Groove Back) coming upApril 29-30, and this past weekend Lisa Young and Laura Strickland were shown on a video promoting the event. At one point Lisa commented that you cannot give what you do not have. Interesting and true, I thought.

Later in the sermon/talk/message, whatever term you prefer, Ed spoke of having an objective party to talk to when you are making a major decision so that your decision is not based on feelings, but also in truth. My good friend nudged me and smiled. At first I thought, how nice and flattering that she sees me that way. God is so good to me to give me such wonderful people in my life. However, it then dawned on me--I cannot give what I do not have.

How am I to give someone wise counsel, if I have not first gotten wisdom from the giver of wisdom? How can I give discernment if I do not have it by asking God for it? Studying His word and truth on a daily basis to see where I am lacking and asking Him to open my mind and heart to life change? It can't and won't happen!

I still find it amazing that anyone would look to me for that kind of advice, but she does. Right now, I can't say I have much to give that is worth any consequence. I do realize God can work through me in spite of myself. But, I want to be an active participant in God using me. I want to truly be available to His work. I am re-committing myself to a quiet time, and I am SOOOOO excited to see what God can do with me when I am actually paying attention to Him and His Spirit.

Does someone look to you? You think not. What about your kids? What about your neighbor or co-worker? What do they see in your life that you would want them to emulate? Me--not enough. Commit to your time with the Father. Ask for His wisdom and discernment. He wants to give it, but we have to be in Him to receive it.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Our First Trip to the ER

I was really hoping since we had girls that I may actually escape any trips to the local emergency room. But there we sat last night waiting to see a doctor because Reia said (actually screamed) that she had swallowed a quarter.

She had already gone to bed and was supposed to be sleeping. But, instead she was playing with money. Reia has never been the kind of kid who put things in her mouth. We always kept the dog food out and she never really touched it when she was a toddler, and she has played with the money in her piggy bank for some time now; previously with supervision and now on her own. So, it never occurred to me that at the age of 3 (and almost 1/2) she would put a quarter in her mouth. Good gravy! Was it too much to ask the she just GO TO SLEEP!

At first I laughed. God bless her--she looked and acted like she has swallowed a cockroach. Utterly mortified. But as I sat on her floor picking up all the change and explaining money was now off limits, I wondered if I should be worried. I called people I knew that would have possible experience with this kind of thing. Neighbors with little boys, my sister in law, and finally got hold of my mother in law. She suggested I call the ER. Really? A quarter is relatively big if it were to get stuck somewhere she told me. So, I called the ER.

Not much help over the phone. Just so you know, by law they cannot give any medical advice over the phone. The said if I were truly concerned to bring her in. Well, yes I was concerned; I was calling the ER wasn't I?

Terry came home from poker night to sit with Reese, and Reia and I went to the hospital. All in all, it was a good experience. They told us we really had to wait and see if she passed it. Yippee! Looking through my daughters poop for the next week sounds like a treat.

So here is the take home on all of this:
#1 You child will eventually swallow something you are not expecting.
#2 No child is exempt from emergency room visits
#3 Know what to do if something gets lodged in your child's that--I realized last night I wasn't really sure what to do if a quarter had blocked her airway. As soon as I find out where a local child cpr class is held in this area, I will post it.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Businesses I Love!

If you are ever looking for a cute and unique gift idea try a beaded, personalized galvinized bucket. I have one that we use for ice and drinks and we love it! My sister in law makes these buckets and other items in her home and sells to several gift shops and online. Please check them out at www.beadedbuckets.com.

Also, if you ever want to send a cookie boquet check out www.thesweetdiva.com. One of the sweetest people I know runs this business. The cookies are cute and taste fabulous. She made some for a baby shower she hosted for me and got oohs and ahhs from all. She delivers locally to the DFW area, but I am sure she could ship as well. Check out her website for prices and pics.

My Encounter with Paula

Anyone who is addicted to Food Network, as I am, probably has their favorite chef(s). For me, it is Paula Deen and Rachel Ray. I love them both and every episode that is aired each day is TiVo'd for my future viewing pleasure.

So, when my good friend Michelle told me Paula was going to be at a book signing in Highland Park on Wednesday, I planned on being there. With no sitter available, and Terry home sick, the girls and I left the house for our Paula Adventure. I was very excited and had my camera and book for signing in tow.

When we arrived, I didn't expect to have about 150 people in line ahead of us. (I have never been to a book signing.) So, after a 1 1/2 hour wait, several trips to the potty inside Ralph Lauren (thanks to the sweet ladies who held our spot in line) we were next to see Paula. Now, let me say Reese and Reia had been fabulous up to this point, but they were both very tired. Reia even jumped up into Paula's lap and gave her a big hug. Seeing how she is the most undemonstrative kid on the earth, I was utterly shocked! But, just as the nice Williams Sonoma guy was about to take the picture--Reia stuck her tounge out at the camera. Ugh! And since everyone in line knew our names by now, I heard everyone one shout--"Reia stuck her tounge out!"

I wanted to die. Not only that, but they were handing my camera back to me. Is this how my picture was going to be? No, No, NO! Thankfully, the picture guy was nice enough to let me know he waited until after she jumped down to take the picture. Which is why she isn't in it.

I didn't really get to talk to Paula, but from other conversations I heard, she is as every bit as nice and down to earth as she seems on t.v. I like her even more now. And, if you don't have any of her cookbooks--I highly recommend them. Her newest cookbook, Paula Deen and Friends:Living it Up Southern Style, is #6 on the New York Times Bestseller List.

And as she says: Best Dishes from My Kitchen to Yours!

Reese and me with Paula Deen!


If you look very closely, you can see the tip of Reia's head in the bottom left hand corner!Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Nanny Shows

My husband cannot stand Nanny 911 or Supernanny. I think they remind him of fingernails screeching down a chalkboard. Me? It's kind of like a gruesome train wreck. I have to watch and then discuss them with anyone else who watches the next day. And trust me, there are a fair number of us who want to make sure our kids are not the worst in the world.

I can understand that some of these parents need help, but what I cannot understand for the life of me why these people would want the whole world to know what horrible little trolls some of these children seem to be. Last night on Supernanny, a couple from the UK had four children. Three boys who cursed and spit at their mother and one (seemingly) sweet girl. It was truly disgusting. How do you get so far out of control? (I am reminding myself of my "Never Say Never" post .) I think the sheer embarrassment of it all would cause me to keep my kids in check. But here they were on the big screen in everyone's home--cursing, spitting, hitting, peeing on the floor. Ugh!

Nonetheless, Jo (Frost, the Nanny) seemed to get everything under control. At least for the week she was there. I have noticed the family update is a mere one or two days after the nanny has departed. I would love to see an update two or even six months later. That would be the real test.

The good thing about the nanny shows is the techniques they teach. I think many parents have no idea how to discipline their children or don't realize they aren't until they see the t.v. families displaying the same behavior seen in their own homes.

If you haven't seen them Nanny 911 comes on Fox, Mondays at 7:00 and Supernanny comes on ABC, Mondays at 9:00. Don't let your kids watch lest they get any ideas they didn't already have! ;)

Monday, April 04, 2005

Fellowship Alliance Rocks!

I had the opportunity to visit the newest satellite campus of Fellowship Church on Sunday. It was fantastic! Initially I wasn't terribly excited about going. (I am very much a creature of habit.) But after I got there, I had such a great time. Not only did I see many people I already knew, but I had the opportunity to really talk to them because of the smaller venue.

The music was, of course, wonderful. I didn't' feel like I was missing a thing. Then the time came for the sermon. I was absolutely blown away! The digital screen was so good, you felt as though you could reach out and touch Ed. (The sermon was fab too, but I didn't expect anything less from Ed.) Even if you don't live close to any of the satellites, I recommend going simply to see the screen.

We will continue to go for the next several months as Terry helps the new campus get on its feet. I look forward to seeing the growth I know is imminent for Fellowship Alliance and being a part of what God is going to do there.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Ready to Run?

Now that Reese is 5 months old, and I have not lost one pound--no, not even ONE--it's time to get serious about my food choices and exercise. I am going to start running again. If you have never run and want to give it a shot, then try the "Couch to 5K Running Program" on Coolrunning.com. It is under the training section, takes 9 weeks and gets you from flab to fab. Or at least on your way there. Last time I did this I was getting in shape for Hawaii. It worked great, and I didn't feel like I was going to die everytime I put my running gear on. So, wish me luck.

Now I just have to find time and energy to get to the gym!

Friday, April 01, 2005

Recipe of the Day/Week--Texas Sheet Cake

I got this recipe from a friend of mine. It is wonderful! I make this in a jelly roll pan, but you have to be careful as the icing will pour all over the side if you haven't pulled the cake away from the sides of the pan after you take it out of the oven!

Bring to boil:
2 c. margarine
1 c. water
4 t. cocoa


Mix :
2 c. sugar
2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 c sour cream

Add above mixture to margarine, water, cocoa mixture. Mix well and our into greased and floured cookie pan. bake 20-22 min at 375.

ICING:

Bring to Boil:
1 stick margarine
6 T. milk
4 T. cocoa
4 c. powdered sugar
Beat well and add 1 t vanilla extract

Spread on warm cake--allow to cool or eat it warm. Good both ways!

There is NOTHING healthy about this cake, but it is great. Don't forget to boil the icing ingredients. I forgot that part the first time and it really messed up the whole taste of the cake.

Enjoy!

Miss You Grandma

Do you ever just start thinking about someone in your life who has passed away. Trying to remember every little detail that made them special to you? I recently bought some hand soap at Bath and Body Works called Kitchen Spice. Somehow they have managed to capture the scent of my grandmother's kitchen sink as the water runs. The minute I washed my hands with it I was instantly transported back to the little two bedroom house in Blytheville, Arkansas and the kitchen that overlooked the front porch and swing where I drank chocolate milk on Saturday mornings. And then it hit me--how much I missed her, and all of those little things.

I went and bought a bottle of the soap and wrote a letter to my grandpa. I know he misses her immensely and wasn't sure if he knew the grandkids did too. I told him in bullet point fashion about her lullabys, funny things she said, and everything she did that made her so special to me. Then I mailed the letter with the soap. I hope the smell makes him feel the same way I do.

It is important to remember those who meant so much to you. It is equally important to let those who are still with you know how much the mean to you now. I think tomorrow I will write him another letter. This one will entail all of the things I love and remember about him. I never really told my grandmother; I wish I had.