Friday, February 27, 2009

No Books - Day 2

Well, I survived the first day, though not without some whining to the husband. He is terrified that I am going to make the next 40 days miserable for him as well. I won't. I promise. I am just having some trouble adjusting. A part of me feels like I shouldn't even be posting here about the experience because of the whole "do in secret" thing, but I feel like I need the accountability.

As expected, the hardest part of yesterday was lunch. I had a gift card to Tellini's, so I stopped by and grabbed a to-go order. I could have eaten in, but I was not prepared for dining out without a book. Where do you look while you are eating? It seems so unnatural. Still, waiting on my order was hard too. Just sitting there on the bench, examining my surroundings. And then examining them some more. And some more. Rethinking my order. Rethinking it again. It felt like such a waste of time. I could have gotten lost in a story for a few minutes. And, when I got home with the food, I ended up eating while fiddling online. Will have to work on that.

Carpool line was survivable. I pulled up the Bible app on my iTouch and read some of this week's Disciple (in Genesis). I am still in the repeat weeks, so this is mostly review, but an enjoyable review. Abram's stupid half-lie about Sarai being his sister...  How could the man make that mistake twice? Seriously?

The boys and I watched Arthur and the Invisibles in the evening. I ate dinner while watching with them. Solved that meal problem. Then, we played K'Nex. I don't play with my kids enough. So, we did that until bath time and then I read them a story. I can read to my kids, right? Just a little "I Can Read" book about a girl with a pet monster. Cute.

Corey and I chatted a while and I went to bed at 8PM. Getting up at 4:30 doesn't make for a late night. OH! And I went back to the gym yesterday, after almost 2 weeks of that stupid illness. I did 4.5 miles on the Expresso bike. And I am down 8 lbs from the beginning of the year.

Friday Felicities 2/27/09

Happy Friday! Cause Fridays are always happy right? I have training at the Parkgate Clinic from 10-3, so I am fiddling this morning for a bit and then heading out. Chatting with an old friend from high school who is in Afghanistan. What a crazy world we live in. Facebook makes the whole world your own personal small town.

Head over to Becky's and join us in the memorial Meme for Nat:

Friday Felicities

The Kentucky mug Amanda gave me
hot chocolate Kristen gave us for Christmas
Haydn dressing himself for school
Going to bed at 8 PM if I feel like it
Huge comfy sweatshirts
Conversations with my hubby before bed
Watching a DVD with the boys and laughing with them

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Keeping Back Nothing

I suppose it is no coincidence that God asked me to give up reading for Lent in 2009. It is, after all, my "Year of Patience." Books are often what I use when I have to wait. Doctor's office, carpool line, water to boil... Now, I can fiddle with my iTouch while I wait, but that does not occupy me nearly so well and not for nearly as long. I will be replacing this waiting-reading with a few things, other than the iTouch...

  • my Bible (this is the DUH option)
  • Prayer
  • Talking to my children

Other times that I read would include... well... all day. I tend to break up all activities with time spent on the couch with a book. Now I will need to learn how to move from one activity to the next without a novel. Perhaps I can stop to pray or meditate between chores. Or I can use that time to work on one of my many craft projects, write in my journal or work on one of the studies I am participating in.

The HARDEST part of this, for me, will be meals. I always eat with a book. I sit down to breakfast, lunch and dinner with a novel as my companion. The only time I eat without a book is when I am eating with another person. But, I take most of my meals alone. I am hoping, as scary as this is, it will make me more conscious of what I am eating and why I am eating.

My church is sending out daily devotions for the season of Lent. Today's was so perfect for me, having just given up something I love so much... maybe too much.

THE PRINCIPLE RUNS through all life from top to bottom. Give up yourself,
and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save
it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favorite wishes every day
and death of your whole body in the end: submit with every fiber of your being,
and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you
have not given away will ever be really yours. Nothing in you that has not
died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will
find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and
decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything
else thrown in.

And the prayer, which I may need repeated back to me over the next 40 days...

Lord Jesus, help me to remember that I will lose nothing of value by putting you
first and foremost in my life.

Welcome to Day 1.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Giving Up Books for Lent

God hates me.

Okay, so no, He doesn't. God doesn't hate me.

But, I am giving up pleasure reading for Lent. So, it FEELS like He is punishing me, right now. Oddly enough, I joked to some of my friends about how Corey once asked me to give up reading for Lent, and we all laughed and laughed. I think God heard me. I think He also heard my husband's heart. And, as always, He hears mine. So, if He hears all that, I can trust Him.

The kicker, for me, was when I heard myself tell God, "But reading is the only thing that brings me real pleasure in a day." Ok, for one, that is a slight exaggeration. But, only a slight one. Second, shouldn't God and my family and about a billion other things be what brings me the most pleasure in a day? So, fine. God wins. Corey wins. I will give up reading for Lent.

I have spent the last hour arguing with God about this whole thing. Working out rules up front, so that there is less room to wiggle over the next 40 days. Here are a few "exceptions" to the no reading rule...

Studying... I am involved in a study on Esther, a Disciple group (that is Bible anyway) and a Creative Call study. Also, I am teaching Bad Girls of the Bible for the10th and 11th grade girls' small group. These things are fine, because they are set amounts of reading per week.

Book Group... I joined the church book group. We read one book per month. I have already read the book we will discuss in March, so that is not a problem, but I need to read the book for the first week of April. I believe it is a book by Barak Obama, so it isn't even something I would normally choose. I can read that book, because that group is important for other reasons, reading aside. It is a chance at fellowship with members of our church that I do not get to spend time with otherwise.

Audio Books... I listen to Magic Treehouse books with the boys in the van. This is fine. Also, when traveling to my Mom's over Spring Break, I will use audio books on the drive. Again, fine. These are not taking time away from anything else and do not require me to sit and stare at a book.

This may be the scariest 40 days of my life.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Felicities 2/20/09

I am still sick, but my wonderful hubby made sure I got plenty of sleep today, and now I am awake and feeling marginally better. It is Friday again, can you believe it? Time flies, huh? So, to honor Natalie, here are my happies...

Friday Felicities

  • Soft red robe
  • Inkspell
  • Pink ribbon hat to cover bad hair
  • Deep sleep
  • Cuddling David while he plays MarioKart
  • Haydn coming home with smiley faces all week
  • Peanut butter and honey sandwich

Find more participants or add your own link over at Becky's site.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Currently: The Love Month

Current Book(s): I am reading Inkspell and will be starting Same Kind of Different As Me for book group. I finished, this past week, Coraline by Neil Gaiman, Soul Cravings by Erwin McManus, and Lost Women of the Bible by Carolyn Custis James.

Current Playlist: Since Corey got me an iTouch for Valentine's Day, I have been formatting iTunes and putting stuff on it. I am into upbeat stuff for the gym right now. Some Pink and Destiny's Child and that kind of thing.

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: My iTouch.

Current Color(s): Bright spring colors. :)

Current Fetish: Poems. My old ones and writing new ones.

Current Drink: Diet Pepsi. I know. I have crossed over to the dark side. I am drinking a diet cola.

Current Food: Italian. I am craving some more Olive Garden ravioli. or Mexican. I always love Mexican food.

Current Favorite Favorite: My husband. He is amazing. I love him.

Current Wishlist: Black pants that fit, shirts that fit and look nice

Current Needs: Dental work and an eye exam/new glasses

Current Triumph(s): Getting quite a bit of work done on a project I am creating.

Current Bane(s) of my Existence: How much it costs to keep the kitchen stocked, how much it costs to go to the doctor, how much it will cost to fix Corey's car, and yada yada yada...

Current Celebrity Crush: None. I am crushless.

Current Indulgence: Sleep. I am sick, and sleep is helpful with that, so I have been letting myself take naps this week. But, I am getting up much earlier than usual every morning too.

Current Mood: Mostly sullen. I'm sad that life without ADHD meds has not worked how I hoped, but I am also impatient to get to the doctor and get a new prescription so that I can come out of this fog already.

Current #1 Blessing: My husband. He takes care of me.

Current Slang or Saying: I say, "QUIET!" a lot.

Current Outfit: I am wearing jeans and a t-shirt right now. I will probably change into a pair of darker jeans and the shirt Ashley got me for my Birthday, before leaving for church and to see Jeff Dunham, tonight.

Current Excitement: Lauren will be here soon. Amanda and Croxton are driving up. We are going with a group from church to see Jeff Dunham tonight. AND... in July, I get to go with Rosemary and Mary Payne to see Wicked in Memphis. WOO HOO!

Current Links: WaH launched a new website. Very cool, thanks to the talented Marisa. :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Praying for Granddaddy

This morning, our service ended with prayer stations, anointing and the laying on of hands. I have always craved to be part of a church that practices these things, so it was a blessing just to be there. We sat up front, b/c I was participating in the service (I let Raigan paint me red, but that is another story), so I had a close view of everyone filing forward to be prayed over and touched with the oil. For a bit, I was content to just watch. The Spirit was obviously moving in the room, and it felt so good.

I asked Haydn if he wanted to go forward for prayer and he said no. At first, he wanted to go up front, but then he realized it wasn't communion (they weren't "handing out bread," as he put it), so he decided to stay seated. David, however, wanted to go. We filed around the room and got in line to go up front. Off to the side, there was a third kneeling rail where members of the prayer ministry were waiting. No one was there. David pointed it out to me and said, "Mama, there is a space." I let him walk over there, trailing behind, curious to see what was going through his little mind. Normally, he just follows me, kneels when I kneel, etc... He knelt before one of the women and she asked what he wanted prayer for. I held my breath. So many things could come out of a 4-year-old's mouth. What he said was...

"My granddaddy."

And I cried.

He has not been told how sick Granddaddy is. He just knows. He has been around him and feels it. He senses the things we do not say. He is named for his Great Granddaddy. Charles is David's first name. I fell in love with Granddaddy the moment I met the man. He is simply an amazing man.

I was struggling with being a mom this morning, driving to church. I was out of patience and frustrated with my children and myself. I felt broken. God gave me that moment at the altar with David. I needed that.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Felicities 2/13/09

to honor Natalie - Friday Felicities - hosted by Becky

Hugs and kissed from my boys, before bed
Ice-cold milk
Plans to see Inkheart with the boys
Knowing I can sleep in tomorrow
When my dog curls himself into a tight little ball
Hot cheesy lasagna
Sweet memories


Monday, February 9, 2009

Communicating in the Silence

What a wonderful weekend. I don't think I can do it justice in a blog post. A few of the things we did...
  • Played Mad Gab
  • Went to Olive Garden
  • Shopped at Tuesday Morning
  • Ate cake
  • Read old letters
  • Did a whirlwind Elvis Tour
  • Walked in the Garden of Hope
  • Stopped at Starbucks
  • Ate at Cracker Barrell
  • Sat around talking
  • Giggled
  • Made two trips to Walmart
The thing about time with my girlfriends is... it doesn't much matter what we do. Being together is the thing. These three days, for us, produced plenty of new inside jokes and reasons to laugh at ourselves later. That would have happened regardless of our list of activities. I think this is one of the best things about friendship. It is WHO you are and not WHAT you do. Because, I can't always do the big events. I don't have the money for exotic travel or lots of concerts, etc... We don't even all have the same interests anyway. Leila and Cat are training to run a half marathon. I am a bookworm. We each have our own hobbies and activities. Some of these overlap and some do not. But, when we are together, we will find plenty to do and plenty to enjoy.

There is just something untouchable about sitting down next to your best friend, putting your head on her shoulder, and not having to say a word. You just know one another. You know what she is struggling with in this life, and she knows what you are fighting as well. You know the events worth celebrating, and you know the tears that have been shed. All of these emotions and moments are swirled there inside both of you, and communication happens in the silence.

So, I had a good weekend. I hope the girls had a good weekend as well. I have a ton of pictures up at Facebook and am uploading them to Flickr as well.


Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Felicities 2/6/09

It's that time again! Friday is here. FRIDAY!! I am doing the happy dance, even though you can't see me. Why? Because I slept in this morning, and I saw a movie with a girlfriend and all 4 of my Brandon Girls are headed this way tonight for the ENTIRE weekend.

Yup. I am a happy person today.

And, it is time to honor my Nattie-Pie's memory by participating in Friday Felicities. *grins*

Looking forward to a happy event
Not feeling numb
Laughing at a movie with Rebecca
Small prettily wrapped presents
My hot pink sweater
Nap time
My boys' big blue eyes
Coming home to my wonderful husband, last night

What little things make you happy?


Thursday, February 5, 2009

13 Quotes from Esther Study

I am doing the Esther study that Beth Moore has put out, along with a group of women from my church. In honor of the Thursday Thirteen, I thought it would be fun to share 13 quotes that I have taken from this study. Some are from the study guide and some come from the video sessions.
  1. God's love of a great story is extravagantly evident in the narrative that makes up over 40% of the Bible.
  2. Don't just wait and see. Live and see.
  3. Esther's the wrong book for a Bible student too pious for a party.
  4. It's tough being a woman in a world where beauty is a treatment. (video)
  5. Ironically, no one feels more pressured to look good than those who already do.
  6. Esther managed to walk the fine line of moderation without making others feel judged because they didn't.
  7. People who resist following an earthyly authority's instructions, hedging and minimizing behind the superior's back, aren't apt to follow God's commands either, despite an insistance to the contrary.
  8. the God who sees and who is by no means limited to one channel of favor toward you.
  9. Meanness always has a history. (video)
  10. Anger is power to those who do not think they have any other source for it. (video)
  11. ...nothing takes more discipline than giving someone information without telling them what to do with it.
  12. ...a rare woman indeed is beautiful from a male perspective and favored by other women.
  13. A world is mean, because people are mean in it. (video)
And, a bonus quote from today's session (really, a restatement of #9)...
Nobody is mean out of nowhere. (video)
Today was the best session yet. Lots ot chew on and some serious convictions on my anger issues. Now, to apply the things I have learned. Why is that always the hard part?


PS Apparently Thursday Thirteen is no more. How did I miss that?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

99 Powerful Questions (81-96)

81. What are the three biggest priorities in my life? God, Family, Friends

82. Who are the most important people in the world to me? My husband and children, my family, my friends who are like family.

83. Who loves me? Who cares for me? Corey loves me. More than I deserve.

84. Are my living and work areas organized in a way that serves me well? Somewhat. I love to organize things, but finding that line where I can still use the items without ruining the organization can be hard. And, when I get one area working well, it seems that another area falls apart.

85. Do I have a healthy lifestyle? No. I am making small changes though. Baby steps.

86. Am I carrying any emotional baggage? Aren't we all? I am constantly finding new tote bags and suitcases to hand over to God, like He is my personal valet or something.

87. Have I let go of the mistakes I’ve made in the past? For the most part.

88. Do I give myself permission to fail? No.

89. Do I learn from my mistakes? Usually. Sometimes it takes a few tries.

90. Do I rebound quickly when something goes wrong? Sometimes I do and sometimes I do not. I wish I knew how to predict this.

91. Do my beliefs serve me well? Yes. They give me direction for my daily life and my overall life-plan. They give me answers for small and large questions. My beliefs offer me comfort and also kick my butt on a regular basis.

92. Do I need to relax the rules I’ve set for myself and for others? No. I need to be harsher with myself on some rules. Seriously.

93. What childhood dreams have I been neglecting? To become a famous writer. :) To be on stage regularly.

94. Where have I been giving my power over to others? I am not sure. I think, maybe, I try too hard to have all of the power myself. That results in needless stress and no power to speak of, except the power to be miserable.

95. What do I need to do in order to regain my power? Let go.

95. Who are my role models? Jesus. My Mother. Louise. Cathie Jo. Francis Savage.

96. Am I being authentic? Do I allow myself to be me? Am I trying to be somebody I’m not? I am usually a pretty authentic person. Sometimes I try to be more me than I am, if that makes sense. I have this picture in my head of "Perfect Me," and I try too hard to be her or else get discouraged that I can't be her and run in the opposite direction.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

I Apologize in Advance

My thoughts are disjointed, so this post will be also. I apologize in advance.

I am starting (again) Disciple I, Thursday, at 5:15 AM. God help us all. Can I really wake up that early? Not just wake up that early, but shower and go OUT and then hold intelligent conversation about the Old Testament? I have always wanted to be a morning person, but no amount of WANTING it to be so has made it magically happen. Oh well, here goes nothing.

I am on week two of the latest Beth Moore Bible Study, Esther. It is more laid back than a typical Beth Moore study, but I understand why. She is going along with the traditional celebration of Esther (Purim) and it's celebratory, party-like, feel. This study involves more humor and community than any other I have done by her. I am learning a lot and sharing with a great little group of women. I have been praying to make friends here, and this study has already been helpful in that. I am looking forward to knowing Rebecca better, enjoying Desi's spirit, as I was told I would, and also excited about what Dot can teach us from her experiences. It is a God-ordained group, I am sure.

Yesterday, Haydn's fever spiked. He threw up a few times Friday night, as well. So, today, as soon as the Urgent Care clinic opened, I took him. We waited two hours (not bad, since they were predicting a 3-hour wait when we went in) and spent 30 minutes with a great doctor. Turns out, his wife is going to our church 50% of the time. He is Episcopalian. They are going on the Mexico mission trip, this summer, and I am contemplating the same trip. That one is up to God, though.

Anna Karenina... I picked it up again, since I finished Home to Holly Springs. I am having trouble focusing, so I may try reading it in smaller portions. Part of my problem is I don't like Anna. I do not find her a sympathetic character. She annoys me, as does Vronksy. I am not convinced of some great love affair. Only silliness and selfishness. Not that I can't relate to sinful temptations. The world abounds with them, and we all have our weaknesses. She doesn't annoy me because she has chosen to commit adultery. Something about her, in general, just grates my nerves. I do love Dolly though. And I am fond of Levin. I even like Anna's husband quite well. My mind just isn't grasping the language well today. So I picked up Pretties by Scott Westerfeld. I have been meaning to read it. I also plan to get my hands on Inkheart soon. Rachel suggested I read it, and then Dana said the main girl reminds her of me, so I am already hooked. Rachel and Dana both have excellent taste in books. And Dana fed my ego. Hee hee.

I am working some on my family scrapbook, right now, while I am between albums. I finished Leila's grade school book and have not gotten the pictures to start her high school volume yet. So the Cricut and I are playing with pictures of the boys. So much fun. I cannot wait to get another cartridge. I have almost worn out the cutting mat that came with it, too. Good thing they aren't uber expensive.

Five more days, and I can run away to a lakeside cabin with 4 girlfriends, deer meat taco soup, and Italian cream cake.

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