Friday, October 31, 2008

Let's Pretend...

Let's pretend today that you're at my house, sitting at the table, chatting over some coffee.


And while we're at it, let's pretend that my whole house is actually clean, rather than just the illusion of the downstairs being clean because I have, in fact, just hauled everything upstairs, which means out of sight, out of mind...sorta.


And if you were here, and we were sharing our random thoughts, I would tell you this:
  • I'm feeling like a bit of a trick-or-treating-fall-party scrooge. Halloween is not my favorite holiday (big surprise.) I do not enjoy coming up with costumes, hauling kids around door to door, etc. I'd rather just go to Wal-Mart, buy them a big bag of candy and call it good.

  • I'm also not loving fall this year. I usually do...but this year, not so much. I want warmth back. I want long days of sunshine back. I want to not have to warm up my van in the mornings back. I want no coats, mittens, hats etc back.

  • Time seems to be going so fast...

  • If you were here, I probably wouldn't mention how blogger is doing weird things to the formatting today as I type this and I wonder what it's going to look like when I hit publish.

  • I would tell you though, that God's been speaking some clear truths into my heart lately. And by speaking I mean pounding it into my head through every angle imaginable. The theme seems to be: Overcoming my flesh with the power of the Holy Spirit. I can't overcome my flesh with my flesh, only with His Spirit. This literally involves pretty much every area of my life.

  • I also let my kids plow through their Halloween candy in a matter of days. I don't put it in a bowl and dish it out for months. Nope. They just eat and eat until it's gone, and then it's not sitting in the pantry calling my name all day every day for MONTHS! Plus, there is nowhere in this house that they can't sniff it out and find it anyways.

  • Are you wondering if this makes them sick? It doesn't. They've built up a high tolerance :) Stomachs of steel. I think they inherited it from me. They may not look like me on the outside...but on the inside...all me...

  • Someone gave Jake a kazoo...both Odie and myself are not very appreciative of that today.

Wow, I could go on and on...and now I've scared you all away from ever coming over for coffee. Dang it :)


Happy Friday from your scroogy halloween-trick-or-treating bloggy friend.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Mischief is Neverending

Dear Jake,

For the millionth time...crayons are for PAPER only.

Not the fridge, window, TV screen, ottoman, wall, doors, dryer door, washer door, kitchen floor, carpet or kitchen set.

And certainly crayons are NOT for your teeth...especially black. I know you think it's funny, and truthfully...it is amusing, but lets not make a habit of it, ok?

Your obedience in this matter would be much appreciated.

Am I clear?


Love,

Your Mommy




Wednesday, October 29, 2008

There is No Title...

Big exciting stuff in the parsonage today.

I made fruit smoothies for breakfast for the 2nd day in a row...yummy and nutritious all at the same time. It's genius really...and I did not think it up.

As I look at this picture I'm thinking, "Sheeesh Sarah, the least you could do is take a picture of it in the glass and make it look all pretty, the blender, seriously?!?"

But at the time, it seemed like a good idea.

Anyways, the news you've all been anxiously awaiting since yesterday: The mouse is dead.

Can I get a WOO HOO!!!

It appeared dead in between smoothies and getting dressed. Eli found it between the wall and the fridge.

Praise God there were still boys in my house because they pulled together a little teamwork and swept it up into the dust pan and into the garbage in the garage.

I took a picture. Yes I did. And then as I viewed in on my camera and felt bad for killing the little mouse...and then promptly reminded myself that
  1. I had given him fair warning yesterday and
  2. they are filthy creatures that do not belong in our home...it is for the safety and protection of my family. *wink*
  3. Justified.

I will spare you the picture.

You are welcome. *grin*

And lastly, it is supposed to be SIXTY degrees here tomorrow. 60. 60!

Good bye snow flurries. Amen.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Unwelcomed Guests

We've had two unwelcomed guests in the parsonage this week. Both arrived on Sunday. Hate when that happens.
Neither of them were invited, and truthfully...they should know better. Showing up all unannounced. How rude.
I have no choice but to address them...publicly...to let them know that they cannot do this again and to warn all others of their kind to please show better manners in the future.
To The Snow Flurries: Umm, how do I say this nicely? I loathe you when you come in October. Too soon. Come back in December...you can even stay through January, but if you could pack up and move out after that, I'd be ever so happy. Thank you kindly.

To Mr. Mouse: I will address you as one, because the thought of there being plural of you makes me want to...I don't know...barf, I guess. I understand it's getting chilly out, but you must find another place to live....OUTSIDE. I also understand that there is a plethora of food all over our floor...I do not care. You cannot live here. I feel it's my duty to give you fair warning that there is now poison lining the perimeter of our home, inside and out, as well as poison tasty treats. Don't say I didn't warn you.
My Sincerest Regards,
Sarah @ Life in the Parsonage

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sometimes I Annoy Myself

*updated with fixed links...because blogger hates me*

Mondays...what a day.

It seems I spend most Mondays just catching up. Catching up on the cleaning, and the laundry and all kinds of miscellaneous stuff.

So I figure I'll "catch you up" on some stuff too...since it's Monday and all.

Remember this post? Well I mentioned the lunch account stuff...so I added money to their account that day through the online payschool thingy and then forgot about it...until Friday when I unloaded Eli's backpack and found another note that said my children were now $35 in the hole...somehow the money I added never got credited to their lunch account.

I sorta stewed about it all weekend, then went into the school first thing this morning to try to get it figured out. Turns out, no one knows what's going on for sure...and I think I've annoyed both of the school offices in our district with my phone calls.

Now that I've completely bored you with all those details, I may actually get to my point...which is: This circumstance is really, REALLY not that big of a deal. Which causes me to ask myself, "Dude, what is your deal?!?" (I still use the word dude...can't help myself)

Why, WHY is this bothering me so much? And then I gave myself a list:

  • It makes me look like a bad mother who is neglecting her kids...and I'm NOT! I put the money in there!
  • I picture my poor little boys being told they have no money to eat...and being offered a PB&J because their mom has....neglected them.
  • It annoys me.

See a theme here? Me me me me me me me. *sigh* Pathetic. Completely pathetic...and sad...and disgusting :) Get my drift?

God used me today to teach myself a lesson...and it has to do with my ginormous need for the next Bible Study I'll be starting shortly.

In that same post I mentioned the need for Beth Moore DVDs...and if you go back and read through the comments, you'll find one from The Domestic Fringe offering to send me them. And guess what? SHE DID!!!

The Fringe girl and I...we're newer bloggy friends, and without hesitation, she offered those (expensive) DVDs to a fellow sister in Christ...and I did what I do...I cried.

I wanna be like her. Guess what the Beth Moore study is called? Living Beyond Yourself: Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit.

Guess who might need to start living beyond themselves? Guess who needs a little lot more of the Holy Spirits power in her life?

Yeah...that'd be me. And probably a few others too. Maybe. :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I Will Learn...

I have to tell you. Your comments yesterday cracked me up. Hearing about stuff you've done to injure yourself totally made me feel better ;)



You're the best. For real.



My lovely Chiropractor (whom I only visit when I am in a state of debilitation) cracked and twisted and aligned me again. She said by Monday I should feel fine, because youth is on my side.



I wish youth were a little more aware that they should me MORE on my side, because frankly, I still hurt.



My expectations may have been a little high...I wanted to feel completely better immediately. Doesn't work that way. Dang it.



I am, however, taking the maximum dosage of Ibuprofen that the human body can handle ;) Oh I kid...kinda.



The pain has slowed me down and I figured about a few things:


  1. I'm a tad bit crabby when in pain.

  2. I do not like being made by my body to sit and rest.

  3. I've been complaining a lot about running lately...and after the past couple days, I realized that the ability to run is a gift. The ability to live life without pain is a gift. Time to change my thinking.

  4. Back pain is not fun, and now everyone who has it has my complete and utter sympathy.

  5. No more gymnastics for me. Ever again.

Makes me think of a little song I happen to love... :) Some people gotta learn the hard way...


Happy Saturday!

Friday, October 24, 2008

I AM That Dumb...

I had one of those moments last night, where I temporarily lost my mind.

Eli was in the upstairs hallway trying to figure out how to do a backwards somersault. I kept giving him instructions as I passed him while putting away laundry...tuck your head, you need some momentum...on and on, because apparently my lack of any gymnastics, ever, completely qualifies me for giving instructions to a six year old.

The last time I passed him something came over me and I said the fateful words..."let me show you."

Yeah.

I AM that dumb.

It didn't even cross my mind that 1 - I haven't done a backwards somersault since I was like...I don't know, twelve?!? and 2 - I am old.

Lets just say I heard a crunch when my neck, back and shoulders hit the lovely gold carpet...but I did make it over! And then I sat in the hall for about 20 minutes trying to figure out how to actually stand back up.

Dumb dumb dumb!

Oh, it gets better...especially when you get to call your husband and tell him what you did :)

I left a message with the chiropractor, begging them to squeeze me in today...and now I'm praying they have mercy on me.

If not...hopefully my Dr. will and at least give me pain medicine?

Anyone ever done this? (messing up your back I mean, I'm assuming NONE of you are dumb enough to try a backwards somersault...but if you are, that would be even better ;)

Happy Friday Friends!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I Lay it Down...

If you could see me now...


  • it would not be pretty.

  • sitting at the computer, headphones in (trying to block out a 3 year old's incessant whining that is frankly driving me to drink....excessive amounts of coffee.)

  • Making lists. Menu list, grocery list, things that need to be organized list, cleaning list, Bible Club to-do list, Bible Study to-do list, get my butt in gear list...on and on.

  • sitting here with a complete lack of ideas on what to blog about.

  • feeling a little inadequate in just about every area right now.

  • hoping the Schwan's guy doesn't come while I'm sitting here because I don't have an order for him and that makes me feel bad...for some reason.

  • listening to this song that just came on my MP3...how quickly I forget to do this...

Everything I am

Everything I long to be

I lay it down, at your feet

I lay it down, I lay it down, I lay it down...at your feet.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fun-Hater...

It is my new favorite word.  Fun-hater.

It's like a better version of Party-pooper.

It came up last week at our Ladies Bible Study.  We were on the Sexual Purity chapter in Seeking Him, discussing God's instructions on the whole issue (I know, you're wishing you'd been there for that one;)  A friend mentioned how His instructions are for our protection, He gave them to us out of His love for us, not because He is a fun-hater.

I *gasped*, not because I disagree, but because I'd NEVER heard that amazingly wonderful word before!  It's also around the time we collectively decided that our women's study needs t-shirts that say "We are not fun-haters" 

Anyways...the whole fun-hater thing has got me thinking.

Do people around me think I'm a fun-hater?  Depends upon the definition of fun I guess.  My definition is vastly different than many.

There are things I don't do that could make me considered a fun-hater...

The biggest:  I don't drink alcohol...ever.  Never been bar hopping, drunk, buzzed, hung-over...never had a drink to loosen up, or take my mind off something.  I don't even like the smell or taste of it.  I grew up around it...seen all the stages...from the casual one-drinker with dinner to the raging alcoholic...still can't find the fun in it.  

I think I've witnessed too many of the not-fun-things about it to ever think it was actually fun. 

Call me crazy.

I'm sure as my boys grow up, and turn into teenagers, and I begin the lovely task of setting and enforcing curfews, dating rules, driving privileges and all that good stuff I will really be considered a fun-hater.

I can deal ;)

Because really...its not about hating fun...it's about guarding their heart, mind, and life.  

It may seems crazy to some...but for me, it's what I often refer to as a hedge.  A hedge of protection...something put into place to guard.

One of my absolute favorite books (that I'm recommending all the time in real life) is called Hedges.  It's a book on protecting your marriage, but the principals in it carry over into life in general.  We do or don't do certain things in order to protect something or someone.  

For real...I'm not a fun-hater ;)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Nothing Original...



Another meme...because I can.




This one I saw at Jodie's and Mama Belle's blogs.




Here goes.




If you could be invisible where would you go?


I'd hang out with my kids at school to see how they interact when I'm not around. Or I'd follow the current president around or I'd hang out at Heth's house to see if it's as much fun to be a part of their fam as I think it is :)




What was your favorite book growing up?


Are You There God, it's Me Margaret...and Where the Red Fern Grows.




Where is the worst place you've had to wait?


Four years ago I was newly preggo and very nauseous with Jake. I went to vote in the presidential election and I had to wait at the extremely hot community building in a long line with two little ones and people who did not smell so good. But dang it, MY VOTE COUNTED! :)


Name a food that nauseates you.


Bananas. *gag*


If you could read minds, whose would you want to read?


None. Just the thought of it frightens me beyond words.


What's the worst grade you've ever gotten?


On what? A Class, a paper, a test? No matter...that would be an F. We learn from failure, right?!?


If you could be an animal what would you be and why?


Odie. He's livin' the dream.

If you were a teacher what grade would you teach?
Do I have to? I love teaching Bible Club and my new Sunday School class of teenage girls...but lets face it, that's a total of 2 hours, 2 days a week. The thought of twenty some kids, 5 days a week, ALL day long...God Bless all the teachers!!!!!



How close to fist place have you ever gotten in a limbo contest?

Ummm...not close. I am not flexible. At all. I am not a limbo fan. Count me out.


Maybe I'll come up with an original thought for tomorrows post...maybe.

Monday, October 20, 2008

This Never Happens...

Anyone know what you rarely see on my blog...besides proper grammar?

Recipes.

Let's just say that cooking...well, it's not my joy. I can do it. I just don't particularly enjoy it...or ever look forward to doing it. My mom claims this will change someday...which generally makes me respond with my inner 15 year old: whatever.

But today, I have a recipe. My bloggy friend Tonya at A Mrs. and a Mom, commented on my post yesterday that she didn't know what a pumpkin bar was...and as I read it...my heart stopped for a minute (oh I exaggerate, it was probably only a couple seconds, but still)...The pumpkin bar is one of the tastiest treats of fall...next to the candy corn, peanuts, and M&M combo...my heart broke at the thought of anyone missing out on my beloved pumpkin bars!!

I must share this recipe. It is my blogging duty. PLUS, I'd like to spread around the added 5 pounds that this little recipe seems to come with.

It's a recipe that I got from my aunt (which in IA we pronounce the proper way, "ant")...and I'm not biased or anything...but it's the best one out there. *smiles*
Tonya, this one is for you.
Pumpkin Bars: 2 Cups Sugar, 1 Cup Oil, 4 eggs - cream together
1 Can pumpkin pie filling (8 or 12 oz.)
2 Cups Flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp Baking Soda, 1/2 tsp salt; 1 tsp cinnamon.


Spread in large ungreased bar pan.


Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.


Frosting: (i.d. best part) 2 Cups Powdered Sugar, 3/4 Stick Butter (melted), 1 tsp vanilla, 3 oz. cream cheese (softened)



Enjoy...and sorry about the added poundage...but it's totally worth it...I think I'll go make another pan...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Suck It In...


Apparently he's trying to hold his "toddler tummy" in...with some masking tape.

He is naughty resourceful...I give him that.

I may try it too...except I may need something sturdier...duck (duct?) tape perhaps? I blame it on those pesky pumpkin bars.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

G Rated

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets


Crack me up. I am happy that it's G...I was a little afraid that with my excessive use of the word, barf, it might be PG. But apparently, barf is not at all bad...they only recorded puke as my questionable word. That's funny stuff...to me, that is :)

And now...the before and after!

Dining room ceiling fan/light before:



And super cute new pendant light from IKEA that I absolutely love:


The pics don't quite capture its cuteness...you'll just have to trust me.


Thanks so much to Dennis, Ben and Ryan for hanging it for me :)

Tonight we have a soup supper and hayride at church...so fun!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Still in There...

Know what's been on my mind a lot lately?


Teenagers. For a couple of reasons:


The past few weeks I've reconnected with some friends from highschool through the previously mentioned wonders of Facebook. It's got me thinking about how fast time has flown by.


In a couple of months I will be 31 years old, but the words of this post, ring as true as ever. (you should go read it, because I wrote it back when I had about 5 people reading my blog, there's a good chance you didn't read it already...trust me.)


I have matured...for sure. But much of that same dorky quirkiness is still living inside of this body. And ya know what...I heart that silly 15 year old...she's the one that get's excited about the little things. Gives people the benefit of the doubt...remembers to give some grace...isn't afraid to ask why or ask hard questions, and easily admits she stands in awe before a Holy God, whom she can't wrap her tiny brain around.


The second reason I've got teenagers on the brain is that I'm going to start teaching a high school Sunday School class...which will consist of myself and 2 girls that are foreign exchange students. I'm already praying for them, because seriously, it's hard enough for people who speak English as their first language to follow my randomness...poor girls...I'm pretty sure the Holy Spirit will be doing some divine interpreting for them ;)


Anyways, last night I went and got a Revolve Devotional Bible for teenage girls (it's a gift to my inner 15 year old;) and the study we're gonna do, which is Experiencing the Heart of Jesus student edition by Max Lucado. When Ben was in seminary we worked with the teens...I didn't realize how much I missed it until I was standing in the bookstore looking at all the different resources.


Fun stuff.


There's more:

  1. Picked up this CD for this song...it's my current fave...and life theme.
  2. My parents are coming tonight to help Ben install my new light from IKEA. Happy Day! Pics tomorrow.

Phew! This was a long one.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'm Nothing On My Own...

Bullet points two days in a row may be a very good indicator of my current mental capabilities.

There's so much swirling around in my head I can't narrow it down to any one thing thus I'll just regurgitate it all into bullets. OK?
  • 7pm last night: Bible Club. 52 kids. FIFTY TWO KIDS! 52 precious lives. This ministry exists in order to share the life-changing power of Jesus...the hope and forgiveness we have through Him...it's an honor to minister to these kids.

  • Ben was able to deliver a check from our church to a family in tinytown that attends Bible Club and were caught in both the tornado and flood. She didn't open the envelope while Ben was there, but thanked him graciously and shared some of her financial burdens since these disasters. I pray that after Ben was gone, and she opened that envelope, she felt the love of a Savior that wants more than anything to be her provider, to give her new life.

  • As Ben and I sat in awe of last night, I sobbed...completely humbled. I could give you a list two miles long of all our inadequacies in our ministry here...but a line from a Casting Crowns song called In Me (which has been our theme song since moving to tinytown), keeps playing over and over in my head..."How refreshing to know you don't need me, how amazing to find that you want me."

  • We then turned the TV on to watch the debate that we had dvr'd...what a terrible idea. In the past debates I've been giving Ben a hard time about his interaction with the TV...apparently last night was my turn. At one point, Eli said to the TV, "Stop lieing, you're freaking my mom out." *smiles* You are correct Eli...one particular candidates back-pedaling and out-right lies on his stance/voting record regarding abortion freaks mommy out...I may need to move to Canada after election day...I will miss you tiny town ;)

  • Woke up this morning at 7:38 AM...yeah, that's a tad bit late. Spent the next 20 minutes rushing around getting the kids ready for school.

  • Then realized the carpet cleaners come today and we forgot to empty the living/dining rooms, which means I now have to do it myself...bummer.

  • Made coffee.

  • Now blogging instead of 1)emptying living/dining room 2) showering.

  • Thinking that I can't leave ya today without a video of that song...

  • Enjoy bloggy friends :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Reality

On my mind... (kinda makes me think of a Willie Nelson song...)

  • gotta add $ to the boys lunch accounts because a note came home saying they're $7.30 in the hole...oops.
  • looking at all the "reminder" cards of dentist appointments, flu shots, Fall Party for school sign up sheets, and all the other notes from everywhere that seem to all require something of me.
  • trying to resist the cinnamon rolls sitting on the counter...wishing I hadn't seen that they are 650 calories a piece. Evil yummy things.
  • realizing that I spend a lot of time mentally scolding myself for not getting more accomplished, even though I know all the reasons I shouldn't do that.
  • Trying to figure out how to do a Beth Moore DVD study with my ladies without spending $250 on dvd's (which I'm sure are totally worth it) Tiny church in tiny town probably not gonna think $250 is tiny...and now realizing that my first 4 words of this statement are part of the problem...should read: Seeking God's plan on; instead of trying to figure out...
  • realizing Jake is no longer watching Dora, and is very, very quiet...that's never good. Ever.
  • Wishing I had the right words to encourage a friend.
  • Feeling a heaviness that I can't explain...seems so many around me are dealing with so much, I can't help but hurt for them...but know I'm not meant to carry that heaviness.
  • Gonna go spend some time with Him...the one who can bear all of it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I Think I Have a Problem...

Last fall I got hooked on Facebook, thanks to my friend Beth.
And by hooked...I mean completely and utterly sucked in.

Yesterday I spent some time catching up with Facebook. I have neglected it since I started blogging, and the fact that Facebook went and changed the format (which has taken me a long time to get used to) didn't help matters.

But Facebook... I. am. back.

Anyways, yesterday as I was looking through my previous profile pictures and stuff I became totally amused at my hair throughout this past year....and then I thought to myself, "Self, wouldn't it be fun if you could see everyone's hair throughout the past year?!? Because it changes more than ya think." Then my self replied back with something to the effect that no one's gonna wanna do that, except me...



So here's mine. We'll start with a really old one first...Christmas 2006...
Good-bye long hair... we were really never meant to be...




October 2007...me and my sister Lindsey.



November...Thanksgiving...we're weirdos.




December



January



February




March




April...straight




and curly...



May was the tornado clean-up...we don't even want to mention what the hair looked like...I did sport that lovely farmers tan all summer long though. Nice.



June and July meant humidity...



August



September & October...




Never in my life have I had so many pictures of myself...I blame facebook, and the need to keep changing my profile pic because I get sick of looking at the same old one.


So...if you haven't tried facebook, you should. It's way, way easy to find old/current friends...and an excellent way to keep record of your hairstyles for a year, because I mean, who doesn't want to do that?!?


And, if you post hair pictures...and I mean any kind, be sure to let me know...because I'm THAT easily amused. ;)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I Have a Good Excuse...

I'm not dead...no worries.


And there was no disaster in tiny-town that caused my evacuation...this time at least.


It just so happens that we took a tiny whirlwind mini vacation, and because I absolutely positively do not enjoy packing for our whole family and the fact that I put it off until the very last minute, meant that I ran out of time to blog and tell you I would be gone.


Ben thinks that was a tad rude of me...I assured him of how kind ya'll are and how you'd totally understand because you get the whole packing nightmare.

I didn't blog for three whole days! And I didn't even have symptoms of withdrawal. Go me.


We had a fun little trip, that of course requires bullet points.

  • Our neighbors loaned us their DVD player for the ride up. It saved our children. Without it, we may have left them somewhere along the interstate. Oh, I kid. I wouldn't actually leave them...I'd just imagine it for a bit ;)

  • We traveled up to where we lived the first 5 years of our married life...the city. Turns out, I've turned back into a total rural girl again...you know the kind...grasping the dashboard anytime we even get close to the back end of another vehicle or heaven forbid...switch lanes. Sad times. I used to love driving around up there...well, except for that one time I totaled the car because of that little fender bender...anyways...

  • We went to The Mall....The Mall of America. My admiration for it runs deep. And now, because it is the home of Lego Land, I've passed on my love for it to my children.

I give you pictures:

Noah made me take a picture of every ginormous Lego thing there. I'll spare you...Ben and Noah rode bumper cars and I rode this with Jake. (We made Eli ride one thing...he was too distracted by the Legos.)Why Ben didn't want to ride on the pink Blues Clues ride, I'll never know.We ate a lot. A LOT. But my favorite was Bubba Gump's (as in Forrest Gump) It is my new favorite restaurant! And if we ever have another child, I'm naming it Bubba in honor of it...


I love visiting the city. The diversity of it. The fashion. Bubba Gumps. But underneath it all...I'm a small tiny town girl.


Now I'm off to read your blogs and find out all I've missed out on while I was gone!


Happy Monday!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Glad In It...

Yesterday I mentioned my blind lunch date :) Here we are! She totally let me take a picture (thanks Nicole:) We had such fun chatting for 2 hours, and her sweet little guy was SO GOOD!

Meeting Internet friends is so fun! Seems like I'll have to head south to meet the rest of you guys y'all!

I woke up in the middle of the night with an old song coursing though my head. It's one that I haven't heard in years...we used to sing it at the church that I lovingly refer to as "the church I came from."

I've gone to several churches before tiny town...but this particular church is where I met the real Jesus for the very first time. I met the Jesus that wanted to transform me, and know me. Who knew the worst in me, and loved me the same. Who willingly went upon a cross for the worst in me so that I could be free from it. The Jesus who didn't require me to get my act together first (which was impossible) but instead said, "let me help with that"...and He's still helping with that...
From the ages of 15-20 the people of this church mentored me, loved me, taught me truth and showed me what it meant to really truly live for Him. Since then, it has still played an important role in my spiritual walk...the people there still continue to bless and encourage me. It really is where I come from, it shaped me into who I am today. And just like family, I'll always be one of them, no matter where I am.

The song is just this verse: Psalm 118:24

"This is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it."

Sounds so simple, doesn't it...too bad I don't do this often enough.

So thankful for His reminder...today is the day He has created, planned and designed...I don't have to fix it, complain about it, or change it. I just need to rejoice and be glad in it.

I remember my life before Him...and I know life with Him, and the two are simply incomparable. I long for so many to experience Him, to know Him, trust Him, to feel the sweet release of forgiveness...all of which has nothing to do with religion, but with a relationship with Him.

It's the cry of my heart today. And I'm so thankful that 15 years ago I walked into that church, rather unwillingly at the time, and experienced a new kind of life.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I Say it Like the Roadrunner...

I've been blogging for about nine months now and I'm always learning something new.

The latest thing cracks me up. After hearing several of you mention the word Meme on your video posts, I realized that ALL THESE months I've totally been saying it wrong (not that you can hear me say it, but still)

I say, ME ME, but apparently it is pronounced like "meem"...the funny part is...that for the life of me, I can't change how I say it! I also spell it differently every time I type it, I figure that way I'm bound to get it right at least once.

So here's another MeMe from me to you :)

I'm almost positive that the last thing the bloggy world needs is more info about me...but it does say "random things" and you know I can't turn random down...or my bloggy friend Hollie that tagged me :)

Here are the rules.....
1. Post the rules on your blog
2. Write 6 random things about yourself
3. Tag 6 people at the end of your post
4. If you are tagged, just do it, and pass the tag along!!

1 - I hate the sound of people clipping their nails...HATE it. If I clip my own, it doesn't bother me so much, but other people...yikes. Don't even get me started on people clipping in public...or my teacher in high school that clipped his during class...barf. I also like the word barf, but not actual barf.

2 - Today I am going to lunch with Nicole...who leaves comments on my blog, and we "know" each other through facebook and mutual friends, but have never met in real life. I also have no idea what she looks like, so hopefully I'm not standing in the restaurant for too long before she finds me...it's kinda like a blind lunch date. I will most certainly take my camera along ;)

3 - I laughed my butt off last night while watching Jillian on The biggest Loser chew out the ladies for being lazy whiners. The best was when she said she wanted to puke all over herself for how nice she'd been to them...I heart her and her meaness...because it's effective people :)

4 - My hair in the morning is cra-zy. I don't mean a little messy or flat...I mean totally outta control...sometimes my Nike baseball cap can hardly contain it.

5 - I almost always never finish a whole book. I read 3/4 or so and then stop...figuring I've gotten the gist of it. Weird, huh.

6 - I am easily amused. Obviously.

Wow...I just made that meme really boring...that's unfortunate.


Need a post? I tag you.

I also have a little award to pass on...


Barbie from Moments. Memories. Milestones. graciously passed this on to me because of this post. Barbie is an amazing mom and woman of God, I always enjoy finding out what she's up to, go check her out...she's got some fabulous hair too ;)

You know by now, that I am terrible, TERRIBLE at following linking rules...I blame it on my laziness. Click these rules if you're a rule follower.

I love reading funny stuff from you guys...and let me tell you, there's a lot of funny stuff out there that makes me smile...all of which I can't remember right now. Memory: you fail me miserably.

But there is one that sticks out and makes me smile just THINKING about it! So, I'm passing this award on to Life's Little Quirks for this stinkin' adorable post! I love her, her blog, and the way she shares her heart and life...she's a witty little thing too. Amie...consider yourself awarded.

Goodbye Fake Wood-Grain...

OK, some updates from yesterday.



For clarification purposes I think I should tell you that we just painted the paneling rather than removing it. We're pretty sure the paneling was installed way back when in order to hide cracks and wallpaper. And to remove it, would probably mean the walls crumbling...remember this project? Yeah.


Ben and I managed to get the office emptied, taped, primed, painted with 2 coats, and then reassembled all in one day.(thank you to this friend for taking Jake so we could accomplish this!)


I mentioned before that we were having some issues with the color choice. I had been dreaming of the office in a lovely shade of butter-yellow. But-tah.

Ben did not share my dream. (Sad, isn't it?) He was thinking something more manly...like green, since it's his office and all...and the fact that I've gotten the choice in every other room in the house, he won. In theory...this makes sense.

So...I submitted. And spent the day convincing myself I liked the green while at the same time grieving the loss of the but-tah dream. *little tear...still grieving*

He loves it. Which really does make me happy...and I really do think it will grow on me. And it really is his office...

Before:

Paneling. And lots and lots of shelves that house lots and lots of books.




More paneling:



And now Internet friends, meet talipot palm green.



The books: This is just half of the wall of books and shelves. For those of you married to pastors...you know they come with lots of books ;)

Go Green. Literally.

....maybe I'll paint the kitchen in creamy buttery yellow....

Monday, October 6, 2008

Finally Breaking-Up With the Paneling...

Ben is on vacation from his "secular" job this week. YAY!

Today we're starting the project that we've both been putting off for the three years that we've lived in the parsonage.

The office. More importantly...the paneling in the office.

Not pretty. Paneling and I are not friends.

Before we actually moved in, I painted the paneling in all three bedrooms, but ran out of time for the office.

Since then...it has been driving me NUTS! The office is right off the living room...and ya'll know it's where the computer is...so I'm in here...well, you know....I won't specify the exact amount of time.

We've not been able to agree on a color...but on Saturday, we went ahead and picked one out...and then spent all of Sunday having second thoughts.

I should have some before & after picks soon!

In the mean time, we get to paint together :)

Let the prayers begin ;)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Dead-Bolt is Necessary...

This is why I have to dead-bolt lock our doors...during the day, while I'm home...

He's mastered the art of sneaking out of the house, ever so quietly...to fill up the watering can and then make a mud hole at the bottom of the slide...where he proceeds to play in it...fully clothed.

Did I mention it's like 50 degrees out while he's doing this?

Little rascal.

He's seriously lucky he's so dang cute.

Friday, October 3, 2008

I Make it Difficult...

Have you ever been absolutely positively certain about something? I mean really thoroughly convinced of what you feel, certain that your feeling won't change?



I have.



And I've had those very same feelings change, in the blink of an eye...which always tends to feel a tad bit disturbing at the time.



I know, deep in my heart that God knows the desires of my heart better than me. He's proved this over and OVER about a zillion times in my 30 years of existence.



Why then, do I go about life, trying to push my own agenda? Trying to convince Him of what I truly want, sometimes feeling like He's gonna make me do something I don't want to do and I'll be totally miserable?



It makes no sense...it's gotta stop.



I mentioned yesterday that God is ever so gently showing me areas in my life that I have maintained control of...haven't quite handed over to him...or handed over and then snatched right back.



I'm good at that. Hanging onto something till I realize I've completely messed it up or I'm completely unsure of what I want...then go before Him, begging for His wisdom and direction, and then getting discouraged when He doesn't immediately tell me what I should do.



I realized this week that He doesn't immediately tell me what to do, because I'm not even in a place to be able to hear Him.



How do I get to that place? It's a question I ask all the time...it's a question I was asked this week.



The answer is simple but I don't often like it.



Obedience.



His way...trusting Him, taking those hard steps of faith that are sometimes so very scary. Out of the boat and onto the crashing waves, so to speak. Sometimes the steps are so very basic that we ignore them...thinking they're too simple, wanting to just jump ahead.



I generally want Him give me some sort of assurance that this is gonna work out for me...that whatever the step of faith it would feel easy. But that is not required of Him...He owes me no guarantee, except that He will be with me, and that I am required to obey if I want His blessing on my life. And, I have the absolute guarantee that He knows more than I do.



So, today...if you're feeling His nudging in some area of your life, but you're resisting...you're not alone. And, if you're choosing to obey, and are still scared outta your mind...still not alone. And if you're resting on the assurance that it's ok to be scared, but trusting He's got a plan...not alone. I'm with ya on all of it.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Oh...I Meant it Alright

Ever have those moments where you think, "Hmmm, Thursday already...what did I do this week?"



Having one of those moments as we speak.



I've been running here and there...and it's been fun, but today...gotta stay home and actually put away the laundry that has been clean for days, but strung all over our bedroom floor because it's disobedient and won't fold and put away itself...dang laundry.



I've also been learning some huge ginormous spiritual lessons from that one little study I mentioned before...Seeking Him. Lately it's been on obedience...which is not my strongest area when the obedience happens to require something that makes this flesh want to run around tiny-town screaming. OK...so I exaggerate slightly. The other is forgiveness...which isn't too hard, right? HA! Yeah right.



The words haven't quite come together for those posts...but I know God will bring them when the time is right...in the meantime, He's making me practice those two things...good times.



And, just for the record, the other day, on my humiliating video posts (that I'm not even gonna link to), I happened to say that I hope you all sounded or looked like dorks so that it would make me feel better....I didn't mean it....ok....yes I did. I did indeed :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Happy Birthday Mama Belle

Guess who turns 37 today?!?

My BFF, whom I've never met in real life...Mama Belle, she's on the left. She's freaking out a little about turning 37...silly girl...look at her, she's gorgeous!! And talented to boot!

Her hubby came up with a great little suprise for her birthday...and I'm hoping that she too thinks it great, because if she doesn't...well, it was ALL his idea...I'm just sayin' :)

video

Happy Birthday Mama Belle, The Movie Star!!!

And in 6 years and 2 months I'm hoping to look as fabulous as you my friend ;) Sorry...I just had to throw that in there...because that's what friends do...

You too can go wish her a big 'ol Louisiana Happy Birthday over here....and check our her blog while you're there...you'll see why I like her so much.

And check out more videos at:

Rachel, Jessica, Amy, Wendi, Jackie, Julie, and Jodie

Enjoy :)