Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Intentions 2006:

Health – real, true, health…mental and physical and emotional. I’d like to say I’m going to commit to losing a bunch of weight and being a sports junkie, but that has just never worked for me.. Sooooo...my health goals are as follows:

Move – every day for 30 minutes a day. A walk, the core routine, dancing, combat training…something for 30 minutes every day.

Eat in balance – no more processed food, no more fast food, more protein and veggies..a focused approach to eating in balance without deprivation and far greater variety in my choices.

Water – 1 oz minimum for ever pound of body weight I carry…this should be interesting.

Sleep – 8 hours every night or as close as I can get.

2 Risks a Week – I read about this in a magazine (the title of which I cannot remember.) These can be small or large, but must be something outside of my comfort zone.

Simplify – I’ve got a whole lot of stuff packed in boxes in the garage that I have lived without for a month and a half. Granted, some of it will have to come out of those boxes when we have our own home, but there are many things out there that I have held on to for far too long because of their sentimentality or my “I might use this some day” mentality. I’m cleaning out and simplifying. We just don’t need all this junk following us through our lives...there is powerful symbolism in us carrying a bunch of junk we don't ever use all the way across the country to start our new life. Its insane, don't you think?

Journal – I say this every year, but I never get myself around to the habit. I have such beautiful journaling tools and a style of my own that is satisfying to my heart. I’m going to be working working working on this! Blogging will be part of it, and there will be another component, a more personal component. I need to give God the time and space to speak to me through my journaling so that I can heal and grow and nurture those things in me that are struggling for the light.

Create - Last year, I committed to one scrapbook event a month and it was fabulous. I kept my promise to myself and actually got in far more than one a month. This year, I want to focus time at home on my hobby. Scrapbooking is soothing and fun and I get so much relaxation and pleasure out the time and what it produces. I’m turning off that darn TV and working on creating more.

Scriptures – every day, without fail. I’m going to study and learn and memorize. The Word will become an inseperable part of me.

There are other things…big things…I want a business of my own and a new home and to go back to school and to have a baby. But I think my focus needs to be on the smaller things. I want to get the details in order so that there is room for these bigger things. I want to get my house in order, to start here, “at home” so that the changes can find their way in concentric circles from me to those around me – like a ripple in water.

First the pebble…then the ripples...then the waves…

Peace everyone!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

New Pics on the Photo Blog

Check out my Christmas and other misc shots:

Chksngr's View

And the word for the day is:

Edify

In Websters New Millenium Dictionary of English, this means to build up, establish, or strengthen, to uplift

This SHOULD be my word for my LIFETIME!

I am too critical…

FAR too critical…

Its just that stupid people bother me. “Here’s your sign.”

And rude people bother me too – they should wear flashing red lights.

And obnoxious people bother me – you know these ones – the ones that are so totally out of line all the time just to push somebody’s buttons. These people should wear lights AND sirens…and probably not be allowed to re-produce…

I digress…

I’m too critical…HA!

So…we had a fabulous Christmas. Like all Christmas celebrations, it had its ups and downs…

Expectations that went unmet…

Self-centered whims that could not have been ignored by any mere mortal were displayed…

Oddly hypocritical things were said…and not noticed as being hypocritical by the speaker, of course…

But the truth of the matter is that it was a blessed and very generous Christmas in this household.

We are blessed of God in the most amazing ways around here and, each and every day, I’m reminded anew that He really does reach his hand down out of the sky and touch my life and the lives of those around me.

God sees me in a light that I cannot even see myself in most days…the critical eye I turn to others is as focused inward as outward. No one gets a break from me, not even me.

However, in the Spirit of what God is doing in me and for me and how He sees me, I’m resolving here and now to edify those around me.

I want to be focused on the good, to spotlight the positive, to encourage the constructive, to work at being a source of light in the darkness.

I don’t want negativity to eat away at what I know I’ve been gifted with and I don’t want to stand in judgement of another when I have been forgiven myself.

Lets not be deceived – there are people in my world who are maddenly in need of a good smack, but I’m not qualified, nor do I have the desire to be the deliverer of the news that these individuals are grossly out of line.

Rather, I want others to look at me and say, “I want what she has. I want to be like she is. I desire that positive peace she carries around with her.” And this will also help me weed out those crazy-makers that I just don’t need in my life. If I’m consistently positive and I give those around me the benefit of edification at every opportunity and they still drive me up a tree, then, perhaps, I need to reconsider my relationships with them and how much I will continue to interact with them.

It’s a good plan…

So – word of the day – EDIFY.

I’m focused.

Peace, everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Compassion…

Here is the challenge I face today…

How do I have compassion for some one who got what they deserved?

So I know this…God is so good to me. I always get more good than I deserve…always.

BUT if somebody was a real poop and then got a little backlash from it, how do you have compassion for that person?

And how in the world do you listen with empathy to them speak in anger about what they got when you WANT to say, “Hey, I know it makes you angry, but you got what you deserved and you haven’t much right to be angry about it. You are currently reaping what you sowed.”

I don’t know…

It’s a tough one, huh?

Unfortunately, we all suffer when there is tension in our midst….its never pleasant….it makes me in particular want to run away and never turn back, to make up excuses why I can’t visit, to smile politely and say, “Maybe next week”.

It makes it hard to connect to people on a really satisfying level…

It makes it hard to connect to people at all…

And when the consequences are well deserved, its difficult to remember that the Bible says it’s a darn good thing I don’t get what I deserve from God because it would be sure and certain eternity in hell. And that I’m to have compassion for others as God has had compassion on me…

Hmmmmmmm…

So…as compassion has been granted unto me, I’m trying to have compassion for those around me in return…

But darn if it isn’t really hard to do sometimes…

Darn if sometimes I don’t want to say out loud, “SO THERE!”

Sigh…

And even in my self-righteous moments of no compassion, I know this…

I’m being taught a great lesson…I’m getting a free education, here.

I don’t have to pay the painful price…

I am privileged to watch from a distance and learn.

I see myself in there…my knee-jerk reactions, my pride taking over, my anger welling up…I see me. And how very very counterproductive that stance can be.

How powerful!

Its so much like God put a mirror up for me in these situations so that I can see where I react the same way and how not to act when faced with a similar situation.

See, here is the deal…the key, if you will…when you get a slap back, you HAVE to ask yourself, “Did I deserve that?”

And then – perhaps the most critical part - you have to keep PRIDE from answering for you…because PRIDE will always say, “NO!” And PRIDE is usually very very wrong.

Its at these points where the mature adult thing to do is say, “Gosh, I’m sorry. I was wrong. Forgive me and lets move on.”

Sadly, in tough situations, there are very few of us who can do that…just swallow all that nasty PRIDE and say, “I am wrong here. I admit it.”

And when you don’t say, “I’m sorry” and you have been a poop consistently for hours or days or weeks or years…and then you get a slap back, a reality check, from outside of you, somebody saying, “What’s coming out of your mouth right now is completely unacceptable and I don’t need it.”

Well….

It’s hard to put yourself in the shoes of the recipient in that case…

It’s hard to be understanding…

It’s really hard to have compassion.

But I’m trying…

And praise Jesus, He’s trying to help me find that place…

Peace everyone!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Christmas List #3

Closeup

Today I’m pondering Christmas…or at least trying. I’m searching for the sharing, the peace, the joy and the love.

I want to feel settled in my soul as we approach the celebration of the birth of my Savior.

It should be a time of sharing and acceptance, where differences are put aside with purpose.

This is my focus for the day – to find that light inside of myself and kindle its warmth so that others can feel it, see it, receive it. Its my aim, not to pretend that discord is not striving for dominance around me, but to choose to be joyful in spite of it.

I choose to be the change I want to see in my world.

That’s it…

I choose to be joyful in spite of those things that might be going on around me.

I choose peace in the midst of the chaos.

I choose to be grounded, solid, faithful and true to what I know to be right.

I choose to not give the devil power here…he has no power here.

I choose to put my lamp on a stand for all the world to see.

I read Keri Smith’s blog for the 20th - the “Guerilla X-mas Guide.” I got so inspired!!!

So…Christmas List #3 will be some NEW Christmas Traditions I’d like to start in our family.

1. To let our children put the first ornaments on the tree.

2. To answer a “Santa” letter (or letters) a la Operation Santa Clause or adopting some local family in need.

3. To hand make ornaments and/or gifts as a family.

4. Cookies for the neighbors – this is something I could not have done in California…but here, I think it would be fun!

5. Christmas movie Christmas eve – wouldn’t it be fun to set up some “party” food and rent a stack of Christmas movies and get snuggled in with your family on Christmas eve? I think it would be FABULOUS!

6. Random decoration of a public tree – this is one of the very creative ideas Keri Smith lists. It just tickles me!

7. A Christmas picture card – I’ve always wanted to do this and I never think far enough ahead!


As the Christmas frenzy reaches its pinnacle, may you all choose to spread some Guerila Christmas cheer and may you all choose to be the peace and joy in your worlds!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

My morning reward…

These little lovelies were having a little feast on the back porch this morning!

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Aren’t they beautiful?

Later, when I was walking outside with the dogs, I saw a Blue Jay too, but alas, I didn’t have my camera with me!!! That’ll teach me to leave home without it!

Peace, everyone!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Today I cried…


…because I’m a little sore from the morning workout…even though I’m STILL jumping around like a crazy woman from all the oxygen I got from it!

…because my box from Mom and Dad arrived today and it was filled to the brim with love.

…because I have a UTI I’m trying to evict and it just plain sucks.

…because I miss the home I created for myself in California….I miss Kat and the kids, I miss my scrap buddies, I miss D and Deb, I miss Teri being only 4 hours away (instead of 2111 miles), I miss the coffee shop, I miss Trader Joes, I miss my job.

…because I’ve had to artificially create a disciplined schedule for myself so that I’m not floating about aimlessly getting nothing accomplished.

…because I cannot leave the house for a girl’s activity…I have no girls here.

…because I miss my church…BOY DO I MISS MY CHURCH! Its just that there is no place I’ve been here so far that feels opened up to God the way they did.

…because there is no Collective Journey Scrapbooking store here with everything I could ever possibly imagine under the sun inside of it.

…because I don’t get to sit and gossip about life, the universe and everything scrapping with Kare. I miss that girl! (AND she doesn’t like planes!)

…because we live in the middle of proverbial no-where…not really, but it feels like it when you want to get out and make friends.

..because all my precious Christmas decorations are in a box instead of spread around the house. Its foreign with somebody else’s decorations.

…because I’m getting lovely Christmas cards from all my friends and family, but have none to return…and this is the SECOND year I’ve not made cards.

…because we are going to see Christmas lights tonight and I’m so excited and so disappointed all at the same time. I am eagerly anticipating and missing the streets I’m used to visiting in one emotion.

…because I don’t know where my sports bra is packed and finding it will be an act of God.

…because I have to STUDY to take the test to get my new NC driver’s license. UGH!

…because I’ve now tried 4 times to unsuccessfully win a reasonable bid for a Canon Digital Rebel 300D camera on E-bay.

…because no one around here seems to notice that the carpets need vacuuming. I hunted down the vacuum today and did a room myself.

…because I’m trying to do something positive to help the business, but I ran face first into unsolicited negativity.

…because I’m overjoyed that there have been so many great moments between me and Scott since we got here. If nothing else, this was a winning move for our marriage!

…but most of all, because change is overwhelming in every possible sense…its exciting and thrilling and happy and sad and awkward and fun and angry and mean and blunt and satisfying and risky. And I feel alive in a way I have not experienced for a very long time. That feeling is completely at odds with my organized, planning, efficient, list-making, completely type A personality. I am at odds with the adult I THOUGHT I was…how exciting!

I have some room to be artistic and creative…

I have room to be irresponsible in a way…

I have some time to think about what I really want out of my life…

I have some time to really evaluate what my skills are and where they would be better used…

And probably most important of all, I know what it feels like for the first time in my adult life to be at home. I can envision myself as a stay-at-home mom or a part-time business woman…not just as a driven career person or an on-the-go artist.

Its absolutely fascinating to feel this way…

And no way…

Excuse me…

I have to go get another tissue.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

"I will not die an unlived life.


I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire.

I choose to inhabit my days,

to allow my living to open me,

to make me less afraid,

more accessible,

to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing,

a torch,

a promise.

I choose to risk my significance;

to live so that which came to me as seed goes to the next as blossom

and that which came to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."

Dawna Markova


Thanks to Stacy Julian for this one…I’m putting it up on my board so I can stare at it at length, process it, internalize it, feel it…

The best part: I chose to risk my significance…

Yes, I do!

Peace!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Vision…

Its so funny to me how things strike me, touch me, teach me…how God puts stuff into my path that is so powerful, so educational.

I have learned so much in a few short weeks and it is easy to see what God is doing here.

I won’t lie…its been a struggle for me. Too close to home for my liking. It unearthed something I’ve been trying to bury for a very long time, a root I’ve been trying to dig up, and deal with and forgive for and get past so that my relationships could be more meaningful, deeper and more real.

I want that depth in my relationships…I want those relationships that are grounded and honest and fully trusting and deep…Son shine relationships….

He is answering my prayer…He is teaching me about myself and about the family I was born into and the family I have married into…

I am learning where were run parallel and where we diverge.

Things are startling…the things I hear others say surprises me.

I’m learning how emotions play out, how pride figures into our relationships…I’m learning about dependence, independence, interdependence and codependence…and how each of us has something in each of these that binds us to other people or separates us from them.

Sometimes there is bold, refreshing honesty and real conversation and really amazing love and trust.

Sometimes there is quiet, under-the-breath whispering and secrets are spoken and you know there is unspoken strife in your midst.

I’m learning how absolutely odd it is to be the one person in a room not talking and how much you learn by smiling and nodding and listening.

Learning how much feeling needed and wanted and loved and appreciated are a part of what motivates people.

And I’m learning about the things that I do that are totally irritating to other people because I’m watching somebody else do those things and it irritates me beyond measure.

Love is so fragile and so tentative and so precious. It is a strong emotion, but it seems always to be overpowered, rendered helpless by pride.

It is absolutely amazing to me to hear somebody speak of God and all things Godly, and then to actually watch them do something absolutely ugly in the very next moment.

Its helping me so much…the scales have been removed from my eyes…

How emotional I can get and what it looks like when I allow emotions to rule me, when I allow emotions to make my decisions.

Where the ugly phrases I hear spoken to me come from…where they were originated and how they sound coming out of another person’s mouth.
I ask myself…

Do I do that?

What do I sound like when I’m angry?

How rational am I when emotions flare?

Do I represent the God I love so much when things get tough?

Would I be brave enough to speak my whispers out loud?

How honest am I?

They are tough questions and I praise God for giving me insight, for showing me these things so that I can learn from them.

I am so glad that I can see myself in other people…

I am so glad He has fortified me enough to say, “Oooo…I do that….its ugly…I’m not going to do it anymore.”

I believed so much when we moved here that Scott and I would be knit together more tightly, that we would understand and learn from each other, and that our love would gain strength and power. I believed for a strong man of God, a person who would be a fabulous father and a husband and a person with whom I could explore friendship…and the tumultuous events over the last week as oddly destructive as they have been….have done that for us…

As one bridge is being torn down, another is being built…

Praise God!

Peace…

Friday, December 09, 2005

Chaos…

Whirling…

Swirling…

Up and down the stairs…

Into and out of rooms…

Hard edged voices…

Viscious words…

One member screeching, yelling, controlling…

One member maddenly calm and quiet…

A third member trying to separate the two…

And I have a realization…I am entirely too comfortable with this.

I sit in a quiet room…

Down the hall...

Out of range of the tornado of rage and emotion…

Quietly…

Breathing steadily, peacefully…

Listening…

Observing…

Waiting…

And I’m used to it.

I have this startling revelation that in my lifetime, I’ve heard so much of this, participated so many times, watched and waited my way through wave after wave of this chaos that I am entirely comfortable within its eye.

I know what this feels like.

I know what to expect.

I know how it will not really end, but just fade away into an uncomfortable silence.

Things were said, words that slice and dice, that hurt because they are designed to, that reek of evil rage and power struggling and issues unresolved…

Words that speak death into the life of another, that kill something trusting, that snip the chords of a safety net...

Words that unleash uncertainty and ill will and waning confidence and pain…

Words that have been unleashed to spread their destructive force from one life into the lives of three other people...

Words that cannot be taken back...

And its everybody else’s fault

I know that “I’m sorry” and “I love you” will be spoken, but that they are ineffective band-aids over gaping, bleeding wounds.

I know that the person who created this chaos did so because they could not bear to be corrected, could not bear to change one small thing in a life that is already so very fragile…a life built on cards, on sand, on something shaky and in great need of shoring up, in great need of repair.

This was about power...

Somebody needed to be in control...

Somebody needed to be right

And I know it so well that it bothered me almost not at all

And this disturbs me greatly...

I have grown entirely too comfortable with emotional war...

I am too comfortable with chaos...

Monday, December 05, 2005

Reflections on living in some one else’s world…

After two weeks, I’ve learned these valuable lessons – things I never would have guessed:

I’m not good at living inside the rhythms of other people’s lives. I thought I was adaptable. I was wrong.

Left-over turkey with a side of pasta with jarred spaghetti sauce is an acceptable meal. Where the heck have I been?

Cookies are ok…bread is not. I’m ok with this rule, but I have one question: Bagels? Ok? Not ok?

I drink WAY too much coffee for my own good. Though I drink no more coffee than I ever did, its apparently far more harmful when there are people around to witness the consumption. I’m becoming a closet coffee drinker….NO, I’ve only had ONE cup! (that I keep refilling when it is ½ way out…if I never hit the bottom, its one cup, right? RIGHT?)

The things my husband hates about me are qualities that me and his mother share…and, incidently, qualities that HE shares too, my life is in danger if he ever finds THAT out! For example, I “huff.” And so does she…and SO DOES HE!!!

Some people do not use the “blow-don’t-sniff” policy when struggling with a stuffy nose. Sniff. Sniff. Sniff. AHEM.

It is indeed possible to work like a mad person all day long and not accomplish a darn thing.

Paying bills is mysteriously more complicated and time-consuming than I remember.

Even though I make my living helping Fortune 500 companies improve their business processes, the business process of a home-based business with a total of three check books and four associates is complicated far beyond my limited understanding of life the universe and everything.

Family dinners at 35 are pleasant and fun and exceptionally educational.

It is ok in some cultures for a dog to eat from the table. (I told you dinners were educational!)

400 degrees is too hot for pizza even if the directions say that is the right temperature.

It’s not ok to argue in the mall or in the driveway… It has something to do with the physics of witnesses that are blood relatives.

There are people who can sneak out of a God or Faith discussion so quietly that you don’t even realize they are missing until you turn to ask them a question and realize their chair is empty. How feline.

It is possible to exist indefinitely without leaving the house as long as the fridge is full and the cable works.

Oprah is not to be missed.

Peace everyone!!!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Christmas List #2

Holiday Treats for the Tummy

1. Eggnog Lattes – I wait all year for these sinful things!!!

2. Frosted sour cream sugar cookies – FABULOUS sugar cookies

3. Peanut Butter Blossoms and Mounds Bars cookies a la mom

4. Mulled wine

5. Rich dark hot chocolate

6. Bratzels – or cracknels, if you prefer…they are swiss wafer cookies…they are mostly brown sugar and butter and they melt in your mouth…a completely decadent memory of Grandma…

7. Petitza – This is a yeast bread that is rolled like a cake roll with a filling of raisins, currants and ground walnuts with honey and sugar and milk. I think its Austrian, but I don’t know for sure…its been YEARS since I had it! Does anyone have a recipe?

8. Tamale’s - specifically, chicken and not too spicy.

9. Gingerbread – thick, dark, cake-style with powdered sugar on the top

10. Cranberry bread

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Things I’ll miss about California, Part Deux

"Scrapbooking with my good CKU buddies once a month" (Christine said it so good, I thought I’d just quote her!)

My long-lost college buddy Karen…he he he…though I get a lot more e-mail from her NOW than I did before! HA!

Rubio’s Roasted Chipotle Salsa

Two-lane roads (most here are a single lane!)

Being able to WALK to a multitude of stores (must remember the neighborhood closeness I crave when purchasing a house…trees are nice and all, but I’m tired of everything being at least 10 minutes away.)

People who drive FASTER than the speed limit – ain’t happenin’ here…they are very serious here about speed limits and their turn signals (I appreciate that one…)

Trader Joes – have found NO replacement for all their yummy goodness

Jack radio staion….they have a Jack in Nashville, but not anywhere else out here that I’ve been able to find

Air 1 radio…although I do listen on-line.

Collective Journey scrapbooking store…girls, if you go there, say a hearty THANKS to them…there is ONE serious store here that is easy to get to…the rest are not so easy…hmmmm…I smell a business opportunity! And…they aren’t that great. The Memories store is good, but not at all the caliber of CJ’s…CJ’s, you ROCK!!! I MISS YOU SO MUCH!!! (Special props to Haven and Christine!)


Ok…and here are some things I love way more than CA:

Harris Teeters grocery – this a grocery store on steroids, people! They have EVERYTHING here! And the produce is beautiful, bountiful and vastly varied. It blows everything but a farmers market away.

Caribou Coffee – yes, the closest one is around 15 minutes away, but its worth the drive.

I do not have to chew my air…beautifully clean, fresh air to breath…on the other hand, I’ll be on antihistimines until I die.

Many Christian radio stations to choose from and they all are fantastic in their own way. I hear WAY more Christian music here and it’s the rockin’ stuff I love.

Friendly, smiling, gracious, happy, polite people…everywhere I look, everywhere I go…its very refreshing! (and a little humbling!)

Dean and Deluca down the street

Belks – its like Nordstrom, only it’s a local.

Christmas List #1

Tree 2003

So…I’m really good at lists…I love them…

For the season, I’m starting the Christmas Lists…I’ll be putting these out here from now until the BIG DAY…as regularly as I can think to do it! HA!

Christmas List #1: THIS season’s musical selections:

1. Linus and Lucy - Vince Giraraldi Trio
2. Hark the Herald Angels Sing – Vince Giraraldi Trio
3. I Believe - Natalie Grant
4. Sweet Little Jesus Boy – Natalie Grant
5. Rejoice – Jim Brickman
6. We Three Kings - Jim Brickman
7. Oh What a Night In Bethlehem – Sawyer Brown
8. Just One Night – Sawyer Brown
9. Let the Merry Bells Ring Round – Canadian Brass
10. The Angel Choir and the Trumpeter – Canadian Brass
11. Veni Veni – Manheim Steamroller
12. Still, Still, Still – Manheim Steamroller
13. One Bright Star – Vince Gill
14. Caroling, Caroling – Manhattan Transfer
15. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear – Manhattan Transfer
16. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Mercy Me
17. Joseph’s Lullaby – Mercy Me
18. Christmas Time is Here – Mercy Me
19. Oh Holy Night – Mercy Me

Peace, everyone!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Relo to NC

Complete

Or…at least as complete as its going to be for awhile…our boxes arrived and are safely packed in the garage…so…I guess that means we are here.

Job hunt commences…I’ve gotten two recruiter interviews under my belt and a phone interview tomorrow. Its exciting and dreadful all at the same time…

Anyone got a guaranteed way to win Powerball? I would certainly love to not have to work and just enjoy this whole new experience…sigh…not gonna happen! Ha!

Photograph by Nickelback is totally on my heart right now…don’t know why, but it speaks to me.

Look at this photograph
Everytime I do it makes me laugh
How did our eyes get so red
And what the hell is on Joey's head

And this is where I grew up
I think the present owner fixed it up
I never knew we'd ever went without
The second floor is hard for sneaking out

And this is where I went to school
Most of the time had better things to do
Criminal record says I've broke in twice
I must have done it half a dozen times

I wonder if it's too late
Should I go back and try to graduate
Life's better now than it was back then
If I was them I wouldn't let me in

Remember the old arcade
Blew every dollar that we ever made
The cops hated us hanging out
They say somebody went and burned it down

We used to listen to the radio
And sing along with every song we know
We said someday we'd find out how it feels
To sing to more than just the steering wheel

Kim's the first girl I kissed
I was so nervous that I nearly missed
She's had a couple of kids since then
I haven't seen her since God knows when

I miss that town
I miss the faces
You can't erase
You can't replace it
I miss it now
I can't believe it
So hard to stay
Too hard to leave it

If I could relive those days
I know the one thing that would never change

Every memory of looking out the back door
I have the photo album spread out on my bedroom floor
It's hard to say it, time to say it
Goodbye
Goodbye

Every memory of walking out the front door
I found the photo of the friend that I was looking for
It's hard to say it, time to say it
Goodbye
Goodbye

Look at this photograph
Everytime I do it makes me laugh
Everytime I do it makes me

Speaking of photographs and front doors…this is the view from Bob and Trudy’s front door…

Front Door copy

And this is their beautiful home…our current temporary dwelling…its beautiful…and last night a herd…yes, a HERD…of deer wandered through the yard…livestock rush hour, I guess…HA! Scott was thrilled...Much as he tries, he is a city boy. (we aren't telling him that around THESE parts, they EAT those things! lol)

House copy

Peace, everyone.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Nearly a Decade…

FW_logo_2clr_tag

9 ½ years

5 positions

6 titles

7 bosses

Countless friends

My best friends

Dozens of partners in “crime”

100's of “Telephone” friends

Inumberable Sleepless nights

30 straight days of working
(More than once!)

3 episodes of yelling in the halls

1 Lake Alice Trading Company

5 or 6 Scandalous escapades

1 amazing education

25 cents per bet “how long will this last?

3rd street Rabbit Warren

5 Company picnics

1 free microwave

2 trips to California Speedway

1 Mary Kay Window

3 Make up artists in the Mary Kay Window

Hundreds of Green Screens

Hundreds of phone calls

“the corporate uniform”

Outrageous customers

Bonus check “stunts”

QIP

1 No-holds barred mentor

$3000 bar tab for the group

Tales to tell for years to come

The “Fleetwood Way”

One big family

Worth every second.

Good-bye to you!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Things I know I will miss about So Cal.



1. Palm trees waving in the hot Santa Ana wind – I’ll miss the palm trees, I’ll miss the blue skies that a Santa Ana makes, I’ll miss the fact that a Santa Ana can make the temperature soar to the high 80’s in NOVEMBER!


2. Thanksgiving in short sleeves and/or shorts and all the window thrown open because its such a beautiful day.


3. Rock Church and all of my amazing brothers and sisters in Christ who are doing God’s work there.


4. Kathy, Teri, Debbi and Miss D.


5. Stell’s coffee in Redlands.


6. Sip’s coffee in Riverside.


7. Ancho’s Mexican food in Riverside – well…real Mexican food period. I’m going to really miss Carne Asada…mmmmm…


8. Sig Alerts and high speed chases – yes…I will miss the excitement they create…sad, I know!


9. Del Taco…HA! I discovered this for the first time when I moved to California to go to college…now, sadly, I will miss the 24 hour drive up…Thick crinkle fries with lots of salt and a deluxe taco with extra cheese…yum!


10. Green grass in December.


11. The windmills on the way to Palm Springs.


12. DRY summers.


13. Stater Brothers grocery store


14. The views…you can literally see from the San Bernardino mountains all the way to Catalina on a clear day…its really amazing – like 70 miles or something…maybe not…but something like that…


15. Having a phone number in “the 909” – which is defined as follows by urbandictionary.com:

“The area code in Southern California for Riverside and San Bernardino
County; usually associated with white trash.”


I’m sure there will be more to come when we get there…I’ll update accordingly!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I never anticipated....

First of all…WHY didn’t somebody TELL me what happens at the end of The Half Blood Prince?

Second of all…I’m not entirely sure he’s dead…I think that the whole speech to Draco about how no one would come after him if they thought he was dead is a CLUE.

Third of all…as wretched as Snape is, I’m holding out for him…I’m hoping he’s not really bad, but continues to be a double agent… that the whole thing was some sort of ruse so that Dubledore could go underground…

I’m probably totally wrong, but its my earnest hope...

SIGH!!!

And lastly but not least, aren’t these super cute Disney pictures??? They should be in the Disney ads they are so super cute!!! (I did not take them…so, don’t think I’m honking my own horn!)

H at DL

R at DL
PEACE!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Thank you Dad…

And all who have served.

There are not enough thanks in the world for your sacrifices.

veterans

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Today I vow...

to edit myself less.

I'm filled with juicy bits...little things that I wanna shout out...and because of who MIGHT be reading, I'm editing myself...not at all the point of this blog. And God did not fill me with juicy bits so I could edit them out...

Back to being wide-open, 100% felecia...

Ya'll might want to step back from your screen...its sure to bulge.

Went shopping today...got three suits for $50 each (yea, I rock at shopping! I do not rock as much as Kellie...she is the queen of great shopping...and I'm not as good at shoes as D...but I still rock!). Got three cute T's to go underneath for $12 each and a really cute 4th T that is total shabby-chic-ness with NO shame that I fully plan to wear under one of those suits...its my new thing...a printed T under a business suit. My way of saying" I don't need no stinkin' dress code!" Sorry...my syntax is off...imagine it with the appropriate accent! A printed T and some chunky jewelry...how very Channel of me...HA!

I had fun shopping...its been awhile since I just went for it and bought exactly what I wanted and didn't put something back. Course, its not like I went and bought a Tiffany necklace or anything...it was sensible suiting speparates...but I still rock anyway...cuz I just do.

Bought some Teri shoes...if you don't know what that means its ok...it means closed back clogs....Teri shoes...Teri is so proud.

Teri and I had a moment today where we realized we are TRUE friends...Kat and I had that moment a few years ago...Kat and I had a somebody-ripped-the-butt-TOTALLY-out-of-her-pants-but-wandered-around-all-night-with-her-chonies-showing evening and realized...only true friends can hang around with the butt ripped out of their pants and not have the evening spoiled. Today, Teri and I shared such a moment...only it was one of those the-phone-should-not-be-part-of-this moments...ah...friendship! HA!

Got a bunch of history crawling up out of the woodwork...its the move...its because people sense the significant shift on its way...I'm mending some bridges now that I have the beautiful chance...I'm letting some others continue to fall into disarray. Somethings are just not worth repairing, you know?

That makes me think of a song (doesn't everything???)

Don't try to call
There are some bridges that burn
Beyond recognition
Beyond repair
Don't say you've changed
There are some forces that turn
Beyond recollection
Beyond my stare
When I feel the cold in the dark
I know you're there.


mmmmmmm...that would be the nail on the head, right there...

10 points for anyone who can tell me who wrote it...

Peace, everyone!

Monday, November 07, 2005

My new favorite band:

Day of Fire

These guys JUST ROCK!

Its never been a secret that I love music that rocks, harder than you might imagine from my sweet little face. HA!! Its been tough for me as a Christian to find music that is both inspiring and as rockin’ as I like…but this band is just doing it for me…I cannot get it out of my head, off my computer, out of my cd player.

I love it.

Their story is amazing – a testimony that is almost unbelievable – the very kind of testimony that can inspire and change lives radically when taken to the masses.

Perhaps one of the coolest things is that a bunch of musicians who are known for their accomplishments in secular music came together to make a really amazing Christian record. I’ve heard often, its not the human being presenting the message that is powerful, it is the Sender of the message and the message itself…this totally proves itself out!

This project is very powerful…you will want to turn it up and rock out! I guarantee it!

I love the quote they put on their website from lead singer Josh Brown – it speaks to these times, these days, the population and the ways of our world. He says its aggressive music for an aggressive generation – it speaks the language…


Speaks the language…mmmmm…how Christ-like – to reach the people where they are…Its just so tasty!

My favorite song of theirs right now is Cornerstone:

All other ground is sinking sand
A dying maze of desert land
Where darkness rules the heart of man
Till the Son shines light on him

The building swaying in the wind
The towers crumble down again
This certainly will be the end
If they're not built on Him

Lord of all, show you're strong
On our knees we fall

You, You are the Builder of my heart
You held me together from the start

Be a Cornerstone, be a Cornerstone
Be the Rock higher than high
Be my Fortress wall
Be a Foundation for all
My Cornerstone


Peace, everyone!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Thought for the day:

I give myself permission…

…to panic about the move to Charlotte.

…to find peace in God over anything I’m choosing to panic about.

…to enjoy the process of editing the junk out of my life (while packing, of course!)

…to be hurt that my peers and boss don’t see the value in keeping me as a contractor.

…to walk off my frustration.

…to enjoy some really good coffee.

…to endeavor something creative today…even if its just to open up my thoughts to myself.

…to be open and honest about everything that comes to my head or heart.

…to start a style file, even though it means another creative mess in my office.

…to go without makeup and not feel bad about my failure to be the best.

…to listen to music in my headphones so that I can concentrate.

…to neglect some things in order to feel sane.

…to have a judgement-free artistic experience.

…to buy yet another scrapbooking magazine or reference.

…to daydream about a new house.

…to find an outfit that BLENDS rather than MATCHES.

…to define my own style…and then change it if I want to.

…to look forward to Christmas even though its not even Thanksgiving yet.

…to make plans to go to school.

…to waste a few minutes here and there just to breathe.

…to continue adding to the list of things I give myself permission to do.

What do you give yourself permission to do today?

Monday, October 31, 2005

The latest and greatest…

Of “MY KIDS”

Of course, they aren't really mine...but they are the closest thing I have to real children - my best friend's kids...I just love them so much! THey are absolutely so much fun and its always an adventure when I get to spend time with them!

This is the Divine Miss H…Ain’t she cute?!?!?!?!?!

Smile!

And this, of course, this is Mr. R….in case you are wondering…he’s saying “CHEESE!” He has mastered that phrase…and we are SO lucky!

Cheese!

We had so much fun at the pumpkin patch, but I gotta tell you…a few hours with Mr. R makes me TIRED! He is 100% boy and he most certainly has a mind of his own about how things should be…he he he he…just like his mom!

I was comparing these to the pictures I took of Miss H two years ago...I can't believe how different she looks! And, I'm happy to say, my photography skills are improving! When we took Miss H two years ago, she was the most compliant little thing! She would sit, hug the pumpkin, smile...whatever.

This time, they BOTH had their own ideas of what would be fun, so I was challenged with getting shots of them without being able to pose them much...if I did get to pose them, the shot only lasted for a few seconds! WHEW!!! All the shots definately captured their personalities - something so much more important than anything else when it comes to photos...I'm definately happy with the results!

Haley1Ryan1
Haley2ryan2
Haley3Ryan3
Haley4Ryan4
Ryan and Haley1
Ryan and Haley2

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Verse of the day:

Matthew 6:14-15

The King James we all know and love says this:

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.


The Amplified says it this way:

For if you forgive people their trespasses [their [a]reckless and willful sins, [b]leaving them, letting them go, and [c]giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their [d]reckless and willful sins, [e]leaving them, letting them go, and [f]giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses.

And the Message Bible says it this way:

In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can't get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God's part.

I LOVE this “reckless and willful sins” part of the Amplified. And I love the piece of the Message Bible that reads “If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.”

Here’s my translation: You get what you give.

If you cannot forgive somebody else, then you can’t receive forgiveness. Its bondage. That simple. That clear…and it’s a powerful force on humanity…

So, I asked myself – am I keeping track of wrongs? Do I hold somebody else in the bondage of unforgiveness? Do I hold myself in unforgiveness? Do I hold GOD in unforgiveness?

Oh, yes…

And the list of things I’m keeping track of is LONG…

VERY LONG!

Here I am, seeking forgiveness, looking for relief, yearning for something bigger, better, different, fulfilled, rewarding…

But I’m lugging my 10-ton list of people who have hurt me or wronged me into every situation. And sometimes, there is just no room for a 10-ton list!

The list is varied…things as big as my ex-husband and as tiny as that guy who cut me off on the freeway.

I once held my husband in unforgiveness for six months over a missed birthday! SIX MONTHS! That is a lot of wasted time over a card, don’t you think?

Sometimes we think that people should know better than do behave a certain way. We think that we would never do that to them, so why don’t they realize they shouldn’t do the same thing to us…it can get very complicated. Mostly because what makes perfect sense to you doesn’t always mean the same thing to somebody else.

The plain and simple truth is that they do the best with what they have to work with at the time. That guy that cuts you off on the freeway - whatever is going on in his head and heart – that is all he has to work with in that moment. We are incredibly impulsive creatures and we don’t often sit ourselves down to survey our knowledge base before making decisions about how we act – especially not on the freeway (and other such situations!). Much of the decision making we do is done on the fly, in the moment and motivated by emotion. That makes for some powerfully misguided decisions!

Even those people who abuse us or hurt us terribly deserve forgiveness. That is not to say that you should be a doormat, nor is it to say that you should hang out in a violent or abusive situation. We are not called to be doormats. Everyone should be free of such situations. And full freedom includes forgiving the other person. As long as you are holding that person in unforgiveness for the things they have done, they are allowed to continue to torture you without even being in your life.

Holding people in unforgiveness causes us to make vows: we do that “I will never…” thing. I will never be with a man like him again…I will never let somebody else control my money again…and so on and so on. Some recognition of the behavior that got you into a bad situation is healthy. It can assist with making wiser decisions later on…but to make an “I will never…” statement tends to bind us to or away from things that might actually be healthy in a later situation! Its insulation, for sure…but insulation keeps things in as well as out…Its good for houses and bad for hearts.

So, I’m making a list of things I am still holding people accountable for.

I’m sure it will be a very long list.

And guess what…I’M even on that list!

These things are long gone and over. They make little difference in my life now and going forward.

They deserve to be released and I deserve freedom!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Wonderfully Insane...

Well…

Its official…

We are moving to Charlotte, North Carolina.

Its just a chance that we cannot pass up…

An opportunity to have a different kind of life..

A different pace…

A house, God willing…

A baby, God willing…

I don’t have a job waiting for me…and for me, that, in and of itself, is a test of my faith. I’ve never left one place to go to another without work waiting. I’ve never made a decisions entirely based upon the future stability of my family and nothing more.

I’ve spent my entire adult life on the west coast…I’ve lived in California since I was 18.

Scary.

Sad.

Exhilerating.

Exciting.

Frightening.

And not.

What an amazing way to make a decision! Its dizzying and electrifying and so totally not me. I don’t take risks like this. I don’t obey somebody else’s wishes and drop everything to do what they want.

Am I insane?

Yes.

And its wonderful!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Then...

Couple of things rattling away in my head today…

It was a beautiful let down
When I crashed and burned
When I found myself alone, unknown, and hurt
It was a beautiful letdown
The day I knew
That all the riches this world had to offer me
Would never do
It was a beautiful letdown
When you found me here
Yeah for once in a blue moon I see everything clear

In a world full of bitter pain and bitter doubt
I was trying so hard to fit in,
Until I found out
I don’t belong here
I will carry your cross and your song
But I don’t belong

(Switchfoot)

And this:

The ice is thin enough for walkin'
The rope is worn enough to climb
My throat is dry enough for talkin'
The world is crumblin' but I know why
The storm is wild enough for sailing
The bridge is weak enough to cross
This body frail enough for fighting
I'm home enough to know I'm lost
Home enough to know I'm lost
The land unfit enough for planting
Barren enough to conceive
Poor enough to gain the treasure
Enough a cynic to believe
Confused enough to know direction
The sun eclipsed enough to shine
Be still enough to finally tremble
And see enough to know I'm blind

It's just enough to be strong
In the broken places, in the broken places
It's just enough to be strong
Should the world rely on faith tonight

(Jars of Clay)

Something I didn’t realize…they say the same thing...

I am broken…

Found…

Strong…

Beautiful in my weakness…

Because when I’m not sure…

When I feel alone…

When I don’t understand why…

When I am supremely unfit…

Ill-equipped for the challenge…

Then…

Then…

He shows Himself strong…

So that absolutely everyone will know…

There is no question…

It isn’t me…

It isn’t me…

Monday, October 10, 2005

Survivor Crop

It is upon us...pink month...boob month...Breast Cancer Awareness Month...And I'm encouraging ALL OF MY FEMALE LOVED ONES...TAKE CARE OF YOUR BOOBIES!!!

Ok..Mom...I'm sorry...I know you are cringing...but...hey..if humor gets the job done, then I say WOO HOO!

Some of you know James - my...well...my ex. His mother died of cancer that began in the breast and spread through out her body. He was 12 years old...I will never forget the stories he told of his mom, Rose. How painful her battles was. She died in 1981 - a time when there was little known and even less that could be done to help women fight and recover from breast cancer.

Also, some of you have heard me talk about my my dear friend Barbara Lozano. We lost her a few years ago to breast cancer. She left behind two teen-age boys who desperately needed her. Her dying wish was that money would be donated instead of spent on flowers for her services.

Every year since that time, I've done something during Breast Cancer Awareness month to help fight this disease...the disease of our grandmothers, mothers, aunts, sisters and daughters. These are the people who bring us into this world! They encourage us, edify us, nurture us and bring us joy, even in the smallest of things

Normally, my assistance comes in the form of a donation to somebody else participating in a sponsored event. This year, I decided to participate myself in a scrapbooking event called the Survivor Crop on October 22-23. The event format is a 24hour Scrapbooking marathon from noon Saturday to noon on Sunday, modeled after the Survivor television show. Participants are grouped in to islands and are encouraged to participate in a number of activities and contests, including lasting the entire 24 hour period to become the Ultimate Survivor! This is the third year the event has been sponsored by Ever After Scrapbooks in Carlsbad, CA.

They are a small but mighty force. Their objective is not only to raise money. They also want to increase awareness and provide education about this life threatening disease. In 2003, the event collected over $16,000. In 2004, participants were able to raise over $50,000.00. 100% of the funds raised will go to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, either to fund local awareness education programs, or to directly fund research grants to find a cure. (Rigistration for the event is paid separate from any donations received and covers all expenses.)

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation was established in 1982 by Nancy Brinker to honor the memory of her sister, Susan G. Komen, who died from breast cancer at the age of 36. Today, the Foundation is an international organization with a network of more than 75,000 volunteers working through local Affiliates and events like the Komen Race for the Cure? to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease. A global leader in the fight against breast cancer, the Foundation fulfills its mission through support of innovative breast cancer research grants, meritorious awards and educational, scientific and community outreach programs around the world. Together with its Affiliate Network, corporate partners and generous donors, the Komen Foundation has raised nearly $600 million for the fight against breast cancer.

So...what does that mean to you?

Well, I'm asking for your help in funding education and grants to search for a cure to breast cancer!

If you are interested in making a difference in the fight against breast cancer, please sponsor me for the Survivor Crop. Even just a few dollars can help! Do you have $5? How about $10? Anything you can donate would be so greatly appreciated! If you are interested in helping, please e-mail me at chksngr@verizon.net.

If you don't want to donate to my event, I encourage you to find a chapter in your local area, and lend your talent, time, or money to help in the battle against breast cancer!!!

I know that all of the tragedies around our world have us reaching deep into our pockets. I understand, believe me. My take on it is this...I still have something to give...I still have more than most, so I'm going to give what I can to support the ongoing battle! I sincerely hope you join me!

HUGS!!!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

90 Years

Grandpa and Me

Today, my grandpa is 90 years old….

90…

Wow!

We share something very special that no one else in our families shares – blue eyes. I have his glass-blue eyes. Every time I look in the mirror, I feel so special. I am the only one with his eyes.

He was born in 1915! I have been thinking about all that has happened in his 90 years…

In 1915, Tzar Nicholas was still in power in Russia, Raggedy Anne was invented and the Red Sox won their first World Series. Woodrow Wilson was president and television had not been invented (1926). Albert Einstein proposed his Theory of Relativity (published in 1920).

Grandpa has seen the average price of a loaf of bread go from 7 cents to over $2, a car go from around $500 to over $20,000 and the average home price go from just under $5000 to well over $200,000. Stamps have gone from 2 cents to 39 cents and the DOW average has gone from 99 to over 10,000.

In his lifetime, my grandpa has seen the automobile go from a steam powered land vehicle that only the wealthiest could afford to an electric/gasoline hybrid of which most families could afford two.

He has seen the birth of space flight, the landing of men on the moon and the use research probes on other planets that send live data back to Earth. Speaking of planets, my grandpa was already 15 when Pluto was discovered in 1930.

He has lived through invention of movies with sound – the first commercially available movie with sound was released in 1923. Color movies became commercially available until the 1930’s. He’s also seen the advent of the VCR and videos and now the DVD player and fully digital media (like TEVO).

The first radios with tuners to find multiple stations were invented in 1916. NBC and CBS were both founded in 1926. The “Golden Age of Radio” is considered to begin in 1930. The long playing record and transistors were not invented until 1948! Up to that point, radio was done live and you could visit the radio halls to watch the broadcast!

The first television broadcast was in 1930 and also had to be done live. The technology to tape and edit television shows using magnetic recorders was not invented until 1938. Scheduled TV broadcasts didn’t begin until 1939. He has also witnessed the first nationwide broadcast of a television show in 1976.

During his lifetime, American soldiers have fought in World War II, Korea, Viet Nam, Iran-Contra, Operation Desert Storm, and currently the “war on terrorism” in the Gulf.

The Chrysler Building (1930), the Empire State Building (1931), Hoover Dam (1938), the Space Needle (1962), and the World Trade Center twin towers(1969) have all been built in his lifetime.

He lived through the Great Depression (1929 to 1940) and was around before a social security system was even invented (1933).

The first computer was not commercially available until 1951. The first home computer became available in 1976. In fact, the modern computer was completely invented and grew up from a punch-card processing mega machine into our digitialy linked, portable laptops and smart phone versions during Grandpa’s life!

He has seen the birth of zip codes (1963) by the US Postal Service and the beginnings of the LACK of use of the US Postal Service due to the internet. And just in case you are wondering, the internet was not released for public use by the government until 1994, so anyone over 11 has witnessed the advent of THAT!

Telephones have come a long way too! They have gone from party lines using operators, to individual lines using rotary dialing, to push button phones, to car phones, to cell phones.

Speaking of which – we are giving him a cell phone for his birthday. I guess Grandpa is keeping up with the world!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GRANDPA!!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Cup Adventures

Today marked a momentous occasion in the life of my cup...it went inside and sat in a cubby all day.

Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!

Ode to my cup…

When I was in Arizona with Teri, we painted some ceramics.

I made a cup….

It was to be fired and picked up by Wednesday, September 7, 2005 and mailed to me. Today is September 27, 2005. My cup has not arrived…

It is being held for a ransom, though no formal ransom request has been received. I fear I will have to make a special trip to Arizona on a rescue mission.

Currently, my cup is joy riding around the greater Phoenix area in the front seat of one blue Dodge Durango, safely strapped in and enjoying its shotgun position. It doesn’t mind that it has to sleep in the car and has yet to be washed…stinky cup! It must be a BOY cup!!!

Teri says it still does not understand why the Jesus fish says IXOYE, though she has explained it many times. It likes her music. I think my cup just prefers the arid Arizona landscape and Baby Einstein DVD’s to the boring existence it would have here holding coffee or lattes or something else.

I wish I had a picture of my cup riding around in the front seat of Teri’s car…it won’t hold coffee, but at least I would have something to remember it by…

Oh, cup!!! Wherefore art thou, cup?????

Monday, September 26, 2005

Divine Alchemy...

How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on... when in your heart... you begin to understand... there is no going back? There are some things that time cannot mend. Some hurts that go too deep... that have taken hold.
- Frodo Baggins -

Watched Return of the King yesterday…I just so absolutely love that movie…well, I really love them all. I remark every time that I wish there were a world as beautiful as those built by the Elves.

This time, the words above lodged themselves firmly in my heart…

I’ve been reflecting upon them since yesterday afternoon…Sort of wondering where all the people are that were once in my life…marveling at the people that are still here and those that have come back again.

There is little of my life that I cannot smile at now…Praise God….While a few years ago, I might have traded certain moments…would have called for a “do over!” Now, I know that each of these moments led me right here. I marvel at how God’s perfect ordering of my steps has led me here to this place. It’s a wonder to me – how He uses my every mis-step to be a guiding post for my own future…and the futures of others.

But this feeling Frodo has, this feeling that you cannot simply pick up and move on with the same old life when something momentous has happened. How does that song go? Something about how every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end…

I do long to be able to go back and say some things…not that it would make a difference in the outcome. I’m certain it would not. Sometimes we are held prisoner by what we do not say, what we do not do, what we do not attempt. I would say “I’m sorry,” and “Forgive me” and “I love you” more often. I would have reached to understand rather than to be understood. I would not have relied on somebody else for my happiness. I would have taken responsibility for my own decisions.

I’m convinced that there are some hurts that never heal, that go too deep, that are never really over. I’m equally convinced that, while God CAN heal anything, there are some things that He WON’T. It is our job to acknowledge the hurt, to face it, to address it, to understand it, and to live and trust despite its consistent existence. Some things are left there, inside of us, to remind us – DON’T GO HERE AGAIN!!!

So…while “going back” may be appealing, its not advisable. And God leaves some of our hurts there as sign posts to warn us that what lies behind us should stay behind us. Our FUTURE is infinite, unfathomable, full of options and choices and possibilities, but there is only one path backwards. You cannot chose a different path behind you – it will forever be the same path, the same steps ordered the same way.

But the future…here is where the realm of possibility exists, where we can make new choices for a new life full of hope and joy. How amazing that God can take the lead of your past and turn it to the gold of your future…Its still heavy, my friends…but not nearly so worthless… Divine Alchemy! Fabulous…

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Forum Negativity…

Ok…so…

I’m bothered.

And normally, I wouldn’t spew this on anyone…but I’ve had about enough.

Oh, and before anyone gets all righteous on me, I know I’ve done this myself. After the things I’ve read lately, consider me reformed.

I read a lot of forums and I also read and re-direct my readers to a few blogs (see links on the right).

I always feel privileged to be able to comment on blogs or give praise to somebody’s work or to be part of a forum where my opinions can be freely expressed. I try always to remain helpful, uplifting, edifying, NICE.

While I understand that by posting, people open themselves up for comments, I have grown weary of reading the acidic blithering idiocy some people consistently put on display in chat forums and blogs. There seems to be a cancerous thought that the internet makes you not a real person saying real things. Its as though its ok to say whatever you please in whatever way you please to whomever you please without a single thought given to decorum, because you don’t have to witness the tears you cause being nasty.

Here’s a clue for you…a little hint…. NOBODY wants to know you THAT well…some things really are better off left inside your head! (Probably this is one such entry…however since its MY OWN BLOG and not comments on somebody else’s blog or forum thread, I feel somewhat ok about posting it.)

Here is my deal…if somebody requests constructive criticism, feel free to criticize CONSTRUCTIVELY. If they don’t ask for it, don’t put in your 2 cents…its 2 cents too much. When your comments become destructive venomous bile, you might want to learn to EDIT YOURSELF!

It is most certainly possible to comment on boards and blogs in a way that gets your point across without you being a nasty little hag….

Now, before anyone gets all excited, I’ve not received any negative nastiness myself. Although, that might change when I post this…

However, I have noticed something about the places I frequently read…

Firstly, a very highly respected artist was bashed recently on her own blog. Hey, Basher, don’t you realized that it is a PRIVILEDGE to be able to comment on a blog?

I’ve grown enormously impatient at the thought that this basher couldn’t step away from the computer before hitting that “enter” button and give themselves a time-out.

Don’t people READ what they are going to post before doing so? Even if you read it through ONCE to check SPELLING, you might notice how polluted your response is.

Here’s a thought, you don’t live inside somebody else’s head. You only know what they wrote at that moment in that space. TAKE IT LITERALLY!!! It’s a small piece, an infinitely small piece! You DO NOT have the whole picture!

And if you MUST add yourself to the mix, chose to say something edifying…how about this, “I was disappointed that your comments about such and such were limited to…. Do you have any more thoughts?” Instead of “HOW DARE YOU SAY…” Please don’t assume that you understand completely what someone is thinking and make a whole lot of assumptions. How can you get offended at what somebody DOESN’T write?

Secondly, you do not have permission to be the forum bully…

and YES you are a bully…

and making FUN of the fact that somebody called you a bully to your virtual face only makes you MORE of a bully.

Being the brunt of many a bully’s joke, I know the first bully line of defense is to laugh off the fact that somebody has identified you as a big horse’s patooty!

It’s not funny that somebody thinks you are a bully.

Chances are very strong that your behavior warrants some review…you should take a closer look instead of just laughing it off and making a joke of it. If they feel you are a bully, you HURT somebody. HELLO!?!?!?!

Thirdly, nobody cares what your opinion is if you cannot be civilized enough to state it in a manner befitting an adult.

We can’t get past the fact that you are a BUTT HEAD long enough to understand you!

The level of venom in the general posting area of one of my most frequented boards is so high that I am actually getting anxiety about posting there. I’ve gotten to the place where I don’t even want to peek at this site…one of the most popular out there…because the “ladies” who frequently post are a complete nightmare!

How completely pathetic is that? I don’t even want to venture onto the board in a positive way because it will be twisted about and argued over and in the end I’ll end up wanting to send poop-o-gram to somebody!

Oh, God forbid one of these nightmares unleashes themselves on my blog…I would have to move to another country.

So, from here atop my soap box, let me just tell you - The entire world does not want to know how vicious, unhappy and ridiculously deceived you really are!

I plead with you….just like momma says….

If you can’t say something good, don’t say anything at all…the world will be a much happier place…

…and you won’t look so stupid.

When you feel that urge to break out your best double-edged sword remember:

None of US want your verbal abuse!

Try something else:

Pray for the person you want to comment on.

Clean the bathroom.

Call your therapist.

Bake a cake.

Run around the darn block, for all I care.

If you MUST work out that aggression, duct tape your lips closed and your fingers inside a pair of boxing gloves and get a punching bag.

Silence is very powerful. You should try it.

Friday, September 09, 2005

What if...


What if God decided to stop leading us tomorrow because we didn't follow Him today?


What if God couldn't take the time to bless us today because we couldn't take the time to thank Him yesterday?


What if we never saw another flower bloom because we grumbled when God sent the Rain?


What if God didn't walk with us today because we failed to recognize it as His day?


What if God took away the Bible tomorrow because we would not read it today?


What if God took away His message because we failed to listen to the messenger?


What if God didn't send His only begotten Son because He wanted us to be prepared to pay the price for sin?

What if the door of the church was closed because we did not open the door of our heart?


What if God stopped loving and caring for us because we failed to love and care for others?


What if God would not hear us today because we would not listen to Him?


What if God answered our prayers the way we answer His call to service?


What if God met our needs the way we give Him our lives???

I'm glad my God doesn't treat me the way I treat Him....

Thursday, September 08, 2005

One of those "AHA" moments...

I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. – Matthew 5:18 -

But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell. – Matthew 5:22 –

Both of these scriptures are on my heart today…as they were yesterday. I’m in the habit of listening to the Bible in my car in the mornings on the way to work. Its soothing at that entirely too early hour and it fills me up for the day. Lately, I’ve been stuck in Matthew 4-6. I just keep skipping back to the beginning of Matthew 4 and listen until I get to the end of 6…then I go back again. For the last two days, these two scriptures have been tumbling around in my head.

WHY?

Hmmm….well…the first one is most certainly about disobedience. The second about attitude…and I am spiritually suffering for both of these things at the moment.

The smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished…this is so powerful. It reiterates that the Law of Moses was not abolished with the coming of Jesus, but fulfilled. It says that there are still “legal” aspects of the old testament that we need to follow until ALL of the prophesy has been fulfilled. Interesting to think just exactly what is in the Mosaic Law…things like this:

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Honour thy father and thy mother.

Thou shalt not kill.

Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Thou shalt not steal.

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's
.

We all know the 10 Commandments in some form or another. We all know the controversy…but have you READ them? Have you committed them to memory?

Ok, Ok, Ok…I won’t steal. But I cannot covet anything? Do you know what “covet” is? The definition is “to wish for longingly.” Did you ever want a new car? A better body? A pair of shoes? Your neighbors beautiful home or yard? That one is HARDER!!!

How about this “bear false witness?” That, plain and simple is LYING. DON’T EVER LIE!!! Did you ever tell the lady at the DMV that you weighed 10 pounds less than you really do? SEE?!?!?!?!?

The Scriptures also contain things like this:

No one is to appear before me empty-handed.

From what you have, take an offering for the LORD.

Do not make cast idols.

Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work

Let love and faithfulness never leave you

Do not be wise in your own eyes

Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked


Ok…here is where things start to get interesting for me… I cannot appear before the Lord empty-handed. Now, don’t think for once second that I believe that I always have to bring MONEY to the Lord. This is about sacrifice and offering…how many times have I shown up at church all flustered because I don’t have time for this…but I know I have to be there for something or other, and I go, even though my heart is no prepared, even though my mind will wander the entire time I'm listening to the sermon. That, my friends is showing up empty handed. I don’t even come with a willing heart under those circumstances!

Labor six days? Whoah! (Moms, you probably already do, but I do NOT!)

Let love never leave you? Wow…NEVER?

Do not fear sudden disaster – this I found particularly difficult to digest in light of the recent events in our world.

I have a new hunger to get into my Bible and see what is in there, see what I’m supposed to be doing, where I’m supposed be expending my energy, to see what insight and understanding God has for my life. God is truly working on my heart…I’m not getting something that I’m supposed to be getting…and He really wants me to GET IT!

And then there is Matthew 5:22…

But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell. – Matthew 5:22 –

There is another translation of this scripture that says, “if you call some one an idiot…” instead of “you fool.” THIS is the translation that got to me…do you know why? I don’t know HOW many times a day I label somebody an idiot. When they cut me off in traffic, when they do something stupid and an entire computer system comes crashing down about my ears. When they don’t listen and I end up repeating myself 20 times. When they do something I just don’t like and cannot agree with. When they hurt me, curse me, treat me badly…

But each time I do that, I’m in danger of the fire of hell…woah…each time I get angry with my brother I am subject to judgement…

The fire of hell and subject to judgement and all the pen strokes of the law remain until their purpose has been fulfilled…

All this time, I’ve been operating under the delusion that if I just didn’t use curse words when I got cut off in traffic, I was ok to be angry. If I work really really hard for my five days, the sixth and seventh are take-it-easy days. That if I just go to church, no matter how I feel, I’ll be just fine. NOT THE CASE!

We are called to live our lives in the moments, from second to second and hour to hour in a way that follows these scriptures. I have to be more aware, to guard my tongue, my heart, my thoughts more carefully against these subtle things, these tiny things. As I grow in my understanding, I realize the depth to which living a just and upright life takes us. It requires of us that we manage every cell of our beings in a way that is glorifying to God. And each time I make a choice of any kind, I have to weigh it against God’s word. This is why I have to know His word, and have it sealed in my heart, that is why we are to have that constant conversation and to be tuned in to hear His direction. It is also why He has come into my heart…because without him, its IMPOSSIBLE for me to manage every cell of my being!

Love and peace!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Confessions….

Alas, I did not get to even ONE garage sale…we couldn’t FIND any!

We were going to try to find some thrift stores, but then, bailed out on the idea when we couldn’t find a large enough list to keep us very busy.

SO!!!

We DID do some other things:

Ceramic painting at: As You Wish Pottery …I made a cup with a crown that said “What part of PRINCESS don’t you understand?” (I’ll post pics later! Its still being glazed and fired.)

Browsing at Barnes and Noble – TWICE! We sat for a very long time reading THIS BOOK. I’ve discovered I’m not very good at the whole fashion thing, though I used to be. I’m trying to remember what happened.

Make-up shopping at ULTA. Purchased some yummy Bare Minerals.

Browsed in Target until my feet hurt…and they have a SUPER Target there….so I was overwhelmed at the size. I got these for fun: face cloths

Got TOTALLY LOST in The Great Indoors. Holy cow, this is an amazing store! I could LITERALY live in this store!

Had a turkey burger from Fat Burger…nothing more yummy!

Had Einstein Brothers bagels and coffee TWO days in a row!

Found a new Mexican restaurant with yummy salsa!

Took naps and watched a movie.

NO traffic going there or coming back!

It was a GREAT weekend!

Friday, September 02, 2005

MmmmmmmHmmmmmmThatsRight!

yard sale

Gonna yard sale….in Phoenix….this weekend…with Teri….

Just checked the newspaper there are 35 new ads for yard sales this weekend. I’m not sure if we will actually find anything cool or not, but its always fun to go through other people’s junk.

I had a realization yesterday – this will be the first trip I’ve every taken where only one pair of shoes is required – flip flops! Where could I possibly go in Arizona with Teri that flip flops would not be acceptable attire? NOWHERE! WOO HOO!!

It’s the little things, you know?

I created a birthday card for Pastor Dave. I cannot be at his party this weekend, but I wanted to contribute. I was SO excited when Sareta asked me to make a card! This was so much fun! We had to have a BIG card so everyone from the music ministry could sign it. I ended up doing a 12 x 12 card...so cool!:

12 x 12 card

Alright – I may or may not post over the weekend…depends upon how many garage sales and cups of great coffee and yummy treats and Momo walks and swimming excursions and scrapbook-store-hopping I get myself into!

Have a FAB weekend, ya’ll!!! Spend some time in meaningful conversation with somebody you care about!

Peace!!!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Personal photographer...

All the destruction, all the loss...it has me thinking about what would be missing from my scrapbooks, from my journals, from my life-left-behind if I disappeared tomorrow.

I spend so much time trying to document the everyday life and special events of other people. Despite the repeated warnings and articles and all that stuff, I'm not in many of my pictures. I just got back from vacation...did you know there is not one picture of me in all the pictures we have from those two special weeks of our lives?

I got to thinking - sometimes I wish there was a personal photographer following me around to get shots of things that happen in MY every day life. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to get some shots of yourself just living your life for the record books? Here are some things about my life I wish were documented with photos:

The just-turned-off-the-alarm-and-I’m-headed-to-the-kitchen-to-get-my-day-started morning look.

My face when I’m singing at the top of my lungs along with the radio in traffic on the way to work.

Working on some scrap project in my office.

A family-on-the-couch picture - me, Scott and Hunny, just talking.

Cooking with Mom and Dad sitting around the kitchen - ok, this isn't an everyday occurance. But I don't see them enough and it would be nice to have more pictures of us together!

Hanging out with my sister in her living room. Ditto the don't see enough from above.

Surrounded by my scrap friends at a crop.

The face that results when I am trying to solve an issue and I’m staring hard at my computer screen hoping that if I stare hard enough, the resolution will just jump out at me.

My “poker” face. Translation: The totally open incredulous look I have when somebody surprises me.

The smile I reserve only for Scott.

Sleeping on the chase on a Friday night with the dog curled up by my side, also sound asleep.

Me and my girlfriends out to dinner, just chatting and enjoying each other’s company.

Singing in the choir and also on the mic for praise and worship.

Holding my god-daughter, Miss H, on my lap and listening to her chatter.

Exercising – this would be a horrible picture, but its part of my life!

Drinking coffee and eating scones and reading the paper at Stell’s.

Shopping. Wandering the aisles at Target and Michaels and JoAnns and Kohls and the Tyler Galleria.

Working at my little cubby desk...just working.

Cleaning or doing yard work or surrounded by mounds of laundry on the living room floor as I fold and stack.

Getting my hair done - that would be a comical shot!

Sitting quietly, journaling and praying and reading my bible.

Dancing around my living room like I do when I need to burn off steam and I’m all alone.

Chatting on the phone with somebody I enjoy talking with.

Watching Stargate and Atlantis and Battlestar...now I know there would be good shots in those...I fairly jump out of my skin with some of those plots!

I’m sure I could go on and on and on…I’m trying to think of a way I could get these pictures using my self-timer on my camera…alas, I hope NEVER try to take my own picture while driving to work or walking through the mall!

Still it would be nice...

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Blog neglect and a fresh list...

I have been an excruciatingly bad blogger….I’m just so doggone busy that it falls to the bottom of the priority list. Interesting, considering this is something I do for ME…SO revealing to find it falls to the bottom of the priority list when the schedule gets a little full. So…anyway….onward and upward. Its list time!!! I cannot think of a better way to resuscitate my blog than a hearty list…

Some things that are on my mind:

  • The disaster in the Gulf. I am just horrified by the pictures! My heart goes out to those people – displaced, desperate, in need. I’m including over a million strangers in my prayers! I cannot do much from here – donate my time, blood, food, money – but that all seems rather passive. The one ACTIVE thing I can do is ACTIVELY PRAY for the recovery to take less time than they think it will, for the healing hands of rescue and aid workers to impart true comfort, for hearts and lives to heal as quickly as possible.


  • The disastrous behavior of some of those people in the Gulf. I’m equally horrified to see the imagery of looting, fighting, and mayhem. How quickly the “civil” is removed from civilization when the creature comforts we have grown so used to in our country disappear. There are places in our world where there is NEVER potable water, NEVER enough food, NEVER a decent sewage system, NEVER safety, NEVER medicines and assistance. It really makes me think about how very, very blessed I am to live in this country. It also makes me think about how I would handle myself in the same situation. How would I be? It’s easy to sit in my A/C , with my hot morning coffee, and be horrified. Would I be so self-righteous if I were IN that situation?


  • Charlotte, NC. Will we be going? What is it like? How will I do without my friends close by? What will be different? What will be the same? Is there a church there for us? Is it in my cards to move all the way across the country?


  • Pomeranian Puppies. Yes, PUPPIES!!! Jazzy is having pups and I’m starting to think about what it would be like to have a new pup in our house. How would Hunny handle a pup in our house? I think she would never forgive me! She’s MY GIRL and to bring and new dog into the house…she just might want to smother me to death! Still, have you SEEN what Pom puppies look like? SO CUTE!


  • Laundry, bathtubs and the front yard…ah, yes. Housework. As I sit here, I think about all the things I SHOULD be accomplishing at home. Of course, if I was home, knee deep in cleaning the tub, I’d be thinking about all the things I have to accomplish here at work or on my scrap table. I should learn to be content and focused WHERE I AM – not only in LIFE, but in the MOMENT.


  • Job duties – again, I need some focus. Suddenly, I’m committed to a whole lot of stuff that I didn’t know I was going to be committed to. And the commitment was NOT made by me, but by my boss. And he didn’t tell me until AFTER the other main project person baffled me with a bunch of seemingly random questions. I don’t want to travel to a plant to check it out. I don’t want to sit in another office on campus to get things done. I don’t want to be at the mercy of the project lead that is appointed to this project (Fabulous, reliable guy…, but he’s a devil for details and they are often unnecessary work done simply for his comfort!) I don’t want to get involved. That’s the problem…my sights are set on something else and I don’t want to get involved.


  • Time with friends. I’m going to spend some time with Teri this weekend, and the anticipation of it is so fun! I know we are just going to hang out, do some garage-saleing and have a good time. I wish I could whisk each of my friends for a relaxed weekend alone to spend time with them all! It points out the LACK of connection I’ve had in this busy time. I need to remind myself that CONNECTIONS and RELATIONSHIPS are the most important thing.


  • Home…WHERE is that now? I don’t know. When I think of it, I think of my parent’s house. I think of Leadville. I think of the farm my grandparents had when I was a kid. I think of the creek where I used to get wet and muddy in Kasson. I think of lots of things that give my heart comfort and peace. I MISS the places and the people I call home.


Off to check some things off my massive to-do list! PEACE everyone!