Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Dear Dad,

It's been a month now since you've been gone and we are all still sad. It's been so very hard on Nita. She's so lonely and unsure and missing you so badly. Dad, will you give her a sign that you are there? Will you remind she's not completely alone and beckon the angels to release peace over her during the hardest, quietest, loneliest times? She needs to tangibly feel the presence of the Father and of you to comfort her broken heart. Dad, we miss you so much.

Did you see that I framed some pictures of you on my coffee table? I keep the one from your funeral on my kitchen counter so that I can look at your face every day. It was so very hard to see you laying in that casket, not moving and void of life. As your body laid there Nate and I stood by you not really sure what to do, say or think. Your two kids, barely adults ourselves thrust into losing a Dad and forcing us into a new phase of life. A life without a Dad.

I love you, Dad, and I am SO thankful for the time we got to have this year. Thank you for the memories and for the amazing legacy you left behind. I hope that I make you proud with the way I live life and love others around me. Watch over me Dad. Remind me to BE AMAZING and live this life to the absolute fullest. Your passing so early made me realize that I really need to make the most of every week I'm given. I don't want to spend my weeks focused on laundry, cleaning up the house and managing the bill. It's made me think more about what I'm focusing my life on, standing up more for what I think, believe and want. God has a plan for each of us, an individualized plan that will grow us as individuals, as givers as we bless others with the overflow of our abundance and as believers as we step out on faith each time you call us out of our comfort zone. Dad, remind me to not become complacent in life. Remind to trust the Spirit as He asks me to go further than I want to go. Remind me to love bigger and more selflessly.

I have faith that you are in Heaven helping to prepare a place, a beautiful mansion, the perfect place for Nita, Nate, Andrea, Jordan, Mackenzie and all the rest of us that you love so dearly.

Love you, Dad!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas 2011

So I'm ALLLLMOST done shopping and it's two days before I need to be ready for Christmas. I've shopped, I've baked, decorated, done the parties, the ornament exchanges, the Christmas programs and I've shopped some more. I've wrapped a few presents and made candy, and you know what I didn't do...I didn't send out a single Christmas card. I KNOW!! It's awful!

There's that "Good Girl" of mine, the perfect Christy in my head that stands off in the corner smirking at me and reminding me of how I could have done it better and all the things I'm NOT doing. Gawd, I'd like to punch her. I was making such good strides learning about how I cannot be perfect and all the striving to be as close to it as I could was really hurting me mentally and spiritually. And then Christmas season hit me like a Mack truck. I keep reminding myself that these things are really all materialistic and people will forgive me if I don't send them a gift or a Christmas card, or a thank you note for the lovely cookies they dropped off. But Perfect Christy keeps needling me about every detail. WHAT IF my mail carrier is secretly hoping that I leave a small token of my appreciation in my mailbox and bc it's not there he'll actually be "accidentally" misdirecting my important mail? What if he is harboring this ill will all year round and every time I wave to him he's actually thinking about how insensitive I am. *shaking my head* It is a sickness I tell ya. I'm loopy. :) He's not thinking that! But these are the things that Perfect Christy reminds me of in these hectic times. And she never gives me credit for all the good and generous things I DO do. Perfect Christy can stuff it, bc you know what? I've done really good things this Christmas season and all my friends and family KNOW I love them all year round and the most amazing Christmas gift isn't going to make or break my relationships with them. Christmas presents are wrapped and ripped open in minutes, but the relationships and the memories are not built on gifts it's what I do with the people I give the gifts to. Boom! That's called keeping it real.

All that said...I'm whipped. I'm done shopping. I'm over the hustle and bustle, the lists and the pressure of Crazymas. I'm ready for Christmas day to be here so I can relish the day with my family and kids just lazing around in our PJs, eating, watching Christmas movies and just enjoying each other.

Merry CHRISTmas to all my friends, family and followers (yes, all seven of you!)

Monday, December 19, 2011


I'm hiding from my kids right now. Shh, don't anyone make a sound or else I'll be forced to punch you in the neck. And.I'm.Not.Kidding.

*sigh* I really don't know what's going on with me lately, but I cannot get enough alone time. I find myself trying to nap more, drive more, steal away from the children more and it's never enough. Add on top of that the fact that our children are quite honestly going through an upswing of hyperactivity, and I'm basically ready to split. Not split as in, pack up a bag and catch a Greyhound. No I mean crack, go bonkers, go to the dark side of Mommyhood. I can feel myself griping, pushing them away and hollering for them to QUIET DOWN a lot more and it's not totally just me being tired of it all, they are really acting up more as well. Scott even mentioned it the other night, like "what the heck happened to our kids?" Tonight I took my bowl of lentil soup and tried to sit quietly on the front porch step while I ate it, but the Winter chill was too much and forced me back inside. I hung on as long as I could ducking behind the dead straggles of Clematis hoping it would break the wind enough, but not even close, so in I went. It was the first time this year that I've had that thought "Oh God, this is going to be a long, hard Winter, isn't it?" and panic streaked through my heart.

I don't want to feel this way.

I really don't blame the weather either. I know many mommies have a hard time when the clock falls back two hours and the sunny, warmth retreats to Florida, but it doesn't seem to affect me like that. It's just that I can't seem to get away. I can't get a rhythm of my own bc there is always someone right there with me, begging for attention. Even now as I type this Zach is screeching from downstairs, "MOOOOM. Mooommy. Mom. Mama. Mooooooom? Moooooooooom!? " It's not until I say "For the love of all that is holy, Son, WHAT DO YOU NEED!?" that he'll lower his voice to a whiney girl pitch and ask/tell me what he wants. Ugh.

Lord, I really need your grace during this season. I'm leaning into what I'm feeling, but also acknowledging that it doesn't have to be this way. I don't want to be miserable and crotchety with my kids and I do not want a long hard Winter. Speak to the hearts here and change the moods in this household to LOVE, JOY and PEACE again.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Chicken Noodles For The Soul

Oh man, what an amazingly wonderful day here...weatherwise, anyway! I have to chuckle because yesterday was one of THE WORST days I've had in a long time. It was one of those go back to sleep and wake up tomorrow kind of days. But today...*big inhale and exhale* is fine Fall day here in Ohio. It's cool and overcast, and you can just taste the apples hanging in the nearby orchards. Today is the kind of day you want to pull on some comfy socks, a floppy sweatshirt and make comfort foods with lots of butter in them. Mmmm...butter.

So that's what I'm doing. I decided to go on ahead and make up some homemade egg noodles. I've never done this before but I've seen my mom do it a few times and I know my hubby's grandma could do it. She's actually given us gallon sized Ziploc bags of her homemade noodles and man, they were tasty. So here's the egg noodle recipe I use and instructions.

2 Eggs
2 Cups of Flour
2 Pinches of Salt
A splash of milk

Beat the two eggs with a splash of milk and combine with the flour and salt. Knead the dough until it's fully combined. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes (it's pretty hard at first.) Roll the dough out on a floured surface until it's quite thing (remember, the dough will plump when cooked). Use a knife, noodle cutter or pizza cutter to cut the dough into strips (as skinny or wide as you'd prefer). Dust both sides of the noodles lightly with flour and air dry them (I really don't know how long, just until they are dry or you REALLY need to cook them. LOL)

I'm not a die-hard homemade noodle fan, but my hubby is and he even said as I was making them today "if you can make super yummy homemade noodles, I'll be yours forever." Ha ha ha, silly boy, I had you at "I could do your laundry."

So I hope you're having something soul-filling and yummy tonight, whatever it may be chili, chicken noodles or something warm, gooey and baked at 350!!?

Happy Fall/Autumn!

I think if we polled the church, a big chunk of us (myself included right now), would say we don't spend an ample amount of time with God. That's a first big step in a relationship. When we realize that spending time with God, actually in His presence, feeling Him exchange His love with us as we confess His wonderfulness in our lives and beseech Him his power in our lives...then the DESIRE, the appetite wakes up inside to spend MORE time with Him.

I use to can ANYONE spend an hour, let alone hours, praying? I wander off after ten minutes! But when it stops being a list/something you NEED to do and becomes an affair that you are stealing chunks of time away from this life to relish Him, to drink in His pure, intoxicating measure of unadulterated love...He opens up something inside of us, opens our eyes more clearly to His words to His intentions in our lives, it opens the communication wider. Then is becomes less of something you NEED to do and more of what you WANT to do.

It's quite like any other relationship in our lives...if we didn't talk to our child or our spouse all day, but we thought about them and had good intentions of talking to them or spending time with them, the relationship grows cold. It's the interaction, making the relationship a priority, getting in there and feeling the soft skin of your child's face, taking time to hear the twinkle in his/her voice, listening to the knock-knock joke the 50th time and really laughing at it...spending time with a person allows you to understand who they are. God's no different. Don't allow the pastor on Sunday to be your only experience of God bc that's not YOUR experience! God has a dance card with only your name on it.

Spending time with Him (whatever that looks like in your life - it's different than mine) is going to allow you to hear Him and give him the opportunities to wipe away corrupted teachings and replace it with His pure words of adoration, admonition and truest love.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

There is but a golden thread that weaves it's way through my day. It strings the events together to create something beautiful and one of a kind. Some of the events seem so miniscule and insignificant and others so shattering that my heart hangs low to the ground as I wait for renewed strength to go to the next event.

This golden thread is all that holds me together some days and on other days it's working in and out sends vibrations through the fabric of my day that encourage me to such heights that nothing seems impossible.

What is this amazing rivulet of thread that binds the pieces of me into a patchwork of such brilliance and durability?

How awful would it be to look back at all the stitches of my life and see just one broken, a threat to the whole creation. One broken stitch has the potential to, if given too much stress, break a hole in the entire stretch of events and stages of my life that have collectively become who I am.
No. I see no broken stitches along the seams of my life. Every stitch has been carefully and skillfully placed to create a masterpiece that is to be offered to a worthy recipient.

Today I feel the sting of the needle poking through the events of my day, but I trust the Tailor. I trust the thread's strength and purpose. I trust that the events of today and those of my tomorrows are all going to be part of the unique tapestry of my offering to the Tailor. I am being stitched into something that will bring glory and honor to the One who created me.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


"Wow" is all I can say. The past six months have been chock full of changes, probably too many to even include in this one post. Actually, it's been more the past two months than six, but it started with the home schooling back in December.

So in December Abby and I started homeschooling and it...was...AWESOME. I highly recommend it to any parent who's even considering it as an option. I saw immediate changes in Abby's attitude around the house/family and our mornings went from a level Orange to Green. She use to FREAK OUT every morning either about her paperwork binder or her clothes, as there is a high priority set on these items in regular school, but as soon as we took those two stressors away our home life was a lot easier. And I also noticed a huge difference in our personal relationship too. I wasn't the enemy anymore. Instead we were a team working toward a common goal and the daily lessons forced our communication and collaboration. She had fun learning and so did I! Who knew adding fractions was that easy? Plus, with all the other neighbor kids in school all day my three kids HAD to play together and it became natural to ask to play with each other instead of other friends. THIS I loved seeing.

Abby started 4-H in January and is in the completing stages of her "Eye Spy In The Kitchen" book/project now. We joined a group of mixed age girls in Newark called Forever Friends and they are all so very sweet. They are doing Cake Decorating as a group project and Abby has taken to baking/cooking like a duck to water. SHE LOVES IT! So the book she's doing is walking her through Nutrition, getting to know the basics of kitchen utensils and using recipes. She has to learn about a topic (say Calcium content) and then complete a recipe that corresponds (Making Fruit Parfaits). Now at the end we have to make a simple scrapbook of her recipes, what she has learned along the way and cook or bake something as a final project to be judged. She'll be interviewed about the things she should know from the book and her final recipe. She has loved the 4-H experience so far and I know we're both excited to see how she grows. OH and she did enter an optional contest through 4-H - The Dairy Foods Contest. She entered a Nutty Banana Pudding recipe, which was a basic banana pudding, but instead of using Nilla wafers she used Nutter Butter cookies. And she won 2nd place in her age group! :) She was super excited about the win and already has her ribbons displayed in her room. Bless her heart! Mommy is super proud of her too and I'm so glad for her to have the experience. She's growing up so quickly!

And more recently Scott has decided to leave the company he worked for and helped grow from the ground up to start an Architecture firm of his own. Scott Baker & Associates, LLC opened it's doors on June 1st and is going strong. This was a big leap of faith for us! At the beginning of the year we thought it was our desire to move out of this house and find a new one on more land, but after six months of finding nothing we wanted, our house not having much action as far as buyers and then a bid on our new build drawings came back too was apparent that we should stick right where we are and see what happens down the road. We figured it would be a good idea to get real serious about paying our home loan down and getting out of debt (home loan is our only debt actually). So we met with our Accountant and discussed our finances and that was when he brought up paying our full tithe out of our GROSS income instead of NET. Here is where the step of faith really began. This jumped our monthly tithe by a few hundred dollars. It was significant enough to an eye opener but not too much that it would hurt. So we did it! Our pastor challenged us to give it three months and if we weren't blessed he'd give us every penny back. NICE! So we did...and exactly three months later, the week after we gave our third full a tidal wave cresting Scott felt the urging to go out on his own with his work. It was fast and furious how it all happened and while it was a very scary idea there was this underlying peace that HAD to be God. More about all that too come!!

Time to get ready for church today and hopefully some TENNIS later with my man again. I gotta tell's so awesome to have my own personal coach at my disposal.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I got through a week of the fast, guys, and I quit. What can I say? I was weak this time around and was nibbling here and there, and I knew that relenting to snacking would be a slippery slope. It was a very slippery slope. By this last weekend there was an all out brawl raging in my head. "Just give it up, Christy, you've already broken the fast." No, no, no, I know that God will honor my efforts and I want to remain under his covering. "Yea, but you are hungry and you know your husband would rather eat with you than without you." Yes, I know, but he's being so respectful of this fast and doesn't want to get between God and me. "But you already eaten food and really, it's not the fact that you have eaten that is withholding God from working in the prayer points and giving himself to you, so what's the POINT of starving yourself at all??" The POINT is so that I can clear myself of wanting to eat to stuff down my emotions and instead lean on my Father for those needs. The POINT is to allow God to carry me through these temptations and difficulties and show Himself bigger in my life.

So back and forth like a fast paced tennis match all day, all evening and I finally laid down my racquet and consoled myself with the fact that 1) God still adores me , 2) He and I had a great week together and 3) I believe He is still mightily at work in these prayer points.

It doesn't alleviate the feeling of failure though. In fact, that feeling of failure seems to always be there. Why is that? Lord, why is that? No matter how much I do I feel as if I'm not doing it well enough or not at all. Father, help me to unearth the root of this feeling and tend to the wounded soil left behind. I want to rest in You.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day 5

The past few days have been... interesting. As far as the fast part goes, I did eat a banana before I played tennis on Tuesday and then an hour into the match I had to drink a protein drink because I was so lightheaded, but the more interesting part was the spiritual side of this thing. I said yesterday that I'm focusing my prayers in on a few situations and one of those "sitches" is boiling over a bit. We'll call this person Person A. Person A opens up to me and reveals just what's going on inside of their head and heart by telling me to listen to all the songs on Eminem's Recovery track list. So I began my research on Youtube and well about half way into the list I was already being painted a very ugly, depressed and suicidal picture. I actually had to turn the music off because the lyrics were so vile and crude that my kids couldn't possibly be around. After a few texts Person A finally called me and started laying it on me. It's alllll my fault. Man, you should of heard it! If I were to buy into it all I'D be the one depressed and suicidal. Who knew I had all that power and control all along and didn't know it!? And the thing is I love Person A. If I looked at all the facts laid before me I'd be 110% sure that there is nothing to be done. Apparently I'm wrong, been wrong all along and there seems to be no help. Good thing I don't look at the facts. I mean, in the moment I often do, and there's where I get into trouble, flip out, don't react correctly, say things I shouldn't, etc, but God's Grace is sufficient for those times. When I take a step back, crawl into my prayer closet, God reveals the truth to me. I know that Person A isn't the one speaking and blaming me. I know I'm not the one at fault. I know that God is at work under the soil, in the unseen places. Sure, the topsoil looks dry, cracked, lifeless. But underneath that exterior lies the seeds of faith in Person A. I'm pouring fresh water on that through my prayers, through positive, affirm texts, through spiritual warfare and SO IS CHRIST (always up there beseeching the Father on our behalf.) I know that under the surface there is a miraculous work going on, a work of change and healing that is unseen but soon will burst forth in vibrant green color. A work that one day will sprout up into a strong healthy shoot and will glorify the one who caused the change. No, not me, but He who is working through me and He who spilled His blood for Person A. SO I will not be discouraged and I will press into this fast with all that I have in Christ, press forward to see that sprout of green come out of seemingly dead and dying soil.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Day Three

Day two was harder than I expected, but I have to remember that the first few days are harder than all the rest. The craving to eat when I'm stressed is STRONG and was tested yesterday a few times. It's important for me to keep the juice and WATER flowing during the day and mentally prepare myself for that dinner hour when the stress level in the house naturally seems to peak. I didn't do that yesterday.

One of the people I'm focusing prayer on called me yesterday afternoon and stirred some things up, and instead of resting in my God-given power I focused in on the issue. I couldn't run to food to help me think things out so I only had raw emotions to run on and my knee-jerk reaction was to run away. "I'M OUT! I don't want any part of drama." That was my exact response. After many text, a few quiet moments to think things through and a perfectly timed insertion of the Holy Spirit I realized (again *sigh*) that I'm not in control, I asked to be USED in this situation to bring Salt and Light and that God is perfectly in control. I realized that what God meant for good (this fasting period and my willingness to be used for His glory in a painful situation/life) the Enemy was trying to make me believe was useless and under my control. *throwing my hands back and up in the air* WHOA! Thank you, Lord, for that revelation! So many times we have this perception that we can control a situation or that we, at the very least, can control OUR part of the situation, but honestly my best attempt at controlling this would be a miserable failure. I LOVE the person in this situation and my biggest prayer is that God would be glorified in that person's life. If I need to be removed from this scenario then God, let it be so! But if I am in any way a stepping stone for this person to get closer to the power and healing the Lord has for them, then GOD, CHANGE ME so that I may be used more effectively in your hands as a tool of righteousness, light, truth and above all else unbelievable love. My initial reaction was to run away from the possibility of being hurt myself or to cause hurt, but this morning as I quieted myself before the Lord I remembered that He is fully in control and that "no weapon formed against me shall prosper." What the enemy means for our pain or bondage shall not prosper. He may try, but will not succeed. He tried to craft this scenario and use my perceived weakness of being hungry and my imaginary grip of Control to bring death into a situation that God is healing...and HE LOST. I'm not weak, I'm not in control! WOOHOO! Remember, enemy, where the head of your army is buried! You know... the head of Goliath, a mountain, a cross...ringing a bell? May the Lord rebuke you, enemy!

Remember, my friends, NO WEAPON FORMED AGAINST US SHALL PROSPER! We have victory because our King already marched over this land, over these situations. HE WON, so we can walk in victory!

Oh, and I had five or six crackers last night. No guilt! Just gonna get it out there so no there is no falseness. :)

Monday, February 28, 2011

One Down, Twenty To Go!

Funny little cartoon there! That's how I feel most of the time! OMGosh, the snacking!

Alrighty, so here I go again on a fast. About a month ago I started yearning for how it was with God and me during my previous fast, so intense, so deep, so tangible that I had it it my head that I'd like to do another fasting period. About a week and a half ago I texted my dear friend and said just that, that I was feeling the need for fasting again, and lo and behold she had already scheduled one of her own to start in about a week. Wahoo! Confirmation for me! I thought so because my ONE fear was that I wouldn't be able to survive the fast without some support of another person's accountability. It's easy to sneak here and there and then the condemnation sets in and you start thinking "oh, I already ate something, so why bother? Then you start modifying the fast and it feels more like you're "white-knuckling" through each mealtime instead of resting in the knowledge that He is enough. I digress. Short version: I was so glad to have a partner to go through this with.

So I prepared my hubby by stating, not so diplomatically either (I was PMSing), that in about a week I'd be starting a 21 day fast (shorter this time than last!) Then I began preparing myself mentally, kinda counting the days and preparing my heart for what my motivations for the fast are.
  • 1) To experience God fresh and anew. What I experienced last time was more than I have EVER experienced with Him in all my decades of being a Christ follower and it set the bar. I want MORE this time!
  • 2) To focus my prayers in on a few people and situations in my life; to go into battle if need be or just hear God's voice for the situations. In my scatterbrained days I tend to jump from thing to thing to five things in a span of just a few minutes and focused prayer has to be really intentional on my part or it gets filed in the "later" file, and more often than not I'm in complete Praise and Worship mode. Not to say that that is bad, not at all, it's great, but it's not as deep as I'd like to be. During the other fasting time there were nights where I was woken up with a specific thing to pray for or sometimes I woke up and I was already praying in my spirit. Um, wow! When I go deep with Him, I see things and tangibly feel things and it makes my Faith very real right now. It's like I'm getting Heaven here on Earth and HELLO? Which Christian doesn't want that!?
  • 3) I really want to break the bondage food has over me and my family. I feel like we are emotionally connected to it and I hate that. I'll go more into that over the next 21 days, but for now it is an Idol in my life. It's how I connect to my husband and the thing that soothes my anger, boredom, fills my spare time, makes me happy, etc. It's taking up space that God wants to fill, for sure. Food has it's proper place in our lives and I want to put it there and keep it there.
  • 4) I want to allow God to show me things about myself that I am unaware of but are out of line with what He wants for me. I am a work in progress and I KNOW there are still things that need to be unearthed in me. I just want to open myself up and say "Show me ME, Lord. Show me who I am now, who I am in Christ...CHANGE ME."
I have no doubt that God is in this and is going to blow me away.

So yesterday was Day 1 and it wasn't tooooo bad. I did have a headache, but it wasn't bad at all. Oh, and I do keep coffee in my fast. I may phase it out, but I really don't think it's a factor or anything I HAVE to do. This is my time with Him, my way of taking the pleasure out of something that is getting in between us, clogging my system so to speak. I am doing a juice fast again. Yesterday I had coffee and tea (no sugar), fruit juices (via my Jack LaLanne juicer), V8 juice and Special K Protein drinks. Dinnertime was kinda hard and I found myself handling and putting away foodstuff, wanting to grab something to eat for myself, but my mind instantly snapped back to the plan. :) LOL During the last fast I would dream that I ate food and woke up wondering WHAT in the heck I had done. Hee hee. Day 2 here though and I've had a cup of coffee, my thyroid med and a tall glass of veggie juice (carrots, kale, tomato, half an apple and some pineapple for sweetness). Toughie for me today will be the fact that I'm already tired. We had wicked storms all night long last night and Abby ended up in my bed and me in hers, and apparently there is NO insulation in her walls bc I could hear EVERY raindrop, whistle of wind and peal of thunder. So my eyelids are heavy. The Lord will provide though!!

Stay tuned! I hope in blogging more through this fast that it will demystify the process and encourage others on their journey to give it a try.

Friday, January 28, 2011

I Love Books

I may not get to read as often as I would like, but when I do get into a book and can't put it down...that is one of the best feelings in the world. I just finished a book that I actually bought for Abby and I to read together but within a chapter she was bored with it. It's called The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo (she also wrote The Tale of Despereaux.)

What a great adventure this china bunny doll went on both physically and emotionally! Even I was wrapped up in Edward's emotions. Rooting for him to love again even though he was crudely pinned to a post to be a makeshift scarecrow, crying with him when his friend died, feeling his loss of hope as he drifted along the bottom of the ocean. Where would Edward turn up next? Who would love him next? How much would they love him? Would he ever feel hope and love again after going through all the heartache in his life. *swooning sigh* And doesn't it just bring me back to a childlike state to consider that dolls and toys could actually think and feel and talk! Does it really make the stuffed animals feel loved when you put them on the shelf or lined up on the bed as opposed to shoving them in a toy box or strewn about on the floor? Gosh, now I'm thinking about all the dolls and stuffed animals in my house right now. I think we need to go take care of them!

Even though this book was in the Children section of Barnes and Noble, it's now in the Keep section of my personal library. I know I have an ever growing pile of books and I'm sure to the non-reader it makes no sense to keep a bunch of books that you need to store or dust, but these books are part of MY journey. Books have transformed me along the way and each one means something to me.

This book is a quick and worthy read for kids and adults alike.

Monday, January 24, 2011

"Think On Purpose"

This is a phrase my dear friend Dianne says often and wants to put on T-shirts. It means take your thoughts captive and know what you really believe. In the scripture linked there, I believe Paul is saying don't just let your thoughts roam and run away with you. I always think about my tender-hearted mother who is plagued with anxiety and fear thoughts. I mean, she will lay awake for hours at night worrying about things that MIGHT happen in the future. She's definitely not taking those thoughts into captivity and making them obedient to Christ (or what what the Bible says is true.) She's allowing them to rule and reign over her thought life AND her physical emotions. Sometimes to the point that medication is necessary.

Something came across my computer today that interested me and so I clicked on it. It was a message about doing a Mommy/Daughter pedicure on a budget and it was pushing a particular brand of nail polish called Essie. It's chemical free and isn't tested on animals, but I liked the word "budget" and was interested. I scroll to see a nail polish display and the slogan written across it.

Can you read that? It's kinda hard to see. I'll link it here, but what it says is "When you're obsessed it means you CARE...a lot." Umm, hello? I don't think that is what obsessed means. This is where Abby would roll her eyes and say "Mom, you are SO last century. That's just a saying. It doesn't MEAN anything." And I'd say "Uh yes it does, dear, because words have meaning and power." In fact, Webster defines Obsessed as: "to haunt or excessively preoccupy the mind." I don't want ANYTHING haunting me, let alone vegan nail polish.

Your mind isn't just a filterless machine that takes in info and spits it back out without it being processed and inputted into the proper files. Keep that, pitch that, attach that to the "hurt" file, etc. We are bombarded by media every single day, thousands of words and images cross through our filters and most of the time it's coming in SO fast that it doesn't even really register with us. BUT our brains and spirits ARE filtering it. This ad just reinforced the fact that I need to PAY ATTENTION to what is going in my mind and my children's minds. I'm consistently reminding Abby to rethink what she meant to say. So often she'll blanket a nasty generalized statement over top of what she really meant to say. For instance, once she said "I hate school. Fourth grade horrible." Well, I know for a fact that she really really enjoys being in school with her friends and punching through her school work, so I prodded and found out that really she just felt overwhelmed by the homework she had to do in 4th grade. But had I not prodded and helped her unearth what she really meant, then "I hate school and 4th grade is horrible" could have been reiterated over and over until it was a real belief.

So back to this advertisement. Basically this ad is lying to girls and women (oh my, a shocker, right!? *tongue in cheek*) and telling them that it's okay to be obsessed, it just means you REALLY care. Uh, no. Being and feeling obsessed is not a good thing no matter how you spin it. I don't even think that being obsessed with the Bible could be a good thing because "obsessed" just has this negative connotation attached to it, a "haunting" connotation. And how many times a day or a week are we LIED TO by the media and sales people and friends? We need to pay attention and think on purpose! ME INCLUDED. We can't live by our emotions and allow others to manipulate how we feel, which can lead us to think certain things. Take every thought captive and ask ourselves "what is the Truth about this situation?" and react from that. As another example, I remember standing at the sink after we put the kids to bed and it had be a rough day kid-wise. I heard Zach come around the corner and go "Dad?" and my neck stiffened and my teeth set on edge and I said "Dang it! Why can't he EVER stay in bed? He ALWAYS gets up after we put him to bed." And in an instant I knew that was a lie (at the time. Now this kid really DOES get up five times after we put him to bed.) and I corrected myself out loud. "No, that's not true. Almost always he is AWESOME about going to bed and staying there." At which point I could physically feel my body relax. It behooves me to pay attention to these moments when I do it correctly and think on purpose.

For ALL the other times when I don't, there is a HUGE supply of grace and forgiveness. :)

Just my two cents here. :)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Old Man Winter Can Kiss My Apples

Where do I even begin? My life is so dang up and down even in the course of one day. This weekend though, it's just been a major blah with a few highlights of Yay! I can blame a lot of it on PMS and frankly, I'm ready to just get this uterus out of my body bc every single month I LOATHE ENTIRELY the week of the curse. Seriously, why do I even need this crap anymore? Take it out. I digress.

I think it might be the Winter Blues trying to set in. No one can go out and play for any more than fifteen to twenty minutes because it's colder than a witch's you-know-what outside and even when they do it's five to seven minutes of yelling "WHERE"S MY OTHER GLOVE!?" and "HELP ME GET MY BOOTS ON, MOM!!!" for maaaaybe fifteen minutes of quiet in the house and then they all come crashing back in with wet, snow covered clothes and claiming they are too frostbitten to take their OWN frosty boots off and will I help them. THEN there is a small mountain of snow pants, socks, wet boots, coats, mittens, scarves, etc...and I want to scream obscenities when they all start begging for hot cocoa while I'm being the chamber maid and cleaning up the clothes. *sigh* I neeeeed the warmth to come back to Ohio in a BIG way. My kids need to exert some energy OUTSIDE and get fresh air and stop making my house the main event for WWF Smackdown. Even I need some sun and some adult conversation. I miss hanging out front with the neighbors and watching the kids ride bikes and play Star Wars together. I miss NOT wearing coats and wearing sundresses and flip-flops. And oh my, I really miss running outside. *sigh* I remember when I'd have my running shoes on when Scott would get home and I'd pop my ear buds in and off I'd go. My desire to workout since the holidays began has been nill and it's showing. I just don't want to do much of anything lately, let alone go outside. Just getting in and out of the car at the grocery store makes me ANGRY. Ooh, that bitter cold biting at my face and cutting through my bones and all the while my slow-poky kids are taking their grand time getting in the car and then I still have to stand outside while attempting to shove my three year old's marshmallow coat into her car seat straps AND get it buckled. Ugh, I just hate it. I'm sure my kids think Mommy is mad at them when I'm so totally not, I'm just angry at the Cold. I wish these piles of snow and wickedly cold temperatures would just miraculously give way to sunny and 70's. Tomorrow would be great, by the way.

I know I'm complaining, but I just love me anyway. I need to get it out and then I'll feel better for awhile. These kids, I tell ya. I love 'em more my life, but we are SO on top of each other right now. You can't sit anywhere because someone is climbing on top of you or over you. You can't hide anywhere in here either. There's nowhere to go that they don't know about. LOL My life right now is all enclosed in 1800 square feet with three overly energetic, cabin-fever laden, "he's touching me!!", Sharpie marker on the wall, swinging from the curtains, "Can I have another snack?", wrecking a room as soon as you walk out of it, jumping on the couches, "I'M TELLING! MOOOOM!?", beautiful and healthy children and well, it's just getting a little too tight in here for me. Are you mommas out there feelin' me!? I'm sure you're all smiling and saying "yep, that's MY HOUSE too!" It does make me feel better to think that I'm not alone in my prayers for warmer, sunnier days and also for the gracefulness and patience that will protect our children's hides and scalps.

Spring can't come soon enough and it's gonna ROCK to see flowers blooming, green grass, Easter, promise of school coming to an end and Summer just around the corner. I can't wait! 'Til then...I hold on tightly to my electric blanket, fuzzy slippers and my sanity. I went without sleep for YEARS while nursing and coddling all my babies...I can certainly get through two more months of this wintry misery. Man, thanks for letting me get that off my chest! I know there was nothing edifying or spiritually uplifting at ALL in this post, but I really needed to get this out. I'm just a little on kid overload here lately. :) Off to wash my face and snuggled down in my heated bed and hopefully drift into an uninterrupted sleep until Monday breaks in and starts another crazy insane beautiful day of my life.

Friday, January 14, 2011


The LAW. No, not the Po-Po, the Fuzz or Obama. I mean the Law as in the Old Testament rules and regulations. Know what I mean? Thou shalt not. Thou shalt not. Thou shalt not. Ever feel like you can't possibly measure up to the rules of the "churchie folk" you know because of this or that? Yep, that's condemnation set up by the Law. The Law was given to the Israelites because they did not yet have Christ and actually, they had the Living God dwelling among them in the form of fire and because He is holy and they were not, they had to do all these sacrifices in order to send away their sins so they could be in relationship with Him. But then God sent himself in the form of Man so that He could end all this sacrificial business and FOREVER wipe out he could FINALLY be in relationship with man without all this condemnation/sin butting in between. So Christ did this magnanimous thing, this thing above all things in all of history dying a sinner's death, brutally I might add, so that his perfect blood could atone for ALLLLLL sin past, present and future. That is a LOT of sin. And in his dying words he said, "It is FINISHED." Finished. Done. Past. Not just his life here on Earth, not just the end of a task. Jesus took on the GUILT of every single sinful thing I have ever done...and let's face it, I could fill up a large section of the Metropolitan Library just on my own...but also every one I'm committing today and for the rest of my earthly life...AND yours, and his and hers down the street. Not to mention the people in the next City over, the next State over, the entire Earth's population past, present and future. HOLY COW! For real? Can I even really wrap that around my brain? So he did it. He finished Sin's power over any human being. In Hebrews 10:12-14 it says:
12 But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 13 There he waits until his enemies are humbled and made a footstool under his feet. 14 For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.
With that ONE offering of himself (because seriously, only a God sized sacrifice could possibly cover THAT MUCH sin) he forever made perfect YOU and ME and that guy who cut you off, and your Dad, and your cousin and your enemy. You and I were made alive in Christ when he took on that guilt and then sacrificed himself to Death. So, my point comes in this...why are we still condemning ourselves to live as if we are still slaves to death, disobedience, drugs, lust, overeating, alcohol, thievery, (insert guilt ridden sin here)?? Christ took the guilt for that and threw it down into the pits of Hell. He's not up there seated at the right hand of the Father going "Ugh, Father, we didn't do enough. Christy's down there drinking herself into an oblivion because she can't make herself do the right things or feel good about herself. What do we do now!?" Uh, no. He's sitting there right beside Christy with the bottle in her hand saying "Honey, don't you know? I know you have no power over this thing you do. I know your flesh is weak, but sweetheart, I do not condemn you. I died so that you may have freedom and walk in life with abundance. You are seated with me in Heaven right now because I FINISHED IT and know the end of the story. You are here being transformed from glory to glory to walk and rest in my love and mercy and grace. You are here to tell others of my great love and mercy and grace. I live in you and because I AM THE KING you have power over that bottle. Because of my blood that runs over your head you are clean before my Father so you NEVER have to run and hide from us again. Because of my blood and my love you have power to overcome any addiction, any anger, any hurt, any unforgiveness, any medical ailment and live in Victory in this earthly life. (Insert your name), my dearest child, I love you SOO much." Ephesians 2 is SO amazing. Take a read and see how it grabs ya!

1 Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. 2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world.a]">[a] He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. 3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.

4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) 6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. 7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.

8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

If we are living apart from Him and in bondage to sin, which leads to unhealthiness and an overall lack of life, then we are not living up to the people that are seated in the heavenly realm with Christ right now. All there is to do to begin this is believe in who He is, REST in the knowledge that there isn't anything you can do in your own strength, give Him control, obey what you hear Him telling you and watch the fruit come!!

Today a friend of mine showed me the Blue Letter Bible (BLB). We were discussing how you can use this online tool to do deeper word studies of the Bible (and let me tell you, the Bible isn't as scary as it might seem. Just open it, pray out loud asking for Him to open your spiritual eyes and ears and read. REST in his sufficiency to do that and watch, you'll start getting it!!) and she used that one verse that talks about how Jesus is the Vine and we are the Branches and apart from Him we wither...and that he PRUNES the branches that aren't producing fruit. So we were saying "ugh, doesn't that suck. You do good, you get prunes to do more good. You don't do good and get pruned and thrown away." WELL, after searching the BLB for the word pruned (which doesn't mean just to hack it off, it means to cut away parts) and discussing how the person who cares for the vines actually lift up the non-fruitbearing limbs out of the dust and onto the fenceline, and then prune away the unneeded leaves so it can get the sun and water it needs to started to take on a whole new feeling. He doesn't look down and go "oh, that branch is down in the mud again and crud, it's not producing fruit like I said it should. Bad branch! Off with your head!" Nope. He lovingly lifts that branch out of the mud (AGAIN and again, if necessary) and hefts it back up right where it should be, cleans it off and prunes away the dead bits, feeds and waters it and waits for it to bear fruit. Do you feel me out there? Am I rambling too much? I feel like I jumped around on you. I hope you get some of this bc it's HUGE. Christ died for YOU and to overpower sin and death. Sin has NO POWER in your life and neither does condemnation. If you're feeling condemned and guilty, you just remember Hebrews 10:14. You are clean FOREVER and he loves you. The next time you find yourself sitting there doing that THING you do that makes you feel guilty, stop the guilt...I don't care if you are cooking up and shooting heroine right in the middle of your kitchen...stop the guilt and say "Thank you, Jesus. Thank you for taking the guilt of this away. Help me to be the me that is sitting beside you in Heaven right now." Crazy, huh!? That's the God we serve! He's HUGE and AMAZING and SO...FREAKING...ABUNDANTLY...BUTT-CRAZY in LOVE WITH YOU and ME!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Ugh, the primordial scum I just cleaned out of the bottom of our fridge should be cause to revoke my parental rights. It's likely the source of every sickness in the County. Honestly, I don't remember any major food surges in there so just exactly how does that crap get there??

And it's not like I didn't notice it each and every time I opened the fridge, but somehow I allowed myself to mentally block it from my to-do list. It's so nasty I kinda wanna be a kid again so I don't have to deal with it. Oh wait a second, that wouldn't help. My mom made me clean the fridge pretty darn often as I remember it. Unloading all the food, get out the Basic H. And let me stop there a second. Anyone ever actually USE Basic H? Or Basic I for that matter? OMG, my mom LOVES this stuff. It's the end all of allll cleaning supplies. According to her you can clean the dirtiest oven, the moldiest shower, the greasiest dish, the funkiest carpet or mattress stain, you can wash windows with it, etc, etc, etc. Someone quick! Tell The Gulf Stream Team about about Basic H and I, for Cripes Sake!! LOL In fact, the whole time I was cleaning this scummy mess I kept thinking over and over "if my MOTHER saw this I'd never hear the end of it!!"

Abby just opened the fridge and goes "WHOA!! **huge smile** It's all clean!....Where's all our food!?!?" Oh honey, that wasn't food. That was the mirage of full fridge that the scum was projecting. Ha Ha. She then opens the freezer and says "yea, you could clean this one too." Uh, thanks, Dear.

So it's all sparkley clean now and smells like a Pine Sol dream, but I know it's coming again. That primordial evil that will somehow creep or crawl or magically appear in the bottom of my fridge and I'll be back at it again. The Flylady in my head is saying "ah, ah, ah. Just keep up with your Control Journal and you'll never face that ugly guy again" but reality says that I will bc as much as I love Flylady, and as much as I love my Momma...I'm gonna do it my silly way anyway and pay the price until "I" finally decide to do it their easier way. Then, I fear, the tides will turn and I will be "the mother" and will standing over my children with that damn Basic H and I having a soliloquy about it's wonders and might. Oh Lord, help me. ;)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Little Confirmation

So we're at the club last night ringing in the New Year with some other tennis enthusiasts, and well I find myself sitting with the last lady I played with and she releases that she's a middle school science teacher. I say to her, "Oh, well I might keep you in my pocket for later as I will be homeschooling my oldest daughter the rest of this year." Her lips purse a little and she leans back and while nodding asks me why I am doing this. Now, I hesitate to paint this story as if she was AGAINST homeschooling, but even though her head was bobbing up and down her body language was definitely telling me that she was a bit on the defensive. So I did what any courageous speaker does when confronted with a loaded question...I glossed right over my personal reasons and went into how excited we were and how positive a thing this could be for our family. And like any hungry journalist would do she pressed in: so how do you "keep record" (and she DID do the quotes with her fingers) of her work? Who's tracking her learning? How does she get graded? All of this with a lot of affirming head bobbing. *wink* She ended with "well that sounds VERY interesting and I'd actually like to SEE how it's all worked out in the end."

It just happened that another teacher sat across from me and she was a high school teacher, and these two ladies then began a mini tirade about how the kids they work with are highly emotional ("will be so sweet one day and cuss you out the next"), are knowledgeable of things much too explicit and above their emotional/age appropriate capabilities of handling and that they wished parents were more involved in governing their kids' education and what they are exposed to. Hmm...interesting.

Even though when I talk to anyone about homeschooling I mentally put on my helmet and flack jacket waiting for the enemy fire, more often than not I get nothing but great feedback and encouragement from people. And while I didn't feel like this teacher was on board with my ideas (and she doesn't have to be, I get that) I did feel completely affirmed by her candid conversation with her friend across the table. I feel like I am going to be doing JUST THAT which the teachers so wished all parents would more involved in my kids education and governing what she is exposed to. Plus, I don't have to kick God out of our school room. Sweeeeeet.