Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Found Something

I found a scripture in my reading today that really jumped out at me in answer to my "How Honest Is Honest?" question. It's Proverbs 28:23 (Living) "In the end, people appreciate frankness more than flattery." Hmmm. Tell me what you think.

Pancake Day!

For anyone who doesn't know, this is National Pancake Day. I am not kidding. Because of this, you can get a FREE short stack of pancakes (three) at International House of Pancakes today! (One stack per person) What a deal! We already ate there this morning and no, there was no catch and the line was not out the door. In fact, we were seated right away (and there were eight of us because we met friends there). So, if your family likes breakfast for dinner, load 'em up! Happy Pancake Day! :)

Sunday, February 26, 2006

How Honest Is Honest?

I feel like I am an honest person. But sometimes the boundaries get blurred. How honest is honest? If a friend asks me how she looks in a dress, should I tell her that she looks like a whale being squeezed into a baby leotard? Of course I know I should say everything in love. So that doesn't seem very loving. But then, Jesus called the Pharisees a "brood of vipers" and such. That doesn't sound very nice! Don't lecture me, I know He's God and knew what He was doing, yada, yada... But still. Rahab lied to the soldiers to save the spies. That wasn't honest. But yet, she is exalted in Hebrews for that.

I have the "nice" syndrom. You know, "If you can't say anything nice then don't say anything at all". Now, I don't always live by that, but it does clatter around in my head. So when someone hurts my feelings, I tend to struggle through confronting them. Instead of telling them they were rude and hurt my feelings, I tend to pull away from the relationship (at least for a little while).

I have a friend that is amazingly willing to speak her thoughts no matter who is around or what opposite opinions they may possess. She doesn't seem daunted in the least if someone disagrees with her. She listens and answers accordingly. Sometimes her opinion will change but if it doesn't, she is not afraid to say so and even enter a debate. If someone asks her to do something and she doesn't want to, she says no. Says no? With no explaination? Is that allowed? If someone hurts her feelings she addresses it on the spot. I have the greatest respect for this person because she can do what I cannot; be direct and not be ashamed of it. No apologies. She says what she means. Is that okay? Isn't there some line that shouldn't be crossed? I'm having trouble knowing where that line should be.

So I'm asking, how honest is honest?

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Cleaning Out

Lately I have been cleaning out. I'm trying to keep only the things that I love or that are used often in our home. In pursuit of trying to be more servant minded (see previous blogs), I've decided everyday to ask my husband if I can help him with anything or if there is something he would like me to do. I winced the first time I asked expecting to hear a list. But the only thing he asked was that I work our room (especially the closet). Closet done. Check!

The next day I asked the same question. I think he was still in shock that the thing he'd asked actually got done. So he said just to work on cleaning out our room (especially under the desk). So that day, I cleaned out under our desk. There were boxes and baskets under there with stuff thrown in. It really didn't take me more than thirty minutes to get it all cleared out and put away. Why have I been procrastinating that? Under desk. Check!

On and on throughout the week, I asked him every day if there was anything I could do for him and every day it was the same room. I had to laugh to myself because I am always trying to keep the front rooms tidy in case company comes by. But here my sweet husband was wishing the bedroom would be cleared out and that was my dumping ground! No wonder the poor guy didn't rest well.

Bit by bit our room has come together. I still have the top of the desk to clear out and drawers to go through but I think soon this room is going to be in tip top shape! I'll have to say, it makes me feel lighter already. Flylady (I know I keep talking about her, but I can't help it, I love her approach!) has taught me how to do it in little steps at a time so it doesn't take me all day to do the task because I'm not one of those born organized people.

Ironically, the rest of the house has started shaping up too. It's like once I got on a de-cluttering roll, I wanted to de-clutter everywhere! On Little Mister's favorite show, Bob the Builder, they have the slogan, "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle"! I've heard it so many times maybe it's actually sinking into my subconscious. ;)

Friday, February 24, 2006


Fear - I'll call it like it is. It's so much easier to say, "Stressed" or "Anxious" or whatever. But the truth is that there are times I am paralyzed by fear. I hate it! I wish I didn't fear anything but God. That's how it should be. I unloaded on God yesterday and today about all my fears. He's so gracious and kind to take those burdens and just move them onto his big shoulders.

Last night we had a big dinner at the University President's house. I was scared to death. I was worried about what to wear, how to talk, etc. It was SO silly. Why be scared? They're just people! But I was. It turned out fine. The people were sweet. The food was delicious. It was formal but it's good to have those times once in a while (to remind you which forks to eat what food with). I'll have to admit I was happy to take off my heels and get into my comfy pajamas!

Then there is that fear of not having enough finances. I guess everyone struggles with this on some level. Sometimes I get so frustrated because I wish we didn't have to think about it. But it's always there looming in the background.

The night before, little mister came to our bed around 3:00 a.m. because of a bad dream. I tucked him in next to Daddy and went to the couch. I tossed and turned for hours after that which is really strange for me because I am one of those people who can fall asleep anytime, anywhere. I do not have insomnia problems but that night I could not get back to sleep. So I just started praying. I figured God had my undivided attention. My mother-in-law kept coming to my mind. She is having some health issues right now. Thoughts of what we should do about it kept coming to my mind. Two days later Hubby talked to me about some of these very things. Weird? I don't think so. I think God knew I needed the head's up.

Why do I fear when God is ahead of me all the time? Why are my shoulders tight and I can feel a tension headache is on the way? Why can't I trust Him? Do I honestly think I'm the better guide? Once again I need to be reminded to rest and not to fear.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


For those of you who have wondered what the big hype about this show "Lost" is, I have some good news. Tonight they are airing a two hour special of the Pilot 1 and 2. You can see how it all began. Of course, next week they'll be back to the story line and then you'll once again be...lost.

Monday, February 20, 2006

I Can Wear Everything In My Closet!

I really can! I can wear everything in my closet. Not because I've lost weight but because I emptied about half of it! I am so sick of pulling clothes out of the closet only to remember why I don't wear it. Some various reasons are:
  • It's got a stain of who-knows-what right in the middle of the shirt.
  • Too small.
  • The color makes me look dead.
  • Too short.
  • Shows too much neck (I'm not 20, you know!).
  • Too long.
  • Makes me look frumpy.
  • Too big (not many of those these days).
  • I just plain hate it.
P.S. If you are as disorganized as I am or have trouble keeping your house from becoming chaos you should check out the Flylady website. Sorry, I still don't know how to link it but the website is www.flylady.com.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Growing Up Is Hard To Do

This week I've been doing some major growing up. Two significant things happened that made me feel those growing pains.

FIRST: I had THE talk with my eldest daughter. I have been praying about this for awhile. I had planned to tell her on Monday but I just didn't feel ready. Then Valentine's Day was Tuesday and I didn't really want to do it then. I was procrastinating. It was something I had been dreading because I was being a perfectionist about it. Wanting to say the "perfect" things and such. So when it actually happened it took me by surprise. She asked if we could have some alone talk time (which she asks quite regularly). So we snuggled together and started talking. Before long she was asking more questions. I prayed a silent prayer and took the jump. In spite of my fears, it turned out to be a sweet mother and daughter time that we will probably treasure for the rest of our lives.

SECOND: I have come to the realization that I do NOT like to serve. Yep! That's right. I do NOT like it. And what did I read in the Bible OVER and OVER this week? Uh-huh. In a nutshell, to follow Christ I must be willing to give up my life and be willing to serve. Whaaa!!!!!!! I don't want to.

And yet I do want to. So I decided it was time to grow up. Throughout the next few days when I didn't want to serve, I did it anyway. It was so difficult in moments but something strange began to happen. Quabbles began to cease, laughter entered and everyone felt loved. Weirdly enough, I felt loved too. I guess God does know what He's talking about. Still, growing up is hard to do.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Can't Blog

Sorry guys my computer is down. I won't be writing or checking blogs for a bit. Pray for me through this time of withdrawal.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Thursday Already?!

I don't know what it is with me this week but I feel two days behind. Maybe it's because I haven't accomplished what I wanted to, so I'm not wanting the week to end yet!

On Valentine's Day we decided to have dinner with Hubby's Mom who lives alone. Her husband with Alzheimers lives in a home nearby and we were going to take him some candy. We stopped at Albertsons to pick up some fried chicken (didn't want to wait at any of the restaurants). Hubby ran in to get the chicken while my kids and I waited in the van. Little Mister played commentary to everyone coming out of the store. "This lady bought a card." "This man bought pop." "This man is carrying a vase of flowers." Cheering and clapping errupted for every man coming out of the store with something romantic like chocolates or flowers. I'm sure that the people could hear us because we were parked right by the door and my kids were REALLY loud. I couldn't help laughing and almost cheering myself. I guess it's our new Valentine's Day family game. I wonder if we could market it?

I watched LOST last night and am pleasantly surprised that it continues to get more suspenseful and curious. I am intrigued. If you didn't see it last night and you are a fan, stop reading because I might spoil something for you. Did anyone notice that the officer working with Sayid had a picture of his young daughter - a young Kate? Remember her dad is an officer because she goes to see him at his office before she runs off? Anyway, I think it's cool how every flashback seems to have another link to a castaway on the island in the present. Creative writing! I give them my two thumbs up.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Outcome (Part 2)

I have to tell you the outcome of the "word picture" to my son. Tonight I let him play for a little bit on the computer. I was helping him when Little Miss came into the room. She walked over to see what he was playing. Then she gently bent down to kiss his cheek. He didn't turn his face away, run, or yell at her. He simply let her give him a kiss. She gave me stunned look and walked happily out the door. Little Mister had a smile on his face and shot me a quick glance. I leaned down and whispered in his ear, "That was really sweet!" Later, I found them together at the computer. Little Miss was helping him win a game that he can never conquer. Sigh. If only every moment could be as sweet.

Tomorrow, that boy is getting some kisses!

Word Picture (Part 1)

Today my son refused to give kisses to my eldest daughter. This has started becoming a common thing. I think he sees it as a game even though I've talked to him about hurting her feelings. My parents had recommended giving him a word picture. How would he feel if I didn't kiss him or want him to kiss me? Well, I asked him that question again today to which he said (as he usually does), "I wouldn't care. I would just go play." Usually that is when I start emploring him to think about it but today I decided to do something different.

I said, "Well, if you wouldn't care, then I think we'll do an experiment today. I won't kiss you or let you kiss me for the rest of today." He exploded into tears. I pulled him close to me and asked him why he was crying. He said, "That means you won't tuck me in tonight." I told him that I would still tuck him in but that we just wouldn't kiss. He stopped crying but seemed to be thinking about all this. I told him that I loved him but that I wanted him to see how his actions make Little Miss feel.

So we parted and went on about our day. I was doing our Read Aloud and we were all snuggling. He looked at me after we were finished and I could tell that he wanted to lean over for a kiss but knew that he couldn't. I smiled at him and kept busy. He sat for a few minutes and it seemed that he was really contemplating it. I am hoping that this day will help him be compassionate. I don't believe that anyone should be forced to give affection but I do believe they should understand how withholding it can hurt someone. I hope he's "getting" it because frankly, I think this experiment is harder on Mommy than it is on him!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Chocolate, ur, I mean Valentine's Day!!

I am a victim of commercials. I watched one incredible commercial over and over that showed luscious chocolate being poured into a round hollow chocolate candy truffle. I began craving them badly and hoped that my husband was taking the hint as I drooled all over the floor. Last night I ran a quick errand to K-Mart to get some last minute items. As I stood in the check-out line waiting for the person in front of me to get through, I glanced over at the candy section that they always have right there to lure you into buying something. I was just looking at it out of boredom when I saw them. There on the bottom shelf almost hidden from sight was a beautiful bag full of the VERY truffles from the commercial. I bought a bag. After I put all the kids to bed, I made myself a hot cup of coffee to go with my chocolates and then sat down to enjoy them. As much as I hate to admit it, I gave in to the sale. But, I must also say that that commercial was completely truthful. Those truffles were delicious! (And no, you can't have any.)

Monday, February 13, 2006


My little boy LOVES to wrestle. I know I've probably said it before but he really does. From the moment Daddy enters the house he is hounded with the question, "Can we wrestle now, Daddy?" Over and over. The boy is persistent, I'll give him that. One of my favorite Little Mister sayings of late is, "I'm gonna snack you, Daddy!" Of course he means he's going to "smack" him but he just can't quite get it right.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Day of Refreshment

Note: If you are having an especially awful day, do not continue reading.

My parents asked to have our kids for the weekend and asked that I bring them up on Thursday night. Translation: I have a free weekend and Friday all to myself! So, what did I do, you ask? Ahhhh...

I started off my morning by Bible study in complete quiet. Then I got ready for the day because I wanted to be able to take off at any moment. I read and wrote blogs briefly before dashing off to a haircut appointment. I was trying out a new stylist in my salon and I was pleasantly suprised when she cut my hair exactly like I asked her to! I left the Salon happy with the "do". By that point it was late in the morning, nearing 11:30 so I decided to treat myself to lunch. I went to Panera Bread and ate lunch all by myself. (Don't feel sorry for me, I loved it!) Then I drove to Barnes and Noble to browse. I think there must be a place like that in Heaven only everything should be free. ;) Of course, I got myself a Starbucks coffee to enjoy and bought a magazine I was looking at. I came home and talked with some friends on the phone. Then I fixed myself a hot bath and soaked with my favorite books for about an hour. After that, I gave myself a manicure and pedicure. I read a little more then turned the television on to watch a few shows that are not on the children's channels. I fixed dinner (the only work that I did all day and it was frozen pizza at that). Hubby came home and we had a nice chat over dinner. He had somewhere to be so he left and I went to a friend's house to watch the third movie of Anne of Green Gables (I don't remember the name). I came home late and finally crashed into bed. Then I didn't get up this morning until after 10:00 a.m. That is the full extent of my "day off".

Today I am working on my house. Sniff, sniff.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Angel Food

I would like to spread the word about Angel Food Ministries because it's been such a blessing to our family. For only $25 you can get a box full of predetermined food for a week's worth of groceries. The food is perfect for our family and the box contains a good amount of meat in it everytime (we can make a box go almost two weeks even with the five of us). You pay for the box when you order it. My Father's House Church is where I order and pick mine up. They are incredibly organized and have a drive through where they bring the box to your car. The only other requirement is that you bring a medium size box to exchange for the box you will recieve (that way they never run out of boxes). It's open for ANYONE to order and you may order as many boxes as you like. It's worth taking a look! The menu and sites that you can order from are listed on the website: www.angelfoodministries.com. (Sorry, I still haven't figured out how to link this so you'll just have to look it up.)

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Hubby's B-Day!

Today is my sweet Hubby's birthday. He is quite a character! He can be the calm in the midst of a storm (as in when I'm storming around the house trying to get ready for company), the comedian (when he gets on a roll, there's no shutting him down), the quiet listener (especially late at night when I'm on a rampage), the honest counselor (I love and hate this one), the storyteller (He can make me cry or make me laugh until I cry), the romantic (He proposed to me on his birthday. It was a big con because he had me thinking that his friends and I were throwing him a surprise party but the surprise was on me!), and most of all a follower of God (He reaches out to people that others wouldn't mess with). I love him! Happy Birthday, Honey!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Wailing Mister

Tonight we had our missionary friends over for dinner before they leave again to go back home. It was so much fun visiting. My kids were doing all their "tricks" for them. Little Lady was demonstrating her gymnastic abilities while Little Mister demonstrated his version. Our friend asked how Little Lady had learned all that and I explained that she'd taken a class but that she'd always been a gifted little gymnist.

After our company left, I was hearding my crew to bed. They were worn out and quite cranky. Little Mister started wailing about something and I couldn't understand what he was saying. All I could translate from it was that he thought I'd said something mean and something about gymnastics. Little Miss yelled the interpretation from the other room. I had hurt his feelings by saying that Little Lady was a good gymnist but not saying anything about him. Poor little thing. I asked his forgiveness. He forgave me so we kissed and hugged. But he was still sniffling as he went to bed. I felt bad that I hurt his feelings. But then I also don't want to set the standard that everytime I give his sisters a compliment that I must dote one on him as well. Hmmm. I'll have to think on that one.

Monday, February 06, 2006


Last night, I told Little Mister to brush his teeth. He whined that he wasn't feeling good enough to brush them. So I told him to go get in bed if he was feeling bad. He said, "Well, I'm not feeling bad to play just bad to brush my teeth." Uh-huh. Needless to say, the boy brushed his teeth.

Little Lady asked me today why my nails weren't growing long since I'm not biting them. I explained that since I've had my nails short for so long that I clip them because they bother me when they're too long. She gave me a sympathetic pat along with a sweet little "Awww". It's nice to have empathy. Then I started clipping her nails and she asked me why she couldn't have long ones. I told her that little girls usually get their nails dirty and it could grow bacteria so I want her nails short until she's old enough to take good care of them. Her face twisted and she teasingly asked, "Could I grow a tree in there?" We both just started laughing. Um, no!

We played Hide and Seek the other night as a family. It was hilarious and tons of fun. At one point I was running out of spots to hide (can't fit in too many places) so I squeezed into a little spot between the wall and the dresser. I had a tall wicker basket in front of me but it only covered up to my chest. I sat there watching all my children and even my husband walk by me. No one was finding me. It was quite thrilling! Finally, after my legs were starting to cramp, Little Lady caught sight of me (it was her fifth trip past me). My legs were happy to be found! I think I'll be keeping that hiding spot in my back pocket.

My sister had some funny things happen Sunday while she was leading worship at their church and it reminded me of some funny happenings from times past for me. Once I started a song over three times because in my head I was singing a melody that was very similar to the song but on the fifth note went to a very different and wrong note. I tried it three times until finally the pianist sang out the RIGHT note so that we could get on past it. My face was bright red!

Another time I was singing a special in church service. We had two services and I needed to nurse my baby in between. I sang in the first service and it went fine. I hurried to the nursery to nurse baby so that I could get back in time for the second service. As I finished with baby, a friend came into the nursing room and we started talking. I realized after a bit that I needed to hurry. I wasn't too worried because we usually had a long song service. As I walked to the sanctuary I saw the Education minister and he told me they were looking for me in the service. I laughed because he was usually a real prankster so I didn't think anything of it. Once I got close to the auditorium I could hear the Pastor speaking. I felt panic rising in me because I was supposed to sing before he preached. Too late. I had missed my cue. I found out later that the pianist (another one) had thrown something together and just played. Can I just say that I love pianists?

Train Wreck

Yesterday a friend of ours spoke in church and he was talking about how our lives can sometimes be like a train wreck. Sometimes the cause is consequences to our sin and other times the cause is God. God? Yes. As in the case of Mary and Joseph, she is pregnant but no one know it's from God and everyone probably shunned her, including family. Then when Joseph knows and he takes her to be his wife it probably looked like it was his baby, again scorned. Then they get to Bethlehem for the census and not even the worst Inns (whorehouses) had any room to spare. So they ended up in a cave/stable where she went into labor and had the Messiah. It sounds like train wreck. Where was God? Couldn't He get them the nicest Inn at the best part of town? Yes, but He didn't. Why? I don't know. Maybe so the Messiah could relate to everyone's situation. Whatever the reason, I trust it was a good one. The point is that Mary and Joseph could have felt forsaken but they weren't. It was orchestrated.

This message came at such a timely moment for me. That very morning I had had a pity-party. I was feeling like I was being punished even though I had been following Him. Shouldn't things be going great? Shouldn't I be getting blessings? I was demanding good things come from my obedience. This message was timely for me to take a second look into Scripture. "For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." Romans 15:4 (NIV)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Hubby Home!

Late last night my Hubby made it home from his trip. This morning when he awoke he was greeted by three excited kids. They were screaming "Daddy! Daddy!!!" Everyone was talking to him at once. I just sat back and enjoyed watching for a change. Daddy, of course, came back bearing a gift for everyone. He's good about that and very creative! It was like a mini-Christmas morning.


On another note, I've realized that I've been too focused on how hard it is to give up my idols lately and haven't been seeing how incredible life is without them. I've decided to stop my petty whining and just enjoy the treasures God brings along the way. Especially His incredible presence. Is it possible to be completely consumed with God? Can all the hours that I've devoted to other things now be transferred to Him? I'm beginning to think it can. I'm not sure of the particulars but I'm enjoying the process of learning. If you have any tips please feel free to share!