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Showing posts from 2011

2012, Here I Come!

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As you know, I don't make New Year's resolutions. (I wrote about it here: http://www.fim-carol.blogspot.com/2008/01/resolutions-schmezolutions.html.) It's a self-defeating and guilt-producing practice for me. So I simply say that in 2012 I will love God more than last year. Following are my tips for keeping my resolution on track next year:

Get a plan. In order for me to love God more in 2012 than 2011, I want to get to know Him better. (You can put your own idea in there.) I'm going to start slow by adding time spent with Him into my daily/weekly/monthly schedule. If I start slowly, I can build up to a thundering crescendo!

Find a life verse. My 2012 Life Verse is: 1 Peter 5:10 "But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you."

Spend time with the Savior. I am building up my prayer time, adding minutes in the morning during my devotions.…

Santa's Naughty vs. Nice Game

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Psalm 33:5 (KJV)
He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.

"He knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness' sake!" This line from the song "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" plays often during this time of the year. What's the big deal about being good, anyway? Santa's game is pretty simple: if you're good, you get nice gifts. If you're naughty, you get coal.

God doesn't play that game. God is good all the time, regardless of your behavior. Blogger Jon Acuff says, "When you doubt God's goodness, you doubt the very core of who He is." You see, God IS goodness. Not "God acts good." He actually created goodness. He is goodness, personified.

The steady, warm glow of God's goodness is all around us. I find His integrity in every sunset, child's smile and time spent with family. God's goodness does not need to be packaged in tinsel and bows to be made …

The Perfection of Imperfection

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2 Corinthians 12:9 (KJV)
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

The headline on my blog reads, "This blog contains the rantings of a middle-aged crazy lady, sharing her imperfect life to show others God's perfect love." It's the truth. My life is a long way from perfect. God loves me anyway. That's how I know that He is real.

When Buddhist monks paint, they leave a tiny spot blank somewhere on the canvas. They make it imperfect on purpose. Of course, nobody's perfect. Not even close. Only God is God. We are all vulnerable, weak, imperfect. That way, when God works through us, we'll know that all our accomplishments are not under our own steam. It's God's doing.

A wise man said, "let go and let God." If we worked a little less at making everything just so, God might be able to d…

Fitting in God

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I stood in front of an open refrigerator, surveying the remnants of Thanksgiving dinner. It contained a couple of spoonfuls of stuffing, a dab of mashed potatoes and three asparagus stalks. Not enough to make a meal out of, these leftovers. That made me think about God. Yeah, I know...I'm weird.

God used to get the lion's share of the leftovers in my life. I was very busy, hustling here and there. I tried to squeeze Him in between housework, shuttling kids and work. An exhaled request for help, a prayer request for a sick friend, a verse or two of Scripture before bed was all I could spare.

And then I realized it wasn't enough. I wanted a grown-up relationship with God. I wanted my faith to mature. My Heavenly Father is not some vending machine to shove a few coins in and get your latest wishes fulfilled. Maybe it was something I read.

Jon Acuff is a Christian blogger that I read daily. In 2008, he wrote a post about how some people try to squeeze God into(or out of)their li…

The Man That Stood Among the Myrtle Trees

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The Old Testament prophet Zechariah had a dream one night. In it a man appeared, riding a red horse. He stood among the myrtle trees and gave a warning to the nation of Israel in one word: repent.

Biblical prophecy sometimes seems murky or difficult to discern, but the story of the Lord visiting Zechariah in a dream is straightforward.

Zechariah 1:8-10 (KJV)
8 I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white.
9 Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these be.
10 And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth.

The prophet knew immediately that the man among the myrtle trees was the Lord Himself. Israel was in disarray and he recognized this man as a warrior, sent to protect His nation, but also to set…

Sitting at the Kid's Table

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I used to belong to a very exclusive secret club. Well, not so much of a secret, as merely unknown. I was a member in good standing of...the kid's table.

My family tried to spend Thanksgiving with their families in Hale, MO. This tiny village in north central Missouri contained the clans of both my parents, so it was relatively (ha!) easy to split time between the two. Turkey Day festivities included a huge feast at both homes. As always, there were two tables, the adult table and the kid's table.

We had fun, my cousins and I, sitting at the kid's table, but we always dreamed of being somewhere else, being called to the big table, just like a rookie pitcher being called up from the farm team to the big league game. I wanted to sit at my place with the adults, enjoying the meal, jokes, memories and each other.

One day there will be a great feast in Heaven, and on that day, everyone will gather around that big table, and our Heavenly Father will sit at the head, and our Lord a…

Heavenly Heritage

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Ezekiel 36:26 (KJV)
26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

I had a happy childhood. My folks loved each other and their four kids. I always knew my parents loved me and put their family first. Before the sappy-o-meter hits overload, I'll tell you my youth wasn't perfect, but it was a lot better than others.

Some kids didn't grow up in a warm, loving home. They had problems. Lots of them. And when they grew up, they had a lot of overcoming to do. They had two choices, rise above their raising, or use it as an excuse to blame all their bad choices on.

When you ask Jesus to come into your heart, there is a change, a chance to start over. Even if your pedigree was less than perfect, you are now part of God's heavenly heritage. Don't let your past make you bitter. Move forward with the proud assurance that you are part of a new family, a roy…

Beautiful

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Carole King has a way with words. The Hubster and I attended a tribute concert to her epic album "Tapestry" last weekend. We had a ball, enjoying the great music with good friends. This was one of the first albums I purchased with my babysitting money, way back in the day.

One of the songs Julie Sutton, the featured soloist, sang was "Beautiful," and the lyrics really touched my heart.



Beautiful
Carole King

You've got to get up every morning
With a smile on your face
And show the world
All the love in your heart

Then people gonna treat you better
You're gonna find, yes you will
That you're beautiful as you feel

That's what I'm talking about. That's the point I want Female in Motion to get across. We are as beautiful as God made us. And beautiful is a choice. Our Heavenly Father knew exactly how to craft us into a rare and unique jewel. And, because we are all one-of-a-kind, we sparkle like no other.

***

The Female in Motion mission statement contest is o…

Boo!

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It's Halloween and that means the kids are going door-to-door collecting their Snickers bars. I'm not much into dressing up, but I do like to stay home and pass out candy. When I was growing up, I trick-or-treated for hours, filling up a paper grocery sack full before heading home and bartering for chocolate with my little brother, the candy vacuum.

I was afraid of a lot of things back then: the dark corner of our basement, roller coasters and monsters. Our church youth group would make a trip to Wichita every October to go through at least one haunted house. I don't know why I spent my babysitting money to let people scare the stuffing out of me. It's pretty tricky to run with your head down the whole way through a haunted house, but I managed to pull it off every year.

One thing I know for sure...fear is a thief. It robs me of space in my mind and peace in my heart. Panic is paralyzing, keeping me from moving forward in life's journey. A close relationship with Go…

My God is Big Enough

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When some people find out I am a Christ-follower, they like to challenge me, paint me into a corner, spiritually speaking, to try and shake my faith. A little girl asked me why God took her brother. A rich man said he didn't need anything and an old man said his life was too dirty to clean up. I don't have all the answers, or even some of them. God does.

1. My God is big enough to overcome your god. Who you gonna serve? Money? Fame? Power? Nothing on earth is bigger than God. When all that other stuff goes away and it's just you, alone in your room at night, God is there...whispering to your heart. He loves you and wants you, even with no makeup!

2. My God is big enough to answer your unbelief. His specialty is answering the really tough questions, like "why am I here?" and "why do You let bad things happen?" Think God is something silly that weak people hang on to when they're in trouble? Try sitting in that foxhole by yourself. When the bombs of lif…

Old Book/New Book

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"Turn to page number 769 in the new hymnal," said the song leader last Sunday.

The members of our congregation collectively grabbed the book and thumbed through. The visitors, however, looked bewildered.

"Which one's the new one?"

"The red one."

"Uh...they're both red."

And so they are. Since receiving the new hymnals last year, we still refer to the old ones on the odd occasion. For people who attend our church regularly, we know how to tell the song books apart. Okay, the women have it a little easier. The old hymnals were more of a "burgundy," while the new ones are more "coral." Guys don't do subtle shades.

There are a lot of songs in the new hymnals. We enjoy trying them all out. Kind of like when I accepted Christ as my Savior. I became a new person. Everything in my life was renewed and I began to live for Him.

There's nothing wrong with the old song books. They were comfortable, like your old life. Maybe t…

What Am I Doing Here?

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Mission statements. It's something that most businesses and serious endeavors spend time crafting. They consult focus groups and form search committees, looking for the perfect words.

Hyundai: "New thinking. New possibilities."

Bank of America: "Helping set opportunity in motion."

Bayer Pharmaceuticals: "Science for a better life."

All. So. Serious. And then there's me. I'm anything but serious. What am I doing thinking about crafting a mission statement? I want you all to know how very serious I take this whole blog thing. Something inside of me is urging to get out. And I'm not talking about anything from "Alien," that scary movie. Really, I just want to be clear about what I'm doing here.

You'll notice that the banner at the top of my blog reads: "This blog contains the rantings of a middle-aged crazy lady, sharing her imperfect life to show others God's perfect love."

That's the beginning of my thoughts o…

Selah

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The Psalms are peppered with this little five-letter word: selah. What does it mean? That's a good question.

Bible scholars have varied opinions. Some say it means "silence." Others think "stop" or "pause." Most agree that it is a Hebrew word, used at the end of a sentence. The skeptics call it "a nonsensical word." I prefer to see it as a song, a liturgical direction, meaning "to lift your voice."

No surprise here...I'm a choir nerd. Did my first solo in third grade, starred in musicals in junior high, sang my way through high school and college. When you spend three to five hours every day in music, that's your reference point. When individual voices in a choir are joined together, truly knit tight, it's a spiritual thing. Sounds cheesy, but I want to be in heaven's choir.

I watch "The Sing Off" on NBC this fall. It's on Monday nights, so I listen to it as I write my blog. An a capella singing competi…

Will You Still Love Me If My House Stinks?

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The Hubster celebrated his birthday on Saturday with a small party at home. It was a casual affair with just a handful of family in attendance. We ordered some food and a cake, so I didn't spend the day working in the kitchen. Instead, I spent the day obsessing over cleaning the house. Ugh!

I'm a Christ-Follower, but I'm far from perfect. That means that I have succeeded in some personal struggles and miserably failed in others. I care a lot about how others perceive me and my home, which is a reflection of me. Will it look nice, will they have a good time...am I good enough? Ouch, that's the sore spot.

It shouldn't matter to me whether others care or not. I don't have to be the best. Besides, family has to love you, regardless of how stinky your house is! Where does this Martha Mentality come from?

Luke 10:38-42 (KJV)
38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
39 A…

Never Forget

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Yesterday was the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on America. The Hubster and I were in Dallas, visiting our kids. In some ways, it seems like 9/11 was a long time ago, and in other ways, the pain feels fresh.

Ten years ago, it was an ordinary day. I had just returned from a workout at Curves and showered. My daughters were at school. The Hubster was at work. I turned on the TV to catch the news while I brushed my teeth...and the world stopped.

I was surprised to hear President Obama quote Psalm 46 in his speech at Ground Zero yesterday. It has always been one of my favorite scriptures and I turn to it often for comfort.

Psalm 46:1-3 (KJV)
1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.

The United States has ch…

She's a Dork, Part Deux

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My brother and I spent most summer afternoons at the Derby swimming pool when I was a kid. After I turned 9, Mom let us ride our bikes the six blocks. From June to September, we got dark as fudge brownies with chlorine-bleached hair. It was a common look among our Derby contemporaries.

Summer seemed to stretch out in front of us, an endless ribbon of fun and freedom. Mornings were spent in household chores and helping with freezing and canning produce, then we got our summer pool passes, changed into well-worn swimsuits, hopped on our Schwinns and headed out to the local pool. Our friends would meet us there to play Marco Polo, Motorboat and avoid the big boys that constantly tried to dunk us.

After returning home one afternoon, exhausted and water-wrinkled, Mom told us to hurry and get cleaned up. She had a surprise! My grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousins were coming over for dinner. I quickly showered and jumped into shorts and a t-shirt.

Walking down the hall from my bedroom, I co…

Camping Out

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My son-in-law, Derek, recently went on a bicycle camping trip. That's right, he packed everything he needed for a weekend camping trip and piled it on his bike. (His photo at right.)Talk about a challenge...he rode that loaded-down bike 30 miles to the campground. It's a good thing to be young, fit and a little bit wacky!

Seeing that bike fully loaded with all that stuff reminded me of camping trips The Hubster and I used to make to the Cowley County State Lake when we were first married. We were young and broke and enjoyed getting away for a night from our tiny apartment. We would pack a cooler with food, take a skillet and the pup tent and head down to the lake. Most of the time no one was there, which was nice. We hiked, fished and cooked hamburger patties and eggs.

Once our first daughter, Sarah, was born, we packed up her baby equipment and went camping. That was a bit more of an undertaking. Babies require lots of stuff, to put it mildly. It made the campsite look like …

As Is

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Driving home from church last week, I saw a car parked in a vacant parking lot. It was a nondescript white sedan with a red For Sale sign in the side window. No, I'm not in the market for a fine, low-mileage pre-owned sedan. Something made me pause, though. The sign said, "As Is."

You've seen that phrase before, I'm sure. "As Is" means that what you see is what you get. In this case, the early-90s sedan had a dented rear fender and four bald tires, not to mention whatever mysteries lay beneath the hood. This vehicle had seen better days, my friend.

When I talk to people about turning their lives over to God, some say they need to get themselves straightened out first. They have some dirt or imperfections in their lives; they want to tidy up a few loose ends. Perhaps they feel like their Heavenly Father won't accept them "as is." That condition is God's specialty, however.

He took a simple lump of clay and made it into a man, the fathe…

She's a Dork, Part 1

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It was September of my junior year in high school. I had dressed very carefully that day, a cute cap-sleeved t-shirt with French cut jeans. Leaving my English class, I entered the stairwell to go down to my locker. There he was. The object of my huge crush. "Mr. T" was headed up the stairs as I was coming down. I flashed my best smile and took a step towards him...and then I took a header.

In the coming months, I am going to be retelling my most embarrassing moments, simply for your delight. In my last blog entry, I promised to be more introspective and personal in my writing and I couldn't think of any better way than revealing my most humiliating moments. So enjoy, dear readers!

Lying at the bottom of the stairs, listening to the guffaws of various and assorted under- and upper-classmen, I had the chance to take stock of my relationship with Mr. T. He was a senior, varsity football player, and older brother of my own brother's best friend. And I had spoken to him o…

Happy Blog Day!

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This Saturday, August 13, 2011, marks the fourth anniversary of the birth of my blog. Time sure flies when you're writing a blog post every week! That equals 208 entries, 208 pithy titles, 208 exercise updates and 208 notable quotes, among other things. Hopefully, as my writing has grown and matured, my waistline has shrunk a bit.

Up until two years ago, I didn't really consider blogging as writing. I just thought I was having a little fun, writing about my exercising and trying to lose weight. Quickly, I realized that in between chronicling my workouts and calorie victories, I was actually writing. That was something that I thought I had put away a long time ago, when my girls were young.

The Hubster informed me that blogging was indeed writing and I was pretty good at it. "Thanks," I said, and then he hit me between the eyes with his next sentence. "What are you going to do about it?" "Well...hm...let me think about it."

In the ensuing two year…

A Tale of Three Good Books

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Vacations are a great time to relax and see some new things. My favorite thing to do on vacation, (besides eating like crazy!), is reading. I love to read and would enjoy nothing more than a comfy chair under a shade tree with a ridiculously large stack of books. Okay, somewhere tropical with 24-hour free room service wouldn't be bad, either.

I managed to read three books in the last two weeks, partly because I was on vacation half of that time. Receiving a Kindle for Christmas from The Hubster has really made reading even more portable. Instead of packing three paperbacks in my suitcase, I threw my Kindle in my purse. (It currently holds 26 books.) These titles were so good, I couldn't wait to get back home and tell you all about them.

Momala's Book Club Pick #1: O, Pioneers! by Willa Cather, is a classic prairie tale about Swedish, Bohemian and French immigrant farmers in 19th century Nebraska. Although this book is not a new title, the main character is a strong, independ…

Golden Moments

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The Hubster and I had the privilege of spending our 30th wedding anniversary in San Diego, CA. This trip contained many golden moments that I wanted to bottle up and save for another day. I'm grateful to God for this crazy good blessing!

Serving in the U.S. Navy from 1976-1980, The Hubster was stationed in San Diego during the last two years of his tour. Our family did make a brief trip there in 2001, but he wanted to return and see this town at a slower pace. I think we accomplished that.

Sitting beneath a colorful umbrella, a good book in my lap, sand between my toes and my best friend by my side, I sat gazing at the Pacific Ocean yesterday. I reached for The Hubster's hand and we smiled. Thanks, God, for this beautiful moment.

We celebrated our anniversary with a special seafood dinner at an upscale La Jolla restaurant, Trulucks. From the oysters on the half-shell with pink peppercorn mignonette appetizer, the seared Hawaiian tuna and grilled halibut entrees, to the luscious c…

Hymns for Hers

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"Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth
Will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace."

The words of this old British hymn, written in 1922 by Helen H. Lemmel, are some of the most heartfelt and compelling in praise of the Savior. This is one of my favorite hymns. I find myself humming it on days when I am stressed or sick or just out of sorts. It is so comforting to my soul.

I like to sing. It's something I've always done, starting when I was a mere tot and stretching up to the moment. The plays, programs, concerts and performances I have sung at are many and varied. But I always sang at church. It's something that is dear to my heart.

"Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" is a congregational hymn that I first heard in my home church many years ago. Someone r…

He Spoke My Name

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John 20:16 (KJV)
16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

She knew He was dead. She had watched the crucifixion. Mary followed Joseph of Arimathaea to the grave where He was laid. On the third day, she came with others to anoint the body with spices and found the stone had been rolled away. Mary supposed that someone had stolen His body and she wept. Oh, how she cried. And then, He spoke her name.

In that moment, when Jesus spoke Mary's name...she knew Him. She recognized His voice in an instant. It was unmistakable. His voice carried all the depth of the love that He felt for her. I have a feeling that we will all recognize His voice. We all have something deep inside of us that knows our Savior.

God spoke the names of many Bible saints, including Adam, Abraham and Sarah. He told Israel, "I have called thee by thy name and thou art mine." When the Father spoke the names of these people, it must have staggere…

I Doubt It

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Matthew 14:28-31
"And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"

Doubt is one size fits all. It comes in many sizes, shapes and colors. Kind of like a Snuggie, I think. It covers and envelopes our bodies and spirits and hearts, shutting out the Light of the Savior. If we haven't dealt with doubt already in our lives, get ready. It's coming.

My big one is self-doubt. I don't think I can do anything, most of the time. That's how I know there is a God. Because without a truckload of prayer, Bible study and faith in God, I couldn't achieve any of my goals and dreams.

2 Timothy 1:7
&…

That's My Girl!

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Last week's blog post on Father's Day reminded me how my folks praised me when I did something good. "That's my girl!" was soon replaced by "Attagirl!" My parents didn't heap praise on me willy-nilly. I had to earn it. When I did, they were effusive in their approval. It made me want to strive that much harder.

Although I was not the youngest child in my family, I was the smallest. My short legs didn't pump as fast as my siblings. I tried to keep up with my big sisters and my athletic brother. My parents called me Spunky because I never quit trying. (Eventually, they discovered that this trait was actually stubbornness.)

Do you suppose that God is looking down from Heaven, watching our efforts and thinking, "That's my girl?" I know for sure that He is on our side. Our Heavenly Father treasures us as His chosen children. Can't you just imagine God, our Savior, and the angels all jumping up and down and cheering us on as we strive …

A Family Man

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I have some great memories of things my dad and I did together, both as a child and later in adulthood. He was a terrific dad, a devoted family man. He had four kids and always had time for us. I was a goofy tomboy, but he always said, "Attagirl, Spunky!" Yesterday was Father's Day, and I miss my dad.

Since he passed away in 2005, my life has changed a bunch. I've started writing again and became an empty-nester. I often wonder what he would think of my decisions or my life choices. He was a really good advisor, although he never gave opinions unless you asked. The Hubster and I liked to bounce things off of him, especially when we started our business.

My favorite memories of my dad are sitting on his lap on Sunday mornings. He would read the funnies to me and my job was to follow the words with my fingers. Later on, he would cook big breakfasts of pancakes and sausage or biscuits and gravy. He would tie an apron around me and call me his "assistant." Durin…

MacGyver, I Ain't!

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Summer time in small-town America means home renovation time. If you drive through Arkansas City, KS this week, you would see home owners roofing, landscaping and painting their properties. Weekend warriors would be out in force, complete with ladders, nail guns and hedge trimmers. Yes, most of the folks in our town know how to yield a hammer, paint brush and jigsaw. Except for us. Nope, we got no skills.

That's not to say that we don't know how to do stuff, we do. The Hubster and I are capable of doing a lot of stuff with our brains. We just can't wield an axe or a shovel. So instead of joining our neighbors at the local hardware store, we hire it done.

We had our little cottage painted this month. The painter we hired is a long-time family friend, and a gifted craftsman. Rick Hawkins' attention to detail is unparalleled. He worked quietly, steadily, thoughtfully.

"I wish I had your brains," he said to The Hubster and I.

"We wish we had your skills,"…

Construction Zone

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Philippians 1:6 (KJV)
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

The Hubster and I took a trip up the Interstate today to see one of his many specialists in Wichita. Since the weather has started warming up there is one occurrence that I have noticed more and more: construction zones. It seems like the highway department is constantly tearing up the roads in one direction or the other. If one project is nearing completion, they start putting up the orange cones for another one. The worst are the on- and off-ramp repairs. Horrors!

I know construction and repairs are necessary on the highways to keep things running smoothly and make sure vehicles (and their passengers) are safe. Just think if the state officials let our roads decay and crumble until they were impassable. It sure would make it a lot harder to drive to Wichita, or anywhere else, for that matter.

My life is in a bit of a construction zone, too…

Pack Light

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I've done a lot of traveling so far this year and thus, a lot of packing. While I am great at organizing what to pack, it seems that I always put way too much in the old suitcase. What if it rains? I'll need a jacket. What if it gets cool in the evening? I'll need a sweater. What if the Queen of England stops by the hotel to invite us to tea? Better take a ballgown and tiara!

When returning from a mother/daughter trip to Savannah, GA this spring, I twisted my wrist and dropped a heavy bag on my toe. At the same time. Yes, grace and beauty in motion! I still have the bruise to prove it. This special event made me re-prioritize my packing strategy. Maybe I don't need to pack everything in my closet after all.

1 Timothy 6:7 (KJV)
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

The Lord's disciples were instructed to carry "neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes" on their journeys. With all the new TSA regulations, and airlin…

Ministering Angels

I admit it. Even though I just had surgery, and it will take a while to recover, I just can't get over the feeling that I am currently...useless.

I Peter 4:9-10 KJV
"Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God."

So many people have been so gracious to me this week. My mom and The Hubster stayed with me before, during and after the surgery. My daughter, Sarah, and her husband, Derek, skipped their dinner plans to stay with me in the hospital while The Hubster ran home to tend "the livestock." The night nurse at Cypress Surgical Center in Wichita, Rita, talked books with me when I couldn't sleep on Tuesday night.

When we arrived home on Wednesday morning, there was a pile of get well cards in the mail, get well wishes on the answering machine and thoughtful emails and Facebook messages. Then the food started to arrive. Wow. Just wow.…

Psalms for Surgery

It happens to the best of us. No matter how healthy you are and how well you take care of your body, sometimes things break down. I am having a laparoscopic hysterectomy tomorrow. Following some rather unpleasant symptoms and a whole lot of research, I've decided that this is the best option for me at this point in my life.

This is not something I am rushing into, I've been experiencing symptoms for about a year. Also, I am not taking this operation lightly. After six months of research and second, third and fourth opinions, this surgery is right for me. I went to the best in the state and am happy with my decision.

My friend and writing mentor, Curtis Dean Hall, has provided me with a great resource, "Psalms for Surgery." His CD of soothing music, scripture, prayers and meditation is helping me prepare for my hospital stay. I listen to the 25-minute segment once a day leading up to the surgery, then twice a day after. I will also have it playing during my procedure, …

Stay Weird, Graduates!

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1 Peter 2:9 (KJV)
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

I am probably never going to be asked to be a commencement speaker at a graduation ceremony, but all these graduation announcements that I am receiving in the mail got me to thinking. What words of wisdom would I impart on a young person facing the new challenge of college or career? Be peculiar!

While high school and college are great for some, there are kids who have trouble in school. Maybe they don't quite fit in like others do. Lots of teens do everything they can to blend in. Some can't, or won't. High school only lasts four years, although it seems like an eternity, at times. Go ahead, be unusual!

I was a weird kid. As a youngster, I lived my life through books. Doing my best to blend in, I passed through the high school years as a choir and drama nerd. I bec…

Growing Pains

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Philippians 1:6 (KJV)
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

I have a unique voice. No, I'm not talking about how I talk...I'm talking about how I write. Since beginning this blog in August 2007, God has been talking to me about what I write. Okay, not out loud. I'm saying that God has been speaking to my heart with His heart.

He's been placing words on my heart that I need to write, to share with all of you. Not because I'm special; because I'm not special. I'm just like you. I don't have all the answers. Probably never will. But I have a responsibility to share these words with you; to be obedient to my Savior. That's all He asks. Obedience.

So what? What does that have to do with you? Well, maybe your thing isn't writing. Whatever your talent is, God has a plan for you. He has a plan for all of us, right where we are. Too young, too old, too busy, not ready?…