Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fab Five ... week ending January 24, 2009

Okay, so I'm a day late but we were gone yesterday so....

1. Care Net ... what an awesome ministry! I am so privileged to be able to volunteer there and share in the great joy of helping women understand ALL their choices. This week was rough for me as one of my clients was in middle school ... sometimes it is so hard to know how to respond. I always think nothing can shock me ... but this one did. But just knowing that she came to see us and to have the opportunity to share the great love of God for her makes me full inside. Even when I don't know how to respond or what to say, just being able to be there is an honor.

2. A loving husband ... who is okay with trying new meals - even when they are a disaster! Part of my resolutions this year was to try a new recipe every week. This week's dish was not a keeper! (At least not without some major tweeking!) But, we were able to laugh about it and enjoy the time together.

3. Pizza burritos ... a new snack creation Casiday & I devised ... a quick snack or small meal for her - that she can make on her own! We just took a flour tortilla and added pizza sauce, cheese, and pepperoni. Folded it burrito style and popped in the microwave. She LOVES them!!

4. "The Shack" ... reading this for a book club at church. I read it in December and loved it. Really forced me to think and now, reading it with a group, it is even more interesting. I am enjoying the second time through even more.

5. ... this is the coolest website! You enter all your measurements and it guides you to clothes best suited for your body type. This coupled with "What Not to Wear" is my new fashion must have!! :)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Fab Five ... week ending January 17, 2009

Let me see, it's been a crazy week ... as always but there is always so much really good in my life!!

1. Lots of time this week with Scott. It was just one of these weeks when we had lots of time together and I love that!!

2. Black Cherry creamer! I love this stuff!!!

3. Fun with friends ... got to play BUNCO with a few friends on Thursday and then scrapbooked with another friend Friday night.

4. Casiday's sense of humor! She just cracked me up a couple of times this week. Most recently this morning when I called Scottt "Daddy" and she informed me he isn't my daddy, my daddy is Papa Terry. Then told Scott he had a step-dad. He said, "Well you don't." She said, "I know ... you haven't died yet." Okay, so if that freaked anyone out to read that - chill! It was so funny the way she said it.

5. One of my "BFF"s from high school called me today ... how cool! Got to chit chat for 30 minutes or so and it was just great!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


So I have been reading Ecclesiastes the past couple of days ... it's hard to read. Depressing and frustrating. I like to read James and Philippians and Proverbs ... books that tell me what to do. Ecclesiastes, though, it's tough. The futility of all earthly pursuits ... wisdom, wealth, pleasure, the list goes on. To be honest, I don't like to think that my pursuits are worldly ... much less worthless. But, "Then I observed that most people are motivated to success by envy of their neighbors. But, this, too, is meaningless, like chasing the wind" (4:4). Geez ... that stung a bit! Caused me to seriously evaluate what motivates me ... and while I would love to be able to say, "I am motivated by a desire to know God intimately and show His love to a dark and dying world" ... the reality is, I'm usually not. My motivation is far more likely to be competition or a desire to "prove" myself ... sometimes it may be to get attention or to detract from someone else ... but it's always rooted in selfishness.

This morning I was listening to "Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)" and was so overcome with the reality that my chains are NOT gone! I'm still chained to my flesh ... to my anger, to my jealousy, to my regret, to my unforgiveness ... I'm chained to myself. But why? What keeps me from experiencing the freedom Christ offers? I mean, I certainly know how to share it with others. I know what to say to someone else and how to encourage them to "let go and let God" ... but when it comes to myself, it just isn't so easy. And so I remain chained to my futile pursuits ... and then wonder why contentment doesn't come easy for me. I feel like a fool ... heck, I am a fool. But I just don't know HOW to let go of the "junk in my trunk" ... so I keep lugging it around as a dear friend helped me see earlier this week. I think I'm afraid that without my "issues" I won't be anyone ... my fears and my pain have defined me for so long that I just am not sure that there is anything else to me.

So I keep putting on the mask. I keep saying and doing the things I think I ought ... and I keep hoping that one day it's no longer an act ... that one day I really will be this person. But I don't want to keep doing it. Especially now that I KNOW exactly what I'm doing ... it's not the desire that is lacking ... it's courage! What if I fail? What if I'm a bigger mess? What if ? What if?

But the biggest "What if" is ... What if I don't?

"Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)"
Chris Tomlin (2004)
Amazing grace How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I’m found
Was blind, but now I see
‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed
My chains are gone
I’ve been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, Amazing grace
The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God, Who called me here below
Will be forever mine
Will be forever mine
You are forever mine

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Wow! Smilebox is the coolest thing ever!!!

Click to play Christmas 08
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox scrapbook

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fab Five ... week ending January 10, 2009

So this past week was crazy ... Scott was gone from Monday through Wednesday, Casiday went back to dance and school, and I was back at Care Net for the first time since before Thanksgiving. So, lots of good things to choose from ... so it took me awhile to narrow down.

But, here it is the second Fab Five of 2009!

1. ROUTINE!!! For someone who is schedule-driven and very "type A" holiday breaks can be a nightmare! So, getting back into the groove of school, dance, and all our other "regular" activities has been great!

2. Streams in the Desert ... a classic Christian devotional written in 1925. Several of my friends have used it over the past year and highly recommended it. So far I have been incredibly challenged and moved by the daily readings. I highly recommend it.

3. The Senior Citizens Center here in Brunswick. I had no idea about this program but Scott was invited to sing there on Friday and it was amazing. There were about 75 senior adults from all races and demographic backgrounds there for fellowship and meal. We, to be honest, had very low expectations about the experience and instead had the most incredible time with these delightful people. I am anxious for the opportunity to go back.

4. Scrapbooking with my daughter. Casiday & I worked on our scrapbooks together one night this week. It was fun helping her learn to visualize the page and figure out exactly what to place on it so it creates the image she wants.

5. Last ... but definitely NOT LEAST ... Scott arriving home safely. I don't do well when he's gone and this time was no exception. But I think having a few days without him around was a great reminder for me of just how amazing and wonderful he is and how my "self" just isn't complete without my guy at home.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Letting Go ... of me

Today has been a weird day. Good, for the most part, but weird nonetheless. I have had several moments of self-awareness ... bizarre self-awareness. Like how very competitive I am and how much that must frustrate people around me. And how little patience I have with people. I have always thought I am a "people person" but I think I'm beginning to realize I am not. Probably related to that ridiculously high expectation thing I have ... but, I am noticing that, as a general rule, I don't enjoy being around others for very long. There are exceptions ... of course! And maybe it's just that since Scott has been gone for the last three days my world is completely out of whack. It seems like I have far less desire to deal with "fake" these days. Especially fake in me! I was talking to a friend the other day and we were discussing how hard it is to "be real." It's scary to be open with myself ... and plus, there is that natural desire for self-preservation ... and so I tend to project an image of who I want to be or who I want people to think I am or something. Unfortunately, I don't even really like that person a lot of the time ... but once she's out there, what can I do? Puzzling, really, how people relate to each other. I wonder if anyone is every REALLY real. And when I am sitting in a room with someone thinking "Do you think I can't see through that?" ... I wonder, are they thinking the same thing about me? So, in the course of all this introspection I read Philippians 4:11 ... "for I have learned to be contentin whatever circumstances I am." Which led to even more self-awareness ... how very discontent I am. Not with the outside of my life ... for I am so very thankful for my husband, my daughter, my friends, my church ... all the stuff everyone else can see is great. It's the inside where I struggle. That knowledge of who I am inside ... my dreams, my desires, my yearnings ... how very immature I am spiritually ... how petty I am most of the time ... how unforgiving I can be ... how selfish ... how mean-spirited ... how very jealous I can be. It hurt! A lot. I guess that's a good thing ... shows that I am sensitive to the Holy Spirit at work in me. But I don't know how to change. I don't know how to become content ... and I am frustrated by that. I like to have guidelines to follow, a specific set of steps to accomplish the task at hand. And, as with all things internal, there is no such list available. It's about faith ... about choice ... about denying myself ... letting the flesh in me die so the spirit can flourish. And then I get scared ... because what if I can't do it. What if it's too hard for me? Of course, Teri Lynne, it IS too hard ... and I can't do it ... only through Christ (Philippians 4:13 reminds me!). So that brings it back full circle ... what do I choose? And HOW does that choice look in my daily life? Lots to consider, lots to ponder, and, most of all ... lots to let go.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

At Home and Everywhere

This morning in my quiet time I read 2 Corinthians 5:9 (HCSB) ~ Therefore, whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to be pleasing to Him.

OUCH! That really stung me because I realized something about myself ... how much more effort I make to please God OUTSIDE my home than INSIDE it. What a terrible reality. It left me shell-shocked. Undoubtedly I am not the only one like this ... and while the thought that it is a common struggle is a nice one, it does nothing to release me from the truth that I must change. I've been pondering all day what those changes may look like ... here's a few that I have come up with:

1. Just putting things away rather than griping that whoever should have, didn't.
2. Realizing that all three of us have different love languages and meeting my husband and daughter's love needs in their languages not mine.
3. Letting little things stay little ... not blowing things out of proportion.
4. Reminding myself to be thankful!
5. Being glad that my daughter wants to be near me instead of wishing for "space"!
6. Praying with and for my family more ... not just when it's convenient for me.
7. Stop rolling my eyes!! (A very bad habit and it really annoys my husband!)
8. Just reading my Bible ... no real agenda, just spending time getting to know the Father. Too often I focus on completing a task, studying for a class, etc ... I want to be content to just "sit" in the presence of the Father as revealed in His Word.

So, that's my start. Just to be pleasing to GOD at all times ... what a great priority.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Fab Five ... week ending January 3, 2009

1. Family PJ Day on Thursday!
2. Brenda's incredible spinach & artichoke dip
3. Scrapbooking and laughing with great friends to ring in the new year
4. "Marley & Me"
5. My new Quacker Factory pjs ... never thought anything from Quacker Factory would make my favorites list but these pjs are great!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Need a Reason!

Motivation. I need some right now. After a "PJ Day" yesterday that was the most relaxing day EVER ... I just can't get motivated to do anything today. Not that there's much to do but if I'd get up and spend an hour or so picking up the house ... well, I know I'd feel better later. But, for now, I am as snug as a bug in a rug wrapped up in my new incredibly plush Auburn throw (Thanks, Aunt Norma!) in my comfy corner chair and I just don't want to get up. But I should. I really should. Hmmm ... what will I do?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

I cannot believe it is 2009! Scott and I were talking last night about how far away 2010 seemed when the movie "2010" came out. Now, it's next year ... how did that happen? :)

I am looking forward to this year. As I am a goal-setter, I have my list of resolutions set and am excited to see what the year ahead will bring. Among my goals for the coming months is finishing my book. I've been working on "Lessons from the Hundred Acre Wood: Spiritual Truths from Winnie-the-Pooh and Friends" for several years. And this is the year of finishing! Timeline for completion and submission is determined and the immediate task at hand is to finish writing the last three chapters.

I also want to make more time for QUIET in my life. Like so many I stay busy and, while much of what I do is "good" busy, it's busy nonetheless. And I find myself craving silence ... Pslam 46:10 echoes through my soul, "Be still and know that I am God..." I wonder how much of knowning GOD I am missing because of the lack of stillness in my life. So I am scheduling quiet and still into my days. It likely means getting up ealier in the morning but what a beautiful trade-off.

Another one of my resultions is to become more active. My life has become pretty sedentary and I realize the health risks of that ... but also that I am not being a good steward of myself when I am not exercising and taking care of my body. So, along with making several eating changes, I am going to make a commitment to daily exercise of some sort.

My final "resolution" is for my family ... I can't believe Casiday is almost 9. In 10 years, she'll have completed her first semester in college and I feel like the days are rushing by. So, FAMILY NIGHT is a high priority on my weekly agenda. Last year, Scott and I overbooked ourselves and had too many nights each week filled with commitments. The year ahead is going to be family-focused. More time together, making little momentsi into precious memories.

I love January 1 ... every year it is like a blank slate, a do-over opportunity. And this year, I'm grabbing hold. GOD has so richly blessed me ... James 1:17 keeps coming to my mind, over and over, a gentle reminder from the GOD who loves me so that EVERY gift comes from Him. So, for 2009 that's my desire ... to live in the beautiful truth that "Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow" (James 1:17, NAS).