Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Quick Update

Well, things are picking up pace. Paris started school yesterday. She's doing great, I'm doing pretty good. Tripp and Viv start Sonshine School next week. We have Open House for that on Thursday. I met Tripp's teacher today - I really liked her. I think it won't take her long to get on "Tripp's Short List." (It's a very good thing to be on Tripp's Short List) Even though I don't officially start my job at the church until the 1st, I've been working a lot. I have no doubt I will be able to clock all 10 of my hours every week.

In the midst of all that I've been jogging daily. Easy has to leave early tomorrow so I will have to try that dance workout video again. Hopefully I'll keep up better since I've been through it once now. Eating has been steady. Sunday after church we went out to lunch with my folks at Wings n More. They are doing South Beach. We all splurged and ate fried food. Lesson? All that grease left me with one upset tummy. I'm glad to say I'm just not used to eating like that anymore.

In addition to my morning quiet time I have continued reading my book for Book Club. I can take it and read while I'm in line waiting to pick up Paris. That's a whole new experience for me. I am very much enjoying the book and looking forward to discussing it next Monday....I just need to actually finish reading it before then! I better go......chore yet to do and I need to hit the sack befor eit gets too late. 5:00 AM comes EARLY when you're not naturally wired as a morning person!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Challenging Week

It has been just that. Eating has been OK. I don't keep really "bad" stuff in the house so it can't be too unhealthy, but along with PMS comes my cravings for first sweet things and then salty. I've found myself sort of raoming around my kitchen a lot this week, but all in all I think I've done alright.

Exercise has been tough with the headache and all. Monday a ran 1.25 miles. (I finally tracked it) Tuesday I bumped it to 1.5. I think I have been doing the 1.25 for over a week, so I was ready to increase. Wednesday I didn't do anything but lay in my bed and clutch my head until about 6:45. This morning Easy says I didn't even flinch when all the alarms went off - and we have 4 between the two of us! I woke up at 6:00 as he was getting dressed to leave. Good news is - I felt great. So, I got up and did a work out video in my living room before Paris got out of bed. Yea me! It was the first time I've done this particular video, so I was learning the routines - not the best workout, but definitely better than thinking it was too late and not doing anything! I am looking forward to my jog tomorrow. Next week things will get intense as school starts. Easy will have to leave the house by 6:00 and Paris will have to start getting up at 6:45 so there won't be a whole lot of wiggle room in the morning schedule. Please be praying that we can all adjust and maintain the habits we have begun forming.

I have been reading in The Pursuit of God this week. Man is there some major stuff in there! I can tell this will be a book I read over and over in my life. I'd like to share a few quotes that have impacted me this week.

"The instant cure of most of our religious ill would be to enter the Presence in spiritual experience, to become suddenly aware that we are in God and God is in us."

"...the highest love of God is not intellectual, it is spiritual. God is Spirit and only the spirit of man can know Him really."

Hmmmmmm. Now, how do I get there? How do I take my hectic, busy life and rearrange things so I have more encounters, actual spiritual experience, with God? Is it found in structured daily time - and how much time would that need? Is it something that can happen anytime, anywhere, as long as I'm "open" to know it's happening? Does the intellectual pursuit of God help or hinder the spiritual experience of Him? I'd love any input you have. I am realizing more everyday how very little I know - and more importantly, how very little I have experienced. Bottom line............I want more of God......and I'll continue my pursuit of Him until I am home with Him; praying daily that He can use me to help others while I am here, away from home.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Prayers Please

I'm asking for your prayers today. I'm on day 3 of a migraine. It has been hitting full force and then fading with medicine, but it hasn't actually gone away since Monday morning. It kept me from jogging this morning. I know that it is my "normal monthly migraine," but it is hanging on a lot longer than usual. I'm sure this is because I have some anxiety and stress in several areas of my life at the moment. I'm sure everyone of you could say the same thing, but I think I'm just a bit overloaded in the mental department. I know it will be better after Paris actually starts school, and my new job actually starts (as though I'm not already working on it), and we go see Tripp's speech therapist again, etc.....it's the anticipation of all those things that has me a little strung out. Thanks for your prayers.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Check it out!

Please take a moment to see my side bar............that's right folks, I hit the 20!!!!!!!!!!! I am so excited! I was talking with a friend in the nursery yesterday morning about creating the health habit and how good you feel when you see progress. For the first time in YEARS I feel like I am truly on the right track to getting this temple in tip top shape. I finally made the commitment God prompted me to make, and as I have heard over and over again from different sources in the last few months (do you ever feel like God is practically yelling at you when you keep getting a message like that?) :

God honors commitment.
Rejoice with me today my friends. God is good. God is faithful. All honor and credit and glory is due to Him alone. Have a blessed Monday!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Few Thoughts

Over the last two years or so I have repeatedly come across a general feeling among some of my fellow beleivers that has been disturbing to me. It is by no means something that I think makes them bad people, or that in truth even effects their Salvation. It does, however, effect their daily walk and the relationship that God wants to have with them. Many times I have heard statements that are in truth, complaints. Things like "Why don't we have more things for the men to get toegther and bond?", "I just wish there were more opportunities for people to get to know each other, really know each other," or "We're not going anywhere, but he's just not really happy here," and the one that has really been the kicker for me, "I just don't feel like I can grow spiritually here." (this one has often been stated about one's spouse and not the individual speaking) My concern and irritation with these kind of comments as been growing and I've been thinking a lot about what they mean and what it is that our "regular" services should actually be doing for people. I had come to the conclusion that most of these statements come from two places:

1. The person who feels a desire for more connection to God and their Christian family, but who hasn't realized that is what they are looking for exactly.


2. The person (in the case of the last statement) who recognizes their desire to "grow spiritually" and feels that should be happening by simply attending church.

I think I have more empathy with person #1. I've been there. It took me a long time to get through the frustration of wanting more time with God and wanting more time to build relationships with God's people. Want to know what got me through? I started creating opportunities to spend more time with my brothers and sisters. I started plugging in to what was already available and intentionally spending time with my church family OUTSIDE of Sunday and Wednesday services. Going through that procces led me to feel the desire expressed by person #2. I had begun to truly bond with my sisters in Christ, I saw my husband begin relationships with some brothers yet I still found myself feeling like I wanted more.....it was God I needed, not just His children. That's when I started this blog. The journey over the last few months has been amazing and I look forward to the rest of my life walking daily closer to my Father.

So why does the #2 statement up there bother me so much? I guess I get frustrated because I really don't beleive the function of Sunday morning is to "grow spiritually." I don't think that really happens until you start an intentional seeking for a closer relationship with God. Yesterday as I was reading in The Pursuit of God I read the following:

How tragic that we in this dark day have had our seeking done for us by our teachers.

Nail on the head. There are so many who want someone else to do all the seeking and discerning and then just hand them the lesson on a nice little platter. Now, I'm not saying there is anything wrong with learning from another person's journey. I actually do beleive that's part of why God calls us to fellowship - so we can share our lessons with one another. But the truth is that learning from others, or listening to sermons, is NEVER going to replace the richness of the relationship with God that is available to us when we earnestly seek Him on our own.

I can tell you honestly that I have sought God in spurts throughout my life. In the last 6 months I have sought Him more deliberatey than ever before and the relationship I have with Him now, the way I can so clearly see Him working in me and my life, the blessing of peace that I feel daily is more than I can put into words. Brothers and sisters, God desires a relationship with YOU. And whether you have come to understand it or not, you desire a relationship with Him. It's there for you, all you have to do is pursue it. He is so happy to see you there on Sunday morning, but He has so much more He wants to share with you if you will seek Him out the rest of the week as well.

Paris has been a great example of this a basic principle for me as of late. She is in a constant state of desire to have one-on-one time with me or Easy (or even her Graggie!). It seems to not matter that I spend ALL day with the kids. It's not just being in the house with me she wants. It's not even sitting in the floor playing with everyone that she wants. What she wants is me all to herself for as long as possible - sometimes just to sit together with no one else around. I realize that is how we should be with God. That is how I've become. I am in constant need of time alone with Him. I don't always want to play with my Christian siblings. I want one-on-one time with my Father God - sometimes just to sit together. You can't get that on Sunday mornings. My hope for everyone reading this is that you recognize that a desire for God alone is the need that stirs up all those comments we here, and sometimes make ourselves, about that "state of things" wherever we worship. When I hear comments like those I hope God can use me in some way to help that person find what they are looking for. To find in themselves the truth that they are a child of God and, as it iswith all children, what they desire more than anything else is a relationship with their Father.

Just a few of my thoughts as of late..............

Monday, August 13, 2007


That's what I said about 2/3 through my run this morning. Today was the first day I took my iPod so I could run to music. I felt like my pace was significantly quicker with that added boost. Anywho - I'm headed back in the main road of our subdivision and it feels like I have a monster charley horse in my left calf. I thought for a minute that I could run through it but quickly determined that would be foolish. I stopped and rubbed it out and stretched. It hurt pretty bad so I walked the rest of the way home. I was frustrated because the run was feeling really good right up until then. Anyway, it's still sore and there's actually a bit of a lightly bruised spot so I'm thinking it may be a more than a good old camp. So, I'm taking some motrin and I'll probably just walk tomorrow and then see how I'm doing. Grrrrrrrr.

Food was so-so over the weekend. I could have done worse, but I definitely could have done better. We ate at Fuddrucker's (sp?) Saturday and I ate a burger. It's been a long time since I indulged in a pile of grease like that. I had heart burn later. I somehow convinced myself it was the right choice because it was $2 cheaper than the chicken salad I was looking at. So, I saved $2 but got heart burn and was left with the knowledge that I made a poor choice.

I've been reading that book in my sidebar about wealth. I haven't read anything earth shattering yet - just your basic God doesn't condemn wealth, he just warns us that it can be a great temptation. At this point all I've gotten from the book is the wish that he used a different version of the Bible for all his scripture references. I guess I'm a little spoiled and haven't read KJV in a LONG time. It's cumbersome.

I also startedThe Pursuit of God this morning during my quiet time. I enjoyed the part I read and felt like it gave me just enough of a taste to know this book is what I need to read right now. I am overwhelmed with the desire to live a life so led by the Spirit that it affects my every choice. I know that if I'm not seeking God out, I surely won't hear His voice (or nudge, or prompting) when He wants to lead me in a certain direction. Seems to me that if I'm constantly seeking God and His will for my life then some of the "tough choices" probably won't be so tough. I am struggling though to find enough dedicated prayer time. I pray in spurts all day when things cross my mind, but I want to have more time that is soley dedicated to prayer. I was doing this at the end of my quiet time before, but since I started getting up to jog I find myself falling asleep during prayer time. I'm hoping that once school starts I can use part of the kids naptime in the afternoon (before Paris gets home!) to spend in prayer. In the meantime I'll keep on keepin' on!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Thick Spit

I know that sounds gross, but today it is a good thing. I actually ran far enough/long enough today that when I was done I had thick spit. Maybe you don't get that when you work out, but to me it is a sign that I was working hard and kept my heart rate up for a substantial period of time. I new digital watch is on my Wal-Mart list this week so I will soon be able to report how long I'm actually running. (I had to throw out my old watch because my precious baby girl got some, um, "stuff" on it that left a smell I could not get rid of.)

Eating is going well - I've found myself hungrier lately, but I'm sure that's because of the jogging. It's getting very easy to make good choices in this area. Even when I splurge like I did on Sunday it isn't hard to stick to my "better ways" afterwards.

Clutter control hasn't caught up to where I would like it, but I'm going to keep working on it. Yesterday a friend of mine (who has 5!! kids) came over and helped me clean and refill our pool. All the rain had turned it green so we had to drain it and start over. It was quite a workout getting it done, but we did it and I'm sure Paris will be in the pool playing ASAP!

Book club was very good Monday night. It amazes me how God can have us all on different journeys yet still find so many things in common. I cherish my BC friends and I know that my life is better becaue they are in it. This month we will be reading The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer. Regardless of where we are on our journey, we all are feeling a thirst, want, desire, NEED to have more time with God. To have what Max Lucado called a "God saturated soul." We want to be more attuned to the Spirit that dwells in us. I suppose that's the core of it - different journeys, different churches, differend personalities - all wanting a closer relationship with our Father. My prayer for all of you this week is that you get up and pursue it.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Run for your Life!!!

Just kidding. I guess in a way that's what I'm doing though. I want to get this temple in shape so it can serve well the enitre time it exists on this earth. So, I suppose I am running for life. Anywho......

Consumption: I continue to do well in this area. I did have a big splurge yesterday. We had Taco Bell for lunch. I had a migraine when we left church and couldn't think straight much less prepare lunch for my family so we picked up good ol' greasy Taco Bell. The fun part was discovering that Vivian can eat the same amount of cheese quesadilla that Tripp and Paris do! I will say that the change I've made in my eating habits are begning to feel like just that - habits. Whole wheat products taste good to me. I even found myself picking all the veggies out of a dish recently - to eat them first! My how things have changed!

Exercise: Well, I started jogging in the early am last Wednesday (the 1st). WTF I got up around 5:30 and hit the street. I haven't a clue how far I went, but each day I went farther. Mostly I proved to myself that I could do it. This morning I got up at 5:15 and pushed it harder. Today was the first time I've come close to jelly legs at the end. Don't get me wrong, I've been sore since last Wednesday, but I knew I could push harder. I just don't want to hurt myeslf so I'm easing into it. My plan is to stick with 5:15 this week and roll it back to 5:00 next week. That way I'll be ready by the time school starts and Easy has to start leaving the house by 6:00. By the way, it feels good to know that as I write this I've already done my exercise!!!

Clutter Control: Well, while the kids were away at my folks for their annual "Graggie-Dadoo Vacation" I got quite a bit done. I sorted through mountains (and I mean MOUNTAINS) of clothes and got them organized. I took a bunch of stuff to the re-sale shop (not just clothes). I still have quite a bit of clothing to take there - I wanted to do it in spurts so I get a better return on it. I also took a bunch of clothes to a friend who just had her first baby girl. That was weird - I actually babysat this young lady at one time and now I'm sharing baby clothes with her. Man I'm getting old! I also moved some furniture around and reorganized/cleaned out toys in all three kids' rooms. My goal this week is to get back on my cleaning schedule so I can have a clean house again!

Spiritual Development: My book club meets tonight. We've been reading Max Lucado's Facing Your Giants. After reading my last post I'm sure you can see how well timed this was for me. I have a few chapters to finish before we meet tonight, but it has really been good. I'll share my favorite quote so far (I read it this morning - yes, I've been running AND I've read several chapters!). In reference to David's treatment of Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan:

The king is kind, not because the boy is deserving, but because the promise is enduring.

And isn't our King just that way.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


It's going to be a long post. It's a post that is long overdue.

I've had a bit of a blogging block lately. Truth is I've had lots to say, but wasn't ready to say any of it. God has been working hard on the heart of this temple. In the last few weeks I (and my husband) have had to deal with mistakes from our past in a big way. I'm struck by how long I was just going through life hiding mistakes that added up to a large black hole. The process of facing this black hole (this would be the black hole of financial debt) has brought me closer to God. It also brought Easy and I closer together.

At this point I feel no need to expound on how we got where we are. The were mistakes made. Stupid, foolish, and prideful mistakes. That's really all that matters. Since I began this blog I have known that God was bringing me to a point of reckoning on this topic. Several months ago He released me from the burden of shame regarding this sin. That's what it is you know.....sin. He also told me to confess it. I politely ignored him. (there really is nothing polite about ignoring, is there?) So, as He always does, He let me stew a while and then brought me back to it again. He came offering blessings if only I would obey. (that's how He always works you know - He wants to bless us more than we can comprehend.......if only we will obey) It has forced Easy and me to talk about things we like to avoid. God once again reminded me that my thoughts and ideas are important and should be heard, but that my husband is the head of my household. Compromises were made. Tears were shed. In the end we were left with a plan to fill in the black hole and drive on into our future. In His infinite mercy God has given us a way to get out and move on. Thank you does not do justice to the gratitude I feel.

In going through this process I frequently thought of my brother. Not that he has any debt issues, but I know that he has been through periods in his life when he had to "come clean" about something to people he loved. For the first time I truly understand some of the torture that it is to have a secret. Did I go out of my way to hide our debt? No. But it was still a secret. Was it hurting anyone? Just us. But it was still something in my life that I knew was wrong and even though the active accumulation had stopped years ago I avoided anyone finding out. It was my dirty little secret. Confessing a big goof is hard. Telling people you love the truth knowing that it will disappoint them tremendously is amazingly difficult. At one point I even found myself asking, "What good does it do to tell them if we already have it handled?" Then the song the preschoolers at church sing went prancing through my head "I'm happy to obey, I'm happy to obey. I'll come quickly when Daddy calls. I'm happy to obey." So I picked up the phone and made the call I needed to make. Easy? no Fun? clearly not. Obedient? yes.

And now I can move on in the remodeling process. God has had me dwelling in the above described room until it was complete. I'm not foolish enough to think I will never have to give the pride room an overhaul again, but for now it has been torn down and rebuilt in the likeness of Christ. I will strive to keep it that way.

In other remodeling news........I went on my trip and came home with NO weight gained. This is a big deal for me. I usually throw it all out the window on trips like this, so to come home and still be at the 15 pound lost mark makes me happy. I was also very convicted over the weekend about the struggle I've had with exercise. Several of the speakers we heard mentioned the importance of focus. One of the speakers talked about something he does called "extreme running." Talk about focus - this man runs 30 miles like it's nothing. These little tidbits along with many others left me at the end of the weekend knowing what I need to do to start my days on the right foot.

So, here's the "new plan": I'm getting up to go jogging at 5:00 AM M-F. Now, before you fall out of your chair let me say this - many of you have met me in the last 10 years. You don't know that I used to run. I would run with my dad. (Hmmmmmm, perhaps having to be honest with him about the other deal helped bring me back to this as well-------it all seems so connected sometimes) I ran some while in college. Before Easy and I got married I met some buddies and ran 3 miles 2-3 times a week. So the running part isn't really all that shocking. As for the time of day - it makes total sense to me. Even though I have the tools and ability to work out at home with the kids, I am totally distracted while trying to do it. Thing is, I don't need to try to do it.......I need to do it. At 5:00 in the morning Easy is still home and I can hit the street with no need to have half my brain thinking about the kids. I can also go run, get home, shower, and have my quiet time before the kids are awake. Like I said, it makes perfect sense to me. I got up this morning and was surprised at how easy it was to get out of bed and put on my Asics. It's been a great day today. Starting my day off with jogging - which always leads to prayer (there's something about the rhythm of my feet that leads to open communication) - fills several needs. It helps my daily schedule, it helps my body get healthier, and it gives me time to talk with God, no distractions.

So there you go - all caught up on the remodeling that's been going on in this temple. I feel confident I will be posting regularly again now that I'm renewed, refocused, and relieved. God is so amazingly good to His children. When we find ourselves at the lowest point, He simply steps in, scoops us up, dusts us off, and gives us a level path to start on again.

Father, thank you so much for your mercy and grace. Give me the strength to continue making this temple a place you are pleased to dwell in. Give me the restraint to be a better steward of all the blessings you have given me. Let me focus on you and your plan for my life. Let pride not take root in my heart. I want to live a transparent life Lord, that way people can see right through me to you. Amen.