Friday, May 28, 2010

There is no Plan B...



Wow. How selfish I have been. How easy it is to lose focus and forget why God created me...why in the world I am here.

I spend so much time thinking about what will make me happy.  What I want out of my life. 

How much do I really do for others?  Am I making a difference in anyone's life?  How many people have I lead to Jesus...who are on their way to Heaven now because I have been courageous enough and loving enough to share the truth with them? 

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.  If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?  Matthew 16:24-26

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Random Dozen time!


This week's Random Dozen theme is "one".  Click on the link above if you'd like to join the party (or just read about everyone else).  

Everyone who knows me knows that it's really difficult for me to pick just one of anything, so I'll try to answer without rambling too much...

1. What is one really fast, know-by-heart "go-to" meal to fix in a pinch?  Exactly what I made for supper last night because I had exactly 1/2 hour to cook and feed the kids before the boys had baseball and I had to leave for worship team practice (breathe)...spaghetti. 

2. What is one item you won't leave home without. (Purse and license do not count.)  My sunglasses!  I wear them whenever I go outside, unless of course it's nighttime.  My eyes are really sensitive to light, and if I squint alot I'll get a headache.  So I never leave home without at least one pair (I have 3 almost exactly the same).

3. Where is one place you never tire of visiting?  Does Coldstone count?

4. Share one factoid of your family's history.  My mom, my sister and I all have the same middle name...Marie.  No, I was not named after Lisa Marie Presley.

5. Complete this sentence: "Once upon a time I...." married my Prince!

6. If you could win a one year's supply of anything, what would it be? Ummm.....Coldstone?  Ok, that might not be the best idea, my waistline would scream.  Practical Lisa would choose gasoline.   

7. "One quirky thing you may not know about me is...." oh dear, to choose just one.  I have a strange affinity with numbers, especially 8 and 6.   They just make me happy, I don't know why.   Palindromes give me great joy and if they involve 8's and 6's I get all giddy.  Just ask my best friend Chris.  She is one of the few people who understands (and accepts) this about me, and she's the first person I will be calling in the next couple of weeks when my odometer reads 86,868!  And when it turns 88,888 I will be throwing a party. 

8. You have one dollar in your pocket. What will you buy?  Probably a Diet Dew, even though I'm trying to give up pop.

9. "One thing that always makes me laugh is ...." My kids and my husband make me laugh every single day. 

10. What is one thing you could do today to help yourself reach a personal goal?  Start an exercise plan like walking everyday for 30 minutes.

11. What is one thing you could do today to bless someone else?  Send a handwritten note.  People don't do that very often, but I just got two from friends in the past week and they blessed me immensely!  So I want to make a habit of doing that more often.  It means so much more than an email.

12. What is one thing you're looking forward to soon?  My husband and I have tickets to see Casting Crowns this summer!  Other than that,  just the little everyday moments are what I treasure.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

American Idol - Top 3

Ok, I raced home after worship team practice at church tonight to get home in time for Idol...I'm not sure where my theology is on that, but I didn't speed so I think that makes it ok, right?  Anyway, I missed Casey's first performance.  Sigh. 

Crystal Bowersox "Come To My Window" - loved what she did with the song...after the initial harmonica, which seemed kind of strange to me.  Not a big fan of the harmonica unless you are Billy Joel. 

Lee Dwyze "Simple Man" - I thought he did fantastic with this!  Love that he picked a not-so-popular song, because it showed originality and confidence that has been building in him.  I think the originality has always been there, but just recently he's really letting loose and showing who he really is and what he can do.  Well done!

Casey James "Daughters" - One word...beautiful.  This type of music is SO meant for Casey, even though I wouldn't put him in the same genre as  John Mayer.  He added his own acoustic style to it, which I (of course) loved.  I kind of agree with Simon in that the song didn't have a "climactic moment" so I'm not sure how that will be received, but based on artistic talent, he nailed it. 

Crystal Bowersox "Maybe I'm Amazed" - I'm kinda running out of words for how awesome Crystal is.  She really is.  She's got serious talent.  That is all.

Lee DeWyze "Hallelujia" - Oh, I'm excited.  I love this song........

Sorry for the long pause, but I was having a moment.  OH. MY. WORD.  I am speechless.  I have chills and tears in my eyes.  I am literally crying now.  And I hear Mr. Wonderful sniffling too!  All I can say is wow.  There are no other words.  Absolutely, incredible and amazing beyond belief.  That boy has just secured himself a career in music no matter what the outcome of Idol.

Best of the night:  Lee, by far
Probably going:  Casey....but for the record, I'm still a huge fan!

Go check out BooMama's blog and see what more AI fans are talking about!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

In the waiting and the trusting

"Christ's priority for the believer's life is not how much he or she studies the Word, enjoys attending Bible study, or discusses Scripture in small groups. His priority for the believer is to hear the Word and do it". - Beth Moore

To hear the Word...and do it.  To listen to Jesus and do what He tells me to do.  Can I really do that?  Is He really speaking to me? Yes He is, and yes I can.

Jesus said "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." John 10:27. 

If Jesus calls me to listen to His voice, then He must be speaking to me.  The problem is that I am usually making too much of my own noise to hear Him! I've been doing something about that this past week, and it's making all the difference in my days.  I have started setting my alarm 30 minutes early and before I even get out of bed I raise the blinds (or turn on my lamp, depending on how light it is out), grab my bible and journal and my devotional, and I spend some time with God.  I am reading the book of John right now, going through one section at a time and journalling about it.  It's been amazing!  I've also been focusing on listening more when I pray...listening more than talking.  Seeking to be close to God, more than asking Him for things.  Shutting my mouth when I pray is not an easy thing for me to do!  I always have things to tell God (as if He doesn't already know), things to ask Him for (as if He isn't aware of my needs), and I feel like I have to remind God of the obvious (if I'm going to open a daycare, then I need children, God!!) 

See, I have all the preparations just about done, and still no families have signed up.  I feel like I have done all that I need to do to get the word out and have even advertised in our local newspaper.  I have been praying for God to bring the right families to me...but what I'm wondering now is maybe I'm the one who's not ready.  Maybe God has some work to do in my heart and in my life before I can take on this new venture.  I need to rely on His timing and do that one thing that is so hard for me sometimes. 

Trust. 

The other day I was praying about all of this and I asked God to show me if indeed this is what He wants me to do with my life (as if I need yet more confirmation than He has already given me).  Are you SURE God?  Maybe this isn't what You want me to do, if not then just let me know. I'll stay where I'm at with my job.  I just need to KNOW!  And I asked Him, which would give Him the most glory?

His answer came immediately and clearly.  He said "Your circumstances do not bring Me glory.  It's how you handle whatever circumstance that you are in that will bring Me glory.  You can glorify Me by being faithful wherever you are."

Hello.

I know God has a plan.  I know that He knows what He wants me to do.  And I also know that He has been working on this trust issue with me for some time now.  That lesson of "learning to trust" is being woven into His plan for my life, and that plan apparantly involves some waiting.  After all, how much trust would it require of me if everything all fell into place imediately?  If there was no waiting to be done.  No opportunity to trust the unseen.  And now, in the waiting and the trusting, He is giving me the opportunity to bring Him glory...now.  Before the families come.  When people ask me how things are going and if I have any kids signed up yet and I say "no, but God has a plan and I'm trusting in His timing."  Maybe that is part of His plan? Or maybe in the end He really will say no to all of this? 

Whatever happens, I'm going to keep getting up at 6am and spending time with Him.  I'm going to continue to learn to trust and bring Him glory whatever the circumstances are. And I'm going to continue to listen for His voice, to hear His Word...and DO it. 

Will you join me?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Every few months I fall for it

They are so tempting, the self check-out lanes at Walmart.  When all the other (two) open checkout lanes are occupied, and have lines 4-5 carts deep, the self-checkout lanes call to me.  They are so alluring and convincing with their promises.  Promises that they will get me out of the store faster.  Promises that I will be competent enough to work them.  But they betray me, and just like taking back a cheating boyfriend, I fool myself into believing that this time things will be different.

It always starts out ok.  A honeymoon period of sorts.  I beep my way through the first few items in my cart without problems, and I am hopeful.  Over confident, perhaps, that I do in fact have the ability to move a box of Q-tips in front of a little glass square properly...but alas, I do not.  And after the 15th time that the machine yells at me for not "moving my items to the bagging area"  I'm ready to wig.  The whole exprience always ends the same...with me apologizing to the poor checkout girl who had to witness the whole fiasco and bear the brunt of my annoyance, and me calling myself an idiot under my breath as I push my cart out of the store.

Gah.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

American Idol - Top 4

It feels soooo good to be all caught up on our laundry!

Oh wait...I'm not all caught up. But I can imagine that it would feel really good.

Looks like I'll be folding laundry during Idol tonight (again).  Oh well...here we go!

Lee DeWyze "Kiss from a Rose" - Hmmm....I don't know.  I really, really love Lee and think he has so much potential to be a rock star.  His voice was incredible  - raspy and relaxed and he seemed more comfortable than he has in the past.  But he was a little flat in spots and needs to learn to breath properly so that it doesn't interrupt the song.  I don't think that was the best song choice for him, but I still think he's awesome and I won't be disappointed if he wins this.

Michael Lynche "The River Jordan" - I know that's not the actual name of the song but that's what I'm choosing to call it because it just seems like that should be the name.  I don't even remember what movie this is from either.  Well, I thought that was good.  I liked the backup singers, but I just don't think it had enough punch.  Not enough passion.  It seemed like a good idea, but didn't really pull it off completely?  But I can't identify anything that was bad, but like Randy said, even though it really annoys me when he says it, it was just "ah-ight."

Duets are next...I'm so EXCITED!  What a cool idea, and Lee and Crystal together is going to sound amazing, I just know it.  I just know.  Prepare for lots of exclamation points and keyboard shouting.

I TOLD YOU!  I TOLD YOU!  I TOLD YOU!!!  See, THAT's why Lee is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!  This is giving me chills.  Now THAT is singing right there!  WOW!!!  What an amazing song.  That performance could totally be on the radio right now, and will be on my ipod by the end of the night.  The new Captain and Tennillle - HA!  Ellen cracks me up.  That may have been the best performance of the whole season so far.  They absolutely brought out the best in eachother with that song.  That's your top two right there (sorry Casey). 

Oooooh, Casey is next...doing Simon and Garfunkel.  This could be good.  Love me some Simon and Garfunkel!  Why did I just say "love me some"?  Wow, I'm annoying myself tonight.

Casey James "Mrs. Robinson" - Ok, at first I thought he was doing the song too slow, too much like the original, and nothing special.  Halfway through the song, he really started putting some heart into it, he started making it original, and I really loved the ending.  Beautiful.  The mandolin was very cool too.  I liked it! 

Crystal Bowersox "I'm Alright" - Excellent as always.  I love what she did with the song, which I never really liked, but the way she sang it and put her own style into it, I thought was great.  That girl can make anything sound good.

Hmmm...Casey and Mike doing a duet.  Good song choice for a duet for two guys.  Niiiiice harmonies and they are doing great with both acoustic guitars - love it!!  Not on the same level as Crystal and Lee's, but they did really well!

The judges were right, the duets ROCKED IT! 

Best of the night:  Lee in the duet w/ Crystal, hands down.
Going home: I have loved Casey since the auditions, but I think he'll be the one to go this week. Sigh.

And I got absolutely no laundry done.  GAAAH!

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Mother's Day

I had a fabulously wonderful Mother's Day! And a fabulous weekend actually...on Saturday we spent the evening (and into the night) at our very good friends The Marley's to celebrate someone's 40th birthday (who shall remain nameless but his name rhymes with Bone). There were many laughs and talks and sitting by the firepit and food (hello) and more laughs...hysterical make your eyes water laughing fits. I took very few pictures of the event because I was busy having all the fun!  Ok, I did take at least one picture...


Could you resist photographing that face (and the back of Grandpa's head)?  Neither could I. 

But before leaving for the birthday festivities, we declared  Saturday to be a "no TV, no computer" day at our house.  After the initial grumblings and forehead crinklings and discussions about relationships and communication vs. staring at a stupid box subsided, we all had a wonderful day!  The kids helped cook, played together, helped eachother with their Saturday jobs, and we had lots of talks and smiles and laughs before leaving for the partay.  THAT, my friend, is family.

Mother's Day was also very wonderful and special...beginning with Vince and I sleeping in until 10:37!!! Bells were ringing and I heard the hallelujia chorus playing sweetly as birds softly chirped outside our window. Although we were sad about sleeping right through church, it was AWE-SOME!!! When was the last time we slept in that late? I don't know...college???

The kids gave me some very beautiful gifts...


The kids also each wrote me a letter, which Vince wanted me to read aloud to everyone but I adamantly refused due to the cryfest that would have undoubtedly ensued.


Vince made my absolute favorite meal...Penne Rustica (see the recipe on my sidebar). The house once again was filled with the droolingly delicious aroma of an italian eatery covered in rosemary and butter. Can you say leftovers for lunch everyday this week?
And then of course I had a lovely time photographing this little cutie patootie ~ our eight month old grandson Jaden!


And Mr. Wonderful got me this incredibly unique and fun thing...it's a mat, but I can't bear to put it on the floor and have people step on it so I need to figure out a way to hang it on the wall.  Isn't this cool?


Thank you for a day, for a life, that I treasure.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Not My Blog!

Here's where I get to share some of my favorite things I have read recently in other people's blogs.  I get to toot someone else's horn instead of my own, which is refreshing because I'm afraid that tooting my own horn would sound something like a whoopie cushion. 

Brigetta is a mom of four boys, and has a really thoughtful and fun blog called "Transparent Mama".  In this post, she has eloquently and poigniantly spoken the desires of MY heart. Wow. I know spending quality, alone time with my kids and husband is truly important to me, but I have always felt defeated by the clock and the to-do list.  Brigetta has helped me to see that I need to make the time, I need to make the time, I need to make the time, and set some of my own agendas down.  We won't get these years back.

Jonathan is the author of "Stuff Christians Like" which is one of my favoritest blogs, and now is also one of my favoritest books.  He's hilarious (just ask Dave) about explaining the weird stuff that we Christians do, without mocking our faith.  Actually he is spot-on spiritually.  Today, his wife Jenny wrote this post on his blog about one of my favoritest authors of all time....my Beth!  And why we Beth groupies - er, I mean fans - feel the need to explain our affections to our husbands!

And finally, go and spend some time over here at Allysa's blog.  Seriously, just go.  When you get there, you'll know why I sent you.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Sleepy ramblings and a churchy word

It is soooo quiet here!  The kids are all in bed, and Mr. Wonderful is working late at church.  (In addition to his regular job, he is also the head of the technology ministry at our church.  They have been having some computer problems so he is there working on them tonight.  What a guy.  I'm pretty sure this will earn him some really sweet techy jewels in his crown.  Maybe ones with lasers.)  So now I'm the only one who is home and awake, and the house is sooooo quiet!  I'm not used to it, what with all the comotion that is normally going on at all hours of the day and night around here, I don't know what to do with myself.  Well, actually I do...sit here and ramble on my blog!  Lucky for you.

I haven't been sleeping well this week, which has made me tired during the day and exhausted in the evenings.  In fact, I'm falling asleep at the keyboard right now.  Literally.  My allergies are going in full force, and although my new prescription meds are working fabulously well on my normal allergy symptoms of itching and sneezing and what not, for reasons I won't go into (think nasal drainage - ewe, I said I wouldn't go into it.  And there, I just did.)  I have been up coughing at night.  Alot.   There is nothing worse than not being able to sleep when you are exhausted.  Ok, there are alot of things worse than that, but allow me a few minutes to whine, would you?  I have been getting up several times the past few nights to have a coughfest, blow my schnaz, take some cough syrup, and chastize myself for not being able to sleep.  I know it's not my fault, but who else am I going to be irritated at? 

I should be in bed right now, but instead I'm waiting for Mr. Wonderful to get home.  I don't like going to bed alone anymore.  Not only does it feel lonely, but I have grown accustomed to the sweet lull of Darth's breather and now I can't sleep without it....I mean him. 

Things with the daycare are coming along nicely.  I have several families who have expressed interest, but nothing in writing yet.  I am tempted to be nervous about the fact that in about a month I plan on quitting my job and I don't have any committed children yet (that sounds bad, you know what I mean).  Here is where I trust in God's provision and let Him work out the details.  I am doing what I can...I have the vision. I am making preparations and plans.  I am advertising and getting the word out.  And I am waiting on God to bring this to fruition.  That's a churchy word, isn't it?  Fruition.  I'm not sure people outside of the church use the word fruition. 

Ok, the house is no longer quiet.  Just now the car doors slammed, the back door opened and someone belched.  Ah, the special sounds of living with boys.