Sunday, November 9, 2008

"This is no longer a part of your life"

Well, God is taking me on another journey. The quit smoking journey. Most people think, oh, quitting smoking, what's the journey in that. But, this is more than just quitting smoking, it's a spiritual journey as much as it's a physical journey.

It's about being obedient and aware of God's ever presence in my life. And His will for me.

This journey that started before I even knew there was going to be a journey. (See previous post.)

Yes, I was in a "funk". It wasn't a big deal, I just knew that God was trying to get my attention and couldn't figure out why. My question to God has always been "WHY?"

Well, I made the decision to go to the Terra Nova Women's Retreat in October. It was a choice between a new sofa or the retreat. Somehow, I chose the retreat. A God thing.

Now, let me tell you!, I had no intention of quitting smoking the day I left for the retreat. Even after friends and close family members urged me to quit. Even after poor Ethan, my then 3 year old grandson, chased me out the door and stood at the glass slider door pleading with me "don't do that gramma, it's bad for you"!, his words and the look on his face haunt me, still.

Yet, I still just smoked. I would make up stories as to what I was doing outside to avoid Ethan's recriminations! But yet, I still wasn't going to quit smoking. I felt like, I'm grown, I can do what I want to do.

At the retreat, the Holy Spirit was "full", for lack of a better word, at this time, and I felt that God was impressing something on me. At first I didn't know what it was. But it was there and it was heavy.

Then during a break, I went outside and lit one up. I heard Him say gently, quietly, "I want you to put that away". What the heck! HUH!!!??? I just lit this! These suckers are expensive! But, was I obedient, oh, no I wasn't, but the feeling that I let my Lord down was HUGE. It wasn't guilt or shame, it was something else, but I don't have a word for it.

We went back inside to finish up our morning with our speaker, Danna Demetre, and some of the things she said just hit me in the head like a two by four. And the final "brick" being tossed at me, was Romans 12:1,
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, (and sisters- my edition) in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual or reasonable act of worship". Oh, jeez, "an act of worship".

I've heard this verse a thousand times in my Christian walk, but that day it was HUGE.
A God thing.

And so I knew deep in my heart that I had to quit smoking. I hated it. I dreaded it. I really didn't want to do it. I know how hard it is to quit. I've done it many times. I was praying about it and really hoping that I totally misunderstood the message. Nope, I didn't. He wanted me to quit, and promised that He has something so much better for me.

I was speaking to my car pool buddy about it on the way home, and she offered to hold me accountable, but I didn't think that was what God wanted. I didn't know this at the time.

God has made it very clear to me, that He is holding me accountable. In a very loving and wonderful way God is getting me through this. He is revealing to me many wonderful things. He's answering questions I've had for 10 years! He's blessing me through this and I am in absolute awe of Him at this moment.

It's really funny how God prepared me for this. I started identifying my "triggers", the things that make me want to smoke, boredom, anger, hunger, tiredness, after dinner, in the car, so on and so on. I just knew that I was preparing to go into a battle of some kind. I chose my method of medicinal assistance, the nicotine patch, and I told my family and friends, some of who smoke, what my plan was and picked a date. October 19th. The day after I turned 50 years old. Then just recently I found a website called and all those things are there! All of them!!! A God thing.

The first few days weren't too bad. The 5th day was horrible, I couldn't get past a craving no matter how hard I tried. Then He gave me this simple sentence, "This is no longer a part of your life".
He didn't say, "NO you can't have it". Or, "NO you don't need it". He simply said, "This is no longer a part of your life". And every time I repeat that, whether in my head or out loud the craving passes quickly and I move on. And today as I say this sentence, I am comforted.

Day 10 was the worst of it, I think, and I hope. I was in the middle of the hardest, longest craving so far and I tried to stay busy. I took care of 6 loads of laundry. That's hard work since I live in an apt. and have to "schlep" baskets over to the laundry room 3 buildings and an alley over. And my neck pain was excruciating. I took the dog out for a walk, I picked up around the house. I was doing deep breathing exercises, EVERYTHING! I could think of, I did it.
I finally got in the shower and just cried out to the Lord, "LORD!, PLEASE!". And in that moment, the craving was gone. Completely gone. I cannot express the relief! I could breathe!!!

But I learned something else. And that was simply that all He wants me to do is ask. Not just expect that He's "got it" but to come to Him and ask Him. UH, DUH!

As I mentioned earlier He's answered many questions and has relieved me of some burdens that I've carried with me for a long time. One of those questions, and burdens was, why did He allow Todd and I to get married only to have it fail so terribly and miserably?? WHY WHY WHY!?? Please understand, it's not because I still love him, or want that marriage back - oh HELL NO, but I've struggled with this for so long and pretty much figured that I could have an answer when I get to heaven.

I don't remember what day of this journey it was on, but for some reason I was thinking about this again. I hadn't thought about it in a couple of years. And then there was the answer - He allows us free will. And even when our free will is SO NOT in His will for us He will use it for His glory. The reason He allowed this (even though it broke His heart to watch) was multifaceted.

First, He had to get me out of the environment I was in. I was in a place where my sins were all around me, friends I had, drinking buddies, party pals were everywhere. In order to work in my life effectively, He had to get me out of my "geographic".

Second, He had to take me away from my kids. I surely wasn't taking care of them. Oh, I paid the bills but that was pretty much it. I partied, I set terrible examples. There were no boundaries, no rules, no nothing. I was a "bad mother". I'm sure there were and are worse mother's than I was, but I wasn't that much better. And it still wasn't right. I was just at a loss as to what to do with them. I had to have that taken away from me by God since the system couldn't, so I would know what I had. It was one of those "you don't miss your water till the well runs dry" kind of things. Oh, and I missed them. I longed for them. I wanted them to have what I was having. A new found wonderful thing called Jesus Christ. But they wanted nothing more to do with me for awhile. Oh, but God has restored and redeemed them back to me and it makes them so much more precious to me now.

Third, I got educated in His Word. I learned more in 18 months than I had ever learned in my entire life. I got the "meat and potatoes" of bible history. I studied the OT and the NT.
I learned of His first followers and I studied the book of Revelation, and I learned and I learned and oh, I was thirsty. I soaked it all in. I didn't know then but it was in preparation for future "faith builder" events that happened later.

Fourth, He had to show me that even "so called", "self professed" christian (note the lower case "c") men have their own agenda's. And Todd had his own agenda's. Once those agenda's were met, I no longer mattered. Nor did our marriage.

Fifth and finally, He wanted me to see how He showed me the way out of this mess, that I could no longer bear. He showed me where my grounds for leaving were and provided for me during that time.

Many things happened after the failure of my marriage to Todd. I walked away from God. I turned my back on a wonderful thing. Not because I didn't believe. I always believed, but I was terribly confused. I didn't know what to think. I had fallen into a huge depression and had it not been for one of God's wonderfully holy people, Terri McAuley, I wouldn't be here today. I was in limbo. I was on the fence, I was a "mugrump". My mug on one side and my rump on the other. I made some stupid choices but it wasn't too bad. I met Scott during this time so it's all good.

I gave up a lot to have what I have now with Him. And I have been healed of much. Many of my wounds are covered in His blood. And my gratitude is HUGE.

Today is Day 21 of this journey. I feel God with me and around me even through some of the issues I'm facing have nothing to do with my quitting smoking.

He reminded me through Lindsay's cancer scare that He was "in this" and that I had to have faith and He has rewarded that faith with a clean bill of health for her. That's all I wanted, oh how much He has again given back to me. After many doctor's visits and referrals to specialists (who really don't know what they're doing) and many, many uncomfortable tests, there is no more cancer. She doesn't have to have Interferon treatments, which we found out would have done her more harm than good even though this is what was the recommended treatment. She simply has to have and MRI and a PET Scan every year and follow up with a dermatologist annually and of course use sunscreen and stay out of the sun during peak hours.
My faith was rewarded. My child was spared. Even though the guilt was heavy. The feeling like - why would He spare my child, when so many others were dying and suffering terribly.
Another "Why" question.

He's reminded me that guilt and shame are not of Him. They are of the enemy. To distract us from Him and take our focus off of Him. He simply just loves me just like I am and wants me to be obedient.

I have a long way to go before I'm done with this particular journey and I will continue to ask people to pray for my complete recovery from smoking. And for now, I'm walking slowly with Him every day. Some people may not even recognize this, but that's okay too. Because I know Him and He knows me, intimately, and that's really all that matters to me right now in this moment. In the meantime, I'll pray for those who don't understand.

I know that no matter what I look like, how much I weigh, how big my belly gets, or what my evil thoughts are, He loves me.


How I wish for other's to have what I have with Him. I try to explain it to people, but they look at me with that dazed look, like, "huh". And I am learning that I have to just let Him work in them as He is working in me. And pray for them. It's a process. I have the courage now, I never had before, to speak out about Him in places I never would have. I've been very open with people at work about how and why I'm doing what I'm doing. And it's opened up a lot of conversations that I can only hope are "of Him".

And finally I can say without question or doubt that the next journey will be even more trying and even more difficult, but I look forward to it because I know He is with me always.

I'm reminded in His Word - in Isaiah 41:10 "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand". I'm in good hands.

What more do I need?? What more does anyone need??

Friday, September 26, 2008

Just stuff...

Okay, so I said I'd blog more often and yet, I haven't. My bad.

So here's what's going on and what's on my mind these days.

I'm crocheting like a freak!!! LOL. And anyone who knows me, knows what I mean.

I've read a couple of really good books. "The Shack". Definitely thought provoking.
And I'm reading "The Fisherman" now. So far it's good. I'm also into "The Ragamuffin Gospel".

As for my personal stuff.....

My daughter and I met the "head dude" in charge of all Melanoma research at UCLA. And his opinion - based on the size of her mole and the shallowness of it, regardless of the lymph node involvement, he's recommending no treatment. He feels that the treatment would do her more harm than good.

This seems like an answer to prayer. Yes, God has heard my cry. The cry to spare my child. Why He would choose to do this is beyond my understanding and I'm reminded that His ways are not my ways and my understanding is not the same as His understanding.

The only thing he is recommending is annual MRI's and Cat Scan's. She had her first MRI of her brain yesterday. And the Cat scan next week.

This is such a relief...... yet, I'm still in a "funk". A place in my mind and my heart where I feel like I'm in "limbo". I feel like I'm just supposed to "wait". Not do any more than what I'm doing, not get involved in any other projects. Just "wait". I'm not sure what I'm waiting for or why. Maybe it's because I'm turning 50 next month, maybe it's ..... I don't know. I just feel like I need to hang back and "wait".

Yet, there are things going on in my life that are blessings - seeing Jane again was huge. I miss SHOUT and my relationship with the woman who gave me back my voice.

My work is going good. Everyone is doing fine. My husband is fine. And I'm holding on to those blessings. Yet, I'm still in a funk. I really don't like it, but I know that God is up to something. Something great and wonderful.

Kristen and Jeff moved away (at least its not Georgia) but now I have no place to retreat to and have lunch with the boys. I've adjusted to this. I miss those times and wish that I could have them back. But things move forward and life continues to be fluid.

My neck issue is really becoming a problem. It's not Osteo Arthritis as originally suspected. And now the orthopedic specialist seems to think it's bursitis. Hopefully the PT will help as will the new drugs. I'm trying to have an open mind and be postive but I have this feeling that there's something more going on that I don't know about. Maybe that's just my pessimistic part coming out. I just don't know.

We're not moving anytime soon so we're going to redecorate the apartment to make it more "homey". This is the most exciting thing going on for me.

I'm really frustrated with the $$$ 700 Billion dollar $$$ bail out that the government feels we should pay for the mortgage industry. I say let them bail themselves out!!! Accountability people!!! Accountability!!! What's frustrating is that this is my tax dollars, that worked my hind end off for, and I don't even get a say so about it. ARGH!! And then what do I do if my own bank goes under. Jeez, life just gets so stupid sometimes.

Next post will be updated pictures.

There! I've shared.... (you know who you are.... )

Saturday, July 12, 2008

July's Blog

This week we had a Bible study. It was more a Bible discussion really, but it got us all thinking. The topic of discussion was (and is still) “Why Do I Believe in God”?

This got me thinking. I mean REALLY thinking. I tried to sum it up (in my own head) as just one reason why I believed in God, but I couldn’t do it. My belief is multifaceted.
And that’s OK!!!

And it was interesting to me that everyone in our group felt the same way. This made it even more OK!!???

The first facet of my belief is creation. This was the same as Debbie’s view, God’s beautiful earth, and all the creatures in and around it. I look at the trees (I LOVE TREES) and flowers and how they grow and it just amazes me. Then I see all the people. All the personalities and differences in each and every one of them and again, I’m amazed!

I cannot write this off as a “random act” of nature.

The earth and all the people are part of God’s plan. It’s all part of God’s desire. And finally and most importantly to me is that it’s personal. God found me in a really bad place; I was a horrible person, a horrible parent, a horrible friend, and just a worthless waste of human life and oxygen. And He turned my life completely around. He did things in my mind and in my heart that I never thought could be done. He got rid of a lot of the old falsehoods I had about Him and life.

It was a very difficult process but He brought me through it (and still is) and even though I walked away from Him for a time, I could sense Him calling me back. Not demanding me to come home, but calmly, quietly, gently leading me back into His presence. Why He would even want me there is still beyond me. But He does and He reminds me everyday how important I am to Him. He loves me like I was, like I am and like I will be.

Then the question was thrown out there – how do you answer that question to someone who doesn’t believe in God?? WOW! I have always had this attitude “to each his own”. But if the unbeliever asked me, “Why do you believe in God”, what the heck would I say.

Then it dawned on me that my words don’t matter. My life does. How I treat others, my attitude, my testimony of where I was when God found me and where He’s taken me. And where I am now, and where He will take me in the future

It’s more a Holy Spirit thing, I think. I would hope that God would continue to use me as the vessel and put the words in my mouth that this person would most need to hear. I have been used like this before and I love how God works through me even though I have NO CLUE that this is happening. And I’m sure he continues to use me in ways, to this day and moment in time, and I am CLUELESS of it right now.

With everything going on in my life, with my daughter’s cancer – and there was more bad news yesterday, a new grand baby (this is the joy in the troubled time), the tension that life’s difficulties cause in my marriage I’ve had to really search my soul on this question.

I have to ask Him everyday – “why?” Why should He allow my child not to be sick?
I never get an answer to the Why part. I get the feeling that “the why part” is none of my business. My business is only to “do”. And I’m mostly at a loss as to what that is exactly.

I ask Him to spare my child, and feel so selfish doing that. Why should He spare my child of cancer when so many other people are dying from cancer?

The news from the oncologist yesterday was not good. Her chance of survival as it is right now, without treatment is 60%. With the immunotherapy, Interferon, it will go to 70% - maybe. They just aren’t sure. The type of cancer she has is still so new that there’s not enough data and studies to know for sure if she will get that 10% extra. And her case is unusual – based on the size and depth of the mole removed there should not have been any lymph node involvement, but there was. So they just don’t know.
He explained what the therapy would do to her body and her mind and she’s opting out.
It’s her choice. She will be watched carefully for any indicators of more cancer cells. She will be fatigued, and she will be sick. It’s just what it does at this stage.

And through all of this I still believe in God. Does my belief change – no. Is it tested – yes. My faith diminishes but never completely goes away. I am reminded that He is in control . And sometimes that’s really hard when you think the One in control isn’t doing it right! I’m frustrated and overwhelmed and just feel lost as to what to do or say.

Even when I question His judgment and my own, I still know in my heart that He knows right where I am and what is going to happen and whether or not I can handle it. And He knows right where you are and whether or not you can handle what you’re going through.

Have faith, fake it till you make it. It will come, it will get stronger, but you have to allow it to do so. Flowers don’t grow amongst the rocks. Allow your heart and mind to be a fertile place for faith to grow.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

"Be Prepared"

Okay! Okay! I'm blogging already! That was for you S.G. -

Well it's been a roller coaster of a couple of weeks now. My youngest child was diagnosed with Malignant Melanoma and had to have a couple of very painful tests before she had surgery. Surgery was on Friday the 2nd. I took the time off from work to be there and support her recovery. It was tough. She had a reaction to the anesthesia and was extremely nauseaous. That was difficult to battle along with the pain from the 2 incisions. One to remove the cancer from her back and the other to remove 2 lymphnodes in her right arm pit. It was originally only going to be 1 node, then the surgeon comes out and tells me he took 2. Somehow I can't think this is a good thing. Maybe it is, maybe it's just my active imagination.

I see her emotionally shutting down. It's her defense mechanism. It's her way of "dealing" with it. I don't like seeing this in her. She's crying at random times and it breaks my heart to know that she's in so much pain. Physically and emotionally. I am concerned about her spirituality and her ability to process everything that's happening to her right now.

I keep lifting all of this up to God. Since He warned me to "Be prepared" the night before during my prayer time. Ha, and I thought there would be a "natural disaster" that I needed to be prepared for. I thought I needed to be prepared for some kind of accident. Not this. Please Lord, not this!

Yes, I keep taking it back, but I quickly try to turn it back over to Him. His Will be done. I may not like it much, and I may not like the final outcome much, but one thing I know for sure.... He is in control. I have and will continue to, plead with Him to spare the life of my child. To keep her in His grip. To put a hedge around her and help her deal with this emotionally. To show her all of His Glory. I want so bad for her to have a true relationship with Him. But I have to let her do this on her own. I keep trying to just point the way back to Him. And pray. It's all I can do.

Be prepared....

I keep wondering how I can possibly be "prepared" for something like this. I never thought that I would have to be prepared for this. It never occurred to me that I could "lose a child". And what about her sisters?? How will they deal with this horrible thing thats happened to their baby sister?? One thing I do know - we will all never be the same again.

How does a mother of a grown child respond and react to this horrible thing?
I'm doing what comes to me. I'm being the strong one, the supporter, the care taker. This is what I do. It's my nature to be this way. It's one of my gifts.

I know that there are some people who believe that once a child has grown and left home that they're left to their own devices. I'm not like that. Nor can I understand anyone who thinks this way. I respect it, but I don't understand it. As I'm sure there are people who don't understand what and why I do what I do for my grown children.

I can't and will not let her "figure it out" when it comes to something that's life or death. If she drove drunk and got busted and had to go to jail, then I'd let her figure it all out, but this isn't something I want to "let her figure out" on her own. She doesn't understand all the medical terminologies and how serious this could get. As if it isn't already.

All the sisters have come to see her after surgery to check on her and have offered support for me too. And I realized again that that's what WE are all about. We've all been through too much to not support each other. It's what WE do. We have struggled with many different issues and now we are "there" for each other. And always will be. Regardless of where we are and what we do.

I cherish what God has redeemed back to me. My children and my relationships with them.
I will not just back away and not be in their lives and support whatever decisions they make or whatever illnesses they have to face. Whether or not anyone agrees with what I'm doing matters very little to me now. I will not turn my back on the wonderful gift God has given back to me. How could I possibly do that!?

I have requested prayer and all the people that are praying means so much to me that the words "thank you" are not enough. The gratitude I feel for this gesture is so great that I can't put a word that really expresses what I feel to it.

So for anyone of you people out there that read this and have been praying - thank you. And know that these words are too small to fully express my gratitude.

I've had alot of moments where I don't have words for what I feel lately. The words just don't come to me to accurately express what I'm feeling. I just keep doing the only thing I know to do and that's pray. Maybe that's why I don't have words. God wants me only to speak to Him right now. And let Him get me through this. I feel His presence more so now than I ever have in my life. He keeps cheering me up with my favorite bird songs that He fills the air with. With just a little voice in my heart that says, "I've got this one". "I'm here". The peace that comes over me at times when there should be little or no peace I know is of Him. He gives us peace that surpasses understand. AMEN! Can I get a witness?!!!

Saturday, April 5, 2008


Okay, so my sister says that I need to update her picture. So... here it is. A new picture of Sissy and her "peanut". It's not so much a peanut anymore. This picture was taken on Easter Sunday 2008 and she's due to give birth in August. So she's at the halfway point now. What took me aback when I saw her this day is that she looks the same carrying this child as our mother looked carrying our brothers and her. She's carrying "wide" rather than "out". Where Brianne, my daughter is carring "out". See next picture.

She's had a difficult pregnancy so far - morning sickness has been a "killer". She still struggles with it as I did with Shannon, my first one. Back then we didn't have medicine to help us, we just ended up in the hospital with dehydration if we weren't careful. Fortunately for me, I had a good friend, Ann, who was a nutritionist and she really helped me. I hope that the rest of her pregnancy and delivery go easier for her. I've totally encouraged an epidural. Why suffer when you don't have to anymore.

This picture is of my daughter, Brianne, also known as Bree. She's due 3 weeks sooner than my sister and they look very similar. Some people think they're sisters, but they're not. Bree is carrying "out".

Yes, and as everyone knows they're both having boys!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Here's what I think

Okay, so lately, I've been getting a lot of grief about not blogging often enough and I'm sure everyone is sick of seeing the same blog on here so I'm making it a point to take the time to at least share what I'm thinking. I'll try to do it more. I may only post a paragraph or a scripture that has ministered to me and why but I'll try to post more.

I was telling a friend, and fellow blogger yesterday, that the thoughts that I want to put here seem to all run together and the whole point is missed, so I said that I think I'll just write what I'm thinking. She offered suggestions and her reasons for blogging and that helped. I don't think I could be as brave and share and reveal so much about myself as she is!

So I decided to just write down what I'm thinking or feeling.

So .... here's what I'm thinking.... (f0r those of you who really know me, no it doesn't hurt) LOL

I just finished a women's small group bible study about discerning the voice of God. It was more confirming to me than any "confirmations" I've had in a while. It brought together other things I have been reading, Peter Keller's book "A Shepherd Looks at Psalms 23" and compares sheep and shepherding to people and our relationship with God. I've read it before. The speaker for the "voice" study referred back to this author and this book, then there was a lot of Chapter John quoted, which I am studying also. Right now, it's John 13 with a small group that meets early Saturday mornings called Alpha Omega. And I've had discussions with folks about my need to understand "church" and "religion" and what God wants from me, then the speaker for the voice study points to the "relationship" part of God.

Bottom line for the me was what I had already known, "church" is not the building, it's God's people as a whole. Religion... well... to me that's just the study of God's Word. Interpreted by whomever. But I will always go back to the bible to confirm what's being interpreted. Because anyone who knows me, knows I have "issues" with "organized religion". I go to a great church and I have great fellowship. I don't always agree with everything that's said or practiced, but it's better than most "organized religions" that I've belonged to. And I've come to realize that it all comes back to me and what I believe to be God's truths from His own Word. No more, no less.

Back to the "voice" study....

The relationship part was what really drew me in. I knew that God wants a relationship with us, which is why He created us in the first place, but I didn't really know how to develop that "relationship". Then to find in His Word that He speaks to us!!! Through His Holy Spirit. And I know and have been taught again that He put the desire in the heart of man and woman to know Him and to have a relationship with Him.

WOW - how cool is that. I knew He spoke to me, but only when I was at my lowest points in my life... but daily?? Yes, He does. Daily. He doesn't always speak in an audible voice but there have been times when I've clearly heard Him.

We have learned to tune Him out. Just like we tune out our kids or they tune us out, or our chatty neighbors or co workers or just the background noise all around us.

Over time we've lost the art of "listening". Not only to God, but to everyone. I'm trying to relearn the "listening" part. I'm not very good at it, but at least I'm trying.

I remember how I felt and sometimes still feel when my kids aren't listening to me or they're only half listening and I remember the hurt I felt and sometimes still feel. I can only imagine how God feels.

Now that I want to know Him, really know Him, I look for Him. And I see Him.
I sense Him watching me. Not just watching over me but watching for me. He's expecting me.
He's anticipating our conversation.
I know to some people this seems really strange. And it did to me at first too, but now I wouldn't miss this for anything. I'm entering into something new and cool.

Here's the really frustrating part.... I'm learning this new and wonderful thing, and when I share it with the people around me, the ones I love the most, they don't "get it" like I do. And so I have to realize that they are having their own walk and talk with God and it's just not the same as my walk and talk with God. I hate to see them missing out on something so huge and it drives me crazy! And I know it shouldn't. I'm learning to just give that to God too. Instead of trying to push my new found "thing" on someone I just quickly and quietly lift them up in prayer to God.

I'm trying to talk about God and this relationship with Him to a really good old friend of mine that I haven't seen in a very long time, and I'm trying to show her the way to Jesus and it seems that she's not getting it either.

So I doubt.... Lord help me with my doubt. I don't doubt God, I just doubt my ability to accurately point the way or explain what's "really goin' on".

I think the part that bothers me is that all my life, seriously, all my life, before Jesus, I had this void. This sense that something was "missing" in my life. And I tried to fill it with all kinds of things not really even knowing what I was doing. I spent most of my life wasting time on things that were so unimportant. I worried constantly, I tried to control everything, and really controlled nothing. It seemed that my life was in constant upheaval, nothing was going right or how I wanted so I was a pretty unhappy person.

Until Jesus showed up.

That was 10 years ago this August. It took me a long time to really just settle into His arms and trust that He knows right where I'm at. I have more trust in Him today than I ever have and I'm learning to rely on Him more and more everyday. To listen to Him. To wait on Him. (now that's the hardest part)

Don't get me wrong, I still have moments of worry, and the last 10 years haven't been the easiest times of my life. There have been times of great stress, but I can look back now and see from where I've come and where I'm at and the attitude I have now is completely different. I still get stressed out sometimes, but it's not anywhere near as bad nor lasts as long as it used to. It's only as long as I hold onto it. And I believe it's because God says to my heart, "Give that one to me, I've got this one". So when I hear Him, I try to obey (well, most of the time I try to).

God has used people around me to encourage me, to lift me up and to point the way back to Him.

The part that troubles me is that I see my family or friends "wasting" time, when all they have to do is take it to God and listen to Him, I mean really listen. The fact that some people don't find comfort in this also troubles me. But again, I have to give that back to God too.

It's hard to shut out all the noise and spend some quiet time with God, but it has become the most refreshing time of my day. But, if we find the time to talk to God, we should at least give Him the same courtesy to find the time to listen to Him.

For me, sometimes it's only a few minutes in the morning shower, sometimes I turn off the radio on the way to work, and if I'm early enough I'll just sit in my car before I go in and "just be" in the presence of God.

Mostly I just try to remind myself that today, right now, this minute, I am in the presence of the Most Holy One and that He is there in my situation with me - what a comforting feeling! It's a great way of starting my day defensively with God leading the way AND being my rear guard.

Friday, February 15, 2008

In my opinion, for what its worth...

Modern technology being what it is, has created a society of extremes, instant gratification, and thanklessness. Everyone is in a hurry to do, to become, to be busy. To acquire more stuff.

Few tarry, few stop to think, or at least slow down to listen, to see everything around them. Take a look around you as you drive to work or walk to school. How many are speeding, while talking on the phone, and applying makeup?? How many people are "multi-tasking"? Not that multi-tasking is a bad thing - in its place, but when lives of others are in jeopardy because people cannot stop multi-tasking to concentrate on the road before them is serious business.

Oh dont' get me wrong, I understand that people are busy. But I think more often than not, people are "over busy". Trying to do too much in too short of a period of time. Always, over booking themselves. Never declining an invitation, never saying no to that extra thing that needs to be done or taken care of. Always having their minds occupied on this life. This temporary place we are.

I believe that this is the work of the enemy of God and His people. My theory is that we are so busy, and so preoccupied we don't stop to think about our Creator. We don't stop to thank Him and worship Him DAILY, throughout the day. We don't stop to "talk" to Him. To check in with Him. To ask Him what He would have us be doing. I believe that this is much more important, critical actually, to the "abundant life" He wants us to have. He wants us to be spiritually rich, not physically rich. This is not to say that He doesn't want us to have our "daily bread" or a roof over our head, or any of the physical things of this world, I just don't think He wants us to entrapped by the physical and temporary. And the enemy of God wants us to be "entrapped". To be so involved with the physical that we forget the spiritual.

If we continue to stay busy and acquire more stuff we will eventualy become so attached to that "stuff" or entrapped by our "stuff" that when God calls us out we won't want to part with that stuff. And the enemy has won.

I don't know about you, but I want to be on God's side. Since He's the one who created me, who knew me before the beginning of time, who knows how many hairs I have on my head ( and how many I lose everyday ) , who keeps my tears in a bottle. Who knows my thoughts, my feelings, my needs and my wants. And who's known all of this from before the beginning of time. This is much more valuable to me than anything the enemy of God could ever give me. Much more worthy of my time and my attention.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Another day in the life of....

Well, it's been 3 weeks at the new job and as repetitive as it is, and sometimes very boring, I'm enjoying what I do to some degree. It may be repetitive but it's not "mindless". I've had to fix spread sheets from previous months so that they are accurate and legible. I work solely on 1 major phone company's phone errors. It's truly fulfilling when I fix an error that no one else saw or could fix. And most of the time it's as simple as an extra space somewhere in the address that you wouldn't see unless you go in and re enter all the information.

Of course Buzz misses me since now I'm gone all day. He just got groomed again and he always looks like a little boy puppy. But he's much more "pitiful" looking when he begs for food. He really needs to be on a diet but how can anyone deny that face!??
You have to admit he's the cutest doggy in the county.
He's like the child that never grows up and never leaves home.
Although, in dog years he's about 21 now. He still talks back when he doesn't approve. Yes, I have an arguing dog! He's like a teenager sometimes.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Scott's Kids

These are my "kids" although they're not really kids anymore.
This shot was taken in Pismo Beach CA. a few months ago.

My Sister

This is my sister, Katrina. She's finally having a baby!!
We got to hear the heartbeat and see it for the first time.
It's hard to believe that nowadays you can see something
SO INCREDIBLY SMALL buried deep inside your body!
I hope for a girl, but I'd be happy with a boy.
Lord knows I'm used to boys by now!
As for now the names chosen are:
Calvin James (I'll be calling him CJ)
Gwendolyn Joyce (I'm not sure what I'd call her) LOL

Suzee's Family