Thursday, April 30, 2009

"GIVE and it shall be given unto you...."

Today looks to be just about like any other normal day.......well what WE call normal here on 14 West Haywood! And sitting in the comfy blue chair watching me eat my oatmeal in my coke-bottle glasses and fuzzy slippers you would never guess I am a whole year older than I was last night. I kept trying to think of something catchy for a post title......"32 in chair of blue.." yeah I scrapped that idea all together!

Today I am soo wanting to think of and thank other people. So many wonderfully unselfish individuals have invested their lives to make mine all the richer and each year that passes I am more and more grateful for them. And I thought this would be an opportune time to spread some of their much deserved fame. None of us is here by our own boot straps. All of us are a conglomeration of the love, sweat, prayers and tears of people who cared enough to see a diamond where a lump of coal resided.

First and foremost, I thank the Lord for another year, another day, another moment of life. By His grace I have seen my 32nd year, and He alone has brought me to Mongolia and back. I am thrilled that He is not finished with me yet and still has a course for me to run.

Thank you Mom and Dad, for smiling once you found out you were having yet ANOTHER girl. Little did you know that I would pay you back for your love to me in so many ways, like breaking my arm not once but twice, leaving a fishing hook out in our room for Denise to step on and need ER help to get out, and try to raise what I believed to be tad poles in the house, which turned out to be mosquitos. Ahh the memories! I hope I have shown you how grateful I am for your love and support even when you looked at me like I was crazy sometimes! Like when I wanted to throw away my stack of pants when I wanted to attend Heritage. By the way, are they still in the closet???

Thank you White car family, Mom and Dad foremost. You allowed me to see what it was like to serve the Lord, love the Lord and see Him answer even the smallest prayers. I have fond memories of getting my hair done before school, singing "We used to go to Meetings..." and drinking Earl Grey. Thank you for saving me from wild parties, for "I'm a rich man!", introducing me to "table leg," and giving me the courage to make it through Math.

Thank you Mc Pheely family for taking me in and seeing past my "feminist front." (That was for you Tenille... :) Thank you for Buckeyes at rest stops when everyone else is sleeping, for "B-" ensemble grades when you knew I was at C level with Jon, for supporting my decision to get married, and every single act of kindness in between.

Thank you Barth family for making me part of yours from day one. Thank you for meetings at Handels, keeping up with my Mongolian ramblings, watching our kiddos, care packages after car accidents, excellent resources and a lot of love and hot tea. Thank you for the loving example you have been and still are to me.

Thank you Tam and Pat, whom have seen beyond burned bangs, THICK glasses, proud statements, no common sense, and high waistbands to still remain my true blue friendies. Thank you for hiding in the big red car with me in the parking lot of a certain church from you know who, for singing "I shall not be moved," for chicken dinner sandwiches, for "Your young! Have fun!....," for matching sweetheart banquet jumpers, for "The sands of time are sinking," for long talks and a drive to Wolmolsdorf. I count myself so blessed to have you in my corner.

There are many many more people that I could name and thank, but these are the ones that stick out to me this mornin.

I am today remembering a sweet lady who 21 years ago today sent her little girl on to heaven ahead of her. I am looking forward to surprising her with a visit, some flowers and invite her to visit her little girl's grave to sing, pray and let her know that she is not alone in her grief. Actually, no amount of gifts or cake or surprises could make me happier than going to see my friend and sitting by her, giving her a big hug and smiling knowing that death has no more sting for a Christian.

In this life I have, God knows, more than any success, any note worthy thing on my part, I want to be a giver and not a taker. God has graciously given me 32 years of goodness. Can I not spend a few moments investing my life in another person? Sure I can. And so can you.

Go make good on someone's investment in will be so richer for it.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Update on some Soul Spring Cleaning!

I am amazed, just amazed at how the Lord has been at work since I began the arduous, painful task of cleaning out my spirit of things that should have been taken care of a l....o.....n......g time ago. Shame on me.

Well.....This CD of sermons that I told you about? I thought of a friend goin on a long road trip, told her they had seriously changed me and asked if she wanted it to listen to them on her trip. "Sure," she said. A few days later, when in a church service after her return, I asked her how she liked the messages, adding a quick........"Boy I had to make some phone calls after the first one!" She smiled. She looked at me with the most sincere expression and told me, well I need to make some as well......and I need to talk to YOU.

WOW! Me? Here she had ought against me just like I had ought against someone else and had to get it right. We talked openly, and knowing how hard my phone call was to make, tried incessantly to make her confrontation with me easy and loving.

See how God works????? :-) And now another woman in our church hearing of what had happened to us wants to hear the message also! This could REALLY get interesting!!!!!

And just as with any cleaning, when you think you are done and all is whitewashed, there is always a "junk drawer" you forgot about in some corner of some dresser in a room you had almost forgotten about.........

While getting ready for Ladies soul winning Friday the Lord again spoke to my heart telling me I still had some cleaning to do. I sighed. I frowned........ I grabbed some more courage, another large helping of humble pie, (which I can ALMOST make from memory now I have had so much in the last few months...) and got THAT drawer squeaky clean.

You know you can be clean, and then you can be "I can't see nothin but shine and cannot smell nothin but Pine Sol," clean. I choose the later.

Got any of you thinkin????

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Some (Soul) Spring Cleaning

Hello all, it is 2:30, some kiddos are napping, some are outside playing with schoolwork done and some are still trying desperately to complete a ONE PAGE BOOK REPORT. Bless his heart the little perfectionist! I am reflective, yes in the infamous chair, with my favorite throw that Mel-o-dy gave me one Christmas and has no idea that it has been one of my absolute mostest favoritest things. Chicken and Dumplings is simmering on the stove and my pile of ironing is giving me that, "Uh... Hello we are still sitting here..!" look. I am not making eye contact hiding behind my laptop. Maybe it will forget I am here.

Soo much has transpired in the last week and I am going to try to recap. (Pause to review book report finally finished...) It has been an emotional rollercoaster to be sure.

Last week, Tuesday to be exact the Lord had been working on me from a sermon I heard, which I hope to post soon, gotta enlist Hubby for tecnical help. It is from a Conference, a Holiness Conference and it is about having a clean heart. I always shudder when I hear someone speak from Psalm 139:23 "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:" I was told by my Mom a long time ago that I have "THE WORST conscience" she had ever heard of. At the time she told me that I was on one end of a payphone in Indiana, telling her I could not come home for Thanksgiving, from college, because I had turned myself in for some dumb thing that the Holy Spirit would not leave me alone about. She, though she did not know what it was, would attest that it was indeed dumb and I was a close second for turning myself in. But....... that is me. I am sensitive all the way through. So here I am listening to this message and someone comes to mind......someone I had a bad spirit towards for a.long.time. I finished the sermon, got busy thinking I could silence the "voice" and forgot it for a while. Then Tuesday came and we had a Ladies Meeting......this person was there......"Talk to her. Tell her." the voice pleaded......."NO WAY JOSE.." I sweetly replied. I was in such turmoil of spirit that by the time I left I was weepy, and irritable and mad at myself for being such a chicken and not wanting a clean heart once and for all! I hung my head, sheepishly smiled at ladies leaving and waited for my Husband to arrive and get me.

My Husband had just painted a bus and it was out at the farm and he wondered if I could go take him out to pick it up to bring back to church. Sure. So in the van, I blasted Patch the Pirate sing-a-long in the back so I could have some "quiet time" with Joel and tell him ALL that was going on. I tried to be stoic with him and was glad I did not have to look him in the eye and tell him all that I was telling him. I told him I knew what God wanted me to do and was just praying that there was some other way to have a clean heart. He so gently understood, and could see how vexed I was just waring with my flesh to try to gain enough courage to finally give in to the Holy Spirit. All the kiddos wanted to ride with him on the big red bus and that left me in the van alone for the 10 minute drive with a few options.

I turned off the tape, grabbed the cell phone and had the number dialed before we even left the driveway. It was busy. "Oh well!" said my flesh, "Try her cell before you lose your nerve," said my spirit. So I did. It rang, she answered and the biggest lump in my throat rose.

It was terribly difficult, painful, humbling and incredibly frightening. But it was the right thing to do. At moments like that I always wonder why on earth I insist on wearing mascara and eyeliner. I cried and cried and confessed the sin of my pride and hung up just as we were pulling into the church to gather everyone and head home. I felt as if the weight of the world was lifted, and though I did not tell Joel what had happened until after the kids were in bed and I fell into the blue chair, I was at peace at last.

I want God to use me. I want Him to bless me. I need His forgiveness and that was what prompted me to do some "Spring Cleaning."

That was Tuesday of last week. That Friday I went out soul-wining and knocked on the door of a woman who was meeting with Mormons on a regular basis and was scheduled to have joined their ranks a week previous, when they found out she had had a cup of coffee ( joke) and called off her baptism into the Mormon church. Then my friend Laurie and I showed up! She had THAT DAY been searching for THE TRUTH, and we were almost dumbstruck at the providence God had laid in our lap. I listened intently to her story, her want for wisdom, and pointed her to the Lord, left her materials, but KNEW that the Holy Spirit did not want me to ask her to make a decision. Here she was, ready, willing, and here I am just leaving and smiling and walking back to our car. Laurie must think I made the biggest mistake! But as we left and got in the car, here came her husband, home from work several hours before his usual expected time, and he had been upset about this "Cult" that she was being led into. If we had stayed to pray with her, he would have walked in and stumbled upon us, thinking she was being led astray again to some new religion.

Laurie smiled and told me she also knew it was best and that rejoiced my heart. Back at church I was overjoyed that the Lord had allowed us to be a part of delivering that wisdom from the Lord in His perfect plan and timing. ( I have to add here that Thursday evening I had stayed up until 1 AM reading a biography of Isobel Kuhn and in my heart longed to see people so hungry for the Gospel as in her day in China......little did I know what was to transpire the very next day!) I shared with Joel what had happened and told him that I knew that this meeting would not have happened had I not made a phone call on Tuesday. He smiled, and in my heart I knew it was the truth.

Last night, at our Wed evening service, guess who walked thru the door??? Yep, my new friend...looking for me! She sat with me in church and somehow her just sitting by me made me sing a little louder and happier. During the invitation she leaned over and said, "So do I just go up there...." and the rest friends is history.......HIS-STORY that is. God is so good.

Life is not about what you can do. It is about what God can do through a clean heart. Got some Spring Cleaning to do? You know, I am beginning to see that most of what we struggle with in our Christian lives is not a matter of knowing what God wants us to do, or not do, it is a struggle with our own is more of a matter of obedience, just doing it. But if you want to know what you need to do, He will tell you.

It is good to be clean!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

a Day in the life of......

What a day of ups and downs this was! We had a funeral to attend at 11, which means an early morning, 5 kiddos to feed, clean up and find clothes for......for those of you with one or two children...than means LOTS of time searching for socks that went astray somehow and matching shoes, which alone can make you lose your testimony.

I never eat on these days which adds to the mess of things, and once dad arrived home from work we were in the van and out the door. I, for the life of me, could NOT find the card that I got for this sweet wife who lost her husband which makes me even more agitated. (Why do we say they "lost" a loved one when we KNOW they are in heaven rejoicing????)

Anywhoo this was not a sad sad sad funeral. This sweet man had lived a full godly life and I was glad to exercise my New Year's resolution of rejoicing with those who God called home instead of sorrowing almost as bad as those who have no hope.

I closed my eyes for most of the trip to the funeral home mainly because I was trying to get into some "de-stressing" trance I guess and partly because my Husband insists on changing the routes on the Tom Tom while we are driving on the freeway at 60 MPH. I would have probably had a heart attack just knowing what my blood pressure reading was at that moment.

We are at the funeral home at last, and OF COURSE Joel has some sort of responsibility and has to rush to get in and find out the order of events, leaving me to comfort Nathan who just had his head closed in the side van door....thank you Isaac. So I am waddling behind, comforting Nathan, growling at Isaac and wiping the black mark from the rubber seal from the door off of Nathan's cheek all while waddling up what seemed to me like Mount Vesuvius.

We are in and settled in the ............WWWWAAAAAAAAYYYYY back. So far back that I embarrassingly even stood up to make sure there was a casket and we were indeed where we were supposed to be. THEN Hubby tells us that we have closer seating. let's just parade all of us AGAIN thru this mass of people and try to find other seats........just what I was thinking! Come to find out we were in some side room....the only ones in there, and with a straight shot to our dear friend in the casket, though everyone in the main room could not see us. This did prove to be a blessing.

Preacher is speaking, kids are wiggling in what HAS to be the crinkliest chairs I have ever beheld. They also partially collapse if you hang your legs off the sides and wiggle your hind parts out the back hole as we also were keen observers to. Preacher is speaking, kids are wiggling, and now jumping in and out of their seats, making ME jump out of my seat. Dad is singing, Anna is whining for him, and I am furiously searching for the Cheese Nips we packed away somewhere next to my Clinique makeup in my bag. So here we are, ducks in a row, Dad is up and down handing me Anna and taking her back. I am rationing out Cheese Nips and we are passing them in perfect assembly line. Of course most of us, yes I was eating them too, chewed them with a closed mouth, but thankfully the microphone drowned out the sound from our "East Wing." Then we were on to the raisins and I am rationing some, passing them, rationing some more and passing them each child knowing what to give whom. Then a kink in the works. Caleb decides to hoard two people's raisins which at this point was to me as the abomination of desolation to the family. A "you better not do that again, enjoy the raisins they are the last you will ever see," look seemed to correct the behavior and we were in fine form until the goods were gone. Yep we were gonna have to wing it from here on out.

Then since we were the Wing that was nearest the way out, EVERY SINGLE PERSON that came to pay their respects to our dear friend then came to parade by us on their way out! No hiding for this family. I was greeting and smiling at people I have never before seen in my lifetime, and though that normally would not be such a huge nerves were about shot......ok they WERE shot and made small talk undoable! Joel noticing my uncomfortableness told me to "Stare at some inanimate object" so as not to make eye contact almost drawing strangers to us. I had to laugh at this point while I stare away at the light fixtures!

Finally we were the LAST ones excused to see our dear friend and pay OUR respects. So it is just us and the immediate family. At which time one of mine, who will remain anonymous, but if you really know us you KNOW whom it was, speaks up, "Why did they say he was gonna be put in the ground within the hour??" That was it..........just get me a coffin right here and now and let me just give up whatever ghost I have left. I.WAS.MORTIFIED. The funeral director gave a wide, slightly spooky cheesy grin and I was headed to the car......back DOWN Vesuvius.

We (Hubby) had planned a date after the funeral which just as a head's up for ya, doesn't work. A date after all of that kerfuffle led to more frustrations. And Hubby then had a meeting to speak at....some men only thing like the Knights of P.E.I from Avonlea, where they all probably wore weird looking hats and Mr. T starting kit necklaces.

It is 10, the kids are in bed, I am reflecting and somewhat laughing and somewhat wincing over today's display of "family" and ready for a good night's rest!

Night all!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Nathan at the Library

Our library has, hands-down, the COOLEST puppet selection, as you will soon see. What makes this post soo humorous for us is that it stars Nasey, whom apparently has decided that his various brothers and sisters have enough levity for everyone, and hence has become quite the serious guy. No matter how hilarious these puppets get he is stalwart to the end!

And we begin with a pig...

Anna getting in on the action, but not knowing where she was supposed to look or where the pig was supposed to look for that matter.

The Praying Mantis..

Ooo look quick, we got some hand motions goin and what seems to be emotion...

A very non-chalant Wooly Mammoth..

Dolphin, and what we think is him holding his breath?



And Terridactal....(ok excuse the lack of spelling!)



Small white rodent...

Still stoic with the Bald Eagle..

Ok now how can you not laugh at this one? Even the Gargoyle appears to be grinning. Want some help? Right before this picture, older wiser and much more mature brother Caleb explained to Nathan that you put your "hand in his behind." Enough said.

And the mess that followed. A good time was had by all......well at least we think Nathan had a good time! :)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Pictures

Us trying to get just one good family picture and having fun using the self timer!

And just "Us!"

The Royalty rendition of the "Duggar line-up"

We were all wiped out after service!

Monday, April 6, 2009

I am sending flowers to a perfect stranger!

Hello again all. Wow I know, two posts in one week after such a long absence, but I could not help but write and tell you what a wonderful thing the Lord is doing in my heart, my house, to us all here on 14 W. Haywood.

There is sooo much negetive out there, whether it be Obama-haters, church politics, or just plain ole' meaness. I am sick to the gills with it. I won't even read some places because the sarcastic negitivism makes me sick. Soo today was like a breath of fresh air to our home.

Lately I have been studying what it means to be Biblicaly Hospitable, mostly because I was asked to speak on it at a Ladies Meeting, but then because my findings were so amazing that it transformed the way I looked at a certain group of people......"strangers."

Ro 12:13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
Tit 1:8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
1Pe 4:9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.

ALL of the verses in Scripture that contain the word "hospitality" can directly be translated from the Greek to mean, "A lover of strangers." Yep, strangers." And in a nut shell, God wants us to show His love to these strangers so that they can see that "hope" that is within us and want to know Him more. The biggest lesson I learned is that hospitality is not just a fancy dinner with special dishes, a casserole you have never made, just to impress, and you barking orders to all of the kids to help you clean so no dust bunny is visible to the known world. It. Is. Simple. Kindness. Or in layman's Investing a part of yourself in another. I am so about giving back to everyone who has invested in me and in turn investing myself in others to show how much God loves them, through me. (As a side note here, our family is just about the lovingest (yep another Deena-ism) family there ever was. The other day in church I was sitting ridiculously close to Joel, Abby was smooshed against me on my left and Isaac was smooshed against Joel on his right. We were one family "glob" because we just wanted to be close to one another! It must have been quite a sight to behold.... I digress....) We have told the children that everyone needs love. Some a little, some a lot, but everyone everywhere needs love, and you can give a little of the love that Christ has "shed abroad in our hearts," everywhere you go. It has kindov been like a game.

For those of you unfortunate enough to hear my radio debut, my sincerest apologies. That was one part impulse and 99 parts excitement. Way too much. Long story, but my delightful hospitality findings overtook me leading to a radio spoof. Sometime I MAY feel daring enough to elaborate, for now I am still too embarassed!

Wow this is becoming quite the dissertation....sorry. I will get to my point.

I have known of a milestone that was coming up in the life of a sweet Godly woman. It is the year marking of the loss of a daughter. I have grieved with her, laughed with her over a cup of sleepytime, and yet our paths have never crossed. I have never met her in person. So to ME she IS a stranger and she is a perfect stranger because she is redeemed by God's grace and perfect in His sight. :-) I knew that the year marking of this sweet life reaching heaven would be bittersweet for her and have been planning for some time to send flowers to her house on the exact day. It was almost something I didn't even have to think about. Months ago I just "knew" I needed to do it. So I gathered some of my beloved (hey I usually do NOT have any!) speaking engagement money and began in search of a flower shop close to where my stranger lived. Finding her address was quite a task and I give God the glory for helping me do so. Whenever I have some crazy notion, the details of getting to the crazy notion are just as much fun for me as the idea itself! Soooo with address in hand I began to search the web maps for the one florist closest to this house, which is several states away from 14 West Haywood.

So here were all of these red alphabetical markings siting the flower shops in the area and I just picked one.......the right one. My palms were sweating as I dialed the number and for goodness sake tried to think of what to say to the other person on the opposite end. I have many faults and one of them is to feel like I have to tell someone my whole life story when I am in a pickle. A sweet southern voice answered and I began, "Uh, Hi. I need to send flowers to someone I have never met.......and well this is going to sound a little strange......" YES! She is SO GLAD SHE is working today isn't SHE? And without a pause she replied in the sweetest voice I just wish I could somehow convey to you with the southern drawl. It was like this......she said, "Laaaaaeeeey eeeeeeet onnnnn meeeeeee." How cute is that! She listened as I pointedly explained to her that GOD wanted me to send flowers to this woman! I am positive that she must have had all kinds of interesting facial expressions though she gave no hint of apprehension to me....who was thankful because I was already sweating like a 6th grader at the State spelling Bee!I told her the money I had to work with and gave her the address. Just when I thought I was in the clear and behaving like a normal 30 year old woman she politely asked me what I wanted on the card.

Oh yeah, the card! And there was the Holy Spirit right when I needed Him. I cooly replied,

"HE giveth more grace....."

Much Love,
The Baptist Preacher's Wife

And that was that! The flowers will be delivered today and I will NOT drive a zillion miles just to hide out in her bushes and wait for the flower truck to arrive.....though I sorely want to, and that is so not beyond me to do it!

What I haven't added is that while I was doing all of this Joel had Anna out with him running some errands and came through the door JUST as I was giving the last of our credit card information and thanking "Katherine" for her great assistance. He gave me a look like, "You seriously DID NOT just sell one of the kids did you?" Before he could worry any further I told him with arms straight out as if in baseball to say, "SAFE," telling him "Don't worry I have it all covered!" I walked to our room as I spoke hoping to make it to my stashed savings and show him when he stopped me dead in my tracks. "What's going on???" he asked. I took a deep breath getting ready to pontificate the whole matter and just as I was exhailing, Caleb spoke up from behind me! "I KNOW I KNOW,.....there is this lady who lost a baby and Mom is gonna send her flowers!!' (NOTE TO SELF: Make sure ole' tattle tale here is somewhere safe when planning next great idea!) By this time I was able to get the money and show Joel I did have it covered, holding it up in front of my nose and grinning from ear to ear like the cat from Alice in Wonderland. do you think Joel knows I am prone to "unique off the cuff hairbrained sporatic" plans? I am beginning to wonder...

You know it IS better to give than to receive. And if there is even an ounce in us that wants to encourage others it is only because the Lord himself put it there. Philippians 2:13 reminds us, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." You know me well enough to know that I try hard to obey prompts of the Holy Spirit. Flying to a funeral was one of them. God knew that I would be able to lighten the load of someone on that trip, and it was worth flying in one day only to fly out the next....God knew. He prompted me to go months before the funeral even took place, and He prompted Joel to come home with not cheap plane tickets one evening when we had little spoken about it. It was the Holy Spirit who prompted me to buy a book for the lady at the Clinique counter and give it to her. He knew she needed encouragement. And it was He who spoke to my heart while on Nursery duty saying, "Why don't you go and find that juice?" (Refer to previous posts if you are lost here!) None of these things were things I thought of, out of the "deceitfulness" and "desperate wickedness" of my own selfish heart. (Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?) GOD put them there to work out HIS WILL through me. What a wonderfully humbling idea!

And I am no exception. Perchance there is someone at your place of work, someone you may have just heard of, or even noticed at church, that God can show a little bit of love to through you? You bettcha. Listen to the Holy Spirit, give of what you have and He will make you to abound with more joy and fulfillment than any "NOBAMA" pin will ever give you.

Now I am no stranger to ignoring promptings as well. A few services ago the Lord asked me to reach out to the woman next to put my arm around her, and I was too fearful. I chickened-out. So see I am no perfect example of this, but I AM working on it. There are a million reasons why His prompting is weird, uncomfortable, crazy, outrageous and scary, but there are a million ways the Lord can use you in some small way to show His infinite love and concern to someone who needs Him. C'mon you can do it! Remember stories of great heroes of the faith. Each of them from time gone by have wonderful testimonies of someone.....a stranger perhaps that they would never meet this side of heaven, filling a need for them just because the Holy Spirit prompted them to do so. Money was sent at the right time, medicine, clothing, or even a word of encouragement. Who says those stories are long gone???

Not me.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Hello all, we are still alive!

I have debated writing for a few days, telling myself I will get all my thoughts together to get something whitty out into the blogisphere, but I just had to sit right now, and let you all know we are still alive and haven't forgotten about you!

The blue chair is still in use these days, though now frequently I need to have someone's assistance to help me put my feet up or get me out of it! The belly is getting more and more prominent and so are new words that I somehow keep coming up, and caramely. Yes you had to know that they would be words involving food.....hello this is ME. Deena-sims in full swing here.

Today at breakfast my 8 year old told me that my legs looked like his Great Grandmothers. (Did I ever mention I struggle with vericose veins...? I prefer to call them "very close" veins tho.) My Husband who is not usually the quickest with a reply, came to my rescue. He looked him square in the face and told him, "Those would not be there if you weren't here." My son was a wee bit slow catching the whole "drift" of the conversation, so while he was in mid-sentence asking if I had "some sort of disease," I replied, "Yes I think I have 5 little diseases!" No worries, he prayed for my veins at breakfast and all was forgotten.............UNTIL he waxed eloquent yet again much to my shagrin. While feeding Anna a concocsion of cream of wheat, butter, sugar and believe it or not chocolate chips that Joel made.......which was de-lish, the great 8 year old told me that he "didn't mean to be mean," WHOA a BAD START, " But from the side my nose looked like an elf nose." I was glad there were several dinning room table lengtheners to make my reaching him impossible. AND I was glad his birthday was months away yet. So you see, we are just keepin on here on Haywood.

Lately I am just overwhelmed at all of the sickness and sadness going around. This one has a baby in the hospital with terrible heart rhythms, this one has a brain bleed, this one may not come home from the hospital, and this one cannot even walk anymore and take care of her responsibilities. I.Am.Overwhelmed. I keep bringing it to the Lord as if I were delivering a letter, and instead of leaving it with Him and going on about my daily life, I stand there, right in front of Him and ask Him every 5 minutes if He read my letter yet, and did He get all of it. He knows, I just want to hear HIM tell me that He knows. But these are not my burdens to bear, they are HIS. He need not explain the in's and out's of other people's sufferings and what fruits will remain from them. I am called on simply to pray to Him for THEM. And I am. And you KNOW He has reminded me several several times of my New Year's resolution to look forward to heaven and rejoice with those who's course has been completed and join Him there. I think this is harder than limiting chocolate. Now caramel, that may be another story altogether.

I just got this weird nervous feeling remembering that my Mom reads all my posts. Not that I would change anything or anything, just was thinking of it. So, Hi Mom.

Anywhoo, I am also amazed at the wonderful feeling that comes over you on a Sat. evening when the laundry is done, the mandarin orange jello is in the fridge, the chicken is tenderized and ready to be cooked, and the dishes are done. I survived another day. The hoolagins are asleep, or faking, either way I am happy, and my husband comes home from prayer meeting looking at me like I have just kept the titanic afloat. Wonderful. And of course I soak it in for a little while, and for a little while I AM SUPERMOM. Then someone appears from the bed catacombs and needs a "Dink a water."

How are you all? Leave me a comment and let me know. YES I have been trapped inside too long! And when you have cravings for KFC and those cute little butter cookies shaped like flowers with a hole in the middle so you can stack them on your pinky......that isn't such a good thing.