Thursday, August 30, 2007

What a Discount

I know I am over blogging right now, but hey when you have the energy and the mindset to write, ya just got to go with it.

Shopping- Is it just me that people who aren't working full time get in on some of the best specials ever. Like yesterday I went to Macy's in Memorial City and I brought along coupons for 10.00, 15.00 and then 20% off. So with the 10.00 coupon I used it for a pair of shoes that were on sale, then marked down 50% and with the coupon the grand total came to 5.34. Then I went to the lingerie dept and used the 15.00 off and then I bought a blouse, vest and tailored trouser jeans for like 68.00. Fabulous!

Online, I found a Micheal Kor skirt deeply discounted at the Nord. And I already mentioned yesterday the books...

OK today, I met Laurie M at The Nord for lunch. Beforehand, I ran to Eddie Bauer's. I had bought a summer sweater (now that is an oxymoron if I ever heard one in Houston. A summer sweater is anyone who lives in Houston!) that they had left the security tag on. It didn't go off in July when I bought it and it didn't trip the alarm when I came in the store to have it removed. While I was rack, 50% off the sale price. For the grand total of 38.00 buckarinos...(nod to Ned Flanders) I got 3 t shirts and a cute navy skirt. But wait, there's still more. After a very fun lunch with Laurie...and I want to give a little shout out to Susan Kirby and her husband who happened to be lunching at The Nord as well...always good to see you Susan, I stopped at the Play Grocery Store to pick up yogurt and bananas. In the clearance basket was a set of summer silverware for 14.99, six place settings and shrimp forks to boot. Y'all, 15.00 bucks and they aren't plastic. I hate to admit this but we still use the silverware I bought right out of college. Right now some of my "presentation" friends are freaking out. But the pattern has come back in style at least 4 times since then. Along with the silverware, they had cupcake candles marked down and several fun things for birthday gifts. How cool is that?

This certainly has been a fun two days shopping wise. It has also been fun Buddy wise. I have had time in the mornings for her to crawl into my lap and purr. She cannot get enough lovin' in the mornings...and I am always rushing out to the door to work and can't give her enough time. It also hit me that I rush out the door and don't pay enough attention to God and you know Him, He is LOVE. So He is always up for some lovin'. Today, Buddy even helped me type some comments on other blogs. I love Buddy....and oh yea, I love God! Have to give my props.

Laurie M made a great observation about blogs, they are like a daily Christmas letter only better. You can chose to read a blog and you chose to comment. It's all good!

Well, I better bring in the rest of the groceries and settle in with a book. I go back to the Nord for a massage tonight, then Dena and I are going to hear Kirby John Caldwell and John Maxwell in the morning. I am really looking forward to that.

I had to share all my great finds from the past few days. One of my objectives too, is to find a new vacuum cleaner. Anyone have a suggestion on which is the best to get?

Peace Out...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wednesday Writings from Home

I was talking to Kelly yesterday before leaving for a writing class at St. Luke's Methodist and we had a conversation that I would have loved to give much more time to. I was gulping down a Luna Bar and one of those big red Sam's Washington State apples, the kind that make your jaws hurt biting into it and catching up with her and life experienced on the run. It was not so much catching up as it was confirmation to the fact of our desperate need for God. Yes, OEG, a confirmation was going on right outside the Garden Bookstore inside a Baptist church. We are tired, worn out, stretched beyond ourselves and desiring God so much in our ordinary moments. She understood when I lamented about my lack of anything looking like a quiet time and commiserated with her desire not to bring God the left overs of her life. We dissected authenticity and reality of walking out the ordinary in a very sacred way. Let's face it, we got a lot covered in about 10 minutes of time and if your minutes before noon went really slow, we are to blame, because God slowed down time and our ADD brains to let His Spirit permeate and resonate.

We are hard working at church. The past few weeks has been full of deadlines, addressing needs, answering questions, producing correct paperwork and now the new hassle of ordering office supplies easily as we get ready for the fall. In my small area it seems as of late so much has been relegated to last minute status. And it is up to me and my excellent attitude to take care of things excellently when the initiator of the projects has coasted until the deadline loomed large or the initiator has no clue the amount of time some things take. The coasting is exacting too much from me. I come home exhausted and listless. There is a lot of emotional energy that is required in the office as I tip toe around those whose feelings are readily available to be hurt, navigate the treacherous waters of those who are self centered and be the clown, the funny one, the one who makes everything OK. I don't mind that at all, in fact that is really who I am and laughter and making others laugh is a gift from God. I love doing that and can do it on auto pilot when need be. Set the cruise control for 60 miles an hour of fun and laughter. Since I am not in a bad mood, merely tired, I can add this poem by a teenage girl (in 1960) who is the life of the party , always up, always in a good mood and making others laugh from Ken Gire's book, Seeing What is Sacred." It resonated with me the first time I read it and if you are like me, have the gift of fun, laughter and merriment, it might do the same in you. If you love the image that a funny person gives, this might be a poem for reflection and understanding.

Do you know what it's like to be a clown?

Do you know what it's like to suffer
from too many laughs?

Do you know what it is like for a

girl to be born a circus act?

Do you know what it's like to have a funny bone

for a brain?

Do you?

I don't have any white paint
on my face, but I wear a mask.

I have a silly smile that never changes.

It's always there and everyone expects it to be there.

They like it that way.

They enjoy a clown and they use a clown
because they think a clown doesn't care.
about anything.
I can't enjoy a bad mood with other people.

That's a strange luxury.

I have to be a clown.

Whenever people tease me I turn into an act,
a fool standing on my head.

Then I look up and I see a world full of upside down people

trying to be what they aren't.
I see so many people wearing strange colorless makeup,

and they longer they wear it the harder it is to

discover what kind of people they really are underneath.

I'm waiting for someone to step behind my face

and find me!

Not Stevie, but me!

Lord, when will this Stevie be free to be me?

Partner this with Roy's overwhelming office life right now and we both are living a lack luster life. Buddy is the only lively one in the evenings and as cute as that may be, her prowling and adventures usually add to our tiredness and frustration. The conversation with Kelly and the ongoing frustrations, times and seasons of life right now is causing me to examine my life and to offer once again to God, who and what I am. I am looking for His leading and guidance and I want Him to just want to hang out with me right now. And so to be able to have some hang out time with God, I am on vacation. This morning while getting ready I asked God to let me rest, but also to cram everything in that needs to be done. I want to read all I can get my hands on, and I don't want to worry if I think about what I am doing is productive or a complete waste of time... In all I want to know His presence and talk with Him for a long time, not in the formality of quiet time, but in life. More importantly I want to be able to have the attention span to hear Him speak and know the ongoing conversation He and I are having.

The writing class that several of us went to at St. Luke's was an oasis to my soul. Cheryl, therapist, keeps asking me what nourishes my soul? I came away yesterday all fat and sassy, complete with a literary toothpick hanging from my lips because of all the words, then forming words, loving words, and creating sentences, constructing paragraphs and eventually developing something that might be worth reading. The instructor used several of my all time favorite words, kudzu, ensconced, genre and niche. Of all the tables full of participants, I believe our table had the most fun and it energized me to participate and grab every bit of life from the brief time we had to learn.

This post has gone on for way too long and I have other writings rumbling around in me, but for now I need to quit. Now I am going to start reading Amy Tan's book, "Saving Fish From Drowning." My long time friend and first tennis partner I ever had,Cris, has invited me to join her book club. Of course to celebrate joining a book club, the fact I am on vacation and today was a shopping day, I ordered 6 new books from Amazon. Oh, law, I am so addicted to books.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Memory Lane

Tonight I was inspired by QQ tribute to Steve Martin. His standup comedy and commentary on life is some of the funniest I have observed throughout the years. When Roy and I were first married his comedy album was # 1 and off the charts. Thanks Laurie J for helping me step back in time on You Tube. I watched a few videos from SCTV and laughed as hard tonight as I did when I first saw it.

One of the funniest SNL skits ever is the Men's Synchronized Swimming.

Just wanted to take a trip down Laughter Memory Lane. Thanks for joining me.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Give Me Some Football- at home

Last night we went to Reliant Stadium with over 70,000 of our closest friends to see the Texans defeat the Dallas Cowboys. This is my second visit to see the Texans play and this post will be a reminder to me that I might just like seeing them on TV so much more. Next year if the offer of these tickets come around, I think I will ask Roy if he would like them and he can ask a friend to go with him. We actually had four tickets so we asked Malcolm and Lisa to come along. There was the first stop of the obligatory tail gate meet and greet or it could really be a sip and see, all I know is this, it was dang hot. Roy's watch gives a temperature reading and we were at the 99 degree mark for most of the pre game activities. I found a tree and sat in the shade for most of that time. For those of you who thought I was being anti-social, I was not. I was in survival mode. The fajitas and all the fixings were wonderful, but y'all it was dang stinkin hot. The whirl of the margarita machine next to us held a slim degree of temptation...not cause it was a margarita, but for the cool relief it would bring. I had made a note to self, that when you are at a tailgate party with co-workers, friends and the Pastor of the church, keep those longings for something cool to yourself. It was bad enough the rumors were flying once we were in the stadium because there were several sitings of Roy standing in the beer line. He was doing that for me, no I did not want a beer, but that is the only place where you can buy bottled Diet Cokes and water. The concession stands have watered down fountain drinks...but I am getting ahead of myself.

Soon we were off for the long trek to the stadium from the Green Parking Lot. We opted out of the escalator line and did a couple of the ramps only to then realize the degree of our mistake and get right in the escalator line for the continuing journey to the top of the stadium. Lisa and I were walking in the midst of rabid fans...yelling Houston...and the response was Texans. I once yelled Astros just to be different. Roy had gone on ahead and we had lost Malcolm after we all had been searched for weapons or contraband. We all met up on our concourse level and then we preceded to our seats...high up. I knew they would be high up but only when I saw the Plexiglas around the stair entrances and exits did I remember I am so afraid of heights... by the time we had crawled over friends, the Pastor and his family did my knees finally quit shaking. Actually when Eric took my hand to help me with a couple of steps did I finally feel relaxed. Thanks Eric for extending that kindness my way.

We missed the National Anthem but we were in our seats to watch the first play of the game and the excitement of 21 points put on the board by the Texans. It was really exciting and fun. I think Roy knew I was tired and asked if I would like to leave at halftime...yes I would. We made our journey back to our car in the Brown Parking Lot and headed out and headed toward home. I was asleep by 10:30 and woke up this morning at 9:00am.

You see all kinds of people at sporting events. It is a great place for people watching. As we were walking down the ramp and I was oh so comfortable in my Priva! shoes, I watched women who had worn 3-5 inch heels navigate the crowded ramp uncomfortably. We walked out with a man who was so totally drunk he could barely walk. His friend stayed near but never helped him as he tripped over his flip flops. This drunk man had crab like moves his arms curled inward and he walked sideways most of the time. I hope his friend was the designated driver.

It a wonder there aren't riots every weekend at pro football games and stadiums. There is a dangerous mixture of beer, testosterone, a violent game and scantily clad women. You can feel an edge in the whole atmosphere. I am glad that HFBC is partnering with the Texans in media and advertising. God can use the advertisement in the program and in the stadium to reach someone who is tired of filling their lives up with stuff, the need to be seen, and the desire to be a part of something that really in the big picture of eternity isn't going to mean a whole lot. If there is a church that cares to advertise with the Texans, just maybe the people in the church will care enough when I walk through the door, will be the thought and mindset of so many who are lost. I mean really, the drunk crab man probably has a hangover this morning and no clue what easy pickings he could have been to people who like to beat up weak people.

Yep, give me some football from my comfortable couch and with a Diet Coke that didn't cost more than my first car. The only drawback is, I won't let Roy shell his peanuts all over the floor like he gets to at the stadium.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Fast Lane Friday

This morning around 7:45 I heard Lisa's distinct ring on my cell phone and since I was deep in sleep, I could not answer it before the call went to voice mail. I got my wits about me and found my glasses to call her back. She was meeting Stacy at the BG (Buffalo Grille) and Stacy would have to leave a little before 9:00 for Kincaid, would I like to come and have breakfast. Well, sure! Lisa P and the BG...awesome! So, I scrambled out of the bed and got there right around 9:00. Had a delicious breakfast and we did some birthday celebrating as we left. Thanks Lisa, I LOVE everything and I love the extendomatic birthday. Then I ran to Emmanuel to get my hair cut. Goofy one that I am, I called Lisa and said would you like to come and see where I get my hair cut? Her answer was maybe...she had a little business to conduct beforehand. Got to Emmanuel and just had my hair washed when Lisa drove up. So what fun to visit with a friend and introduce my friends to one another. Lisa and I are funny that way, we want each other to see our normal everyday life. So when I am driving down the Gulf Freeway I think, oh there is Lisa's Panera Bread, there is her Macy's, her Lifeway etc... Now when she calls and I am getting my hair cut or highlighted, she can picture right where I am. Fun times.

Then I ran a couple of errands and returned home. I am waiting for Roy cause he is getting his eyes checked and new glasses. I am the new glasses part. I help him pick them out.

I now know if I ever get addicted to prescription drugs, my friends can do an intervention like two days after I start taking them. I never realized how different I am on Demerol and Darvocet. They quiet me down, my mind doesn't race and I am about three beats behind everything. I know in the past few days I have been at work and worked, but conversations...I don't remember them. I heard a couple of things I said from friends and I can't believe I said some of that out loud. Oh my... I know how to aggravate Jason, slow down my speech. He said that was the longest meeting we ever had cause it took me so long to form the words to discuss anything. Love having that knowledge.

In the coming days if you would say a prayer for a loved one of mine, I would appreciate it. This morning they had a bone marrow test to see why their blood platelets are so low, 23,000. The normal range is 125,000 -400,000. They will get the results on Wednesday.

Buddy was a wild cat last night and she is soundly sleeping on the chair. I am now going over there and wake her up, then let her go back to sleep, so I can wake her up again. It ain't right how that cat sleeps all day just to roam and have adventures at night. Most of the adventures last night entailed knocking everything off the dresser.

Speaking of adventures, we are all having adventures in office supply ordering. If the slogan is, "that was easy" it might not be indicative of the ease of ordering, but how quickly and easily one could loose their temper. If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. The cheapest is not always the best solution...and that applies to more than office supplies, it applies to life. I heard someone say this morning at the Emmanuel, "just because someone has nice things, that doesn't make them a nice person." So true.

Have a wonderful weekend! Have fun! Look for the presence of God in the little things in your life. He will totally blow you away with how involved He is in the details of our lives.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Wee Bit Dim on Demerol

Sunday night we had Cafe Ascend. Now we just have it once a month and I try to do something different or special on that night. We have ramped up the coffee service and have live music. One time I had an artist come in and show some of his paintings. I have had another artist who wants to show their work, but I don't think it is edgy enough for the evening crowd. The work is kind of Thomas Kincaid like and is more suited for well the suited crowd at the 9:10 service. Anyway, it was sometime in Cafe Ascend that I did something to my lower back and since then I have dealt with lower back, hurts every time you move, or hit a speed bump, or cough, pain. Last night I finally decided to take something stronger than Advil and took some Demerol I have here for just a time as this. In fact I had to get up in the middle of the night and take more to deal with the pain. The first pill and the Advil PM had worn off. I woke up around 6:30 am and called Jason to let him know I would be in late. Thankfully Roy called at 8:00 or I might still be asleep. It took some time to get ready and I waited a bit before trusting myself to operate heavy machinery i.e. the car. If I sent anyone an email today and it looked like this:

dfijejitlsjfg jeijhjgjersdkf sijiejrjwpejjs;j

please forgive me, it was the drug doing the typing. I know I went through the day and did work and had conversations, but it is all a blur to me right now. What I do remember is this, I was so mellow and laid back. My mind didn't race and think of a thousand things. I was focused and did my work one step at a time instead of the usual spinning plates routine. Other people's hyperness did not affect me one bit and those who can get on my last nerve were tolerable. It was kind of nice to experience life in a slower lane today, but I don't know if that is how I would want to be all the time. Nothing funny came to me, I didn't think in rhymes, and not too much excited me. If I can stand it, I am not going to take anything tonight. Mainly because I don't think I should take strong drugs when only Buddy is here to look out for me. And since seeing that cat on the news that sleeps near people who are dying, it creeps me out when she comes to bed and sleeps next to me for any length of time. Now it doesn't bother me when she comes to bed to get her head and back rubbed and then she is off for late night time adventures in our living room.

I can tell I am coming out of my fog and easing into my real fog life. There are several other things I want to post about and normally would change topics mid paragraph, but I think I will spare you all my ramblings, run on sentences, non completed thoughts and the things that amuse me tonight.

Thanks for reading and for those of you who comment, thanks for commenting.

The iBible

This kind of funny, but sometimes all too true.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Tuna Does Vegas, Dena and Nancy Shop Galveston

I don't know how many of you have seen the Tuna series done by Joe Sears and Jaston Williams, but if you haven't you must. These two men are some of the funniest performers I have ever seen. They play all the parts and do quick changes throughout the play. Greater Tuna, Tuna Christmas, Red, White and Tuna and now Tuna Does Vegas.

Dena and I went to Galveston to celebrate her birthday yesterday. We hit the road around 2:00 to get to The Strand to get some shopping in. We were not disappointed. Had a great time and no rain. We went to a couple of our favorite places and could not remember where we had been last time and bought some fabulous jewelry. A clerk at another store told us we were looking for The Front Parlor. We went in and could have spent more time and money in there if the meter wasn't running out of time where we parked. We both came out with Yellow Box shoes and a few other things. We went to Gracie's too. I found a Vera Bradley messenger bag and lots of cards. That store has some of the best around.

We had reservations at The Salt Water Grill. It is across the street from The Grand Opera House. Loved it! The food was awesome. We had fried asparagus with crab meat, Dena had a salad and Almond/Coconut shrimp. I had corn and crab chowder and the sweet potato crushed catfish with spinach and some kind of delicious sauce. We split butterscotch bananas and fruit with vanilla bean ice cream.

We crossed the street and went to the play...5th row. I think it is the closest we have ever been to the stage. Not only did we see a great production but we got an eye full of people watching. The lady next to me wanted to cuddle with her date through the whole play which didn't work in such close quarters. In fact one of her cheeks...not facial, was on my lap all evening. I was quite uncomfortable so I moved my legs and body shifting left, which made me invade Dena's space a little bit. We also had an older couple on a date in front of me which could not sit still and rared back from time to time crushing my knee, but it didn't seem to bother butt cheek lady. Up front was an older couple who were also on a date. The man was in total denial about being bald and actually he did Texas women proud. He must have teased those few strands of hair and lacquered them in place with some good stiff hair spray to achieve that wispy hair look. His date looked to be a little older than him and she was in a black evening pants outfit....did I mention it was sleeveless and it was a halter top? It is my firm conviction if you have grandma flab that hangs where your triceps used to be, throw a shawl around all that dangling flesh. At least it was tanned flesh. She was in her element and during the intermission while music played, they danced. It was not a dance unto themselves kind of thing, it was more...look at me...I am dancing. She could hardly look at him trying to grab a peek here and there to see if anyone was looking adoringly at them. She seemed to be one of those women who is stuck in her glory days mentally and has not made the transformation physically. Lot of the people we saw last night could have been characters in Tuna.
There's a storm brewing out in the Caribbean and it is looking like it is heading to the one knows where. While most forecasters are predicting that it will go into Mexico or South Texas, everyone along the gulf coast needs to be prepared. Roy and I have lots of bottled water, snacks, food that will keep without electricity and the like. At some point we should probably invest in some ice. Anyway, I went to the grocery store, the play one, and did some regular grocery shopping. You could feel the sense of panic in the air all throughout the store. Bottled water...pretty much gone. People putting tons of tuna, the kind you eat, not the play, in their carts. Sometimes you can kind of get carried away in that moment. I thought, we all here in the store probably have tons of water and supplies...but it is the unknown and the fear of not having enough that is driving a lot of people today. My panic buy of the day, powdered sugar donuts. I have mentioned before when it rains a lot, I think there should be donuts in the house. They expiration date is Sept 6, so I will have them here just in case past Labor Day.
The young man that checked me out...not me, the groceries, kept saying why is everyone buying up so much bottled water? I told him there is a storm a brewing... He had no clue.
The past two Fridays have been kind of exciting and fun. All good things must end, next Friday all I have scheduled is a hair appointment and go with Roy to the eye Dr. for his exam.
Since Dena's birthday is Wednesday, I would like to say Happy Birthday Dena! (she reads the blog, doesn't comment on the blog)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

All in All

I am so glad this week is over. It has been busy, stressful, fun, reflective, thought provoking and now it is almost over.

I am feeling a blog coming on about SWBTS and their new Master's degree for women with a homemaking emphasis. These type of courses have not been offered since 1909. Hmm..that should tell us something. I am a little too tired to write about this tonight and I am not a feminist by any means, but come on. Why do the powers that be in the Baptist world continue to make us look like rubes? Other denominations will even make women Pastor's but Baptists think a few hours of textile courses and cooking will make a woman. Come on people, read Proverbs 31! That contains more than cooking, cleaning and sewing in it. Let's just say if I don't see a Master's degree in Duct Tape, household repair, car maintenance and toilet seat lessons for men, I will consider it discrimination.

One of the highlights of the week was singing Carpenter songs with CourtneyS today. Steven Murray joined in on our last few renditions. I am also publicly apologizing to CourtneyS. We said we would sit together at the Staples lunch and learn today and I mis-read the universal sign for, we have the same type of beads on, for oh I already have someone to sit with. Besides, I didn't bring anything to take notes with or on and Jessica said she would take notes for me. What I find funny is this, because of all the rain and flooding in Houston, Mission Burritos couldn't get to church to serve lunch. So, we attended the meeting, stomachs growling, and attention spans waning we learned how to order on line etc. Just when it looked like we were going to have to eat at The Garden Cafe....Mission Burritos made it just in time. So, by the time we were served and had eaten, the one hour lunch type deal had been expanded by over an hour. Today, will all the rain, it was good to have a free lunch on my lunch hour. CourtneyS said she was going to blog me about not understanding her sign language, but I think I redeemed myself when I called them before she and Debbie left for Subway in Debbie's Hummer and they were able to come back for a delicious Mission Burrito lunch with all the fixins.

I got the results from my Birkman test today. I tested out very high on the creative side. On the graph, for most of my results, they were at the opposite end of the spectrum. I had a few balanced areas. Working tested out very low for surprise there, but how I deal with control and work was a little surprising but true. This test shows the usual, what people see or what we let them see and it shows our internal needs, the part of us we don't show too often. I found it pretty much right on for me... I felt like maybe they had been reading my journal.

Roy and I went to Buffalo Grille tonight and had breakfast. Then we ran to the Kroger's for a few things. People were already in there panic shopping in case of Hurricane Dean. I have to admit, I picked up a few more Balance bars and some string cheese. That was my panic shopping.

I will write more later on the degree, but I wanted to include what I made and have included in my application to be a part of this degree program. If you want me to make one for you, just let me know.

Paper plates, macaroni, felt and clothespins. Oh no, not only am I using this on my application, but I have spoiled several of y'alls Christmas' cause I have made several of these for your Christmas gifts. Oh, just put a ribbon in your hair and act happy when you receive it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Therapist, Tenseness and Tennis

I just got home from The Nord. I scheduled a massage a couple of weeks ago and the timing was perfect. Really, it is just Tuesday of the week and I am already for it to be over. After a productive visit with Cheryl the therapist/coach I returned to work, talked to Ben about taking the Birkman test, and then found out a couple of ministry things are coming back to me and Jason. You can really read Nancy in that. It is not all bad but one person in particular who I'll have to talk to is a whiner and is very patronizing when she talks to you and when she calls and needs something done...which a dime will get you a donut, will be last minute, I get the impression that she thinks I am just sitting there with nothing to do. Sorry about the world's longest run on sentence. She has no clue how many plates I am spinning.

When I left the office yesterday with a high blood pressure headache I turned up the volume on Praise 92.1, the inspiration station...for African Americans and The song playing was, The Battle is the Lord's. This morning when I left to pick up the Starbucks for our Ministries meeting, guess what song was playing, The Battle is the Lord's. I laughed and told the Lord, OK, OK, I get your message. It all belongs to you, why should I worry and fret?

My visit with Cheryl was awesome yesterday. We had to take a little step into therapy cause I had an issue come up that previously I have handled well, but did not do so on Sunday. Once we got that worked through... I will be the wiser Nancy and know not to walk into that mistake again, we began our forward thinking as Cheryl being more of a life coach for me. I have some assignments before our next visit. I took the Birkman test today. I get so dyslexic with true/false questions. So who knows how that turned out.

One thing that I brought to the appointment yesterday was something I found while cleaning out a cabinet on Saturday. I don't remember who wrote this, but it is something I read almost every day before playing tennis. It still speaks to me although I no longer play. It reminds me of life and how hard it can be at times. I am reminded that it takes more than a tough mind set, but it takes the mind of Christ. In our devotion time in staff meeting this morning Jason reminded us after Don's wonderful devo that the disciples were fishermen and they should be experienced with storms and how to handle the boat and themselves. But they were afraid and went to Jesus. Jason said sometimes our storms are in the things we know best and we need to let go of what little control we think we have and surrender it all to the Lord Jesus Christ.

"The game of tennis is never fair. It's nothing but a continuous series of problems. My mental edge is knowing that I will manage problems better than my opponent. I'm at my best when problems start cropping up. Problems challenge my spirit and bring out the fighter in me. Problems make me tougher.

Give me problems! Lots of problems! Give me wind, give me pushers, give me cheaters,; bring them all on. I'm becoming a great problem solver. And when the next big one comes, I'll face it eye to eye, smile inside and say will all the feeling I can muster- I love it!

Show me a tennis player who's surprised at what is transpiring on the court and I will show you a tennis player who's in trouble. Players go into matches expecting everything to be perfect. When they get cheated, face rain delays, have the strings in their favorite racquet break or their forehand is gone, they're shocked. Panic sets in and they turn negative.

Being a great problem solver means you've learned flexibility and resilience in the face of adversity. You can take a punch, you can bounce back-no panic, no complaining, no rage. You simply fight smarter and more effectively."

Well, there you have it. Now I am going to bed. I got a deep tissue massage on my back and feet tonight. I need to read Psalm 18 again and know that I can leap over a wall and run over a troop in the strength of God. I have to tell you, I love Him so!!! The Battle Belongs to the Lord!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Truth from Pajama Drawstrings

I was eating breakfast yesterday morning and noticed some writing on the drawstring of my pajama bottoms. Since these are relatively new pajamas I hadn't taken notice of this before. "Laugh at the rules" was the first saying. Hmm...probably not the best adage to live by, but heck I have laughed at rules before especially when they were really, really stupid. The kind of rules that don't make sense and have been made just to have a rule for a rule sake.

The next saying was, "Color outside the lines." No harm there, it goes along with think outside the box and push the envelope. I "color outside the lines" in a lot of areas of my life, not to have a rebellious heart or out of mischief, but just because it makes life so very interesting. Roy and I had lunch with friends today after church. I was telling them about a friend of mine who has quirks, well we all have quirks.. and she admits those quirks at will. Her main quirks are related to driving. She likes to drive in a certain lane and at a certain speed. If there are parts of the freeway she doesn't like, she gets off and drives on the feeder road and enters back in where she likes to. That my friends is coloring outside the lines. Do I always understand the reasoning behind these quirks, well frankly no, but that is one of the ways she colors outside the lines. Her driving quirks have endeared her to me. We all express color outside the lines in all kinds of different ways.

"Let yourself daydream." I liked that one too. Sometimes people feel so guilty about daydreaming but not me. In fact daydreaming can be productive if you let it. Some of my most creative ideas come when I brush my teeth and I am totally daydreaming. Sometimes when people have gone on too long in conversation that isn't interesting, I warn them; if this doesn't get interesting in about two sentences I am so going to daydream while you talk. Guess that statement would fall under laugh at the rules and let yourself daydream.

But the next statement on the drawstring of my pj's, got my attention, "agree with your imagination." WHAT??????? I said WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You've got to be kidding me! Agree with my imagination? I am going to be honest with you, sometimes I don't like where my imagination goes and I have to bring it right back to the feet of Christ and ask forgiveness for my thoughts. Oh my goodness, when I think about how mad I used to get; do you know how many people would have possibly been maimed or killed if I agreed with my imagination? My imagination...has taken me...well, how can I say this... uh just think but don't agree with the song by Marvin Gay, Let's Get it On. My imagaination gone wild has told me I was going to die before I turned 23, that I would never have a good and happy life, that not having children would bring me untold unhappiness and misery, that I would never fit in, that I don't have any friends, and that I am not good at anything. My imagination has told me that I am awesome at things that I was really horrible at. I see someone mad or upset and I just let my imagination run away with me has said I caused it. It was all my fault when it really had nothing at all to do with me. I have imagined tragedies that have never happened and I have imagined honors that never were to come.

I am glad that I am not so naive to believe everything I read on the drawstrings of my pajamas, but there are those who are. When I played tennis I had a friend who was born in Egypt. She had this great accent and somehow when she said something it had more weight to it just because of the accent. One day she said something that was totally wrong and I realized just cause she had the accent didn't make it anymore true or believable even if the same words came from someone from deep east Texas with quite a few teeth missing.

So don't trust all those sayings on the drawstring of your pajamas, better yet, buy pjs with no sayings. Know this, it is the Word of God that speaks into our lives. Knowing that greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world is a very good start. Taking my thoughts captive and vain imaginations to the mercy seat of God is another great place to begin. OK, when I just wrote that I wrote taking my thighs captive...then of course I corrected that, but now that I think of it I should take my thighs captive and not in panty hose but with some exercise. This kind of thinking and imagination is why I never say to the enemy, 'get behind me Satan.' Why? I know that he is just going to tell me that those pants or dress make me look fat. I don't need his help back there... Oh for the record my imagination isn't lying to me when I know that it isn't the pants or is pure dee me.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

ENFP- Yep That's Me

Click to view my Personality Profile page

The result of this test should not surprise anyone. Click on this and see what you are. If you feel like sharing, put it in comments.

O Happy Day!!!!

This morning when I awoke at 8:18 am I thought, this time last week Peggy and I were standing in line at the Southwest Airlines counter waiting to check luggage for our flight. Our trip last week was totally fun, but it was very nice to still be in bed this morning with a Saturday of no agenda or definite plans. There was a day that no plans would have me in a funk.

Yesterday, I had one of the most fun days I have had in a very long time. The past couple of weeks have been emotionally draining because of situations and circumstances that seem to have no end in sight. Cheryl brought to my attention last month that there was very little nourishing my soul and I wasn't replenishing my life with creativeness or reflection. That brings me to yesterday. Dena had asked me last week if we could celebrate my birthday on Friday. Sure... Her plans for our day would begin around 1:30, would that work for me? Sure.... She wouldn't give me any hints as to where we were going or what we were going to do. One birthday she gave me a hint that were we were going was biblical and I guessed Ruth Chris Steak House right off the bat. Since then, she refuses to give me hints. I will tell you this, I would have never guessed in a million years where she took me for dinner, but I am getting ahead of myself. So, she picked me up and we were off for adventure. Our first stop Sonic. Have to have a Cherry Coke and a Vanilla Diet Coke for the road. We headed out 290 and I kind of thought we would make the turn onto Highway 6 to Byran/College Station, but we kept on going and eventually arrived in Brenham where we stopped at Blue Bell Ice Cream. We were too late for a tour, but we were able to look through the museum and the much more interesting Gift Shop. Dena bought us Blue Bell Ice Cream and commemorative t-shirts.

Really, when you think about it, the tour would not add to my love of Blue Bell. It is kind of how I feel about electricity. Love using it, don't care how it is the end result of the product.

Neither one of us have ever been to the little creamery in Brenham and we really enjoyed our time there.
We continued on into Brenham and made a turn onto 105. Then we turned on 50. I remembered this was the direction to the ranch Roy and I went to in April, then I saw the sign for the Brenham Airport. I jokingly said, so we are going to the airport and Dena replied, maybe so. And that is just what we did. Now here is the coolest thing, there is a restaurant there called the Southern Flyer. It is like a 1950 diner complete with jukeboxes at the booths and waitresses dressed in poodle skirts. It was awesome! We sat a booth and ordered fried pickles and onion rings for appetizers. Then Dena got the chicken fried chicken and I got the chicken fried steak complete with made from scratch veggies. We are planning a repeat visit to try the hamburgers cause we heard they are out of this world. Friends of Dena's who are pilots had told her about this and one even offered to fly us there for my birthday, but then we would not have been able to drive around the countryside. We ate until we didn't have room for one more thing. That is when a little blessing in disguise happened. We wanted to order Coconut Creme Pie for dessert, but it wasn't ready. In a conversation last week, I had heard about Bevers and the awesome pie there. So, we made a switch in plans and decided we would go there for dessert and the waitress confirmed to us those were very good plans. We sat on the porch for a bit and watched some planes land and take off. Dena gave me my birthday gift of beautiful jewelry-earrings, necklace and bracelet. They are amber and turquoise. Love them all! Since we had decided to go to Bevers after the dinner rush, we had a little time to look around. She had never been to Independence,TX. I wanted to go back and see what time the Baptist Museum hours were. I mean if you are Baptist and there is a museum dedicated to your denomination, one should make that pilgrimage. I knew it was just a piece up the road. As we began our drive, Dena was getting worried that instead of seeing the original site of Baylor University we would actually end up at Baylor University in Waco. Time mapping is not my best thing. We happened upon Independence just in the nick of time.

The museum was closed. Actually the museum seems to be the fellowship hall of Independence Baptist Church If the museum had been open we would have purchased the only thing available for purchase, hot pads with the embroidered inscription of Independence Baptist Church. Dena said that probably part of the tour involved an anciently old casserole in it's original Pyrex dish. I howled at that thought...note to self , Mildred and Gertrude should visit the museum with a video camera. There also was an old Post Office window inside. However, we don't know if this confirms or denies the endorsement of Baptists to play Post Office at youth fellowships.

We learned that both the mother and wife of Sam Houston is buried there, that Sam Houston was baptised at Rocky Creek just a few miles away.
We headed back into Brenham and drove around the quaint downtown square making note that we need to come back one Saturday and do some shopping in the cute shops. It was time to head over to Chappel Hill for dessert. Once we arrived, we did a quick drive through town to look at homes and churches. At Bevers, all the coconut pie had been eaten so we "settled" for lemon pie. We did a little shopping in the gift shop and we were on our way, but not before taking one last picture.

We headed back to Houston, nourished in body and spirit. Never in our schedule did we have to rush or have a deadline. All in all we had a totally Baptist night. We laughed, talked, prayed,ate, shopped and visited a few churches. It was a delight and total surprise to me in the sum total of our adventure.
Since becoming a Christian at 16 and the friends that God has brought into my life who have loved and challenged me have been some of the best people I have ever known. I have always said I have the best friends of anyone I know. Is that to say we always get along, no. Do we always agree, heeeeccccck no. Dena and I are total opposites and there have been times when the iron sharpening iron has created a few sparks. There have been rough patches along the way, but we have always said to one another even in the midst of a "spark" that our friendship was bigger than the problem. I think she would agree there were times we said that while we gritted our teeth. It has always been true...ourf riendship is bigger than whatever disagreement.
God knew all along how much I needed an afternoon and evening like I had yesterday. It fed my soul. I was replenished to come back to Houston and face the ongoing situations and circumstances that are my life right now. I could not stop thanking Dena for planning such a fun birthday and how much it has ministered to me.
When I hit the door last night, the first thing I said to Roy was, "I had so much FUN today." I began telling him about all our fun. I kept asking him, would you like to go there? How about Southern Flyer...etc...? I hit the bed last night tired, but oh so very happy. What a great day, what a way to celebrate a birthday!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Mildred and Gertrude in Trussville

Click on this link and then click on the picture to see our performance in Trussville.

August 5th FBC Trussville, Alabama


Tuesday, August 7, 2007


OK, I know that I have posted a lot of pictures of Buddy, but I really liked these two that I took the other day. Because she is so gray many times when I take her picture, her fur absorbs the light and she looks like a ghost cat in her pictures. I love that little smile she has when she sleeps. She is looking at me right now because she wants to get in one more play time before we all go to sleep. Well, she will probably prowl a little bit before she eventually joins us around 3:30 am. I am getting used to her jumping on me and snuggling up for a little rubbing around the ears and back. If I don't do it enough to her satisfaction, she nudges Roy to see if he is willing to rub her ears for a longer time. Then she settles at the end of the bed. I promise, no more Buddy pictures for a while, but dang it, if she does something really cute, I will have to post it.

Boffo in Birmingham!

We are back home from Trussville. We had an excellent time. This of course is after we "trained" Sunday School workers and we had a group picture taken. At the left end is Michael and the right end is Phillip. There job was to escort two old ladies to dinner and a show. On Sunday morning they were waiting for us in the lobby so that we all could sit together in church. They took such good care of us and the fact they genuinely seemed to want to hang out with us was very refreshing. They are college students at Auburn University and both plan to be engineers. This summer they were interns in the Children's Ministry along with Michelle. She is between Gerti and me. I love the story that Michael told us how Blake, he is the Children's Minister in the blue shirt as a student at Samford University had discipled he and Phillip. He did a Bible study with a bunch of 6th grade boys and through the years had kept up with them. Now he is pouring into their lives even more by giving them the opportunity to intern this summer. What an impact Blake has made in their lives and continues to do so with the children and preteens (that is what they call them in Alabama still.) Not pictured is Crystal who we met at dinner on Saturday night with these fine gentlemen. It was Blake's and Crystal's third date... After dinner at Costas Italian and Mediterranean we were treated to Suessical the Musical put on by the community theatre group. No one older than 23 was in the production. It is directed by Paige Turner, the Children's Assistant at FBC Trussville. It was better than some professional productions I have seen. We were wowed by the singing and the acting. When we first arrived in Trussville and after eating at Xandy's Real Chicken... we made our way to Dog Daze. It was so HOT!!!! But there were Hawaiian Shaved Ice to keep you cool and FBC Trussville had a booth with bandannas soaking in ice water. Peggy and I bought t shirts and looked around. It was a really neat deal. They had rides for the kids, more than just bounce houses, all kinds of booths with things to buy, food, and a stage where dance or music acts performed. In the midst of all this were the dogs that people brought...cause it is Dog Daze. It was a ton of fun. Peggy and I went to the Southern grocery store chain, Winn Dixie to buy all our props for our performance on Sunday. More to be posted on M&G Blog soon.

This kindness of FBC Trussville needs it's own paragraph. They recorded our performance and did close ups etc and are right now editing and making a DVD for us. Now we will have something to show churches when they aren't too sure of what we do and to put snippets of it on our M&G blog. I cannot thank the leadership at FBC Trussville enough for this tremendous gift. This blew us away.

More to come later, but I wanted to at least get this much posted and let you know how well our trip went. For those of you who prayed for us, thank you. We felt and experienced God's presence.

It is always good to return home. Although we were only gone two days, I feel like I have been gone for a week.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Birmingham, Here We Come...Acutally Trussville Here We Come!

Peggy and I leave this morning for Birmingham. We are off to our first "national" event. We have done M&G around Houston and several other cities in Texas, but this is the first time we have flown to our gig. It has been interesting thinking through how to get all our stuff together and get it over to FBC Trussville. We were first just doing the children's leadership meeting, but now we are doing M&G for the whole Bible Study Leadership Team. Kind of exciting. We will take a lot of pictures and I will blog next week both on this blog and on Mildred and Gertrude.

Friday, August 3, 2007

August 4 Buddy is 1 Year Old

Happy Birthday Buddy! Here are a few pictures of Buddy Lee Beardsley. Tomorrow Buddy turns 1 year old. She is no longer a kitten but a grown up cat. Buddy has had an adventure filled life. She started out as a boy until the vet figured out that Buddy was a Budette.
Buddy shadows me all around our home. She loves to play and chase things. She brings Roy and I such great joy. Of course he calls Buddy a dog and has trained her to come at the sound of his whistle.
This little gray kitten has stolen my heart. I love Buddy!