Thursday, January 28, 2010

Happy One Year Retired Anniversary to Me!

January 29, 2009 was my last day working at HFBC. So, it has been a year ago tomorrow that I retired. That last year of working under such tremendous stress and deadlines had contributed to the downfall of my health. There were many evenings I came home and would recount to myself how excited I had been when I first went to work at the church. My spirit knew I was not just working for a person but I was serving Him. Such an exciting season as I made coffee, did the coffee set ups, learned how to bar code, and request rooms and room set ups. I made copies, copies and more copies. Most requests were done in triplicate form that required much more time than when the church forms and requests came into the computer age, finally. How exciting when part time became full time divided between two ministries for me. Then finally, I made the complete and total move to Ministries and working for Jason. Somewhere along the way, the excitement died off. My eyes turned from serving the Lord, to just getting everything done and done in a timely matter. My spirit was broken down. I had been worn down with emotional blackmail, I had been accused of things I never even thought of, I was being squeezed out and neatly placed in a corner, never to be asked to participate in ministry again and I felt like I was becoming "that" person who I had seen so many times on staff, the fire had gone out. I was content to do my time and plan for my time away from the office. Than along came a virus that set down inside me and scared poor little Miss Muffet away.

On Tuesday night Beth was teaching the introduction to David, Seeking a Heart Like His. Her description of Saul and Saul's approach to being king resonated deeply inside my spirit. She said about Saul, A position that exceeds passion often settles with appeasement. Whoa! That's good!! A leader leads and loves the service, she continued. My passion for my job and the diminishing love for the service was evident. I was done and so over with the whole thing. Oh, I am so glad God got me out of my situation before my heart turned cold and stony to the things of God.

This has been a tough year in many ways and I wouldn't want it any other way. To see God in these situations and His Word coming alive. How thankful I am to the Lord. His mercies and compassion's are new every morning. To have the chance He is giving me to walk in the calling He has for me. To be blessed with a loving and servant hearted husband. To have such wonderful friends that walk along with me, praying and helping me when weak. To Him I am most grateful and thankful!

Now I wouldn't be truthful if I didn't tell y'all I love the opportunity to sleep in, to have no demands on my schedule and to shop when the whole world is at work and school, is simply wonderful! When having so many fun lunches with friends outnumbers the days in the week to fit them all in? Priceless!

This afternoon a book that my friend Susan K recommended came. I've hardly been able to put the thing down. The Days of Fire and Glory is the title and it is about Church of the Redeemer here in Houston. The glory days and the aftermath. As a college student, I attended Friday night services many a time and Sunday mornings before going back to Southwest Texas State now known as Texas State University. The music, God's presence and the mural totally had my attention. I am so glad I never wanted to go to the chapel afterwards for prayer. Think God was protecting my young and impressionable emotions. I did experience God in a whole new way to me though in that season of young adulthood.

So all in all, I am looking forward to seeing what God's plan and will is for 2010. I have a sense deep in my spirit what the year might look like. I'm leaning hard into Him as He directs my steps as I guard my heart.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Appointments, Errands, Friends, Track, and Air Organ

Where has this day gone? It seems like I was just waking up to take on the new day. So it is true, time flies when you are having fun. Now in reality some of the stuff I had to do today was not fun, but I chose to make it fun.

First off, I had a Dr appointment. It went well and my numbers are good for only being at this a month and a half. Got an increase in meds and found out my blood pressure is really low. They never told me the number and I asked three times. But I think the low blood pressure is a God thing because the Dr said it is protecting my kidneys. So Praise God, He is taking good care of me. Another God thing, opthamologist had a cancellation and I have an early morning appointment on Monday morning.

After the Dr appointment, I went to Buffalo Grill. You know I wanted pancakes really, really bad. But I was somewhat good and had eggs and grits with delicious toasted cinnamon coffee. Then off to Old Navy and clearance items were marked down 50% more, so I did all right at the ON. Of course while in that shopping center, I had to check out Nord Rack's progress and I prayed for everyone working to make it a reality by February 25. Also stopped in Whole Earth Provision Company and found some sale items for Roy.

Once all the errand running was done, I headed to church to walk. But much to my delight I ran into friends eating lunch and of course it is a must stop situation. So fun, so entertaining and then it was off to the track to walk.

Yesterday while riding the recumbent bike at Lifetime, I had an odd experience. So, there is a row of open bikes but this lady chooses the bike next to me. She has some weird stretching routine that she has incorporated into her workout on the bike. Only thing, she was space invading me. She nearly was hitting my nose and I know my nose is not small by any means but really, she was nearly hitting my nose with her lightweight dumbbells. So I am leaning way to my right to keep out of harms way. I was tired of my regular workout music, so on my iPod I was listening to great organ masterpieces. Every once in a while I like to hear me some good, triumphant organ music like you hear at Easter. I had read on the LPM Blog and on some of the blogs linked up for the SMT recaps that Beth had done an kneeling air guitar on her walk. So, why not play some air organ and freak out the space invader woman next to me. So on the last song which was Christ the Lord is Risen Today, I played down the invisible house on my invisible organ. Only wish I had thought to do the foot work peddling. Before each verse of the song, the organ went up an octive and each and every verse became more majestic. Who wouldn't be inspired to air organ? So, I did and I played like I knew what the heck I was doing. It was Easter Sunday in all its glory going on in my imagination, that was running away with me. Played all the range of keyboards on my air organ. I was gooooooooeeeeeeed if I do say so myself. My ending and exit from the bike was timed perfectly. Played my last flourish of rock organ, held for the applause from my invisible fans and then closed my session out with a little Mississippi Mass Choir, "I'm Not Tired Yet." It stopped space invader lady from doing her routine. Then I was off for my strength workout. I played it safe and went back to my normal playlist.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Reflections of Laughter and Ab Development

It is a beautiful Monday afternoon. This morning I was able to run a few errands close to home and also get a workout in at church. Actually did a little on the elliptical trainer and then walked the track the rest of the time. Roy has BSF tonight so I have a free evening ahead. I am looking forward to Bible study beginning tomorrow night. Beth is teaching on David. I love studying his life. Since September in Community Bible Study we have been studying the divided kingdom which began after Solomon's reign. So with David, this will bring this whole portion of the Old Testament into a clearer picture and I will have better understanding of it all.

It will be a year on January 29 since I retired. It has been an interesting and challenging year. Although, the stress level was much lower. God brought me through an interesting study of the storms in the Bible this past year. There has been time to contemplate. There has been the wonderful experience of quiet and being still. OK, who am I kidding, there were a lot less deadlines and lots more mornings to ease into. A lot less people to keep happy and little pressure to keep watch over the sensitive and easily peeved ones who used to fill my days. And days without set plans that developed into some of the more meaningful moments of my life. Lots of lunches out with friends, Bible study with Peggy, Mimi's with Lisa P and the most glorious afternoon naps that one can have. I wish I could tell you that I rediscovered my love of cooking, but maybe that is out there FAAARRRR on the horizon. Buddy seems to really like having me around more. Of course that is what life here at home is all about, Roy and I keeping Buddy happy. Think I might do a separate post on this subject...not Buddy's happiness...the last year. My eyes are having a good day and they aren't worn out and being non-cooperative this afternoon. So while the going is good, I'm doing the writing.

Just had a great abs workout. Well, it was from laughter. Yep, me and Lisa P on the phone. Had a great laughter workout before Sunday School with my table 9 friends. Actually, Roy and I had lunch with a friend yesterday and we had lots of laughter then too. With all this laughter I should have some 6 pack abs going. Well, maybe it will be more like two pack abs. OK, maybe it will be; I'll be able to see my abs.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Who is Being and Who Are We Being Generous With?

Last week I picked up a new book, like I needed a new book, but as y'all know that has never stopped me. And the bonus for me, southern fiction. The name of the book is Saving CeeCee Honeycutt. I started it Friday afternoon and finished it Saturday night. I could barely put the book down for any length of time. The story engaging and the characters more than interesting. It is a very poignant read, but there are some downright funny and laughable moments in the story. Kind of like real life. The very bottom line of the book are the incredible, but ordinary women who come around CeeCee, love on her, help her heal from some horrific childhood experiences and send her into her life, still with the care, love and support she needs.

Since finishing the book and I have now passed it on to share with a friend, my eyes are open with a little more light and appreciation for the friends that have saved me from horrific experiences not of my own making, decisions and consequences of my own making, and the problematic situations good and bad that come with life. Last night bunko took a leisurely pace. Pretty much we run like clockwork, visit, dinner, bunko and dessert. Begin at 7:00 and finished up by 9:15ist. We did a lot more visiting with one another last night. Now there were still some miracle rolls of not just rolling two bunkos in a row, but Christine rolled three in a row. Linda rolled three as well, but she rolled onesis three times. You lose all your points when you do that, but if you do that enough times, you'll get a nice prize. There was just something heart warming about our group of friends last night. Maybe because several are walking unmarked journeys right now and holding onto the Lord with all their might and giving Him all their understanding when understanding is so very difficult to let go. Others are walking in joyous seasons but their servant's heart are lifting anothers burden. I don't know but I'm so glad to be apart of such a warm and caring group of crazy dice rolling, bunko screaming, loving and enthusiastic friends.

Even at The Nord yesterday, lunch with good friends had that warm atmosphere. Again, there was plenty of side splitting laughter accompanied by tears and open, vulnerable moments sprinkled with eye spilling tears. We rejoiced and we wept all the while eating all that is the deliciousness of salads, crab stacks and sandwiches. Oh rejoicing at the Nord with the Lord because where two or more are gathered, He is there. As our lunch concluded we were so happy to see friends coming in the Bistro and knowing they would have a grand time as well.

Last night as I tried to fall asleep, I remembered CeeCee's "wreath" of pictures. She placed the pictures of all those so dear to her around her mirror and wove a ribbon between the pictures. That way CeeCee was able to visually construct what her heart already knew, how rich the tapestry of friends she held. I placed the mental pictures of my friends around my imaginary round mirror and wove the mental ribbon in and around those dear friends. And since I was still quite awake, I used imaginary scripture ribbon to frame it all together. And I did that because in real life, creativity and ribbon are not even on any level of gifting given to me through natural talent or spiritual gifts.

Of course the wreath isn't complete unless I am being servant hearted, loving and helping to others. In the book CeeCee certainly was in her young way to those who were helping her navigate through a rough part of life.

I wrote this early this morning before my follow up appointment with the eye doctor and thought I would come home to complete my thoughts. I subscribe to Anne Jackson's blog and she had similar thoughts today. Hers are much more meaningful than mine cause I am leaning toward the sappy which isn't really my forte. I am pretty much straight forward. Never the less, help a friend, love a friend, surprise a friend, write a friend, and you know this list could go on and on. Be generous.

Also a side note. When I went to work out today I avoided the speed disks and opened the doors without taking off the tops of my toes. You also know on Monablog, I tell the truth and disclose the dumb things that happen. Well today, my work out pants slipped way down while working out on a particular machine. I didn't realize it until I stepped away...uh let's just say I sang a quick rendition of Pants on the Ground. At least my underneaths were pink and matched my shirt somewhat. I don't think anyone really saw that event. Oh please Lord, I don't want anyone coming up to me tomorrow at the gym humming or singing Pants....

Monday, January 18, 2010

Go Ahead, Twist My Ankle

Dressed in new work out duds...check
Water to stay hydrated...check
Membership card...check
Grace and dignity....oh must have left those in the car, dang!

Yesterday afternoon, late afternoon, I headed over to Lifetime to get in a work out. I knew I would be pressed to get one in today. Soooo, on the evening before a holiday, at the first of the year when everyone is enthused about working out, I went to Lifetime. No problem finding a parking space, so far so good. Walked down the steps at a pretty good clip, very encouraging. Walking across the street and twisting my ankle on one of those big round speed disks, embarrassing. The disks are about 5 inches tall and that can be a mighty long fall for ankles. How I even walked onto it, I have no clue. Former athlete that I am, I caught my balance, didn't fall and limped over to the sidewalk. All those painful ankle sprains from volleyball have paid off in life. My ligaments and tendons are so stretched that usually nothing major happens when twisting an ankle. (this morning there isn't any swelling or bruising but it feels a little sore) I didn't lift my head because I did not want to see anyone or see if anyone was around to see the whole episode. Practicing everything I learned from sports, I walked it off. Gingerly at first and by the time I was close to the entrance, I felt confident that I could perform my work out duties and the first runner up wouldn't have to take my place. So, I open the door meanwhile dragging it across the top of my toes. Ouch!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Blogging

I went to the land of Sugar today for a haircut. The weather dismal and by the time I left the rain was coming down at a pretty good clip. Decided against my regular thing of going over to Super Target and headed back toward home. Now the rain has ceased for the time being and a trip over to the Play Grocery store might be very likely this afternoon.

There isn't really too much to blog about. Blah, blah, blah on the adjustments that I'm making health wise. I've lost 5 more pounds and bought a scale that is accurate and lines up with the Dr's office. Total weight loss since September 11, 2008...92 pounds! I started back working out. My mind wants to pick up right where I left off but my body has nixed that. I did have a good start though.

This seems to be a good day to start the new Gail Godwin book that came last week. She is one of my favorite authors. I struggled with her last book but this one seems like it is back in her sweet spot of writing.

Like so many of you, I am prayerfully watching the coverage of Haiti and the people devastated by so much loss both of people and possessions. The stories of faith and redemption are scattered among the other reports of loss, destruction and death. Those stories are a testimony to God. Oh to see aid and comfort come more quickly to these hurting people.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Me and a Little Squirrel, We Don't Have a Thing Going On

Anyone know the song, Me and Mrs. Jones, we got a thing going on? Well my mind thinks musically and in that I mean, songs pop into my head for circumstances in life. Anyway after today's encounter with a squirrel, all I can think is Me and this little squirrel, we got a thing NOT going on.

I had just returned from a wonderful lunch celebrating birthdays of two of my besties...Lisa P and Peggy. They were both born on the same day but different years. So the three of us went to Grand Lux to celebrate today. It was not boring. We had to change booths because there was a hot tea spill on aisle 3. All that means is somehow Lisa's hot tea got knocked over and it was taking over the table and running off...mostly on my side. They moved us over one booth. We all had an interesting discussion on piccata, piccato, and miso. And then more so, we had great laughs at our definitions of the terms. Peggy was reviewing all her Latin knowledge from high school and Lisa and I were conjugating verbs in Spanish. OK, we weren't but didn't that sound good. We had great fun making the words of the day (see above) and making them into musical terms. Like mezzo piccatta or a soft piccato. Even John Bolin had fun with them. He was there having lunch and came over to say hello. I know visiting with the three of us was a life changing experience for him. Bill, Peggy's husband and son David ate lunch at the Grand Lux today. It was a veritable First Baptist hang out today. I know you are wondering, ah so where is the squirrel in this story. Be patient, it's coming. While we were laughing and visiting we were entertained by a much, too much in lust couple making out in the parking lot. Sadly for us, it was a long goodbye. It was like a train wreck, we couldn't stop watching... They weren't even very attractive.

OK. So we finally break up the party and go our separate ways. I pulled into my parking space here at home and did a quick check of my emails before getting out of the car. Now being the diligent and helpful friend that I am, I had an email from a good friend asking me my opinion on a purchase at The Nord. Instead of coming in and answering on the computer, I sat there and used my Black Berry to respond. The door to the car was open and I was busily writing when I saw a little movement to the left of me, outside the car. There was a squirrel with its little paws on the ledge of the car, looking up at me and getting ready to jump on into the car. I screamed bloody murder and I nearly wet my pants being overtaken with such fierce fear. I scared the squirrel and a guy walking his dog. He hadn't seen the squirrel. He just heard the scream. He ran over to me to see if he could help. I was embarrassed to tell him about the squirrel, but did. He just looked at me like...sure lady. This guy is in his 20's. About this time his dog starts barking and going nuts and there is the squirrel sitting there, looking at us as if he or she might come on over to see what's going on. The only explanation I can think of is, people have been feeding the squirrel and it has lost some of the fear of humans. I will always carry the fear of a rodent with a big busy tail.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Dear Senior Citizen, What the Heck? Are You Writing to Me?

Dear Senior Citizen,
We are proud to announce a Senior Final Expense Life Insurance to help pay what the Federal Government does not pay for your final expense.

This is what greeted me in the mail today. What the heck? I am 55 years old. I only like to be called a senior if there is a discount involved or I want close parking in the North parking lot at church. Not looking for supplemental death insurance, unless this is a warning from the Lord and Pennsylvania Life Insurance Company is John the Baptist preparing the way. This invite could not come at a more fitting week because even though I am young at heart, my body is tending to veer over to the other side and I HATE it and I have been MAD about it and have made some sacred vows for the veering to stop!

Here it is bottom line, the virus that attacked my heart in 2008 has also attacked other vital organs. The first known one is my pancreas. The effects have just now shown up. Really over night. They can tell by looking at the cells. Who knew? There is a very likely chance that it also attacked my liver and kidneys. Maybe even my brain, which just cracks me up because at least medically speaking Doctors have acknowledged that there is one in my head...much to the surprise of loved ones and me. Well, it maybe effecting my brain via other organs. Via Via Las Virus.... Little shout out to Elvis on his 75th birthday. He is really alive and lives in Michigan. Cold preserves him. So the rest of my days before I pay for my final expense, will have lots and lots of surprises in them. It is a little overwhelming big picture wise.

So how do I know that I am a senior citizen? Other than being addressed as one in a letter. Well, standing in line at the Walgreen's gave me some clue. One older lady in line, turned to me and said, do I know you? Why are you so tall? Women who wear pink are big babies. ( I have on a pink sweater today) She might be right on that one. Then her helper came back and corralled her in. I need to get a helper so I can say stuff. No, don't think so. Come to think of it, the helper was as tall as me.

Oops, I got ahead of myself. Well, this week I had an appointment with another Dr to see what the heck is going on. That was Wednesday. It's not a good sign when you get a call from the Dr office asking you can come back in and it is Thursday morning. All the numbers you don't want to be high were high, really high, very high just like they had been in December. I mean I did a drastic cutback. They could tell by looking at things this wasn't cause I went on some holiday binge, it was from a compromised pancreas. So I have a lot of work ahead and many fronts to fight.

Now I want to honest here, I did pray before going in and I read a great blog about reacting as a Christian, not just act like one...which is pretty easy. Reacting is hard. I've found great comfort in Proverbs 4 and even today on the radio I heard Nancy Leigh DeMoss talking with other women about scripture memorization. Several verses that they said, blessed me. Believe me I am not a big Nancy Leigh fan. Didn't like her book Lies Women Believe and not looking for a blessing there from her program, but you know God.... Charles Stanley and Psalm 55 blessed me this morning. I say all this cause I'm struggling with this news and find it difficult to accept. I have done everything I should and boom...all this hits. Of course Colt McCoy could be saying the same thing today. Yet, I still Praise Him and Trust Him! God is in control.

So trying to drown out my downstairs neighbor's loud music right now, so I have some praise and worship playing. Just heard Trading my Sorrows. Yep, it ministered.

I'm overwhelmed with the thought the rest of my health life will be a fight. And surprises can occur at anytime. So picking up prescriptions and stuff at Walgreen's, the clerk is trying to be all nice and compassionate and in her help, she compared me to her grandmother....NO!!!!!!!

Today, I did a very fun thing. I had lunch with two wonderful, smart, loving, funny and talented college girls. Of course we ate at The Nord. I had a blast with them. Before meeting them I took some stuff back to Nordy that doesn't fit anymore. I officially bought a size 14 pair of jeans today. I have lost a total of 87 pounds and very encouraged to be losing more. See I am finding things to be very grateful for and resting in God through this. Roy was so funny yesterday, he said what is it with you before storms and your health? (Houston is experiencing a chilly blast or Artic Blast and heart stuff came days before Hurricane Ike)

Well, I just took my first pill and I am waiting to see if I can operate machinery while on it. Side effects that may occur include diarrhea, gas, headache, nausea, stomach upset or vomiting. The instructions say if this bothersome for you...if this is bothersome... uh yes, I believe it would be a little bothersome. These seem to be the side effects for every pill I have seen in the last few years. Guess I will look through the rest of the mail and see if anymore Dear Senior Citizen letters. We are getting a lot of my mother in law's mail because Roy is the executor. Some of these catalogs that are intended for senior citizens are a bit racy. One page house dresses and mu mu's. The next page s*x toys and paraphernalia for the elder adult. I'm shocked! I definitely have an opinion on all that but I ain't gonna write anything about it on my blog.

Oh, there is a senior discount at IHOP that came in the mail today. Dang, that's off my diet for now.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Slowly But Surely

It looks to be a cold couple of days here in H-town...It's the H-town coool down. Giving my props to Yolanda and Brother Larry Jones. Does anyone say props anymore? I am so out of it. I am always looking to procure a ya want a Revolution...whoop whoop. These whoops have nothing to do with Aggies by the way. Anyway...can you tell I am off meds? Anyway, it has been a Wednesday Adventure day here in my sphere of influence. I have bravely gone to grocery stores before the cold hits. It feels cold on the outside but oh so tropical on the inside of Kroger's and Central Market. Seemed like hurricane supply time. I had no clue people would be in the stores panic buying. They should be at Lowe's or Home Depot doing that kind of thing. Man, I am just trying to buy bread and Diet Coke. Well at Kroger's but at Central Market it was blood oranges and Cara Cara oranges. Also came home with some roses. Not quite the panic food mode. It was nice to know that even the healthy/organic crowd is panic buying. It helps the economy fo' sure.

This morning I had a start up or follow up appointment with a Dr. Part of my cardio check up brought some not so great news, we think. So I went through the holidays a little mad about the surprise. Then I got over it. Stopped investigating it on Dr. Google and did what I should have done in the first place. Trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding. So this morning I began this journey by giving blood and having more tests run. You know I am looking for the Lord in all of this, and yeah, I found Him.

I finally have a name of what I have and have been going through, rapid atrial fibrillation and severe cardiomyopathy not ischemic in origin. Kind of like supercali... from another Julie Andrew's movie I don't care for. :) Anyway, I will deal with it for the rest of my life (not severe now, Yea!!!) and right now we are all working toward putting me in the best position to do that.

Now here are two good things about this morning. One, I've been prescribed some meds for my panic attacks. I will probably never take any of the pills but it gives me a sense of control. Not control but a knowledge of having something to take the edge off when I get panicked in a public place or in the choir loft. The Dr told me it is like having post traumatic stress disorder.

The other good thing is, I've lost 10 more pounds...during the holiday season. I'd pat myself on the back but don't want the pride coming before a fall type of thing. That puts me at 86 pounds. I have lost 86 stinking pounds! There are friends of mine who weigh that much or a little more, so it would be like loosing a whole person or two children or three young children. Part of me realizes I have lost that much but part of my brain hasn't quite got it. I still buy clothes too big and have to return them. Thankful the Nord has the generous customer service policy. Roy bought me some pajamas for Christmas in a size large. I didn't think they would fit, that they would be too small. So, I kept putting off trying them on until last night. Oh my goodness, they fit. I went through some pics from 2008 till today trying to get my brain around this. Oh, I have about 40 more or maybe 50 more pounds to go. But there was the joy...loosing weight when I haven't been all that attentive to the whole process. So here are some pictures to chart my progress

June 2008 on an Alaskan cruise. Weighed the most I had ever weighed and symptoms were raring their ugly heads but there was an answer to all the symptoms and didn't look like heart issues.
Peggy and I went to Living Proof Live in San Antonio. This was the weekend of August 23rd. While there I had a heart attack but didn't know it at the time. This is Cheryl who I finally got to meet at the event.

Christmas 2008 at Peggy's. Think I had lost about 35 or 40 pounds in this picture.
August 2009 at my mother in law's funeral.

Me today just messing around with my phone after my Dr. appointment.

Well, that's it for today. Don't know my next move until the results come back. Well, I know I am moving on with God, don't need any results to do that. Maybe I will bust a move. Uh, does anyone say that anymore? I am so out of it.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Amish Way or the Highway

I've really not had all that much to do with the Amish since Dena and I made the grand tour of the Amish in Tennessee several years ago. That is where we discovered what we like to call Amish Poison. It's not poison but it was addictive. No not furniture but the peanut brittle and carob covered chocolate we kept buying from this one farm. Multiple return trips. We still exchange Christmas Cards with those people on that farm. No, not really but I wish we did. They might send us some Amish poison for the holidays. I knew the Amish made wonderful furniture because my brother had several handmade pieces of furniture. Several times during the holidays last year I looked at Amish Spiced Peaches at the Play Grocery Store and there is even a book out about experiencing Amish peace. Pretty much it is all about the slow pace and simplified life. In years past life was going much faster than the pace of an Amish buggy backing up traffic on rural roads and unless something had been produced by the Amish and now on sale, I really wasn't interested. Not interested because I had no patience to wait three or four months for something to be made.

For the past several years I have been window shopping here and I have seen several pieces of furniture I would like to have except you know that pesky, wait three to four months thing. My life was filled with I need it delivered Gallery Furniture back in the recent day. Enter 2010, me retired, and now experiencing the considerably slowed down lifestyle. Let's just say what a joy it was today to order furniture that I don't need to think about for several more months. I did order the glider that is pictured, if you went out to see the link. I ordered it in a different fabric though. I did not order the footstool as it glides as well and for me that's a little more movement than I want to experience or see. I also ordered a desk chair and praying that the one we have now lasts three or four more months. Before leaving the store I got to pick out an Amish fruit butter as a thank you and got free delivery when the furniture arrives. Think name dropping Jennifer M. helped me out there. Thanks Jennifer and Happy Anniversary!

On my way home I stopped at the Play Grocery store to pick up a few items. Right there standing in front of the meat counter was my friend Patty. She is my friend and former tennis partner. We hadn't seen each other in a long time. We did a quick catch up and have lunch plans for the future. We have had many, many laughs and jokes together. On December 31, I ran into my tennis friend Linwood at Sports Authority. She still plays tennis and is still the southern lady from Jackson, Mississippi. We sat down on a bench in the shoe department and visited for over an hour. Linwood is the queen of 6 degrees of separation. I love that about her. When we went to a fund raiser and Winston Groom was speaking and then signing his latest book, she brought her yearbook from the University of Alabama for him to sign. They had both graduated from there and knew quite a few mutual acquaintances. Here I thought my first edition Forrest Gump might get his attention, since there are very few to be found anymore. So it has been fun, tennis renewal week.

So there you go, Amish, Amesch, and Amen. Have no clue why I wrote that, but triple A right there looking at ya!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy 2010-I'm Gonna Write a Bible Study- No Not Really

Hope the title didn't scare you! Just having some fun. Well, I'm trying very hard not to lean into my cynical side. It is diminishing bit by bit, but cynical hangs around on me too much. Yesterday I arrived at church a little early, so using time wisely, I opened my Bible. I read a verse in the NLT version of the Bible that I had been reading last week in the NIV and on several blogs, " You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance" Psalm 65:11 Also came across Psalm 66:17, "For I cried out to Him for help, praising Him as I spoke." Two verses that are speaking volumes to me in this season.

Happy 2010! It is a beautiful and cold day here in Houston. I should have taken Mustang Sally out for the errands I ran because it might have been kind of fun having the top down on such a beautiful Monday.

For the past week or so I have been listening intently, hoping to hear God's voice for direction in the new year. There are several verses that have been rolling around in my spirit and on Saturday while cleaning through a couple of baskets, I found a book that I had read several years ago. Once everything had been cleaned out of the basket, I took time to re-read sections of the book that had made an impression on me the first time reading it. Second Mile People by Isobel Kuhn. Isobel and her husband John were missionaries for China Inland Mission...way back in the day. Sometimes her writing style is a bit too cutesy for me, but her knowledge and ability to convey biblical truths is astounding. She is relevant today, although gone on to be with the Father in the early 1950's.

Last year, oh about halfway into the year, I made a conscious decision to write more about every day things. I am wearied by the amount of blogs being written by aspiring, hope to be discovered women who seem to think ministry is done by the thousands, or the hundreds, not by one to one encounters. People who see a "lesson" in pine cones, Pine Sol and pine straws and instead of ever thinking maybe what God has shown them, was meant JUST for them and not hot off the blog news for others. It could be for others if anyone took the time to meditate and ponder what God is speaking into their hearts before posting it seconds later. This would also include veiled thoughts on what God is asking them to do. A dime will get you a donut, that they have been called to write a Bible study. Now that is my cynical side talking and I know God asks a lot of women to write what He has spoken into their lives. But come on, surely someone has to serve Him in others ways as well.

In the book Second Mile People, Isobel Kuhn writes about some of those who affected her life for eternity. She identifies some by name and others have been revealed and written of anonymously. I was taken in by the chapter on her friend Dorthy-Are You Willing for This?" I underlined this quote of Oswald Chambers used in this chapter, "The people who influence us most are not those who buttonhole us and talk to us, but those who live like the stars in heaven and the lilies in the field, perfectly simply and unaffectedly. Those are the lives that mold us" Isobel goes on and writes about when we fall into defeat when trying to "judge" the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Ours is to yield to Him in joyous faith and not to worry about the kind of value of the fruit He is producing. She writes of her friend Dorthy who so wanted to speak a Word into other's lives and felt defeat when she didn't do what she had wanted to do. "Dear Dorthy's special gift of the Spirit was her radiance, her shining happy joy in her walk with the Savior, but I doubt if she ever knew she possessed it. She thought she should have been preaching, when as a matter of fact the Holy Spirit was using her gift of shining to the very fullest extent in the life she had she had prayed to touch, and she need not have been so discouraged that afternoon." Of course the life touched was Isobel's. Throughout this chapter she uses a poem to help make her points. In fact, I believe I have written on this a long time ago, but the poem bears repeating. So if you are out there, writing, but not in your gifting, I hope this encourages. It encourages me cause truthfully I get frustrated at times with the calling God has upon my life. It's like Isobel says, once you open your being to His fullness your life must be enriched; you will never be the same again.


Not merely in the words you say,

not only in your deeds confessed,

but in the most unconscious way

In Christ expressed.

Is it a beatific smile,

A holy light upon your brow;

Oh no, I felt His Presence while

you laughed just now.

For me 'twas not the truth you taught

To you so clear, to me still dim.

But when you came to me you brought

a sense of Him.

And from your eyes He beckons me,

and from your heart His love is shed,

Till I lose sight of you and see

The Christ instead

(A.S. Wilson)