Friday, October 26, 2012

Even There, He Loves Us

It isn't even noon yet and it has been a full day just in the span of morning hours.  I'm waiting to hear from Roy.  He is at the car dealership with his banged up, been in an accident car.  Roy took today off because we have the closing on our house this afternoon.  Being the dedicated worker outer that he is, he went early to Lifetime.  The hours were getting long because he should have been home.  And then it comes, one of those type of phone calls that is dreaded.  Roy had rear ended someone and they were exchanging info.  Everyone was alright but he Roy's car wasn't able to be driven. He asked me to get some phone numbers for him and call our insurance man to see what the process is.  So that total feeling of being overwhelmed came upon me and my level headed ability to remain calm, kind of took flight...but only for a short time.  While Roy tends to hyperbole sometimes, I tend for the dramatic because when he called I had my hair up in Velcro rollers.  I had to decide whether to go to him with rollers in my hair because you know if there was a camera recording everything, the reporter always goes for the lady in the curlers or they guy wearing jeans and suspenders but no shirt.  By the way, Roy was nicely dressed.  Roy told me not to come down there that everything was fine.  Took my hair out of the rollers and went down to check on him anyway.  He was fine, pacing up and down the sidewalk while he talked with different ones.  I took his stuff and put it in my car.  He sent me home because the tow truck was on its way.  He called just a while ago and told me he would let me know when he started home.  A couple of minutes later I called him back to remind him he won't have an EZ tag on his rental car and he is going to have to come home the old fashioned long way.  It is a good thing our closing got rescheduled for the afternoon.

Yesterday was a long, fun and then kind of aggravating kind of day.  My hair appointment had to be rescheduled from Monday to Wednesday morning.  Since I would be in the land of sugar for that I would also take care of some errands that way.  Only thing, the housekeeper was coming in the afternoon so I had to decide whether to cut short the errands and return home for a bit or just stay out and about for most of the day.  I chose the later.  By 4:00ish I was really ready to come home but I just get in the way when I am here and since I was so tired, I wasn't feeling very social.  The thought of small talk wore me out.  So finally, since I usually have something to read by my side I headed over to the park on Spring Green.  There was a nice breeze and I amused myself by taking pictures and posting them to Facebook along with the intermittent bouts of reading.  Finally at 5:40 I headed toward home...and she was still here.  I was beside myself with the desire to crash on my couch in total and complete silence. 

Yea, these things are right up there with my semi meltdown over lost Tic Tacs last week.  In the midst of the above, I remembered God's will, in everything give thanks.  To be honest it was not a remembrance right away and it was probably about the 40th thought I had.  But I am so happy that it was finally sinking in, be thankful. 

Now it is officially Friday.  All went well.  Roy has a rental car, a Jeep Patriot.  The process of repair has started, at least paperwork wise.  We closed on time yesterday.  Roy found a $1300.00 error in our favor.  I was a little disappointed that our house payment didn't go down as much as Roy anticipated.  Believe me, I anticipated too but my anticipation is based on feeling not fact.  So I'm thinking a $600-700 reduction would have made it worth it all, but the fact and Roy is, they increased the amount of escrow payment each month thus our payment didn't go down as much.  We would have seen the increase in January anyway. 

To celebrate reacquiring our home at a much better interest rate, we went to Chuy's.  This closing wasn't as painful as last years because, we didn't have to face moving.  Yea!  Our dinner was interrupted by several emails and phone calls from the office.  So that meant Roy went outside a few times to take care of business.  As we finished up dinner Roy and I continued being thankful.  We had started this topic in the waiting room of Stewart Title.  You have to love a place that informs you to help yourself to the kitchen while you wait. This is just an observation, not a complaint but both times we have been at Stewart the waiting room has one family with a million kids.  Granted the people and children were different yesterday but what remained the same is, even after signing the magna carta and Potsdam Accord, as we left the reception area the same family was still there with the 1000 children, lots of paperwork and a mortgage rep.  We had the same rep that is how I know. 

OK. enough time indoors this morning.  The outside temps are calling out to me; as deep calls to deep  or as cool calls to cool or as God calls and even loves this whinny complainer with first world problems that really in the grand picture don't amount to much.  But the comfort is this, even in the little mundane things of daily life, God loves us.  So thankful for that truth. 

Hope you are reading this outdoors in the autumnal day.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Organized LIfe...Well I Can Dream Can't I?

In the quest to stay in parameters for optimal energy, health and mental well-being I try to have one day a week to just stay home.  Not to stay home and laze about, although I have been known to grab a day every few months to do just that, but to take care of things around home that have been somewhat neglected.  I tend to really press into this the week that Chris comes to clean because I don't want her thinking, that jar was in the same place as it was two weeks ago.  Or will she ever clean off that pew.  Yes, my faith may have found a resting place, but too many times it is more of, my purse, Roy's gym bag and various bags from stores and boxes not yet opened that were delivered by UPS or FedEx finding a resting place.  Our church pew is conveniently located in the entrance of our home.  There is also a prayer rail located in the front room that holds a wooden tool box full of magazines and books.  Prayer changes things and prayer rails display things. 

Today I have been rearranging things in our closet and going through drawers.  We took a bunch of things on Saturday to KCM, remember that doesn't stand for Kenneth Copeland Ministries, and it looks like there will be several more bags to go sometime this week.  While going through drawers I came across one that was a treasure trove of mementos that brought such wonderful memories to my recollection.  So you know, I had to stop being somewhat efficient and focused to stop and look through everything.  There in the midst of letters, little gift books, pictures and the like was a New Year's picture card from our friends who returned to France this year and that left their American friends so very, very sad.  Every Sunday since they left it never fails that I go about looking for them and then have to remind myself they are on the other side of the world.  Well, maybe not the other side but across the ocean a piece.  Anyway, I put their picture on our wall of honor in the laundry room.  Really, I spend a great deal of time in there much more than in the kitchen.  I am just a bright, slow, flash of movement when it comes to be near or in the kitchen area.  In my minds eye I am a brilliant flash of speed.  Back to the memories...I had to post on FB what I found and then I have sent several emails to friends so thankful for these meaningful, fulfilling, loving and fun people who mean so very much to me.  If you have not received an email from me...give me some time.  :) 

It was so good to have Dena back teaching in...Sun...oops Life Bible Study.  She is such a gifted and talented teacher.  Guess that makes her a GTT.  Not only is she a great teacher but she is a great friend.  Roy, Dena and I went out to lunch after church.  Nothing like Willie G's gumbo.  She brought some little goodies home from her trip to London.  Dena is the bomb diggity when it comes to gift giving.  The three of us always have such a good time laughing.  We did have one scary moment when we thought we were going to have to do the hymleck maneuver on Dena because some bread went down the wrong way. I am not good in a chocking crisis.  Long ago my crazy friend Debbie and I went out to dinner.  She choked on a piece of meat and I thought she was being funny.  The man at the next table came over and did the maneuver on her and that rib meat flew across the room.  It was like she didn't even take a breath before saying to me, I was chocking and all you did was laugh.  So see, I don't seem to know the difference between chocking and being funny.  Roy and I came home via the Westpark Tollroad because a big section of I-10 was shut down in the name of progress.  The connector ramps for 99 N are being installed.  Soon it will be just a parkway away from 290.  Peggy didn't think this would happen in her lifetime, but it is slated to open at the end of 2013.  She has to stick around for that and the fact that she says all the time, "John Bolin can't leave until I die."  That is also her seven word testimony that we are doing in choir. 

Since the Texans had quite a lead, I felt that I could watch the end of the game without causing them to lose.  That was rather exciting!  Roy took LSU candy to Sunday School to give to all his Texas A&M friends.  Hope he is as gracious when the Aggies beat LSU sometime in the future. 

In the next few weeks I get to have lunch with friends I haven't seen in a while.  Last week Lisa P and I had lunch.  It was so good to see her!  We ran the gammut of topics in our conversations but I think my favorite part of our visit was taking apart The Bad Seed (one of our favorite movies) and analyzing it once again.  Each time you see it, there is the great contrast of good verses evil and the conflicting voices that surround these people. Evil is masked by the cuteness of a little girl who has everyone fooled.  Most think it is some kind of horrible movie (blood and guts) and rightly so because of the title.  In its day in 1956 it was a shocking premise.  I also like the movie because it was filmed as if it was a play, which it was on Broadway.  Most of the original cast are featured in the movie and they act in it as if it is a play.  Over exaggerated moves and lines.  Anyway, we loved discussing it once again. 

Guess I have had enough rest for now.  Onward and upward to organized life...or at least what I call organized life. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012


Another bird just hit the window.  At least 3-4 birds do that everyday.  So far the run in with the window has just stunned them, not hurt or killed them.  I got up this morning when Roy left for Bible study...yes...on a Saturday I was awake and moving at 6:30 am.  Last week I was talking to one of the other core leaders at leadership meeting and as we talked about early mornings and how mornings aren't really my best time of the day, she asked me what I considered early...anything around the 6:00 am hour.  She was taken back because to her 6:00 am is considered sleeping in. 

The sunrise was beautiful this morning and right around 7:20 work began in earnest on the new houses being built.  Glad we only hear that in the distance, not up close and personal like last year.  Those construction sounds became strangely silent around 7:30 though.  The direction all the noise was coming from is across and kaddy cornered from us i.e. the gated community of big, ginormous homes.  Somebody with some pull must have put an end to the sound of progress at least until later in the morning.  Sad to say no one over here ever had that kind of pull to put a stop to early morning hammering, drilling and sawing.  As the sun came up I read Hebrews.  We are starting our study this week and it will be challenging.  This morning several things just popped out of the page for me that I hadn't seen before. 

Last night Roy grilled steaks for dinner.  Actually, a steak.  He is not a big red meat person and although I love red meat, I have to limit how much I eat.  So I opted for a thick boneless rib eye that we could split.  I marinated it in Biltmore Estate red wine...ah Biltmore...  We had a sweet potato as a side.  It was almost like we were playing Taste of Texas without the salad bar and cinnamon coffee.  And a waiter, cause we bussed our own island.  No sitting at the table for us... 

Roy has the LSU/A&M game set on the DVR.  I'm too nervous to watch.  In fact I am helping the Tigers by not watching.  The Texans won every game that I didn't really watch, but lost the game I did.  Yes, we all do what we can to help our teams. 

The above paragraphs were written much earlier in the day.  Thankfully the defense of LSU clicked in and shut things down.  A&M was winning when I didn't watch so I went opposite day and watched LSU take the head into halftime.  I don't think LSU is a morning team.  This is the earliest they have played in four years.

Roy is in the other room yelling at Baylor and I think at Texas as well.  I was trying to get homework questions answered but it is hard to prayerfully answer questions when one's husband is yelling constantly at the TV.  Only Buddy and I can hear him.  Since we are El Rancho during the fourth quarter of the LSU game and he really couldn't cheer and yell, he has it all saved up for tonight's game. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

My Goal: To Be a Proverbs 32 KInd of Woman

One thing about the post the other day, I re-thought what I had written about my parents not giving out of abundance but giving what they no longer needed.  I need to modify that statement just a bit.  My mom was a loving, caring and giving person.  She made tons of cookies, had people to dinner and she would make small silly things for family and friends.  I think once she began to have the onset of Alzheimer's, it was easier to adjust to my father' structure of what he thought giving meant, than to use what was left of her precious brain capacity and cells for good and positive rather than be locked into a battle of wills with him.  Since he pretty much controlled everything she was rather limited in what she could give, but she found creative and fun ways to be generous with her time and talent. 

There... much better.  Roy is standing me up for our lunch date today.  I am totally fine with that because I have the morning to ease into the day.  Although I have quite a few things taken care of already.  When the lawn guys come at 8:30 and most of the windows don't have blinds, you hi-tail it back to the bedroom to not get stuck being seen in your jammies.  I've been outside working with a few plants that are barely holding onto life due to my neglect and cleaned up around the bird feeders.  Birds are not the neatest and tidiest of God's creation.  Roy had to drive to the office today and he got an invitation to lunch by one of his best friends (do guys have best friends? I guess I mean do they have a correct title for that?  I have no clue) today.  I'm kind of glad because Roy wanted barbecue for lunch today and frankly I just wasn't feeling that. 

I cannot tell y'all how much I enjoy CBS this year.  I have the best core group and we have fun yet know how to slow down and minister to one another, when one another is in need.  I've written before that I think there are some days when completing all the questions from the homework needs to take a backseat for opportunities to encourage one another.  Yesterday, we got to do both, abide by the guidelines of getting all the questions covered and taking the time to listen to the hearts of our sisters in Christ.  Proverbs tells us he or she that refresh others will be refreshed themselves.  It was quite late when several of us finished up conversations and I decided to go on home because my cough meds were making me just a tad drowsy instead of staying for teaching time.  Peggy hadn't been able to come yesterday because she took Cami to her appointments at TCH.  She had texted and called asking if I wanted to meet them at Chicky.  Of course, nap time can be delayed for a little bit.  She and Cami were already there when I arrived.  Great fun being with the two of them.  Peggy said she was so disappointed that she couldn't make it to Bible study because she said I really like and enjoy our group and I so agree with her.  It's not only that but I also am energized by being able to use the gifts God has given me and I hadn't noticed that in the past few years how disenfranchised I'd been and with drawn with the frustration of not serving on a one to one basis. 

Several things that I have taken note of as of late.  As much as I hate to be put in a box by others, I am putting myself in the old proverbial box with my hair.  Seems that once you hit your mid to late 50's we all have no clue what to do with our hair.  Long hair drags the face down, short hair...personally, I'm trying to stay away from doing that right now and that just leaves one mid hair style, with or without bangs.  I wore my hair short for so many years and even at the length of my hair now, I can still barely put it in a tiny ponytail and wear a baseball cap when I don't have the time to stop and wash my hair.  Of course you know, I wouldn't wear a cap to church or anything....although it would be biblical with all those cover your hair verses in the NT.  When you have short hair you really can't do the baseball cap thing.  The other thing I have taken notice of is when you tell other women you went to a women's retreat over the weekend, they all make this face
 :-/ and utter, ugh....  I mean I am in that group too but it seems to be a universal reaction no matter what denomination you happen to be a part of.  I think the secret to a good retreat is only 2 to a room.  My 4 to a room days are behind me.  I also think retreats are speaker driven.  If you like the speaker you don't mind losing sleep, having to participate in table that would still irritate me...and having someone else's schedule for about 18 hours.  One thing that hasn't changed in my suburban observations, most still drive a mini van like a bus.  My arch nemesis is still the mini van.

Well, guess the laundry isn't going to fold itself, so I am off to be a Proverbs 31 woman.  Heck, I even cooked dinner last night.  I'm getting so good that I will soon be a Proverbs 32 woman.  Ah you say, there is no Proverbs 32 woman...yep I will be that one will have ever seen me...who has seen a Proverbs 32 woman my child?  No one.  They don't exist.  Exactly....

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sunrise, Complaining and Realizing the Importance of Gratitude and Generosity

There were so many pictures of the sunrise yesterday on Facebook.  When I first saw the horizon it was a more brilliant red and by the time I got my phone and back to the window, the red had dimmed just a bit.  Such a beautiful sight.  I'm not much of a morning person but I was thrilled to be able to witness the beauty of God's creation. 

I didn't watch any of the debates last night.  My choice of candidate isn't in doubt.  In fact I was in bed asleep by 9:00.  I've been fighting off a sore throat and cough since Sunday and truth is I was plumb tuckered out. 

This morning I spent a great part of my quiet time reflecting on gratitude and generosity.  I pulled out my faithful copy of Stand Against the Wind by  Erwin McManus.  He writes so beautifully of gratitude and generosity walking together hand in hand.  Funny Kelly Matte spoke on generosity at the retreat and Gregg talked about generosity on Sunday morning.  So after a morning of contemplation as I went about getting stuff done, I had to go to HEB for a few things, stuff like cough medicine.  The guy who sacked my groceries did a horrible job.  I had asked him to put all the cold things together and Diet Cokes and birdseed both need to be bagged.  He didn't do any of that and the bag with the cough medicine and Tic Tacs had been put in the cart upside down.  I didn't realize a few things had dropped out of the basket while going to the car.  I was not grateful for being able to buy groceries.  I was not being very generous in my forgiveness and thoughts toward the sacker.  I called Roy to complain and as I heard myself telling him the whole story, I realized just how shallow it all sounded.  I prayed right then and there and asked the Lord to forgive me of my bad attitude and lack of gratitude.  That's what I like about the book Stand Against the Wind.  He teaches generosity is more than giving things or money.  That generosity is not giving others extras of stuff we have.  My parents didn't give out of abundance too often.  Many times when they were looking for a way to get rid of things they didn't want anymore, they were rather generous to those who truly needed a handout, any kind of old towels and such.  I am convinced that as the 'church' we give and minister traditionally to the down and out and the poor. God Bless those ministries.  So many times there are people in the congregation and they are there every Sunday in such great need.  We have no clue what they are going through and what the need might be.  They may be worried about paying bills and the like...  That is a group that is under ministered to.  I need to ask the Lord to open my eyes to genuine need and then be proactive.   Oops, didn't mean to go on about all this, but God has my attention on the gratitude that Kelly taught and the generosity that Erwin writes about. 

I need to go over tomorrow's lesson for Bible study.  We start Hebrews next week.  God is doing some exciting things out here in Katy. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Organization, Kitchens, Food and the Like....

So last week I was feeling oh so organized.  Got several things done in our closet and there is still a little ways to go until that job is completed.  So while I was feeling the organizational vibe I broke down and bought a utensil organizer for a kitchen drawer.  We are both tired of scrounging through the drawer to find the one knife that we like or slotted spoon or ladle.  At Home Goods last Wednesday while I was trying to be out of the house for Chris, I came across this expandable drawer divide and thought eureka, no I didn't think eureka, but maybe wowsers....this fits the bill.  This afternoon I began operation utensil drawer and it is a bigger operation than I thought it would be.  I mean how many spatulas does one need, especially this one who tries her hardest to keep away from the most dangerous room and where the most domestic accidents take place, the kitchen.  So, I'm starting a little pile of gently used kitchen utensils and helpers for Katy Christian Ministries.  I always want to write KCM, but I'm afraid that some might view that as Kenneth Copeland Ministries and think that the prosperity message has quit working for them if they are taking in kitchen gear hand offs. 

In the same vein I got an exclusive invitation to Williams Sonoma special shopping night that is only for their best customers.  So you see, that whole premise is built on falsehood.  I go in about once a year, mainly in the fall for butternut squash soup mix or junk like that.  While in the store they always want to demonstrate for me the easy usage of ___________ (fill in the kitchen blank) and I have to tell them that I am not really of their ilk because I am more interested in the winter fir fragrance of soap and lotion than just about anything else.  Along the same lines I get more than enough catalogs from every company in the free world.  Most go straight to the recycling box without me really looking at them except for the inner insert that may have our name and address on it.  Who mails in catalog orders anymore?  This is what I love...."This could be your last catalog with us if you don't order soon."   Good, happy am I.  But those catalog companies lie because they keep on sending their catalogs with the empty threats on the front.  Some days my dearly departed mother in law gets more mail than either one of us. 

If you have not tried Tic Tacs Strawberry Fields, you are missing out on a blessing.  Since they are so difficult to find, maybe I should say ooh, don't eat them.  They're horrible.  I stopped at CVS, out.  So I went to the Shell station down the street and scored six of those babies and get this...they were cheaper than CVS.  I think Neiman Marcus is cheaper on a lot of things more so than at CVS. 

I've been reading quite a few articles and blogs about the Lifeway vs Rachel Helms Evans today.  I have read her blog from time to time and enjoy her insights, which frighten many and embolden others.  Depends on what type of equipment you own, if you get my drift.  I have no horse in the race here, but I hope Rachel sells a whole lot of books even if Lifeway won't carry them.  We own tons of ebooks and the old fashioned kind of Christian living or fiction books...Christian fiction=oxymoron.  Anyway, we have bought very little from Lifeway throughout the years.  I go and buy there when you can't get a book or workbook anyplace else of Lifeway sponsored authors.  Or like last week when the special with the Christian only items coupon deeply discounts the purchase.  Really, there are a lot of other choices to shop and get a discount and order from the privacy of your own home, in pajamas, without make-up.  That goes for both men and make-up.  Hahahaha.....  By the way the book is called A Year of Biblical Womanhood. 

Looks like this whole post could be filed under biblical womanhood.  I've written about home organization, kitchen utensils, and Williams-Sonoma.  Guess I have a few demerits coming because Roy is picking up Chinese food for dinner tonight.

Monday, October 15, 2012

When Morning Gilds the Skies

"When morning gilds the skies, my heart awakening cries, May Jesus Christ be praised!"  It is a beautiful morning out here on the prairie.  Sounds like a barn raising is going on behind us, but it is really that last home being built on the last unbuilt lot near us.  The section of Rollingonariver we live in is just about finished.  Soon all the cement trucks and supply trucks will be moving further west. 

I woke up in the middle of the night with a bad sore throat.  That has come to be a sign unto me that I need to take it down a notch and carve out some rest time.  So we played sabbatical on Sunday morning.  Roy went to the suburban church, the gym, and then stopped at Fuddrucker's on the way home.  I am hooked on their salads.  I also asked Roy if he would help me move around some furniture, mainly tables and the like.  There was a day that I would have done this all by myself in a heartbeat...and there you have it, I can't do that now because of a heartbeat.  Now the thing about moving any kind of furniture for me is, I go weak laughing.  I try desperately not to laugh and think serious thoughts while we are carrying a table.  But when Roy used these little side step hops as he guided the small chest to my desired spot for it, I lost it. I could no longer hold up my side of the chest because I was doubled over in laughter.  Roy failed to see the humor.  I've told y'all before about the straw hat Roy bought at a festival he was at with his photography class because the sun was unbearable.  When he showed me the hat I had to deliver the news to him that it was a woman's straw hat.  We have since corrected the sun/shade problem for him and found a manly Crocodile Dundee hat but sometimes when I am really sad, I think of Roy in that straw hat and I have expanded the thought of seeing him wearing the hat in Mustang Sally.  You know where this is going, so while I am laughing I begin to think of Roy wearing the straw hat while moving the chest.  Yep, that pretty much did me in.  I needed time to regroup, recoup and regain some strength.  But the chest and tables in their new places looks wonderful.

This past week I have been feeling a little nostalgic about my mom.  A fun breakfast staple my mom made for us as children was cinnamon toast.  This past week, even with new jams and jellies we ordered sitting in the pantry, I've been making cinnamon toast for breakfast.  You have to get the right ratio of butter to cinnamon and then a delicate dusting of sugar.  My mother's journey to eternal life began at the end of October.  I'm not too sure when it started because my father got his feelings hurt by us and instructed everyone close to him and to me, not to tell me that my mother was in the hospital.  She could not remember how to swallow.  I found out on Facebook that she was in the hospital and close to death.  You see, Roy had asked my dad to call him if he needed things done because physically I did not have the stamina and would ultimately put my precariously balanced immune system and heart health into jeopardy.  My dad interpreted that as I didn't want to talk with him and thus he began the all too familiar silent treatment.  He carried it too far when he knew my mom was close to passing and I was not to be told.  I called my father and we talked.  I was able to spend time with my mom, some very good time, with her and help him through the process once she had gone on to be with the Lord.  I really miss her.  She would be so pleased that I have stepped into the world of gardening.  OK, zinnias and knockout roses but one has to start somewhere.  I planted snap dragons and they have done well, because she and my grandma loved those flowers. The flowers have done well not because my mom and grandmother loved them, they have just done well.  I have pink roses right outside the bird watching window.  She loved pink roses. 

Well, the skies are long past gilding and there are several to do things that need to happen today.  I am starting my Monday errands wearing my faux tennis togs.  Actually, they are not fake, I am the fake because I am not playing tennis.  Thought it would be a very good way to pay homage to HLTA (Houston Ladies Tennis Assoc) and truth be told to be able to wear tennis shoes today. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Hasty Vow Broken but Came Home With a Good Word

Ecclesiastes 5:5
It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it.

OK, I was very, very hasty in making the no more women's retreat vow and I will be the first to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by how well rounded and not agenda driven this retreat was in all aspects. Not that any retreats I have attended in the near past have had the "agenda" tag on them, but it is so obvious when anything a retreat, a topic, a sermon, a song, a theme is to prime the pump so to speak for the next big emphasis in the church or organization that sponsors the get a way.  The speakers were awesome, the non table talk time was wonderful, the scheduling was perfect and the hotel staff were accommodating and friendly.  And oh did I mention I had a great and fun roommate, Emily.  I got to visit with friends in person instead of just commenting on Twitter or Facebook with them. 

Kelly Minter was the main speaker and she taught out of the book of Ruth.  Loved our three sessions with her.  She is the first speaker that I can remember ever, love hyperbole, that didn't teach Ruth in the fields gleaning was so beautiful physically that's what caught Boaz's eye.  You know when you are not in the beautiful category and mostly sentenced to the "she's funny" box, it is a little less than encouraging to think one will find a good man because only true love and happiness will be found by the truly beautiful.  I never really realized how much Ruth loved her mother in law Naomi and that in itself is a huge part of the story.  Don't think I have ever heard anyone really hone into the fact that Ruth was a Moabitiss and the Moabites were hated and scorned by the Hebrew nation.  Ruth left everything she knew and went with her less than happy mother in law to Bethlehem, but Ruth stated that Naomi's God would be her God.  You'll just have to buy Kelly's book on Ruth to get the rest of the story.  In the second chapter of Ruth, when Ruth brings back some of the leftover roasted grain she had at lunch to Naomi, I realized that take out and taking home leftovers is biblical.  I couldn't wait to text my friend Dena who is the Queen of taking home leftovers with this information. 

Kelly Matte spoke on Friday night about the Magnitude of Gratitude.  I love how Kelly shares from her heart and tells her story in a very authentic way. At first I wasn't too happy to find out we were going to pray with others around our tables.  It's not that I don't love prayer but usually when we have to do "weird prayer time" the powers that be make us mix up and pray with those we don't know.  My experiences have mostly been strange and odd with this.  We got to stay at our tables!   We prayed with 2 or 3 around our tables not asking anything from the Lord, but thanking Him and stating our gratitude for who He is.  Which led into the next thing, taking some cards we were given and we to write, then post on the huge He Is board who He is to us.  Seeing that huge board pinned on both sides with several layers going was beautiful. 

Joy Harris led worship.  Powerful!  Worshipful!  Sustaining worship to the King of Kings.  She also added some fun and entertaining elements.  The fun always relaxes and people's hearts are more open to receive and take in the truth.  There was a mix of styles and so most everyone should have gone away happy that their style was represented.  For me, I loved it all. 

Carolyn and her retreat team did an awesome job with the scheduling.  We had long enough breaks to take care of business and we ended early enough to hang out with friends and talk.  Sometimes that huge aspect gets overlooked in many retreats because we have this mindset that we need to have more bang for our buck and cram everything into a limited time.  I loved that everything that happened at the retreat was organic.  Nothing was done to reach more to have artificial, just for the moment, emotions. 

I would comment on the food but I barely ate at any of the designated snack times or at breakfast.  Emily had this brilliant idea to order room service for breakfast thus giving us a little more sleep in and getting ready time.  Loved that there was popcorn to add the salt to the sweets being served on one of the evening breaks.  You know lunch would be ladies lunch i.e. salad, and it was good, but I didn't eat too much of it because Roy was waiting for me at home so we could go out for fajitas. 

Loved that the retreat ended went it was scheduled to end. 

All in all I had a great experience.  Good friends, good speakers, good worship leaders and best of all coming home with a personal word from the Lord. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Broken Vow and Too Many Reminders I am of the Titus 2 Gang Now

OK, I am doing something this weekend that I swore I would never do again.  No, not go on some kind of bender.  I'm talking about going to a Women's Retreat.  But the pull of the speaker, Kelly Minter and the fun times I expect my roommate and friend Emily and I to have was the vow breaker for me.  Also I don't see "table talk" on the schedule.  Two years ago I left during that time and went and had breakfast with Roy.  I also took two other attendees with me that don't like "table talk."  This morning as I pack things for a one night retreat (it is incredible the amount of stuff) and I am really truly packing light this time.  Gone are the days, well at least for now, of packing 3-4 different outfits because I didn't know what I wanted to wear.  I am a mood clothes wearer by trade.  Then there are hair products that I totally have cut down to the minimum and facial prep products reduced to the very necessary, make up (you don't want me to scrimp on that) and then recharger for phone.  Oh yea, I packed my Bible and notebook first thing because that could totally get overlooked going on a spiritual journey. 

I am banking on the younger generation not to approach the retreat like many of their foremothers and people my age and's time to get decked out in your finest.  We are insecure at heart when it comes to these things and contrary to the belief that women dress for men, we really dress for other women.  I am hoping that most of those young women have read 7 by Jen Hatmaker and aren't coming for a show or to show off but to seek out what joyful and abundant living is all about.  I love the younger women because they don't want some inspirational message, they want the Word of Truth.  I think we are going to experience that this weekend.  I heard Kelly at the Abundance Conference in March and hands down that is the BEST women's event that I have been to in a long time.  No "programed" moments set for crying or getting emotional.  If it happened it was organic and not to judge by the amount of tears if the event was a success.  I'm not a crier by nature but dang, you don't need programmed moments for tears.  They can come almost everyday by the chaos and confusion of life.  The heartbreak that so many are experiencing.  I am coming to learn more about who He Is.  My life needs to be more like Him, to know Him and to experience His presence. 

So here I sit, writing a post when I should really be double checking everything.  I packed my meds the first thing along with my Bible and that is a sign that I am truly in the Titus 2 generation.  I'm coming on bad knees but with an open heart.  Bringing an extra pair of glasses but my eyes are open to the spiritual matters of living out life in His strength.  Have Diet Cokes in case The Omni is a Pepsi hotel.  Oh and I would bring a sweater but you know that whole hot flash thing....again with the Titus 2. 

See you there friends!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Routines, Patterns and Not Missing Out on God's Glory

I love Thursday afternoons.  I catch up on reading and rest.  We had a great core group time this morning.  It felt like a field trip day because it was our first brunch day. We could hardly settle down or get started.   Let me say this, all the women in my group are good, no excellent cooks.  That includes Peggy.  We had to drag over another table to lay out the spread.  Everything was fabulous and delicious.  Our discussion of chapter five of First John was so insightful and deep.  We didn't finish up the last day, but sometimes I think that the discussion and the answers that help one another in our walk with Christ is more important than checking off the box that we completed all five days of homework. 

This morning as I prepared to come to Bible study I kept meditating on a song we practiced in choir last night, " Don't Let Me Miss the Glory."  I love it when John stops rehearsal to talk about the meaning or words in a song we're working on.  His emphasis last night; are we missing the glory?  He gave awesome examples, great word pictures.  He shared his experiences in Yellowstone viewing God and His creation and the wonder of the park.  John asked for a show of hands of anyone who has ever been there.  Many of us had but I thought about my trip to Wyoming and Yellowstone.  Roy and I were finally selling our townhouse in the hood, but I had to call the title company every day to let them know I was alive.  They were taking fraud precautions.  Yea, that big sum of money and I am being very, very sarcastic.  It was also one of the lowest times of my life and I was in such deep depression. I saw the sites but I missed the glory.   Are we so wrapped up in life and the chaos of the mundane to really see God's glory?  In the past few months I have had to really set a pattern for routine matters of the day.  Things like not locking the door every time I go outside and carrying my keys with me just in case I do or taking medicine or setting the house alarm, things which I do so often but has almost become like I was sleep walking only being fully awake.  Actually, it is considered a form of sleep walking but I digress.  So whether alone or with Roy I dutifully go through my routine fully engaged in the process.  It's really not because the routines are so memorable but I am seeing little things that I might have missed.  This morning we might have missed some of the glory if we had rushed through the questions. 

Yesterday I had to clear out of the house because it was Chris' day to come make everything clean and look great.  I had several errands to run and I decided to work my way into town doing them.  Sometimes there are days when it costs more for me to be out of the house and yesterday was one of those days.  Although, everything I purchased was needed not wanted...OK...a jacket I bought was wanted, not needed.  Picked up my friend's mail and had dinner at Collina's before choir.  I try to unwind on the drive home after choir in order to go to bed and to get enough rest for Thursday morning.  And I so had that working for me until I watched Duck Dynasty.  Oh my, I was laughing so hard.  The laughter actually did good like a medicine cause I fell asleep rather quickly but it was hard not to watch just one more episode.

Today started with a little bit of a scare.  On Thursday I get up at dark thirty and it usually takes me about 30 minutes to fully wake up.  I was in the study emailing Roy that he didn't need to call to wake me up, I was up.  In the darkness of morning, in the quiet of a new day and the only palatable knowledge so far in the day; the truth of God's new mercies every morning.  When I heard this horrible non explainable noise.  The sound of maybe someone trying to break into the house or the sound of something major being amiss.  I cautiously began my investigation in the dark to find the source of the sound.  In my head I can hear all those things we say in scary movies, don't go in there, for goodness sake use a flashlight, and of course ID TV's marketing, "if I hadn't looked in that room" kind of thing.  I am happy to report I found the source of the sound and it involved Buddy.  She was playing with a flexible door stopper in the hallway.  Maybe that is how she wakes up her sheep.  I don't know, but I cannot tell you how relieved I was for it to be something so anti climatic.  I don't think there is any glory in the sound of a reverberating flexible door stopper and that is one sound I could have missed out on this morning.  Gee, I hadn't even taken any of my heart meds yet. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Can't Stay Too Focused Today...Who Am I Kidding, Not Just Today but Everyday

Peggy brought me back a t-shirt from Aspen and she bought one for herself that sums up our attention spans and thinking processes... "I don't have A.D.D it's just that.....oh look a squirrel!" I started in on a project in our guest room closet yesterday morning.  And believe it or not, I got distracted and interested in a whole lot of other things never giving another thought to the first project of the morning.  When Roy got home last night he asked me why everything was piled out of the closet...oh yea, I totally forgot I started working in there.  Now on Tuesday afternoon I just completed it.  It might have sat there a couple of more days but Chris comes tomorrow to clean, so you know I had to get things put up. 

Lifeway has a chronological Bible on sale.  Oh not just any chronological Bible, but one with study notes and in the NLT, which happens to be my choice of Bible types.  We are using the ESV in CBS and several years ago I would have been thrilled with the ESV choice, but it's not my favorite translation.  Not only was the Bible on sale but I had a $5.00 coupon.  Almost every Lifeway coupon says, 'can be used for any Christian item in store.'  One day I think I will ask to see the non Christian area of the store because with Bibles, books, commentaries, music and the latest fad of Jesus junk and home decor, I mean really....where is this non Christian stuff located?  It's kind of like when an older friend of mine, in all seriousness, said she would leave me some of her Precious Moments statues or nick knacks or whatever those things are called, if I would live my life on the straight and narrow.  You know, I thought I was going to have to go all rebellious not to be "gifted" with those things.  Fortunately, we drifted apart many years ago and I doubt if any of her Precious Moments are coming to me.  Thankfully, I did not go too rebellious to get out of receiving those things. 

After leadership meeting this morning we had brunch.  When we got our plates we looked at the bottom of the plate to see the number and we were to sit at the corresponding table.  This way we don't sit with the people that we naturally sit by.  I usually don't like these kind of things but today was the exception.  We have more in common than meets the eye.  A lot of our homework focused on the relationship of being a family in the faith.  God orchestrated lunch mates to make that come more alive and relevant to me. 

Well, I'll wrap up.  I don't want to bore you any longer.  Oh, for those of you who love Precious Moments don't hate.  It's just not my thing and would have been a total waste to have them. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fall For Just a Few Days. Hey, We'll Take It!

I love, love, love these days of cooler temps and just a bit overcast sky.  I know that we will be back in the 90s by the end of the week, but I am drinking it in.  We had our first sit by the outside fireplace this afternoon.  Peggy, Jaime and Keely came over.  Hopefully this will be the first of many evenings out on the courtyard and soon we will be making s'mores. 

On Friday afternoon I took my friend to the airport for her business trip to London.  It was quite eventful even before we left for Bush.  I had arrived a tad early so we were doing our best to do the quick catch up and then head out the door.  Before we left, the fire alarms were going off in another part of the building.  Even so they were still loud.  The building next door had so much dust and smoke coming from all the construction and I think that is what set it off.  But we couldn't get out of the parking lot because a delivery truck and a fire truck blocked the exit.  A guy who works there told us to go to the other gate and he would send someone to open it.  We were very patient but no one ever came.  So, by the time we turned around to see if the other exit was cleared, we were a few minutes behind schedule.  Nothing like a little excitement to send you off overseas. 

Meanwhile, back on the prairie, Roy had the A/C guy and the house appraiser guy here at the same time.  Our A/C and heater checked out just fine and we got bonus points in the appraisal for upgrades and for having a view of our water feature.  In fact the guy said it was equivalent to a view off a golf course.  Score!  Not fore!  Everything timed out right for an early dinner at Las Almedas.  They have the best salsa.  Of course when you go there, you have a dinning experience and it takes longer than say Lupe's or El Rancho. 

Roy cooked pancakes for his Bible study group Saturday morning and there were hardly any leftovers.  Saturday afternoon we made a plant run to Brookwood and then finished out our latest flower bed with more knock out roses and snap dragons.  Most importantly our marriage survived another assembly project.  This time it is a table for the courtyard and the product reviews all said, easy to put together.  I'm thinking people say that kind of stuff just to give a false confidence that the two of us can handle it or they are married to engineers.  The temps were just starting to cool while we worked on our project and gave us great hope for the cool Sunday ahead.  We were not disappointed this morning.  Although, it does set one into a dilemma of finding fallish clothes to wear to church.  I didn't pull out the boots but I did wear closed toe shoes.  My toes were not all that happy about being fenced in.  But I am looking forward to the soon coming days that my legs can take the Nazerite vow and no razor comes near till spring.  Oh don't get too grossed out.  When you get older you have a lot of bald patches on your legs. 

My friend has emailed several times telling me about the sights of London.  She went to a cathedral this morning for church and has done the Tower of London thing too.  She also emailed because she heard the weather had turned cooler and I exclaimed the great good news but then had to give the bad news that it will be hot by the time she gets home.  On the way to church this morning I broke out in song singing In the Bleak Mid-Winter.  It just seemed to be that kind of day. 

I didn't sing in choir this morning because even in the car my beautiful melodious voice was interrupted by bouts of coughing up a lung. 

LSU lost yesterday but we could see it coming.  They didn't look great against Towson last week.  With South Carolina coming to Death Valley next Saturday and put on a whopping on Georgia, it could be two losses for the Tigers.  I have already been wearing the game day Alabama shirt because it is cute and I probably won't want to wear it after the Tide Rolls.  We are still true blue fans, we left our LSU sign up in the yard.

Big news on the HOA front.  The Cinco Ranch HOA is being looked into for some unlawful practices when it comes to enforcing deed restrictions.  Part One came out this week in the local online site.  Also CR changed to the Constables patrolling the neighborhoods for extra security  instead of the sheriff dept.  Guess the FB sheriff kind of made the insinuation that maybe they wouldn't respond to calls from CR quickly...he then retreated on that position.  Wow, sounds like they don't have time to count for proper plant placement these days. 

Enjoy these next few days! 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wednesdays Wanderings...

Two things that happened already this morning.  After living dangerously for over a year of never being caught in my jammies by workmen, finally came to an end today.  I got caught and of course I stealthily moved from the study into the kitchen.  My idea of stealth when it come to my movement is, I limped rather quickly into the kitchen and then onto the bedroom.  The other thing is my "Celebrate Small Victories" bracelet broke off my wrist.  I have worn that bracelet everyday for the past three years.  It was only a matter of time before the bracelet wore out.  So glad I was home when it happened. 

It was another good morning of Bible study for the leaders of CBS.  A regional director was there and she just happens to go to our church.  She said I know you because I see you on Sundays in the choir loft.  We had a great conversation.  This week's homework questions are good but they did not ignite spirited discussion like last weeks.  I think that is only because we are so moved, overwhelmed and taken in by God's love and that is what the homework mainly concentrates on this week.  We also got some prayer training.  After class Peggy, Kathleen and I met up and headed out to Marburger Farm.  I have wanted to go the past few years but physically wasn't up to it.  We had a blast!  We only were able to get through 2 tents, well 2 for me anyway.  I still have work to do on my stamina.  I rested about the last 20 or so minutes while they hit a few more vendors.  Brought home some small but cute things.  We each bought a vintage sock monkey with a story.  We tried to eat dinner at Royer's but the only reservation they had was at 9:30 pm, so we went to the little bake shop owned by Royer's and had pie for dinner.  It was very delicious.  We took the back way home and were treated to some beautiful displays of God's handiwork. 

I just finished two autobiographies.  Actually the two are brother and sister and as they tell their life story, each one has chosen a particular way to share their lives.  One had more loyalty or feelings of closeness with their growing up family and the other one sensed a feeling of being thought of as the black sheep and that stigma and intense criticism they received tells a somewhat different story than of the sibling.  I do like that they both extend to others, "giving someone a life."  That meant they would offer opportunities to people for work to help them transition out of their situation and have the ability to make so much more of their life, only if they would be given a chance.   I like that.  One of them has pretty much walked the straight and narrow throughout life, the other one...not so much.  Great contrasts and I am fortunate to read them one right after the other. 

So guess it is time to read the commentary for tomorrow's lesson.  I just refilled the bird feeders, so business will jumping.  Maybe I should wake up Buddy. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

And That's a Weekend Wrap

The next time someone says to me, they eat like a bird, I'm going to assume said person who eats like a bird is messy and hasn't any manners.  Because the birds that visit our feeder and bath are messy bessies!  Birds do eat a lot.  I have learned that mockingbirds rule the roost because when they fly in, all the other birds scatter.  Guess that is why the mockingbird is the state bird of Texas...Don't Mess With Texas.  My friend Ali was so disappointed while visiting here from Ireland, that Don't Mess With Texas originated as a litter campaign. 

We had a great weekend.  Well, if you consider a great weekend getting a lot of to do's crossed off the list.  Out here on the prairie, that is a pretty darn good weekend.  We got the A/C filters changed because we have our spring/fall check up on Friday.  It is kind of like flossing your teeth a bunch before a dentist visit.  While Roy perched precariously on the ladder he also put our latest Monarch Tea Company tin on top of the cabinet with the other tins but we forgot to change out the burnt light outside on the courtyard.  We got the courtyard cleared of furniture and plants and we took care of several other minor projects that aren't even worth typing about.  Roy also read our new contract for refinancing our home.  As much as we are more alike now than ever before, we still have a few things that we are totally opposite about.  Like last night, I was in the front room totally engrossed in a book that is hard to put down.  I noticed he had paced a bit several times in and out of his study but I had no clue he was trying to get my attention.  Using his voice would have been the best approach and that's what he finally did.  Roy announced he would like me to sign the contracts at 8:00 pm, sharp.  Uh, OK, I can sign them now if you'd like was my response.  It seems he was a little disappointed in my lack of enthusiasm about signing my name, date or initials a thousand times and getting writer's cramp.  He thought I would be head over heels excited, ah no, you must have me confused with someone who gives great attention to details.  So as I signed and dated the contract, Roy kind of lamented over the fact that we can be so opposite.  Just to show him I was paying attention and slightly enthused to have this just about done, I pointed out a mistake in his job title on the paperwork and also pointed out a couple of times where he forgot to date his signature.  That kind of cheered him up.  I think he was just tired Sunday night from contract reading, hauling dirt, climbing ladders and sweating out the lackluster LSU victory Saturday night.  I'm thinking that A&M and Alabama might beat LSU if LSU doesn't get it together. 

Saturday afternoon we went to Roy's Nord, Tractor Supply.  He had a coupon and a gift card.  We both found several things.  TSS has a great selection of candles this time of year.  Like we need one more candle around here, but they're seasonal candles.  They had the best deal on bird feed and since we are feeding all the neighborhood birds and then some, it comes in handy.  Actually the feed is geared toward doves.  So I put a little of the new food out to see what happened and new feed is a hit with all the birds.  Roy got a little scare this weekend.  He had gone out to our big flowerbed in the corner of the yard to help me pull weeds.  When I came out the back door, he was kind of laughing.  As he pulled weeds a big ol' cat jumped out of the flowerbed.  It was a cat but it was one of those cats that look like a miniature bob cat.  The kitty cat which I was calling Bernie because it goes with Buddy, sat on the gate top of our front yard watching us.  I kept telling Roy something looks like it has been sleeping in the flowers cause some of them are crushed down.  Now I know.  I have seen this cat around the neighborhood so I don't think it is a feral cat or a bob cat, but one never knows.  I am glad it wasn't me that got scared, first thought for me would be rat not cat and it is best I keep scares and surprises at bay not as to stimulate my heart in a wild beating session.  Ironic that the Lion King was on last night?  I think not. 

The yard of the month guy came today.  Not that we won the yard of the month, that is what his company is called that fertilizes and kills the weeds in our yard.  He is the nicest young man.  He always lets me know when he will be in the backyard unlike the guy that just walked into the courtyard and is breaking up the stamped concrete.  They poured it wrong, so they are fixing it.

We overslept Sunday morning so no churchie for us.  Besides I have been fighting off the beginnings of a cold and didn't need to be around lots and lots of germs.  Church people are known for going to churchie sicky. 

Well, the quiet of the afternoon has been broken up by the loud sound of drills.  So guess I will move into the kitchen and unload the dishwasher.  Jealous of me?  I bet!