Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Secrets

My friend Erica & I started a small group that began last night. We are so excited about this opportunity for the girls in our youth group & other girls that are planning on coming outside of our church. Last night, we had 6 girls with 3 committing to come as well. They truly need an atmosphere where they can talk openly & freely & with others their own age just to see they are not going through things alone.

We're starting out a series from a book from Dr. Jill Hubbard from New Life Live called "The Secrets Young Women Keep" - & its not intended to "out" anyone's secret or anything like that all! It just talks about the top 20 secrets that young women feel like they need to keep secret - from family issues, to peer pressure, to boyfriends, to clothing choices - just normal situations that kids have to go through today. And we know some secrets are ones that wont apply to everyone, but that's what is so good - if you run into the issue later, or even better, have a friend who is dealing with it, they are going to be able to help. This book will help us all look at a Godly perspective of each secret as well - how God looks upon it & how we need to hear His voice in these matters!

Secrets have a way of controling you, destroying you, keeping you ashamed & guilty sometimes. We're hoping that God shines light on anything held dear & the secrets wont control anymore - but the Grace of God will be the controlling factor!!!!

We found the verse in Matthew 6:6 "...your Father, who sees what is done in secret..."

That's the thing these young ladies need to know - as we all do even as adults - God sees EVERYTHING! There is nothing that is shielded from His eyes! How many things would we have done different in life if we really thought about that! And the Bible says everything is going to be brought to light anyways in the end - so why hold things in & let them eat at you?

Pray for these girls that are taking time out of their busy schedules to learn & grow together! I'm so excited to see what God has planned for this group of girls! They are all amazing & have such a heart for wanting to learn more & live more for Christ!!! This is going to be an exciting journey!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Fireproof!


The movie "Fireproof" came out & we got to go spend the day with our friends for lunch & watch the movie together......WOW! What an awesome movie!!!! What was cool was the theater was packed too! I love to support a Christian movie & it was terrific to see others out to support it was well.

I dont want to give too much away, but I have to say, its such a good movie - you walk out feeling so encouraged & just feel the power of the name of Christ being uplifted!!! Man, how I wish there were more movies like this out! And that's exactly why it needs to be supported.

The prayer though is that everyone see this movie - not just Christians - it needs to get out for EVERYONE to see - especially those who are married. It was funny because an argument that the couple was having in the movie, it was an argument that Ricky & I have had word for word before. We just looked at each other & laughed....we must not be alone....

And how cute is Kirk Cameron, even after all these years.....love that guy!

And I will warn - the acting isn't Oscar worthy - but you sort of over look it after you get into the story of it. And the humor in this movie is FANTASTIC! Ricky even called me this morning still laughing at certain parts!

Another awesome part - the music! I love music & there were some songs that I loved in it - but there was a new song I had never heard before....and I LOVE this song....Got to look more into this guy. But here is a video someone put together with the song "While I'm waiting".....awesome words!

So go see this movie -support it! You'll be blessed for it!




Saturday, September 27, 2008

Tag - I'm it!


My friend Kyrsta from "Keeping up with the James" tagged me & now I'm "it"! The rules are above. Now I have to think of 7 random or weird facts about myself! This should be interesting....especially because if I do something all the time - how would I know its random or weird? Should I ask Ricky....no, because he'll probably give me more than 7 & then we'll end up not talking for the night - hehe!!! I'll just think of some things I know people think are odd.
1. Yes, alot of you know this - but yes, I can not STAND the sight, smell or thought of cereal. My mom said even as a baby, I would gag in my high chair at baby cereal. I literally will vomit if I see it & I can smell it a mile away. The thought of it makes me gag.....honestly, right now, I feel a lump in my throat even thinking about this now.....GAGGING! The cereal aisle in a grocery store - I will RUN down. I have never even let it be in my house & I have found out my husband has been SNEAKING it! When our power was out, I found it as I was cleaning out the kitchen......oh, that was an ugly argument! I told him I'll never kiss those lips again since they've touched cereal..... (joking!)
2. I have a hard time touching people's glasses - as in drinking glasses. Something about finger prints all over them makes me nauseated. Can you tell I have a weak stomach for things? I feel like I can feel the grime on glasses when I pick them up. If you're ever at my house - feel free to put your own glass in my dishwasher! Or just use plastic cups - you cant see fingerprints on those!
3. I also hate for my food to touch. If its a runny food with liquid - it deserves a whole new plate! The people that I know love me & care for me - when they have dinner, they usually have more than one plate for me - how sweet is that? And if I go out to eat & get things that might run - I ask for them in seperate bowls.....if it touches, I can't eat it. Now, I'm not to extreme where I cant eat a salad or anything like that - it's mainly runny things....oh all this talk is just gagging the fire out of me tonight.
4. Speaking of food touching - I've never had a peanut butter & jelly sandwich - ever! I can remember in kindergarden when that's what they had for lunch - my grandma used to work there & she'd get me raviloi each time. Maybe that's where my love of pasta came from...hmmm.
5. I use to be OCD about the song "Lean on me" - dont know why....when I was a teenager, if I heard it on the radio - I'd have to turn it off & back on twice before I could listen to it all the way through or I thought something bad was going to happen to me....isn't that weird??? I'm fine with it now!
6. I constantly have reoccuring dreams about tornado's appearing everywhere - like 5-6 tornados in the sky at one time destroying everything - but always standing out watching them....and another dream where snakes are EVERYWHERE & I can't even walk because of them. What is that about?
7. And the most weirdest thing ever....the one thing that is still amazing after all this time....the one thing that blows most people's minds....
I married Ricky Vincent - KIDDING!!!
I dont know - one more thing
I wont watch a movie where an animal gets hurt in it. One move with Kevin Bacon where he became invisible - cant even remember the name - he killed a dog in the movie - I walked out & made Ricky take me home! I hate that & I KNOW its acting & no animal gets hurt - but I can't handle it. I refused to watch "Eight Degrees Below" or "My Dog Skip" because a movie with a whole bunch of dogs - you know something bad is going to happen. I've also been warned not to watch "Butterfly Effect" & "I am Legend" because of this....if there is any more I should know about, let me know!
Now, you know some weirdness about me
Now - we get to find out odd things from others! The people I tag - their links are on the side.
I'm going to go with:
Lynn (Neal at the Cross)
Rachel (Our Growing Family)
Chandra (Me & Mine)
Joe (Reflect the Son)
Carolina Girl (Ramblings of a 30 year old Single girl)
AuburnChick
Jenn (Simply Jenn-sastional)
Have fun with this guys!!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Seriously?

I'm trying to find some knitting patterns for some yarn I discovered - YIPEE!- & ran across this pattern. All I can say is - seriously? What kind of "Scarf" is this? Yes- the pattern calls it a "Triple Play Scarf" - SERIOUSLY? It looks like it has to weigh 50 lbs & how do you move? How do you wear a coat under that....I'm just really stunned.....seriously? Anyone want one?

Intervention


Anyone watch that show on A&E? Intervention - the documentary of people who are addicted to things & their family gets a interventionist in to try & help them get help. Its a disturbing look at how bad & how far addictions go.

What's crazy is how these people seemingly have had these normal lives. Nothing out of the ordinary, but then its usually one event that changes them. Something in their lives makes them find comfort somewhere else. This show holds nothing back - there are girls who turn to prostitution for money for their drugs. People who are so wacked out of their minds & dont even realize what they are doing. People who cant wait a second longer for that next fix - they'll sit in their car with needles in their arms. The deceiving of their families & friends for money - the harm they cause to their bodies - the lives they lead is just so sad.
The lives they lead are taking them on a road to sure death.

And you think addiction is just drugs - this show has shown how people have problems with so many things - every sort of drug - alcohol - bulemia - aneroxia - there was even a guy on there one time who was so OCD, he felt like he was going to die because he couldnt get a room clean enough. And a girl who was so addicted to the spray you use on keyboards to clean them. I was so disturbed by that one.

What's amazing to is everyone reaction when they walk into a room full of loved ones & the interventionist. They get swarmed by love & help & some people take it willingly & admit they have a problem - & others freak out, run, dont want help from anyone. Even those people usually end up going for help, but at the end of every show, they tell you if the people are still sober, or healing or if they are back to using or back to their old lifestyles. I sit sometimes & hold my breath waiting to see that flash on the screen. When someone you think would never make it through does - its like you want to scream a big YES for them. When it comes up that someone was kicked out of rehab & is back to their old lives - you just feel so sad for them & their family.

And to see physical pictures afterwards of people who are better - its not even like the same person - its like a whole new creation!!

Its a very interesting show.

Do you think God looks at us like that? That he gives chances for us to be healed & some of us take it willingly & others run? And then some of us stick with it - accept the new life of grace that He offers & then some of us run the other direction, refusing to take the grace that He gives? Does he see the road we are on is leading to sure death? We all may not have issues that these people on this show have - but we all have issues - something that needs to be dealt with our own "Interventionist" - someone who can show you the truth of a life you are leading.....Thank you God for being a Healing God!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Neglected


OK - I feel horrible today. Most of you know - I love the planet. In saying that, I love to recycle - feel bad when I don't & know I can. I get horribly upset when I see trees cut down - & felt horrible when I saw how the Wind Storm we had that took so many HUGE trees down - trees that had been around for YEARS. Nature amazes me in how the trees bloom in the Spring, survive in the heat of Summer, turn beautiful shades of colors in the Fall, & retreat back to stillness in Winter to do the whole process again.

So to bring nature into my every day environment of my office, we have plants. Now, as much as I love nature, I do not have a green thumb. Not my talent. I know some people have some amazing & beautiful plants & flowers that they take care of & it blows me away. Steph had a plant that Ryan now has possession of that was her Great Grandmothers!!!!! Imagine the life in that plant....if it could talk!

Now, my job is to water these plants - but I tend to forget. I even posted about it here almost a year ago. (that's weird......I just looked - its EXACTLY one year ago.....that's VERY ODD!!!!)

Well, I noticed one plant yesterday was all sagging & falling down. I thought, there's my wake up to water. I went & got water & poured it on. I walked by about an hour later & noticed it was still droopy. Got some more water just in case I didnt give it enough the first time. End of the day - the perking up that I'm used to seeing didn't happen.

This morning I walk in & see the soil is moist, but the plant did not perk up at all. There's actually a leaf that fell off of it -just like Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree......I feel horrible. Then it hit me! I completely neglected this plant! I let it go until it was screaming for help & then I would tend to it "just enough" until it was sagging & in need again. What if I kept up with it - what if I watched it before it looked like it needed help? Neglect.....what a word

Then I thought about spiritual lives & how people seem to neglect that. How they scream out for God when they want him or need him but when everything is normal - they dont need to tend to their relationship anymore. They just sort of overlook it. Just like I expected that plant to perk up, people will look at their spiritual life like a free pass - once everything is good, God goes back on the back burner. But what happens when your spiritual life is like this plant is now....its sagging & dead & its not coming back? Praise the Lord - He won't allow that to happen - unless you choose that yourself.

Don't neglect your relationship with Christ.

Psalm 119:15-16 "I meditate on your precepts & consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I WILL NOT NEGLECT YOUR WORD"

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

No, you hang up!

Ricky & I are in an awesome group that is focusing on marriages called "Committed Couples". Its full of our friends & we are really being challenged to strength our marriages from a Biblical stand point. Last night though, it was so funny because we were talking about how you still need to persue your spouse, even after all the years.


There was an AWESOME example in the Bible of how Jacob worked the 7 years for Rachel - got Leah for his wife, worked ANOTHER 7 years for Rachel again & then married her - but the cool thing - Jacob worked for ANOTHER seven years even after he married his love....he kept persuing her!! (Genesis 29:30) - I never ever noticed that....what a great picture of love....

Remember when you were first dating & all the stupid stuff you did for love? It was great hearing some examples of everyone, but it was funny because I think EVERYONE did the late night phone calls. Know what I'm saying? Those phone calls where you were on the phone & didn't want to hang up.




"You hang up first"

"No you"

"OK - love you - click (saying the word "click")

"You didn't hang up"

"I know - I couldnt - I love you too much" - (Gagging yet?)



But you know you've done that too! How funny is that to look back on? Ricky & I would fall asleep on the phone talking & then the bad thing, he wanted me to call him in the morning before we took off for work - this was before the world of cell phones - & his line would be busy where he was still sleeping & had the phone off the hook from the night before. Oh the stupid things we did for love.



We were challenged to do the things that we did for each other when we first started dating. I told Ricky to go in the other room, take his cell phone & we'd call each other & talk to each other as we slept.....he just told me - we'll burn our batteries up in our phones.......so much for that plan! :-)



Anyone do anything completely goofy for love? We got keep working at it - gotta keep being goofy in love!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Weeping

John 11:35: "Jesus Wept "
Its the shortest line in the Bible, but man, those two words say so much to me. Especially because, I've admitted before - I'm such a crier! I cry when I am happy when I laugh so hard that my eyes just well up with tears. I also cry when something is so sweet that it just touches my heart. The kids in the youth can say or do things that just make me tear up in a heart beat because its just so darn cute! I cry when I'm angry & so mad that I want to throw my fist through a wall - but that's not very lady like, so instead, I'll just cry! Angry tears aren't fun! And then of course, I cry when my heart is broke over something that is just so sad or when my feelings get hurt, or when life's burdens just wear me down. My name is Rebecca - & I am a crier!

But how comforting to see that Jesus had those same emotions. I think sometimes we think of him as such a SUPERMAN - which He is - but we forget he was also human & had the same emotions!

Look at the lines before the famous two word line:

"When Mary reached the place where Jesus was & saw him, she feel at his feet & said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." When Jesus saw her weeping & the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit & troubled." - John 11:32-33

How many times in our lives do we fall at Jesus feet in sadness & yell the same thing? "Lord - if you had been here!" - we feel like we get lost or don't feel his presence when bad things happen sometimes - don't we? But look at how Jesus felt when he saw her despair. He was deeply moved in spirit & troubled!

And then Jesus wept.

He weeps along with us when we are hurt - He wants us to know He's there with us always, through every turmoil in our lives. He hurts when we hurt. And through it all, He loves us!

OK - I'm ready to cry now myself....happy tears!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Calling all Princesses!


First of all, I am surrounded by some amazing people! Now, let me tell you the background story. My sister in law called me in a panic on Thursday. Her best friend had planned to take her daughter to the zoo for a Princess Party for her 3rd birthday but the tickets had sold out before she was able to purchase any. Everyone was in a panic because the birthday girl is a Princess freak & was so looking forward to it. So the phone call comes & my SIL says, is there any way you can put on your Belle Dress & come see her & if possible, see if any of your friends want to dress up as well. I told her I would see what I could do.

It was not a half hour later, there were 5 other ladies who were right on it & said, Count me in! Now, this was going to be a quick visit, a quick Happy Birthday Hug & not alot to it, but everyone was so willing to help out & make this little girls birthday.

So Saturday comes & we load up the car (which was quite interesting with all the HUGE dresses) & went & visited the little girls for their birthday. It was just too cute because they were speechless - just staring in awe. There is nothing like the face of a little girl who is looking thinking "They're real!"
(Look at Mini-Snow White's face - she's staring at the Princesses....that's the way she was the whole time - just staring in amazment!)


But the most amazing thing that is coming out of this......the children's minister of our church is the one who originally thought of the whole Princess Tea & got everyone started with the concept - well, she is now even thinking broader!!! She suggested that we go visit hospitals & children that are sick - or just make visits where needed & turn this into a ministry opportunity. The plans are still being worked out on that - but can you imagine my excitement? I told Ricky, "A world where I can minister in my Belle dress? How good is our God!"

I have to thank again all my AWESOME friends who didn't think twice about giving of their time to do this birthday weekend! That these ladies would put their lives on hold for a few hours, take the time to get ready, & just give of themselves....I've said it before - I'll say it again - I have some awesome friends in my life!!!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Let there be Light!!!

OH MY GOSH - we have power!!! It came on while I was driving home from Jazzercise. Ricky called me & told me, more like screamed to me, "WE HAVE LIGHTS!" - when I came home, we just ran to each other & screamed & jumped like we won the lottery! We kept saying, "I dont know what to do first!" - I put on some spaghetti & Ricky had to get back on his xbox - the man can only go so long! :-) But luckily, Ricky cleaned out the frig throwing everything away for me on my drive home so I got to get in there & scrub it clean while its empty - that's nice! So there's a picture of my working frig - empty.....that's a bummer - but at least its on! My Diet Big Red & Diet Coke can cool down - YIPEE!!!!


By the way - that looks like a bottle of beer or something on the side - its worshire sauce - I told Ricky to throw it out, but he's clinging to it. I since threw it out while I wiped everything down.


And I had to laugh - there is a bottle of champagne in there. (You can see it peeking behind the water) Ricky has had that since we met & always said we'd save it for a special occassion. Well, we've since become engaged, got married, moved to a new home, had our first grandbaby, had some pretty big things happen in life since we've been together 16 years - & yet, its still in there! I'm wondering what he considers to be a special occassion! If I pass away & someone sees him pulling it out & opening it - break it over his head! :-)

I'm SO HAPPY!!!! A warm shower is calling my name!!!!

Knitting in the Dark

I know I havent given any knitting updates lately. Yes, I've still been knitting, & especially with STILL NO POWER!!!! (Day 5) there's alot of knitting by flashlight or candlelight.


I've gotten stalled on socks though. I'll do that every now & then - crank out a bunch of socks then dread looking at little size 2 double pointed needles! I actually finished a sock that I LOVE - the pattern is beautiful, its a neutral color that I can wear with anything, but I've been stuck on the 2nd sock now for about 2 months! Can't make myself finish it! I definitely have to be inspired to knit on a project.




But I have been working on Christmas presents! Can you believe its that time again? My goal this year, to make Ricky's family those awesome Hemlock Ring Blankets. I finished my first one & its beautiful - still need to block it though. I've gotten great advice, but still afraid since that will be my first blocked lace project. I made it with chucky yarn too so its nice & warm & big! This second one I'm doing right now, in the pink, is made out of Cotton-Ease & I'm loving this yarn. Never tried it before - but its just so soft & nice & its coming up very pretty!

So all my knitting friends - just because I havent posted a picture lately doesnt mean I've abandoned my knitting! I still have needles everywhere! And I do mean EVERYWHERE - I actually had a metal knitting needle drop behind my dash board in my car! Ricky just shook his head & told me he hope it doesnt get caught up in my fan!!! That won't happen - my needles are my friends! :-)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wait

I recently read this poem that a fellow Christian Sister had on her blog - she had recently lost her baby that was stillborn & she found comfort in this poem. It is such a strong, impacting poem & I wanted to share because so many times we hit things in life & we just fall on our face before God & ask "Why?"......

Wait - by Russell Kelfer

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried....
Quietly, Patiently, Lovingly, God Replied.

I pled & I wept for a clue to my fate...
& the Master so gently said, "Wait"

Wait? You said wait? My indiginate reply
Lord, I need answers, I need to know WHY!?

Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, & I am claiming your Word!

I'm needing a "yes" - a go ahead sign
or even a "no" to which I'll resign.

You promised, Dear Lord, that if we believe,
we need but to ask, & we shall receive

Lord, I've been asking & this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply!

Then quietly, softely, I learned of my fate,
as my Master replied again...wait....

So I slumped in my chair, defeated & taut,
& grumpled to God, "So I'm waiting for what?"

He seemed then to kneel & his eyes met with mine,
and He tenderely said, "I could have given you a sign"

I could shake the heavens & darken the sun
I could raise the dead & cause mountains to run

I could give you all you seek & pleased you would be
You've have what you want, but you wouldnt know Me
.


You'd not know the depth of My love for each saint.
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.

You'd not learn to see through the clouds of despair;
you'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there
.

You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
when darkness & silence are all you can see.

You'd never experience the fullness of love
when the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.

You would know that I give, and I save, for a start
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

The glow of My comfort late into the night,
the faith that I give when you walk without sight
.

The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

You'd never know should your pain quickly flee,
what it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.

Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
but, oh, the loss, if you missed what I'm doing IN you!

So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
that the greatest of gifts is to truly know me
.

And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answers of all is still "WAIT"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Stillness

Another day without power at the home. We have heard from the electric company that it could be a minimum of 7 days & going up from there! Thank goodness it is cool outside, & with the windows open, there has been a great fall breeze that just even smells like good, fresh air.

Everything in the frig is now a goner & ice is like gold around here - if you can find it, you've hit the jackpot - so dinners are any take out that is open or whatever you can scratch up without needing any sort of cooking. And thankfully, friends are offering homes that have power for showers so we are making it!

Its funny how different the world feels without power all around though. Driving to work, the darkness is just everywhere. There's just a stillness in the air. Kids aren't able to go to school so there's not a hustle in the air, there are no tv lights blaring from windows, there are no lights anywhere. Gas stations are closed - no grocery stores open - just stillness. Its an odd sensation if you're not used to it.

I'm preparing a lesson for Sunday with the Jr. High & I went home to work on it - all without help from the internet which makes life so easy to type in a topic - but this had to be the old fashion way. But let me tell you - I'm really finding God in the stillness. I got a topic & the thoughts were rolling & the ideas & the scripture & its funny - I think it was the fastest lesson I think I put together.

Just reading scripture with no distractions around you makes so much difference. You're mind seems more open to it - you're focus seems to be on God & what he has to say. Its just funny how you don't really notice the distractions until they are gone.

So all you who are blessed with power at your home (And I am still jealous of you!) - I urge you to find some stillness in your life - find a moment of the day where its just you & God & listen to nothing but Him & His word. It's really amazing.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ike - Part Duex

Yes - all my family is safe in Texas - they got to go back to check out their home & everything is not as bad as others homes. They lost most of their fencing - all the tress are gone around the area, but apparently, they have NO flood damage! Praise the Lord! They are still staying at Steve's family just because there is a gas-stove there so dinners are possible. Julie said Isaac is getting a little cranky because its still warm but cool baths are making him happy.

So we think Ike is over with, right? Not so fast!!!!! It headed right towards us!


Yesterday morning, just going into church, you could feel the winds blowing & picking up with each hour. By noon, the winds were blowing so hard, the electricity popped off. Then in a matter of minutes - trees were blowing down, snapping like tooth picks, pieces of debris were flying in the air, our church sign blew around like it was a sheet of paper - it was crazy!!! The highway & roads were closed everywhere. People literally couldn't get home because of downed trees & downed power lines. And when I say downed trees - I mean HUGE 30-40 ft trees with roots bigger than my car down!



They said the winds were clocked at 85 mph & it has done more damage than the big tornado of 1974!!!! There are over 250,000 people without electricity today now too. We have none at home ourselves & not expecting it for quite a while - could be up to a week (Please Lord - NO!!!) - but I made it to work & they moved our computers to an area that had electricity - so at least, I'm in the land of the living for a little bit!
(The picture on the right is a tree down in the local cemetery....it knocked down some ancient headstones....sad)

And its getting scary because gas is becoming an issue now too - most places don't have power so you can use it - & the other places are running out. And food? Who can cook with no power - & the frig & freezer down with also - you can feel panicked if you let yourself!

But everyone is hanging in there! I've got my flash lights ready for another night of knitting!

And thankfully, I think Ike has almost had his last hurrah - (I think - I don't know for sure because I can't see the news!)



Saturday, September 13, 2008

Update on Family!


Everyone is OKAY! Thanks so much for prayers & thought & offers.....people are so good! But we talked to Julie last night as it was moving in & they were safe with Steve's cousin & they were stocked up on water, batteries, easy making food, bath tub full of water - they were prepared.


Ricky talked to them this morning & they are all good. Julie said it was pretty rough & some points were scary when the whole house seemed to shake, but the worst has seemed to pass.


They dont know the state of their house & if they have any damage. They have no elecricity & they are not going to be able to go back home until probably tomorow. And for their jobs - who knows yet - they both work on the island of Galveston so they dont know if their buildings are even intact or what the state of that is.


So alot of unknowns still - but everyone is safe & that's the main point! Thank you Lord!!!


Thanks again to all of you for all your kind words......I know it has eased some of Julie's nerves!


I hope all of you that also suffered through this are all OK also!!!! Stupid hurricanes!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hurricane Ike


I know Hurricane's have hit the US many times & I've watched them on TV & felt bad for people & thought "That's horrible" but didn't really think much more than that. Well now, Ike is about to hit & its freaking me out!!! Why? Because its going right towards my family! Julie, Steve & Isaac live right off the coast by Galveston & they are right in line for the path. Ricky & I have sat & watched all the latest updates just to try & stay on top of things.

Their plan was originally to batton down the hatches in their home - it is a "hurricane" home - which I learned is built on sturdier foundations & has the metal coverings for the windows & is just made for a stronger wind. But the storm surges are raising higher & higher & flooding is guaranteed now & noticing everyone else bailing out, they decided to load up the van with the baby & all their pets (3 dogs & one cat) & head to Houston.

I find it funny they are fleeing to Houston while people in Houston are fleeing to somewhere else. Steve's father has a house there in which they will be staying - so at least they wont be getting the waves & storm surges there like they would at their home, but its still apparently a scary place to be. Tornados are a pretty scary issue for them too & the house they are going to has no window coverings so they'll be camping out in the middle of the house where no glass is found!

So just pray for them please! Ricky & I feel so helpless thinking they are down there & we cant help! Talk about facing fear - I would get on a plane & fly right through all this if I could help them in any way right now. I just want to get Isaac & hold him - protect him! I know his mommy & daddy are doing just that themselves!


Speaking of Isaac, I told her she's got to put this in his baby book - his first Hurricane - & look, its a take off his name!!! She said she has a picture of him standing in front of the TV with "Hurricane Ike" clearly seen right next to him. Aahh, the memories you wish you didnt have to deal with!

Julie is just scared about going home & what they are going to find - what condition their home is going to be in. Julie asked for everyone to pray for EVERYONE going through this right now. Its a pretty scary time!

This is where we truly call on God & His protection & put our loved ones in His hands! He is in control!!!
______________________
Just talked to Julie - they are telling everyone to put mattresses in front of the windows tonight because the threat of tornados will be so severe. And it be sure to stay in the center of homes! This is getting scary!
And poor thing - she's upset because the maps show where their home is will pretty much all be flooded & she left Isaac's books on the floor when they just jetted & left & her wedding album is also on the floor.....makes you think of the little things - doesn't it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Paper Gown

OK - last year was strange enough as I went for my Annual Exam, but this year was just as funny! If you havent had a chance to read up - take a glance. Remember the story of my bare butt giving knitting lessons to the doctor and surrounded by nurses. Ahh....remember? Yeah, so does all the nurses & the doctor. Memories....

I went back to the doctor yesterday, & that day, I didnt take my knitting in with me (GASP - what?) - No, instead I took my pocket Bible with me & was reading it. When the doctor came in the room while I'm sitting there in a lovely paper gown ....& speaking of which, they make some neat ones - they open on the sides & not in the back! That would have make things less embarrassing for me last year!.....but the first thing she said to me "Where's your knitting?" - I just sort of looked at her - didn't even remember the incident of last year until she said that. I just stared laughing & asked why - she said, "We have new nurses this year that wanted you to show them how to knit!"....I had to laugh - I must be known at the "Naked Knitter!"

I did tell her though, "No, I just have my Bible - I cant show you how to knit, but I can talk to you about God"! Now - again - another weird comment to make when you're sitting in a paper gown!

Can't wait to see what they expect me to doing when they walk into the doctor's office next year!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

HUH?


I just got this across my Knitting Daily email - I'm sure most of you knitters saw it - my reaction to that first hat was a Scooby Doo Moment if I ever had one! HUH? Is it me - or is this the ugliest hat ever? It may not be that ugly - but why is it sitting way on top of her head? Isn't it a toboggan? And its over her ears? Its driving me nuts!!!!!! Maybe its just me.....Things like that give knitting a bad name :-)

Uphill


Let me tell you - I thought I was in decent shape - until this weekend!!! I have been out of commission for a few months because of my leg, but I started back at Jazzercise & all last week, I've built myself already back to high impact. Holy Hills....Jazzercise didn't help a bit doing the hikes up & down these hills we went on.

Being a little older & wiser (quite laughing) than the kids, they'd shoot down the hills & not think anything of it. Me - my first thing I said as soon as I saw the incline down - oh no, we're going down, that means we've got to come back up!!!! And I knew the steeper down it was, it was going to be that much harder to get back up.

After huffing & puffing to the top of our hill where our "home" was - I could completely see how these hills are like our spiritual journeys - our walks with Jesus! Going down the hills, its pretty easy - the gravity just pulls us down. We actually get caught up in the pull sometimes & even trip & fall on the way down - pulling us down faster!!!! But that walk up, OUCH! Every time we'd hit those hills, legs would be burning! It hurt, it aches, you could FEEL it so much more than coming down.

When we fall down that hills in our lives, we CAN go back up (Praise the Lord) - but man, its hard sometimes. Its hard because we have to die a little bit to self - we have to acknowledge that we failed - we have to fight against things in our lifes to change - sometimes its not fun! And sometimes it hurts!

But there was nothing like getting to the top of the hill & sitting down & relaxing knowing that we were back home at the end of the day!

Oh, that we dont fall down any hills in our lives - that we take inclines that are easy & smooth & always keeping our vision on getting home!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

THE GREATEST WEEKEND EVER!




Yep, I'm coming back as predicted - a litlte high, a little wild & a whole lot woozy!!!!! Ironically, the weekend topic was on Fear & every thing we did almost had my name marked with fear acrossed it! But standing there as an example to these kids - I was challenged like no other & I felt like I had to push myself further than I thought I could EVER go!!!

The dreaded "GIANT SWING"....oh my goodness! When I saw what it was - I said I would do it but I said I had to go second - go early & not watch everyone else - or I'd never do it - so Ryan was my partner & we harnessed up & did this! I still can't believe it! My first mistake was looking down on the first try - I instantly became afraid & told them to stop & we didn't make it to the top. You can see from the video - I was freaked out - I think you can actually hear me sobbing!!! But let me tell you - the cheers from the kids & my friends & leaders - it pushed me. So I went again for the second round! WE MADE IT TO THE TOP!!!! I was determined NOT to look down. I just kept looking at Ryan who just kept talking to me & telling me we were OK - it made a huge difference to change the focus. The drop - WOW - BIG! I have never in my life thought I would do that! And for the record, I'm yelling: 2 Timonthy 1:7 - which was our verse we focused on the night before:

"For God did not give us a spirit of fear & timidity, but of power, love & self-discipline."

And coming down - I couldnt hardly even stand up - my legs were trembling & shaking so bad - I had to instantly sit because I thought I would pass out! But all the kids just ran up & hugged me & that made it all worth it!















We also had some amazing team building exercises that were so neat to problem solve together & I just love our church family, our youth, our leaders, my friends - I think we are the BEST team together! But the end of the team building brought us to the dreaded High, wild, woozy!!!! You cant even imagine! You had to climb a ladder - & remind you, I dont even climb a ladder to change the light bulbs because they're too high - & from there -you have to climb up a tree that just had staples sticking out of them. THEN, you balance on a rope, & you lean on each other - the rope gets further & further apart where you have to lean in to keep each other pressed on it. I did NOT think I would do this. The climb scared me more than anything! I watched everyone else doing it & I just kept pumping myself up! Finally, I decided, I've got to try! I just kept thinking, if I leave & never TRY - how angry will I be - when will another opportunity come like this? I got harnessed in & Ryan ended up being my partner. Learning from the swing, I knew instantly not to look down - this was, they say 30 feet in the air - I believe it was like 100 ft - in my mind it was & believe me - that's how I looked at it.







(In the picture - see the ladder at the bottom - that's already high up - & you can see the wires at the top of the picture - that's how high up we had to climb! - I actually have a video someone is sending me of when I did this....)


I started out praying for the women who harnessed me in - seriously! She laughed at me! Then I stood at the ladder & felt like Rocky - shifting my weight back & forth & the kids & everyone just started yelling for me. Talking about encourgaement pushing you - man, nothing like it. I went off like a wild woman! I didnt look down ONE TIME!!! Ryan was actually at the top waiting for me & he told me to look up - I looked up & saw how far I still had to go & it freaked me out - I just kept my eyes forward on the tree - just the next level to go - that's all I needed to look at & you know what - before I knew it - I was at the top! The easiest part was going across the rope just because I just concentrated on my partner & working with him - looking into his eyes - trusting & focusing on something other than fear! We didnt make it as far as other teams - but we made it further than others & you know what - I made it further than I EVER THOUGHT I WOULD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I felt like I could conquer the world after that!!! Faling off the rope & just coming down, I felt so happy, relieved that I tried it - just proud of myself!


But let me tell you - the scariest thing came after all the kids went to bed. Just enjoying conversation & talking with my friends & leaders, I thought of what the guides told us throughout the day doing these challenges - how each thing we did during the day built up to the next, harder thing we did. Sitting around the camp fire & talking, we started getting into some wonderful Biblical discussions & next thing I know - I can feel the fear in me all over again. What kind of fear? I'm sitting on the ground - no harness needed (as attractive as they are!!) but the same fear that I felt walking up the tree was in my gut again. Why? Because it was just a time to be open & honest with people & things that we hold in, so fearful of what others think, or how others will look at you - it all came to a head. I thought, I've been through the most fearful events of my life today & I DID IT! I pushed myself further than I ever thought I could. Now, I'm faced with a spiritual fear - do I trust people? Do I open myself? Do I put myself out on the line? Let me tell you - I kicked FEAR's BUTT that day! I had probably some of the best conversations ever & heard the most comforting & needed prayer that I ever needed to hear in my life. I can honestly say, this was probably one of the greatest weekends I have ever had in my life!!!!

And let me tell you - these kids - we have some amazing kids in our church! For them to be so encouraging & some of them at their age, so willing & eager to know God - awesomeness right there! The prayers that some of these kids say will melt your heart! And we even had a fellow 7th grader who led a devotion during campfire time - he is a preteen & let me tell you - words he said made all the leaders even think & inspired us! These are the type of kids we ahe - some amazing God-FEARING kids!

I honestly sit here now & reflect over it & still can't believe the things that happened! This is one of those events that words can not & could not describe the experience!

Friendships were built, other friendships were strengthed, trust was given ......let me tell you - fear met its match when it met us this weekend!

I encourage you - if there is a fear in your life - face it - conquer it! 2 Timothy 1:7!!!! And the funny thing I found out - it doesnt have to be a fear of something like heights or bugs - a fear of opening up & sharing or being yourself to people can be just as scary! Like I shared with the kids & I keep telling myself - everyday, push yourself - surprise yourself with what you can do! Don't let fear be a factor to you!!!!

Oh & for the record - Yes I came home with only one bruise!!!! ( No applause needed!!!) But that is from hugging the Giant Swing rubber pad so hard, my arm got caught on the wire. I didnt care - I WASN'T LETTING GO!!! And I know this is long - but I have to say - the reason I came away with so many less bruises than I'm capable of - the people with me! I had SO MANY people looking out for me - holding my hand down slippery slopes, (Thanks Joe!), carrying my things for me & walking with me (Thanks Erica), making me walking sticks & going way out of the way to take an easier slope (Thanks Patrick), giving me a cabin that didnt have steps that I would have EASILY tumbled down (Thanks Jeremy) - so many people did just small things that all added up to taking care of me - & I have to tell you - that right there just made my weekend!!!!

And FINALLY ! I have to show you what I came home to - driving down the road, I see on our mail box a balloon that says "Welcome Home" from my hubby! And I pull up & see our yard is all mowed, & freshly manicured & just looks awesome (I've been asking that for awhile) & I walk in & get another balloon with a card that says "We missed you" from my hubby & all the doggies!


See what I'm talking about - probably one of the greatest weekends ever!!!

Friday, September 05, 2008

FEAR FACTOR WEEKEND!


I am going completely out of my element this weekend! Its technically being called "Wilderness Experience" & its a weekend that is designed to get the younger kids that are moving up to Junior High or that will SOON be moving up (the next year) - to get them familiar with the new leaders & just for a great time to get to know each other & to study about God in a fun environment. Well - I say fun - it all depends on who you are asking! That's why I'm calling it FEAR FACTOR WEEKEND!

First - let me tell you - there is no electricity or running water at this place!!! Our showers will be in a waterfall - at 7:00 AM!!!! How cold is this water going to be???? And no running water? Oh, we have the lovely out-house for our "needs" - Everytime I think about it all - I get a little panic-y! Dont get me wrong - I love nature - but I'm not a nature girl! I love my AC & soft bed & BATHROOM FACILITIES!!!!! (I can do this...I can do this....I can do this....)



Then add on the part that makes it all about FEAR! There are some "happenings" going on. One being rock wall climbing - OK - that sounds intersting & so what if I get maybe 2 feet off the ground - I'll try it! But there's also a ZIP line! I actually have that down as something I would like to do before I die - but now that I'm faced with doing it - Hmmmm, I may change my mind! Plus there is a "giant swing" that is supposed to be similar to the Pirate Ships that you find at amusement parks. Reminder - I throw up in car rides on a straight, flat road! And the best, a "HIGH WILD WOOZY" - WHAT????? Its some sort of contraption where you are 80 feet up & its a rope & you & one other person have to support each other to get across. Is someone going to carry me because that's what I'm envisioning as support to get across!! All the while my eyes are closed!!! (I can do this....I can do this...I can do this....)



Ironically, the theme for the weekend is actually on Fear! Oh - I find humor in that alone! I keep telling the kids - they're going to be having too much fun making fun of me for anything else!



And no one understands how clumsy & awkward I am at things - remember me - the girl who was out of commission for 2 months because of ONE trip down the slip & slide? Ricky immediately said, "you're going to die - aren't you?"....thanks honey!

But - I'm keeping my eye on the prize - the point of getting the kids comfortable with each other & to really let them see what its like to have some devotion time with God & to teach them. Being someone who was afraid to teach at first - that's nothing compared to everything else! I think I'll be coming back from the weekend a little high, wild & woozy myself!!!!

So anyways - pray for us this weekend! There are 13 kiddos going & its sure to be an adventure! I'll post some pictures when I get back - to my home that has electricty & Running water!!!!!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Small Gestures

I was watchin"Dirty Dancin" for the ump-hundreth time the other day - seriously, who can get enough of Dirty Dancing? It was at the final part where "No one puts Baby in the corner". I have to say - isn't that the dorkiest line EVER in a movie - but who cares....Patrick Swayze coming back to do his dance, his way - you overlook it. But my favorite part in the whole movie is just something so small! When he takes Baby up on stage & starts the music & he walks over & lifts her arm up & slides his hand down her side - there it is - he kisses her nose right before the dance! Anyone know what I'm talking about? I just love that part - just the smallest, simpliest action there is! I wondered if anyone else even remembered that part or noticed.

I was thinking of other movies that just the small parts get to me - in "Enchanted" - when Robert & Giselle are dancing & he just sings to her on the dance floor - I seriously tear up each time - how corny is that! But again - its the smallest thing that means so much!

Another favorite movie - "A Walk to Remember" - & if you are a reader - READ THE BOOK! Its so much better than the movie!!!! There are TONS of scenes that get me in that one - but my favorite, when Landon & Jamie are getting married & her dad, the preacher is talking about the vows & Landon just looks at Jamie & whispers "I love you" - AAHHHH...knees melt! -


The Radio being raised up in "Say Anything"

The coin being raised up in the air & dropped in Demi Moore's hand in "Ghost"

The song that Adam Sandler sang to Drew Barrymore in "The Wedding Singer"

AAAHH - the little things ..... don't they make a huge difference? Have you ever stopped to think of the little things you do & how they affect someone? Have you ever been in a bad mood or have a really bad day & just a smile from someone makes a difference - or someone sends you a text that says, "Is everything OK? Remember I love you" - simple things that mean alot!


But of course, the best of them all - when the Beast gives Belle his Library because she loves to read!!! I am truly, 100% a sap because I cried when I saw that part!! And in the Broadway play - its such a bigger deal than the movie - I sobbed like a baby in the play.....yeah, small gestures mean alot to some people - just when they need it the most!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Forgiving yourself?

We started a new study in my small group last night - it looks like its going to be very interesting - but the topic last night was on bitterness. I thought - bitterness? Not quite sure how to define that. Yeah, I've heard of people being bitter about things but never really thought too much about it. The lesson then made the point about how bitterness takes such a root in "hurt ground" - that if you're hurt, you can let bitterness grow & spread & you can feed that root. Then bitterness leads to unforgiveness. But what if you cant forgive? Then bitterness continues to grow.

Its funny because I know people who just can't forgive for things done to them or even things done to others. And maybe even the worst, people who can't forgive themselves for things. There are people who can have someone hurt them to the core & they can forgive them, but if they do something wrong, they hang onto that & let it eat them up like nothing else ever could.

I was just thinking about that all last night & even this morning & I immediately turned to Peter in the Bible. I so appreciate Peter's story & can only imagine how he felt - traveling with Jesus - seeing the miracles that he performed - being his close friend!!! And then for Peter to deny Christ & for the realization to hit him - it just breaks my heart because I can see how he took that unforgiveness upon himself.

Luke 22:61-62 "The Lord turned & looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord has spoken to him: "Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times". And he went outside & wept bitterly"

Can you imagine how the unforgiveness of self was right there with Peter? Especially to have Jesus look straight at you? The pain must have been too much for Peter to go right outside & to weep bitterly.

Have you ever done that? Wept bitterly for something that you've done to Christ? I know I have. And the words that says the Lord looked straight at Peter - haven't you felt that too? When you've done something wrong - you can feel the eyes of Christ looking straight at you? That is enough to break the heart - isn't it?

But the awesome thing is where Jesus asks Peter after he's been resurrected "Do you TRULY love me?" - (John 21) he asked him three times - the same number of times that Peter denied Christ. It was like Jesus was letting Peter know that he understood & with Jesus reinstating Peter, He wanted Peter to let go of the guilt he may have felt - Jesus was not concerned about the past, but the future, telling him to go & "Feed my sheep".

Is there someone you need to forgive? Something that happened in the past? Don't let bitterness take root in your heart. And look deep because sometimes the person you need to forgive is yourself.


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Mist


As I mentioned earlier in the week, a tragic accident happened to a 19 year old friend. His funeral was this weekend & while funerals are never easy, it just never seems right to have a young man lying in a casket. Something just seems wrong about that whole picture.

This young man's former youth minister came back to deliver the message at the funeral & his words were so comforting, yet so full of the truth of the Gospel. What really hit me was the verse from James 4:14

"Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while & then vanishes."

A mist.....appears a little while.....vanishes

It really hit me about this verse because every morning when I come into work, I have to cross the bridge that connects Indiana to Kentucky - which right in the middle is the mighty Ohio River. Just the other day, I thought how funny it was because coming down the hill in Indiana - the sun was shining & it was a perfectly clear day.

Crossing the bridge, over the water, was a huge mist - almost a like a fog or a cloud - & you couldnt even see off the sides of the bridge into the water. The whole side of Louisville, even traveling into the downtown area was full of the mist that came off of the water. Slowly, but surely, the sun broke through the clouds & little by little, you could see clearing all around again.

But how soon the mist fades - it never sticks around for the whole day - its only for a short time - its when the sun strikes it & warms it up & then it just fades away. Its never around long.

I thought it was interesting to note too that "mist" meant a few different things in this text - shadow - cloud - breath!

Job 7:7 Remember, O God, that my life is but a breath....

We don't know how long we are here on this earth. Its only for a moment - no matter what age you are! I've seen & experienced death at every age, & its NEVER easy - we just need to be prepared with our own lives to know that our time here is also just like a mist......don't waste any time getting to know the Lord! Like James says - you dont know what's going to happen tomorrow! Make sure when your mist ends, you are ready to start your eternal life with the Lord!