Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Can you hear me now?

Do you have satellite radio in your car?  When I purchased my car, it came with Sirius XM radio . . .and I listened to it sometimes.  I mainly listened to one station - The Message - and I really enjoyed it.  I renewed my subscription a couple of times - both times begging and pleading until they lowered the rate.  This last time . . .I just couldn't justify the expense.  The lady asked, "what would it take for you to renew?" (after much haggling).  I said, "could I have it for three months for free?"  Well . . .she couldn't do that so . . .I was stuck with no music.  Yes, I know I can plug in my phone and listen to my play lists . . .but eh . . .I also know that there is an older Christian radio station in town . . .but I don't like some of their theology and politics.

One day, I was scrolling through (of course, I am sure that I was sitting at a traffic light or perfectly still and parked in the driveway!!! :-) ) trying to find something entertaining.  I either want total silence in the car when I'm by myself or music that I love  .  . . cranked up really loud.  Do you like music in the car? That day, I found WAY-FM - 89.9.  I love this station.  If I'm going to listen to radio in the car, this is my go-to station.

But . . . there is a problem.  The station originated in Florida. (I think that is correct)  Their signal is not always strong here in Alabama and sometimes another radio station bleeds over and you hear not one, but two radio stations . . .so you can't hear either one very well.

I was trying to listen on Saturday when this irritating mumbo jumbo happened.  I immediately thought that is how God sounds to me quite often.  He might be telling me that he loves me or he might be guiding me to follow him, but the world and all of her enticements is so very loud.  .  .  . so mumbo jumbo happens in my head.

I don't have an answer for this.  Prayer, I'm sure, would help.  I can ask God to help me hear his voice above the tumultuous sounds around me.  But sometimes . . .sometimes I CHOOSE the "noise" over God.

I don't usually leave posts just hanging in the wind . . .but I'm going to leave this one . . .because I'm still thinking . . .and hopefully, I'm trying to listen just a little bit better.  (I think he is telling me to go finish dinner for all those young adults :-) )

Monday, July 14, 2014

Taking Stock

I saw this over on Cassie's blog --   thought it sounded like a fun thing to do today!!

Cooking: fresh veggies from the "veggie man" - he sells fresh veggies every
Tuesday and Thursday in our church parking lot!  Actually, love cooking anything on
our new gas
Drinking: orange gatorade (really weird, I know!), sweet tea, diet pepsis (a given!!)
and margaritas
Reading: have been trying to read a lot - goes back to days of "summer reading clubs"
at the library - have read the newest James Patterson recently and am now reading
all sorts of other
books on my kindle
Wanting: time at the pool and a pedicure - can't seem to find time for either!
Looking: we've been in the "buying" mode for the new house - everything from porch
furniture to rugs to living room furniture . . .I think the next thing I will be looking for
is pictures for the walls!!
Playing: with our son and daughter-in-law's new puppy, Riley!
Deciding: what to serve for dinner on Tuesday nights!!
Wishing: all the little stuff would be finished at the house
Enjoying: our new home
Waiting: for our furniture to arrive . . .it is taking so long!!
Liking: my new job!
Wondering: who was in the park this morning training two dogs . . she even had the pouch
with treats in it
Loving: working at Trinity . . .and of course, my hubby and children
Considering: working on a new "planning your funeral" guide for the church - we've had a
death a week since I've been in this new job!!
Watching: the Big Bang Theory (love it!) and Modern Family and also the Smithsonian
channel  (Mark is obsessed with it) and Naked and Afraid (another pick by Mark) . . .
and anything else that is an outdoor show (Mark loves them and I usually just go along 
with the flow where the TV is concerned)
Hoping: that I can figure out the difference between wanting, wishing and hoping
(lots of those kinds of questions in this quiz)
Marveling: at the incredible moon this weekend . . .and also, every day I "marvel" at
the number of things that Mary (predecessor) just "knew" about
Needing: to go and get an allergy shot and take Andy's white robe (ALB?) to the dry
cleaners and go make a deposit at the bank
Smelling: tea tree oil . . .
Wearing: the coolest (as in temperature - not as in - "she wears the best (coolest) clothes" -
clothes I can find
Following: ok - this sounds corny . . .tried to think of some clever person who tweets . . .
or something cool on facebook . . .or whatever . . .but I keep coming back to . . .
following Jesus . . .or trying to follow him
Noticing: that we have an unbelievable number of spiders in our house
Knowing: that God is at work at Trinity UMC and in my life
Thinking: that I need to go back on Weight Watchers . . .dadgumit!
Feeling: like I need a nap - right now!
Admiring: how some of the young mothers at our church take care of their sweet children!
Buying: see above - just bought a new house and lots of stuff
Getting: rid of stuff . . .yes, I know I said that I've been buying stuff . . .but I've also been
amazed at just how much junk we had accumulated over 22 years in the same house so we've
been getting rid of lots of stuff
Disliking: not having shelves that I can reach in our laundry room (they are mounted so
high that I have to stand on a stool!  Big dislike!)
Opening: all the air conditioning vents...HOT! (this was Cassie's answer and it applies to me . . .
so I'm using her answer on this one!!)
Giggling: not today . . .but normally at the crazy things people say.  Every church member
should work for about a week in a church office
Feeling: blessed beyond measure - God loves me!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Can you believe it? DIY!!

The title of the post makes you think this is about something truly interesting . . .but it's not really. . .BUT It was actually pretty amazing to us!!

We bought new bedroom furniture 22 years ago - when we purchased our previous home.  It is nice furniture - and it still has a lot of years left . . .but it had ugly shiny brass (gold) drawer pulls.  

Our daughter, Laura, sent a pinterest link to me several weeks ago about a DIY project.  I was standing in Walmart on Sunday night trying to find that email. . . .I could have purchased all my groceries while I waited on my phone to find and load the email!!  The girl who had written the blog post that was in the pinterest link used a Krylon spray paint.  I couldn't find the one she used.  I did find this though:
11 oz. All Surface Metallic Satin Oil Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint and Primer in One by Rustoleum 

I took a day of vacation on Monday so that the sheetrock repairman and the painter and the carpenter could all come to my house.  I had plenty of paperwork to do and I even went to the pool for about 30 minutes BUT I wanted to do something really productive.  I removed all of the drawer pulls from the dresser and two night stands . . .and there were a lot of them.  I pulled a couple of flattened cardboard boxes from our stash and spread those on the patio and lined up all of the pulls.. . .and I painted.  After an hour or so, I went out and flipped the little top pull up and sprayed again.

We were amazed at the coverage.  I held it up to our door knob and locks and it matches perfectly!!
After Mark got home from work, we put all of them back on . . .man, my wrist and shoulder hurt today from using that screwdriver so much . . .I am such a wimp!!  Did I take a picture of the finished project?  I forgot!  The dresser and night stands look great.  (in the picture above, you can see our lovely "window treatments" -- wardrobe boxes!!  Our plantation shutters are supposed to finally be installed on Friday.  Thank goodness!!)

This was an inexpensive project - we didn't even use a whole can of spray paint and it only took a few hours. . .Mark liked the way they looked so much that he took the hardware off the screen door and sprayed it last night.  

Have you had good luck with a DIY project lately?

Sunday, June 8, 2014

So . . . looking up . . .surely . . .looking up!

Those of you who know me well know that I write in a prayer journal most mornings . . .not every morning except during Lent . . .and then I am so disciplined. . . .but most mornings, I write and talk to God.  I usually keep some sort of a small spiral notebook going.  Well, today (not pictured because obviously it is June not August), I asked God to help me to LOVE MY new job just like I LOVED my old job.  I've begun to love it (just in case any of you were worried) but it is still so new . . .and I feel like I make so many mistakes . . .and we've had a death every week since I took over (typing funeral bulletins is one of my jobs).  (I am NOT whining - I'm processing!!)

So . . .anyway, for the last thirty minutes, things have finally quietened down.  I actually leaned way back in my chair and closed my eyes (I was already coming up with "I'm just praying" . . .in case someone walked in the door).

I opened my eyes and above my desk is this "art" that I made when I moved into this office.  I read those words once again . . . .Under HIS wings I safely abide . . .

A peace I haven't felt in weeks washed over me.  This has been hanging on the wall for weeks.  I've looked at it every single day but TODAY God spoke through those words . . .UNDER MY WINGS, YOU - LISA - YOU CAN SAFELY ABIDE . . .and love your new job not just as much as but MORE THAN your old job.  

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

after 30 years of marriage . . .

after 30 years of marriage and 22 years in this same house, we are stepping out . . .we put our house on the market and it sold in about three days . . .it showed twice on the first Tuesday that it was on the market.  One of those families came back the next day and made an offer . . .and we have to be out by June 16.  So what did we do?  We looked at a million houses - oh . . .the beauty of the internet -- sure takes the pain out of looking at all those houses!!

Annnnddddd . . . .drum roll please . . .tatatatatatatat . . .we put a contract on a lovely "cottage" - yes, it is called a cottage - don't you just love it??

four bedrooms, three and a half baths, a loft (top floor - opens onto porch); a dining room; a big kitchen and family room . . .and it is so dang cute, I can hardly stand it!

So now my daughter has me addicted to pinterest (which I do not have time to do right now) . . .and we've been looking at colors and fabrics and chairs and sofas and bar stools.  Why bar stools?  BECAUSE we have this incredible island in the kitchen

I don't know if we are officially downsizing or not . . .we are definitely downsizing our yard - from 3/4 of an acre to a postage stamp!  We are definitely downsizing on our storage space - full, huge basement to a two car garage.  In our house now, we have walk in attic storage space . . .only pull down in the new house ----- soooooo that means I have to get rid of lots of stuff.
Look at that shower . . .yes, it does indeed have a ribbon on it . . .the shower won an award on the parade of homes!

We met the interior designer today at the house (she works for the builder and goes to our church - what a small world!!).  Mark DETESTS the color that the house is painted now sooooo we put in the contract that we need the house painted.  Picked out three colors today - much warmer colors . ..makes us happier.

I'm procrastinating by blogging - Mark is being a servant tonight down at the Firehouse Shelter - feeding the homeless . . . I am packing boxes . . .or will be as soon as I get off my fat a . . .oops.  Didn't say it!

We move in on June 16 . . .come visit now, ya hear!

Monday, May 12, 2014

One wise woman

A wise woman knows . . .it is not about performing well . . .it is about serving well.

Today I was thinking about a scripture that Lysa TerKeurst spoke on last summer (at the She Speaks conference -- which was AMAZING - the whole conference).  The scripture is from 2 Samuel 20 . . .and Lisa spoke about the ONE WISE WOMAN.

So today in my crazy brain I've been thinking . . .what makes a woman wise?  What makes a Christian woman wise?  What does being wise really mean to us?  You know - all those kinds of questions that go 'round and 'round in our heads sometimes (that happens to you, right?  please tell me it does!)

I think one of the reasons that I have been thinking about this concept is because I am training for my new job.  Mary and I worked together for a while today (now weeks ago) and she just knows (she knew) so much stuff about the church and ministry and people.  So does knowledge make us wise?  Does common sense make us wise women? (started working on this post a while back . . .Mary was indeed a wise woman . . .she had more institutional memory than anyone I have ever met . . .every day I wish that I could call her to ask questions about this job . . .Mary was indeed a wise woman and we miss her terribly)

Then I was thinking about what it feels like to be 27 or 29 or 24 years old . . .and to be a female in today's world . . . and about all the decisions these young women have to make . . .about life and dating and careers and friends.  What makes a young woman wise?  Does happiness make us wise?  Does an education make us wise?  Does a husband or a boyfriend make us wise?

Of course, I've still been consumed with thoughts of Nancy and her life.  Nancy always asked about others.  She wanted to know about each one of us.  Does compassion make us wise?  Does a loving spirit make us wise women?

I was thinking about how special God has created each one of us. . . yet how we think we need to change or conform . . .we need to change so that we fit the mold . . .or we need to change to get "a man" (not me - got one - don't need another) . . and I thought how unwise that thought process could be.  Are there societal ideals that we THINK make us wise?

I think a wise woman is one who seeks daily nourishment from Jesus Christ . . .a woman who KNOWS that she cannot exist without that contact with Jesus.  I think a wise woman loves herself and loves others . . .I think a wise woman spends time in fellowship with other Christians . . .I think a wise woman studies and grows.  I think a wise woman realizes that she was created by God himself and is special . . .but not more special than anyone else (not haughty or proud).  I think a wise woman laughs a lot (surely she does, right?).  I think a wise woman knows how to listen. . . .when to speak and when to remain silent.

What do you think are the characteristics of a wise woman?

Friday, May 9, 2014

month by month

I started this blogpost a month ago . . . .from the heart:
Well, I seem to be blogging about once a month . . .and I miss it!  I miss writing down my thoughts but . . .I need more time.   I've been praying for God to help me to organize my time . . "so order my day, Lord" . . .and so far, I have completed every thing that I HAVE to get done . . .but I haven't had much time left over.  I have been making myself take 20 minutes to go upstairs and ride the bike.  The exercise - little though it is - has  helped my mental attitude!  So . . .where have I been?

On March 15, just mere days after writing the last post, our old man kitty got sick.  Of course, I realized he was sick AFTER our vet had closed for the day . . .and we had supper club at our house THAT NIGHT.  So around 3:30 I loaded Snug into his carrier and we went to the emergency vet. 

He had an ear infection and she gave us some amoxicillin and some ear drops.  (just FYI - the visit took several hours and Snug was the only patient . . .and it cost an arm and a leg . . .but I was thinking it was worth it).  We started his meds that night and I had been talking with our vet via facebook chat during the whole ordeal.  She said to bring him to her in a week.  The emergency vet seemed to think that his bloodwork was wonky.  Snug seemed to get better and I took him to see Dr. Frederick on Saturday, March 22.  She repeated his bloodwork and all seemed good.  He was alert and even looked out the window at the dogs in the "poopy yard" at the Vet's office.

On Sunday afternoon, he just didn't seem right.  I mentioned it to Mark but he reminded me that we had just gotten a clean bill of health.  Snug woke me at 10:45 p.m. and I fed him and he ate but he didn't seem just right.  I fell back asleep and he woke me about midnight. . .he could not get back on the bed and was walking around aimlessly.  I got up to check on him and after about 20 minutes woke Mark up to help me with him.  He was a very sick old man and it was heart breaking.  We finally made him a safe place in our bathroom and closed the door.  When we awakened after just a couple of hours sleep, he was no longer pacing but was lying down . . .in his own waste.  We cleaned him up and I took him to the vet as soon as they opened.  We thought that he was dehydrated.  Our vet gave him fluids and some B vitamins but he didn't rally.  He started having seizures around lunch time.  Our vet held him while he seized.  She was able to give him some Valium and keep him comfortable until we could get there after work.  Laura got there first and was holding him when I arrived.  They allowed us to hold him and love on him.  Of course, he didn't even know it and both of us were sobbing.  They gave him some more meds to relax him and then gave him the shot.  We were with him as he took his last breath.   It was truly one of the most horrible and sad days ever . . .and this comes from someone who has suffered other large losses.

oh my goodness - I sure do miss him - he was THE BEST KITTYBOY ever!!!

I don't know if it is because we have suffered so many losses recently but even now - three weeks later (actually 7 weeks or so at this point)-- as I type these words I have started crying again.  It is amazing to me how much a big black old man kitty cat could be missed . . .we sure did love him and he sure did love us.  We have a giant hole in our hearts.  (we are still grieving . . .I can't even look at the vet's office when I drive by).  A few years ago this would have seemed silly to me . . .but we loved him.  Andy (our preacher) always says that when you love much, you grieve much (or something like that!)

My good news is that I got a promotion at work . . .but even that has a sad side.  Mary Boyce, my predecessor retired as of March 31 . . .but she has been very very sick this year . . .actually she has been sick for almost two years.  So - YES, I am happy for my promotion and for our new preacher, Brian (coming in June) . . .but I am sad for Mary. (and now my heart is broken because our beloved Mary died on the Wednesday before Holy Week began . . .so we've lost another loved one)

I'm going to be honest - I'm really glad that my number one strength is positivity . . .because if not, I would be at the bottom of the barrel.  I'm also glad that I am a member of a strong faith community . . .a group of people who care how I am feeling.  Some of them cared enough to send cards and give donations to the Humane Society when Snug died . . .and many of them have said encouraging words to me about my new job.  What do people do when they don't have a wonderful support community????

I shared with my friend, Lisa (yes, another Lisa) that I haven't been able to blog lately.  Since Christmas, I think I've only seen black and white . . .no color.  I have to have color to be creative.  I'm beginning to see color again - a little at a time.