Saturday, March 31, 2007

Treadmill Update

The treadmill has been in my house for one week now.
  • I used it 5 days out of the 7.
  • Put in over eighteen miles total
  • spending a combined total of 3.5+ hours
  • and burning off a whooping 2181 calories this week.
I say that is a good beginning.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


My sister and I email each other very often. Some days we will email several times. It is a wonderful thing. Wish it were available during our child rearing days. We could have been such better friends to each other with the easy communication. We have lived so far apart for most of our lives. We talk more on email than anytime. We probably know each other better now than at any time in our lives.

All that to ask a rhetorical question she asked in an email.

We are always telling people to turn it over to God, sounds so easy but how do we really do that?

Some things we can control, the themostat, the dish washer, the vacuum cleaner, the lights.....but then there are more things that are out of our control and all we can do is stand back and watch things happen, you may even see it coming like a rainstorm in July but you could not stop it any sooner than you can stop the wind. Being the independent people we think we are we are always wanting to micromanage our lives and those of our children, their children and any who will come thereafter (too bad we will die and will not be around to help the generations thereafter! What will they do?!).

Turn it over to God?!
Okay, now how did you do that again?
How do you let go and let God?

The problem as I perceive it is the letting go of it. We do the praying thing, the pleading thing, but when it comes to the letting God deal with it for us thing...well, that is just not easy sometimes. Funny, it seems that there are some people who appear that they can just do that and then there are those who just worry all the time.....they talk about it to themselves, they talk about to their friends, they talk to acquaintances, they talk about it to the person squeezing the produce next to them in the grocery store. They just can not seem to put it behind them. I think partially it is a personality thing and probably the average person falls someplace in the middle and worry sometimes and lets go sometimes.

It reminds me of shopping trips with other mothers with all of the children. Just stand back and watch the mothers. Some mothers have their kids lined up single file, all holding hands and are not allowed to make a step beyond her without being seen by the overseeing mother. Then there are the kids riding up the outside edge of the escalator to the second floor and somewhere before they get to the second level someone taps the mother on the shoulder and asks, "are those your children?" I always believed myself to be somewhere between the two but I probably am closer to the manager-mother than the loosey-goosey mother.

But when it comes to letting go of our worries how do you manage?

Me, I pray specifically about what my concerns are, plead for His intervention, request that God help me to set aside my worry and ask that God will help ME to want God's will more than my will to be done. At the most worrisome times I turn to Psalm and Proverbs because those books are comforting to me and as modeled by my sister I started my little notebook of verses that I call my comfort words.

Starting a new painting helps me to put the ugly thoughts right out of my head and focus on good things in my life.

I am better now than I was yesterday but not as good as I will be tomorrow.

I can not let go until I know God.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Have I become your enemy because I tell you the truth?

As the Galations verse was quoted in the Sunday morning class thoughts of Christians withdrawing from their brothers rushed into my mind. Everyone can recall a time when someone took offense when told that their actions were sinful. Often withdrawing from their Christian brothers they continue in their sinful actions thinking they have removed themselves from the offended brother therefore will not have to hear the criticisms anymore.

The problem?
They saw the messenger but not the judge.
They have forgotten that their actions are not hidden from God.
Does it matter that the messenger was not eloquent or even tactful when they told the offender the truth?
Whose message was it?

What a good friend that must be when one puts a friendship on the line in order to help the other to see that their actions are separating them from God.

As we go through our day today let's remember who we are and whose we are.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Up Early

As I popped out of bed and started the coffee this morning it has brought Jackie's comments to mind and I recognize how much of a morning person I am. I am involved in a big garage sale this morning and I could not get myself to work on it last night. Of course, there were other things going on in my life drawing me away from working on garage sale stuff.

The treadmill I ordered after my spring break goals were hampered by the rain came in and Caleb and I put it together. (Okay, Caleb put it together and I watched and burned the trash. Well, actually Caleb started the trash burning and I put some things on the fire.) I justified my purchase before I made it. I was a member of the local gym for two years and used the treadmill every time I was there. I did use other gym equipment but I always used the treadmill. If I will continue to use this it will be well worth the money.

Wish me luck that this exercise equipment does not go the way of most home exercise equipment and end up in my next garage sale. It is too big to ignore.

Okay, up and at'm I have a garage sale!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

How do you say I love you

On the evening news the weather man said, "make sure you take your umbrella as you go out this week."
An instant flash back sprang to my mind from a Love Seminar from years and years ago. Expressing love is not always verbal. With some it will be a simple reminder to carry your umbrella when you go out.

Earlier I had recalled the message on the machine the night before reminding my husband of his dentist appointment that afternoon and although I knew he had heard the message I stopped what I was doing to call him and remind him one more time.

His response was not what I expected from him. In the sweetest voice he could muster he said, "Aw-w, you really do care. I love you."

Silly me, I did not even know that he would interpret that as a message of love. What a valuable bit of information I learned today.
According to Gary Chapman in the book "Five Love Languages" there are five ways to express love: words, action, service, touch and gift giving.

Anyone read the book? I think it might be interesting.

Take your umbrella tomorrow!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Flip Flops Or Not?

Last night the ladies class broke out in decision of dress at church.

The class is based on one of our elder's wife's book that she wrote and she is trying it out on us. She knew that this chapter is based on her opinion and expected discussion but I wonder if she expected what she got.

I was sitting toward the back of the class and the women at the front of the class got into the discussion and just about took over the class. It did seem that the older women (over 70) were close to the front of the class and those closer to my age range were nearer me. The teacher made the comment that when we come to church we should be dressed in our finest and not wearing flip-flops and holy jeans.

Now, anyone who has shopped lately know that flip-flops have become the hottest fashion statement among the young. Flip-flops are worn by brides, and prom queens and anyone who is anyone. College kids live in flip-flops both sexes although the girls flip-flops have more bling. What college kids call their finest is not what the over 70 crowd calls their finest. And you will never convince the young girls to wear those moo-moos that some older women wear any easier than convincing the older women to go out and get a tribal tatoo on the upper arms and butterflies tatoos on their ankles.

The real question is:
Does God care about what we are wearing to worship?

We are to dress modestly and that can be a concern. Even at church I have seen way too much "skin" above, below, and squeezing out the middle of their clothes on the girls and that is a major concern but not just for worship but for life in general.

God sees our hearts. What about our clothing at worship?

What does God think when the coal miner rushes in to worship before he has the opportunity to go to the house and clean up? What of his clothing? What of his heart?

Where do we put him to sit?

What of our college age students no longer under their parents supervision but coming to church dressed in their flip-flops and jeans and tees ? What of their hearts? Can they be of service to God? Does their attire interfere with their ability to worship?

What hinders YOUR worship?
When my ability to worship is hindered because the girl in front of me is wearing her jeans when I am wearing my bling maybe, my mind is on me instead of on God. I should come dressed to worship God not to parade my bling.

Maybe, we should be dressed in sackcloth and ashes.

*moo-moo: flowing full length gown with a rounded yoke around the neckline attaching yards and yards of fabric gathered at the yoke. Usually has a large hibiscus or tropical flower or bird appliqued on the yoke.
*bling: jewels and decorative adornment
*tribal tatoo: decorative pattern repeated in a band like a bracelet around the upper arm usually, sometimes, the wrist, ankle or finger.
*sackcloth and ashes: coarse cloth sometimes made of goat hair which is symbolic of an outward sign of mourning and humbling self before God. Person may have rolled in ashes to show how repentant or sorry they were.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Idea Reworked

Here is another option.
Add Mom in the background, people added to background but in such a way as to not draw attention away from children at play, more pails in front of sand piles and Dad moves slightly to the right and then Mom moves to the right just a bit (below).

Better ?
Too confusing? Too busy?
Or more interesting?
Or back to the drawing board?

New Idea

Thanks to my visit with Leann and the boys I have made a decision on the next painting to start when I get back to school.

Feeding the Ducks is on the verge of completion and in order to keep up the pace I have been working on the compostion for a new one. Leann had photos from her day at the coast and I have been rearranging them into a pleasing composition using Photoshop. I am putting three photos together and will fill in the white areas with appropriate background. The strange streak through the red pail is where one child was standing and I took him out because it looked like he was cloned when he reappeared seated.

I have two compositions. One with the little one on the left and one with him on the right.

Help me decide which to do. Which version is most pleasing to you?

Monday, March 12, 2007


My Spring Break is off to a good beginning.

I think it is very important to set goals for yourself. Even if all of my goals are not met by the end of the week I will have gained by setting the goals and working toward something other than watching tv and eating bonbons. I have always been pretty much goal oriented and work best when working from a list.

When the children were young we made a chore list to complete by the end of the morning before we could do something enjoyable. Now my list is what I find enjoyable. Funny how the passing of time has changed my perception of enjoyable and I have to include things on my list to make sure that I enjoy life. My life has become too busy when seeing my grandchildren is on my goal list. I should be seeing them more regularly.

So far I have worked on most of the goals with nothing completed but all have been addressed except the weeding the flowerbeds and with the rain that may end up being something for the end of the week.
  • Leann and her kids are coming to visit today. I had hoped that Jenny could come also, but she is sticking to her homeschooling schedule and that is a good thing. I am looking forward to being with Leann's children and hope to see the other ones later in the week. We have no plans for the day but I am sure these boys want to watch cartoons and play games. I hope the weather holds enough for us to get outside for a explorative walk. I guess, we will not get to go far but at least up toward the tank and back.
  • The guys and I have been working hard on the website and have included a couple of new pages and intend to get more pages done before the week is out. I ordered business card magnets yesterday for us to use for advertising. We get more excited over the website everytime we add to it. It has been a tremendous amount of work but we envision this as being vital to the success of the business. We still have a ton of stuff to add and then Caleb will get more merchandise in and we will start again but that is alright. Some of the pictures need to be improved but all in good time. We expect to have to keep updating the site and that is what will keep people coming to it in the future. (I have the site listed in my links.)
  • I jogged down to Mama's house and back and although it was just a short distance that is a beginning. I used to do up to about 3 miles a day but a little time and a lot of weight between then and now and I will have to ease into this.
  • Cleaned house on Saturday morning and as all know this is an ongoing battle as long as you LIVE in the house.
Most of all I have enjoyed being able to be calm and relax. Family is the most important part of life.

Yesterday Ray talked on "doing what is good". I think about this often. It strikes me that often we think of NOT doing things that are bad as doing good enough. But not doing bad is not good enough! Our goal should be "doing what is good".

I know my thoughts today are random. My day may be random. Do good things today!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Spring Break!

It finally is here and not a minute too soon! Spring Break!

While all my students dream of rushing to the coast and partying hard my dream is to stay here and get things done. I have set a number of goals for myself and I am sure as always that I have more goals than I have time or energy but it does not stop me from setting myself some pretty hefty goals.

The things I want to do and not necessarily in the order of priorities is:
  • to get the shop website nearer completion, (check it out-we have been working nightly now)
  • start a new painting of grandchildren,
  • see grandchildren,
  • clean house,
  • prepare for a garage sale taking place on March 24th, I think
  • weed the flowerbeds
  • and walk/jog daily.
Now, that's a spring break!

And in my spare time, watch movies, eat popcorn candy and visit with friends and family.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day Behind Me

Okay, Leann, here is for you. Closer but still not finished. I am beginning to struggle with it. I am not sure if that is coming from the sick person in me or the true critic. But I have not given up. I am still working.

Today has been the best day for me since last Friday evening.which is not saying an awful lot considering I have been sick. Yesterday...back at school...was probably the most frustrating day I have had in a long, long time. I still had a horrid headache but forced myself to go to school because progress report grades were due and Open House was that evening then to learn that I had to prepare laptops for online testing by Thursday and had to get it all together. Without going into a major whining session I will say my day went from bad to worse and by the end of this terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day I was ready to move to Australia!

After that the next day HAD to be better. Well, it was! Software is loaded. Test day was postponed to March 20th (after I finished loading the software), kids were okay in class, I got free pizza at lunch for attending a meeting and my head finally stopped hurting.

Thank goodness those sort of days are seldom.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Saturday's Child works hard for a living

I just want to hibernate under my covers, opening just one eye occassionally to peek at the television. I was just getting used to the warmth of our almost spring days and the cool front brought in something wicked with it. Whatever it is (and at this point, I do not care what it is) it has put me out.....the runny nose, itchy eyes, sore muscles, annoying cough, sore throat........and on my Saturday of all days!

Thursday, March 1, 2007

God's Mind?

Welcome Drew.
Thank you for the lively discussion about God's master plan. Drew you certainly make me think. Your mother expressed my thoughts very well. Yes, I agree with you .

I need to be careful that when I make a statement that I make sure I express my meaning as well. I often expect that all are following my train of thought.

If you have not read the post be sure to go to God's Will and read the comments. It is from the comments from that posting that I am now questioning. I hope Drew will respond. Drew made an interesting comment on God changing His mind:
"God doesn't rarely change his mind because of prayer, he changes his mind every single time someone prays. The very act of prayer, regardless of content, will cause God to respond."

Hum-m , interesting comment. Our prayers changing God's mind? It does bring the parable of the Persistent Widow to mind.

Luke 18

The Parable of the Persistent Widow

1Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. 3And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.'

4"For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!' "

6And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"

If God answers our prayers with a negative response did our prayers change God's mind?

Elaborate on this for me, Drew. Preach on, brother.

Make me think.