Saturday, January 31, 2009

Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Fill In

Just for fun is time for Friday Fill In! To join in, visit:
1. I'd really like to be on vacation right now.
2. OUCH is the word you'd most often hear me say (YELL) if I stubbed my toe.
3. Possession is not something that I have, it is all God's.
4. I really like Captain Jack Sparrow.
5. Marshmallows and fire go together like man and woman: very opposite but come together to make something really good.
6. My prayers for healing in a broken friendship will continue to go on and on.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to hanging out with two of my very best girlfriends for dinner and a collage making party, tomorrow my plans include Step Study class number 3, lunch with my sponsor, a nail appointment and worship service. And Sunday, I want to have a grand time at the Superbowl party at my house! Go Cardinals! (post on that later!)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Treasures from Thien

My son's girlfriend, Thien, is an absolute blessing! One of the things that I love about her is that she diligently emails me. And when she emails me, it is a lovely, well thought out letter and usually with pictures!

This is a picture that she sent me of the Thanksgiving meal that she and Adam prepared for her family. I was jealous because the turkey they made sounded like it was mouth watering good. It was fun for Adam and Thien to merge each of their cultures and traditions into the American holiday, Thanksgiving.

Also new to Thien was the Christmas tradition of Santa filling the Christmas stockings for all to open bright and early on Christmas morning! She was slightly unprepared to have her photo taken at such a ghastly hour of the morning. She remedied that with the above idea!

*I found out that is not her under that blanket...but my other son

(who does NOT like to have his picture taken, Aaron)

HaHa...joke was on Mom!*

But more than anything, I love her letters. They are fun to read, expressive, and full of personality. I have learned much about Thien, and also about my son, because of her sweet and regular correspondence.

Just a little grateful expression from the life of Liz today.



*Added after correction!

ABC's of the Word - Y

It's Thursday! I love Thursdays because I take special time to ponder and pray about the verses in God's word that have meant a lot to me as I walk with Him. I was excited to get to "Y" because of of my very favorite scriptures begins with "Y", using the word "Your" as we talk to God about how wonderful His love is. This particular scripture is one that I go to whenever I feel that I have wondered away from Him and it is a song (by Third Day) that I sing when I want to praise Him for how deep, how wide, how big His love really is! More than I can imagine!

Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens,

your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,

your justice like the great deep.

O LORD, you preserve both man and beast.
How priceless is your unfailing love!

Both high and low among men

find refuge in the shadow of your wings.
Psalm 36:5-7 (NIV)
For more ABC's of the Word

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Self Talk Soul Talk - Chapter 4

It is Yes To God Tuesdays, and time for my summary of Chapter 4. The title is
Speaking Truth To Your Issues.
One of the thought questions at the end of the chapter is:
What kind of issues crowd your thought closet?

Mistakes I have made.

Relationships that are unreconciled.

I am not good enough.

When those are the thoughts that dominate my thinking, I know that I am not allowing the Holy Spirit to control my thoughts, I am not taking every thought captive.


It is sometimes so hard.

Last week, I said "I could practice switching a negative thought to a positive thought, but that won't help me as much as discovering where the negative thought came from in the first place and taking care of that."

The answer was in this chapter!

It is about my faith! Jennifer writes, "By faith we receive truth. By faith we believe truth. And by faith we act on that truth. Soul talk can never be a substitute for faith.... ...Soul talk is faith's companion, not its replacement."

The role of the Holy Spirit in my life is key. He is my helper, my counselor. He is the One who takes my soul talk, knows my faith, and makes it work for my good, and for God's glory!

He counsels me.
He represents Christ to me.
He teaches me.
And He reminds me of the truth.

And yes, once upon a time there was a woman who talks to herself, desperately unhappy. But she told herself the truth and that led her straight to Jesus.

I am that woman.

For more on Self Talk Soul Talk visit Lelia at Write from the Heart

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Cleaner Closet

Been cleaning out my thought closet and let me tell you what, I am so eager to throw some of this old, dirty stuff away.

While I go through some of these toxic thoughts, God is also good enough to me to add to it some areas where I need to confess sin. As I throw out the negative thoughts, there are memories attached to them that I need to deal with.

The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's inmost parts.
Proverbs 26:22

Sometimes my faulty thinking has allowed me to make grave errors in judgement. Pain has sometimes influenced my wanting to take revenge.

Sometimes, I have given in to the temptation. And like the scripture says, the consequenses went deep into who I WAS. (not who I am)

Gossip is so big in our society that we have created an entire industry around it. Gossip magazines, newspapers, and television shows air out all kinds of stuff that is not our business. It makes it difficult to tell the difference between what is okay to talk about and what is not.

When I became aware of negative in the life of someone I was close too, I knew it needed to be shared...somewhere. It was sin that needed to be confronted. I turned in circles trying to figure out what to do with what I knew. This went on for years and slowly but surely, I revealed just enough of this person's dirty laundry to be considered gossip. It was painful for them, yes, but also painful for me. I developed a pessimistic view of life. This problem infiltrated my thoughts. I began to tear down others with my words instead of lifting them up. And I stopped believing in the possibility of God doing the impossible.

I have now come clean, (confessed and apologized) but like the torn and dirty things in my closet, just washing these items will not remove what was done. Only God's power to cleanse will remove the painful thoughts and the hurt that accompanies that one incident.

I choose to throw this yucky outfit away. I know that I will be faced with negative things on and off throughout my life...even my day, but I don't have to focus on them. I choose to be optimistic on purpose, by the power of Jesus Christ.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Letter Game

While doing a little blog browsing the other day, I ran across the blog Musings of a Future Pastor's Wife , by Rachel.
Her blog title caught my attention. Upon visiting her blog I decided that I might be missing out on something very entertaining by not watching the television show Lost. Another thing that I decided was it would be fun to play a little letter game. When I am not feeling necessarily creative, and my brain is just a little tired, I love these fun little games.

Check it out:

If you want to play, leave a comment on this post letting me know, and I’ll assign you a letter. You write about ten things you love that begin with your assigned letter, and post it at your place. When people comment on your list, you give them a letter, and the chain continues on and on...

Rachel assigned me the letter "B". I don't know why the letter "B" but here I go........

1. Barnes and Noble bookstore. I am crazy about books, and music, and coffee. This place has it all!

2. Bedtime. I loved bedtime when my children were small because it allowed time for myself. Now that my children are much older, I love bedtime for me, because it allows time for myself.

3. Bible. God's word is precious. I am so glad that He saw fit to write it, what a blessing.

4. Blessings! Yes, answer #3 helped me think of this one. Blessings are just great, are they not?
I am so grateful that God blesses me in so many ways!

5. Blankets. I do not like to be cold, which is one of the reasons I love living in Texas. However, today it is cold and I am so lovin' my blanket.

6. Babies. Need I say more? They are just so sweet and such a miracle.

7. Blue jeans. They go with everything....dress them up, dress them down.

8. Big Daddy Weave. There is a miracle that takes place in my love of Big Daddy Weave...too long for this post, but I love the music of Big Daddy Weave.

9. Buddies, also known as friends. They make life so much more fun! God gave me some great ones! I love them so very much!

10. Beaches. They have to be one of the best parts of creation ever!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Fill - In

It is Friday again and time for the Friday Fill - In!

1. Oh, I am so blessed by my friends.

2. I am making personal changes, big and little.

3. During work hours, I try not to spend too much time on blogs.

4. 80 degrees; are you kidding me??? (that is the temperature today in Texas!)

5. Right now I'd like to be taking a nap.

6. My wine corker is my favorite gadget. I don't have to have help opening a bottle of wine at all!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to dinner out with our best friends, Dan and Lori, tomorrow my plans include Step Studies in the morning, a little housework, and attending the worship service at 5:00. Sunday, I want to go to see a movie with my husband.

For more Friday Fill-Ins, click the link below. They are quite entertaining!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

ABC's of the Word - X (free verse)

Many, many years ago, a friend of mine shared a verse that she held on to during a serious trial in her life. I will never forget the conversation, the circumstances that had been in her life, and also the circumstances that were going on in mine that caused her to share it. God has taken me back to this same verse, many times, as I have hung on to him during dark, dark hours. A few times in my life, I have wondered if my broken heart would ever heal, if my spirit would ever soar, and the question would surface, "Where is my Jesus in all of this?"

Tragedy, Death, Unemployment, Betrayal, all of these have been part of my life, even recently.

My friend, the same dear friend who shared this verse, is going through a trial. It is a tragedy and one that I cannot even imagine the pain that she is feeling. God provided me the opportunity to share the same verse back at her today. And I pray with all my heart that God will take His words and plant them deep into her soul as she reaches out and relies on the One True Living God who is always there!

My verse for X week is Psalm 34:18

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and save those who are crushed in spirit.
For more verses, visit Grey Like Snuffie

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

By Your Side

I love music. It speaks to me, ministers to me, and moves me.
I know that music isn't the ONLY form of music,
but in my heart, it is one of the top means by which I feel awed and connected to my God.
This song does it for me every time.
I just wanted to share.
Blessings to you my dear family and friends,

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Little Rant

I will never give up. Love always wins. I pray that reconciliation will occur, that hearts will be softened, that God's grace and mercy will win over hurt and betrayal and that relationships will be restored. I will never give up on what God started. Ever.

Self Talk Soul Talk -Chapter 3

Another week has passed. Time again for the Yes To God Tuesday on-line Bible Study hosted by Lelia.

Chapter 3 title is Choosing Wise Words.
I like this.
After the last two weeks of realizing how much I need to clean out the thought closet, the negative and hurtful things that I allow to wallow around in my mind,
we get to start on the cleaning.
It is about the root - specifically, the root cause of the faulty thinking. My mind is hanging on to something incorrect. The root is what allowed these thoughts to get into my head in the first place.
Out of that root grows a fruit.
The fruit is the way our thinking plays out.
Mine plays out by thinking odd"If he just asked if I needed help, he must think I am doing a poor job."
Hmmm. That's not right.
So, to get to the root, to find out what makes me think those things; it goes well with the way I prefer to solve problems...get to the bottom of it. Find out the reason why.
I could practice switching a negative thought to a positive thought, but that won't help me as much as discovering where the negative thought came from in the first place and taking care of that.
Those who know me know that I like to dig deep and discover what is really going on.
I have been doing this a lot lately as I have come face to face with some things that I wanted, that I NEEDED, to change in my life.
Thoughts are one of them.
I love the advise from Pasty Clairmont,
"Refuse things that are inaccurate, unkind, or unedifying; replace them with what is good, pure, and just; and then repeat that process for as long as it takes to bring my thought under control."
I have given some thought time to the fruit in my life that needs to change.
Perfectionism - Yes.
Hypersensitivity and defensiveness - Yes.
And more...
So, I find myself asking for wisdom. Wisdom to know what exactly to use to take out the root of low self esteem, the root of unworthiness.
God's word tells me who I am, His wisdom will guide me to the things that are right and true.
A journey of healing and change begins.
There is power in a change that is being lead by God.
I am allowing God to move me into a new image, one that reflects His beauty.
This starts with the root.
I trust Him to show me the way. Life, with Him, provides all I need when I risk changing myself, by taking action, with Him as my Lord.

Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul;
if you find it, there is a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.
Proverbs 24:14

Monday, January 19, 2009

Pay It Forward

I have met a new friend in this wonderful blog world and her name is Gail.
When I read her posts, I have to laugh, because so often she says something that so could come right out of my own mouth (fingertips).
Her blogs are thoughtful, thought provoking, and well written.
And she leaves the most wonderfully encouraging comments on my blog.
(don't we all love our comments?)
Yesterday, Gail left me a message to check her blog.
Lo and behold!
I have an award!
To make it even more pleasurable, when I read her introductory paragraph...
I laughed again!
Her words expressed what I was thinking!
You can read her post here.

I am thrilled to have received this award, and pleased because it is a "Helping Hands" Award.
When I started this blog, it was an exercise that was to help me.
If this tattered and torn journey of mine can help one person,
see God,
be brave,
continue writing,
begin writing,
see God,
then I am thrilled!

Without further delay,
I will pay it forward.

Pam at Grey Like Snuffie: I have no idea how I found her, but I am so glad that I did. Her words open my eyes to see things, things that I don't normally notice. When I read Pam's blog, I want to stop and take notice of the world around me. It seems she sees God in everything. I want to be more like her.

Laura at the Wellblog: I have acknowledged her before, but I must repeat how much I love reading her blogs. Her writing is poetic and beautiful. I can see and hear when she writes, as if I am there. And her heart, I so love her heart.

Tina at Forever Tinker: Tina has been my dearest friend for 14 years. When I started this blogging thing, she loyally read and encouraged me. Eventually, she began one of her own. She is a busy mom of four beautiful children and she doesn't blog as much as I wish she did, but when she does, I am so blessed. Not only because she is my friend, but she is a gifted writer.

Lelia at Write From The Heart: Lelia was the very first person to comment on my blog...that I didn't know already. I was SO surprised and blessed. Lelia's comment and future encouragements helped shape what God was doing through this blog. And her blog....I love it. She makes me laugh and she makes me cry, sometimes in the same sentence!

Go by these blogs and be blessed. Thanks, Gail!
Blessings to you!

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.
Hebrews 10:24

Question of the Day

While making a searching a fearless moral inventory of myself this morning, I ran across this question:

How do I behave in ways I would not tolerate from others? What makes me think it is okay for me to act this way?

I laughed out loud.
And then I had to get serious.

I had just completed a list of behaviors that I find unacceptable, then a list of behaviors that I find irritating. On these two lists were things like lying, abuse, not getting help for abuse (especially abuse of children), screaming, controlling, hateful words, selfish....

Whoa. I had to stop.

Why do I sometimes think it is okay for me to do some of those things? My answer to myself, for now, was, "I have no idea - how stupid!"

Just a thought to ponder.

I hope it leads to an answer, and then an end to this sort of ridiculous behavior!

"Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
Matthew 7:1-5

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Mind Over Madder

This morning, I read a devotional reading with the title "Mind Over Madder". It was written by Chuck Swindoll, who I believe has a lot of wisdom and a great way of putting things. It caught my attention because the subject matter is something that hits close to home. Emotions. Particularly Anger.

When I have taken those fun (and not so fun) personality tests, my "Emotional" side always wins out. If I had MY way, I would make all of my decisions based on is what comes natural to me. But when I do this, I often find myself in a huge mess. Especially when it comes to angry emotions. I have made a fool of myself more times than I care to admit when it comes to anger. Anger flares in me quickly, and I give in to it's strong pull for me to say things or act in certain ways. I know that this part of me does not please God. It certainly does not please the people in my life who are subjects of my anger, and honestly, I cannot stand it myself. God has talked to me about this on more than one occasion, but the most recent one was serious and He certainly got my attention. Since that situation occurred, now almost a year ago, I have worked diligently and faithfully on getting rid of anger...or at least inappropriate behavior as a result of becoming angry. It has been a long hard road, and God is not finished with me by any means, but He has done a great deal of work, with my cooperation. I can honestly say that I have not raised my voice in anger for 11 months and 14 days. The words that I have used to express my anger have not been hurtful, with very few exceptions. And I am practicing stop and think before I speak.

So, when I read this particular devotional, I was able to evaluate the changes in me in the last year. Gratefully, there is change, for the better. I am now free of the simmering anger that once had a hold of me, replacing it with love, grace, healthy boundaries, healthier relationships, and more trust in God. But I have also learned not to allow my emotions to run my life. My mind is in charge of my emotions which prompts me to make better choices, choices that honor God and others.

Today I am grateful for a loving God and a strong mind.
I am grateful for the situations that God has brought into my life to help me grow up, as painful as they have sometimes been.
And I am grateful for the wise people that God has put in my life as I have traveled this journey to healing.

"There is more happiness in giving than in receiving."
Acts, 20:35

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Fill In

I love Fridays! The weekend is just around the corner. My office is usually pretty quiet and I can get a lot of work completed. Friday nights are reserved for spending quality time with family, friends, or (maybe oddly) simply some quality time with myself. It is also the day that I have picked to post this random, fill in the blank blog posting. I would love it if you would join it. You can get the questions here, weekly. Here is this weeks Friday Fill In!

1. Enough with the cold. I much prefer warm weather and the cold makes my body hurt.

2. Pain causes me to be conflicted, mostly emotional pain. I understand that pain is a part of life, even a life with Christ, but it still doesn't feel good. So, this is conflicting. Joy / Pain. ?

3. I've been craving seafood. I love seafood and can never get quite enough. When I lived on the East Coast, it was much more accessible. When I was visiting Northern Virginia a couple of months ago, I was able to eat seafood every day. I am ready for another trip like that.

4. My family makes me laugh. We have so much fun together.

5. I wish I could go to Mexico next week. I imagine lounging on the beach with my hubby, in the sun, relaxing. We are planning a trip soon, but it's not next week. :(

6. Tina has been on my mind lately. She is one of my best friends and is going through a tough situation. I have been praying for her a lot, along with her family. So, I would say she is definitely on my mind.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to spending time with friends and family, relaxing over a nice dinner. Tomorrow my plans include a class that I am taking in the morning and hopefully taking in a movie with my husband. Our daughter's boyfriends is spending the weekend with us while his parents are out of town, so we will be very available parents (they are 15), spending time with them. We attend worship services on Saturday night. Sunday I want to have as much fun as possible at the House Of Blues Gospel Brunch with friends when we go to celebrate a birthday. The rest of the day I want to tidy up, do laundry, and relax with a book for the night.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Memory Verse #2

Rescue me from my enemies, O LORD,
for I hide myself in you.

Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
lead me on level ground.

Psalm 143:9, 10

Ok, I am having too much fun with my scripture memory. I chose the second part of my first memory verse because I felt I have verse 8 down pretty well. These verses speak to my heart and helps me know that I am not alone. His guidance is promised in these scriptures and that is something that I strive to do...follow Him.

Visit Beth Moore's blog to see almost 1500 women memorizing the wonderful word of God!

ABC's of the Word - W

Whoever believes in me,
as the Scripture has said,
streams of living water will flow from within him.
John 7:38

I love this verse.
Living Water...
I ponder...
What IS that,
living water.
But I know
because I have it.
It gives life
It is life
It is Him
Living in me.

For more ABC's of the Word visit
Grey Like Snuffie

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Self Talk Soul Talk - chapter 2

(author's words quoted in blue)

Reading this chapter, I am face to face with some thoughts that need to come out of my "Thought Closet." Although I have not experienced labels in the same way the example, Dennis, did, I have been called a few things that; although might have some truth to them, they were destructive and hurtful. Truth is, they still swim around in my head, and even though I know my behavior might sometimes reflect those words, but it doesn't mean that I AM that.

this chapter has caused me to think about the difference.

It seems that when the words come from someone that we believe loves us, they might stick around easier. And if they come from myself, well, then I have the tendency to think they have to be true, after all, I know myself better than anybody...or do I?

I love what Jennifer says here,
"Until you choose to bring that out-of-place label into the light and make it line up with truth, it will control you. Instead of wearing it as a label, choose now to label it with the truth."
So, when I make a mistake, I am not an "idiot". I made a mistake.
When I make a decision that is based on meeting my own needs, I am not "selfish", I made a selfish choice.
I am the workmanship of God.
Try again.
Rely on Him.

I love, love, love the conversation with Marilyn Meberg. She has been one of my favorite authors and speakers for well over a decade and her wisdom always strikes the right chord for me. No exception in what she is quoted as having said here,
"Oh, sometimes I need the correction. Sometimes I need the discipline. Sometimes I need to own the truth. That's instruction. That's good for me. That builds me up. But when I feel condemned, like I'm not good enough, that's not instructive. That's destructive. Instruction brings life, condemnation brings destruction."

Amen to that.

Jennifer follows that comment with these words,
"Wise, truthful words are never harsh or unkind. They are gracious. Wise and truthful words are never wimpy or without power. They have authority."

That's the difference!

Hold up all those words and labels to the truth, God's truth.

That's the difference.

"You can't remove those hurtful thoughts, words, and memories, but by the power of God, you can drain them of their potential control over you."

So, the closet cleaning gets a little deeper.
Some of the memories that are attached to the things in this closet are painful and I might even be reluctant to throw them out.
But God has much better waiting. When I give Him all the old stuff, He will give me new, even better and prettier - even more useful - replacements.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17

For more posts on Self Talk Soul Talk
Write From the Heart
Lelia's Blog

Monday, January 12, 2009


My former pastor, Ed Young, who I really like and enjoy his teaching, sends out an E-votional every day. As with most devotionals, it is hit and miss with what God is doing in my life. Today's devotional hit the mark. There are some small things in my life, that I need to be more trustworthy with. Lunch Money. Time. Following through and doing what I say I will do, even if is as small as going to the bank for my husband. Good reminder that I though I would pass on today.

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.

Luke 16:10

Can you be trusted? I think the first response for all of us is, “Of course I can!” And there are probably plenty of times when that is true. Most of us can be trusted when we make a promise, or when there are serious consequences at stake. But that is only part of being trustworthy.

Can you be trusted in the little things? That is where the rubber meets the road. When you tell someone you will call them, do you? When you say you will meet a friend at a certain time, do you show up 15… 30… 60 minutes late?

Real trust is proven when we follow through with the little things, not just the big ones. Because the little things could be opportunities God uses to prepare you for something more.

When a friend asks you to help with something small, remember that the little things matter. Be trustworthy with them. And discover how it can lead you to being “trusted with much.”

(I was going to start my posting for Self Talk Soul Talk, but I left my book at work, so that will go out tomorrow during the lunch break, if there is time.)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My Nest - It Changes

One day, not very long ago, my children looked like the photo above. In my mind, I remember this day. It was just yesterday, wasn't it??

My daughter, not pictured here, would ask, "Where am I, Mommy?"

My reply, "You were not born yet, my sweet. It was before."

Before she was born. She is 15. Why does it seem that the picture above, before she was born, was yesterday?

My heart searches...

for time,....................
for more time...................................

wow. One day the little boy on the left (above) the first photo is my life and now this.....

High School graduation 2005

My Aaron. The middle child. The one who sometimes feels left out, but the one I love so much that my heart bleeds when I look at him.
He is the one who I have big hopes for.
The one who was planned to be next.

The one who both Daddy and I knew would come.

The Certain.

The Given.


He moves out this week. Long awaited. He has lived at home and completed Associate's Degree at Community College.

My pride swells.

He now moves north. to University North Texas, to complete degree in Criminal Justice, to become a police officer. The same week that a Dallas Police Officer is buried, shot. My prayers for my son become more fervent for his safety. I give him to my God, His protector.

He leaves our home, for the first time in more than 21 years, my beloved son, the one I planned, the one I birthed, turning him over to the world, and what God has planned for him.

It was always that way, but much of my part is now over.

Oh, Lord....protect. Take what I have tried to do and finish the work. You know I have done the best that I can. He is yours. Thank you that you gave me that time.
Bless him.

Wrap your arms around him.

Let him know he is loved.

With a love that will never die. That goes beyond all things. All requests to clean rooms, to be responsible with money, to make good grades, to honor others... a love that is motivated by the gift that is only because you gave him to us, our son, to love and nurture him, until the day when he would become yours, which is now, he is YOURS. Thank you, Father. My son.
Now on his own.

Give him what he You.

I love this child.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Friday Fill In's - Just for Fun

I ran across this on my friend, Carol's, blog. I love random posts and these are fun with a little bit of thought.

Fill In - because it is a fill in the blank post. Here is my first one!

1. It's January; I live in Texas which means this week, we had an ice storm and the next day it was 77 degrees.

2. Health is what I crave most right now.

3. Cork and wine go together like shoes and socks.

4. Sleep is so nourishing.

5. Let us dare to make some difficult but necessary changes in our lives.

6. I can relax and feel comfortable in my home. It is safe, warm, and cozy. Other people say they feel the same way when they are here. This is an wonderful answer to prayer.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to relaxing, tomorrow my plans include hanging out at home, doing homework with my daughter, and attending a worship service, and Sunday, I want to read all day!

Taste of Tulsa with Teenagers!

Teenagers need culture.

My mom and I thought we would take my daughter and her boyfriend to see the Nutcracker Ballet.

We dressed in our Ballet Matinee' duds, some of us a little more casual than others. No worries. It was about having fun, hearing music, watching the dance.

Some of us were not sure what to expect...see two teens on the left of my mom. Curious.

I suggested that they read the program; after all, it tells the story that we were about to see and hear, only without words. What? A story? To music and dancing only?

Curious. But it was wonderful. On the way home from the ballet, we drove through the neighborhood where I grew up. Fate. The owner of my childhood home was in the yard. We all got a tour of the home I lived in when I was the age of this beautiful daughter, on a trip that was to introduce her to some of what I knew growing up. I had not planned that it would include an inside view of my childhood home, but God did. Very neat.

There is a very aged, outdoor mall, just a few blocks from this home. My best friend and I walked there as often as we could after school and on weekends. One of the favorite stops was the Russell Stover candy shop.

Of course we stopped. Wow. There is the clock I always used to know when it time to return home.

Next stop, Tulsa's famous Hide Away's Pizza! We hooked up with my sister and sweet niece

Rebecca and Kristin

My mom cracking up at Robert, Rebecca's boyfriend. He is rather funny, even though sometimes he doesn't know it. This was one of those times. Below, was the picture I was taking when my mom started laughing...Robert was trying to look cool, but somehow we got a real smile out of him.
I tried to make her laugh, but couldn't get the same crack up that Robert did.

So, below is the famous pizza. It really might be some of the best I ever had....maybe it is the best I ever had. Robert might agree too. He was a huge Pizza Hut fan and thought nothing could beat a pepperoni stuffed crust, but his pizza was great - all meat. He ate every single bite of an entire pizza.

Last but not least, my sister and myself. No, we don't look anything alike. We are very much sisters though and love her very much. One of my biggest joys is being close enough to see her regularly and be part of my niece's life.

Oh, yes, Kristin is a beauty.

Tulsa. My home town.
Just a little taste of what I do when I visit there.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Truth, Honesty and How to NOT mess it all up.

You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
Exodus 20:16

Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, mind and soul. He said the second greatest is to love your neighbor as yourself. And a huge part of loving someone is being honest with them, also being the 9th of the 10 Commandments.

Sometimes being honest is difficult because it is painful. I have been in a few situations like this, one in particular was gigantic in my mind. I hid the truth for a long time, torn between protecting trust but also knowing that the truth should be revealed to someone, somewhere. It involved sin and dishonesty in the leadership of a church. But the reason I held it in confidence was because I loved my friend. So, is it right to share the truth even when it could hurt someone? Or should we conceal the truth in order to spare their feelings? Reputation? Or in this case their job?

This has become one of the biggest questions that I have ever asked.

I had to evaluate my motives. At times my motive was to tell out of selfish ambition, or in the midst of conflict. Ultimately, the truth was "leaked" partially just to prove a point. The relationships began to divide.

There was a motive that was based on love, but it did not always win out. Love would suggest help, love would not destroy.

To communicate honesty in the right spirit to those around us, we must package it with love.
If confronted with a situation that needs the light of truth, I have learned it best to take a moment to pray for the right words, a humble attitude and a loving spirit so I can communicate lovingly and honestly. Because when I do that, when we do that, we will discover that honesty in every situation can help restore and strengthen relationships, and provide opportunities for great personal growth, for all parties.

I wish this lesson had been learned prior to the loss of my friendship. It is still a big question in my mind. The truth in this situation was just that - TRUTH. But it hurt. Some truth is simply difficult. Blatant sin. Abuse. Addiction. Affairs. Lies. Only God can give us enough grace and mercy to make any sense to any of this.

I find myself praying for future situations with this prayer:

Dear Lord, I ask for your help in dealing with areas that need the light of your truth. Help me with the words to say as well as a loving spirit and a humble attitude as I communicate words that will help toward restoration and growth in every relationship I have.
In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

ABC's of the Word - Letter V

In your majesty ride forth victoriously
in behalf of truth, humility and righteousness;
let your right hand display awesome deeds.

Psalm 45:4

For more ABC's of the Word visit
Grey Like Snuffie

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Not So Well With My Soul

It's that time again...Yes To God Tuedays, hosted by Lelia at Write From the Heart. The book this time is Self Talk Soul Talk and even though I am a day late in posting, I am excited to be working through this topic with my bloggy buddies!

The beginning of this book stirs up things that for so long I thought that I could not control. Years ago, I remember asking my husband how he controlled his thoughts (it seemed to me that he was fairly good at this) and he said he chose not to think about thoughts that were not beneficial. The answer seemed good, but I still couldn't grasp what he was talking about. When he tried to explain further, he used the illustration of a bird flying by, that you just watch it fly over your head but don't let it make a nest. Hmmm.

I have managed to do better with this thought control, but have yet to really get a good handle on it and I think this book might just help me with the next steps.

It is the stuff in my thought closet! The thoughts that are stored on those shelves, racks, and bins have more influence than I imagined. Some of these thoughts are quite old and I have recited them over and over to myself for many years.

The author Jennifer Rosthschild tells us, "Our words are powerful. Especially the words we say to ourselves. That's why we need to take a peek into our own closets and see what's lining those shelves."

Okay, Friends, I guess it is time for me to do a little closet cleaning. I have noticed a few sentences popping around in my head, especially after reading this chapter. They sound like, "She really must hate me." "I don't know why I am in my position, I really don't know what I am doing." Even, "No wonder you can't think of anything to write on that really don't have anything worth reading anyway."

Yucky stuff.

So, I look forward to cleaning this old closet out. I love, also, what Jennifer says when she wrote, "Because your thoughts strongly influence you, you must learn to govern them with some truthful soul talk. The will start you on the path of right thinking. It will lead you to unknotted, productive feelings and free you up to live the life you long for."
Woo Hoo! I am ready for some of that, how about you?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tardy Soul Talk - Time Out for GREAT NEWS!

Today is the first day of the online Bible Study, hosted by Lelia.

My post is not ready, but it will be tomorrow. Germs had my body down for several days, every time I tried to read, my eyes would close. Antibiotics should do the trick and my post should be ready tomorrow.

In the meantime, I received a phone call from my mother today. Some of you know, but some of you do not, that my mother was involved in a very bad accident in September of 2005. She and her husband were on a motorcycle and were hit by a car. Long story short, my mom's dear husband of almost 22 years did not survive his surgery, and my mother has not walked since. The injuries she sustained to her leg were the worst the trauma surgeon had ever seen. His favorite line whenever we asked if she would walk was, "We have already won the lottery..." meaning she survived and the leg is still attached.

The news today was fantastic! After so many surgeries that we have lost count, after many, many months (years) in a wheelchair, several attempts at walking with walkers, crutches, and canes, hardware in and hardware out of the leg, hip replacement, and lots of anguish and prayer, my mother has heard the news, "Your bone is healed!"

The x-rays are good. The bone looks solid. She can walk! She can walk!

Woo hoo!

Memory Verse #1

"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul."

Psalm 143:8 (NIV)

Recently, I have found myself spending a lot of time reading great things that are based on God's word, but not as much time as I want IN God's word. I prayerfully approached Him, and He was faithful to provide an answer, as He always is.

I am committed to memorizing 2 scripture verses per month and posting them to Living Proof Ministries fun and entertaining blog.

The first verse I chose because it was the verse that answered the prayer. God shows me the way I should go and I trust Him. What a wonderful way to go through life, lifting up my soul to Him!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Random Things About Me

Saturday morning, I slept until 9:40 a.m.! I guess I was exhausted and needed the sleep, but I also woke with a little bit of a cold.


So, I took it easy, as easy as I could in the whirlwind that is my life.

I enjoyed coffee with a friend that I only get to see every now and then, but we are soul sisters at heart! We did a tiny bit of shopping, checking our the Christmas clearance at Hallmark - got great deals on 2008 ornaments!

Then we met our families at the worship service. A great service, I might add. Perfect for the New Year, but not typical. I don't think I would call my pastor anything near typical. The Holy Spirit is clearly working in this man's life as Matt communicates the truth of the gospel, and challenges us (the church) to walk in a way that honors God to the max! Love it!

Sunday peaceful, with a trip to the grocery and a list of healthy menu ideas and recipes from Weight Watcher's cookbooks. (No...not a New Year's Resolotution - I loathe them - but a continuation of a healthy decision that is forever in one phase or the other).

Time in the afternoon was spent with a close friend, (aka sponsor) working on some step work. Good stuff, steps 4 and 5. Healing.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

As I spent time reviewing my entire life, all the happenings - good, bad, ugly, fun and painful, I realized that I am an Okay person. In fact, I am likeable, funny, honest, and loyal.

But, I still have a cold and I am not feeling creative. So, I got a great idea from my friend, Pam, at Grey Like Snuffie, and I am going to post some very random things about me.

1. My first car was a Toyota Carolla, navy blue.
2. My prom date was a boy named Fred, and I married a man named Fred, different Fred, but odd still. (not a common name among males in my peer group)
3. I would rather eat great food and rarely am tempted by desserts.
4. I am just learning to enjoy my own company.
5. I wish I were a physician, it is the job of my dreams.
Random about me, but God planned it this way!
O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.
Psalm 139:1-4

Friday, January 2, 2009

The First Step

Today, I am very grateful for the recovery program that I am in. There are many parts to Twelve Step Recovery and one of my favorites and most helpful is what is called "Step Work".
At the beginning of every month, my Home Group has a "Step Meeting." Cool thing is, there are twelve steps and twelve months of every year (was that done on purpose?). For the month of January, we covered Step One last night.
We admitted we were powerless over
(fill in the blank)
(alcohol, food, emotions, disease, abuse)

– that our lives had become unmanageable.

As I thought about this step in my life, I recognized that the two words "Admitted" and "Unmanageable" were important for me to remember. Many, many years ago, when a pastor recommended that I attend Al-Anon meetings, I sort of thought he was nuts. Yep. I didn't think the alcoholism in the family that I grew up in had any effect or influence on what I was experiencing at that time....10 or so years after I left home and married.
It was not until my life really began to show as "unmanageable" that I knew I needed help, extra help, to overcome and deal with what I was experiencing. I finally admitted that I was powerless, I had experienced life in a way - that included alcoholism - that colored my vision a little different from the world which did not have addiction as an influencer.


You bet!
No one would have ever guessed - unless you lived with me day after day. Or unless you were one of my best friends, my confidante.

From the outside, all looked well....controlled and happy.

Inside, I was spinning out of control in fear, needing to control everything and everyone around me lest my world fall apart. Even as a Christian, I was paralyzed in certain behaviors due to fear. A stronghold.

Then I walked through the doors to healing. I learned how to let God take these fears, with the help of others who had walked a similar path. I knew I was not alone. I did not have to be ashamed of the fear, the flaws. I was loved, not just by a God who loves without conditions, but also by a group of people, for what felt like the first time. No matter what mistakes I make - they love me. No matter if I make I wrong decision - they love me. Even when I fall - they help me up.
I trust.

Every single time I meet with my sisters in Recovery, we say a prayer...The Serenity Prayer

I pray it every day now.
Sometimes I pray it every hour.

I pray myself back to sleep on sleepless nights with the sweet words of surrender to my Lord that this prayer offers.

I admit that I am powerless and without Him, my life is unmanageable.

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with HimForever in the next.
--Reinhold Niebuhr

He answers this prayer! He does all these things! He shows me what I can change and really, really does help me accept the things I cannot change. (there are WAY more of these than I every believed!) He gives me the ability to enjoy one moment at a time and even during hardships, I experience peace. Trusting Him, I can walk through this crazy, messed up world, surrendered to His will for MY life. I am reasonably happy and I WILL be supremely happy for eternity...with Him.

Thursday, January 1, 2009