Thursday, April 30, 2009

ABC's of the Word - L

We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.
If a man's gift is prophesying, Let him use it in proportion to his faith.
If it is serving,Let him serve;
if it is teaching; Let him teach;
if it is encouraging, Let him encourage;
if it is contributing to the needs of others, Let him give generously;
if it is leadership, Let him govern diligently;
if it is showing mercy, Let him do it cheerfully.

Romans 12:6-8
These verses have been special to me over the years, but especially so the last few weeks.
I went on a retreat last month where I spent an entire weekend looking at my spiritual gifts and how God might like for me to use what He has gifted me with.
In the past, I wasn't so pleased with my own gifts.
My gifts are ones that require guts.
And I felt bad because I had little mercy.
What I have found is that just because mercy is not my spiritual gift, it does not mean that I do not feel merciful toward hurting people or that I am totally cold hearted.
That is a lie from the enemy!
Even though giving / contributing to the needs of others is low on my spiritual gifts inventory,
it does not mean that I am greedy.
I am not a bad person because of my gifts.
God gave to me exactly what He wanted me to have!
And He intends on my using those gifts.
When my heart breaks for those who are hurting,
or I decide to give monetarily to someone in need,
God is there too.
Let me use what He gave me.
For more ABC's of the word

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

8 Things

8 Things
I found this over at my friend, Pam's blog. Because I have too much to say, but not yet the words to say what is on my mind, I thought this would be fun! Consider yourself invited to play along!
It's really simple to play, just complete the 8 things. Oh and leave me a comment so I can visit your 8 things list.

8 Things I look forward to

1. Any time that I spend with God...the morning prayer time, Bible reading, singing to Him in the car, and going to worship services at my wonderful church! is all something I look forward to!
2. Hanging out with my husband, even after 27 years of marriage.
3. Spending time with any and all of my kids, whether it is sitting on a bed talking, going shopping, or playing a game, I love spending time with my kids!
4. Having grandchildren one day. ;)
5. Time with my friends, whether it is Home Group, Al-anon, just dinner...whatever!
6. Dave Matthews concert this Saturday!
7. King Tut this weekend!
8. Visits from my mom...this weekend she will be here to go to King Tut with me and my kids!

8 Things I did yesterday

1. Prayed.
2. Worked.
3. Received results from my recent MRI
4. Made an appointment with a spine doctor.
5. Helped my daughter start dinner.
6. Went to a friends house for girlfriend time...six of us met for fellowship and plain old fun.
7. Saw my counselor
8. Loved on my dog.

8 Things I wish I could do

1. Make healthy eating choices when faced with really tempting foods.
2. Play the guitar like a professional
3. Take back words that I have said that have hurt people.
4. Love God with my whole heart, mind, and soul. I try...
5. Love other's they way He does
6. Travel more often
7. Retire so that I could volunteer more.
8. Remember the many things that I forgot.......

8 Shows I watch
This one is going to be really difficult...I watch virtually zero television.

1. Tonight my son and I will watch very first time. He insists that I will love it.
2. Law and Order, if I have nothing to do, that is what I will flip to.
3. American daughter and husband suck me into this one.
4. Football games, preferably play offs and college games.
5. Dave Ramsey - sometimes
6. Scrubs, if I am still awake.
7. Saving Grace, if I remember. I love it because it is contraversial.
8. Seinfeld reruns. Crude, I know, but I ALWAYS laugh out loud!

Sunday, April 26, 2009


1 4 3

Celebrations! The Grad Party for Fred

I am so proud of this man! And I am happy... no longer do I have to be a "student widow!"

Does he look excited or what?

Ashley and me! She is one of the best friends ever!

My family.... Dad, Glena, Sarah, Austin, and myself!

All of the Russell's - except Adam - who is in Washington DC.
(missed you much, Adam!)

Dad and son, Aaron

Daddy's little girl, Rebecca

Life long BFF, Lori. Been there through thick and thin!

While Ashley and I are trying to get a REAL photo, Fred decides to be silly.

Prayer partners that prayed all the way through the Master's degree!
Ashley and Shirley

Home Girls...couldn't have survived it without them!

More Home Girls!
Love them all!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins

It is Friday and time for my weekly "Fill in the Blank" Blog post. You can read more Friday Fill-In posts by going here. Check it out, it is fun!

1. Apparently there's some sort of conspiracy in the state of Virginia.

2. I look forward to every day that is a sunny day.

3. 2009 is a great year so far.

4. When I realized how self centered she really was -that was it.

5. For too long I've been co-dependent. :) Change is beautiful and fun!

6. I am not obsessed with chocolate; I am not!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a facial and a massage, compliments of my son and his girlfriend, tomorrow my plans include Step Study class, lunch with a friend, some shopping with my daughter, and church services and Sunday, I want to finish reading the book I am reading!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

ABC's of the Word - K

Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Psalm 100:3

For more ABC's of the word:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy Birthday


Monday, April 20, 2009

The Sights and Sounds of Las Vegas

Me at the Belagio

The Rio

The Motley Crew

Las Vegas is not a place that I really ever thought I would want to visit. My husband has suggested it as a place he and I might sneak away for a long weekend, but I always choose the beach if the option is available. So, when the National AAPC Conference was being held in Las Vegas, I thought it would be as good a time as any to check it out.

So, a few of my fellow Medical Coders and co-workers decided that we would travel together and check out "Sin City".

I am not quite sure how to describe the six of us that went except that we are certainly a motley crew. My roomie, Yvonne, and I are pretty similar in personality, so we decided to room together. (not that we had to, but trying to save some money and we enjoy hanging out, we thought it would be fun).
(Myself and "V" aka Yvonne)

Stephanie and Vicki, although different, are best friends, so they roomed also. Both are married, one pregnant. Stephanie was my boss when I first started working at Medical Edge. Also along was one single gal, Stacy, and one of our physicians.

When the plane landed, I looked at the terrain and immediately decided it was one of the ugliest places that I had ever seen. Honestly, a city stuck in the middle of the desert. I was skeptical already.

The shuttle ride to the Rio proved to to charm my eyes when we hit the strip. The casinos were colossal, flashy, and there were people everywhere.

We got to our hotel, and the excitement picked up. Walking into the casino/hotel, the sights and sounds immediately inundated my senses. Lights were flashing. Bells were ringing. Smoke permeated my nostrils. My skin tingled with the cool air of the inside after the desert heat.

We all checked in and decided we must eat. It was only 1:30 p.m. Vegas time, but for us, it was 3:30. For Yvonne, it was 4:30. Jet lag had already set in. Hamburgers and salads filled our empty tanks. Sadly, we were in bed by 10:00 p.m. (Vegas time) our first night there!

Well, if six people could be different in what we like to do, what we like to eat, and how we like to spend our time, we six certainly are. We compromised well and never had any conflict, but it was amusing when we all had to make a decision. We finally split into smaller groups for some activities, especially eating. Yvonne and I ate mostly Asian foods, where Stephanie and Vicki stuck with more American fare. Dr. M. and Stacy...well, I am not sure they even ate.

Time was spent gambling (Yvonne won over $400 on a $20 bet!), shopping, and eating. For three days we were in classes talking about anatomy, heart cathertizations, ethics and at night we watched Chippendales dance. What a contrast!

The sun was bright and warm, day after day, but our hotel was dark - 24 hours a day. It was outlandish to walk out of the elevator at 6:00 a.m., only to see the scene exactly the same as the night before...still gambling, still drinking, and still sitting there. Were they there early, or had they even left at all? I guessed they had been there all night by the shadows on their faces.

The sights and sounds of Las Vegas crowded my senses. I was busy, moving, going, eating, learning, laughing, seeing, hearing, playing, dozing, and trying to take it all in. Even this post has become jammed with too much...just like my five days there. The rest of the adventures I will show you in pictures.


Paris at day

Accosted by a monster!

YES! Brides wear white in Las Vegas!

Fountains at Belagio

Botanicals at Belagio

Tickets to Cirque de Soleil!

The casino by night...or was it by day? Who would ever know!

Yes, we really did go to work!

We got all of our CEU's! It's over!

The best meal of the day!

A fountain of Chocolate at the Venetian

Paris at night!

Treasure Island

New York New York

The Rio, poolside

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Master Candidate

Congratulations to my wonderful husband, Fred!
He has been working diligently on his Masters degree.
In early, March, he finished his classes.
April 4th - he walked across the stage and was handed something that he has wanted for a long time...
The Masters Degree!
This week, I have been making preparations for today.
Today is the day that we have invited our friends and family to our home to

Tonight, we will eat and visit and laugh.
And we will honor Fred for all of his hard work.
I am so proud of him.

So, my blogging has been light with all the cleaning and shopping, and calling.
I am taking a quick break (to rest a minute) before wrapping up the final preparations.
Food on the table, candles, lit, champagne is chilled.

Woo Hoo!
Shout out to the Graduate!


Monday, April 13, 2009

Cares, Pacifiers, and Casting

I just returned from Las Vegas. It is the last thing on my mind. So, what is one to do when so much is on your heart that you can't find the words to express anything? I want to share my adventures, but what is really on my mind is my kids. The pain of lost love. Teenage break ups.

My mind goes back to the early years. The thing I most longed for was a full night of sleep. Not having to go to a crib and find a pacifier to place back in crying babe's mouth. "Please, Lord, don't let there be a fever."

Now, I she the one he should marry? Will he regret this decision? Or will she remain firm on her decision to break up with him? Will he get moved to Texas like he wants? Like I want? Will she get into Grad school? What about his job in Washington DC?

Night falls, I am in soft and comfortable bed, my husband's soft snore beside me. I want to be at peace, but I am tossing and turning. Visions in my head like nightmares. Thoughts that pop in uninvited. I repeat prayers of surrender to God...over and over. I cannot control these things.

I long to plug a pacifier into crying babe's mouth. I can do that. Baby is stilled, calmed, sleeping.
Life is so much more difficult. Pacifiers are thrown away.

Babies grow up and they have grown up problems. And I am still "mom", who wants to make all the hurt stop.

But pain is part of life. I know that, I have my own hurt. Things that didn't turn out how I had hoped. Betrayal. Rejection. Even regret. Text messages that come with news that takes my breath away. Calling a friend only to have her refuse the call. Abuse. Imprisonment. Jealousy.

I know where the answer is. "Cast all your anxiety on HIM, for He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

Cast = "to throw or hurl"

I love that. It doesn't sound like to cast those things on Him has any regrets. Today, I am hurling my worries at Jesus.

Maybe tonight, sleep will come easier.

Maybe tomorrow I will want to write about Las Vegas. Tonight, I am tired from throwing cares away.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Last night, this man, Chad Kroeger from Nickelback, serenaded me and my friend, Tricia!
I have always loved his voice.
The show was great!
He was fantastic!

Friday, April 10, 2009

In Rememberance

He was man
He is Savior

He took everything
that I did
and made it right

One time
He died
Dark sky

He knew before
warned them
ate with them

Remember me
in the bread
in the wine

"I will leave"
"I will return"
He promised

Prayed and wept
obeyed and walked
carried the cross

Beautiful Savior
Horrific death
My life

Your life

He Died
He Rose


Friday Fill-In's

1. Anonymous...usually means you are not willing to admit to something openly. This might be good if you are seeking help, as in Alcoholics Anonymous, but not so good if you are leaving an "anonymous" comment. If you can't put your name to something, you might want to think twice about doing it.

2. Las Vegas is a crazy place that really never sleeps.

3. Let me embrace thee, sour adversity, as I allow my God to make thee sweet.

4. Spending time outdoors is what I look forward to most about Spring.

5. Who needs therapy when you've got great friends.

6. Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate MUST go into the Easter Basket!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to chilling with my son, Aaron, tomorrow my plans include Step Study class in the morning, taking dinner to a friend who just had surgery and then Nickelback concert with another friend and Sunday, I want to have an Easter celebration that is full of worship!

For more fun fill-ins, visit

Thursday, April 9, 2009

ABC's of The Word - Letter "I"


Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,
knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the Inheritance.
It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.
For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.
Colossians 3:23-25

For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any Inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Ephesians 5:5

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

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Sometimes, I don't like working.
Even though I like my job, there are days that are just not fun.
I work in the Health Care Industry and sometimes it is difficult to do what I do...
handling physician charges,
making sure they get paid,
managing a group of people,
making sure surgeries are coded correctly,
solving problems,
and tracking down answers.
Some days, I get tired.
Some days, my job is great fun!
I chat with physicians who are excited about what they are doing.
My department gets kudos and they are all happy!
I am interested in the operative reports that I read.
And every now and then...
I get to go places.
My job requires that I have regular training to stay certified in my field.
Continued Education Units
This next week, I will be at work,
getting CEU's
I work with some really fun and smart people.
And six of us are going to Las Vegas together.
We are leaving two days early to do some fun stuff (company paid)!
How fun is that?!
This week, I will REALLY be liking my job!

See you next week!
(in Las Vegas)