“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Give Away: The Blessing Part Deux

This is a follow-up to "Give Away: The Blessing" posted on January 26th.

I am having a great time reading your comments about "comments." After I posted it, I was afraid that I was begging for comments (okay, that's not far from the truth), or too needy. But to my delight I am learning more about you... and well, actually, more about me. (Gee, I hate that!) I started wondering... why don't I leave more comments? Well, today I found a new excuse.

Two days ago I left a comment on someone's blog. It was what I thought was an insightful comment. (aren't they all?) The post was not the most recent. And I was the only one who left a comment... at the time. Unfortunately, I had checked that little box on the comments page that says something like "e-mail me if anyone else leaves a comment on this post."

Today, someone (not the blogger) felt it necessary to make a comment about my comment. And not a favorable one. It challenged what I had said, which I still completely stand by... but my blood was boiled. I went to the Bible to make sure what I stated was correct or incorrect... but in all actuality... what would I do if I found out I was right? Leave a comment about her comment? or go to her blog and leave her a comment on one of her posts?

Note to self: Consider all consequences and scenarios prior to checking little boxes.

Hey, there's still time to stop by the Give Away (aka Freebie) and leave a comment about why you don't always leave a comment....

A note to "*" (you know who you are... did you find the other mention? this is the third!), I know you already have the CD, so if you win, we'll pick out something else! and to our darling friend who wants to start a blog... here's your chance... leave a comment to get the ball rolling! LOL

Monday, January 28, 2008

iHappy Birthday

Today is my husband's birthday.

Sometimes, when it is our birthday...
we think... "I don't want to celebrate...
it just means that I'm another year older."
But for those who love you... very much...
it is quite a celebration.
We are so thrilled that you are here that
we celebrate the day that the Lord gave you to us!

Anthony, iLoveyou.
iLove who you are.
iLove who I am when I am with you.
iLove that you have helped me become the woman I am today.

And iLove that our son wants to be just like his daddy!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Give Away: The Blessing

Well, I like that thought... I'm giving away a blessing! er, "the Blessing" by John Waller. Actually, let's make that TWO "blessings"! One for you and one for a friend. I have so totally enjoyed this CD that I wanted to share it with you.

My inspiration for doing another giveaway... Well, I recently won a giveaway at Abundant Curiosities. Thanks, Amy! Amy had us not only leave a comment to enter the drawing... but also made us answer a question in our comment. I like this idea, of course!

the fine print...

So, you will need to leave a comment on this post to enter this drawing,
but you must also answer the question... I've been dying to ask...

Why do you visit blogs and NOT leave a comment?... especially if you frequent a particular blog... feel free to be creative! I am totally looking for excuses!

For example, my mother-in-law still has dial-up and it takes her forever to leave a comment... and I do mean FOREVER!

This question is something that a blogger (well, okay, I'm the blogger) thinks about from time to time. I've seen new bloggers not receive comments and then stop blogging. I've seen bloggers who get more comments than they know what to do with... and are overwhelmed with having to keep up their blog or return responses.

Is this anything like when people forward me an e-mail and I'm supposed to send it to 10 friends or else I'll gain 10 pounds? (Feel free to leave an answer to this in your comment, too!)

You know me... I'm always stirring things up... always pushing the envelope... always trying to learn about friendships... or are they blogships?

We'll pick a random winner on Saturday, February 2nd.

Contest is over. Thanks for participating!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

You Like Me, You Really Like Me!

I received my first blogging award!  Thanks, Kathy of Kathy's Klavier who gave me this award. 

In honor of Kathy honoring me... I'll honor a couple of my non-blogging friends... I know you don't have a blog to put it on... or maybe you do but you haven't posted in a while... so you can always send this award straight to the printer and cut it out and put it on the fridge!  So, to honor those who live their lives vicariously through me and others...
  • Ruth, the best mother-in-law a girl could ask for...
  • Melissa, for thinking that I'm writing about her* (I really am!)
  • Anita, for suggesting that I take after Cynthia in Mitford, and
  • Lisa, because, well, she is my most favorite sister!
Okay, a note of caution!  This post was very difficult for me to write... because I really hate leaving anyone out... if you were hurt by being left off the list, please let me know and I'll include you the next time! :)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Meme - It's Great to Be Me!

My blogger friend Kathy has suggested I try this meme called "It's Great to be Me."  So, I have to give a list of reasons why "It's Great to be Me."  I'm going to put a little twist on it...  "It's Great to Be Me" based only on what happened to me on Friday, January 18th.
  1. I woke up my son and took him to school.
  2. I got to talk with my son on the way to school.
  3. I dropped my son off and he still lets me give him a kiss good-bye.
  4. I conversed with my son's teacher.
  5. I spent the day with a friend talking about the Lord.
  6. I gave my friend a copy of the John Waller CD called "The Blessing."
  7. My husband took me out to dinner.
  8. My husband wanted to take me out to dinner.
  9. The restaurant (Charthouse) had an incredible view over the night lights of the city.
  10. I had a Maryland crab cake at dinner.
  11. I know what a real Maryland crab cake tastes like because I used to live in Maryland.
  12. This crab cake WAS a real Maryland crab cake.
  13. Another friend* sent me a text during dinner, "hot date?"
  14. Christopher was having the time of his life at a JBQ pizza party at church.
  15. I played Killer Sudoku.
  16. I used bloglines to catch up with all of my favorite blogs.
  17. I read all of your kind and thoughtful comments on my previous post.
Well, that's just a glimpse of why "It's Great to Be Me" based only on one day of my life.  Imagine if I listed blessings from every day of my life...  

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

In Honor of January 15th

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Christopher overheard me saying that January 15th is an anniversary of sorts. He asked why I was celebrating January 15th. At first, I told him that an anniversary isn't always something that is celebrated, but actually in this instance... in an odd sort of way... I guess he was right.

Sunday, January 15, 2006
I woke up tired. Light-headed. Dizzy. I fought the feelings and pulled myself together to go to church. All I can remember is sitting down in the pew and having the desire... no, make that the need to lay down.

My mind raced. Where could I lay down at church? Wasn't every room being utilized? Then I remembered the "Mother's Room." Perhaps it would be empty this early in the morning. It was empty, but I felt strange laying on the floor... I mean, what if someone walked in? So, I tried to sit in one of the rocking chairs, but I couldn't hold up my head.

At the end of service... I don't remember if I sat through service or not... I think I stayed in the "Mother's Room"... I persuaded Anthony and Christopher to take me home. I immediately crawled into bed.

And so began my journey into a very deep and cavernous depression.

So, why would I "celebrate" such a day? Psalm 30 captures my thoughts today:

I will exalt You, O LORD,
For You lifted me out of the depths...
I called to You for help and You healed me....
You brought me up from the grave...
You spared me from going down into the pit...
To the Lord I cried for mercy...
You turned my wailing into dancing...
You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy...
That my heart may sing to YOU and not be silent...
O LORD my God, I will give YOU thanks forever.

So many of you were used by God... my heart swells when I think of you... Others of you, well, you just met me... but somehow you knew I was a little different. LOL

After we finish The Friendships of Women... if you're up to it, we'll talk a little more about depression... Don't worry, I know what happens at the end of the story... there is dancing and singing and joy.... and HOPE.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Best Way to Thank Another Blogger

Cammyk wins the award for "Best Way to Thank Another Blogger"!

Read Cammyk's post titled "Bad Blogger" from January 4th. Pay special attention to something about a hat...

You may remember this hat from my post called "Handmade Christmas Gifts" from December 31st.

It's enough that Cammyk liked it... but to have over 25 comments about it, too... and a LINK to my blog... well, now you're just flattering me!

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Friendships of Women #7

Wouldn't life be easier?

It has been taking me a couple days to publish my posts on The Friendships of Women. In my previous post, the realization of where, when and/or how you learn to be a best friend caught me off guard. I needed time to think about it before I felt I had thought it through enough to publish it. I laugh at myself when I remember that I had thought the review of this book might help you. As usual, the "teacher" learns more than the student. Sure keeps me humble!

Chapter 8: Promise Me Unfailing Love
"Just as marriages need to be based on commitment rather than feelings, so do cherished relationships."

Wouldn't it just be so much easier if we could hand over this child-like note to the women in our lives?  Sometimes, I think I would feel more comfortable in my friendships if I had confidence in knowing "exactly" how much I mean to someone.  I guess I would also need a note when the friendship changes... or ends.  Like a survey or a questionnaire... hee, hee!

I tend to have what I call "high turnover" in my friendships. There are women who come into my life for a short period of time for a reason that only God has ordained... and then they move on. Due to my personality to reach out to anyone who is "new" -- I have set myself up for these type of relationships.  I used to think when my new friends moved on... that they were rejecting me. What had I done wrong that they had no need for our friendship--as it had existed--any longer? Anthony would affirm me and say, "It's not about you. It's about them." I would try to understand, but it hurt... so it was about me.

Now that I am feeling more comfortable in my skin, I am getting a wee bit better at telling the difference between the somewhat temporary (high turnover) relationships and best friendships.  But this is no exact science!

In this chapter the author discussed an unwritten vow or commitment that we have with some of our friends.  An Implicit Bond.  A bond that is implied but not plainly expressed.  It may be unspoken, but it is a commitment we have to the people whose souls have been knit to ours.  Examples from the Bible would be Ruth and Naomi, David and Jonathan, & Mary and Elizabeth.

But even in our best friendships (or those women with whom we have established this implicit bond), we can go through times that feel like betrayal.  One of my best friends -- who due to changes in the structure to her family -- began to limit time/energy previously devoted to our relationship.  Her familial changes were positive and obviously required more of her attention.  But after all our years together... all the time invested... I felt betrayed.  Abandoned.  Rejected.

Then I read these life-changing words from this chapter, "best friendships have a natural rhythm of intense closeness and natural drifting apart... we vacillate between the two: we're close, and then we feel the need for space; we're apart, and then we miss each other. If we interpret the natural drifting apart period as betrayal (which it isn't), then out of hurt or anger we may become the betrayer."

I almost became the betrayer!  (Thank God this chapter was so timely for me.)  I felt so hurt by the distance that had gone on for so long that I wanted to start distancing myself by not being available so that I would not feel rejected.  That's not what I wanted or what my friend needed from me.   When I began to realize that my friend and I did truly have an implicit bond... and that we could drift apart for a season and then drift back together... I stopped feeling betrayed... rejected... abandoned.  I started being encouraging and available... and I prayed for her situation.  I gave her unfailing love which is what she has given me over the years. 

And you know what?  She called me on Tuesday... spur of the moment and invited me to lunch at Marco's.  And we had a wonderful time of fellowship.  Thank you, God!

Note to self:  When I trust my feelings over facts (or my commitments), I end up not only hurting myself... but the ones I cherish.

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Friendships of Women #6

Sally, Sheri & Colleen
(Sorry, more wedding photos...
but they make my point!)

And now, back to our regularly scheduled program. A continuing saga from the book "The Friendships of Women" by Dee Brestin.

Chapter 7 Best Friends

Can we have more than one best friend? What exactly is a "best friend"? "Best friend often does mean the friend you love the most, [but] it can also mean a friend with whom you have a deep rapport... a soul mate, a kindred spirit." So, with this clarification, I feel confident to say that I actually do have best friends. (Contrary to a former post.) Wow, this may not be earth shattering information to you, but for me... well, sometimes clarification is my best friend! (hee, hee)

There was a time when I didn't realize that I could actually choose my best friends. I thought they just "happened." Whoever was convenient. Whoever was similar. (That's what I did in grade school and ended up with two kind, caring best friends--Sally and Colleen.  We've since drifted apart... 3,000 miles... maybe a Christmas card now and then... no, I never did send out Christmas cards.) Now, as I mature in my friendships I understand that it is imperative to be thoughtful... discerning... wise... in the selection of my closest friends...

I've always thought that there should be required classes for the truly important roles in our lives like making best friends, becoming a good parent, being a loving wife... So, the revelation hits me now at 39 that I think God meant for us to learn these critical lessons from our family of origin.

So, now, I am beginning to understand my ignorance has actually brought about feelings of friendlessness. My friends have always been here... but, again, as I always do, I rely upon feelings instead of facts. I have to tell you that I am really feeling freed by accepting these truths. Thanks for hanging in there with me. I'm feeling much more comfortable in my skin these days. Hope you are, too!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The ABCs of 2007

A few of the High
             Lights from 2007...

     Apple Classes for my Mac
     Celebration of our Senior Pastors
     Dallas Cowboys Game
     Immutable God
     New School
     Royal Rangers
     Wedding of Mike & Cassie

Have a GR8 2008!