Wednesday, January 30, 2013

On a whim...

I never cease to be amazed at how God works. 

NEVER.

Just earlier today, I'd commented in our Global Leadership meeting, how I love how God is refining my focus. Taking me from a BIG picture to a smaller one. More specific. Something even - dare I say -  tender, that I hold close to my heart. 

This area, that tender space, is beating for women in missions. 
  • Single women who go on the mission field alone.
  • Married women who go with their husband, maybe with their child/ren.
  • Women who grow through the season of watching their child grow with a passion for missions, and "send" them.
  • Women who have a heart for missionary, member, or global worker care.
As I'm cleaning my kitchen, making some late lunch/dinner (what IS that...?? .... LINNER?? DUNCH??) as I'm thinking about all I have to get done before hubby hits the door, and the wonderful things on my calendar over the next few days/weeks, out of the blue...on a WHIM...and epiphany of sorts...pops the word "wim" into my mind. 

Just earlier today, I'd commented in our my focus. Taking me from a BIG picture to a smaller one. More specific. Something even - dare I say -  tender, that I hold close to my heart. 

This area, that tender space, is beating for women in missions. 
  • Single women who go on the mission field alone.
  • Married women who go with their husband, maybe with their child/ren.
  • Women who grow through the season of watching their child grow with a passion for missions, and "send" them.
  • Women who have a heart for missionary, member, or global worker care.

So, on a WHIM, I started to play with why this is so front and center in my mind. What's a whim look like anyways?

At first I was thinking "WIM" - and thought, "Oh, how funny! That could be Women In Missions!". Then I thought, "Well, that's probably too general. My heart isn't just for women on the field, or women that want to go on the field, but for women in all aspects of missions. Women HELPING in missions."

AND VOILA! It clicked. The H fit....in more ways than one. 

Because, it's not just WHIM....but w.HIM. As in "with HIM" - we can't do anything without Him. We, us "women" can't do it alone. None of it. Not even this stinking blog. Words just don't flow without His creative inspiration. It's evident. In my "process" - when the Holy Spirit is pouring words out of me, through me, I don't even remember what I've written about. It's true.

SO. Welcome to w.HIM 

w.HIM

Please pray with me, for me, as He continues to move me (in obedience) to a place to clearly define what we can do. What we can't do. What HE wants us to do. 

I know that we are a place to:

encourage and welcome women who are going. women who are sending. women who have gone and come back, and maybe they are here hurt, disappointed. women who put their kid/s on a plane and watched their heart break in real time, thinking it would never be a good thing. women who are caring for global workers on field. a safe place for missional women to be. real. vulnerable. 

(i know that there are men who do this too, and you are welcome to hang out silently on the fringes, but this WILL be a women's "only" ministry). 

on a w.HIM

More later.... I have to go set up a blog site... 


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday on Prayer

Notice my little, red, Razorback purse on the floor there? :) 
Oh goodness. Church is usually good, but this morning it was extra-good! I love it when God moves like He did today.


SO much good stuff takes place at the Fayetteville Prayer Room! 

I had to go early (well, I SHOULD have gone early, I THOUGHT I was early), but I was "just on time" for the first service to start. I was scheduled to work a table for "Seek God For the City 2013," which our church joins in with the Fayetteville Prayer Room to facilitate over the Lenten Season. Good stuff. 

Praise God for the family that put this huge board together, with all the little tabs to pull off!! Based on the 1-1-12 Prayer module, it will allow us to keep track and have someone praying 24/7 during our 40 days of prayer!

I knew that Lee was teaching on PRAYER today as a continuing subject in the series on "The Basics" - sort of the series on the core of what we believe, as a church, as a part of the body of Christ, as Christians.


Well, PRAYER is one of "my things" - probably the first of the spiritual gifts that I recognized in my life as a new, baby Christian years ago....so I love ALL things PRAYER...including sermons, teachings, books... and this was no different. I'd prayed for God to work through Lee's words through the week, as he prepared for this topic. God didn't disappoint - and I got a good work out as I listened to him teach.

These are my notes:
My notes, not nearly as impressive as the sermon, or the prayer board...

 "Prayer is personal communication with God." - don't make it more difficult than what it is - talking to your "dad" in an intimate way. No rules, just honest/genuine anticipation.

Why pray? 1. Prayer expresses our trust in Him. 2. Prayer brings us into deeper fellowship with Him. 3. God wants us to pray, so we can be equipped to do things ETERNALLY important. (then there's Jim - our co-pastor's philosophy of prayer: 1. Prayer changes the person praying. 2. Prayer changes things in the world. 3. Prayer changes things in the spiritual realm/world (Eph 6).

Why we DON'T PRAY: 1. we don't believe it works. 2. to pray is not tangible - we don't see it, feel it, taste it - so it goes against our current culture (if we hang out with a friend, and tell him what we want/need - we're accomplishing something because it's tangible.). 3. we are too busy. 4. we have low prayer self -esteem (oh, so and so prays so much more eloquently than i do) 5. we have unconfessed sin in our life (so of course our prayers are ineffective). 6. we have an "I can fix it myself" mentality 7. we are mad at God (or at life in general) so we aren't going to give it to God in prayer b/c He didn't do it the way we wanted last time we prayed.

SO - how to change it: 1. confess the 7 barriers to prayer above, and ask God to "help my unbelief" and help me to pray. 2. find a prayer mentor (or 2) - Jesus as a prayer mentor: a/pray concisely (Matt:6:7) b/ pray with persistence (Luke 18) c/ pray humbly (Luke 18:9-14) d/pray for our forgiveness, and forgive others before coming to His presence (Matt 11:25) e/pray specifics (Luke 11:9-10) f/ pray against temptation - praying out in FRONT of our struggles (not just when we fall into temptation) Pro-active prayer (Matt 26:41) g/ pray for children - grandchildren, students, babies, etc. - specific prayers for them too! And remember that when they HEAR us praying, we are TEACHING them to pray too! (Matt 19:13)

OK - so maybe it was a "no brainer" to you...but there were a few things in here that hit me upside the head in a spiritual v8 moment. My favorite - praying against temptation - I mean, duh - I've prayed it for other people, especially my kids - but I don't believe I've ever prayed it for me. :( I'll be making that a point of my prayer times from now on!

All in all the morning was AH-Mazing. After church I was able to hook up with a *new friend* and go to lunch with her to learn more about her life and the unbelievable ways God is using her. I can see God using our friendship in some big ways too - encouraging global workers in other parts of the world. Funny, "small world moment" occurred when we made the connection that we both knew the same girl working in another country - me from her time in the U.S. and her from spending time with her in Africa! Crazy LOVE when God does that!!

SO, all in all, I'm knowing that I need to step away from the laptop and take my dog for a walk - prayer walking my neighborhood all the while (one of my FAVORITE ways to pray!!). 

I hope that you feel challenged (at least a fraction of how I do) to take prayer to some new heights, as we take to our knees...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A New Perspective on BRAVE

I just finished reading, and commenting, on a guest blog over at Simple Mom, by KatieC.

My reply was this:

"My acts of bravery have not been so monumental; but none the less huge in my scale of life. Most of them involve life situations, owning up to poor choices, confessing and repenting and accepting the consequences; or keeping my FAITH front and center while facing the questions of “what if?” – “what if my child takes another step away from God?”, “what if my daughter/SIL are “caught” evangelizing?”, “what if it’s cancer?”.

My one word this year is “BRAVE”, and it really scared me to think what He might bring me through to learn it. Your blog has shown me it may not be the BRAVE of the future I need to come through, but the BRAVE of the past I need to recognize. To celebrate. I honestly never perceived those as moments of bravery…"


I can't believe now, how much BRAVE I've had to face in my life- I've just never thought of the circumstances as warranting bravery, or courage, but just times I "pulled up my big girl panties" and plowed through.


Trust in the Lord with all your heart;

    do not depend on your own understanding.

Seek his will in all you do,

    and he will show you which path to take.
Proverbs 3:5,6

Now I see BRAVE. All through my life!

I thought the counselor was giving me a patronizing "pat on the back" as I told of my life; but now I believe he was sincere. In fact, it was BRAVE of me to unpack so much baggage there!

Even in my moments (read: seasons) of desperation, I think I had to hold on to God hard, and be BRAVE. I know I called out for prayer. I relied on Holy Spirit led prayers as I sobbed on the phone to loving friends far away. I slept through days of deep depression. Faced real medical issues with less than a few friends to help me keep my kids fed and my laundry done (praise God for compassionate kids and my hero husband!). 

I had to be a different kind of brave as we watched our girls go off to college at 16. Watched our son test for public school placement after 8 years of homeschool. Each time we placed a child on a plane to go where God called them to go. 

In all of these acts, I had to be BRAVE; but more so, I had to be obedient; allowing God to manifest Himself in my life, in the lives of my children...even adult children.

I'm still having to be BRAVE, especially where my now grown kids are concerned: to let them walk where God calls; to watch them make their own mistakes; to keep my mouth shut - unless they ask for my (prayerful) opinion. I have to be BRAVE in my own life too; letting God move me again this past year took a huge step of faith - another step of BRAVE - as I watched Him close the doors and open new ones in front of me. Each day I wake up I have to be BRAVE to see how He unfolds the day. Sometimes I have to be BRAVE to just get out of bed and see what will hurt, as I age gracefully (not). 

This year God may still bring me to a giant hurdle, an insurmountable trial, a great adventure; but I'm feeling quite BRAVE, leaning on His everlasting arms, remembering what He has brought me through already.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Five Minute Friday - Cherished

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Lisa-Jo Baker always does this on Friday. She keeps us up late with her twitter party on Thursday night, making us wait till midnight to hear her one word topic for Five Minute Friday - then she springs us with it - and expects us to write. 

Well not me. Not THIS month. I'm in classes on Thursday nights, and that means dinner at 9:30, when I'm back home and standing in the kitchen with DH as he's just come in from his out of town for work trip (HA - side note: seriously, he JUST walked in the door - unexpectedly - from his morning meetings and off to another place, and brought me Chicken Mini's from Chic-Fil-A for breakfast!! isn't he the BEST?!). ANYWAYS...so January late nights and no hubby means that Thursday nights HE gets my attention (Sorry ladies!!). So I don't stay up, trying to keep up on Twitter, I just wait till I open email on Friday morning and get my prompt delightfully delivered to my inbox. :) (YOU CAN TOO!!)

So THIS week, the topic is "Cherished". 

I'm setting my timer (and taking another bite of that honey sweetened chicken nugget filled breakfast roll)

GO!

My husband cherishes me. It's true! He has always made a point to tell me how much he does, and it's not just because he knows I need to know that, but because he believes (with all his heart) that I'm a daughter of a King, and that HE would want me to be. 

SO he treats me the way he thinks that HE would treat me, Cherished.

I have a favorite silver necklace (I'll post a pic soon) and it has 4 sides to this trendy bar charm - "Created, Cherished, Chosen, Celebrated " and I LOVE it. I wore it ALL the time when I first got it, and wear it often IF I'm wearing jewelry. It reminds me of how God feels about me. I am ALL of these things in His eyes, and I need reminding. The world doesn't do so well as valuing me, or any of us, but He does!! YAY!!

The scriptures are so good at telling us how His heart is towards us. I wish we had a Bible that was highlighted - not in red letter words of Jesus, but in the words of how God feels about us. How much He loves us. How HE cherishes each of us! Hmmm...might have to make that a goal next time I do a Bible in a year reading program ... use my own high lighter, and then share that Bible when I'm done - give it to someone else that is CHERISHED...

STOP

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This beautiful sterling silver necklace features a pendant with the engraved words created, chosen, celebrated, and cherished.  http://www.dayspring.com/god_s_heart_for_you_sterling_silver_necklace/
or in rhodium:
http://www.dayspring.com/god_s_heart_for_you_rhodium_plated_necklace/


Now, what to do with this sticky keyboard...   ; ) 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

An Open Prayer...1

I love prayer, and praying, and seeing answered prayers. I used to journal prayers, but lately my right hand has had some arthritis in it, and writing with a pen/paper is harder can be painful - or bring on pain.

This morning, in my quiet, I wanted to pray with someone. Mark's out of town till later today (work), and well, God prompted my heart to just write my prayer - I think this is where He wants me to put it.

As you read it, I pray that you'll pray it - intercessory style - for me. I don't always pray like this for me, but am feeling a little overwhelmed...not doubting...I know that He is moving in great ways, and making me BRAVE - which has been my prayer for the year - but I just need to have others come alongside me in prayer partner fashion and pray for me.

Here goes. (thanks to you who read past here...you are true knee warriors!)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Oh God, You are so strong, so mighty. I am not. I love that David calls You his place of refuge, and a strong tower, and that we can run to you....so Lord, I run. I hide in your wings. I rest in your high tower. I feel You here. Praise You.

God, please heal me. Heal my doubt, my fears. Remove them, in Jesus' name, cast them far from me! Take my right eye that is swollen right now - and heal it - I don't know if it's a pimple, or a sty, or?? but I know that there was no evidence of it on Monday when I was at the eye doctors', and then after wearing contacts all day Tuesday, I woke up with it on Wednesday, and it's worse today - so give me wisdom, should I call the eye dr today? Does she need to see this? Can you just heal it please?

Lord, please heal my other physical pain. Please motivate me to desire to lose weight, as I'm sure some of my body pain is from these extra pounds, and I don't want to go down that path. I want to be healthy, and active and lean(er) than I am. I don't want to be skinny or run marathons, but I want to be able to walk miles and I know that boredom is my major hinderance. So as I walk, whether on treadmill or outside, please give me a heart that can see you at work then. Let me use that time to come to you, to commune with you, and to keep going. Change my nature - to want to challenge myself in doing this, in accomplishing this, instead of not caring. Don't let me give in to laziness, or tiredness, or weariness - as real as those feelings are in me. Change my character, and make me a little competitive. Make me care enough to do something about it. Change my cravings, my cooking habits, my food addictions. Heal me. Heal my fear of being thin and the emotional baggage that goes with that too. I know it's there, and you know my history, so help me to have the right motivations to allow my body to be healthy to honor you with my best.

Please heal my hives...not just to have them relieved with these drugs (and thank you for them, they seem to be working well and leave me only mildly foggy brained each morning). Give the doctors wisdom as he/they review my history and these recent blood tests...help them see clearly how to address the next steps, and solve this mystery. I know that you can touch me and heal me of all my infirmaries at any time...please? would you heal me?? now?.

Father, please sort my days. Heal my brain to remember things instead of relying on my calendar, and help me to look enthusiastically into each day...to use each one for You. I pray that you'll set priorities in each part of my day, no matter what I'm working on, or what area needs attention - let me see and sense Your Holy Spirit guiding me.

I pray that you'll help me to write this guide that You have prompted my heart to write. Lord, I've never done this - so make me to know what steps to take, how to accomplish this in a timely manner. To get it done, with the words that You pour through me. Let them be YOUR words, conveying to your church why and how to take care of those that You love.

Father, thank you for the opportunities you give me. Thank you for the group of folks at Global Outfitters, and their hearts for seeing the lost come to you around the globe. I pray that You define the roll you want me to play there, and how I can help equip and encourage the others to do what you desire them to do. I pray for good working relationships, and for Your blessings upon the work of our hands there. Thank you for bringing every good thing to happen in the offices there, the work that's done to get them completed. You are so good to bless us with that space. thank you.

Father I ask for good relationships. Thank you for Mark, and his work and his mind and his physical strength. Heal his body from pain too. Give him wisdom to not push any more than he has to, to allow his knees to survive as long as you would allow them to. I pray that you will help him in the areas that you desire to improve him too. Thank you for such a wonderful husband...please bring him home safely and help him to continue to work for you, to give you the best part of each day. Equip him to be a "missionary in a chicken plant" no matter where you have him at. Deepen his friendships at work, and allow them to be inspiring - pointing to you - and leading others closer to you. Help him to have boldness in new ways, and open doors for him to evangelize, to be your hands and feet, but also your voice.

Help both of us as we affect and impress and bring your presence into this young Iraqi family. I pray that Satan would be bound and cast away from their home, and that You will take a firm place, providing an Arabic Bible for them, and to deepen their desire to know you. I pray you'll remove fear, and boundaries, and that he'll have boldness to ask questions. I pray that you'll bring answers to me, to Mark and to bring others into their lives that can explain the answers to their questions. Cross the language barrier, and make them to understand things that are not known to them. Give them dreams and visions of Jesus as God's son, and that they'll understand that you are a God of love and compassion, although you are just and deserve all of our being - that you are holy - and we are not, yet you provided the only Lamb who was slain. Father pour your Holy Spirit on them to understand beyond language, how you love them and desire relationship with them. Find a place for them, if not at our church then where you want them to be to grow and be nurtured. Bless our friendship, and help us to be used to draw them to you.

Father, God, please bring together a small group of people for us to meet with weekly - on Sunday afternoons/evenings, and give us wisdom who want there. Impress on their hearts to sign up and come. Bring someone to do worship, and balance out the group that it would be a mix of your body. You know what the future holds, so let us have people that we can bless, and those that will bless us...those that will sharpen our iron with their iron, and build deeper relationships and friendships with. People to do life with.

I pray for the work with DaySpring, that your hand will continue to show itself there. I pray for wisdom  as I have to learn new things, that I will be capable to remember everything. Please sort our my computer issues, and allow things to work smoothly as I add software and master the use of new programs. I pray for good relationships, that the women I meet will have open hearts and that I can be a willing student. I pray for fellowship there, expecting you to fill the gap where I desire deeper friendships with stronger women who will challenge me and draw me deeper to You. Help me Lord.

Father, I pray that you'll help me to use my time with you daily with diligence and intentionality. Help me to be sensitive to the prompting of your Holy Spirit. Help me to be more committed to do what you say to do, go where you say to go, move when you say move...write when you say write...to give my all. Help me to live to my full potential. Impress on other's hearts to pray for me as you lead them to. Make my heart soft, willing to be changed by you, and change me!! Heart, soul, spirit, body - change me all!!

Lord, there are so many other things that need prayer right now - but have to be private - so I move that way to commune with you. Thank you for being here with me always. Thank you for your promises, your prompts, your examples. Shine brightly through me, through Mark. Continue to refine us. Use us as You see fit. Equip us to serve you with our all. We love you. I love you. Let these things be so, in Jesus name...amen...

Monday, January 14, 2013

(in)courage goes (in)RL!!

About a year ago, I was sitting at my kitchen table in Henderson, KY when I learned about the (in)RL conferences. I knew that I wanted to be a part of something bigger with (in)courage, and go deeper with what they had been feeding in me, but I didn't know what (in)RL was about....so I checked out the page for registration, got BRAVE (ooo...God was planting a BRAVE seed then!) and registered - to HOST a (in)RL "Beach Party" at our church in Newburgh, IN.

It was a SMALL BUT POWERFUL event. We had a TON of food, and joyful hearts, and I walked away from the day sharing my heart, deepening a few friendships as they shared theirs, and making a NEW friend!! WHAT MORE COULD I ASK FOR!

So now, in this space, at my kitchen table in Fayetteville, I'm signed up to host another (in)RL THIS YEAR!! I have NO expectations - besides the start of a new journey - a few new friends - and getting deeper with God (and each other!).

YOU can do the same!!

If YOU are in the NW Arkansas area (or want to be here that weekend!!) then sign up HERE to be a part of (in)RL - (which stands for  IN REAL LIFE - where we come FACE TO FACE, heart to heart!!). When you get to the part that says REGISTER....then do just that... and REGISTER - for the Fayetteville one that will meet at the GO Center (next to the Fayetteville Prayer Room).

IF YOU are NOT in the NW Arkansas area - YOU will still go HERE to sign up - but choose a location close to YOU, or register as a host!!

IT'S FREE to register!! And I'm sure that there will be goodies for us to personalize our parties/conferences, and I KNOW that God will be honored (and blessed) to see us reach outside of our selves to DO something to (in)courage each other!!

I'm beginning to PRAY for these women that God will bring to my (in)RL meet up....that He will begin to tear down the boundaries in our hearts now, to begin engaging IN REAL LIFE now, that others will be BRAVE.

I know He's not going to disappoint!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Five Minute Friday - DIVE!

This week the topic is DIVE over at Lisa-Jo Baker's Five Minute Friday.  

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Like she says:

"So, set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community.." 

Here's MY best on "DIVE"- 
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
-GO-

I think of the greasy spoons of my youth, places, holes in a wall restaurants that my dad would call a "dive" but they'd have the BEST of something...BEST patty melts, BEST french dip sandwiches...BEST SOMETHING!

But now I think of "DIVING IN" to something! This word of my year - BRAVE - and how it's PUSHED me to DIVE in to things I wouldn't normally do - or not do without hmmmming and hawwwwing until the last minute - or agree to after a great amount of prayer, then be SCARED TO DEATH to move forward on it, especially on my own. 

Lately this BRAVE spirit He has put in my (by complete Holy Spirit forcee) has been doing something strange. It's FREEing me. Often I almost imagine it's what it's like to free fall, to take that DIVE without hesitation, without looking ahead, behind, beside - to see what's going to happen. who will jump with me. has someone gone before me. I just GO. DIVE in, without hesitation.

All week I was in DIVE mode. Using my BRAVE spirit to do NEW things. Without looking around. Asking for prayer, trusting someone was, and DIVE - boom! there I was! and HE used me! (stop)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I hope you'll join in over at Lisa-Jo's page and give your best 5 minutes on "DIVE" too!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Terrible Tues...(Tuesday...LOL)

Tuesdays are generally my first "busy" day of a week. I have things on my calendar that I enjoy doing, one of them going to the Global meeting at "the warehouse" (a part of our church) and hearing what God is doing all around the world. If I am able to, I like to go early for the staff lunch, and fellowship with the other folks there that I'm getting to know...and today I was able to do just that! It made for a fun lunch date of sorts, but as I tweeted earlier in the day - JUST before the lunch, I found out that not only are there TESTS in the Master Gardener class, but HOMEWORK too. UGH. I have a horrible memory, and test terrible, no matter how well I know the material. I think it's still a part of the PTSD that comes out of the closet and my brain freaks out just thinking of taking a test. Homework, I'm just too busy for, and although it's a tool to measure how much I'm retaining, it makes me feel judged (really). I freak out, and feel like a failure...even when I can pull A's in classes when I was in college as an adult. I get majorly stressed.

SO, as I was headed to lunch, I started feeling a headache come on. A MAJOR headache. A stop and get me an ice pack one. I struggled through lunch, made it through the meeting (and hope I wasn't scowling too much - my eyes hurt really bad!!) and shed a few tears (making my head hurt worse) and headed home to make those Apple Dumplings from the Pioneer Woman recipe.

By the time I got home, I felt nauseous too, and it made me wonder if I was getting "the flu" that's been going around here. I took a few chewable children's aspirin and I got to making those dumplings. I only had an hour till class started, and I was losing time as I also had to mess with Abbey. About this time, I realized that they weather looked considerably cloudy, and it was probably going to rain (which explained the headache, but not the nausea, unless it was just THAT bad of a headache...I think it was).

I got the dumplings in the oven, raising the heat a little to shorten the baking time. I polished off the Mt Dew that was left over, thinking the caffein would help the headache (it did), and got the car ready to load with my stuff for Master Gardener class. Abbey was freaking with me packing up to leave (she's had a lot of company the past month, and didn't like that I left her alone. at. all.

The timer went off, and I thought, "I can leave Abbey in the house...it's just for a few hours, and it's raining (lightly) and she'll be happier." LOL. As I was getting ready to take the dumplings out, she was going nuts! I got the pan out of the oven, and decided to pour off some of the liquid since it was too hot to cover with foil, and since I was already outside, I thought I'd just pour it on the wood chips in the border. Well, Abbey broke out of the house (I seriously thought I'd latched the door!) and she came and started eating all this warm butter, sugar, cinnamon and Mt Dew goodness off the wood chips!! I finally convinced her to stop, got the pan in the back of the car (it still looked like there was a lot of liquid in the pan, but I'd poured about 1/2 of it off already). It took some convincing, but I got Abbey in, then out to the back yard and left her there.

And down the road I went to Master Gardeners. I was about 10 minutes late leaving the house. And it was bumper to bumper traffic to get to the highway. Every. Light. Was. Red.

I got on in the right direction (only took 3 - yes THREE - light cycles to get through the left turn onto the highway), and I THOUGHT I was getting off at the next off ramp. When the off ramp was exceptionally short, and made a hard turn to the right that made me slam on my brakes, I thought - "hmmm...this isn't right", but there was no where for me to turn around, or get back on the freeway at that point, so I drove the road to the next road.

OH - little detail. That "slam on my brakes" threw my purse to the floor (upside down, of course) and I thought that the pan of dumplings would be ok, since I poured off so much of the juice...but it wasn't. When I got to the Extension office, I had buttery, sugary, Mt Dew goodness ALL over the back of my car (Equinox, so the very back part). It was a mess. A CRAZY mess!

So, I was late, AND I had a mess in my car that I couldn't do anything about until the class was done 4 hours later.

My headache went away (thank You God) and I drank another Mt Dew to keep me awake (it worked!) and I had a little snack of things that folks brought to share. All but 4 of the dumplings were gone. :) I met a woman sitting next to me that goes to church at the same place we do (New Heights) and her husband works in a poultry support business, and her son is getting a masters in Engineering to do missions. Small world. We had lots in common and I'm looking forward to getting to know her better (although we get switched every week in seating.).

I got home, and addressed the mess of gooeyness on my back space...thankfully I had rugs down so I had to take them out and get into the wash, the pan brought in, and I thought I'd let Abbey come "help" me clean up the back. Oh goodness, she did a great job, but when I was done (1/2 hour or so later with warm soapy water) she was not interested in coming back in. Not. At. All. Crazy dog. So I tried a few things, but had to resort to cheese to get her out of the car. Whew.

Then, the drama ended, and I finally slowed down to reflect on the evening. I think God allowed JUST enough crazy in my evening to keep me from freaking about the class. I didn't have a test (yet) and yes, we do have homework each class meeting time (3x a week!) but it's on an honor system, and helps us to be prepared for the next class meeting time. My 3 inch binder is full, plus new handouts each class, and it's poorly organized (ummm...I think I counted no less than FOUR page 1's in the first section@) ...so I'll have to get some dividers to better divide the sections. But I made it. I managed. I even found that God put the woman next to me with so much intention!! He takes care of ALL the details!!

Now I need SLEEP detail!! Another LONG day, with a morning meeting, coffee with a new/old friend (long time online, but now we live in the same neck of NW AR!) and then a heading for the field missionary is coming over for dinner!! Exciting!! I have NO idea what I'll make, and don't have a clue when I'll have time to shop for anything!! LOL - sounds like I'll need to call out for pizza (or make one from the freezer!!).  ; )

Hospitality. Flexibility. Bravery!! I see ALL of those skills being used again tomorrow!! :)

God-sized Dreams?

Since I started reading Holley Gerths' blogging and books a while back (a year? more??) she expanded my vocabulary to include the phrase "God-sized Dream"....now what am I supposed to do with THAT?!

I didn't grow up making plans. I didn't achieve goals. They spoke about it in the college classes I took, but those phrases, setting goals, making plans, they were what other people did. Not me. I was a roamer. A sojourner. I was always shaking dust off my feet and moving down the road (literally, I lived in beach towns in Southern CA in the 70's - think surfers.). Although there were things I hoped would happen, I don't think I ever had a GOAL. So this is all NEW spiritual territory for me!! Even when I led an amazing group of women through Holley's book, "You're Already Amazing" - we all froze at the chapter on making a goal. Seriously. OK - maybe 3 over achiever types did that assignment. Not me. :(



Her latest book "The Do What You Can Plan (21 Days to make any area of your life better)" is all about setting realistic goals and ACCOMPLISHING THEM.

That's a big key in the way she works. Little goals that we can do. Not big, lofty things that take years to accomplish, but baby steps. Things we can do NOW, in 15 minutes or less!

SO, today my assignment is to set a little goal. Put it on paper (or on blog, as it may be) and do it. Be accountable, and achieve that goal! Just DO it!!

So my goal has been to eat Cheerios for breakfast each day. Don't laugh. This is big for me. Doable. But. Big.

See,  I need to bring my triglicerides down. Dr says so, and she suggested 45 minutes of daily exercise (um, yeah...I may make that my goal NEXT week...) and to eat Cheerios every morning. So, I'm knocking that one down. ME, who doesn't usually eat breakfast. Doesn't find Cheerios my cup of tea (or bowl of cereal) is gonna nail this one goal. Cheerios. Every Day. Breakfast. Key things that I don't do.

So my goal is to eat!! LOL.

I'm proud of me.
(a little)

So, this is my first post, towards the bigger God-sized Dreams He has for me. :)
One.Step.At.A.Time.

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PS- it's not too late if you want to join us in finding YOUR God-sized dream!!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Monday, Monday, Monday...

Most folks hate Monday - they don't like that their weekend is over with, that they have to return back to the "drudgery" of their Monday through Friday week, and whatever normalcy it contains. 

I'll let you in on a little secret...I LOVE Mondays!! 

Mondays mean that the mod-podge of the weekend is through. I'm getting back to my schedule and although it doesn't look the same from week to week, I know that there are elements that will be the same. 

It wasn't always this way...I used to LIVE for the weekends! When our son was in high school he played a bunch of sports, and I hated the late night traveling games and all the rushing around that happened. It seemed that the weekend was the only time I had routine - I could stay home! Now Mark travels some weekdays, and I'm home most days most of the time. I LOVE my quiet time with God in my mostly empty house, the ability to walk inside or outside, playing with the dog, quilting, reading and writing. I love the routine of my neighborhood, garage doors opening up all down the street, and people driving in each weeknight. I love my calendar, with meetings set in place, and free time to schedule meeting with other women for prayer and encouragement. I loved having my son and his fiancĂ© over today, left over visit from the weekend, and getting to drive all over NW AR with her as we did a little shopping and errands....on Monday! It would have been a crowded mess to have done all that on a weekend - that's when everyone else shops!! 

The rest of the week is actually busier than normal for me this week - but it's ok. I'll take sanctuary every free moment of each day at home, dreaming of spring's growing season, enjoying the warmth of candles burning on the hearth, good smells coming from the kitchen....

Do YOU have a favorite day of the week? Do you live for the weekends? Tell me about it in comments!

Although I LOVE Mondays...I do miss my grandkids!! We had such a good visit with them!! 



Friday, January 4, 2013

Five Minute Friday - Opportunity!

This is the first Friday in 2013 - and I want to start off right with blogging more "regularly" - including joining in with Lisa-Jo Baker on Five Minute Fridays! You don't correct, don't over think, just write - and each week it's a different topic! There's a group of gals that link up on Thursday night on Twitter for a #FMFParty, where they throw things around faster than an Italian woman in the kitchen! I like to participate, but truth is, I can't keep up with them!!

BUT today - FRIDAY - I am starting off on the right foot and setting my timer for 5 minutes, and will write solid on the topic of "Opportunity"....

Start -

Some days I think of all the things I want, or need to accomplish - but truth is - I have the opportunity to have a "pj day" and I'll take that over busy-ness any day!

I love these days. Frigid, bitter cold outside. Sunny today, warm light streaming in through my southern exposure kitchen windows. I had the opportunity to hang out at home all morning. Warmed my toes on the warm tiles in the kitchen. Love it!

There's something comfortable being able to stay home in pj's all day; I can't even put a finger on it. I love the homy-ness of it. Warm the kitchen by baking something. Light the candles on the fireplace hearth. Cozy up in the BIG chair and curl up. I could have read a book, but I didn't. I read on my iPad, my phone, but not on the computer or by book. It would have taken too much energy. I worked on my quilt project for Obadiah, and sat in that chair. Mark never should have brought it into the living room. It will be the death of me!

I had the opportunity to just relax today, just to enjoy the quietness of the day...(stop)