Friday, October 30, 2009

Liberated from Fear

As I was cleaning up my computer files the other day, I ran across my favorite quotes folder. Anytime I see or hear a quote that means something to me, I open my "Favorite Quotes" file and add that quote to the others. I've got an assortment of quotes saved - some are funny; some are thought-provoking; some are from famous people; some are from cartoon characters; some are worth sharing; some are not worth sharing. I ran across the following quote, and it spoke to me just as much as it did the first time I read it. Take some time to ponder this today.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

~ From A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson

Project Day

Many of you know that I became a demonstrator with Uppercase Living almost two years ago. Never in a million years did I think that I'd be part of a direct-selling company, but I just loved all the possibilities that Uppercase Living makes possible. And I have an easy outlet for my creativity. Anyway, if you are interested in participating in my next Project Day, go to my Uppercase Living blog ( to see the projects available for this time. Contact me ASAP if you'd like to sign up!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Mish Mash Monday

This quilt pattern is called, "Mish Mash," and I'm sure you can see why. It is a pieced work of various colors, prints, and sizes. Much like this quilt, today I'll share a mish mash of events and thoughts.

Yes, life still swirls all around us, but we've been blessed to be involved in some great stuff lately. First of all, our small group is AWESOME! It's a comfortable, talkative group, and guess what, we aren't the leaders and we get to just be Dave and Gena. Can't tell you how great that is!

Last Thursday night, I was able to spend the night at my mom and stepdad's home. I had a great time; it was just like staying at a bed and breakfast! I was spoiled.

Eric is in his final cross country season as a senior this year. This Wednesday is the THS/Pitman cross country meet at Donnelly Park. Cross Country has to be one of the easiest sports to watch. All of the parents and spectators set up their chairs around the finish line at Donnelly under the wonderful pine trees. We hear the gun go off by all of the runners lined up at the lakeside. We cheer as all the runners come through the finish corridor for mile one. We then visit amongst ourselves for another couple of minutes until the runners come through for mile two. We cheer again and watch them take off for the final mile. As they come in from mile three, we cheer them on one final time. I'm always amazed that these kids have so much left in them to sprint the last little bit of the course. Then we parents say our congratulations, pack up our chairs, and head home. A good half hour, and then we get on with our day. Yeah, easy.

I find that the most spiritually mature people I know are the ones who simply live out their faith without trying to judge others and without being spiritual snobs. We're all just sinners in need of His grace and love; no one has a corner on how a relationship with God has to look.

Kari is playing soccer again this year and Dave is the assistant coach, so we're having lots of fun with that. She's got a big, ole bruise on her knee today as a result of a kick during Saturday's game.

October is a busy month. Let's see.....Outdoor Ed for one child, Youth camping trip for two children, RIOT Jr. High night for another child, conference for Dave, Men's retreat, a very quick road trip to Portland, OR to meet our new niece and nephew, the Harvest Festival, six Uppercase Living open houses, soccer, small group, AWANA.......oh, and laundry. :-)

Blogging is good for some purposes, and not so good for other purposes. Today, I read these verses and think they apply to blogging, too: "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths (blogs), but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen (read). And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Follow God's example, therefore, as dearly loved children, and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." Eph 4:29-5:2

Yesterday, my mom and stepdad had all of their children and grandchildren to their place for lunch. Four were missing, but the other nineteen of us were there together. Yes, that's right; when we are all there, we number 23. My mom, single-handedly, prepared a wonderful lunch for all of us. She rocks. Really.

I love this fall weather, and it's supposed to rain tomorrow! I'll be a happy camper. :-)

Right now, I'm putting off cleaning my bedroom to write this post. Not a good choice, so I'll be going. What random, mish mash thoughts run through your mind this Monday? I'd love to hear. You can comment or email me to let me know.

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thes. 5:23

Monday, October 5, 2009

You Might Say, "Ouch!"

I was directed to this video through an email that I received. Since you find yourself here at my blog (regardless of what brought you here - internet search, link from another blog, or simply checking in), you might want to watch this. You can check out Josh's blog HERE, if you haven't been convicted not to after seeing this video clip.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Late to Church

Our family usually gets to church in three different vehicles at three different times on Sunday. Since I want my children to actually love the Lord and not hate church, I only make them attend two services most of the time. I usually have the three younger kids with me on Sunday mornings, and on the way to church, we listen worship CDs to prepare our hearts for worship. We often pray for the services and for our hearts to be open to what the Lord wants to speak to each one of us. Do you believe this? If so, please stop reading right now because you are about to be disillusioned! We're just like your family; sometimes by the time we get to church, we've had it with each other!

We are usually at church in time for service. I may not walk into service until after worship has started, but that's just because I love visiting and connecting with others so much that it's hard for me to get away to be in auditorium by the time the worship team starts playing. But then there are other times. Well, let's just say that we're a typical family, and people (read that - children) don't always cooperate like we think they should. This morning was one of those mornings.

Dave had taken my youngest with him, and Hannah was going by herself because she had to leave for Sacramento immediately after second service. So that left me with the two boys. I let them sleep until about 45 minutes before it was time to leave for church. After getting them up, amazingly, they were both "ready" in about 20 minutes. Since I was still putting myself together, they went to sit in the car. I am not kidding; they sat in the car, in the garage, with the garage door closed, for 20 minutes waiting for me. Once I had everything together, I headed out to the car, pleased that my boys were ready and waiting so patiently for me.

By this time, it was about 20 minutes before service was to start - plenty of time for us to get there. I put the car in reverse to back out of the garage, and as I did so, I looked over at my son and could tell he hadn't even washed his face. My mistake was assuming that "ready" meant the same thing to both of us. You'd think I'd have learned my lesson on this by now. So, I asked my son if he had washed his face, and he said, "Yes."

Now what was I supposed to do with that because it was clear to me that he hadn't? So, I said, "Are you telling me the truth?" to which he replied, "No." I think I was supposed to feel better about it because at least he owned up to it right away. So I told him I would not leave the house until his face was washed, and of course, he was angry with me because, as we all know, it was MY fault. Then, I looked back at my other son, and I could tell he hadn't even "done" his hair (whatever that really means for boys). Last night, I had told him he needed to take a shower before church since he wasn't taking one that night. Again, I assumed that he would obediently do that since I had specifically told him to do so JUST LAST NIGHT! He was also wearing a wrinkled t-shirt that was actually clean, but it had been wadded up when he put his clean clothes away in his drawer.

So, I put the car into park and told the boys that I wouldn't leave until they had both done everything it takes to be fully "ready" for church. I also did the typical mother thing and said, "At your ages, I should NOT have to ask you every stinkin' morning if you've washed your face (or brushed your teeth, or made your bed, or put on clean clothes - insert what you want here). So, now I have two boys who are angry with me because I am asking them to do what I consider to be NORMAL, EVERYDAY, GET-READY STUFF!

Both boys got out of the car (can't you just hear the car doors slamming?) and headed back into the house. They proceeded to tell me to go to church by myself and they would just stay home. Well, in my opinion, that would have been letting them off way too easily, so I told them that they WOULD go to church and that we'd leave whenever they were ready.

At this point, I was their favorite person in the whole, wide world! NOT! Anyway, we didn't even leave our house until 7 minutes after service had started, and it was a silent ride for the most part. Finally, we arrived at church and both boys exited the car, put their hands in their pockets, and walked off towards the youth room, with nary a "Goodbye," or even a shrug to me. Ah, the joys of parenting.

I gathered my Bible and purse and headed towards the auditorium not looking forward to having to walk in late. I realized, however, that there was an up side to arriving after the service had started; I got into auditorium much more quickly because there was no one to stop and have conversations with on the way in. :-)