Wednesday, January 28, 2015

White Frosting: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Want to join the party?  Go on over to From This Side of the Pond  for the Hodgepodge link-up!

When did someone last suggest you 'chill out'? Or, when did you last tell someone (or want to tell someone) to 'chill out'? Or, when did you last tell yourself to 'chill out'?
I have to tell myself that a lot.  I'm working to relax my constantly racing mind and working to stop taking things personally.  I'm also praying to figure out what is really important and to drop what isn't.  That will help me to chill out.
What most recently caused your heart to melt?
I had to look up what the idiom because I wasn't entirely sure what it meant.  I truly can't think of anything.  That's kinda sad, isn't it?  Well, maybe not.  Isn't this idiom about a lover melting the heart, or something your progeny does to melt your heart?  Not lamenting, just observing.  That's simply not something I have the right to experience.
"An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered." G.K. Chesterton.  Your thoughts? When did you last experience either an adventure or an inconvenience? How did you see it at first, as an adventure or an inconvenience?  Does it feel the same in hindsight?
Some "inconveniences" are actually divine appointments in disguise.  I've had people stop me in the store to talk.  If I'm smart, I stop my hurry and really listen.  People are lonely and hurting;  not brushing them off helped them connect with someone and helped me be a better listener and get to know people better.
Our CR leader sent us a video of a TEDx talk about how little moments you don't even remember have the potential to change someone's life.  I some of my inconveniences are those times.
A Wendy's Frosty, root beer in a frosty mug, or a frosted chocolate cupcake...of these three, which one is your favorite 'frosty' treat?
Neither.  Just give me some pain old buttered pecan ice cream.  Actually, don't give me any, but I do like it.
Would you say your life so far this year has been more like a circus or a symphony? Explain why.
A symphony badly in need of tuning...and a new conductor.
Since it's a 'snow day' here, what's your favorite song containing the word 'white'? 
Well, White and Nerdy by Weird Al Yankovic of course.  It's my life's theme song.
If you had to leave the city you currently live in, what would you find the hardest to leave behind?
The Chief Ladiga Trail.  Ain't nothing like it.
Insert your own random thought here.
Not sure what to write today.  I'm having one of those days where I feel like I've been beaten with a stick, but have no reason to.  I took Monday off from workouts and walked a pitiful 1.5 miles last night, so I have no reason to feel knackered (I love British slang), but I do.  It's not the weather; it's a bright sunny day.  Hopefully a short nap will fix it.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Alpha Dog: The Simple Woman's Daybook

If you would like to join in and post your own Daybook, please head on over to visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today:  Sunday, January 25, 2015

Outside my window … A beautiful night.  The dog next door is barking at something, but other than that a nice quiet night.

I am thinking... about resigning from the community band after our spring concert.  I've been a part of the band since 2012 and really enjoy it.  However, a new guy who's only been to 3 practices and 1 concert apparently has decided that he is the section leader and therefore he has the right to talk down to me (not sure how he talks to the new lady who's playing with us) and take all the snare drum parts for himself.  I wanted to try to find a polite way to say something to our director, but couldn't figure out how not to sound like a whining shrew, so I let it go.  Plus, he's a friend of the director, so it wouldn't do any good anyway.

When I was in band in high school, I understood having to prove myself to  males who thought I didn't belong.  BUT, we are grown people and this guy treats me like I'm 12.  Don't make me go Coach Gundy on him...

Yeah, I know, I'm a woman and I'm 42...but you get the point. 

After playing for almost 3 years, I think I've proven myself as a worthy player and not just a chick who needs to shake a tambourine for a few notes to look like I belong.  I DO belong.  If this guy feels more like a man by taking over and giving the women the minimal parts, he can have it.  I'm too old for this alpha male crap.

I am thankful... For finally getting some real rest.  It's going to take a while to catch up.

In the kitchen...  Working to nourish myself.  I had breakthrough (epiphany if you will) about my health journey.  Rather than rehash it here, just click here to read about it. 
I am creating... Trying to finish up the quilt-ghan.

I am going...  to make some more changes in February.
I am wondering... about the Gideon's ministry.  Today, we heard from a church member who is involved in the ministry.  To be clear, I think that the what they do is wonderful because it distributes Bibles all over the world and many have been lead to Christ because of it.  HOWEVER, the fact that they exclude women from their membership leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  Yes, I know that the Biblical account of Gideon's army in Judges chapter 6 only included men (it should have).  But, the disciples of Christ include men and women.  I just can't see a scriptural reason for the exclusion.  It's not personal, but it is.  When I'm more financially able, can I support what the ministry does without supporting the exclusion?

I am reading... Still reading Big Girls Don't Whine.
I am hoping... for more all-around improvement.

I am looking forward to...
 getting outside.  I'm looking forward to real, lasting changes in myself.
I am learning

Around the house... Other than laundry, I'm not sure.
I am pondering...  the balance between taking things personally and personalizing things. 
A favorite quote for today... 

"A Bible that is falling apart usually belongs someone who isn't." - source unknown

Not necessarily a quote, but these two songs have been rolling around in my head for about a week now.  They are both now in my workout playlist.

One of my favorite things... Chicken salad

A few plans for the rest of the week:   Trying to finish up January with a bang, rather than a whimper.

A peek into my day...  

Our Sunday school class had a soup and salad luncheon after church today.  It was really nice.  They are planning on making it a quarterly event.  That would be great.

Leah M. and I had a good walk on the trail.  We hoping that others will want to join us.  Everyone's worried about the distance we walk.  I keep saying that the distance does not matter, I just want the conversation.  If I walk half a mile with one, five miles with another, or a couple hundred yards with someone else, I don't care.  I'm not going to yell at anyone like Jillian Michaels to walk them the point of collapse.  I want the walk to be enjoyable and a chance to fellowship around something other than food.  In fact, I hope it becomes a regular occurrence.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Done! [Auntie's Rants]

I got on my scale today and it said 235.  I've gained and lost the same 5 pounds for probably a month now.  I've binged and starved, and binged and worked out until I can barely stand.  I've cried and prayed alone, but otherwise kept silent for my friends' benefit.

Y'all, I'm tired.  Very tired.  And I'm DONE:

I'm done with exercising out of fear instead of enjoyment.  I like working out, but not when I'm doing it to try to burn off a binge to alleviate guilt.

I'm done with food ruling my life.  I can't remember the last time I enjoyed eating anything.  Healthy food is wonderful and I will continue to eat it, but food eaten in stress and guilt has no flavor, not matter what it is.  I'm done with feeling guilty about wanting to eat out while being jealous of those who do.  I'm done with trying to count calories, fat grams and sugar.  All this counting has only made me obsess over food.  I'm always eating too much of one thing and too little of something else.  In my quest to "leave calories on the table," I left myself undernourished and hungry as hell.  I want to enjoy food; not worship it.

I'm done with feeling guilty no matter how little or how much I eat, especially at church and recovery meetings.  My mantra of "other addicts don't get to treat themselves with their drug of choice, so why should I" is not working.  What's "bad" food for one person isn't necessarily a problem for someone else.  I'm so freakin' afraid to eat anything for fear that my choices will send someone else into relapse.  Not to be ugly (or TO be ugly) if an addict wants to use my eating a cookie as an excuse for him to smoke dope, that's his problem, not mine.  I'm done with being out of balance.

I'm done with the feelings in my head and heart.

I'm done with the constant seething with anger because I can't get things right.

I'm done with feeling stuck and hopeless.

I'm done with wanting to disappear and die all the time.

I'm done with crying myself to sleep every night.

I'm done with people seeing pain and defeat in my eyes more than they see hope.

I'm done with sitting at home afraid to go out and do anything.

I'm done with not wearing makeup or pampering myself because I'm waiting to at my goal weight so it will "look right" to do it.

I'm done with waiting on other people to decide if I'm worth it.  I AM WORTH IT!  If you don't think I am, unfriend me, unfollow me, quit reading my blog, quit smiling in my face at church or CR and MOVE ON.  I'm too old for this crap.

I'm done with people telling me that I'm not a good Christian because I make no bones about not being perfect.  Hey, before you work on my "splinter," you might want to see to your "plank."  Aiyit then.

I'm done with my gender and marital status defining my worth and/or spirituality in other people's eyes.  It's been going on so long that I'm starting to believe it.  Oh, honey bunches of NO!  I'm not "still" a single female because I don't read the Bible and pray for the "gift" of marriage enough. ("Just trust Him and believe.  He'll send you that gift."); I'm single because when I asked God about being a wife and mother, He said "no."  All the promises of God are "yes and amen," but there is no promise in the Bible of marriage for every woman.  Jesus did not die on the cross for me to be someone else's bride; He died to make me His bride.  I want to focus on that.

Danny Cahill asked the Meltdown Challenge group what we hoped to gain from our health journeys.  I simply said "equality."  I have to be done with that concept as well.  The equality I saw was everyone else's idea of equality where I start at the bottom (unequal) and work my way up to equal with everyone.  No, in God's eyes I am equal.  If a person sees me as unequal to them, it's HER problem, not mine.

I'm done with "enough."  Who the Sam Hill determines what "enough" is?:  Good enough, strong enough, spiritual enough, fit enough, beautiful enough, smart enough, blah, blah, blah.  I've heard ENOUGH.  My best is good enough.  If it isn't then...well, whose problem is that?

I'm done with having no joy or happiness.

I'm done with other people getting a pass in life, while I'm told to suck it up and take any abuse that's dished out to me.

I'm done with being told how I should feel or even if I should feel.  Hey, if my feelings bother you, there's the door.

Dear Life, You suck, I hate you, and I'm done with you.  I'm going to look for a new one--the one God has for me.
Love, Auntie

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Fruits, Flakes, and Nuts: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Want to join the party?  Go on over to From This Side of the Pond  for the Hodgepodge link-up!

American Idol is back for a 14th season. Are you watching? Have you ever watched? If you were to audition for the show (or were made to audition), what song would you sing?
That last time I watched American Idol was season five when Taylor Hicks won.  It never was my favorite show, so I got bored with it.  If I were made to audition for the show, I'd let them know up front that I'm a better musician than singer.  But, if I had to sing an audition and could do any song I wanted, I would sing...
If I couldn't sing Gospel (which Idol is pretty snarky about), I would sing...
Oh yes, I would.  I'd get thrown out, but I'd have a blast doing it.
Mark Twain is quoted as saying, "If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first." So when did you last have to 'eat a frog'? Or two? How'd that work out? 
If by that he means "start with the thing you don't want to do, get it over with, and get on with the rest of your day" I'd say that's a choice I have to make daily.  Some days, the "frog" is an unpleasant chore or task that I need to get done, but I rather be doing something more fun.  Sometimes, simply getting out of bed is the "frog" I must eat.
If you were going on safari, what is the number one animal you'd want to see?
Zebras; I think they're beautiful.  C'mon, what'd you expect?  This is coming from someone who's never even been to the zoo.
January 21st is National Granola Bar Day. (I know.) Do you like granola bars? Chewy or crunchy? Your favorite flavor? How about regular granola? Let's exhaust this topic in honor of the holiday okay?
I hardly ever buy granola bars, but they're OK.  Not sure what "regular granola" is, so I have no comment on it.
If only__________________________________________.
  • ...I could get it together.
  • ...I could get some help.
  • ...People would mind their own business.
You can add one item to your bedroom. What will it be? Keep it family friendly please.
Pictures on the walls.
What is one thing you've enjoyed about winter thus far? If it's not winter in your corner of the globe, what season is it, and what is something you've enjoyed about whatever season it happens to be?
The one thing I've enjoyed this winter is that it's almost over.
Insert your own random thought here.
I plead the 5th this week.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Just Try to Relax: The Simple Woman's Daybook

If you would like to join in and post your own Daybook, please head on over to visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today:  Sunday, January 18, 2015

Outside my window … A pleasant end to a good day. All is pretty quiet and the skies are clear.

I am thinking... about why people challenge my commitment to Christ when my life and feelings are not perfect.  Lately, it's happened way more than it should, and I'm tired of it.  If I were rolling around in open grievous sin, they would have every right.  But that is not the nature of my infraction.  I stopped blaming others for things and placed the blame where it belongs; on me.  Apparently, that's wrong too.  I can't win.  I know I keep talking about this, but it KEEPS HAPPENING!

I am thankful...

For the bright sunny weather we've had the past few days--with hopefully more to come.

For the friends who will walk, talk, and laugh with me.  I'm looking forward to having some who will let me cry and not be embarrassed and not tell me how not to feel.

In the kitchen...  Still struggling with binge eating.  I'm also struggling with finding something tasty.  Fresh vegetables that taste like something other than water has been nearly impossible to find.  Spring is coming, and along with it yummy food.
I am creating... My creative mojo is at a standstill.  I've got projects to finish, but I'm too tired to fool with them right now.  Plus, I've had customers order things and not pay for them, so that's frustrating.  No, they didn't get the merchandise, but the unsold items are laughing at me.

I should have taken a few weeks off to rest, refuel, and get those creative juices flowing; but I didn't.  Big mistake.

I am going...  nowhere unusual or spectacular.
I am wondering... why I cannot rest, why I cannot receive love.

I am reading... I've not gotten much reading done this week.  *sigh*
I am hoping... for all-around improvement.

I am looking forward to...
 5k season.
I am learning
… sleep and rest are not the same thing.
Around the house... I think I'm going into "Monk" mode and doing some rearranging.  I already started with my bedroom closet.  I didn't do it last week, but I am going to this week.
I am pondering...  my own sanity.  Yes, again.  I'm also wondering about a friend of mine I had to block on Facebook a few days ago.  Weird.
A favorite quote for today... 

"I love to smoke.  I love to eat red meat and I only eat red meat that comes from cows who smoke."  Dennis Leary

"Worship is giving God the best that He has given you. Be careful what you do with the best you have. Whenever you get a blessing from God, give it back to Him as a love gift." - Oswald Chambers

One of my favorite things... Good thrift stores.  Yes, there are some bad ones.

A few plans for the rest of the week:   I have no idea.

A peek into my day...  

Yep, sometimes you just gotta laugh to keep from crying.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Five Minute Friday: "Send"

Our Mistress of Ceremonies for the Five Minute Friday is Kate over at Heading Home.  Hope you link up with us and join the fun.

It's Friday, the sun's finally out after a week of dreary weather, and I am ate up with depression this morning.  Sigh 
I often think I would be better if I were sent off somewhere.  Maybe my melancholy is from the feeling of not being sent out because of cabin fever. 
No, no, no!  I must write about something else, something more cheery and acceptable. 
Thank God that He never sends me out of His presence for feelings other than perfect ones.  I boldly approach for grace and mercy.  He will not send me away empty handed.
A few days ago, my devotional reading was about Isaiah asking God to send him where he was needed.  I know I'm to be sent, but I don't want to go if I'm not ready.  It would break my heart to be sent on a mission that failed.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Punching Words in the Throat: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Want to join the party?  Go on over to From This Side of the Pond  for the Hodgepodge link-up!

What's your best piece of advice for a newly married couple? I'm asking for a friend.
Read this book as a couple and do what it says...
Why?  Because a lot of the arguments couples have is over money.  This book gives practical financial advice.  Plus, Dave's not some guru who came up with a book.  He's been through financial disaster, so he knows what he's talking about.  No, this is not a paid endorsement.  I wish!
Before we're too far into the new year I wanted to post a question Teresa submitted during the December giveaway. Teresa blogs over at Being Refined As Silver, so everyone go say hi.

Teresa asks, "What were you doing on December 31st, 1999?"and "Did you or your family make preparations for Y2K?"
No, I didn't prepare for Y2K.  I thought it was a bunch of bunk from the start.  That day was like any other day.
According to Global Language Monitor, the most used word of 2014 isn't a word. It's the heart emoji. Huh? How can something that's not a word be the most used word, but I digress. What do you think was your most used word in 2014?
Probably the word "help."  I said it to God a lot.
Speaking of words, it's that time again. Time for Lake Superior University to present a list of words they'd like to see banished (for over-use, mis-use, and general uselessness) in 2015. You can read more about the decision making process here, but this year's top vote getters are-

bae (before anyone else), polar vortex, hack, skill set, swag, foodie, curate/curated, friend-raising, enhanced interrogation, cra-cra (as in crazy), takeaway, and -nation (a suffering sports suffix).  Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why? Is there a word not on the list you'd like to add?
I think the "word" bae is stupid, please shoot it.  I use cray-cray (cra-cra would be pronounced "crah-crah"--sorry, grammar nerd here).  I don't even understand the term "life-hack."  To hack is to cut up something violently or to vomit violently (thanks Rick and Bubba).  Words I would like to personally punch in the throat:  epic, WOD (lunks use that one a lot.  I have no idea what it means),  "turn up" (I think it means to get ridiculously drunk?), the term "furbaby" is creepy.  I'm sure I could think of plenty more; I'm on social media a lot and see this kind of mess. 
January is National Hot Tea month. Are you a fan? Do you like flavored teas? How do you take your tea? Have a favorite cup or teapot? How many cups of tea do you consume in a given day? 
I really enjoy hot tea in the winter, but ice it down as soon as the thermometer hits 70.  I don't have a special tea service, but I want  one.  One of my 101 in 1001 goals is to learn to make the elements of an English Tea.  No point without a tea pot.  I would also like a tea kettle; boiling the water in the microwave just isn't the same.  My favorite tea flavors are green tea (with lemon and a tap of stevia), and Earl Grey tea (with sugar and cream).  I need to get one of those variety packs and test some different flavors to see what else I might like.
Whatever happened to________________________________?
  • Chivalry and manners?
  • The Christian rock group Petra?
  • Good customer service?
  • Minding your own business?
  • Church singings?
  • The game "Bop It Extreme"?
What is one book on your must-read list this winter? 
The Blessing of the Lord. by Kenneth Copeland
Insert your own random thought here. 

A few titters from the Twitter (and other places)

From Twitter:  @WomenSouthern:  "Some people will never strain their backs totin' their brains."

New Southernism I just heard from Kenneth Copeland, "Squirrely as a pecan grove." ‪#‎ShoNuf

From Facebook: R.Tompkins shared:


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Alone, Yet Not Alone [Auntie's God Breezes]

This post was inspired by today's reading in Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest.

Alone. That word just thuds in my innards like a brick. My problem is that I confuse the words alone and lonely. Alone simply means "separate, apart, or isolated from others." Lonely means "affected with, characterized by, or causing a depressing feeling of being alone; lonesome; destitute of sympathetic or friendly companionship, intercourse, support, etc." As much as I like being alone for a time, I fear being totally alone –or lonely. I can’t stand the thought of being "destitute of sympathetic or friendly companionship." I’ve been there far too long to ever want to go back.

I want to experience what it’s like to "be alone, yet not alone. You’re never alone as long as you’ve got God." I don’t want those to be trite sayings people use as an excuse to brush me off and not be bothered. I want it to mean something. Joyce Meyer calls it "the silent years." My silent years have lasted for meaningless decades.

What am I "taken up with"? What stands in the way of having true alone time with God?
  • I don’t live alone, but if I’m quiet about it, I can have that time. 
  • But what if what I’m experiencing doesn’t call for quiet?
  • My first reach in the morning is for my computer to feel some connection to someone. I need to try connecting with the Almighty first. Rick Warren talked about this very thing in his podcast last week.
  • I’m still so obsessed with doing that I don’t know how to just "be." That feels so lazy to me. I heard Kenneth Copeland say that a person could get a lot more done when it’s time to work if he spent that still time with God first thing every day. I really need to put it to a true test. 
  • Perfectionism. Is there really a wrong way to do quiet time? Has this supposed "spirit of excellence" requirement crept even into how I should spend time with God? Is there a perfect time, song, scripture, position, book, prayer that will ensure I’ve done this right and done it enough?
Chambers points out that the deeper questions of faith and understand the Word didn’t happen until Jesus was alone with His disciples:
Are we alone with him now, or are we taken up with little fussy notions, fussy comradeships in God’s service, fussy ideas about our bodies? Jesus can expound nothing until we get through all the noise questions of the head and are alone with Him,
Am I so longing for fellowship with others that I neglect the true fellowship with the Savior? Am I so striving for the wealth of earthly companionship that I ignore the true riches of friendship with God?

Shamefully, yes.

This must change.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

For the Love of Socks: The Simple Woman's Daybook

If you would like to join in and post your own Daybook, please head on over to visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today:  Sunday, January 11, 2015

Outside my window … Dark, but not as cold.  This past week has been mighty chilly.

I am thinking... about how to regain community, especially church community.  It's just difficult when there's no fellowship category I fit into.  This isn't a criticism, I just happen to be a one person category.  It just feels weird to insert myself into someone else's fellowship.  I'm well aware that social media has been a lifesaver for me, but I want to leave the screen and actually look people in the eye and have a conversation or two.

I am thankful...

I'm grateful for time I spent with my sister, Margie.  Saturday morning, we got together and went to the thrift store in Rainbow City.  Margie is the fashion Diva of the family, so she was great at helping me put outfits together.  We found some great stuff and had fun.

I am thankful for and proud of my Mile A Day socks from the Anniston Runners Club.  I attended their annual awards banquet last night (my first) and had a pretty good time.  I got to meet Jim Perham, the keeper of the mileage.  He and his wife are neat people.  I'm looking forward to getting to know more people in the club and do a buttload of races this year.

I'm thankful for a song.  I made it to early service today.  Good thing too, my friend Mindy sang a special solo.  She sang His Eye on the SparrowWait a minute, everybody knows that song.  Not me.  I've only heard that song a few times in my life, mostly being showboated so hard by someone that I never heard the words.  Last year, a group of gentlemen from our senior adult choir sang it wonderfully, but today was the first day that I "got it."

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

The song was written in 1905 by Civilla Martin and is based on Matthew 10:29-31:

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.  And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." (New International Version)

I got all tore up sitting there.  (One of these days, I'm going to remember to bring tissues with me.)  God keeps reminding me of His love--His extravagant love.

I seem to be getting this message in a lot of places.  The January 9th reading in Charles Spurgeon's Morning by Morning was on the exact same theme:

"I will be their God." - Jeremiah 31:33

Christian! here is all thou canst require. To make thee happy thou wantest something that shall satisfy thee; and is not this enough? If thou canst pour this promise into thy cup, wilt thou not say, with David, "My cup runneth over; I have more than heart can wish"? When this is fulfilled, "I am thy God", art thou not possessor of all things? Desire is insatiable as death, but he who filleth all in all can fill it. The capacity of our wishes who can measure? But the immeasurable wealth of God can more than overflow it. I ask thee if thou art not complete when God is thine? Dost thou want anything but God? Is not his all-sufficiency enough to satisfy thee if all else should fail? But thou wantest more than quiet satisfaction; thou desirest rapturous delight. Come, soul, here is music fit for heaven in this thy portion, for God is the Maker of Heaven. Not all the music blown from sweet instruments, or drawn from living strings, can yield such melody as this sweet promise, "I will be their God." Here is a deep sea of bliss, a shoreless ocean of delight; come, bathe thy spirit in it; swim an age, and thou shalt find no shore; dive throughout eternity, and thou shalt find no bottom. "I will be their God." If this do not make thine eyes sparkle, and thy heart beat high with bliss, then assuredly thy soul is not in a healthy state. But thou wantest more than present delights— thou cravest something concerning which thou mayest exercise hope; and what more canst thou hope for than the fulfilment of this great promise, "I will be their God"? This is the masterpiece of all the promises; its enjoyment makes a heaven below, and will make a heaven above. Dwell in the light of thy Lord, and let thy soul be always ravished with his love. Get out the marrow and fatness which this portion yields thee. Live up to thy privileges, and rejoice with unspeakable joy.

In the kitchen...  I get to make blessings in the kitchen this week.

I am wearing... bedclothes.  (I wonder if Peggy would mind if I took this question out?  I'm not sure what purpose it serves.  Nobody cares what I'm wearing.)

I am creating...
Still working on the quilt-ghan.

I am going...  This week will be more frequent, and hopefully more intense, indoor workouts; the weather is NOT cooperating. 
I am wondering... what's going on with my hair. (Yeah, deep, I know). Lately, no matter what I do to it, my locks seem to have the consistency of dried hay.  Time to go back to Diana's.

I am reading... I hope to finish Big Girls Don't Whine by Jan Silvious this week and start on another selection from Auntie's full shelf.
I am hoping... for more clarity and revelation.  I'm simply hoping that things go well this week.

I am looking forward to...
Spring.  I'm looking forward to feeling well more days that I don't.  I'm looking forward to a soup fellowship my Sunday School class is having in two weeks.  I'm looking forward to 5k race season.  I'm looking forward to bike rides and planting flowers.
I am learning
… the more I openly deal with struggles (and the closer I get to a solution), the more my faith will be challenged; not by those who don't yet believe, but by those who say they do.  I've yet again the past couple of weeks had to deal with people who've said that my struggles are making them and God look bad.  I've been through this before on a larger scale.  I'm certainly not going to be brought down by it again.  Good thing the Apostle Paul didn't have friends like that, or two-thirds of the New Testament would have never been written.  By the way, most of it was written from a jail cell. Even King David a "man after God's heart" (Acts 13:22)  told the truth about his struggles.  In fact, the Bible doesn't pull any punches about the imperfections of those whom God chose for His work.  Yes, God will be glorified in my freedom from my struggles, just please be patient as He works on me.  If not, may I suggest moving on and finding some more perfect looking friends.  Good luck and Godspeed.
Around the house... I think I'm going into "Monk" mode and doing some rearranging.  I already started with my bedroom closet.
I am pondering...  the question of balance in life.  Years ago, I head Joyce Meyer say that much of  life's difficulties, whether mental, physical, or spiritual, were rooted in a lack of balance.  I agree; it's just a matter of finding that balance.  Just what is "enough" and who determines that? 
A favorite quote for today... 

"Is there anyone in the world who's not nuts? ...What's wrong with people?" - Greg Burgess

"Some people will never strain their backs totin' their brains." - @WomenSouthern

"When was the last time you did something you haven't done before?" - Our CR Ministry leader.

One of my favorite things... Handwritten notes that mean something.

A few plans for the rest of the week:   Some as last week:  running errands, getting busy in the Workshop, studying, reading, getting in some good workouts.

A peek into my day...  

I forgot to mention that last week, I said goodbye to my "arch nemesis"--my 91 year old running hero, Mr. Smallwood.  He went home to Jesus and I miss him already.  He was so encouraging, not to mention hilarious.  The last race we ran together was the 2014 Kyle Comfort 5k.  It took me a mile to catch him.

At 2014 Woodstock 5k

At 2014 Kyle Comfort 5k

Sunday, January 4, 2015

If We Are the Body: The Simple Woman's Daybook

If you would like to join in and post your own Daybook, please head on over to visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today:  Sunday, January 4, 2015

Outside my window … A beautiful end to a yucky week.  Had a great walk outside this afternoon with bright sun and moderate temperatures.  Reminds me of California...

I am thinking... about making some major changes in my life again.  Not sure how to go about though.

I am thankful... For two wonderful services at church today.  I hadn't really established the habit of going to the early service since the choir schedule changed, but I knew I needed to.  The first service gives me the opportunity to fellowship, worship and listen to the message without the distraction of work, and I can pour my energy into serving in the second service.  I can't promise I'll do it every Sunday, but to get there as much as I can is my goal.

In the kitchen...  Oh dear Lord, do we need to go there?  This has been a horrible food week for me with binge on top of binge.  I'll just keep trying to nourish myself.  That's all I can do until I get to the bottom of what's going on.

I am wearing... bedclothes.

I am creating...
Working on a quilt-type afghan.  I'm in a quilting club on Facebook.  While they make fabric quilts, I'm adapting them to crochet.   

I am going...  tomorrow?  To run a few errands.  Looks like all my workouts will be indoor this week.  Finally, we get through yucky, rainy week to be greeted by a sunny, yet frigid week.  Oh well.  I'll take sunshine over dreich any time.
I am wondering... where I can find a used Kindle that works.

I am reading... Big Girls Don't Whine by Jan Silvious.  Just an FYI--if you donate books for the Library, Thrift Store, or church yard sale to sell, don't write in them!  That's tacky.
I am hoping... for a better week all around.  I'm hoping to finish my quilt project. 

I am looking forward to...
the Anniston Runners Club banquet Saturday.  It's my first time to attend.
I am learning
… that the more I learn about Jesus, the more I love Him, the more I loathe religion and what it does to people.  Religion constantly tells people who they are not.  True Christianity shows people who they are in Christ.
Around the house... laundry, a little rearranging in the kitchen.  Nothing major.
I am pondering...  what can I do different this week to get a different result from this week?  Isolation doesn't work, but being in a room full of people feeling isolated by pain doesn't help either.
A favorite quote for today... 

"God did not give us local churches to become country clubs where membership means we have privileges and perks.  He placed us in churches to serve, to care for others, to pray for leaders, to learn, to teach, to give, and in some cases, to die for the sake of the Gospel." - Thom Reiner, qtd by Pastor Derek Staples.

"A part of the host will this year tarry on earth, to do service for their Lord. If this should fall to our lot, there is no reason why the New Year’s text should not still be true. "We who have believed do enter into rest." The Holy Spirit is the earnest of our inheritance; he gives us "glory begun below." In heaven they are secure, and so are we preserved in Christ Jesus; there they triumph over their enemies, and we have victories too. Celestial spirits enjoy communion with their Lord, and this is not denied to us; they rest in his love, and we have perfect peace in him: they hymn his praise, and it is our privilege to bless him too. We will this year gather celestial fruits on earthly ground, where faith and hope have made the desert like the garden of the Lord. Man did eat angels’ food of old, and why not now? O for grace to feed on Jesus, and so to eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan this year!" - Charles Spurgeon Morning by Morning p. 1-2

One of my favorite things... mandarin oranges.

A few plans for the rest of the week:   running errands, getting busy in the Workshop, studying, reading, getting in some good workouts.

A peek into my day...  I'd better quit while I'm ahead...or behind.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

I am God's Happy Accident [Auntie's God Breezes]

Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.  When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.  Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.
(Psalm 27:9-11 KJV)

What are my enemies? According to the Scriptures, my enemies aren’t people, but messengers of satan (Ephesians 6:12). Those same "thorns in the flesh" the Apostle Paul experienced. What are their messages? Shouldn’t have been born. No wonder you are unworthy of unconditional love; nobody wanted you in the first place! You aren’t fit to live, so just DIE. And on and on they go until my head feels like it’s going to explode. Then throw in a long repressed bad memory and...blam!

Why me?  On the outside I'm nothing special.  I'm quite ordinary--boring if you will.  However, I am a Jesus follower.  Like Paul’s revelations, God must have given me something of value that they are trying to keep the world from having. If I for once stepped up and shared all that God has placed inside me and people were led to Jesus, hell would tremble; not because I am anything special to the world, but because I am fearfully and wonderfully made by God Almighty (Psalm 139:14).

The end of 2014, I finished the devotional The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. The gist of the book is that I was made by God and for God. Until I understand that–really understand that, my life will have no meaning and I will continue to flounder through life in survival mode. This cannot happen.

I keep asking God why He would invest anything in me, seeing as how my entry into the world shouldn’t have happened and was such a harmful thing when it did. The definition of a bad investment is to contribute to something hoping to gain added value where there is none apparent. But I forget, God is not like people; He knows the beginning from the end. He doesn’t invest in me as a leveraging tool to win perfect behavior. He doesn’t say that if I make a mistake, He will pull His investment. He is the God who "setteth the solitary in families" (Psalm 68:6). In other words, His plans thwart any notions of an "accident." Like artist Bob Ross, God says, "We don’t make mistakes; we just have happy accidents," and He takes them, and makes masterpieces of them.