Friday, March 28, 2008

Sweet Lady

My pastor posted this on his blog.

It is only a couple minutes long but so darn cute that I had to share.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


I plan on writing more about my life soon. My Grammy was my best mentor/mother/friend in my childhood, actually in my life. She has been gone for 14 years now but I still hear her telling me how to bring my life to the feet of Jesus. How no matter what I have done my Abba Father would still love me and accept me. Where as it brought up some feelings of resentment telling my mom’s story and feelings of great grief to talk about my dad. When I tell my story about my Grammy I will be full of laughter, love and pride.

I thought that before I moved on to happier aspects of my life I would first talk about forgiveness. We know that when we confess our sins to the Lord that he forgives our sins. That the slate is washed clean with Jesus’ blood.

Oh, what a joy for those
whose disobedience is forgiven,
Whose sins are put out of sight.
Yes, what a joy for those
whose record the Lord has cleared of sin. – Romans 4:7-8

How come it is harder to forgive others sin against us than it is for God to forgive our sins against him? Am I the only one that has at one time or another been stuck on the hamster wheel of holding someone’s sins over their heads? Unable to forgive them for an action that hurt me? What about when you love the person and they hurt you? Break your trust? Use you? How easy is it to just turn the other cheek and say “I forgive you”?

What is Forgiveness? What is the true definition of it?
1. To excuse for a fault or an offense; pardon.
2. To renounce anger or resentment against.

It took me a long time to really understand the depth of walking away from hurt. That I was suppose to treat that person as if nothing happened. But I also learned that the more unforgiveness I carried around the only one I was hurting was myself. I was stealing time from the Lord who wanted to work in my life. I was missing my blessings because I was stuck in unforgiveness.

One day I woke up and it was like God was sitting on the end of my bed. He was begging me to let him heal me. He told me to seek him first to heal my pain. At that moment I realized that I wanted the life he promised. I realized that I could forgive my mom for not being the best parent. I could forgive my dad for the things that were done to me but most of all for dying.

As I sit here today I reflect back on those things that caused me the most pain and I choose to not be a victim. I choose to be a Princess of my Divine Father! I am reconciled, loved, forgiven and most of all His child. My Heavenly Father Loves ME!!! YEAH!!! Guess what…..He loves all of you too.

Forgiveness is giving up hope
that you can change the past!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My Dad - Final Chapter

In this picture I am 17 and that is my Dad. I got married at 17 and divorced at 18. My first husband was Army and couldn't stay faithful. I will cover that topic another time. I just love this picture though. When we were together it was like no one else existed.

Back to the story...
When I was 19 he was on a trip and he ended up getting arrested on the Mexican side of the border and went to prison in Mexico. My dad wasn't always the brightest bulb in the box. He attempted to smuggle 50 pounds of marijuana into the USA. His pick-up truck had 3 gas tanks so he hid it in 2 of the tanks. He got caught and taken to jail. In Mexico there is no such thing as a speedy trial and you have no rights. If there isn't someone on the outside to take care of you they put you in the poor section and literally wait for you to die. There is no 3 hot meals a day or prisoners rights to have toilet paper, bedding, cigarettes, clean clothes. No matter where my dad went he made friends. This is a blessing because his cell mate's wife took care of my dad too. She would bring them food 3 times a day, clean laundry, toiletries, etc.

He remained in prison in Mexico for a little over 2 years. In that time he had never even had a trial. The United States extradited him to a prison in Texas for tax evasion. I always thought that was ironic. His birthday is April 15th and he hated paying taxes. Owing taxes is what got him back to the USA and due to overcrowding in the prison system he was paroled and sent back to California basically a free man. I was living in Reno when he was released and I remember that he couldn't wait to get up there to see me. He had to get permission from his parole officer to leave the state. It was great to see him. He was thinner but you could tell that he had a great appreciation for freedom.

My dad came through Reno quite a bit. I got to see him a lot. He loved my husband so we always had a good time. When I had Ryan, my dad made it to the hospital before my mom. My dad lived in southern California and he made it to the hospital to see his grandson before my mom who lived 5 miles away.

My dad was still into dealing drugs mainly marijuana. He had moved up in an organization and was now the shipment scheduler instead of the runner. He kept this lifestyle away from me and my family. Once in awhile when he came through town he would ask me to come to his room and count cash. It was usually in the tens of thousands of dollars. He said it would take him forever to count it all. I could usually do it in about 20 minutes. Thanks to the job I had when I first moved to Reno.

In October of 1994 my dad took my husband and a couple of their friend to Cabo San Lucas to go fishing. Craig and my dad caught a 600 pound sail fish. They had a great time. My marriage was falling apart at this time and my dad knew it. I always respected the fact that just because Craig and I were having problems didn't mean that him and Craig needed to have problems.

March of 1995 I was pregnant with Hope, she was due July 4th. I received a call from my uncle telling me that my dad was sick. I got on a plane and went to him immediately. He look gaunt and weak. They had just diagnosed him with cancer of the diaphragm. I stayed with him for a week and took care of him and laughed and cried with him. Then I had to get home. He was admitted into the hospital on June 23rd. I had started dilating and my doctor would not let me make the trip. I was distraught. June 26, 1995 (exactly 1 week before Hope was born) I told my dad that it was ok to let go. That Jesus was waiting for him. I told him that I loved him and I promised to be ok. He passed away after I told him it was ok to go. I was still on the phone.

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about him. That I don't miss him. There are even days that I am angry that it was him that died. Nobody asked me which parent I wanted to lose. It just wasn't fair. I think his story shows that bad people can still be good. He did yucky things but he loved with everything that he had.

I want to thank you all for your patience, encouragement and your prayers.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My Dad - Part 2

Then he pulled out a joint and lit it and handed it to me. This was how the first real meeting with my dad went…..

When we got to his house there was a girl there. She was 20 at the time. This girl turned out to be my half sister. That was a little interesting. I had heard rumors that she existed but it had never been confirmed.

My dad and I instantly were close. It was like the biggest missing piece of my puzzle had been found. He had invited my grandmother, great grandmother and my uncle to come for a BBQ. It was so interesting to see all of these people that I had known all my life in the same place as my dad. It was also evident that my sister felt like an outsider. She was still pretty much a stranger to these people and here I walk in and it is hugs and loves and normal.

My dad was a wanderer. He loved to “go for drives”. He also used drugs a lot. He smoked a lot of pot and did a lot of cocaine. When I was with him I used a lot too. I had been smoking pot since I was 13 and I had even done LSD a couple of times. My dad, sister and I would go all over and get wasted and have a blast.

There are three incidents that I remember clearly.

The first one, I was 16 and it was the last time I ever did LSD. My father, sister and I were at Disneyland. I ended up dancing down Main Street with Donald Duck in a parade. I remember looking over and seeing my dad and sister just laughing. I’m not sure how I ended up in the parade but apparently I was good.

The second was my 17th birthday. Dad had asked me what I wanted and I said I wanted to try mushrooms, the hallucination type. So we got a hotel room and dad, my sister and I did mushrooms. We laughed so hard for so long that the next day my abs hurt from all the laughing.

The third thing that I remember is this guy showed up at my dad’s door with a big brown grocery bag full of cocaine. We stayed up for 3 days straight. I was 17.

I could list many more times we partied but I really just wanted to give you a couple of examples of the lifestyle that I was exposed to when I was with my dad.

I visited my dad all the time. He lived about 3 hours away. One time there was some sexual abuse when I was at his house. I am not 100% certain what happened but just know that something did. I would have to say that the only time that I ever lost control of what was going on in my life was when I would be at his house. It was almost my escape from the constant demands of life with my mom.

When I was 18 my Dad and I went on a road trip for 6 weeks. We traveled through Texas and down into Mexico. We also headed north to Yellowstone. This was an amazing time with my dad. We were so compatible. We were so close.

When I was 19 he was on a trip and he ended up getting arrested on the Mexican side of the border and went to prison in Mexico.

To be continued…..

This part of my story is really hard for me to verbalize. I am not looking for sympathy. It feels good to get it out. I have a deep love for my father that is unexplainable. As I continue with the story of my father please don't judge him. I think he did the best that he knew. He didn't have a clue about being a father he only knew how to try and be a friend.

Monday, March 24, 2008

My Dad - Part 1

Since I talked about my Mom, it is only fair to cover my Dad’s story too.

As previously stated my mom and dad got divorced when I was around a year old. I personally think that as far as being a kid from a broken home I was pretty lucky. You can’t miss what you never knew. I never knew what it was like to have a mother and father at home. I never even had a stepfather. My grandfather passed away when I was a year old. So I never really had any male influence in my life until about the age of 16.

Even though my mom and dad where divorced. My mom always made sure that I knew his family. I had a pretty close relationship with my paternal grandmother. I also had a decent relationship with my uncles. They weren’t in my life daily but a couple times a year I would see them. My father wasn’t around much in those years.

When I was 5, my mom and I were visiting my grandmother and we heard that my father wanted to see me. This is the first memory of him that I have. I remember that he lived on a ranch with horses; he bought me my first pair of real Levi’s and a set of Lincoln Logs. That is about all I remember about that visit.

My mom had never received the court ordered child support of $60.00 a month. Can you imagine $60.00 a month to support a child? Then one day it started coming when I was 14. It was a check from the DA’s office. We got those checks for about 9 months and then we started getting my dad’s actual check. His check that had his address and phone number. So me being the smart butt teenager that I was decided to call him. It was 2 months before my 16th birthday. He answered the phone and I wasn’t the nicest person. I asked him if he had any clue who I was and he said yes that he knew who I was and had wanted to see me for awhile but wasn’t sure how to go about it. He said that he had a present for me and I very snottily told him that if it wasn’t a car I didn’t want it. Well imagine my surprise when it was a car. He had a 1973 Volvo that he had just put a new engine in and wanted to give it to me for my 16th birthday.

He happened to live in the same town as one of my mom’s best friends. We were going there for the 4th of July. So I told him that if he wanted to see me I would call him when I got to town. He asked me to please call him. He really wanted to see me.

The day came when we were in town so I called him. My girlfriend was with me and she was going to go with me to meet him. He came and picked us up. As we were driving to his house he asked me if I smoked. I said yes cigarettes. He then asked if I smoked anything else and I said yes pot. Then he pulled out a joint and lit it and handed it to me. This was how the first real meeting with my dad went.

I will continue with the rest of the story. It is so weird to see this stuff in writing and know that it is my life. It really is by the Grace of my Heavenly Father that I am still standing, somewhat normal.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

None But Jesus

This is one of the most beautiful songs. Everytime I hear it I get the chills. It is from Hillsong. Darlene Zschech sings it. She has a way of making you feel the music. The words are soothing to me. So I wanted to share. I wish you all a blessed Easter!

None But Jesus-
In the quiet, in the stillness
I know that You are God
In the secret of Your presence
I know there I am restored

When You call I won’t refuse
Each new day again I’ll choose

There is no one else for me
None but Jesus
Crucified to set me free
Now I live to bring Him praise

In the chaos, in confusion
I know You’re Sovereign still
In the moment of my weakness
You give me grace to do Your will

When You call I won’t delay
This my song through all my days

All my delight is in You Lord
All of my hope, all of my strength
All my delight is in You Lord Forevermore

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My Mom - Final Chapter

I am really going to try and blow through the rest of this regarding my mom. After going back and reading everything I have written I am surprised I am not in counseling.

Needless to say my mom didn’t stop me from marrying Craig. My mom began to resent Craig because he had “taken me away” from her. It use to really insult me that she felt I was so feeble minded that I would let a man take control of my life. Then I realized it was just her way of dealing with me leaving. I look back at that part of our relationship and wish that I had never moved back in with her.

My mom is a compulsive gambler. Sometimes she wins, sometimes she loses. For the first couple years of my marriage I still catered to her financial needs. I would loan her money that she rarely paid back. Craig finally put his foot down and said that I couldn’t give her any more money. His rule was that she could borrow $20.00 from me on the week she was going to get paid and then she had to bring it to me that day to pay me back. This actually felt great. Craig stepped up and laid down the law when I was having a hard time dealing with it. This rule created tension between my husband and my mom. Not that their relationship was great.

We lived in the same town as my mom, less than 5 miles away. We would go months without seeing her. Even after the kids were born she was pretty absent. There was a whole block of turmoil regarding my marriage during this time that I will write about sometime. All I will say now is that she decided that Craig was the lesser of two evils.

In 1999, Craig and I moved to Pismo Beach. We lived down there for 3 years. She never came and visited us. But during that period she traveled to Chicago two times, Austin three times and Los Angeles three times. She even called me up when she was in LA and asked if I could come down and meet her there but leave the kids at home. I didn’t go.

As I have stated in previous posts, we reside in Redding now. We moved up here in 2002. Reno is about 3 hours away. I can say that she has at least made the trip 2 times.

I have to remind my mom of her grandchildrens birthdays becasue (her words) She would have to write them down on a calendar to remember them. Sorry for the strain that that would put on you Mom. (that is me being my sarcastic self, it comes out once in awhile)

I love my mom. My heart breaks for her. She has always looked for love and acceptance in the wrong places. Her automatic reaction to anything is to find something wrong with it. You could walk into the nicest restaurant in the world and there would be something that she could find to rag about.

She has classified me as another “Bible Thumper”. I am an imbecile to her to put my trust in the Lord. I pray for her to find her love and acceptance through Jesus instead of slot machines.

To finish this set of posts, here are 5 things that I learned from my mom that have been great lessons….
1. Work Ethic – Her home life is in shambles but she is the most reliable employee anybody could hope to have. She has over 5 months of sick leave saved up because she always goes to work.

2. Cleanliness – Because she is a slob, I am not.

3. Tolerance – By witnessing how she doesn’t tolerate. I am a pretty tolerate person.

4. Survival – I had no choice but to give up and cry in a corner or survive for the both of us.

5. Love – She taught me what the statement “She loves you as much as she can or knows how to” means.

Though Christ I have been taught that I can Love way more than that. But through my mom I have been taught that there is a difference between unconditional love and the gotta work for it love.

Thanks for reading my ramblings.

Monday, March 17, 2008

CA Chapter of the Cindy Beall Fan Club

I recently asked Cindy if I could be the president of her California Fan Club. She said yes. So I ordered the appropriate shirt for this duty. I just got it. It is awesome. If any of you are interested just let me know and I will tell you were to get yours.

My Mom - Part 3

My mom injured her ankle while chasing an inmate. She went on a medical leave. They came back and rated her ankle as unable to do the required functions of her job. I was 17. So she retired from the county collected her PERS and decided that she wanted to go to Australia.

We planned her trip. She was going to be gone for 6 weeks. I got to stay at the apartment alone and she left me her car. I started working when I was 13 so by this time I was pretty much capable of supporting myself. Those 6 weeks were awesome.

My mom is a pack rat. I was raised with 2 feet of clutter on every surface imaginable. She didn’t and still doesn’t believe that dishes need to be done until every fork in the house is dirty. That works out to be about every 3 weeks. She has tons of forks. So when she left on her trip. I spent 2 days cleaning the apartment. I literally donated 15 huge black garbage bags of stuff to the Salvation Army. I also threw away 20 bags of trash.

When she got back in town. She laid her suitcase in the middle of the living room floor and there it stayed for weeks. It was at this point that I decided to move out. Two of my girlfriends and I got a really nice condo. My mom was devastated that I wasn’t living with her anymore.

Basically for the next 3 years I lived my life separate from her. We would have the occasional dinner out. She really loved her independence. She had never had it. She went from living with my grandparents to living with my dad to living with me. This was the first time in her life that she had been alone. I must admit that I too was enjoying my independence. I didn’t have to worry about her bills just mine. It was a great relief.

When I turned 21 I decided that I wanted to leave Santa Cruz. I decided to go to Reno. This was in October 1989. In August of 1990 my mom followed me. I had control of a stash of her money that she received when she retired because I didn’t want her to blow through it and have nothing. When she came to Reno I found her a nice doublewide mobile home in a good park and paid cash for it.

She needed financial assistance and asked me to come and be her roommate. I decided that I would live with her temporarily. It was a hard adjustment for me because she immediately assumed that I would jump right back into my role of caretaker. Instead I had established my lifestyle and taking care of my capable mother wasn’t in my plans. I figured moving in and paying most of the bills was enough.

Craig asked me to marry him. We went and told my mom. Her reaction was tears. She said “Who is going to take care of me now?” I assume that I must have enabled her for her to feel that way. I really hadn’t expected her to beg me not to get married. It wasn’t that she didn’t like Craig. It was that she didn’t want me to leave her.

Craig and I married in July of 1991.

To be continued……………………….

Saturday, March 15, 2008

My Mom - Part 2

I am going to pick back up about the time I was in the 5th grade.

My mom decided sometime around this time to apply for a Santa Cruz County Sheriff position. Not the kind that you are on the streets but a detention officer. It wasn’t very common for women to work in the jail. They needed to have at least one woman on duty 24 hours a day because of the rules regarding female inmates. Mom got hired. This was great for her because the pay was good and she got full benefits for us. I know that that eased her worries a lot. She had told me once that if she wanted to survive without getting remarried she either was going to have to continue to work 2 jobs or she needed to get hired in a male dominated field. She chose the later.

Things were pretty calm through my Junior High years. She worked 12 hour shifts and I was finally at an age where she would leave me home by myself. By the time I was nine I was pretty much running the house, making all of my own doctor’s appointments, dealing with the bills and basically telling her what she needed to deposit to cover the expenses.

Mom has never been good with money. She really loves to gamble. There were many times that she would take off and do the Tahoe/Reno loop. Basically that was where we would leave and go to Tahoe, spend the night. The next day we would drive to Reno and spend the night and then we would go home. I remember a few times when we would be driving home and she would be in tears because she had lost all of our money. One time when we went she gave me the checkbook, ATM card, credit cards and cash. She made me promise not to give her any of it back no matter what she said. So here I am in the arcade of Harrah’s playing video games and along comes my mom begging me to just give her a little more money. It was a very strange thing. That was probably the first time that I really felt our roles had reversed and I was more the parent than her.

Our house was always the one that my girlfriends wanted to hang out at. There were many times when my mom would go to work at 7 at night and all my girlfriends would just stay at the house with me. There are 5 of us girls that met in grammar school and we are all still friends. My mom became their buddy. My mom was the mom that would take us to concerts. She was also the one that gave us the sex talk and took us in for our first female physicals. If any of us girls had a question about anything we could go to my mom and ask her. In this way she was the most awesome mom.

When I started high school we started having problems. She all of a sudden thought it might be fun to be my mom and I didn’t see why she needed to do that now. She hadn’t really done it before. So I rebelled and did what I wanted anyways. I was always getting called to the vice principal’s office for being truant. By this time I had also started smoking cigarettes and pot. My mom was working the graveyard shift 7pm – 7am. She would leave for work at 6:15 and the party at my house would start at 6:20. I remember getting on my knees and begging her to kick me out. I wanted out of her house. I thought that I could do it all on my own. She refused. She said that when I was 18 I could do what I wanted but until then I was staying. What is weird about that is that if I really had wanted to go I could have run away but I never did.

My Next post I will bring you all current with where my mother and I are now. I didn't realize how much I had to say about her. This is truly a great outlet.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

My Mom - Part 1

It is hard to figure out where to start when you want to talk about your life. I covered places that I have lived. Now I think I will cover some stuff with my mom.

My mom was born late in my grandmother's life. She was also their only child. She was seriously spoiled. That song by the Beach Boys about daddy taking the T-Bird away so describes my mom's teen years. Except that my grandfather never kept the car for long.

My mom has a wild streak even now. She can be a kick in the pants if you aren't relying on her to raise you. Fortunately she relinquished me every weekend to my grandmother. (I'll write about her soon)

Mom had me when she was 18. She graduated high school six months pregnant with me. She was married to my father. So when the school tried to kick her out my grandfather had to go in and fight for her right to finish high school. I know my grandparents were upset that she was pregnant and married at 18 but I think they more upset because my father was a Mexican. I was born in 1968 and I guess the whole interracial marriage thing still didn't go over well.

My parents got divorce before I was a year old. Which if you have to come from a broken home I think that was the best way. I don't have any memories of them together. I had no idea what I had lost. My mom never remarried or had any other kids. I am it for her.

Mom did what she had to do to support us. She has great work ethic and always had a job, Sometimes two. In my younger years she was very wild. I remember seeing things when I was little that I shouldn't have. One night I woke up and needed to use the bathroom. The house we lived in had a jack and jill bathroom. When I went into the bathroom the door on the other side was open. Guess what I spied at the tender age of five....They were having an orgy. Yes a real orgy. My mom was dating a guy named Steve that use to watch me after kindergarten. He decided it would be fun to see what a kid is like when they are high. So he blew pot smoke in my face over and over until I was high. My mom came home and she was really really mad and kicked him out. Then to make up for it she bought me 2 gold fish.

I had stated in a previous post that my mom had moved us for 2 weeks to Arkansas. When we moved back she smoked a joint with some friends that was laced with something. She wigged out the entire night. The next day she swore she would never do drugs again. To this day she hasn't. I don't believe she ever did anything more than smoke pot but it was great when she quit do that.

I will continue my/her story next. I didn't realize how long it would be.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Thank You All

I don't always get a chance to respond to comments left for me. I read them all though. I just wanted to say a big huge Thank You to all of you that read my blog.

You are the most awesomiest group of people. You pray for me, encourage me and make me laugh. Yet none of you have met me. I am a stranger.

Often times your posts cover Christian principles, the way to be more Christ-like. You all walk the walk and talk the talk. You love me as your sister in Christ unconditionally. I know that none of us are perfect. I know that we all have our struggles and sin.

I will end this sappy post. I really just wanted to say THANK YOU!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Places I Have Lived

I was thinking today that I have been eavesdropping on all your blogs. But I haven't told anybody much about me.

For the next couple days I am going to list some stuff from my life. I hope you all are interested.

I thought that I would start with the places that I have lived.

I grew up in Santa Cruz, California. This was a great place to grow up. We went to the beach constantly. I lived about 3 blocks from the beach and I remember when storms came in I could hear the waves crashing at night. It was a very different time then. I use to take the city bus all over with my friends and we were never bothered. I look at my daughter now at 12 and I can't imagine giving her a bus pass and telling her to go have fun. Times have changed.

My mom was pretty nomadic when I was young. I do remember a time between third and fourth grade when she decided that we needed to move to Mena, Arkansas. My mom worked in the Levi's plant sewing on belt loops. That lasted two whole weeks and then we were on a Greyhound bus back to Cali. Besides that move there was usually one every couple of years. After Arkansas though we stayed in Santa Cruz county.

Two weeks after my 21st birthday (1989) I moved to Reno. I stepped out in faith that everything would work out. I had an apartment waiting for me and $500. I spent 1 day collecting applications and the next day I went to turn them in. I got hired at the first casino. The job was in Soft Count. Basically it means that I sat in the basement with a crew and we hand counted paper money for hours on end. I loved that job! It was fun! I met my husband in Reno. Both of my children were born there. The last position that I held in Reno was as a Promotions Manager at a local casino. That was fun because they sent me to Vegas alot. One thing I forgot to mention is that my mom is a compulsive gambler which made me a person who doesn't gamble. People are amazed that I lived in Reno for 10 years and never hit a Royal Flush. You gotta play to win.

In 1999 my husband decided that he wanted us to relocate to Pismo Beach. This was way fine with me. I am a beach girl. When we relocated my son was in 1st grade and my daughter hadn't started school yet. Pismo Beach is the only beach in California that you can drive on the beach. Yes actually on the sand. I remember Christmas of 2000 my Inlaws came and we spent Christmas day at the beach in 75 degree weather. It was a great day. I worked for wonderful people there and so did my husband. My Inlaws would come for Christmas every year. We noticed that in 2001 Mom was really deteriorating health wise. So Craig and I discussed this and decided that if we were ever going to make the move to Redding (his hometown) we needed to do it now. I wanted the kids to get established in school, make friends all before Junior High.

I have lived in Redding since July of 2002. I never wanted to live here but it has grown on me. It is a very beautiful place. It is also very Christian. Thank the Lord for that. It is amazing how He touches this community.

April 2006 My mother in law passed away. In August in 2006 my father in law had a mild heartattack. At that point we decided to move in with him to take care of him.

So here I sit in a ginormous Master Suite that if it was in NYC you could rent for $4500. It can be frustrating to blend the families but it is a decision we made before we married that our parents wouldn't be alone in their old age. My biggest fear is that my Mom's health will fail before Mel is gone and I will have to have them both here. Not nice I know. Sorry. I am only human.

If you could add Craig (my wonderful husband that I don't deserve) to your prayer lists I would truly appreciate it. He such an awesome man and I am so blessed to be his wife.

This scripture makes me laugh and not take life so seriously.

We can make our own plans,
But the Lord gives the right answer. -Proverbs 16:1

Sorry for the super longness of this. :)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Looking for Suggestions

I was informed today that I need to exercise my mind.
"Keep your mind Stimulated."

So my awesomely smart blogging friends.....
Besides Crossword Puzzles...

What are some way that I could stimulate my mind?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Fear & Worry - NOT

I have spent most of my day praying, worshiping and reading scripture. I can feel my Heavenly Father next to me. It is such a huge gift to feel him here. Selfishly, most of my prayer have been about me, for me. I wasted about an hour this morning full of fear and worry. Then I heard Him tell me to stop it, that he is with me and He is going to stay with me. He led me to these two scriptures:

Don't be afraid, for I am with you.
Don't be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. -Isaiah 41:10

I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.
He freed me from all my fears.
Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
no shadows of shame will darken their faces. -Psalm 34:4

I think that they pretty much speak for themselves. My fear and worry left me immediately. It left me so fast I almost felt stupid for feeling it in the first place. The feelings that I have now are ones of Joy, Peace and Love!

Our God is a truly AWESOME God. He gives us what we need when we need it. All we have to do is let go of control, give it back to Him and seek Him first for everything. Please if you are worrying or afraid take comfort in the Lord. He wants to be our Abba Father.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Blank Piece of Paper

One of the symptoms that I have been experiencing lately is the loss of some cognitive function. I have always been a person that remembers everything. Appointments, Shopping Lists, Kids Schedules. I have never had to keep a date book. I noticed this change in October and since that point I have started keeping a date book. I don't even attempt to make plans without looking at it because, to be totally honest, I have no clue what is going on in my life tomorrow or next week. I just flat out don't remember.

I have also started making lists for everything. I work a short day on Thursdays. Yesterday I had 4 things I needed to do before going home. I wrote them on a sticky note, put it on the steering wheel and went about my business. My husband isn't use to this aspect of me. In fact it has been this loss of my brain function that has made him step out of his denial and realize that something just isn't right with me. So every night I sit down with him and go over my next day with him. Yesterday we joked that I may not remember my 4 things to do and since picking up my son was my last errand he may get left at school. My husband said that he was going to put a note on our door that read "Got Ryan?". Because if he wasn't with me I had left him at football practice. LOL Fortunately for me I gave my kids cell phones and they are smart enough to call me. Where my husband had some problems excepting these changes in me, my children have adjusted wonderfully.

I have a notebook by my bed that I write lists in. This notebook is my correspondence notebook. I only write in it calls I need to make, emails I need to write, things that I may want to blog about, stuff like that. So I woke up at 2 am and remembered a birthday coming up. I went to write it down and saw this...

A blank piece of paper with the words "Jesus is ALWAYS with you". That is all that was on the paper. I am not sure even when I wrote it. I just looked at that statement and wondered what I was feeling when I wrote it. Was I happy and writing it joyfully? Was I sad and writing it as a life line? Or was I just being me and writing it as fact? This really is a huge statement to me no matter what my mood was when I wrote.

I received a good spiritual foundation thanks to my Grammy. I strayed in my life and sinned in a bunch of ways. Someday I will write my story, not yet. But even when I strayed I remember feeling Jesus with me. Tapping my shoulder, whispering softly that I really didn't want to do that but that he would love me even if I did. Some people call that your conscience or Jimmney Cricket. I have always known it was Jesus. He isn't just IN me but he is WITH me. Holding me up and even today telling me that he loves me.

My friend and I play the 3 blessings game with eachother when one of us is stressed, sad or upset. So yesterday when I felt like that kid with the black cloud over my head she said "OK- Quick 3 things that are blessings". She knows this will always snap me out of it because she knows my first and most important blessing is that Jesus Loves ME!!! My children and my husband are my other two.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

My Pound Puppy

Meet Midas. He is my pound puppy. I love him. That is saying alot considering I am a cat person. :)

We got Midas at the local Haven Humane. They think he was 5 months old when we got him. He is now 4 years old. We went as a family to find a dog. My son and my husband had found this dog that they thought they wanted to adopt. I walked around the corner and there was Midas.

What was it about Midas that stood out? Well amongst all the dogs running around and jumping and barking. Here was this little blonde puppy wrapped up in a ball sound asleep. He didn't care what the others were doing. I leaned down and he lifted his head and licked my finger. But he still remained in a ball. He was the cutest thing.

Our Humane Society has a room where you can visit with the animals you are thinking about adopting. So I let the boys take the dog they wanted and we went into the room and sat with him for about 10 minutes. He became hyper. He started to growl at my son and daughter. Then I had the worker bring in Midas. He ran over licked all four of us. Nuzzeled his head in my lap and just stood there. It was like he knew I was the one he had to sell himself too. The family decided that Midas was coming home with us. Oh by the way he had no name. I named him Midas when I saw him sleeping in his pen.

He has been with us ever since. We are the most blessed family in the world to have such a great friend! I love this dog. He even likes our cat!! We have had him for about 3 years now.

What you don't know by looking at this picture is that my two babies are sleeping in that tent. That tent was set up in our backyard and the kids slept in it that night. Midas never left his postion as guard.

Here is a warning....Don't mess with HIS Kids!!!

Monday, March 3, 2008

A Tithe Question

I want to put this question out there for all of you smart people. I was asked this question by a friend of mine.

"Since I tithe 10% of my GROSS do I have to tithe on my tax return? My return is money that was taken out of my check that I have already tithed on."

I can see where she is coming from but to be honest I have never thought of it as double tithing. It comes into the house it gets tithed. I also hate the "HAVE TO" part of the question. I "WANT TO" tithe. It is an awesome feeling. I also regularly support other ministries and have a couple Compassion kids.

I am curious of your opinions on this.

Do you tithe your tax returns??

Sunday, March 2, 2008

My Spiritual Diet Struggle

So… you know when you go on a diet and it is really easy to give up certain foods. Then there are other foods that you just can’t get stop craving. I know this will sound crazy to most of you but I have no problem giving up chocolate and sweets. My big problem is French Fries. Love them!

I really don’t believe in diets. I believe in lifestyle changes. When you diet you lose weight and when you stop dieting you gain it back. When you make a lifestyle change you train yourself to no longer eat the things that are bad for you. Therefore you usually keep the weight off and are healthier.

I really see our “love walk” the same way. When you are born again things start to change in you. You start to see where you sin. You start to acknowledge bad attitudes and pitfalls in your life. You start to hear God’s voice in your heart. You start desiring to be more Christ like.

Were you may have looked at someone on the street holding a sign asking for money and thought to yourself “Get a Job”. You probably don’t now. In fact you may even roll down your car window and give them some money. You learn love, tolerance, humility, compassion, patience, etc. Here again as with dieting, you may find that you can change some things so easily and struggle to get rid of other bad qualities (learned habits).

The purpose of this post is to tell you about one of my spiritual diet struggles. I am not proud of it and it really sucks when I am in the middle of doing it and I hear God in my heart telling me to knock it off. I know that I have gotten better but I also know that I have a long, long way to go.

So here goes….I don’t Like my Fellow Drivers. I think people drive very badly! Here are just a few of my complaints.

1. We live in the USA. We drive on the Right side of the road. The Gas pedal is the RIGHT one. So basically it is really easy to find. Push down on the pedal that is closest to the center of the car and it will GO.

2. Green Lights mean GO. Not sit there talking on your cell phone. Not staring at the cars across the intersection. I just simply means GO.

3. Options are things on cars that all cars may not have. Blinkers are standard equipment. Learn to use them. Push it done to go Left, Push it up to go Right. Also if you smoke opt to get an ashtray for your vehicle. I really don’t think throwing light cigarettes out the car window is a great idea.

4. The last of my major issues is just because I drive a Miata doesn’t mean I want to drag race. Of course most of the people that want to race don’t Go on the green and are still trying to find the gas pedal. So I win by default.

My daughter Hope is a sweet girl that is to smart for her britches sometimes but I wouldn’t change it. I know that God works through her on this issue of me not “Liking my Fellow Drivers”. I drive her around the most so she likes to point things out to me like “Mom she is your sister in Christ. Don’t be upset that she doesn’t know how to drive.” My response usually goes something like this. “Peanut, I love her. I just don’t particularly like her skills.” She just smiles.

I remember once she wanted me to get a really pretty fish car emblem for my car. I told her that when I drive I am not the best witness to my faith. Don’t get me wrong I don’t yell at people, race up on their bumpers or flip them the bird. I just struggling with their driving shortcomings. I am sure that there are things about me that cause people to struggle with my shortcomings.

So this week I am reminding myself everyday:

31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. - Ephesians 4:31-32 (NLT)

What I am begging of you my blogging friends that don’t drive the roads that I do is to please pray for me-

30 Dear brothers and sisters, I urge you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to join in my struggle by praying to God for me. Do this because of your love for me, given to you by the Holy Spirit. - Romans 15:30 (NLT)

Thanks for all who listened to me grumble. Man it feels good to get all of that off my chest! I owe you all a happy, funny post next time.