Sunday, July 31, 2011

Just Stuff

  • I am highly emotional these days.  It is very annoying.  I know I am in the stage of peri-menopause.  Whatever!!... it is very annoying to not only cry often but to need to cry to feel better.  It's not sad all the time but it is becoming about a once a week catharsis-the sad, unhappy cry.  The good news is that the other 3 or four times a week I am tearing up because I feel so lucky and blessed...that is a good kind of cry to have (if you have to have one).  So, saying something very nice to me OR something not nice may get you the same result...use caution.  ( :
  • My family reunion is coming up.  Right around the time of my oldest daughter's birthday.  This is because when I was 36 weeks pregnant with her, I thoroughly enjoyed several games of volleyball, went with my honey on a motorcycle ride, ate my weight in watermelon and cantaloupe, and then came home and enjoyed being married. ( ;  The next morning my water broke and Erika was born.  This means her birthday often falls on the first Saturday in August which is the date of our reunion.  She doesn't exactly love it.  She also doesn't exactly hate it, so we are okay.
  • School starts back on Thursday.  Too soon for my taste.  Mid September would be my preference, but I think we could all use a bit more structure.  Mid September wasn't an option when we homeschooled just wasn't a big deal to go back to school so early when we were homeschooled.  I am often romanced by the thought of returning to homeschooling.  Then the kids have a fight over something, I have to referee and then I remember why we could no longer be together 24/7.  Then I sing a little song of praise because I don't have to do grades, lesson plans or syllabi.  WOOT WOOT!!
  • Back to school shopping sucks.  I haven't had to do it since Erika was in third grade. I just hate it.  We have been sort of saving up and knowing this day was coming, but the cost is a little staggering.  Completely staggering.  Now, we again have to factor extra gas and lunch money into our budget.  And little surprise expenses.  Gosh, a free education sure costs a lot of money.
  • I had dinner with my mom Friday night and it was a very nice visit.  We went to the cemetery where the aunt I named Lilly after is buried. (I adapted the spelling because all of my kids have five letter names.) Lillie Phillips Davidson was born June 1, 1888 and died October 16th, 1980.  I was only 8 when she died but I loved her so much.  She filled empty medicine bottles with pennies to give us when we came over.  She had rice crispies and delicious WHOLE milk (we always drank powdered milk at home...YUK!).  She usually cut thin slices of banana up in the rice crispies for us.  If we had a cough(and we always made sure to), she mixed up honey and lemon juice and fed it to us by the spoon full.  She never had children but you sure couldn't tell it.  She loved us with all her heart and I feel kind of sad my kids don't have an elderly great aunt in their life that thinks they are IT.  I still have the Bible she gave me.  She is one of the things I look forward to most about Heaven.  And Aunt Jewell and Aunt Dola...two other great aunts that loved me.
  • I'm going to a Women of Faith Conference and I cannot wait!!  Erika asked me today when I was going and I told her.  She asked when I was coming back and I said, "I'm not."  I am going to stow away in one of the speaker's suitcase and travel the circuit with them.  Do you think they will notice?
  • I guess that is all for now.  I truly intended to go to bed early tonight.  LOL.

Friday, July 29, 2011

People Post

I truly have a love/hate relationship with people.  On one hand, I JUST LOVE them.  They are interesting to watch.  They are uplifting, encouraging.  People are an excellent example of God's sense of humor.  I love to meet couples because they are so often the last two people you would put together if you were playing 'match'.  I love to visit churches and realize that although the faces are different, you can still match them to the people from your church.  I love the way people in cars hardly ever match their bumper stickers(or their cars for that matter).  I love the way the scariest, tatoo-y-ist people are the ones who will spot you a quarter or hold the door open for you.  I love to see big gruff looking men holding a little baby girl and watching how completely wrapped they are.  I love the way people come in all diferent shapes, sizes and personality types. I am amazed when I meet a real life "Pat"...the androgenous person...he or she? I love watching reactions and especially how "Pat" handles it.  I love watching people.  From interaction with others to how they are when alone in a crowd...fascinating.  FaSKINating.

On the other hand, people get on my very last nerve.  The rude way some think they are better than others.   The stupidity of women that dress like skanky hos.  The real stupidity of big fat women that dress like skanky hos and make us all dread summer.  People who smoke and talk nasty while holding little angels.  Women who treat their husbands like idiots...husbands who treat their wives like idiots.  Perverts that check out all females in a 3mile radius in a ridiculously pervy way that makes you feel like you'll never be clean again.  Spoiled brat kids that 'line out their parents' on a regular basis.  People who think animals are better than people. 

I bet you share my dilemma.  I believe we are put on this earth to live in relationship with one another and LOVE with the love of the Lord.  I also believe for some of us, especially with some people, that requires divine intervention.  I also believe the more I ask God for that divine intervention to help me love those I can't stand, the more I realize there are those asking for it to be able to love me.  AND, then I realize that to be loved by another is one of the greatest gifts of all.  To be loved and appreciated with the love of the Lord...PRICELESS.  AND, when we get that, we can begin to heal and become what God has planned for us to become. 

I am very blessed.  I have some people in my life that make it pretty clear that I get on their nerves.  I can name several people that don't enjoy my comments or my company.  However, I am surrounded by many more people who love me despite my flaws.  People who know the REAL me and love me.  Some times in spite of my flaws and sometimes because of my flaws.  God has put me in a place in life where all my friends are not 'in one basket'.  They are all over my life and sometimes I run across 20 of them in one day and it makes my heart sing.

Today was one of those days and I can truly say that although I am tired, it is well with my soul.  God used some really awesome friends to bless my socks off today and I loved every minute of it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Woman of Faith?

Sometimes I look back over my journey of becoming a mother and see that it goes hand in hand with my Christian walk.  I had drifted so far from God that it definitely took having children to bump me back on course.  One of the things that happened to me along the way to really deepen my faith was a friend inviting me to an event.  Her church was taking a church bus to the Music City Nashville for a Women of Faith women's conference.  Of course, I had not been to one and the thought of it was exciting.  Somehow, we managed to swing it financially and also get childcare lined up.  It was amazing.  It was life changing.

To have thousands of woman in an amphitheater singing praises to God, being encouraged and uplifted by amazing speakers and fellowshipping between sessions was a powerful motivation for me to re-connect with my savior.  I can honestly say that I still remember many of the lady told the story of Esther and made her one of my favorite Bible women, one of the ladies focused on making sure you have FUN being a Christian.  She told a story of surprising her husband by renting a corvette and showing up at work to pick him up and take him on a date.  I remember Kaye Arthur calling me 'beloved' over and over and how wonderful that made me feel. ( was the whole audience she was talking to, but it felt like it was just for me.) It was definitely one of those mountaintop experiences.

So now, 12 years later, I am going to one again!!  This year, there is one pretty far from home, but Thomas Nelson is giving this little blogger tickets for free so I can spend a little on gas to get there!!  I can hardly wait.  I know it will be exactly what I need in this season in my life.  I am trusting God for exactly the encouragement I need AND one of my good friends is going along with me so I know it will be awesome.

Click the badge here on my blog and see if there is one in your city or close to your home.  I promise it will be life-changing!  Much needed salve for the wounds this old world inflicts on us daily.  AND, if you are anywhere near Indianapolis...maybe we could meet up for some bloggy bonding over coffee.  ( :

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Quadrants and Qther Random Stuff

So, in the interest of true confession, one of my new focuses, I am writing a bit about my time management.  I am not feeling guilty, I have agreed to not feel guilt anymore.  It is a truly worthless emotion.  What I am feeling is the pain of poor planning.  Poor planning costs money, productivity and time with my children that AIN'T COMING BACK. 

Time and words can never be recalled.  (Personal gratification if you can name the author!)

Long ago in a land just like the land I live on now, I was a Pampered Chef consultant.   I loved it.  It was awesome.  If you are thinking about doing it, do it!!  Then, go to Chicago and get the training they offer at National Conference!!  It spills into other areas of life!  I know it does because what I am sharing with you today was taught to me in a training seminar taught by Steven Covey. 

So, for starters, here are the quadrants and what they each contain.  You will find nearly every daily activity falling into one or more quadrants.  MOST Americans spend their time in the fourth quadrant which is the WORST place to be.  Sadly, most of my summer has been there. I get into the habit of being in the right quadrant and then I slack off and fall back into the wrong quadrant.

 The second quadrant is the goal, but of course, the first quadrant will always be making an appearance all the time because life is life and there are always crises and accidents to manage.


from Stephen Covey’s book “First Things First”

1ST QUADRANT  Urgent Not Urgent / Quadrant of Necessity
Crisis , medical emergencies, pressing problems, deadline-driven projects, last-minute preparations for scheduled activities

2ND QUADRANT/ Quadrant of Quality & Personal Leadership
Preparation/planning, prevention, values clarification, exercise,  relationship-building, true recreation/relaxation

3RD QUADRANT/Quadrant of Deception 
Interruptions, some calls, some mail & reports, some meetings, many “pressing” matters, many popular activities

4TH QUADRANT/ Quandrant of Waste
Trivia, busywork, junk mail, some phone messages/email,  time wasters, escape activities, viewing mindless TV shows

My goal for the rest of this summer is to be in the second quadrant.  We are usually there during the school year because we are being productive.  For some reason I think of being off as being totally lazy and unproductive.  IT never feels good.  In fact, it feels like crap AND there is no clean laundry.

Gotta go, today is jammed packed with fun and productivity.  Learn the quadrants and do the same, it will rock your world!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


I am soft right now.  Really almost delicately fragile.  My life has been broken in so many places and glued back together-sometimes very well, sometimes haphazardly.  I feel like even my broken places have broken places.  I am not very good at this whole church thing.  Don't get me wrong-I LOVE my church.  It is my family and like any family, it has its ups and downs.  I am not limiting myself to my church when I talk about the church thing-I mean that corporately..churches collectively.

My problem is that when someone knows I go to church, they have a perception of me.  That perception is either that I have all my ducks in a row, that I am 'good' now.  OR they think I am a judgemental hypocrite that THINKS all of my ducks are in a row and I think that I am better than everyone else.  Of course, neither of these is true at all.  The truth is that I am forgiven of my sins by a loving savior that wants EVERYONE to belong to Him. AND the good news is that I don't have to be good enough because HE is.

 I am ashamed of all the times I have made God look bad or attempted to judge on His behalf.  I am ashamed that churches are full of people like me who hold ourselves up as examples and then blow it BIG TIME.

So, church has given God such a bad name that I am ashamed.  I am ashamed that people have been rejected by some churches because of their sins...when the Bible is clear that we all have sin and always will.  Very clear that we can never do enough or be good enough without the forgiveness and power of Jesus Christ to cover our sins with His sacrifice.

I am ashamed that the number one message all through the Bible is that the greatest command is to love God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself...and yet, I very often don't feel loved or accepted in the company of many Christians.  Instead I feel less than and unlovable...not quite good enough. I am ashamed that I give anyone that kind of power to judge me when their opinion doesn't mean a thing to God-after all, THEY are also a work in progress.  I am ashamed that sometimes I judge other people's life when I don't even know them. 

I am ashamed when 'doing church' becomes a routine-like punching an attendance card, service card, smile and wave-and then I am off the clock and free to do what I want.  I am ashamed when someone leaves our church because they don't feel like it 'fits' them anymore.  I am ashamed when someone comes to our church because their old church didn't feel like it 'fit' them anymore.

The hard truth is this, churches will always be flawed because they are full of people.  There will always be hurtful churches because there will always be hurtful people. (Hurtful people are usually people who are hurting.)  There will also be people who aren't hurtful people-they hurt me by mistake.  There will be people I hurt that forgive me.  There will also be loving people who pray for me when I don't feel like I can pray for myself.  There will be people who love my children as much as I do.  There will be people who bring food to my family because they love us.  People who invite me to things because they want to know me better...people who don't invite me to things because they know me.  ( ;  People who simply don't like me.  People I simply do not like.  People who get on my nerves so bad I scream (on the inside).  People I annoy so much, they scream (on the inside).

The good news is that all of this imperfection causes me to become a better person...IF I ALLOW IT.  It is easy to love the people we like.  It takes God to help you love someone you can't stand. 

SO, that is where I am wishy-washy.  Even though churches have hurt people very badly and they probably will continue to, I have to defend them.  I would not be as far along as I am in my walk with Christ if not for churches.  Even the church that was full of married people having affairs left and right that I attended briefly. (Their sins were no worse than mine.)  Every single group of people I worshipped God with helped me to mature into a better person.

I won't ever be perfect this side of Heaven and the rest of God's church won't either.  AND who knows, maybe someday the world and I will accept that and get our focus off of PEOPLE and get it squarely onto God where it should have been all along.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Good or BAD?

I have noticed something about myself through this whole diet process.  When I am good, I am able to be very good.  Turning my nose up at sugary goodness and declining like a wholesome food guru.  Weight falls off, I feel good-the energy level obtained by exercising and abstaining from sugar is AMAZING.  I sleep better, accomplish more.  It is crazy not to keep this up all the time, BUT.  It happens.  I fall off of the wagon.

When I am bad, it is full on.  Katy, bar the door and batten down the is gonna get a little wild and wooly.  However...I do still only drink diet soda.  (Which totally cancels out the sugar, right?)  Ice cream, pie, cake, candy bars, bread, pizza, chips, potatoes, cereal, pasta...all that yummy goodness that is prohibited for me normally is consumed.  In normal quantities, for the most part, with ocassional chipfests.  This might go on for a week and then my mind and body become one and SCREAM: NO MORE!!  GET BACK ON THE WAGON CRAZY WOMAN.

So tonight begins the last weekend of sugar.  This is it.  Come Monday [it'll be alright-(that parrothead song reference is for you, Hula)], this girl is BACK ON TRACK.  Aerobics will be ON THE CALENDAR lest I feel there isn't time for it.  SUGAR will be DECLINED.  Bread, pasta, pizza, candy and the like will be dead to me.  AND...I plan to be good for a very long time.  Like 30 more pounds long time.  I am doing alot of planning and brainstorming for making sure Monday is wildly successful.

So, if you want to have a cupcake party...please have it this weekend.  ( ;

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Mission Statements

It's the new catch you know your mission statement?  Everybody's doing it.  Workplaces have them, families, churches, even factories have them.  What are they exactly?  How are they arrived at?  Aww, there-in lies their rub with me.  How ARE they arrived at?  HOW are THEY arrived at?  They are arrived at by a team of people known as a committee.  (COMMITTEES-defined as the place where good ideas go to die.  These committees are also places where, if the committee is friendly together, many rabbits will be chased, caught and released. The right is reserved to chase,catch and release said rabbits again.  If the committee is not so friendly, two main people will speak freely and often, grow a bit contemptuous with one another and make the rest of the committee side up.  These battle lines will make all future meetings a source of dread to all the other committee members.  The two 'side leaders' will look forward to each and every battle, er, meeting.)

So, all these committee meetings will eventually produce the mission statement.  It will be glorious.  It will be lovely.  The committee will be proud of it and have a sense of ownership because they will know exactly how many hours of blood, sweat and tears went into it.  They will know exactly how many hours they wasted spent invested in the mission statement.  The strong need to nurture the mission statement, defend it and rally it will be evident to any one that dislikes the mission statement.  In fact, the mission statement has the potential to become a topic so tender that it is discussed in hushed tones so that no committee member overhear said discussion.

The mission statement will serve no real purpose, nothing much will change, except some ideas may be shot down here and there because they don't line up with the mission statement.  A few other ideas will be supported wholeheartedly because they do line up.  Many of the ideas that line up will die due to lack of interest and involvement.  This will not be much of a change from life before the mission statement.

This post should be read with tongue firmly in cheek and yet...there is alot of truth buried in there.  I have been on committees, can you tell?  I think the same amount of energy spent on goal setting-concrete achievable goals like, "Hire a full time housekeeper after we save $500 in a custodial account.", not abstract goals like, "Be more missional in all activities."  Mission statements are politically correct.  The whole goal is for all of us to just get along, not get our feelings hurt, and be rejected softly...because of the lack of aligning with the mission statement NOT because your idea sucks out loud and everybody knows it.

I am unwilling to come up with a mission statement for my life.  I refuse, no matter how 'in vogue' it becomes.  I am willing to set some hard goals with time limits.  I know how I am and if I give myself a fluffy abstract mission statement, I will never do a thing towards accomplishing it OR I will be wildly successful for a month and then slack off down to nothing and then get a real sense that it is time to make some changes to the mission statement.  It is ALWAYS in MY best interest to steer clear of anything abstract unless it is some form of art and even could be dangerous.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The Dance of Anger

This title is also a book title.  To a book I happen to own and have read one time to completion, other times just hitting the highlights.  I have decided this needs to be a subject that I set some finite goals about.  Like my food issues, this is a vice that has been with me pretty much my whole life.  Like the food issues, it started off as inherited.  While I would love to pull a victim card here and blame it on my childhood, I believe that once I became a grown-up I get to own my own baggage.

So, as I have begun what I affectionately refer to as my 'mid-life crisis', I am interested in working through my baggage.  Unpacking it and getting rid of some stuff I don't need.  I really don't need to pass food and anger issues on to the next generation.  Perhaps I already have...but solutions to issues can be passed to the next generation too.  ( :

My truths for this week:

  • Sugars and starches are poison to me.  My body responds to them the same as an drug addict's body does their drug of choice.  Once I start, it is no longer a choice...more of a battle.
  • I can make healthy choices of what goes into my body without feeling deprived and different.  It is a choice to feel like a victim, not a fact.
  • Anger itself is not a sin.  How I choose to express my anger very often is.  Anger is not an emotion that builds up to overflowing...unless I allow it.  I am in control.  The Bible says, "Do not sin in your anger."  That proves the sin involved with anger is a choice.  I need to "Take every thought captive to God".
  • Kindness and anger are opposites.  I cannot embrace kindness with a "head full of hate". 
  • I need to teach these lessons to my children by example, not lecture.
Let it begin with me.  No guilt, no shame, just a metamorphosis through Christ who strengthens me.

Me right can't see the changes but they are happening.

The whole process.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Sibling Fights

The sibling fights that happen in our house drive me crazy.  There is constant squabbling when all I crave is peace and quiet.  AND unity and love.  A hippie festival of love in our home.  That is my request.  So, I know that it is not abnormal and also that it is not my is the nature of three very different girl personalities co-existing in a household.  I should be thankful that they are girls.  I can't imagine the sorts of sibling fights households of boys have going on.  It will all work out in the end, my 3 sisters and I all turned out to be close and somewhat normal.

Most households stop at two children and many of those scenarios are a boy and a girl.  Those households can never relate to siblings trying to 'stand out' in a family of all the same gender, or even mostly the same gender, I would assume.  Same sex siblings are constantly trying to be different from their sibling...while at the same time they often totally admire their sibling.  It makes for some fun times for a parent.

I am writing this post for two helps me to vent a bit AND it is very important to not question your sanity as a parent as you live in a same-gendered group of siblings!  It is hard enough to be a parent without questioning your sanity.  Hugs and kisses to any of you struggling with this fun dilemma.  Hug your children and remember to take your Prozac.  ( ;

Sunday, July 03, 2011


The name sounds terrible, really something to be avoided at any cost.  However, in Churches of Christ, this is what several days of classes/sessions are called.  In some churches, the lectureship speakers are hard line old fashioned preaching.  It would not be possible for me to attend one of those.  However, the lectureship at Lipscomb University every year is one my family and I plan to always attend.  Last year was our first time and it was terrific.  This year was just as good if not a smidge better.  My teens have classes, Lilly has classes and I have classes.  We all come home with much to consider and many leaves to attempt to turn over.

My leaves to turn over this year came from many different speakers.  I am always most excited to hear Patrick Mead speak.  Firstly, because he is Scottish and retains the accent.  Secondly, because he is very he could do stand-up...well he sort of does whilst he preaches. But the most impressive reason I like to hear him speak has nothing to do with either of these, it is because he radiates love, kindness and compassion.  He shares stories of activities his church does that involve going out and loving people.  It inspires me to care more about love people.  People who are sometimes so unlovable.  This year he focused on the ways Jesus showed compassion to people through His miracles in the book of Mark.  The next night he focused on kindness as a fruit of the spirit.  He explained how it differed from goodness, which can be done at a distance.  Kindness is how you are to treat those close in proximity to you, like a cashier or fellow shopper.  Like your children or spouse who might be driving you crazy on any given day at any given moment.  AND, that you don't get a choice in the matter...kindness is required of Christians.  He is an amazing speaker that God uses mightily to spread the Good News as well as remind me that it is good news, this Christianity thing, and we ought to treat it as such.

Another speaker that drew an AMEN out of my mouth before I could clamp it shut was Chris Smith.  He spoke on the story of The Prodigal Son...but focused on the older brother-the good one.  He said that some Christians have been good for so long they have forgotten how to be nice.  They are so mad at the sinners and 'bad' kids that they forget about their own sins of pride and self righteousness.  AMEN and AMEN again!!  Lord help me not to ever forget that I get into Heaven because of who you are not because of anything I do to earn it!!

The other speaker that demands a life change from me was Don McLaughlin.  He spoke on confession.  Confession that needs to be spoken aloud specifically because it exposes the lie of shame that Satan tells us...the lie of,  "If anyone knew I struggled with___, they would not think much of me."  He said the Bible teaches us confession because it brings the sin into the light of Christ and we begin to be freed of our sin.  Maybe not immediately, but the light begins to heal us.  It also deepens and strengthens our relationships with other believers in our community.  This one will be harder for me, now.  Ten years ago this was easier for me...I had been hard wired to confess struggles through altar calls all of my life.  At one church I attended, people thought you must be suffering with pride if you didn't go up front to pray and be prayed over fairly often.  Confession at the altar was part of attending church.  This has slowly been programmed out of me.  Not sure what to think/do any more.  I will be praying that God clears the cobwebs and confusion for me.

I have managed to still maintain my 'less guilt' mantra.  I no longer feel like I am inadequate in every way.  I am starting to truly believe that not only am I the daughter of a king, but also that he allows me to share pardons like the one I have received with the hurting people of this world that need a do-over.  I have determined the subtle difference between GUILT and conviction.  I also am being encouraged in this many times a day.  If you focus on the things of the kingdom-loving people and feeling lovable, offering hope to the hurting, help to the broken, etc-life does become more joyful.  I like joy.

Thbere were so many other lessons...but these are the ones that are front and center.  I plan to chew on these a while before I peruse my notes for more to study on.  I am so thankful for refreshment for the soul.