Thursday, January 31, 2008

Tag...(I'm still it:)

My beautiful sister, Susan (joyfulmom6), has tagged me.
Here are the rules:

1) You must post the rules on your post before you answer the questions.

2) You need to list one fact about yourself using each letter of your middle name. If you don't have a middle name use your maiden name instead.

3) When you are finished with your answers you tag one person for each letter of your name.
So here we go:

A-Alive in Christ
N-Need coffee regularly
N-Neat freak

Since I have a short middle name (thanks mom and dad:), that was pretty easy for me. Unfortunately, because we all have the same 'blogging buddies' I can't tag anyone. I really need to get out and make some new friends:)

Monday, January 28, 2008

One More Day.....

I woke up late this morning and rushed around the house in a fairly normal fashion. Mornings are not my 'best' time by any means and running late seems to be a frequent occurence.

My two 16 year old daughters know the routine and have learned to move at a pretty brisque pace. My youngest daughter, however, cannot seem to grasp the concept of 'Shake a tail feather'. To say I was irritated is definitely an understatement.

When I got to work today (I work at an insurance company) I began my day in the normal fashion. Grabbed some coffee, started the computer, read my emails, checked updates, etc. Mostly.....tried to calm down from this mornings antics. Then I received a phone call that would change my day.......

One of our insured's called. I didn't recognize his name which is highly unusual for me. I know most of our insured's by first and last names. He told me that he had a life insurance policy on his son. A-ha! The policy is under his son's name. That was a name I recognized. Then he proceeded to tell me that he needed to know how to file a his son passed away on January 20th. I gave him my condolensces and put him on hold. I called for the 'boss' and had him take the call. After the 'boss' got off of the phone he informed me that Jason had passed away, at the ripe old age of 16, from cancer.

Suddenly, my frustrations of the morning disappeared as I was just thankful for my children's health. I can't imagine anything worse than losing a child (except losing more than one child). Not only did this man lose his son, but he watched him suffer for a period of time. I can't begin to imagine what this family went through. My heart broke for them. I bet they would've given anything to have been 'irritated' with their son for being 'slow' just one more time.

Some days I forget to be grateful for the things we all take for granted. Thank you for the reminder, God. Tomorrow, when I wake up late, help me to remember how blessed I truly am.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I would like to thank........

Thank you Tanya @ Wilderness-Shiloh for awarding me my very first 'Blogger Awards'. It is quite an honor. I am humbled to know that my incessant babbling encourages you. I hope you know how blessed I feel to call you a friend and a sister in Christ. I love you!!!!

Congratulations to: Susan @ Joyful mom 6, Lori @ Manna from Heaven, Nana C. @ ever increasing-faith, and Jeff @ Stuff for winning your first awards:)

I love you all.......(Yes, even you Jeff:)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

His Call

This week is "Missions Week" at our church and I have been moved in ways that I never expected. We have been blessed to have two missionaries from Turkey visiting us and it has been amazing hearing their stories of hope, fear, blessings, love, and God's continual faithfulness.

I think what has struck me the most about this week is how much these two people genuinely love the people of Turkey. When I found out they were back in the U.S. one of my first thoughts was: "They must be really happy to be home". However, last night some ladies from our church gathered to listen to 'Stacy' speak of her experiences and she made it clear that she really did not want to come back to the States. Turkey is no longer just their mission has become their home. They have a business, they have a residence, and they have made friends. Their life is there now.

All of this is beyond me. God has not given me a heart for over sea's missions.....yet. I don't know that He ever will. However, I can say, that He has peaked my interest. Listening to 'Stacy' speak...I felt compassion for those in other lands. As she described life in Turkey, I found myself trying to visualize their life and, for a brief moment, I desired to see that life up close and be amongst their unfamiliar culture.

I don't know what God has in store for me in the future, but I do know that there is a vast mission field in my neighborhood, in my work place, in the grocery store, and with each person He brings me in contact with. No contact is an contact should be wasted. I have always looked at missionaries as the 'chosen ones'. To be honest, I have always been a little envious that I haven't been called to be a missionary. At the same time, I have been estatic that He hasn't asked me to leave my comfort zone.....or at least I haven't heard Him ask.

Today, I am a little uncomfortable as I realize.....I am a missionary. I may not be a missionary over sea's, but I am a missionary called by God Himself. I am not equipped, but I know He will equip me as I set out on unfamiliar ground.....being obedient to His call.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Tag...I'm It!

My girlfriend, Tanya, at Wilderness-Shiloh has tagged me. I am supposed to write 15 things about myself. So, I thought I would shake things up a bit and write 15 things that you, most likely, do not want to know about me:) ENJOY......

1) When I was younger I absolutely hated for my hands to be soft. And, if, by some miracle, they became soft...I would lick them.

2) I love vaccuuming because I like the lines in the carpet. I am convinced that if the room is vaccuumed good won't notice the 9 inches of dust on the tables.

3) Brussell Sprouts make me gag...literally. They smell like feet and I am willing to bet...they taste like feet. Dirty feet. Feet that have been in sweatsocks after playing P.E.

4) I loathe hair. You know...the stray hairs in the shower, in the sink, the one that gets stuck to the wall as if it has tiny fly-like feet and is completely wind resistant as it clings for dear life.

5) When I was young, my cousin and I were at a rummage sale with our mom's and she saw this little bunny soap set that she wanted. Since she wanted it.....of course, I had to have it! So...I ran to my mom and got money first and bought it. She cried. I was happy.

6) One year, on my birthday, I talked this same cousin into telling me what my parents got me as a present....A Farrah Fawcett head that allowed me to style her hair. Later that evening, she angered me. I told my mom that she told me what they got me and my cousin got in trouble by my parents and her mom. She cried. I was happy.

7) I was in love with Shaun Cassidy and convinced I would marry him. I owned the Shaun Cassidy guitar and a satin pillow case with his face on it. I also had the really cool poster of him on my wall that came out of the Da-Doo-Run-Run album. I hung it next to my Farrah Fawcett poster.

8) When I was 6 or 7yrs old, I wanted to change my name to Luthae (pronounced: Louthay). I had a friend who was older and she wanted to change her name to a spanish name. She wanted her name to be Lupe. Since she wanted that name, I was convinced that was the absolute cooolest name in the world. So, when she suggested I change my name to Luthae..well...that became the 2nd coooolest name in the world. My parents wouldn't allow me to change my name. I cried. They were happy. They still bring it up today. Yeah..very funny.

9) When I was in first grade we made a Christmas countdown chain. You know, the red and green chains that you hang and cut one link off until Christmas comes?! I used to cut two links off. I thought it would make Christmas come faster. I was wrong. All it achieved was laughter from my parents.

10) I love socks. Soft, comfy socks. Much like a child loves their 'binky'.

11) I despise flying. I believe that all airline pilots are secretly angry that they didn't make it into the Blue Angels and they take it out on us innocents who happen to board their plane. I refer to all pilots and co-pilots as Maverick and Goose.

12) My favorite desert is Creme Brulee. can't be made in the microwave, so I'm in no danger of eating it often.

13) I don't like Slinky's. I think they are dumb. They don't walk down stairs the way they are supposed to and sometimes they pinch your arm hairs. Really....why would you give your child twisted metal to play with?????

14) I love the smell of gas. Fuel. Not natural.

15) I sported two haircuts when I was young. While I wanted hair like Farrah Fawcett or Jaclyn Smith, what I got was the Dorothy Hamill and the Toni Tennille. They were similar cuts and both required me to stand in the bathroom for 1/2 an hour while my mom curled all of my hair under. I was such a geek!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Gotta Love Teens!

This is for you, Susan. I hope you enjoy!!!!

The other night my cousin, Kaeleen, and her son, Noah, were over for dinner. Kaeleen is around 32 or 33yrs old and I'm....well...not too much older:)

So, the kiddo's and I, Kaeleen, and Noah were gathered around my dining room table discussing various events of the day. I don't remember, exactly, what the topic was, but we were talking about something that has changed since Kae and I were teenagers. I began to explain the way things were 'when I was in school', when one of my darling cherubs chimed in with:
"This isn't the 1900's!"(Oh yes she did!)

As I began to correct her my dear, sweet cousin, who I used to like very much, looked at me and said: "Well, she's right you know. We were born in the 1900's."

There's not enough sugar in the world to help that medicine go down!

Sorry for the 'short' post, but it's time for my mid-day nap!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Bearing Fruit

Raising children is a tough job. However, raising children as Christians, in today's society, makes the job even tougher. As a mother of 3 girls, one of the topics we speak of often is dressing modestly. Driving through the high school parking lot is quite an eye opener (in more ways than one) and I often wonder if what I am teaching them at home is being applied to their daily lives.

I have always believed you could judge the fruits (good or not-so-good) of a child by the way they act and behave when they are with other children......away from you. Unfortunately, opportunities to 'spy' on your children while they are engaged in play with others, do not come very often. I am so grateful that God allowed me one of those rare opportunities the other night.

I was at my girlfriends house and our girls were downstairs in the family room playing American Idol (karaoke) on the Playstation (one of my addictions:). Well, in this game you get to choose characters and I must say that some of the clothing these characters wear are less than becoming....even for a video game 'girl'. There are quite a few low cut tops, complete with cleavage, and short skirts. You know, basically the junk that we are supposed to consider 'trendy'.

I could hear my niece and my youngest daughter, Jordan setting up their players. My niece picked hers and was scrolling through the characters so Jordan could pick hers. What I heard next almost brought me to tears (NO! It wasn't their singing:). I heard Jordan tell her friend (and not just any friend, but one of her best friends) that she didn't want to be that character because she was dressed.........'inappropriately'! YES!

It is in times such as those, when God allows me a glimpse of His children applying His Word to their lives, that I am reassured that I have chosen the right path. There are times when it seems that all I can see are all of the things they still need taught. Thank you, Lord for reminding me how much they have already learned.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Rock Star!

Since my last post was pretty intense, I decided it was time to lighten things my expense of course!

It seems everyone these days is addicted to something and it seems you can be addicted to just about anything. Drugs, alcohol, shopping, cleaning, anything. Well, I have found a new addiction. Thankfully it isn't as harmful as drugs or least not physically.

I'm a little embarassed to even say what it is, especially since I am usually the first one to say these things are a large part of why kids are the way they are. I guess I am going to just have to come right out and say it. They say the first step is admitting you have a problem, so here it goes.......I'm addicted to Guitar Hero and Karaoke on the Playstation 2! There! I said it.

I don't know what it is about these games. I am not a huge fan of video games. I may play them once in awhile, but in general I can take 'em or leave 'em. Not these, though. The worst thing about this addiction is the fact that I don't own any of these games. As a matter of fact I don't even own a Playstation 2 to play these games. You may think that is probably a good thing, but it's not...believe me! Since I don't own any of the games I sooo long to play, I have to arrange 'playdates'. I'm like a junkie looking for a fix!

When I was young I always dreamed of being a singer. I love to sing. I sing all the time to just about anything. TV commercials, radio jingles, Bible verses, and sometimes I even sing real songs:) So, knowing that, imagine how excited I was to see a video game that allowed me to audition for American Idol. Not only did I make it to Hollywood, but I won the whole thing!!! My childhood dreams came to fruition! I am the American Idol!

Now, Guitar Hero surprises me a little. Even though I could play a mean 'air' guitar in the 80's, I never had a desire to actually play a real one. So when my nieces and nephew got one for Christmas I thought that was great.......for them. The kiddo's and I went to their house to check out their new gift and I watched them play. I really had no desire to play myself. Then they made me. I grabbed the guitar, put it on my knee, and failed miserably. I found myself wanting to 'master' this thing! First off, you have to know that Guitar Hero is comprised of many songs, but most of them are old rock songs that the kids of today have never even heard! If the kids can master Deep Purple's 'Smoke on the Water', then surely I can!!!! And so it began.....

My day at work is coming to a close and I can feel the excitement building inside. We have borrowed my nephew's Guitar Hero (He's 8 yrs old by the way) and my kiddo's are home practicing right now! We have set up a 'playdate' with my cousin, Kaeleen and my nephew, Noah (the 8 yr old). Tonight, I will continue on my quest to become a 'Rock Star'!!!!

I'll let you know when my first album is due out in stores! :)

Friday, January 4, 2008

Ancient Paths

Today....I am 'Standing at the Crossroads'.....literally. This is a hard post for me and even as I write this, I am not positive I will actually post it.

Crossroads. What a word. I love the mental picture that comes with that word. Four roads. One leads forward, one leads to the right, the other to the left, and one leads....backwards. Right back to where you have just come from. The funny thing about that particular road is that while most of us will spend the majority of our lives trying desperately not to travel it again, there are many people who will become 'stuck' on this road. Not because it is a smooth road, but because it is a familiar road and often times an easier road. They will attempt to move forward and sideways, but in the end they will choose to go..........backwards. My daughter is one of those people.

Today, I stand, much like the man in the photograph, in the middle of a dusty road trying to figure out which path to take. The only road that I know I absolutely cannot take is the road that leads.......backwards. I am not one of those people.

I am struggling to hear His voice. I know He is speaking, but I am too emotionally caught up to know, without a doubt, that it is His voice and not the voice of the enemy who, incidentally, seems to have taken up permanent residence in my home. I have prayed for God to reveal His path for me, through others, as there is no room for mistakes. I absolutely cannot be out of His will! There are lives that will be changed for better or worse depending on the path I take. I love those lives too much to take any chances.

The word 'sacrifice' has been playing over and over in my mind like a broken record. There are too many ways this word could apply to this situation. I hesitate to try and 'guess' which meaning is accurate. What I do know to be truth is sometimes you must sacrifice one lamb to save the flock. God sacrificed His one and only Son. Is He asking me to sacrifice one of my own?

For now, I have decided to walk the path directly in front of me. I have named this path....Hope. I will stay on this path until God directs me to change course. I firmly believe that path will be named Peace and it is on that 'ancient path' that I know I will find 'rest for my soul'.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year!

2008! Can you believe it!?

I have been praying about this coming year. What does God want me to change? What do I want to change? What do I need to change? I am positive I will have some definite answers soon, as God is already challenging me.

My girlfriend called me this morning with her thought for today and I loved it so much that I have decided to steal it from her and make it my goal for the entire year (Thanks, Deb!:). I also want to share it with you, my 'sisterhood':

Be cautious of your thoughts,
as your thoughts become your words!
Be cautious of your words,
as your words become your actions!
Be cautious of your actions,
as your actions become your character!
Be cautious of your character,
as your character becomes your destiny!

It is my prayer that 2008 brings us hope, peace, love, and into a deeper relationship with Christ. May we find blessings through the storms that are certain to come and remember to keep our eyes on Him, not the waves that are rising around us.