Thursday, May 31, 2007

Negating Negativity

I just got off the phone with someone I love dearly. However, I really struggle with the negativity I always hear. It really is hard to remain upbeat for any length of time before I am looking for excuses to get off the phone. I would love to be able to negate the negativity in my own life and I can't do that listening to it.

I think the phrase "negating negativity" really appeals to me. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines it this way:

negate: to cause to be ineffective or invalid
negativity: marked by absence, withholding, or removal of something positive

I think I'll strive toward this goal (the end toward which effort is directed )
Don't you just love dictionaries?

cream colored ponies

Thanks to Erica for the words to my song~!

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad.

(Richard Rodgers/Oscar Hammerstein)

Favorite Things

In Re: "The Sound of Music" and the song Julie Andrews sings. I can't think of the name of it, but several of the words are "these are a few of my favorite things." Donald can tell you the name of the song, most of the words, who sings it, etc., etc.......

Not me, but I may be able to get a phrase or two out of it; and if I'm really lucky I'll know who sings it.

Maybe there's a song out there with the phrase "a few of my favorite people." That would be more appropriate for this post, but I can't think of one. Too bad Donald isn't home~!
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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Why I don't wear high heels~!

A song for today

The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. Psalm 118:14

I'm pretty sure I've discovered how important it is for me to have a song in my heart. Some days I just wake up with a line from a song in my heart and I find myself singing it over and over all day. I used to NEVER sing out loud for I am not blessed with a good voice. God tells us to make a joyful noise to the Lord and I'm afraid I fall into that category. But I can, and often do, offer this sacrifice of praise to my God.

The past week I have not had a song. Life has been a struggle and I have not had much joy in my life. I have let circumstances and words control me. I have really tried to snap out of it.......maybe that's my problem. The "me" in my life usually gets me in trouble. I really can do nothing of myself. The only way to have peace in this life is through Him. He lives in me so I am set. I have victory through Him. Why do I not "know" that some days and let "me" be in charge?

The fact is I need His salvation EVERY day. I know my name is written in His book and I do not need to continue asking Him for that kind of salvation. But I still need saving. I need saving from myself mainly. I need saving from circumstances that I let control me........not the circumstances themselves but from the way I view them and think of them. I need a new perspective; His perspective, not my own.

I'm asking God for a song for today. And I'm listening.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

However, Wherever, Whenever

"The Lord does whatever pleases him." Psalm 135:6a NIV
The Message, modern translation, says it this way, "He does just as he pleases - however, wherever, whenever." I really like that translation.

Our pastor spoke on this today. It is true and should be so simple.......I am not God (duh). I do not know what is best (duh again). I am not in any position to decide what is best for me or anyone else. I am NOT in control. Left to myself I would be doomed.

However I find myself trying to figure out ways that God can do things. These instances usually come about when I am praying for something I need or think I need. Like God needs MY help in figuring out what and how to do something. Just who do I think I am??

Romans 12:3 says: "I'm speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it's important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him." (The Message)

God brings it all to me; He doesn't need my help in figuring things out. Understanding who God is and what he has done for me........that's what I need to contemplate.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Nine lives and a black cat

I'm glad we have two cats. They are both males and get along very well. Jupiter took to Arnold from the moment he arrived. They keep each other warm when it's cold. It reminds me of Ecclesiastes 4:9 where it says two are better than one. Okay, maybe I'm taking it totally out of context here, but it does make me think of that verse.

I've heard that cats have nine lives. Arnold has already used several of his. He was hit by a car several years ago. His leg was fractured and he had a cast. In it's entirety it meant that he stayed in the house for several weeks. He LOVED it. He still tries to come inside and is perfectly happy to lay on Hannah's bed and sleep. The picture of him in my magazine basket portrays his life as it would be if he were a house cat. He and Bright, Bethany's golden retriever, get along splendidly.

Back to the nine lives. After the broken leg episode there is the time he disappeared for two weeks. We searched the neighborhood many times, put an ad in the newspaper, checked out several calls we received, and visited the animal shelter quite often. I finally accepted the fact that he probably wasn't coming back. Hannah and I went to Brownsville for a week with Donald (back when he was traveling). One morning Ben called and asked to speak to Hannah. She burst into tears and told me that Arnold was home~! Ben went out to feed Jupiter and there he was. Very dirty and very, very skinny, but it was Arnold nevertheless.

Hannah thinks that Arnold is hers. Don't tell her I consider him mine~! Maybe it's because I have lots of cat stories from when I was young. I always wanted a solid black cat and would have named him Black Magic. My dad would never have let that happen (he did not like black cats), but there's still time. In the meantime I'll just enjoy the two we have.
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Thursday, May 24, 2007

He who believes

I absolutely hate it when I let circumstances steal my joy. Such is my fate today. I can remember when this used to be the norm for me. I guess I have grown more in my relationship with God than I knew, for it is has been quite a while since I felt so sad and discouraged.

Life is funny like that. At least mine is. I can be rocking along, merrily rowing my boat, so to speak, and then it springs a leak. Either I can do nothing, in which case I am surely doomed, or I can work to repair it. Maybe I can plug it up and continue on with little damage. If not, I know the outcome. I have experienced it far too many times.

What will it be today? I am still trying to get my thoughts in line with God's Word. Emotions keep getting in the way. But at least I don't have to feel guilty in the midst of it all. That in itself is a victory.

1 John 5:4-5, "For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God."

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Lame Names

The past few days we have been trying to get pictures of the birds I wrote about. They are still squawking and dive bombing Hannah's cat, Jupiter. Even as I write I can hear them fussing at him. He still will not run, but a couple of times today it has looked like he was about to attack them. I think he is just about tired of this. Silly cat, he ought to just leave their nest alone. Every day I see him jumping off the fence from his visit to our neighbor's yard. I'm sure these birds will be glad when their young are grown and they can relax a bit.
It's really hard to tell but this bird looks like a kamikaze pilot. We enlarged it and his sharp beak is going straight for the target~! Ben circled them so they can be seen. He also took these pictures for me. I kept missing the bird~!
This one is kinda blurred; he had already swooped down and was on his way up. I have decided this is the best we can do with the camera we have.
Daniel took this one. You can definitely see the bird here. I am trying to come up with a couple of names for them, but so far all I can think of sound very lame.
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Thinking Thoughts

Blogging requires thinking. I do a lot of that anyway, but most of what I think about isn't good blog material. I seriously doubt anyone cares how many loads of laundry I do each week. Or that our water was off for several hours yesterday afternoon and I thought I'd have to go to Celebrate Recovery with oily hair. Also the brain power I use in deciding what to cook for dinner doesn't seem to be a worthy topic.

My life is what it life. I really enjoy it most days. Still I get stressed out at times. Like in algebra yesterday when I couldn't get the lesson on determining the unknown sides of special right triangles, like the 45-45 right triangle, or the 30-60 one. I watched the tape, worked the problems she showed, and it was only while trying to explain it in school this morning that I finally realized it wasn't as hard as I was making it. And it has been a while since I've dealt with Trigonometric Ratios. All this from someone who adamantly refused to even consider homeschooling~!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A stamp in her passport

We picked Rebekah up at DFW Friday afternoon. She returned from Singapore and Thailand. She has always wanted to travel and have stamps in her passport. (Have you seen "While You Were Sleeping"?)

She had a wonderful time and lots of beautiful pictures. I wish I had some of those glorious flowers in my yard. I guess I will have to settle for my petunias, impatients, and others that I can't remember the names of at the moment.

She rode her elephant and bought lots of gifts for those of us she loves. I have a "Happy Coat" and an orchid in a piece of crystal she brought for me. Others have equally impressive gifts also.

It's probably a good thing I didn't realize she would be on one of the beaches where the tsunami wiped everything out. Or that she would be out in the ocean in a canoe in some lagoon without a life jacket on. I was more concerned about the flights and the layovers in Tokyo. I can honestly say I didn't worry very much. I thought about her a lot, but did a fairly good job of trusting God with her. She does, after all, belong to Him.

It is wonderful to have her back home~!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Thirty-one Years

Today is our anniversary. We made our vows to each other thirty-one years ago. Can it really be that long ago? Much has happened over the years; there has been much happiness, times of sadness, countless victories, and numerous trials. By God's grace we are still together. Many times it would have been easier to just stop trying; but here we are.

Some of our greatest joys have come with having children, also some of our greatest sadness. Sometimes life seems to be one big contradiction, but God is in control. I wish I had trusted Him through the years as much as I do now. Maybe that is why the hard times are necessary. But then again I hope to trust Him more in the future than I do in the present.

So much living has been done with this one man. He told me in our first years of marriage that he was going to keep me until I turned 40 and then trade me in for two 20's. He remembered that conversation when I turned forty, but I told him he couldn't manage me and what would he do with two? Who has been blessed the most? Probably me, but then again..............

Saturday, May 19, 2007

My Two........uh, Four Sons

These are my four boys. Actually two of them are my
"adopted" sons. They live with their parents, but they are mine also. Sam and Josiah have always been part of our
family. Our girls are their adopted sisters. It's such fun to see all of them together. There's always lots of laughs and happiness when they are all here. The sad thing is that Sam isn't around as much as he used to be. That seems to happen as they get older and have jobs. He is graduating from high school Friday night; it's so hard to believe.

Josiah and Daniel were actually in the nursery at the hospital together. Daniel was born early and he was so tiny. About three weeks later Josiah was born. He made up for Daniel in size though and it was so neat to see them side by side in their nursery bassinets. Maybe that's when they developed such a friendship.

I hope they all realize how blessed they are to have each other in their lives.
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Friday, May 18, 2007

Two Birds and a Cat

Hannah has two cats that we adopted. Actually they adopted us. Since they both showed up at different times and decided to stay I think that's a fair assessment. They were both kittens when they arrived. The first one is pictured above with Hannah. He has white feet and white from under his mouth all the way down his stomach. He lays on his back quite often to show it off. I'm convinced he's very vain. He always keeps himself in pristine condition.
I suggested the name Socks because it looks like he has white socks on. But Hannah decided on Jupiter. Looking back that is a much better name for him. He actually is an attack cat. If you go out in the garage without feeding him he will often attack the back of your leg as you start inside the house. He has actually attacked some of our kid's friends. He has been kicked across the garage a few times by some not to happy attack-ees, one of them being our sweet daughter, Bethany.
He loves to torment our dog, Bright. He is very brave unless Bright can get to him and then he runs. It's fun to open the gate to let Bright in the backyard and see him chase Jupiter up a tree. Maybe that's my way of getting revenge for the leg attacks.
I think he must be trying to get to the nest of a couple of mockingbirds. They are in attack mode on him. We often hear some serious chirping and scoldings and they will be on the fence or on the basketball goal. They will dive bomb Jupiter and scold him. They have even entered the front of our garage where he was laying. The silly cat just IGNORES them. He REFUSES to even acknowledge their presence let alone their attacks. He will not run. Ben saw one of them try to pick him up like a hawk would pick up its prey. He didn't succeed, but Jupiter still wouldn't react. I think he's just biding his time and will get one of them before long. I hope not, because I'm pretty sure they have a nest in our neighbor's small tree. They are very diligent in protecting their young. I imagine they are two very tired parents by now~!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Spring Fever

I have a bad case of spring fever today. The only problem is that I don't have time to have spring fever. The last several weeks have found me running around at a maddening pace. The problem with that is that my frustration level peaks and then I get crabby. And I hate being crabby~! (If my family reads this they will probably think, "Oh, really??? I never would have guessed.")

I guess that's one of the benefits of walking in the Holy Spirit. After you've had a taste of it you don't want to settle for less. At least that's the way it is for me. I think I've had just a smidgeon of a taste and I long for more. I find myself thinking of everything I have to do, ought to do, am behind in doing, and am doing at the present time, instead of thinking about God. I need to focus on Him instead of things.

At least I'm not condemning myself over it. I've had a lot of experience in self-condemnation, believe me. Slowly I'm changing for the better. I wish it was faster or more noticeable, but it's there.............hidden amidst all my scurry-ings. What Jesus has done for us is so incredible and so freeing.

"Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered." Psalm 32:1 (KJV)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Never Say Never

I used to be adamant about no pets in the house. I also said I would NEVER homeschool and other things.
I have learned to never say never.

We bought Bright over four years ago from some of our good friends who raise registered Golden Retrievers. Bethany had always wanted a Golden Retriever. Years ago she bought me a small poster with two baby Golden Retrievers on it. It said, "Lord help us keep our eyes on you wherever we go, whatever we do." I still have it taped to the back of our bedroom door. Good advice by the way.

Rachel had brought over one of the puppies and of course we all fell in love with him. I asked Donald if we could get one from them. They had several left that they hadn't sold. I'm still not quite sure what happened that day or if something unusual was in the air, but he said YES~! Bethany had fallen in love with "Owie" days before. We decided a dog would be the perfect Christmas present for her. I will always remember her face when we presented him to her a few days before Christmas. We were off for Christmas break and couldn't see any point in waiting for Christmas Day.

So we have become a family. Bright stays in the house and adores everyone of us. He protects us from strangers and watches us attentively as we eat. Occasionally it pays off and he gets a bite, especially from me. He takes part in birthday and Christmas celebrations, gingerbread competitions, pumpkin carvings and whatever else we happen to have going on.
The other day I took him with me to McDonald's to pick up lunch for everyone. He proudly sat up in the front seat as we drove through the drive through. The lady at the window commented on how beautiful he is and I proudly agreed. Bethany has told me when she has kids she isn't going to let me keep them because I will spoil them. You betcha~!
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Friday, May 11, 2007

More Pictures

Palawan Beach and Hotel Doorman

I'm not certain but I think they may be having a great time. In every picture she's sent they both have big smiles on their beautiful faces.

Maybe I'll have a picture to post when she goes on the elephant safarri in Thailand. I can't wait to see all the pictures they've taken.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


Last night I had an opportunity to share about gratefulness. I realized that I really am possessing this character quality to a great degree. From someone who used to be oh so negative and depressed, this is totally awesome~! It's nothing I can take credit for though, because without God's Spirit, Power, and Truth, nothing would have changed.

Like many people, I struggled and still do, with depression. I think in my case stress played a huge part. A lot of things happened in the course of several years and I didn't choose to trust God with my situations. "I" tried of course. Isn't that what a "good Christian" would do? And I fell deeper and deeper into the pit. It affects everyone around you and destroys so much.

God miraculously delivered me from my first horrible bout with depression. It was in the middle of a church service and we had a visiting evangelist who prayed over everyone. It was one of the most incredible religious experiences I have ever had. I actually felt something warm gently land on my head and flow slowly down my head and shoulders. My depression was completely gone ~! Oh, the joy to be free and happy~!

I have had other struggles since, but I believe if you haven't "been there/done that" you can"really understand" what it encompasses. If you know someone who is in the midst of depression, please pray fervently for them and try to be understanding. Whatever you do, please don't judge them. You are not exempt from this possibly happening in your life. And believe me, if you are in the throes of depression, you will want all the compassion you can get.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Radicands and Variables

How quickly I forget. If I had one homeschooling wish concerning my memory it would be remembering algebra. Now this is from someone who did NOT learn algebra in high school. In fact I didn't learn much of anything in high school. And that really upsets me now as a homeschooling mom. I thank God for my elementary and junior high years though; I received an excellent education there.

Why all this rambling about my past educational experiences? The reason is simple (as least to me). One of my children is doing square roots and we have an integer and a variable under the radical sign. Now I can do stuff like x+8=10 or even more complicated problems. But when you give me x+5 = 2x-3 and both of them under the radical sign I completely forget everything I ever knew. I know simple square roots, but no variables please. And I have a teacher's manual that only has the answers and not the SOLUTIONS~! If I were paranoid I would think someone was out to get me this week. But since I'm not I'll be doing some algebra homework today.

Oh, did I forget to mention that every positive number has two square roots, one positive and one negative? And is there a radical sign on this keyboard???

Monday, May 7, 2007

That Wasn't So Hard

Here's Jonee' and Rebekah in Singapore.

Singapore and Camping

I have a daughter in Singapore. I have decided that as a parent it is much better to see my children experience awesome trips like this than to do it myself~! Rebekah has always wanted to travel and this is her first trip overseas. I imagine she would tell you it was worth the wait. I tried to post a picture of her and Jonee' on my blog, but can't figure out how to get it from email onto here. I'll have to have my computer savy children show me how to do it later.

It was a rather blah weekend as far as weekends go. I didn't feel well and skipped church so I really feel lost this week. I guess I can be grateful I didn't have to go on the school camping trip with Ben and Bethany . They came through with flying colors of course. Bethany is finished at PJC and will graduate Friday night. (Bethany I am SO very proud of you~!) Ben will be finished with this semester later this week.

Check back later for pictures~!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

To Donald With Love

Proverbs 31 talks about the wise woman. I have
decided that beside this wise woman is a wise man.
I am so thankful for my husband and am so blessed because of him. He has always supported me in my role as a mother, homemaker, teacher, etc. I remember we sat down before Rebekah was born and decided that we would sacrifice so I could stay at home with her. Please don't think I am saying that this is what every woman should do. At one point in my career as a legalist I would have thought that. But with God's help I have put that career choice behind me.

As the children kept coming it became much more difficult to do this. But with God's help and blessing we have been able to continue our lifestyle. Donald has worked so hard to make this possible. He traveled for four and a half years for us. He has done without so many things and given to us. He loves his God and his family. These are his priorities.

Donald, I am so blessed to be your wife.
I love you~!
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Note to self: stop trying so hard

On Wednesday nights our pastor has been teaching from the book of Romans. It has been so eye-opening for me. I have read and heard messages on it, but this has been different. I have always found Romans to be a hard book; I think it was because I didn't really believe what God says. I always had to adapt it a bit to include a lot of trying on my part.

For instance........."Justification through Jesus requires no work on our part." Now I knew that, kind of, but spent most of my Christian life trying to please God. So many of my "good works" will count for nothing, because I was trying to earn points and make God happy with me.

This comment has really summed up most of my striving to please God..........
(as Christians) "We have changed the channel into which our energies are directed, but we have not changed the source of those energies." There is absolutely nothing I have to do to please God; Jesus has made me totally acceptable to Him. He delights in me because I am His. I am even liking myself most days~! Now that is another story in itself.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Back in the Saddle Again

Earlier in the week I decided I was just too passionate about basketball. I'm one of the Dallas Maverick's greatest fans. After this series with the Golden State Warriors and near elimination from round one of the playoffs I was in the throes of despair for awhile. (Maybe you have to really love basketball to understand that one.) I decided I just wasn't going to watch the game. I had tried earlier this week when they lost. I did laundry, dishes, and ironing during the game; all the while sneaking peeks at the television and getting in a yell every now and then.

Last night I decided I would be a true fan and go down with the ship so to speak. Dirk came through in the final minutes after they blew a huge lead from the first half. So now it's a 3-2 series with another game Thursday night. And guess who is going to be in front of the tv cheering for her team??? Maybe my title should be "Back Again" or "Passionate Return."

If anyone wants to watch the game Thursday night I'll be here. Go Mavs~!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Birthday Girl

Happy Birthday to our special sweetheart~! We love you~!~!
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