Thursday, July 31, 2008

you never know who's watching you

I was looking for a picture to go with this entry and couldn't find one I liked. I found this one from our vacation and thought it went well with my post. Moral: You never know who's watching you! It also has the added benefit of being a picture of me that doesn't show my face! I am not photogenic at all!

I'm sure I'm behind a few messages from Pastor Paul. Sunday before last we were out of town and then last weekend my mom was here and I was coughing so I stayed with her. What I have been getting from messages/meetings/conversation is to love God and walk with Him in everyday life. In doing so and listening to him I will find ways to influence those around me. It's not rocket science or figuring out ways to "witness" but simply enjoying life and sharing God's love with others. Our lives should reflect His love if we are in love with Him.

I signed up on to get a devotional called "Encouragement for Today." A few days ago this story was in one called "Bearers of Light" by Amy Carroll. She also has a blog and I emailed her and asked if I could share this part of her article. She graciously gave me permission and said she had gotten it from another source also. I guess it pretty much sums up what I've been hearing and meditating over for several days now. Here's Amy's story.......

"As a lover of history, I was fascinated by a story that I heard about Benjamin Franklin recently. Franklin had decided that lighting the streets of Philadelphia at night would add both beauty and increased safety to his city. Instead of embarking on a campaign of speeches and writing to persuade the other citizens, Franklin himself bought a large and beautiful lantern and mounted it on a long bracket in front of his home. He kept the glass clean and sparkling, and each evening at dusk he faithfully lit the lantern.

Soon his neighbors began to take notice, and they began maintaining their own lanterns at their residence. Like wildfire, the trend spread throughout the city, and it eventually became a city-wide, city-sponsored program. As the story is told, Benjamin Franklin influenced the entire city of Philadelphia without a word. He simply began to enact change in his own sphere and spread light to all those around him

Our actions speak louder than our words. I want to live my life so that mine do.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

green grass and four o'clocks

I have a job interview Friday. It's really just a part time job, but I basically set my own hours. I won't post any details until I meet with the lady and know something for certain. It's been almost 30 years since I've had a job interview. I'm not nervous; at least I'm not nervous yet.

God is so amazing. I had been thinking about working part time again, but really couldn't handle 20-30 hours a week yet. I still have two in school and am needed at home. I also have my yard work now and have to keep on top of that, especially the watering part. I already know that an in ground sprinkler is definitely on my "things I desire" list. Back to my story; I'm really bad about digressing. I really had just been thinking about it (the part time job, not the sprinkler), but hadn't checked into anything. I figured it would be a year or two down the road. My cousin emailed me and asked if I would be interested in a part time job with a company that she works for. I talked to Donald and decided to check into it. The lady called this morning and will in town Friday so I'm to meet her.

Whether or not it works out or I even accept is beside the point. The point is God arranged this for me. Psalm 139:16 says: Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day. (The Message)

Guess what?? I have my very own "The Message" Bible. Pastor Paul gave it to me! I love reading verses in it. It just opens up a whole new way of thinking about verses that I've read for a long time. It seems I think about them the way I've always thought each time I read them. Now I can have a different perspective. Verse 14 of the same Psalm says, "I thank you, High God - you're breathtaking!"

Monday, July 28, 2008

four o'clock

It seems as though I have taken an unplanned hiatus from my blog. It wasn't intentional even though I've felt I've had nothing to say. It seems when I start on a project (i.e. my yard) I am consumed/possessed/controlled by it until I get it somewhat the way I want it.

I'm really pleased with my yard. I believe our neighbors are also. I've had several good reports and reports from someone who heard some of these good reports. Follow? It doesn't matter. I'm happy and that's what is important at this time. My four o-clocks lived! When we got the soil there was a huge four o'clock on top of the pile of dirt. Ben tried to dig it up but accidentally cut a root off. Not to be daunted by mere technicalities I planted it anyway. It looked rather sad and wilted until Barb came over and knew exactly what to do. She cut it way back so the roots wouldn't have so much to support and now it looks brand new. I got so excited when the first flower bloomed that I did a little dance in the front yard rejoicing over my cherished plant. I love four o'clocks because my Aunt Maude had them and would let me play with them when I was little. Each afternoon I had to wait until 4:00 p.m. to make my annual trek across the street to her house. She and Uncle Henry were kind of like grandparents to me since I didn't know my real ones. We made stick dolls and played games and did all sorts of neat things which totally captivated my mind and imagination. Thus, the reason for the dance when my own four o'clock bloomed!

My mom and her dog, Maggie, have been here since Friday. I took them home this morning. I think Bright is glad to have the house to himself now. He is rather depressed as I have been cleaning carpets, mopping, vacuuming furniture, and such. He really doesn't like it when we clean. Immediately after I vacuumed the back of the couch he started rubbing up against it again. He HATES Febreeze! I guess he prefers his own odor to a nice clean smell. BTW, I work very hard to keep a decent house since we have an indoor pet. He doesn't seem to appreciate my work at all.

Dinner's here. Donald and Bethany went to Popeyes since I've been cleaning. I'm hungry so I better go and grab a bite.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

take me out to the ball game

We had a wonderful family reunion this weekend in Houston. Kudos to Mike and Glenda for hosting and arranging the weekend. We stayed at a really nice Comfort Suites and had a microwave and small refrigerator in our room. I wish all the places I'll ever stay at are as nice as this one!

We arrived a little after 3:00 p.m. Friday. We actually made it without a bit of trouble. Well, I invented a bit of trouble for myself. We took two cars as it is hard to seat seven adults in my minivan comfortably for six hours. So three of the kids were in the jeep and I was frantic about them. I could see losing them in Houston somewhere along the tollway (hopefully) and never being able to find them. I revert back to my "old nature" quite easily in some situations. I should have just prayed and trusted God, but I didn't. I realized I am quite a control freak.

Mike and Glenda fed us Friday night and Mike played and sang some old songs for us. He used to have a band in the "old" days. He played some country and some CCR so it was well rounded. Donald's sister, Glenda, sang "Crazy" by Patsy Cline. She did a really good job. Mike tried to get the rest of us to come up to the microphone and sing. I really didn't want to clear the room and ruin the start of something good so I didn't even contemplate singing. Maybe the others had similar feelings or were just too shy, but he couldn't get anyone to cooperate.

Saturday part of us went to the Galleria mall and ended up spending our time there waiting and eating at the Cheesecake Factory. It was fantastic. The Key Lime Cheesecake that Annette and I shared for dessert gave new meaning to the word "superb." Then we met the guys and Mandy and went to Minute Maid Park to see an Astros/Chicago Cubs baseball game. Now I do not like baseball, but it really was different being at the game. I might could become a fan if I could see them live. Oh, the Astros won 4-1. After the game we had reservations at Cafe Adobe. It was late, but the restaurant was humming with activity. I suppose life doesn't stop in Houston just because it's late.

Sunday morning we all went back to Glenda and Mike's to visit a while longer and say goodbye to everyone. Tammy, Lauren, Trevor, Courtney, Michael, and Landon couldn't make it and we missed them. It was also good to spend time with Doug and Patty who live close to us but whom we never see. Ronnie always keeps us laughing and I hadn't seen Cody or Brian in years. We really have to get together again.

When I first met Donald I didn't know what to make of his large, noisy family. I have one brother and we were a relatively quiet family. I love it and them!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

around and around they go

I looked out my kitchen window this morning to watch my very own action packed saga. We have a tree not too far away from the window and I saw Hannah's cat's tail end sticking out from one side of the fork in the tree. On the other side, hidden under a very large branch, was a squirrel, totally plastered to the side of the tree. Jupiter must have known the squirrel was there for he kept looking and looking and couldn't find him. Finally the squirrel moved a bit and Jupiter was quick to pick up on it. I'm not sure why, but the squirrel didn't run and the cat didn't chase it out of the tree. They just kept circling around....the cat in the fork of the tree and the squirrel plastered to the truck of the tree beneath.

Ben arrived home and saw what was going on and rescued the poor squirrel. He took Jupiter out of the tree and gave the squirrel time to get away. It didn't seem he was moving very fast to me. Either he was exhausted, in shock, or maybe the cat had already gotten a hold of him.

Gee, Eddie. If I'd known it would have lasted that long I would have called you to come over. As it is, you will have look somewhere else for your squirrel stew.


If you passed my house yesterday, you may have seen a strange sight. I was out in the front yard planting my dwarf crepe myrtles. The place where I set them out was in the sun and it was close to noon so I was getting a bit warm. After I finished I wasn't ready to come inside. There's just something calming and wonderful about being outdoors. I decided to sit under the tree in the shade and work on my flower bed. There was a nice breeze and it felt good after working in the sun. I moved my ice water and got all the things I thought I'd need for my little project.

Of course once I sat down Arnold came and got in my lap. He's one of Hannah's cats. Actually he's my cat. He and I have a bond; he loves and trusts me and I love him. He came to us when he was young and we ended up keeping him. We already had Jupiter so we decided two wouldn't be any more trouble than one. He has had quite a life already. He got his leg broken when he was hit by a car, tore a gaping hole in his neck somehow (we never figured that one out but Donald took care of him and we didn't have to go to the vet), disappeared for two weeks and came home thin and filthy, and just recently hurt his back paw. We had a three legged cat for a while. There was nothing obvious that could be seen so we waited it out and he's fine now. So that is the history of his short life.

Back to my story. If I am working in the yard you can usually find the cats there with me. Especially Arnold. He follows me around, rubs against my legs, and gets in my lap the moment I sit down. Yesterday was no exception. So here I am, hot and sweaty, sitting on the ground with the cat in my lap. Now he's shedding terribly and no amount of brushing has seemed to help. If you saw a very hairy object covered in white fur sitting in our yard around noon, then yes, it was me!
Quote from George Eliot, English novelist (1819-1880)
Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

immense in mercy

1 It wasn't so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin.
2 You let the world, which doesn't know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. 3 We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It's a wonder God didn't lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us.
4 Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, 5 he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! 6 Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah. 7 Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:1-6 (The Message)

These verses are really neat. I read verses 4-6 last night in Life Group. Verse 4 starts with the word "instead" so I wanted to find out instead what?? It reminded me of struggling with trying to live a Godly life. It wasn't a Christ-filled life so it didn't materialize into what I was searching for. It all begins and ends with Him!

I was out in the front yard this morning and had a neat conversation with one of our neighbors. He is a retired doctor and he and his wife are really sweet people. We were talking about God being in control of our lives. He, as well as myself, believe that God is in control of everything. He was recounting a conversation with another person who does not believe this. I imagine this person's life is full of concern and worry with trying to figure out things. I'm glad I can rest knowing that God is in complete control of everything!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

correct weigh

This picture is not turned the wrong way! Did you know this is the correct way to weigh yourself?? My friend, Connie, shared this with me.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

red riding hood

I haven't been on the computer as much since I've started working in the yard. For a while I even worked there in my dreams. No kidding....I dreamed yard work. I was exhausted when I went to bed and exhausted when I got up.

I found some purple grass called "Red Riding Hood." It looks similar to Purple Fountain Grass. Probably because it is. I found out today it is a Dwarf Purple Fountain Grass. I went to the nursery and bought a pot of the regular grass a while ago. I went by Subway to get a Veggie Delite sandwich and decided to sit at the computer and eat. Now I'm enjoying a cup of "Candy Jar" Blue Bell ice cream. It's a new variety and really good. I especially like the the little crunchy stuff that reminds me of the butter brickle I ate as a child. I'm not sure if no one else knows it's there or they just ate the Homemade Vanilla. I think I've eaten almost the whole half gallon myself; a cup at a time, not the whole half gallon at once! That's the thing about Blue Bell. I haven't found one yet that was horrible. I did the price match for $3.99. That's about the only time I buy it.

I've got to go set out my grass before it gets too hot. Ciao.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

green green grass of home

I actually have some grass! It is a small beginning, but you have to start somewhere.
Looking down on my flower bed in front of our bedroom window.
One way to cover a tree root! There is a small berm with Asian Jasmine planted on it. It is by the side of our house. I hope to have a walkway beside the house in time.
My berm in front of the house, complete with cat. When I am out working the cats are usually there with me.
Front corner. Some kind of small monkey grass, tall monkey grass, english ivy, and Mexican Heather. Won't it be pretty when it all spreads together?? My sod in the corner is even looking better. I had about four pieces that didn't look all that great; all the rest was wonderful!
Another picture of the same.

Grass again: yes, it's the same picture but I'm REALLY proud of it!
A type of grass I just HAD to have. The purple one on the ground beside it is not part of it.
Asian Jasmine that was here when we bought the house. It's amazing what a lot of water will do!
pretty pink impatients
Another picture of my berm. Eventually the plants will cover the sides of it. I can't remember what they are called, but I got them for $5.00 a flat; a flat covered each side almost.
I have been looking for brick for my sidewalk. I saw an ad in the little paper that comes weekly that someone in Antlers had free brick they wanted moved. Donald, Daniel, and I went Thursday night and I got about 250 bricks for free!
God is so amazing~! He has given me free soil, free plants, free help, and free bricks!
Psalm 20:4
He will give you your heart's desire and carry out all your plans. (God's Word)
Matthew 6:33
Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. (The Message)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

celebrate the little things

Pastor Ron's son, Philip, was our speaker for Jubilee Sunday. Every month that has five Sundays we eat together after the service. It is always a good time with our church family. Pastor Philip's message was really thought provoking for me. He mentioned reinventing ourselves to accurately portray the nature of God. I've been wondering what God would have me do to do this. He spoke about how he was working on being kind to people, looking them in the eye and speaking, and offering to help them when he could. I thought about this yesterday as I was very much into my own business as I hurried to my van to come home. I looked up and smiled at this older lady who looked kind of tired and sad. She almost smiled back at me. It didn't hurt a bit or cost anything to give her an encouraging smile. How many opportunities do I miss because I am busy with "my" own doings??

He also said that we want people to believe and behave like us, then we will accept them and they can belong. That is being a Pharisee. Believing and behaving shouldn't be such a big issue.

Church - it is what it is. There are little things we can do to change for the better. He also mentioned "professional Christians" being the only ones Jesus got upset with. Man, I sure don't want to be one of those. I'm sure I am at times, but I thank God for delivering me from a lot of things that really aren't important in my relationship with Him.

It was a wonderful Sunday~!