Friday, February 27, 2009

What's on the Agenda?

To Do:
Make Friday's dinner.
Make Saturday's dinner.
Fold launrdy.
Go to the store.
Go to the post office.
Get gas.
Pick up Elizabeth's books.
Pack.
Practice new talk one more time.
Leave for Holland.

OK, thanks for bearing with me as I think through my day. I am sooooo looking forward to tomorrow and the opportunity to speak at the Kaliedoscope conference - as well as to meet a couple fellow bloggers.
And thanks to a sweet email I received from Larie yesterday, I am reminded that God has already worked out the details on this To Do list of mine - hence I am able to be anxious for nothing!
If you think about me tomorrow morning, please pray that God will speak through me to the heart of each woman present in my Focus Groups. Thank you!!!

I'll be back Monday with pictures. *grin*

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Coming Soon - Write Your Own Psalm!

You may recall from previous posts that I have recently finished going through Psalm 31. Well, I took my meditation of this psalm a step further than I have done with previous psalms.
Remember the day I was lamenting being "stuck" in the discouraging verses? A few days later I was meeting with my mentor and shared the experience with her, and our conversation quickly went to some of my own areas of discouragement. It was at that point, Jenni suggested the further step. She said, "When you're finished going through the psalm, maybe you should write your own psalm of lament."
Because I love writing, because I know God speaks through Jenni, and because I like a challenge to grow my faith, I decided to follow Jenni's suggestion. So for the past week, I have been writing my own psalm - fashioned after Psalm 31.

Writing my own psalm has been such a great experience that I decided I wanted to share it with you. But I don't want to just show you what I have written. I want to invite you to join me on the journey. So, during the week of March 9 the subject matter here at Surviving Motherhood is going to be writing our own psalms, a la Psalm 31.
There aren't enough days between now and then for you to go through Psalm 31 one verse at a time, one day at a time. But if you think you might like to join me on this journey I would encourage you to start now going through Psalm 31. If you start right away you could meditate on just a couple verses each day and make it through. At the very least, I want to encourage you to read through it slowly and repetitively to become familiar with it in preparation for writing your own.

I do hope you'll consider doing this with me!

*****Edited to add*****
I won't ask you to share your writing publicly - of course you can do that on your blog if you choose. It's just that God has used this experience richly in me and I want to invite my friends to seek Him in this way, too.
Truth be told, I won't be sharing everything I wrote, either. Yes - believe it, or not, sometimes I hold back on what I write here. Not that I don't trust you, but I don't know when some people might be reading and I don't want to hurt any feelings by sharing something too personal.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Heart Laundry

I have been writing in my journal quite a bit lately - enjoying the way God speaks to my heart as I write. Today I want to share one of my recent entries with you.
A few weeks ago we were at a fun hotel for the weekend, and I found myself spending time in the laundry room because Matthew's "accidents" out-numbered the supply of pants he had packed for the weekend. Needless to say, I was not happy. So I grabbed my journal as I made my way to do the wash, knowing it would be good for me to pour my feelings out to God.
What I didn't expect was that as I was washing Matthew pants, God had plans to cleanse my heart. But I've learned that God often does the unexpected thing. And it's always good.
So if you're in need of a heart cleansing today, come with me to do some wash!

This time with my journal, I'm in the laundry room at Splash Universe. Because between yesterday and today Matthew has already wet and/or pooped in three pair of pants. Lord, I am so tired of this!!!
I know "someday" we'll be over this. I know "This, too, shall pass." But I'm living in it right now, and it's driving me nuts!
I simply cannot understand why an eight-year-old little boy cannot control his bodily functions. I'm tired and frustrated and ready to be done with this.

Pause for a moment of reflection conviction.

Lord, do You ever wonder why a 37-year-old grown woman cannot control her temper? Do You ever get tired and frustrated and feel ready to be done with me???
Father, thank You for Your patience with me. Thank You that You have compassion on me and that You extend amazing grace to me every single day. I do not deserve Your favor. I do not deserve Your unending compassion. But You give it to me anyway. Thank You for the blood of Jesus which covers all my sin and makes me white as snow. Thank You for giving Jesus so I could wear His righteousness - so I could experience your grace and forgiveness.
Thank You for giving Jesus so this 37-year-old grown woman - who ought to know better than to let petty accidents make her so angry - can be forgiven of her sin time and time again.

I am so thankful for God's grace and patience. Are you?
Whatever you're facing today, whether your heart is fresh or it needs some cleaning, I pray you will know the presence of our God and realize His grace in your life.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

What's on Your Mind '09? - God's Call

What's on Your Mind '09? is a blog carnival which Shane started to challenge writers and encourage conversation. And the question of the week is, What area of ministry is God calling you to serve?
Honestly, I believe I am serving Him in everything I do. The Bible tells us to do all things as if we were doing them for God, and that really is the way I try to move about my day. Somehow folding laundry doesn't seem as tedious when I consider it an opportunity to serve my Lord, as I serve my family.

(That sounded waaaay too righteous. In reality I have moments when I pout about everything I have to do. Can't someone else do this? Why do I always have to do that? But God is shaping me, and I know one day I'll be like Him!)

Anyhoo, I know I am serving God when I'm doing laundry and making meals and getting groceries. I am serving Him when I am talking to the kids during their showers, when I am rubbing my husbands shoulders, and when I am shoveling snow from the driveway. Yes, this family is my first ministry.

Then there's my speaking and writing. I know God has also called me to serve Him by bringing words of hope and encouragement to women. This ministry to other women has been a tremendous blessing to me, and I am so thankful God has decided to use me in this way.

But there is another ministry to which He has called me, which I don't speak about much here on my blog. Though I don't mention it here, it is a ministry I simply love. This other ministry? Is caring for other people's children at Sunday School and MOPPETS.
Every Sunday at 9:15 you'll find me with the second and third grade girls at my church, and on the second and fourth Wednesday mornings of each month I'll be with the almost-three-year-olds in MOPPETS. These children are precious to me and I love the opportunity to be a part of their lives.
I see my time with my girls as an opportunity to be another significant adult in their lives - who can speak Truth to them and assure them of God's goodness at all times. Sometimes the girls confide in me about things which are troubling them at home or school. Sometimes they inspire me with their faith and understanding of who Jesus is. And sometimes we just have fun jumping rope and playing "Honey, if you love me."
While I enjoy my time in MOPPETS - playing Ring Around the Rosy, and giving piggy-back rides - I really see the time I spend with those children as a ministry to their moms. I KNOW they need that time away from their precious babies. They need encouragement and refreshing. But they need someone to care for their children, and that's where I come in. I get to play with the children while their moms enjoy themselves. Seems like a win-win to me! Who knew "serving" could be so much fun? *grin*

Serving God by loving children. That's my ministry. What about you? Where is God calling you to serve? To see what others have to say about it, visit Shane!

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Do You Need Help?

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Working with Compassion

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I am absolutely delighted to be partnering with Compassion International to help bring hope to children around the world. If you have ever thought about sponsoring an impoverished child, I invite you to think about it again and join me in helping to change that child's life. Just click on this link and you can be on your way to sponsorship. Thank you!

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Days Are Numbered

My son, Joshua, is a fifth grader and wants to set the new pull-up record at school this spring. He has been "in training" for a few months now, working hard to acheive his goal. When Joshua began this venture, he asked me to arm-wrestle with him - just so he could see how strong he is. Let's just say, it was pretty easy for me to win.

The key word in the previous statement is WAS.

Did I mention Joshua has been working hard?

I have told Kevin (my trainer) that he needs to keep me from defeat, and he does occasionally give me exercises to work my forearm. (I have learned that's the main muscle used in arm-wrestling.) And I have fun teasing Joshua, telling him that Kevin is going to keep getting me stronger and stronger.
Well, Friday night Brian had to go back into the studio for something so the kids and I tagged along. Joshua asked if Brian would "give him a training session," and he was pleased to oblige.
At one point, I walked back to where they were to see how the training session was going. Joshua wanted to demonstrate one of his exercises for me. So I stopped and watched him. And, believe me, he was intense! As Joshua finished his demonstration, I heard Brian say, "Just don't tell her what that exercise is called," which, of course made me ask.
When I found out they had named the exercise "Karen Crusher," I became a bit concerned by the intensity with which Joshua was executing said exercise!

So, last night Joshua challenged me to an arm-wrestling match. As they have been for the past few weeks, this match was a close one. But I prevailed!
However, my little guy is getting stronger. And, as my DH pointed out, I'm getting older. Thanks, dear. Indeed...when it comes to being the arm-wrestling champ...
My days are numbered!

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Psalm 31:24

Be strong and take heart,
all you who hope in the LORD.
Psalm 31:24
I have been going through Psalm 31 - one verse at a time, one day at a time - and today I came to the end. I always have a bit of a sad feeling when I finish a psalm, kind of the way you feel when you come to the end of a really good book. You know? You want it to keep going?

I delighted in the first eight verses - in which I was continually reminded that God is my Safe Place.
I endured the next five verses of anguish and despair, yet found God speaking to me even through the pain.
I was turned back to trusting God in the next five verses.
And I was reminded of the peace we find in the LORD through the next five verses.
Then came this wonderful summary at the end: Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD. It is as if David was telling us there will be trouble in our lives, but when we remember who God is (our Safe Place) and when we remember that we can trust Him, we can have confidence to know that all will be well.
The past few days have had "troubles of their own" around here as I have been facing challenges with my children. In the midst of those moments I have been so thankful for God's presence, and the peace He is able to infuse into my weary heart.
Today I can say, "I will be strong and take heart - because I hope in the LORD."
Are you with me?

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What's on Your Mind '09? - Bad Things/Good People Edition

Shane at Heart Reflections began the What's on Your Mind '09? blog carnival to challenge writers and encourge conversation, and I am happy to participate again. Keep in mind, you do not need to have a blog to participate. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic in the comment section!

This week, Shane asks the question, Why do bad things happen to good people?
Now, I do not pretend to be a trained theologian, nor do I claim to have profund insights into this question which has been asked so often. But I have wondered about it quite a bit, and I believe God has given me as much understanding as this little brain of mine can handle. And that which He has given me, I share with you - in the hopes it will encourage you when you face "bad things."

I imagine the possible answers to the question Why do bad things happen to good people? are many, and most of the options are not very satisfying. Because we want justice and we want things to seem "fair," we don't like it when "bad" things happen to "good" people. It just doesn't seem right.
But one day as I was contemplating this question, it was as if God prompted me to consider the fact that maybe the "bad thing" is only a small part of a much bigger picture. Maybe the "bad thing" is part of a road which paves the way to a "very good thing."
I thought about the stories I had heard from some of these good people who have had bad things happen to them. And it seems each one of those people - though they didn't like the bad thing - saw that ultimately the end result was good. Very good.
*Perhaps someone has seen their character change for the better as they have faced challenging times.
*Maybe a person's faith in God grew as a result of their struggle.
*Perhaps a relationship was strengthened because of the trial which was endured together.
*Or maybe someone discovered a deeper, more personal walk with God because in their hard time they sensed His presence in a way they never had before.

And that was when I felt I had received one possible answer to this troubling query. Could it be God allows bad things to come into the lives of good people because He knows the very good lasting thing which will come as a result of the temporary pain?
I hope that in posing this possibility I do not come across as seeming unconcerned about the very real pain that good people have suffered. I know the pain is real, and I do not mean to trivialize any situation a person has endured.
But I know God is bigger than even our most intense pain, and He is convincing me that He longs to comfort us and pour His love out on His people whom He cherishes so intimately.

I thought about this truth Sunday night as I lay in bed, soaking my pillow with tears. I kept repeating, "God, I am so broken. I need You!" and I hated the way I was feeling. Part of me wondered why I need to struggle as I do. Why couldn't God just take away these hard times? I'm trying to follow Him, to be obedient, to be as "good" as I can be. Why must I still struggle???
But as I lay there, I could not deny His presence. I knew He was holding me. God, Himself, was assuring me of His love. And I was more aware of Him and His love for me in the midst of my tears, than I had been at any other point in my day.

I think sometimes God allows bad things to happen to good people so He can work very good things in their lives, and so He can draw them close to pour His love out on them.
**********************************************************************
This post reminded me of a picture of two of my children and I, which I just love. Joshua and Elizabeth were both sick and all they wanted to do was cuddle in my arms. I was not happy for their suffering, but I cherished having them so close to me.
I wonder if God feels the same way about us going through hard times?
For more What's on Your Mind thoughts, visit Shane!

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

TGIF

All I have to say today is - I hate "jumping lunges," I don't think I'm going to be able to walk tomorrow, and I'm glad I don't have to work out again until Monday.
Oh, and even though I sometimes hate Kevin during my workouts, I always think he's the greatest after I'm finished. And I'm always glad he pushed me hard.
Here's to growing through the hard times!

May the peace, grace and love of our wonderful Savior and King fall upon you this weekend.

Loving Jesus,

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Calling all West Michigan Women!

If you live in West Michigan, or will be in the area on February 28, I would like to invite you to attend Kaleidoscope at Central Wesleyan Church in Holland. There will be a keynote speaker in the afternoon and two one-hour focus groups in the morning.
I am going to speak for two different focus groups. My first presentation will be Confessions of an Irritable Mother, and will follow the outline of my book. My second presentation is called, Don't Make Decisions While You're Running Uphill. This talk is one I prepared after writing a devotion by the same title.
I am looking forward to speaking at this conference and would love to have the privilege of meeting some West Michigan bloggers. Registration is only $13 until February 22, at which time it will be $15. I hope to see you there!

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My Favorite Flair

Are you on Facebook?

If so, then you know about flair. If not, this statement is still for you.

This is the statement on my favorite piece of Facebook flair - proudly displayed on my corkborad.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning, the Devil days, "Aw crap, she's up!"

The Devil is my enemy. He never wants to do anything to build me up or support the Kingdom of God. So I figure I want to be the kind of woman who makes his every day miserable.
Who'll join me???

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What's on Your Mind '09? - 2 Corinthians 1

What's on Your Mind '09? is a blog carnival started by Shane at Heart Reflections to challenge writers and encourage conversation. And this week's assignment is to:

Read 2 Corinthians chapter 1 and share what moves in your heart.
Are you familiar with that chapter? The one that talks about Paul's hardships being used by God? He says we can comfort others because we have received comfort from God.
And I fully agree.
I love it when God uses the hard times I have faced as a mom to encourage and comfort other moms.
Absolutely love it!

However, as I read over this chapter again in preparation for this post, there was one verse in particular that grabbed my heart and spoke. You may not be surprised to learn that the verse starts with a big BUT. (If you haven't watched my devotion about big BUTs yet, click here!)
Paul spoke about the severe hardships he faced, to the point of feeling like he had been sentenced to death. And then he said,
But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.
2 Corinthians 1:9
I have never felt like I have received a sentence of death, but some days I have sincerely wanted to quit. I have wanted to turn in my Mommy badge and go back to being "just Karen." During those moments I have entertained thoughts of running away, and wondered if my kids would be better off without me.
And ultimately those moments have found me in tears on my knees, crying out to God as I realize once again, I cannot do this mothering thing - or any of life - without Him.
I cannot.
I cannot.
But with Him, I can.
Paul said, "But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead."
He raises the dead. He is that powerful.
And as I go through some incredibly challenging times I am reminded that I cannot rely on myself. I must rely on God - who is all powerful.

Indeed, God comforts me in my hard times and allows me to offer that comfort to others. He uses my hard times for the good of those around me. And I love it when He works that way.
Today, however, He is impressing me with the fact that my hard times are also for my good. My hard times cause me to rely on God - who raises the dead. My hard times cause me to rely on God - who can handle every single situation in which I find myself.
I cannot navigate through this life on my own, and God - in His graciousness - works in my circumstances to draw me to Himself.
He is that good.
But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.
2 Corinthians 1:9

That's how He touched my heart today. How 'bout you???
If you'd like to read more 2 Corinthians 1 thoughts, visit Shane.

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Monday, February 09, 2009

This Time I Like a Big But


Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I am in distress;
my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
my soul and my body with grief.
My life is consumed by anguish and my years with groaning;
my strength fails because of my affliction,
and my bones grow weak.
Because of all my enemies,
I am the utter contempt of my neighbors;
I am a dread to my friends-
those who see me on the street flee from me.
I am forgotten by them as though I were dead;
I have become like broken pottery.
For I hear the slander of many;
there is terror on every side;
they conspire against me and plot to take my life.

But I trust in you, O LORD;
I say, You are my God."

Psalm 31:9-14

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Friday, February 06, 2009

When the Scriptures Come to Life

Last evening was not a good time at my house. Brian was late getting home and my kids were in rare form. It seemed everyone needed to ask me questions at the same time, no one could remember how to do simple tasks like - oh - setting or clearing the table, the boys were in a nearly constant state of "bicker," and Matthew's ADHD appeared to be in over-drive.
I was trying to speak calmly and kindly to them. I really was. But after about the one hundredth time of telling them to stop fighting and start clearing the table, I couldn't take it anymore. I made a very fast exit from the kitchen, announcing that I was going to my room so I wouldn't scream at the kids. Once in my room, I dropped to my knees and begged God to calm me down and give me strength.
In the background I could hear my children verbalizing their realization that I was really upset with them. And I wondered, Was it the storming out of the room that did it? Weren't my repetitive demands and heavy sighs enough to clue them in on the fact that their behavior was out of line???
Whatever it was, I could tell they were sorry and were ready to change their tune.
So I emerged from my room and we started over.

An hour later, I was taking Joshua to the store so he could use a gift card to get a neat hat he wanted. As we drove, he apologized several times for the way he had behaved around the dinner hour. He said if he had any money left on his gift card, I could use it for something I wanted. He even offered to share his Slurpee with me.
Knowing Joshua was trying to "make it up to me," I thanked him for the offer, but told him he could use all of his gift card on the things he wanted. I told him the thing I really want is just for him to do what he knows is right. I said, "I don't want your 'things,' Joshua. I want your obedience." He nodded and said, "OK," as if he truly understood.
And I smiled, hoping he would take my words to heart.
Then it dawned on me, I've heard those same words before, haven't I?

Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
1 Samuel 15:22
Sometimes He really does make the Scriptures come to life!

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Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Surgery Story

OK. I have had some requests for the brain surgery story, so - here goes!

When I was thirteen years old I started having strange episodes when I would get a little dizzy and have sort of heavy breathing. As this was happening, I also got pictures in my head of people or places that seemed familiar to me - but as I thought about it I realized they were only familiar from other episodes. Needless to say, I thought I was weird. I never said anything about these events to another person for fear they would think I'm crazy, too.

Fast forward about ten years.

I was now a "professional" woman, working with customers, and I realized these episodes might become a problem. Whenever one of them occurred I had to concentrate very hard to continue paying attention to what was going on around me. If I let myself, I could just "check out" for a minute or two and come back to reality when the pictures were gone. I didn't want to be with a customer, space out, and then ask a question which had just been answered 30 seconds ago. So when I went in for my annual check-up, I mentioned these incidents to my doctor.
Honestly, I thought maybe I had poor iron or low blood sugar. I really didn't think it was going to be a big deal. I just wanted to take care of the little problem before it became a real problem.
But my doctor said those episodes sounded like seizures to him, and sent me to a neurologist.
The neurologist confirmed my doctor's suspicion and for the next seven years I tried various anti-convulsants in different doses, but nothing controlled the seizures. Ultimately, my neurologist said no drug was going to work. Though I had never had a grand mal seizure he said there was no way to guarantee the little ones wouldn't become big ones, and he recommended brain surgery.
At first I thought the idea of brain surgery was crazy, but as we consulted with doctors it just made sense.
I went through lots of testing and monitoring in preparation - including one test when I had half of my brain "put to sleep" at a time and then had to perform various tasks. That was fun!
On January 30 or 31, 2003 (Can't remember exactly which day...) I had one surgery to have electrodes implanted directly on my brain. These electrodes allowed the doctors to monitor my seizures and find the exact part of my brain from which the seizures originated. Then, on February 12 I had another surgery in which they removed a portion of my brain about as big as the tip of your pinky finger. And with the removal, I gained a great excuse for whenever I do stupid things. Give me a break, I don't have a whole brain anymore! LOL

In the end I realized the whole ordeal really wasn't about me or my seizures. It was about God being glorified. I had so many opportunities - to share my faith, to pray for other people, and to trust in His care for me - that I would not have had if it weren't for my situation. Once again, God showed His goodness and power to me very intimately.
And the bonus is - I have been seizure-free ever since the surgery!

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Get Me Out of Here!

My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning;
my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak.
Psalm 31:10
How's that for an uplifting bit of scripture?
The previous few days have been like it. And it's going to stay this way for a few more.
I am going through Psalm 31 right now - one verse at a time, one day at a time. A few years ago, when I first started going through the Psalms this way I saw it as a spiritual discipline - as in "activity." Today I am thinking of "discipline" more along the lines of unpleasant work through which one must go for the greater good.
I truly must discipline myself to stay with the verse of the day. I know "better" words are coming and I sooooo want to skip past the current ones to get to the verses that talk about God's goodness, His faithfulness, and our deliverance.
Can you blame me?
Anyone else want to meditate on being consumed with anguish and grief for a whole week???
But today as I sat and thought about how I was feeling -
*trapped
*sorrowful
*desperate to move on
*knowing there is something better to come, but held in the moment of anguish
- God's Spirit spoke to my heart. I realized there are so many times I am in a situation which is difficult and the only thing I can think about is getting out of it. In those moments I do feel trapped and desperate and powerless.
And I thought about people I know right now who are feeling trapped and desperate and powerless. People who are dealing with cancer. Death. Depression. Relational strife. Economic struggles.
I thought about the fact that when we're in these situations - and we know who God is - we are desperate for the better times to come. We want to skip past the next few "verses" and get quickly to the part about God's goodness and faithfulness, and our deliverance. We know God can do it, and we want to see it right now.
Then it was as if He said to me, But Karen, I am good and I am faithful right now. And deliverance will come.

God then reminded me of what He had said before. I referred back to verse seven several times.
I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. Psalm 31:7
God used those words to assure me of His presence in our pain. He knows the anguish of my soul. He is that close!!!
When I am feeling trapped and desperate and powerless, when I just want to scream, "Get me out of here!" God is reminding me that He is here. He will hold me through the next few verses until we get to the part about deliverance.
And even then, He won't let me go.

My friend, if today you are longing to skip the next few verses, please hold on a little tighter to our God.
He is good and He is faithful right now. And deliverance will come.

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What's on Your Mind '09? - To be or NOT to be...

Shane began the What's On Your Mind '09? blog carnival to challenge writers, and this week's topic - without question - challenges writers.
The assignment? Write an entire post without using any form of the verb "be." For those of you who wonder, that means no using: am, are, is, was, were, been, or be.
Shane said we could write about anything at all. Since I have received so many tags on Facebook to write "25 Random Facts" about myself, I decided to make those facts my "non-be-using" post.
Yes, I have chosen the wimpy way out. Composing 25 individual statements without that taboo word requires significantly less thought and effort than would an entire post of one flowing thought. (I just avoided writing, "Writing 25 things is easier than a continuous thought." See? Effort and thought cometh!) Nevertheless, I will write what I want to write!

So, here we go. Twenty-five random things you probably didn't know about me, and most likely will forget by tomorrow:
1. I favor hot pink over all other colors.
2. I started shaving my legs at age 11. Secretly. But the secret didn't last long.
3. I got my ears pierced at age 12.
4. At age 13, I double pierced my left ear secretly. That secret lasted about 6 weeks.
5. My mom allowed me to get the right ear doubled – even though she had initially threatened to kick me out of the house if I ever got double pierced ears.
6. I got the left one triple pierced at age 18.
7. My most embarrassing moment occurred when I fell down the steps in an auditorium filled with my peers.
8. I have had roughly 70 stitches in my head.
9. About half of those stitches came with brain surgery at age 31.
10. The rest came from various accidents between ages 4 and 10.
11. I believe some of my quirkiness may now make sense to you. *grin*
12. I used to have a dream of performing on Broadway.
13. I performed on the same stage as Barry Manilow. (OK, not at the same time, but still!)
14. I sang in Carnegie Hall during my senior year in high school.
15. During my freshman year of college I belonged to a vocal jazz ensemble.
16. Sometimes the dark still scares me.
17. I sing to calm my fears.
18. And to ease my temper.
19. I can tie a cherry stem in a knot using just my teeth and tongue.
20. I can move my eyes independently of one another.
21. With two of my fingers, I can bend my top knuckle, while keeping my bottom knuckle straight.
22. I love chili with cinnamon rolls.
23. I like dipping grilled cheese sandwiches in tomato soup.
24. And toasted peanut butter and jelly in chicken noodle soup. (Remember the head trauma! LOL)
25. I hope my "weirdness" will not prevent you from continuing to read my blog. *grin*

For more What's on Your Mind '09? fun, visit Shane.

Now, I dare you to leave a comment without using any form of the verb "be." Go ahead. I dare you! *grin*

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Monday, February 02, 2009

Who Will Help Me?


For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD.
Ezekiel 34:11-15


Awwww, I just learned that Surviving Motherhood was voted among the Top 100 Christian Womens' Blogs for 2008. That absolutely blesses my heart.

I pray every time you visit here, you will find yourself refreshed, encouraged, and inspired to draw closer to our Lord.

Thank you so much to whoever it was that voted for me. *grin*

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