August 27, 2008

Off to Joni and Friends!

I leave tomorrow morning for Joni and Friends Family Retreat in Alabama. The Family Retreats are for families affected by disability and are a ton of fun I hear! I'll be serving one specific family while I'm there as a partner to a person with disabilities. Not sure who that is yet...

Interestingly enough, Joni - like Eareckson Tada, Joni - called the Knoxville office from California last week and they are sending the media team to do a video highlighting short term missionaries. So they asked if I would be a part of it because I'm new. I said, "Sure!" Little did I know what they really meant! It's not just a small interview like I thought... it will be an hour long reality tv format and I'm the main character! Hmmmmm... should be interesting! It's actually gotten quite comical as we little nobodies communicate with the California office. I've never had a producer call me before! Ha! They'll be there when we pull in until when we pull out. It's called "No nerves!" So I guess I'd better not be nervous. The director said, "Just be yourself." Well, that's all I've got, so I should be okay.

Pray for no rain as we're right in front of Gustav by the end of the weekend. Pray for safety, energy, and a non distracted time of service! I'm very much looking forward to it as I'll be smack in the middle of the group of people I love most, well second to my hubby and kiddos. And pray for them too! Two days is the longest I've been gone from the kids up to this point. The kids will be with Robert and friends, so I'm sure they'll have a great time!

Be praying as well for two little boys in my Special Needs Sunday school class.
Daniel - 3 1/2 - Severe complications from epilepsy have left him non-responsive with little hope of coming out of it. His 21 year old mother is terribly overwhelmed at the thought of parenting him in a vegetative state. He had Cerebral Palsy before this, but this round of seizures have damaged his brain much more than it already was.
Matthew - 7 - He aspirated a cucumber last week and woke up with pneumonia several days later. He has had 5 days of antibiotics and is still fevering. If the cucumber does not dissolve in short order he will have to have surgery to remove it. He also has Cerebral Palsy. Just pray the the Lord will clear his lungs without any further treatment.

Thanks for praying...

August 26, 2008


Mattie has always been a snuggler, but has never really hugged back when we hug her. She just lays her head down and says, "Squeeeeeze!" with no accompanying squeezing action! Today for the first time she squeezed me for a long time! Then she looked at me and said, "I'm glad you're here, Mommy." Such little things are so big some days.

August 25, 2008

I've decided to keep it open

After prayer and much thought, I've decided to keep my blog as it is.

I've gone round and round about it for three weeks now, and feel like it's worth the risk of being misunderstood if I can ever encourage just one. Encourage one to move closer to the Lord, to believe that He loves us more than we can ever imagine, to know that they are not alone, to believe that none of us is perfect by sharing my weaknesses, to love her children more, to treasure this day because we're not promised tomorrow, to laugh a bit at our crazy life, to ___________________. Just to encourage.

I am a bit afraid to share too much of my heart, but quite honestly, I feel like that is exactly what the Lord wants me to do. Lay myself out there, share my weaknesses, my wounds even. And trust Him to glorify Himself when I do that for Him. Trust Him to have my back. Trust Him to grow a seed that might be planted. Trust Him to use me - sins, pride, failures, fear and all.

So this just might be a new kind of blog... I've had some big spiritual things mulling around in my brain since June and I feel like the Lord is moving me somewhere. Don't know where, don't know how except through pain and weariness. But I do know He's drawing me nearer to Him, and I want to be right where He wants me.

August 13, 2008

Still Thinking about the Blog Status

Well, I'm trying to decide whether or not I should change my blog. Honestly, I haven't had time to do anything about it and won't for another ten days or so.

One of the things I'm trying to do is pray about it and really process it so I know I'm sure. I don't want to add unnecessary headache for people. I've been thinking about some of the reasons for creating a blog for registered users, and all of them have two sides to them! (And this in all honesty, has nothing to with one anonymous comment. It wasn't that bad!! Nothing I'm saying in this post is directed at any one person at all.)

Here are a few:
I clearly know my blog readers.

It provides security.

It saves me from throwing my heart out there to just anyone. - Here's one I've been thinking about a lot. I love blogging for the journal aspect of it. I like being able to share things the Lord is teaching me or just meaty things I'm processing. But, there's this element of writing things that are close to my heart that I don't want to share with people who don't really care. Some people might want to know from a curiosity standpoint, but don't treasure it for the nugget it is from my heart. So, do I make myself vulnerable to only a few in order to protect myself from that? I don't know!

There is less likelihood of being misunderstood. - The other part I've been thinking about a lot. This one came from the misunderstanding of a post last week. I was "called on" what I posted, which I don't mind at all. But I realized later I knew my heart, my heart was right, I knew the information was safe, I talked to the subject of the post and reconfirmed that. (She loves her life the way it is and I love mine! And we're okay being polar opposites!) But for two days I was all in a tizzy because I was wondering what other people were thinking about me. Not good!! One day when I was listening to something I realized that all I can do is make sure my heart is right with God... I can do my best, but I can't control how others perceive something I've written. And anyone is welcome to comment or e-mail me personally to ask me about it. And if I knew my audience, I would know if it's people who tend to understand me or not. (For instance, someone in my family might read something and interpret it differently than others because they trust me and know my heart.) So I'm not sure what's best to do about that either.

I think it provides a false sense of relationship. - I'm stumped on this one too. I can't really explain it without it sounding really rude! In short, I'd rather someone know about me because they enjoy my company and a relationship with me. Not because reading a blog is a quicker way to "catch up" and still know what's going on. (I think other blog writers deserve this too!) But on the other hand, if that's the only way they get to know what's going on, isn't that better than nothing? And then on the other hand (yes, I know that's three hands!), a blog also provides an opportunity for a cyber-relationship that wouldn't be available otherwise. And I enjoy those!

So that's where I am for now. I'd be really interested in your thoughts about it too. (And remember, I had to set comments to requiring moderation because they weren't working right a couple of weeks ago.) I know some of this sounds a lot more serious than it should, but throwing my heart out there to people who don't treasure isn't something I take lightly, because I've been hurt in the past when my heart was offered. And to me, my "heart" isn't just the serious stuff I could just avoid writing... my family is my "heart" though it may not seem serious at all!

August 07, 2008

Going Private


Just thought I'd give a day or so warning that I'm going private on my blog. I am sorry to do this, but I've been thinking about it for awhile and think it is best for a lot of reasons.

The purpose of my blog is to share events in our family, pictures of things we do, things the Lord is teaching me, and sometimes my heart. Sometimes I wonder about posting something because I don't want to throw "my heart" out there for just anyone to read it. Sometimes it's too personal an issue, and sometimes it will only sound right to a person who knows me, loves me, and thinks the best of me. This will be best for me to not be wondering what people are thinking (like I do when I don't know who's reading), but I can still share things with those I choose.

One thing I have pondered in this information age is that blogs give a false sense of relationship. I am finding that the healthiest relationships I have are the ones where there is face to face (or at least ear to ear) contact. Now, if you don't live locally, then a blog is a great way to keep in contact, learn new ideas, and see pictures of what's going on. (Though sometimes I wonder not in a pity party way if my family feels in touch with me by reading and doesn't feel the need to call...) But if a day to day relationship is available, it is so much better to have it face to face! There is no wondering if people are understanding the written word, wondering if they have read what one has written, wondering if one wrote it about you, etc. (Yes, I do struggle with wondering what people think about me!) I also know that I am often free-er in writing than in speech, which can be a bad thing. So I think this will be better for a lot of reasons. My point is not to alienate anyone, but to know who my audience is.

To read my blog now, there will be a quick extra step of signing in. If you are a regular google reader, it won't be any extra trouble for you except to be sure you're signed in. I don't know what it will do to those of you who subscribe, I'll have to work on that. Be sure to send me an e-mail to let me know you're interested so I don't miss anyone, , and then keep my e-mail address so you can e-mail if things aren't working right.

August 04, 2008

Not sure if this is cheating or not...

I have found a new way to study the Bible... read it at a third grade reading level! Now I know I can read at a higher level than that, but Jacob's new Bible is my new best friend!

I got him this Bible a month or so ago.

It is the New International Readers Version, so it's a translation as opposed to a story Bible. We have been reading it together, and I really enjoy how it is written. It includes some background knowledge in the verses as part of the explanation, and is generally much more understandable to just read.

So one night I decided to give it the ultimate test: I opened it to Leviticus.

On a side note... I am a lover of the Old Testament. I actually have read it a lot more than the New Testament. But Leviticus has yet to grab my attention no matter how many times I've read it. I usually start reading it and my eyes glaze over in short order.

Lo and behold, I read 11 chapters! And - GASP! - I actually retained something, learned many new things, and... enjoyed it! I actually read myself to sleep because I was so interested I couldn't put it down and turn off the light.

I don't believe it will replace my New American Standard favorite, but I love reading them side by side. It is much more helpful than my study notes for those Old Testament books, especially the prophets. It's been so enjoyable to delve in this way and love those books that are a bit challenging to comprehend because of the information that is written. I never would have thought of buying myself a children's Bible. Now if I can just find one without a safari kid on the front...

August 01, 2008

From the Dark Ages to Digital

Okay, so we are one of the families still in the dark ages who only has rabbit ears for our tv. We can't get cable and have no interest in paying satellite prices. And honestly, we really like that we're not tempted to "veg" too much, because there's nothing on! But two or three weeks ago, both of our beloved PBS channels (same shows, just different locations) stopped their analog broadcasting! Not good... I was still waiting for my coupons, so there wasn't much I could do about it. By the time my coupons came in, I needed a bit of cash to come in so I had them both at the same time! Well, I went to Radio Shack (the only place in town selling the converter boxes) this morning all excited and ready to buy. They were out of stock and so was their warehouse!

So anyway, I ordered two boxes online today. They'll be here in about a week, but somewhere in this process I came across a list of the digital broadcast channels available right now. I can't believe it! Four or five different PBS options (different programming), and a couple of each of the networks! There were 15 or so channels!!!!! Yippee! I can't wait until our boxes get here!

If you have no idea what I'm talking about and am more in the dark ages than I am, click HERE. If you want to see what digital broadcast channels are available for you for FREE, click HERE. (Just be sure to put in your zip code.)