Monday, August 21, 2006

"Thank You"

Too often I don't say these words enough. Life gets busy, but that's no excuse. I've been pondering that a LOT lately (yes, blondes can actually "ponder" and even some times have actual "thoughts"!) :) Sometimes I take for granted the fact that I'm breathing...and I'm healthy...I've been given the most amazing husband that loves God and me SO very much (and of course our son Lugnut)...I have wonderful parents who love God, and who love each other, and who love my brother Sam and me...I have wonderful inlaws that love me as their daughter...we have a roof over our heads...our bank account is in the positive and God never ceases to supply our monthly needs...we have A/C and heat, plenty of food to eat (and diet Sundrop to drink) :) ...two vehicles that run well...we can walk, talk, see, hear, run...

And friends...I should actually say "family," b/c that's what they are...God knows exactly when we need each other the most, and he so intricately orchestrates friendships in the most unique ways...I have some friends (I won't say names but Angela you know who you are) that have been there since the beginning...we met at the "fence" and started out as neighbors...wow, how 24 years have flown by! It seems like only yesterday we were frolicking through the back yard, with not a care in the world...those long summer days filled with memories that could warm even the coldest day. And then sometimes friends pop into our lives for a season...distance may separate us, but the time we do get to spend is priceless...I'll never forget my first summer of church camp at Camp Dayspring in Brown Summit, NC. Kari-Beth and I met Jennifer and we stayed in cabin 3...I can't help but to chuckle a bit...back then our main concern was finding a date for the banquet and making sure we looked our best at ALL times!!! Then came the memorable beach excursions with Jennifer and Michelle. I've never looked at that Myrtle Beach sign the same since then (and I can still smell that lovely swampy smell that we rode home with for 4 hours!!!) Then I met Alicia in Chemistry class at ASU...we were the only 2 clueless freshman sipping our slim fasts while frantically taking notes. We didn't know how much in common we had, and how many similar experiences we would find together...I miss those late night chats of encouragement and prayer (thank you SO much for always listening...and no one can do Tina Turner like you can). Then came Campus Crusade New Staff training in Winter Park, FL...I met Virginia, who will always be a diva in my heart...she taught me the art of brow shaping (plucking for all us southern gals) :) She also introduced me to the lovely "sleek" ponytail...we laughed SO much that summer! All of you mean so much to me...I never would have wanted to experience life without you...and now...my life has been overwhelmed with friendships...and sometimes I don't know how I made it this long without you...it's impossible to name just one of you...but all of you in our small group, I LOVE YOU!!! It all began (for us anyway) at Hut 2 Hut...we were introduced to the ideer of "small group" (which by the way, it really can't be given justice by just describing it...you must EXPERIENCE it...) Mike and I went on our first date with Chris and Lynn...little did I know that in only a year Chris would be singing "Spoken For" at our wedding, only 2 months after Brianna was born (and I can't believe that Ryan will be here in 48 hours!!!) If you ever need prayer, you can always count on Chris to pray...right then...and he'll definitely have an encouraging word to accompany that prayer...Sara, you always make me laugh...I'll always remember letting you look on my paper in Biology in 10th grade b/c I was afraid if I didn't you would beat me up!! :) You and Greg are a hoot to be around...we miss you, and you always know the right time to bust up and dance!! You go girl!!! I'll never forget counting pills at Charlie's and glancing up to see Jeremy buying an orangeade...he mentioned he and Deedie going to the beach for Memorial Day...I thought, "what a great idea." That was an amazing weekend...I didn't know that he had been "sent" to seek out information for my "future employer."...little did I know that in 7 months Jeremy and Deedie would be helping us finish our house (yaw are super painters by the way), and actually move us in on Christmas Eve...great times...and then of course the beloved beach trip for New Years...you didn't come back the same way you went (yeah "blue room"; here comes Solly!)...Glenn and Shannon are such the "perfect couple." Yaw are a JOY to be around...I can't believe Anna will be here in 2 months or so...yaw were always so faithful to stop in and see our "progress" on our home...Lance and Regina...you always make us smile...you have the cutest ways about yaw...I'll never forget when Lance and Glenn came to our pond to go frog gigging (sp?)...Lance was truly the "frog hunter" in his waders and all!!! Tim, you are a rock...we miss Sondra so, and your life is such a testimony of how the Prince of Peace holds us SO very close...Lily is more amazing each and every day...(yeah on the potty training) Lori and Ron...we can always count on yaw for a smile...Lori, I'll always be the wedding crasher with you (and for those of you that think of "wedding crasher" in a bad way...we are the two that love to go to weddings for one thing...the FOOD!!! WOO HOO!!!) Ron, so you think you can dance...and you CAN!! (your "moves" in Glenn and Shannon's kitchen will always bring a smile...ok, a huge laugh actually!) Andy and Katie...what a blessing to have you, even if it was for a short time here in NC...I'm SO glad that you're enjoying living in FL...we're looking forward to many visits soon, and maybe one day, all of our small group kids can come down and go to Universal together!!...Jackie and Nick...Jackie, I'm SO glad that I've found my twin sister...doesn't God have the BEST sense of humor?!...I can't wait for little Abby to meet her boyfriend Lugnut...they'll be great together!! Bobby and Alexas...ok, now I'm hungry for some of that wonderful "authentic Mexican" cooking that you do so well....you have the coolest handsel and gretle house EVER!! And you're going to make beautiful parents!!! Bobby, thanks for keeping us on our toes and helping us not to be technically illiterate (sp?)...this blogging thing is great...dangerous (cuz that's all we want to do now at work), but great! Last, but certainly not least, is Joe and Brandi...it's always an honor to crash your date night :) and we could spend so much time with you...Brandi, you're such a role model...I looked up Godly Mom in the dictionary, and your name was there! "yo mama" jokes are the BEST...Joe, we're so proud of what you're doing with Waters Welding, LLC...our prayer is that God will bless yaw more than any of us could ever even ask of Him...Wow...I could go on for hours of things to be thankful for (and it's not even time for the "Thanksgiving Blog" yet...).

"God, in the frailty of my little, minute self, I can't possibly articulate how gracious I am for who You are. Please forgive me for the many times I take these things for granted...please help me to bless those around me in such a way that Your name would be exalted and glorified more than we could ever imagine! Thank you for life, for love, and for the gift of a precious family and group of friends that love you, and love one another...may we seek to serve you above all, forsaking what we must, and to You be all glory, honor, and power, forever and ever. AMEN!"

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I Think I'm Going to be Sick...

No, wait, I am sick!!! Yes, it's been a fun morning. I've been feeling "weird" lately, so thanks to the "urging" of a great friend (thanks Brandi) I went to see the doctor this morning. I knew they needed to do lab work on me, so I didn't eat breakfast or drink my morning "coffee" (also known as diet coke; or diet sundrop, depending on which one is colder).

[okay, that was actually all that I was able to type last Thursday...a few days have passed now, and well, let's just say I tend to procrastinate a little... ok a LOT, so I'll pick up where I left off...]

My doctor is wonderful and very thorough, and he ordered several (did I say SEVERAL?!) blood tests. Ok, I don't do stuff like this well. I have very low blood pressure, and that mixed with not having eaten anything for a while was, well, in the words of Hoyt (for all you John Boy and Billy fans out there) "NOT TOO GOOD!". I sat in the infamous "dracula chair" as I affectionately call it, and I started to sweat, and get REAL talkative (my Mom can attest to this...when I get nervous, I turn into Chatty Cathy (sp?)...) It's not so much the actual act of being stuck with the needle, or even the sight of blood that gets me. Honestly, I don't know what it is...I noticed that the nurse took a little longer than usual printing out the labels for my plethora of tubes...I knew this couldn't be good...the more labels, the more tubes...the more tubes, the more blood she would take...the more blood she would take, the more my heart raced...the more my heart raced, the dizzier I got...I remember the first two tubes...I was gazing out the window, trying to go to a "happy place." Well, I didn't find it...I passed out cold...I have no clue for how long...I just remember feeling really weird, and really hot (and for those of you that know how cold I stay...and the fact that my husband calls me "coldy-locks"...this was unusual for me). Once I came to, an army of nurses were fanning me with charts, putting ammonia under my nose, cold cloths on my face, and then I realized..."I think I'm Going to be Sick." Yes, you all know that feeling...you can't control it, and you certainly can't hide it...thank goodness I had not eaten, but I still managed to throw up everywhere...sooooooooo embarrassing!!! The nurses were more than kind to me...they cleaned me up, fed me Cheese Nips and Coke, and forbid me to leave the office for quite a while.

When I finally made it back to my car, I was able to call my husband and share my adventures with him. Little did I know that he had some news for me as well. The night before we had stayed up a little late watching the 11pm news...breaking news popped up and all they would say was that there had been an accident on Hwy 27 involving a drunk driver...they showed several aerial views, and all we could see was a white tahoe...it startled Mike and me, because we knew several people that drove that type of vehicle...I thought about it for a minute, and then just kind of went to something else (ignoring a nudge you should NEVER ignore)...but praise God my husband, being the godly man that he is didn't ignore this nudge...he said he felt that we should pray for the people involved in the wreck...so we did (Lugnut even joined in with us). Come to find out, we did know the people involved. The person driving the white tahoe is a great friend of ours from church...PRAISE GOD she was not hurt hardly at all, but if you look at her vehicle now there's no way anyone can deny that it was only by the grace of Almighty God that she made it out of that vehicle alive. She is a very special woman...she has such of heart for ministering to children and families. Her heart is truly where it needs to be, b/c after the wreck, she wasn't condemning the woman drunk driver for what she did, and the damage she could have caused...she has been praying for this woman and her family. How awesome is that???!!! Come to find out, several people know the lady that hit our friend, and we're hoping as the Body of Christ to reach out to her and her children. I would like to add a little "snipit" here if I may...I know that many times drinking is a contraversial topic among people, especially Christians. The Bible is VERY clear that getting drunk is a sin. No if's, and's, but's, candy or nuts, about it!!! So many people feel that "social drinking" is ok...I'm not here to judge anyone, and I'm certainly not the Holy Spirit...the Bible tells us to work out our own Salvation with fear and trembling...and social drinking just happens to be a very strong personal conviction of mine. I don't know that any alcoholic ever thought upon his/her first drink that, "hmmm....I think I want to be an alcoholic..." Let's get real here...and again, I'm not trying to step on toes, or offend anyone...we will all stand before God and give an account of our lives...but what's the big deal with alcohol??? Is it that great??? WHY??? Yes, I may come across a bit harsh, but it took the lives of several of my family members, and it's aided in so many families and marriages being torn apart...I just don't understand what the big deal is I guess. I truly wish that every person that either drinks, or is considering drinking, would take a look at the white tahoe now, and really ask themselves, "is this drink THAT important to me?" Again, no offense to anyone that does drink, but I hope I made you think about it.

Ok, that was more than a "snipit," but meanwhile on the farm, after I made it back to work from the doctor's office, my awesome coworkers and I took a wonderful roadtrip to Starbucks, and I felt much better. And to top it off, Mike and I left for the beach only a few hours after that, and let's just say, the weekend was AWESOME!!! More to come soon...love ya, mean it!!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Will You Forgive Me?


I've had to say that a lot lately...it seems more often than not, I have a tendency to chew on my foot. And I admit, many times my mouth gets ahead of my brain...even worse, my heart. Forgiving someone in theory is basically simple...forgetting is the true test.

I like to follow the K.I.S.S. method in life (Keep It Simple Stupid); no offense I hope. It's amazing the things I've learned in life, from the most unlikely sources. For instance, my dog, Lugnut...he's a Jack Russell Terrier, and almost 9 months old (such a joy to Mike and I...our son)! Lugnut has taught us SO much the past few months...for example, how to welcome your spouse when they walk through the door. It doesn't matter how many times we leave the house for either work, church, a night out, or even just to run a quick errand...when we walk back in that door, Lugnut greets us as though we've been away for years...he practically knocks us down, and freely offers lots of kisses and even hugs!! I was reading this morning in Romans 12. Verse 11 really stuck out to me...let me share it with you in a couple of translations: (New International Version) "Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord." (New Living Translation) "Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically." (The Message) 11-13 "Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don't quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality. " The word "zeal" really stuck out to me. I looked it up on dictionary.com, and it said, "Enthusiastic devotion to a cause, ideal, or goal and tireless diligence in its furtherance. See passion." I think in life sometimes it's easy to lose our "zeal." Yet again, Lugnut has taught me a lesson. It doesn't matter if he's eating, lapping water, chewing on a bone or treat, frolicking through the field chasing the deer behind the shop, fetching his favorite stuffed mole, or just curled up with Mike and me...he's SOooooooooooo excited about it (sometimes so much that his little back legs shake)!!!

So, back to my original thought...forgiveness. We had to cut Lugnut's nails night before last. I despise doing it, b/c Lugnut can't stand it, and it takes MIke holding him with all his might, and I have to hold his paw without pulling it out of it's socket, and try to cut the nail without cutting the quick, all while being bit and scratched...after 3 rounds (we usually can only do two nails at a time...and only two paws per setting...yes, way more than you needed to know), we had successfully cut all his nails on his front paws. He was a little timid around us for a minute or two...slowly speculating to see if we were going to put the clippers away, or if round 4 would commence. Mike and I curled up on the couch with some dessert (of course), and watched a little tv...it only took maybe a minute or two, before Lugnut burrowed right with us, with his favorite stuffed mole, as if nothing had ever happened! "Ok," you may be saying, "she's looney"..."what does a dog's nail clipping have to do with forgiving someone???" Well, let's go back to Romans 12. If we look at that passage closely, we'll find that we're told not to think of ourselves better than we ought to, and to bless our enemies, living at peace with everyone. Hmm...I think that has a lot to do with forgiveness...and better yet, forgetting the wrong-doing. It takes SO much courage to go to someone and admit that you did something wrong...it takes even more courage to go to someone when you didn't really even do anything wrong, and to restore a broken relationship/friendship, not desiring to pick out who did what, and who's fault it was...with forgiveness, it doesn't matter. Not convinced? Try it...I dare you. Let's take care of all the unsettled business in our lives...when I come home from church tonight, as I make my entrance into our home, Lugnut won't care, remember, ponder about, or hold a grudge that two nights ago I cut his nails...he'll welcome me with open paws, ready to kiss me and play with his stuffed mole!

'Til next time, enjoy some SONshine!!!