Friday, August 29, 2008

A New Day

My husband suprised me with this for our Anniversary. It was in May. I just got around to taking a picture of it. The baby banged on the wall & one of the pictures fell off. I have to fix the glass. This is our foyer. I was impressed, he did such a sweet thing.

Workout Night At Church.

Last night was a brutal workout. We did 6 week body makover beach body edition. We were all convinced she was Satan in disguise, ha ha. I have never sweat so much in my life. We were all moaning & groaning so much it sounded like a recording of Hell I am sure. One funny moment came when one of the new ladies ( an invited guest who is a school teacher at our local elementary school) who does not attend our church made a funny comment. We were doing some particularly brutal squats & leg kick combinations & the lady was telling us to squeeze our booty's. She yells out "I don't have that many muscles in my ass.", then she remembers she is in a church & was slightly embarrassed. We all just laughed, it was funny. None of us are perfect, no judgement in that House of God. It was just funny & it helped get us through those squats.

Braxton spent last night doing what he loves most.... screaming & crying. Sigh.

This morning I spilled scalding hot coffee in my lap & down my legs. After a loud series of dammits I calmed down & now I have red burned legs that hurt. I am off to another lovely day. I really like this part of the day, it is 11am. Anything can happen right now. I can have an awesome day, the possibilities are all still there. Business wise anything can happen too. I have only been open an hour. I could do hundreds, or I could do $20 and find myself pleading with God again. The point is that everyday still I spend the early part of the day not struggling. This is an improvement for me. Atleast for a quarter of the day I am hopeful. I am trying to put out the positive vibes today. Where is God, he is here with me, He just isn't talking right now. What more am I supposed to do? I have spent the last 16 years battling it out.... I guess I can keep on going. I have learned so much lately, how much more am I supposed to learn before I can come up out of my pit?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Part 2: Who We Are In Christ

Getting ready for a cold winter!!!

Joyce Meyers:

Who you are in Christ, your identity in Him. Being in Christ provides you with certain rights & privileges, the rights & privileges that belong to the children of God. Being in Christ is not about what you do, but who you are. It's not about how you view yourself, but about how God sees you. It's not about you activity; it's about your identity. It is about what you believe. In and of ourselves, we are nothing, we have nothing, and we can do nothing of eternal value. In Christ, though, we can be, do, and have everything God promises us in His Word. The Bible teaches us all kinds of wonderful truths about who we are in Christ. We must know and believe these truths above everything else-above who we think we are, above what other people say about us, and above what the world tells us we should be. We must know who we are in Christ if we are going to enjoy today and have hope for tomorrow. When we know who we are in Him, we can honestly evaluate ourselves and not feel ashamed or put down because we do not have everything everybody else has or because we cannot do all the things other people can do.
We must make sure to believe what God says about us.

When you come to know who you are in Christ by believing what the Bible says about you, then no matter how you feel, and no matter what others say, God's promises concerning you will be released in your life through faith. You may make mistakes, but if you keep believing what God's word says about you, then you will become who God says you can be; you will do what He says you can do; and you can have what He says you can have. On the other hand, you are not likely to experience the blessings of God's promises if you do not believe them.

Let me ask you a few important questions:

Are you believing God's Word in every area of you life right now? If not, you can change that by simply making the decision to believe.

Are you applying the truth of God's Word to every situation in which you find yourself?

What do you believe about yourself? Does it agree with God's Word? You can decide to believe everything God says about you and to embrace His plan for you.

What do you believe about your future? Does it reflect the truth of God's Word?

What do you believe about your past? Does it align with God's truth?

What do you believe about the situations that seem impossible in your life? Are your beliefs scriptural?

Your beliefs must align with the word of God.

She then lists a bunch of scriptures that reveals these truths. I encourage everyone to know who they are in Christ. I know I have a ways to go.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Who We Are In Christ

My poor little Braxy doesn't feel good. I can see it in his eyes.

He likes to sit by the window as he "dines" to watch the birds & squirrels.

What a nasty stomach flu we have going around. I found the little stinker in his crib this morning butt naked. His little rump was sticking up in air in the fetal position. Men.

I heard a sermon recently on who we are in Christ. Then I read the Joyce Meyers book on true happiness & she talked about that too. I have been a Christian since I was very very little. I remember being around 8 & getting saved at Summer Camp. I have grown up in church & gone to a private Baptist church school even but I never understood what it meant when someone said the term "who you are in Christ". In fact it aggrivated me a little because I would always think... great, I have no idea who I am in Christ. The pastors just always said that we should know who we are in Christ. I thought it was something that each of us had to discover for ourselves. Wrong.
My pastor touched on it a little but the Joyce Meyers book really brought it home for me. Apparently who we are in Christ is all of the things we are & can be or have access to because we are saved & bought by the blood of Jesus. Who we are in Christ is having access to all of the great & wonderful things of God. It is an identity or a definition of the things we RECEIVE once we become children of God, brohters & sisters in Christ. It's kind of like knowing who I am as a daughter of Wayne & Karen, my parents. I know my place in their lives & what being their daughter entitles me to. I know who I am as the daughter of Wayne & Karen. Who am I in Christ.... it's a long list. I should have brought my book. I will list what she says tomorrow. I never knew who I am in Christ was not my identity in how I relate to Christ. It is just what I have become once I was saved. It is important to know who we are once we are in Christ ( I like it put that way better ) so we can remain strong & know all that we have access to. The enemy is always around & when he comes a calling we have to know who we are as Christians to defeat him & not fall away. It was a great aha moment when she defined it all much better than I have. It's so nice to know finally what that means. I wish I had asked someone now, of course they might not have known either...

The business next to me is closing. She is behind as of Sept. 1, 3 months rent. They did not even wait until the Sept. rent was due to serve her court papers. My landlords are real sharks. So they are taking her to court Sept. 2. She has to pay all rent due or get out. She is in tears. I hate this. Nobody is spending money. My sales last week were half of what I had done each week the two weeks prior. I have done no sales today at all. The two days earlier are not even what I usually do in one day. We are all going down. The other store next to me is sinking fast too. She will go down next. I am scared I am next. Then my landlord will sue me for the remainder of my lease. But if it is God's will for me to be here then it will be so. I keep telling myself that.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Beautiful Mornings

Tropical Storm Fay had these tall trees blowing hard.

The view from my covered porch. It was so cool & breezy that I had to have my morning coffee out back to watch the breeze blow through the trees.

I did that while the family did this...

And this..

It was such a nice Sunday morning. So cool & breezy. I was woken up at 6am by my little one crying. I put him back to sleep & laid there for an hour getting aggrivated that the only day I can sleep past 6am I am up at 6am. So at 7 I decided to get up & try to enjoy my quiet morning. The coffee was awesome and as I sat on my loveseat I noticed the breeze outside. The trees were gorgeous & I could hear all of the leaves rustling... it sounded like Heaven to me. So out I went to the covered deck. It was so peaceful & I felt like it was a little gift from God. I am always asking Him for peace.... Then I ended up on the downstairs patio with my mom. She apparently came out to enjoy the breezy morning too. So we admired the flowers still in bloom & watched the squirrels play in the trees. My dad of course came out to aggrivate my mom with political talk which she can't stand. He must hate Bush more than anyone I know. He cracks me up, I don't like Bush either but my dad takes the cake. So after we chased him away it was quiet again. What a beautiful Sunday morning.

Home School Alert

My husband says he has had enough of our 11 year old son Brandon not fitting in with the other kids & he wants him homeschooled. Period. My son is not aggressive at all, he is very peaceable. The kids in our area especially the boys are very aggressive & somewhat obnoxious. Brandon is also a little shorter than the other boys. He hasn't hit his growing spurt yet. He is mega extremely smart too, he loves to learn. So guess who gets picked on & called nerd. My son is not good at sports so that is what gets him picked on. All the boys here play sports & if you don't play you are an outcast. Period. At the game on Friday some of the boys were picking at him & throwing his hat between them so he couldn't get it. I saw it & ran over just as they threw the hat down on the ground & Brandon was trying to pick it up & one of the boys was kicking the hat away from Brandon. My heart sank. Jerks, picking on my kid like that. So it just came out.... I yelled at the kid.... "What the hell are you doing?". The kid looked up at me with shock on his face.. it was like no one had ever told him to stop doing something before. He just stood there with his mouth hanging open. Which I couldn't understand why he looked so shocked. It got really quiet, there were about 15 boys with him & then my son. So then I say to him "Cut it out." & he & the other boys run away. Jerks, all of them. The horrible thing about it too is that I am friendly with almost all of their parents. My husband coaches with most of their Dads too. Don't they know their kids are bully jerks, yes they do & the parents do NOTHING about it. One dad is even proud when his kid makes another kid cry. Jerks. I am very very friendly with the kid's mom who was throwing the hat & kicking it. The one I cursed at. Shame on me, it just came out. I was furious. I was so humiliated for my son. My son is a freakin red belt for pete's sake.... he is less than one year away from being a black belt!!!! Why is he so freakin peaceable all the time??? Why didn't he beat that kid silly? They know he won't & he is smaller than them so they pick at him.... Jerks. I want to beat them up, why doesn't Brandon? Brandon breaks boards in karate class with his feet & fists, I am horrible but I want him to beat the crap out of the one kid who is the biggest jerk. You know the one who I am friends with his mom. She knows he doesn't like my son, I don't know if she knows he bullies Brandon. I tried to talk to a couple of moms about it once because I go to church with them & I thought I should talk to them about hitting my son & picking on him. They were doing it in Sunday School too, he was getting bruises at church. Nice. Well, that didn't go well. After a chorous of "not my sweet baby" from both of them their opinion was that my son should be able to take care of himself or suffer the consequences. Of course one of those moms is the lady who a few years ago kept making the "fat comments" to me. I guess it runs in the family. Jerks. Then they told their sons that Brandon's mommy was complaining & to leave him alone because I was bugging them. So then they picked on him worse & called him a mommy's boy & tortured him. I had to pull him out of church. Nice. I really hate mean people & of course they both don't have to work & have plenty of money & get to be happy while I am a nice person & suffer. Makes me ill. I pray for both of those families almost every day. I have to or I will hate them, so I pray for them instead. Feels much better, but anyway..... my husband just called to say he has already enrolled Brandon in the Morning Star Christian Home School program. He is going to have online teachers because I am busy with the business & too impatient. I am going to clear out my backroom for him & I guess he can come to work with me every day. The great thing is the Tae Kwon Do ( is that spelled right?) place he takes classes at is in my shopping center & Brandon is in Leadership Club so he can go over at 3:30 when tiny tigers start class & help instruct. He loves karate so he will have a great time doing that & he will be around other kids from 3:30 on. I hope this works out... uncharted territory for me. What do I know about homeschooling?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Fun Friday

Someones in my stroller said Braxton!

Brandon, Braxton & a friend at the big game.

Ugh, I look terrible. Getting old stinks. See my frown lines etched in!! Ugh.

Alright!! School mascot's are cool.

Okay okay, just one more picture Lexi. The look says it all.

Go Grizzlies!!

My sweet lamb chops first Varsity game.

She is so skinny!! It kills me. We won our game 13-7. Hurray!! The game had a HUGE breeze thanks to Tropical Storm Fay. I don't know how they could even throw the ball sometimes it was so so windy. It sure did feel good though, I felt like I was back in Florida again.

Weigh in Monday Report!! Ta dah, I actually have good news this week. I lost 4 pounds so I am now 192.5. Which is one pound lighter than when I started my workout routine & then proceeded to gain 3 pounds. I was so giddy after I looked at the scale this morning I couldn't believe it. Joy joy joy.

It is rainy today, Tropical Storm Fay has arrived kind of. It's a light rain, off & on but it's dark & cloudy. I don't know what the rain will do to my sales. I always tell myself that I am a child of God & I don't operate in the worldly realm. I operate in God's realm & nothing is impossible for God. Not even good sales on a cloudy rainy day. So I am hopeful. Last weeks sales were scary. Sales were half of what they have been for each week so far in August. Half!! What is that about? The tanning salon beside me is going to be out of business in about 2 months if things don't get better there. Then the landlord will sue her for the rest of the rent & she will be completely ruined. Nice. I don't know what is going on with me, I know God is for me, I know he wants me blessed & happy. I am in obedience to God, I am seeking Him & His kingdom & His righteousness. What more can I do? I really do wish all of this was easier, I wish I could understand so many of the things that I do not. I have never encountered something that I have had to struggle this long with.... I have learned so many lessons in all of this. But I am still in it so I ask myself & God, what else am I supposed to be doing or learning? I still say that I have so much faith that God can do what needs to be done ( whatever he chooses to end it. ) that I am always a little shocked when nothing gets better or not much better & then it does but then it gets worse again. I used to have the will he doubt but I have moved past that to ponder why doesn't he? What am I missing in all of this? Surely there is a reason I am still suffering financial distress. I just need to know that the bills are being paid & can be paid. That's all. I just need some kind of security. It's just so stressful to not know if there will be any money to buy groceries with or pay the mortgage from month to month. My business is behind in rent & bills. I can't fix it on my own... it's too bad. It will take God or it will fail. The holiday's can't get here soon enough for me, I am needing money very very badly. I am also falling apart in the physical sense. I need to take better care of my body & can't afford healthy food to eat, I can't afford a decent moisturizer now, I could go on. But in it all, I remain hopeful & look to the Lord for my joy which is my strength. Praying for a blessed day all around. Praying for bills to be paid.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Fruit We Bear

Jesus said "By their fruit you will recognize them.". So after coming across the recorded sounds of Hell 2 days ago & finding the series on You Tube on 23 minutes in Hell & have been doing a serious reality check.
I have so many stressful situations going on right now that I have once again let it take over me. My prayer life in the last 2 weeks is not what it once was. I am so stressed that I am beginning to again lose my path. I cannot stop thinking about the suffering from that video series. How horrible for anyone to enter into Hell. Though my troubles are legitimate concerns, after all people have to have a place to sleep & eat. I would like to not suffer the humiliation & financial crush of my business failing but in the end what really matters?
It is also a reality check that some people just do suffer more than others. I am one of them.
I was thinking about the Michael W. Smith song... I'm coming back to the heart of worship And it's all about you, all about you Jesus..... I'm sorry Lord for the thing I've made it, when it's all about you, it's all about you Jesus.
It is hard but my life has been made better these last couple of months on a personal level. Hardship is my shadow, maybe that's just the way it is. I am praying for God to give me the grace to be everything He wants me to be. I am praying for him to make my path straight before me. I am praying for him to move in my life for so many things. God's ways are not our ways, that seems to be coming up lately. I also keep seeing this last week people who are angry at God or trying to figure out why life isn't always fair. I saw something yesterday that said God may not always be fair but He's always right. I had to laugh. My life is not fair, for cetain. But maybe it's right where he wants me? I don't know..... But I am thinking of my fruit & what does my little tree look like right now. There's the tree thing again.... that keeps coming up too. I can think of two places in the Bible that people are referenced as trees. God is speaking to someone, I can't remember but he says that he sees his people as mighty oaks I believe. Then as Jesus was restoring a blind man's sight he asks him what he sees. The blind man says he sees people; they look like trees walking around. Once more Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then his eyes were opened..... I have heard someone preach that Jesus did not mess up the first time he spit on the man's eyes & put his hands on him. Jesus wasn't doing a "do over". What is supposed is that first Jesus allowed the blind man to see people as God sees us. God said his people are like might oaks. Then the blind man receives sight & sees people as trees. Was he seeing us like God sees us? Then Jesus gave him "normal" sight. Who knows. Are we like trees to God? Hence the whole bearing of the good fruit & bad? What does my fruit tree look like to God? I guess what I am saying is that instead of being so concerned as to why God isn't helping me, a good & nice person. I should be concerned with what my tree is doing & be about the business of my Father's gardening. I can't lose sight of what is important. I must remember to take care of my gardening duties with my tree & surely God will water me & fertilize my soil. He will give me grace & mercy to let my roots grow deeply & be strong.
Thank you Jesus for your teachings.
Our Father who is in Heaven.
Hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done.
On earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Glory to God. Amen.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Baby's Got Book

If you need a good laugh hit play.

God In A Box

Last Sunday's message was about Elisha & Naaman. Naaman needed to be cured from his leprosy & he was told by a captive slave that Elisha was a prophet of God & that he should go to Israel & see him. So off Naaman goes, Captain of the guard, a powerful man. He takes a lot of money with him for payment & along the way he must have imagined all kinds of ways that his healing would take place. He was a grand & important man so surely his healing from the God of the Israelites would be a grand thing also. When he gets to Israel & gives the king of Israel his letter from Naaman's own king requesting the healing from the prophet of God Naaman must have been a little upset by the King tearing his clothes at this letter. He is expecting grand things from their God & the prophet. So he is told to go to Elisha's house. Can't we just see such an important man with his whole entourage riding up to Elisha's home expecting a miracle healing. Pomp & ceremony as he enters the driveway. What does Elisha do when a most important man pulls up into his driveway expecting to be healed? He doesn't even come out of his house. He sends a messenger out of his home to tell Naaman to go to the Jordan river and dip himself 7 times & then he would be clean. So Naaman becomes furious. He says that he expected something grand from the prophet of God that he would strike his body where he leprosy was & heal him & make him clean. He had it all worked out in his head how this healing was going to go down. He put God in a box, he put Elisha in a box. How many of us have it all worked out in our heads how God should act in our lives? Do we put God in a box? Does God sometimes wait on us to let ourselves go & our opinions before he acts so then we can see his power & not ours? One of Naaman's servants talked him in to going down to the Jordan anyway. I wonder what would have happened if Naaman had continued to be angry & left for his country leaving Israel with a tricky International Incident on their hands. But the servant talked him into obeying the prophet of God. Seven times he dipped himself & he became clean again. God healed him. He wasn't even a believer or child of God but God showed his mercy. He obeyed & he was healed. He had to strip off everything to dip himself in the river & be cleansed. What do we need to strip off so that God can do his work in us? Have you ever known someone who's "issues" were so obvious to everyone around them but they didn't see them? I think we all do, we all know people like that. My fear is that I am one of those people who have a large issue & I don't see it. Am I putting God in a box? I must be careful to simply not over complicate what God wants to do in my life & let him. Be still & know that He is God. Listen & obey. I am trying. I really enjoyed that sermon & it was certainly a good lesson to remember. Think outside the box.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Set Me Free

I am determined today not to get upset. I will not let my kids aggrivate me into darkness & say things that will make me feel horrible about myself for hours. They are being horrible today. I am calling on Jesus to set me free from getting so aggrivated that I stay in my little dark hole all day. I WILL NOT let anyone get me upset today & I will not allow myself to talk to anyone even my children who are being so selfish & horrible right now in a way that I would not want to be spoken to. I will be happy today. I will.

In Jesus name I speak freedom over my chains. Amen.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Walking The Grounds

One thing I love about the South is that we can say y'all all we want to. And grits. I love grits. Northerners don't know what they are missing.

As it would happen, ladies aerobics was cancelled & they left a message on my cell phone even though they have my work number but since most people are glued to their cells, they called the cell. I don't like my cell, keep it in my car & rarely look at it so guess who showed up to work out. But it worked out beautifully. My choir director was there with another great lady & they had decided to walk the church grounds. As it would also happen one of our missionary's was also there. Apparently he comes to the church 3 times a day & told us that if we walk the entire paved area around the church 3 times it is one mile. He said he does it 3 times a day. The funny thing was that he was pushing an empty wheelchair as he was walking. So when one of the ladies asked him why he was pushing the empty wheelchair around he said he was taking Jesus for a walk. We laughed so hard, it was just the neatest thing. He is in his 50's & most probably uses the wheelchair for support. I have seen that old chair sitting on the grounds on the side of a building for awhile now & have wondered who uses that old rusty thing. Well, missionary man does. He comes every day to exercise his body & while he is there he takes his Jesus for a walk with him & talks to him. What an inspiration! He is also praying over the church, which is awesome. It really touched me. I wonder how many people drive by & see an older man walking around the church parking lot pushing an empty rusty wheelchair & think he is a nut. He's taking his Jesus for a ride. Things are not always what they seem, what a nice lesson. I will smile over that memory for a good while.

Just Be Nice

I say that to my baby every day, just about all night. Just be nice Braxton. Be nice. He is a real stinky poo. He cried & screamed for 45 minutes last night for no apparent reason. He wouldn't allow anyone to touch him, talk to him, nothing. If he heard anyone's voice he would scream no no no. So I tried to comfort him but to no avail. I tried to soothe him, be nice Braxy, be nice. It seems to be a recurring theme for me. Just be nice. I am really trying to walk in love as much as I can. It's hard to remember sometimes. Just be nice. How crazy that it's hard to just spend every moment being nice. Get yourself prayed up Jenn, stay calm, don't say anything negative. Don't get upset when the kids make you crazy or your husband is a doo doo head. Just be nice, if we could all do that what would this world look like. The evening news would be boring that's for sure. Let's all just be nice. Dear God, please give me the grace to stay calm during those daily little storms that arise. Let me show your love & your desire for us to love one another in all of my words & actions. Thank you for your mercy & I pray for the strength & your grace to remind me to show that same love, concern & mercy for others.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Why Do We Go To The Chruch We Do?

This is a huge question. Why do we go to the church we do? Are we receiving anything at our church & if so what are we receiving? Why are we at church? Why? We had another huge blow at our church last night. It's bad enough we lost our Bishop & the rumors swirling around that one are really bad. Most of them made up. It's also bad enough the local papers have had to do a story on our pastoral loss to put so many of those rumors to rest. It's also bad that there is a big battle through the Internet & local papers with another local church pretty much demanding that we should get out of our church building because they are now bigger than we are & they need the building more than we do. Are you kidding me? I need a bigger house than I have so does that mean I can go down to the millionaire down the street & tell him to get out because I have more kids than he does so I deserve the space more than him. Oh we are some crazy Christians, we sure do give the unsaved a whole lot of reasons to stay away from us. They're out there having a good time & we're in the church fighting, judging, snickering at those not as well dressed, etc. Who wants to come into a place like that? I don't mean my church is like that but many churches are like that & most have people like that in them. Why don't we put up a sign at the front of our churches that says anyone seeking love, friendship & acceptance please do not enter, RUN. So our pastor of our men's drug & alcohol rehab center let our pastor know he is removing that from the church. Apparently when they created this ministry they created a board & because of the legal workings this pastor is free to remove that ministry from our church. So our Bishop has been gone for about 2 months now & we don't know why but last night this huge (and I mean huge) ministry & part of our church let us know they would be leaving & not be returning. They are no longer part of our church. They will be doing their own preaching on campus. This is horrible & I don't see how it can be from God because pastor doesn't give a real reason for doing it & he won't even be back Sunday so people can say their goodbyes. It was a huge shocker. These men & ministers in this part of our ministry are over 200 people. It will also be a financial crunch. But God provides so he can bring in money if he thinks our church needs it, which it does. This really got me thinking... why do they want to leave our church? Why do they want to start their own church? Then I get home from church & my husband informs me that he wants me to leave my church & try a church that some of our/his friends are going to. It is a Baptist Church which makes me cringe. I grew up Baptist & I left that for a non denominational church for a reason. But if it will get him to get into church then I must go & try it. If he likes it there then I will have to leave my church & pull my children out also to attend this one. So again I began to think why is it that he doesn't like my/the kid's church? What does he need there that he does not receive? What is he looking for? So I asked him. He said he doesn't know why he doesn't like it except that he doesn't know anyone & he wants to go someplace where he has friends. Which is funny because that is what our new pastor is really hammering on. That people leave churches because of a lack of friends, he says that's what people want, fellowship. He has been working hard to make our already friendly church more loving & friendly. Too late for hubby though. He won't go back. So he knows several people that he really really likes that go there. What can I do? I love my modern contemporary worship music, if they are singing old time gospel out of a hymnal I might just die!! Okay so I exaggerate but come on people, it's 2008, why are people still singing old old songs that are slow & boring, to me at least, okay to a ton of people. I love my choir. Argh. The minute I step into a place with hymnals I know I am going to be bored. So there are different churches for a reason, we are all different. All of our needs are different, we all have seasons, we must have churches that meet the different needs & seasons of our lives. So hymnals have their place but oh, I like to sing upbeat modern worship songs with a full band. A keyboard, not an organ. Which still raises the question, why do we go to the church we do? What do we receive at our church? Let me say what I receive at my church.... I receive several hugs before I ever get to the sanctuary. I receive several more once in the sanctuary. I receive smiles. I receive people who will ask about my life and actually care what I say. I receive people who are dead honest about who they are, what they have been & where they are going. I receive people who need me & people who can also be there for me for any stupid or important need I have. I receive joy from our praise & worship. I receive a lot of wonderful learning on how important it is to have a personal one on one relationship with God. I receive that I must have quiet prayer time with God every day as much as I can. I receive how vital it is to Love God, to Love Jesus, to receive the Holy Spirit & listen. I receive great teachings that inspire me. But most importantly I receive every single week from the pulpit the importance of prayer & having a personal one on one relationship with God & how important it is to live out or beliefs when we leave the church. That is the most important. I grew up in the Baptist church, went to a private baptist church school even & no one ever spoke to me once about having a personal one on one relationship with God. Never heard about it. I was taught to be afraid of God. Not to fear him because of the fact that he will discipline me if I go wrong but to just be afraid of what he will do to me if I don't obey or do wrong. Which probably explains why I have lead such a goody goody life. I was taught that women have to be submissive to their husbands. Yada yada. Never was it ever mentioned the part where men are told to love their wives like Christ loves his church, no that was not mentioned. I didn't know the Bible even said that until at 32 years I decided to read the Bible for myself. Women were always treated not so well and lesser, you know what I mean, the men come first, yada yada. I don't' want to endure those teachings again & I don't want my children learning them. There are two huge gigantic churches in my area, both Baptist. One is known for it's youth ministry & does have a lot of wonderful programs. But on July 4th, the youth pastor was telling a friend of my daughters that she was going to Hell because of something I can't even remember but this girl is saved. It was something stupid & he is out there scaring her to death. They are all about numbers, everything to them is about numbers. Does God want us worrying about numbers? Why do pastors do that? They just worry about getting numbers in. Save 'em & move 'em out. We got numbers. The other church I tried to attend when I moved here. It is gi-normous. Major huge. I have never seen such a thing & I don't mean the building. All people want to know is that you're perfect, you dress perfect & drive the perfect expensive car & are married to the most perfect executive. I know a man who is a very nice & teaches Sunday school there. He says the first questions from everyone there are always what subdivision do you live in, what do you do, what do you drive. Come on people. I asked him why he continued there & he said because it was good for his career. Yep. This magna church has a lot of executives in it, including the company I used to work for. We all knew if we wanted to get promoted to go to that church & make sure that we were SEEN. A few alter calls, attend the right Bible study & a promotion would not be far away. It worked too, that's why so many people in my company went there. So what were they receiving? Promtions? Did they receive anything there? I went one Sunday & sat with some ladies I knew from work & all they did was make fun of other ladies clothes & hair. I couldn't stay there. I had to leave. What did those people receive at that church? Is all my husband going for is to have fellowship? What is he looking for? So I am still thinking why do we go to the church we do? A funny thing... one time a friend brought up this subject & just for my own stupid fun I knew she went to the mega church so I described my time there & didn't name the place. She was so funny, she said I should never go back to a place filled with so many shallow people. I just laughed to myself. If she gets something there then why should I say something bad about it. But I know so many mean people who go to church. Are they not receiving anything that they can still be mean. I know a few cops who say the worst & mean drivers are the ones leaving church on Sunday afternoon. What does that say about us? If we are behaving so badly what are we receiving & most importantly do we even WANT to receive anything. Are we just there to get a fire insurance policy, be seen, dress up & go to lunch afterwards? Is that what church is? Dress up, sing, sit until 12:00, go to lunch. Wasn't church great? How many people never feel God while at church? Now it's not all the church's responsibility for the state of our worship & behavior. We have our responsibilities. But I know I was NEVER taught to love God. I just went to church every Sunday because that's what you did. God was always somebody I could pray too but he was otherwise far off. You had to be good to go to church & if you weren't people whispered about you & what you had done in the past. They didn't want you in their church either if you had been toooo bad. Jesus would so approve. I didn't like that in all Churches I went to they didn't like black people coming either. They would stare if a black person came. Please, Jesus wasn't a white Anglo Saxon so get over it. If Jesus walked in would we tell him to go to the minority church down the street? Cleaned up whites only please. I grew up way down south if you can't tell. I am still in the South, I don't want my children learning racism. So why do we pick our churches? I pick a church that doesn't have women all gussied up, because it's ridiculous. If we are there to minister to "unsaved souls & the lost" how comfortable are they going to be if they are surrounded by people all glammed up? If they have never been to church before & for whatever reason decided or felt a pulling on their heart from the Holy Spirit & they came to church what would they see & be met with? A lot of people can't afford to dress nice, a lot of people that need Jesus can't afford nice pretty dresses & shoes. So we should meet them halfway. My church I attend I love because they encourage you to dress modestly but in the way your feel like dressing. Sunday mornings are a mix of ladies wearing pants, jeans, carpi's, skirts & dresses. Some are in flip flops, some in sandals & some in heels. Not many people are very dressed up. We want everyone to feel comfortable in our church & we want to be comfortable too. We are very relaxed in my church, that is another thing I look for. We don't pretend anything, we are very very relaxed. I like a casual church on fire for God & on fire for the souls of the lost, & the healing of the hurting & broken. That is what I look for. I look for real people because I am real & I don't like pretense. It's just one more sin I don't need in my life, I have enough to deal with. It's not easy trying to be like God, like Jesus, it's a tall order I'll never fill, I'm not supposed to, that's why I need Jesus. So I like to be free to say I'm not perfect. That's what I look for. That's why I go to the church I go to.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Church Aerobics

Last night was aerobics night again at church. It was a great workout. I had a lot of fun, everyone was laughing. Even the lady who makes the fat comments was very friendly & well behaved, I was very grateful for that. I am hoping to see some results from these workouts soon.

I had a great day of sales yesterday too. I haven't done that much on a weekday since May so I was very very grateful. I have already had some sales today so I am happy about that.

My hubby seems to be responding better to my new behavior patterns. I am not perfect by any means but I am doing my best. So last night he tells me that I will have to miss my workout night on Thursday because he has a baseball meeting of the board. To myself I am thinking " Oh no you don't!! This is my night, we agreed. I am fat & I need to workout. You can have your meeting anytime & you choose to schedule it on MY workout night.". But I don't say a word. I just looked at him while I thought those things for a few moments & I chose not to say a word. I said okay. I must have looked upset or he must have surely expected me to object because he seemed startled by my response. Then after a few minutes he comes back & asks me when I will be done working out & I tell him & then he says he will schedule the meeting for after the workout is over. He will drop the kids off at the church right as it ends & he can go to his meeting. That was great. I have learned a lot from Joyce Meyer's book about learning true happiness. I have never worded anything well if I am speaking on the fly but if I carefully consider my choice of words things go much better. Joyce really hammered that in to me. Choosing one day, one moment at a time to be happier. That is not always easily done, I guess it depends on each person. I have four kids, one of which is a wild whiny baby & they all play sports, my husband owns his own business & is President of a youth league & all of those things keep him so busy he doesn't do any cleaning, or household chores, only minimal cooking so my life is very very difficult as I work six days a week for FREE I might add. I have a lot of my plate, someone who say can stay at home with kids who are not toddlers & are in school would certainly have an easier time of finding the ability to be happier. It's all relative to our perspective though & mine is changing so that is great.

My son kind of got into a fight yesterday at Middle school. This one jerk kid who is always picking on him because he is not good at sports ( they played baseball & football together )& calls him a nerd because he excels at school & likes neo pets. Well, he was picking at my son again in class while they were in line to do something & he was calling him some name. Faggot I think. So my son is very patient & slow to get physical because of his Karate but I guess he had enough & he did a quick combination on the kid & that shut him up. Then the jerk kid has the nerve to get mad & tell him he can't use his karate on him, that it's not fair. Moron, it's fair for you to call him faggot & pick on him & push him but it's not fair for him to lay your butt out. So my son got himself some respect.... He had to do it once before, this kid was always picking on him & one day he threw a basketball at my son's head real hard. My son walked over to him & did a combination of punches in the kid's stomach & knocked him flat on his tail. The kid was all crunched over on his side. He never picked on my son again. All the boys were like dang..... That bought him about six months of nobody picking on him. I don't understand boys.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Church Aerobics

Last night was my first night at the Ladies Only aerobics classes at my church. We did Hip Hop abs, buns, thighs & legs. Very intense. I am very sore today so that must mean that it did some good. I was panting like a dog, all of us were. It was really great & nice to spend some time around some friendly ladies. The one lady who was in the choir with me who kept making the "fat comments" to me was there. I really struggle with not liking her as her son picks on my son too. Her husband tried to steal my husband's baseball team that he coaches away from him too. Long history there. So of course she was the only person there who did not need to lose weight. I know her well enough to know that she was there to get fit & have some adult girl time. She has zero weight to lose. But OF COURSE she was the only one making loud comments about all the fat on her body. She kept saying oh, we're doing hip hop abs, I've got flabby abs. Pinching herself & stuff to point out how horrendous her fat was. I have come to the conclusion she is either blind as a bat or extremely cruel. Why does she do that? 3 of us have 50 plus pounds to lose & who does she come up to? Us 3 with the most weight to lose & begins to describe how fat she is & her flabby abs & how gross it is. Well, if she is gross & is a size 3 what does that say about us? What is she trying to tell us? 2 of them got annoyed and walked away, I just sat there & took it like an idiot. Moron. Between listening to that from her for weeks & the hurtful comments from a couple of others in one week is it no wonder I left my church? I am more mature in Christ now & I will not let that happen again. I will try to ignore her more next Monday but she sure does make it hard not to harbor anger,hate & unforgiveness. I am going to take the positive side of it & say she will make me stronger.

My hubby's business is doing well. Thank you Lord. The bills are getting paid.

So I have decided that I am better off being a loner again. I don't maintain friends well. I think I have too many problems & let's face it Jenn, nobody wants to hear it. Atleast not for long. I can't take the sting of the rejection. I have enough hurt in my life. I am better off alone, I can't be all fake & pretend nothing is wrong. Maybe that's why people with depression kill themselves, nobody really cares about anybody. If someone has to listen to your problems for longer than a week or two they get frustrated with you & don't want to talk to you anymore. It stings. I feel healed from my depression now, I feel like I am being set free but it has been a hard year long struggle. I am still in a mess but it is getting better. Does anybody care? Not really. In a far off way they do, I know people care about me & want me to be better. They just don't want to hear about it. I can FULLY understand it. I really do, people have their own lives to deal with. But mine is so turbulent right now & I am working on so many things spiritually, mentally & financially that it is just all consuming for me. I am literally fighting for my life & people want that life to be better I know. I am just better off alone. I abhor the thought that people dread to see me coming or hear from me or heaven forbid dread coming to visit my blog if someone found it because they know it's not full of pretty decorated rooms & thrills. I do love those blogs because they cheer me up too. I am working too hard on myself to pretend all is pretty because it's not & I want it to be as pretty on the inside as it can be. I am seeking so many things, none of my "friends" wants to talk about God for more than five minutes so what do I have to talk about with anybody? Nothing. Yeah, I am better off a loner. My hubby is a social butterfly. People also get aggrivated with me because I will bring up things that I am working on or am concerned about in my life or business & because they do these things too or maybe feel a conviction they get angry & don't want to talk to me. Fine. That is why I wrote the poem about the little tree. I am the little tree. The ending is what I like to see my life is like. I can't imaging God could have made me this way, to always be alone if it was not for a purpose. I have asked God to change me many many times. To make me be more likeable to people, I want so badly to have lots of friends & join in on the fun. But it never happens as much as I try, I am always alone. Always left out. I am used to it. But I still think that if I have asked him to help me change & he hasn't then I must be this way for a purpose. So I am waiting for the day to come, like my little tree in the poem. I like to write poetry, it is freeing.

Okay, I am going to work now, alone of course. All day alone in the store. When I get home everyone will scatter & the hubby will go straight to his other wife a.k.a. the computer. I will spend another evening alone with the baby making me crazy. Sigh. Ha ha, see Jenn, that last couple of sentences is why nobody wants to be around you, dumb girl.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Someone in my family sent this video to me. It was hysterical!!!

I screamed like a little girl!!!!!!!

Okay, so I am late but for my weigh in report..... I gained half a pound. %^#@#!!%$
What is that all about? I think is where I become Negative Nelly, my whole life is like this. So for two weeks now I have been exercising whereas I wasn't before. I have severly cut out sweets, eaten salads for meals & cut portions. I have done all this & somehow managed to gain a half a pound in two weeks. This is not going well for me. I am joining the church's new ladies workout program. 2 nights a week of aerobics for FREE!! Thank you Lord for those of us who volunteer, especially these ladies. What a blessing!!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A Poem


A little tree stands alone in the forest.
I am not like the other trees he says.
They are all close together but I am alone.

Maybe as I grow I can spread out my branches.
Then I can join in with the other trees.
He grows, but his branches never quite reach the others.
He is different, he is still alone.

Because the little tree is alone, with less covering than the others
The storms wear on him more.
He must bear the full force of life’s storms, alone.
The other trees encourage him some but over time his branches begin to hang low.

I am in the forest but I am alone.
There is no hope for me he says.
I have tried everything but I cannot get close to the other trees.
Why must I be so different he says? His branches wither, his leaves hang low.

Why was I planted here if I was just meant to stand here alone?
Who could be so cruel as to put me here so alone & without purpose?
Maybe if I wither some more the one who planted & grew me will chop me down
Then I will suffer no more.
He gave up .

Here He comes.
I can feel Him doing something to me? What is that?
I can feel something changing. I feel different. What is happening?
What is He doing to me?
I can hear the children’s laughter. What is happening?

Then the tree hears the one who planted & grew him say to the little children.
You see children, we planted a tree apart from the others for a purpose. This tree will bring you joy & laughter for many years & then it will be here for your children. For generations children will gather here to play & find joy & make wonderful memories.

The tree could feel the little children climbing him & he was glad. He could hear them talking about a tree house & a tire swing. He did not know exactly what those things were except he knew they had become a part of him. From that day on he was never alone again.

The tree finally knew his purpose.
He was special. He was loved. He brought joy & laughter to the children.
Then the tree was glad that the one who planted & grew him had made him special.
He knew now that his time alone was not to make him suffer, but to make him special.
It was a time of preparation to make him ready for the purposes of the one who planted & grew him.

And the tree was glad and knew joy and laughter for all of his days.

What do you think?