Monday, May 31, 2010

Physical Image and Who We Are In Christ

In researching the topic of image and who we are in Christ I came up with some questions that have taken me down an extremely interesting path of discovery. Want to give it a go? You'll need to write your answers down for it to do any good.

List your top 5 personality traits that you feel are most dominant.

List the top 5 things that you feel are important to have in a marriage relationship. (For ex: loving, laughter, sex, supportive, secure.)

List the top 5 descriptions you feel describe your parents marriage.

List the top 5 ways in which you wish to portray yourself to the world.

List the top 5 ways in which you think people see you.

List the top 5 things that you think about most often.

List the first 5 things that you think describe your body.

Is there anything about yourself that keeps you from doing something you want to do or have been called to do?

Is there anything about yourself that you know you need to change but don't?

Are there any personality traits about yourself that are praised by those that love you and also traits that are repeatedly disliked by those that love you?

How do you think God would describe you?

What do you think God thinks about you?

Is your body a temple for the Lord? Have you cared for it as His temple should be cared for?

Does what you think God thinks about you line up with scripture? Here is the link that has all the scriptures that say who we are in Christ. Does your idea of what God thinks about you line up with that? Anything that does not line up with these scriptures you will need to pray about and go digging into your Bible's Concordance in the back to see what the Bible says about those things. Here is a link that has the attributes of God from Bible Gateway. This will also be helpful in discovering if what you think God thinks about you is scriptural.

Now, look for word repetition. Are there certain personality traits that come up over and over? How did you come to develop the trait? Where is it rooted? You'll have to go deep in some instances. For example: angry. Why are you angry? Were your parents angry? When did you start feeling angry? What does being angry satisfy in your life? Start digging. How does this emotion give you power or make you feel better? Take some of these questions and substitute your repeated word instead of the word angry.

I know I have certainly discovered some things about myself in this process that relate directly to my outward image, the physical body. I think a lot of women tie their self worth and confidence very deeply into their outward appearance. I have noticed since I have lost 30 pounds I am much more confident than I was before. That in itself is fine, I think that is human nature but I find myself much more open to talking to people and putting myself out there more than I would have before. Considering evangelism, if we are afraid to put ourselves out there we can't evangelise that much can we?

A good question: If I felt great about my physical appearance would it change the way I serve the Lord or evangelise? Ouchies, that may or may not sting a little.

I also had some fun finding the root of why I am such a physically affectionate person. Sometimes we just grow up to be the way we are and we don't think about how we even got that way. My parents were like rabbits, they were always "physically affectionate" with each other. CONSTANTLY. Their marital life was very wrapped up in touching each other in very loving ways with hugs, massages, and hand holding. They had sex as much as they could. I guess I thought that was normal? Sex was a huge part of my upbringing unfortunately. My dad had a porn collection that could rival the inventory of any gross adult store. I hated that so much. It made me very angry with my father and I felt it was a huge disrespect to my mom. My mom had a great love for the male strip clubs. She knew that irritated me immensely and she would tease me about some guy long dong whatever his perverted name was. They sent me to a private Christian school and their lifestyle didn't line up at all with what I was taught about marriage, lust and sex. At least they were physically faithful to each other. They weren't bad people or anything, they were the best parents in the world to me. They gave me, their only child, everything and loved me greatly. They were just sex junkies ha ha. Anyhoo, I could see how easily my dad was manipulated by boobs and women's bodies at a young age and how my mom could also get him to do anything by using hers. AHEM. I also saw how they expressed their love for each other with their bodies. This explains a lot about myself after digging in very deeply. When my husband left me for another woman not long after we had our first child because he said he wasn't getting enough sex that didn't help either. I think that was the turning point for me that created my worth and self value being wrapped up in my physical outward appearance. If you weren't sexy you weren't anything in my thinking about myself. After my husband left I worked out constantly and only dated tall muscular guys who worked out all the time too. Once again, wrapped up in outward worldy image. I had forgotten all about who I was in Christ and although I prayed every day during those years of 23 to 27 yrs old I quit going to church and wrapped myself up in outward image and physical gratification that made me feel very worthy. I think perhaps too that I gravitated towards my first husband because he was a very physically affectionate person too and that was what I was used to seeing and I guess that was what was normal to me? He was not the right person for me. I received my self worth not from the Lord anymore and His love and unconditional approval but instead from men who wanted me. I liked being stared at and complimented all the time. It made me feel valuable. That is so sad. Perhaps that was another factor that kept me overweight during my 30's. I felt safe the way I was. Now I am losing weight and I am being flirted with again which hasn't happened since my 20's. I think perhaps I need to be very careful with how I begin to deal with my weight loss and not let it alter how I value myself or receive my worth. I am who the Word says I am and I am nothing more and nothing less. I am no more worthy of anything whether I am skinny or fat. Now, I know I should not be overweight for health reasons, energy levels and such and I will continue losing weight until I am happy with what I see but I need to drill it in that the skinnier I get does not make me any more of anything except more healthy, energized and smaller. Period.

Whatever our issues, I think it's important to line up who we are with what the Word says we are. Any inconsistencies need to be dealt with. Sexual molestation at a young age is another biggie. Oh Lord the damage that can do. I was not molested but some people very close to me were and I have spent years in a group therapy for loved ones who were molested by pedophiles. I've watched the judicial system fail us and leave scars. Thankfully years and years of therapy and the Word of God have washed a young woman clean and healthy. She can go on into life and love and be loved. The Word will wash us clean. It will make us whole. It is our true identity. I've seen the love of Jesus heal a man with the same scars. Truly, if we can just see ourselves as God sees us the rest is easy to deal with. It won't hurt as much if we know who we truly are. This body is so temporary considering eternity. I am wondering as I walk more in this just how walking in my godly image that God says I am will affect how I view my outward physical appearance and it's importance to me. I find this fascinating.


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Graduation Day Pictures! GO GRIZZLIES Class of 2010

Me, Brandon and Amber.

First Baptist Church of Woodstock, GA goes Creekview Grizzlie Green & Blue. The amazing thing about this picture is that there is still a ton of seating behind me and above me.

Mike & I. It's a rare sighting to see Mike in a photo but I had him trapped today :)

My beautiful graduate Lexie. So proud of my baby.

Braxton was excited to see his big sis graduate.

The instructors and friends Lexie does Tae Kwon Doe with.

I am slightly disturbed that my ex husband and my husband both have the same haircut. exhusband is on the far left and I didn't recognize him either when I saw him. That was weird too.

Lexie with my parents.

Mike and I again. He looks like he is up to something doesn't he?

Lexie and Brandon.

It's a tragedy when perfectly good curly hair goes limp. They need to make hair Viagara.

This is the expression Mike has on his face lately when he is looking at me. It's like he's thinking "Jenn, what the heck are you doing?" I'm not sure...

See, there it is again. Doesn't he have the best set of lips ever? Such a sexy beast.

Amber wants to graduate too!

Lexie and I had the same shoes. I'm not sure why her leg is so red. I'm rawkin some flip flop tan lines on my foot ha ha.

Amber and I. Now the hair has gone completely flat. Dang Georgia humidity.

The man, Braxton and myself at Applebees.

Graduation is OVER and one happy mama drove herself home. THE END.

Friday, May 28, 2010

BIG Weekend & Great News

Look what I found today....That was 3 years ago when Braxy was a baby :) Mike has hat hair ha ha.

Exciting news!!! Our Pastor called and Mike and I start leading the new Junior Ministry this Wednesday! YAY!!!! I am so excited. I am really looking forward to this new adventure. I am also looking into getting a Bachelors degree in ministry. I've always wanted to do that and now that Braxton is old enough to fend for himself I think I can do it. I call it ministry but I can't for the life of me remember what it is really called. It's not theology....heck, I'm old. I can't remember poo.

Yesterday while driving around doing the Census I pulled into a vacant home to make a phone call. They put me on hold and after waiting a few minutes I decide I'll check my emails. So I dig all around for my phone and after atleast 3 minutes of looking I get really frustrated because I can't find my phone and I know I just had it in my hands. Yeah, um.... that's when I realized my phone was cradled between my ear and my shoulder and I was still on hold. That's not a good sign, lol.

As far as I know I am still leading the ladies Bible Study? Nobody has said anything about removing me from that position. I do it every other Thursday, I hope they let me keep doing it. I just posted my teaching notes from our study last night and oh my, was it a great study. The Lord was workin it. Everyone was taking lots of notes which always excites me. They really seemed interested and excited about the homework too. The homework was for them to take the printed scriptures that say who we are in Christ and they are to say them out loud every single day for the two weeks until we meet again. They are also supposed to stay aware of their thought patterns concerning themselves and what they catch themselves saying and thinking about themselves. Then next time we will discuss the changes that should be taking place in their thought patterns concerning how they view themselves and how they approached any situations that they may have spoken these scriptures into the situation instead of dealing with life's blows in their earthly identity. Sounds more complicated on the blog, I think I spoke it better. Then we will dive into the Image of Woman in Christ. I'll tell you what, that image sure doesn't look like Desperate Housewives, that's fer sure. (I hate that show!)

Lexie graduates tomorrow, I am so super excited for my baby. I can't belive I am old enough to have a kid graduating high school. UGH. We went to Best Buy today and bought her a new sound system for her car. It has a huge box with big speakers that go in her trunk. It sounded so good in the store when we were listening to it, I was jealous. I want one for my car. The song "Heartbreaker" was on and I forgot myself and danced in the store. It's okay, they will never see me again. I am always embarrassing my husband like that :) You only live once.....

Can't wait for tomorrow. BTW, can you believe she has FOUR boys/men after her now? We were laughing about that today. She said she can't make up her mind what to do. I said enjoy it girl. Happy she isn't so sad anymore about her boyfriend breaking up with her. What an exciting time in her life. Anything is possible.

Have a great weekend!!


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Who We Are In Christ Part 1 of 2

Tonight was our ladies Bible study group night that I teach. Man, was it awesome!!! I really felt the Holy Spirit working in me as I was speaking. I can't tell you what an incredible feeling that is. Oh man, I LOVE it! I don't have time to write a nice post on what we talked about tonight....I want to do it later but I have to go around doing Census work tomorrow and Saturday my oldest daughter graduates High School. I have a big 2 days coming up. I am going to take lots of pictures. It should be exciting. I will have to take a picture or two of my ex husband so you can see the big dork, I mean Lexie's dad. Ha ha, I'm just kidding, maybe.

I thought I'd post my teaching notes and the scriptures that say who we are in Christ in a link otherwise this post would be a mile long. Please can I encourage you to print off the scriptures from the link I post? Please know who you are in Christ, it is amazing. Well, here's my teaching notes. Hope you enjoy! A Joyce Meyer Study and a little Jennifer Walker thrown in. It's all mixed.

Part 1 of 2 (Who we are in Christ.)

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.- We must renew our minds, develop new thoughts, according to God’s truth so we can fulfill His plan for our lives. (tapping into God’s truth about who we are in Christ)

Who are you? Where is your identity rooted? In what you do? If I asked you who you were what would you tell me? (pause) Think about the first thing that comes to mind, is that truly who you are? Now, let's take this a bit further....let's exclude your marital status, parental status, occupation, & hobbies and only look at your Christian life. In your Christian life only if I asked you who you were what you tell me? I'm asking...."As a Christian, who are you?" (pause) Hopefully the first thing you thought of was something God has done for you and not something you do for God. Ex: I am saved by faith through Jesus Christ, I am redeemed and forgiven. Those are the first 3 things I personally thought of when thinking of who I am in my Christian identity.

Our actions define what we do, not who we are. (Ex. The Queen of England comes to America and the customs officer asks who she is, not what can she do. She is the Queen of England because that is her birthright, she has a royal lineage that can never be taken away from her. When we became saved we too became co heirs with Christ and have a blood bought royal lineage that can never be taken away.)

“As a believer, one of the most important realities for you to understand is who you are in Christ.” -Joyce Meyer

What does “Who you are in Christ” mean?
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 views you.
It’s not about your activity; it’s about your identity.
It’s about what you believe. -Joyce Meyer

The best way to evaluate ourselves is to know that what we do well is a gift from God and that what we don’t do well is not a problem. We are each little parts of the greater whole and we should work together with our parts with diligence and excellence, not wishing we could do what He has assigned someone else. Finding the freedom to be ourselves is a major victory that releases amazing joy. Knowing who we are in Christ gives us the confidence to move past the mistakes of the past and embrace the future with expectancy. -Joyce Meyer

Speaking badly about yourself or someone else does not reflect the truth of God’s Word or align with the way He thinks about us, and it will keep us trapped in ways of living that are far less enjoyable, less fruitful, and less powerful than He desires for us. -Joyce Meyer

When we know who we are in Christ, our freedom and confidence will soar. Being rooted in our identity in Him will keep us from the fear of failure, from excessively trying to please other people, and from being caught in the cycle of trying to perform so others will accept us. It will also enable us to stay strong and steady when adversity comes. -Joyce Meyer

Not knowing who you are in Christ can allow devastation by difficulties, failures, making mistakes, or the opinions of other people. -Joyce Meyer

We must begin to agree with God about who we are as His children. We all know our actions are supposed to line up with God’s Word. Do we not realize that we should align our identity also within God’s Holy Word? Think about that for a minute. Do I believe I am what God’s Word says I am?

God is always looking at our heart. The heart’s intention, desires, purity, these are what God is interested in. God is not looking for “a sharp dressed man”.

The things we do should be rooted in a heart of love and a want to serve. The things we do, should not be what gives us our value or worth. What we are and what we do are two separate things.

(take a $5 bill out, anyone reading this please picture a $5 bill, okay?) This is a $5 bill. If I throw it on the floor is it still worth $5? (Throw it on the floor) If I toss it in the mud & step on it so that it is covered in muck is it still worth $5? What if I throw this $5 into a toilet full of urine and feces, that's pretty it still worth $5? I can wash it off and it's still $5. What if I lay it down and cover it with meth? Is it still worth $5? What if I pour cocaine over it? Still worth $5? Are you sure??? It's not lost any value? What if I pour a whole bottle of Jack Daniels over it? Is it still worth $5? So this $5 bill can roll in the mud, be stepped on, cover itself with urine and feces, cover up in drugs and alcohol and it's still worth the same $5 when it was fresh and clean? ........Let me ask you then if this simple piece of paper can retain it's value even after all the disgusting things it has gone through then how can you, a child of God, who are worth more than a piece of paper not think that you can retain your value and be worth every bit as much to God as the very moment you were born into His kingdom? If a piece of paper can keep it's value, how much more a child of God? You are who you are because you have been born again into it and there is nothing you can do to change your identity.

“When you received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, He made you righteous in the eyes of God. That does not mean you do everything right, but it does mean you can press toward better behavior every day of your life and in Him. When you received Jesus as Lord and Savior, you were made a new creature. Everything about your old self passed away from God’s perspective. Receiving Him made you new, clean, and right with God. You received a new heart, a new future, the fruit of the Holy Spirit; you were filled with new possibilities and much more. This means you have a legal right to feel good about yourself. Experientially, you are moving toward the manifestation of your “legal” position in Christ every day, and for the rest of your life, the Holy Spirit will be working with you to work out through you what He has done in you. Your job is to cooperate with Him by yielding to His guidance in your life and by believing what God says about you in His Word. -Joyce Meyer

We are not likely to experience the promises of God if we do not believe them. To really know who you are and walk in the freedom and power of your identity in Christ, your beliefs must align with the truth of His Word. -Joyce Meyer

All the scriptures that say WHO WE ARE IN CHRIST in statement form are HERE. PLEASE click on this link to see them, print them and read them aloud so you can walk in your true identity.

Love you all lots,


How Did You Lose All That Weight? Answered

Ah, to be 17 and a size 3 again.....circa 1987, Biology Class. Can you believe I thought I was fat back then too? Women are weird. We always think we are fat.

Present day, age 40. I'm not telling you my size either ha ha. But, I am shrinking and that's the good news.
That's my treadmill in the background. I love my Gold's Gym treadmill. I never photograph well, I swear it irritates me to death. I was thinking my face looked skinner when I was cleaning the mirror behind me so I thought I'd take a new profile pic. The previous one was me at 15 lbs lost. Now I have lost 30. YAY!!! I wish I was at my goal but I'm not so I keep moving forward with my fitness goals.
I think I am finally at that point where the weight loss has become significantly noticeable because people keep asking me what I am doing to lose the weight. Well, okay women are asking me. I always tell them and they look at me like I am crazy. Yesterday I was asked again and I told her and she gave me the same crazy look. Why the crazy looks? I am losing the weight because of Jesus and God first and the treadmill second. That is why.
Since I was a teenager I was thin. I thought I was fat most of the time but I was very thin. Mostly a size 2-4 until I had my first kid. Then I was a size 4-6. I think I stayed around 113-115 lbs until I had my third child. OY VEY. Then I spent 30-40 being over weight. I didn't want to be over weight but it just seemed like I could not get in gym time or time to do anything at home. If I did put my foot down the family or my job would just end up not cooperating with me and I could not do it regularly enough to do anything. So, nothing worked.
The life of many women.....get up & make coffee, get kids up & ready for school, get yourself ready, go to work, come home from work if you are lucky enough not to have to stop by the grocery store first for dinner stuff, and/or stop by the daycare and pick up kids then go home. Wrangle kids into the house, start dinner & cook dinner, get kids to do homework, watch husband walk in the door and ask you what's for dinner as he strolls past the kitchen to park himself on the couch and turn on the TV, throw in a load of laundry in between stirring something cooking or check on homework, eat, clear dinner mess, put away leftovers, try to spend a bit of quality time with your kids, and yep, it's around 8-8:30 now. Time to get the kids in the showers and into bed. Exhausted, we hit our own bed. Wake up and repeat. Um, when do you exercise? Please do tell.
So, I stayed fat. At 36 I decided to do Weight Watchers and lost 18 lbs. My husband decided he wanted another kid, I didn't but guess who ended up pregnant anyway? Not him, that's for sure. I had Braxton a month and a day before I turned 37. Then I was just busy all over again. I joined a gym 2 more times from 37 to 40. It never worked because the family just kept finding reasons for me to do things for them and they needed things from me or my presence so I couldn't go enough to do any good. I gave up again. I blamed my husband mostly and I can be honest enough to admit that I hated him a little for it. He could find every reason under the sun not to watch our four kids. Somebody always needed something and Braxton hated the daycare at the gym and they would always come and get me and tell me I had to take him home. I tried working out at home but the kids would constantly interrupt me while doing a video or anything else I did. I wanted to pull my hair out! It was too frustrating, so I stayed fat.
Then Lysa TerKeurst (oh how I love that woman!) began a sugar fast and actually sustained her battle with food by doing it with God. She used scriptures like Lamentations 3:24 The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him to help her overcome cravings. She said she asked the Lord to be her portion of strength to overcome a craving. She would ask him to be the portion she needed instead of food. She used scriptures involving "overcoming" to overcome this battle with food and exercise she had to go through. I watched her do it for a year with a skeptical eye. I mean seriously....could the Lord really be my "portion" instead of a delicious chocolate chip cookie from the Bakery? Huh, could He really? She turned her food/exercise battle into a spiritual battle and the Lord and Jesus were her biggest weapons. You know what, it worked. I was inspired.
I turned 40 and I got slightly depressed. I was hoping Edward (Twilight) would come and bite me so I could stay 39 forever but he never showed up. Dang. Then I got mad when I realized I just spent my entire 30's unhappy with myself and overweight. I still see myself as that skinny girl until I would look in the mirror. Very depressing. So, I said if Lysa can do it, I can do it.
I told the family that I was going to get on the treadmill every day. No matter what. They interrupted me of course but I would yell at them to get out of my room. I was mad. I started to pray the entire time I was on the treadmill. I fully involved God in this weight loss battle. I made Him chief dietitian and fitness trainer. I spoke scriptures concerning who I am in Christ over myself. I would want something sweet and I would ask God to be my portion. And you know what? It worked. In less than a week I didn't crave sweets anymore and I was eating probably half of what I ate before. In fact, many times I didn't want to eat at all. I felt stronger and more confident in my ability to accomplish my goal with God in control of the battle. Huh, who knew? Then one day I was praying on the treadmill as to how I was going to be able to keep this up and also add free weights to the workout and such. I honestly am constantly pressed for time to accomplish what I have to do every single day. How do I fit in working out too Lord I asked? Well, as soon as I got off the treadmill the Lord answered my prayer immediately and I have never been the same since. Thank you Jesus for visiting Mary and Martha on this particular occasion and including it in your Holy Word for us!!!! What did God show me? Please click here to read.
Mostly I learned that my weight was my fault and my fault only. I was wrong to have ever blamed my husband. He may have been wrong to not be helpful or supportive but he never stopped me from doing anything. I stopped myself, I gave up, I didn't fight hard enough for myself. I made the choice to go about making all the preparations like Martha was and getting angry and bitter like Martha and just when Martha goes to Jesus (and wouldn't you just think Martha is entitled to complain and say she needed Mary to get up and help her! Can't we sympathize with poor Martha?) Jesus tells her that Mary is the one doing the right thing. Excuse me Jesus but what?

Modern day.....wives play out as Martha & husbands play out as Mary. I am generalizing of course. I know some lazy dog women who expect their man to do everything and are awful wives. I also acknowledge there are plenty of good men out there who do things around the house and are superb husbands. But generalizing, this is the big picture. When many women look at this scripture they are imagining themselves as Martha at home doing all the work or most certainly the vast majority of it and feeling very upset about it and resentful of their Mary/husband who clearly can't see for himself all the work to be done around the house and is quite content to sit around taking care of his own needs whilst us Martha's work ourselves from dawn to dusk. That was a run on sentence if ever there was one. So what do us Martha's do? We go to Jesus in prayer and ask the Lord to change our husbands. Yes, we do. Oh some of us hear the sermon about praying for God to change you both and to change you first and we pray that but in our hearts we still think that we are fine and our Mary/husbands are the ones with the issues and could you please hurry up Jesus and fix him before I kill him? Hello conviction.

But alas, Jesus says the Mary/husband is making the right choice. I sum it up in the link but it all comes down to choices. We as women get caught up in the "what has to be done" and because our Mary is not going to help get it done because Mary is taking care of Mary's needs we just assume we have to do it all and we do. So we do not take care of our needs as we should and we go about making all the preparations like Martha getting upset, angry, tired and maybe a little over weight? And men, let me tell you this carries over into your sex life. A tired woman does not want to have sex with you. Especially if she has been on the go all day and then continued to go all night too while you watched TV or just did as you please. Um, you're not getting any, okay?

So we should learn from our Mary's. We should learn from the real Mary. We need to make the right choice to put God first. Jesus makes it very clear to Martha that He should have come before the cooking and cleaning. His word pouring into your soul is more important than vacuuming, cooking and cleaning? Yes, it is. If you made your domestic to do's a priority you are wrong if you didn't get your Lord time in. But it has to be done you say? Yes, it does and Jesus knew that too and still He told Martha/us wives that she was wrong and so are we if we do not have our spirits fed and take care of our bodies. We should learn from Mary and we should learn from men in general who are much more happier than women. Although men, you're still not getting any if you aren't helping out some or giving your wife time to unwind okay? yeah.

So that is what God showed me and the result? 30 pounds lost, the kids don't bother me anymore when I workout, the kids exercise now too, my husband likes me a whole lot better now that I am happier, my husband helps me protect my work out time now, the house has not fallen apart, things get done still but not as perfect as they used to be but I am getting skinnier and I am much happier so it must be working!

It all comes down to choice. What choice am I going to make today? And that is how I am losing the weight. Plus 90 minutes 7 days a week on my treadmill. Amen.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Never Mind His Speck of Wood, Mind Your Own Plank

This was about a year ago. Mike was at work one day and he said the Lord spoke to him and told him to build 3 wooden crosses for our church grounds. It was 100 degrees outside. What did Mike do? He went to Home Depot after he was done working, came straight home and built 3 gigantic wooden crosses. The one in the middle stands higher than the other two, just like we always picture on Calvary. He blew me away that day. He never came in and said hello. He just went straight to work in that 100 degree weather. He never said what he was doing. He didn't feel like he had to. It was between him and the Lord. I was impressed. Why am I writing about this again? Because my poor Mikey has taken a wounding today.

Being judged stinks. Most of us say we don't judge people, but I bet if we take close inventory we do make assumptions (the nice word for judging) about people and assign those "assumptions" to them. I get really angry when our Christian friends/acquaintances judge Mike or look down on him because he does not go to church every time the doors are open. So what? Just like the baptism guy I wrote about, Mike works tons of hours. He kills himself to make his business a success so our family is not homeless. He goes Sunday mornings and guess what? Sometimes he is so exhausted because he worked Saturday too that he takes Sunday just to rest and does not go to church. I may not prefer that but big whoop. Why can't he do that if he is completely exhausted? Why can't he do a devotion at home every now and then or watch a sermon because he is dog tired and he needs him brain to be focused or the business suffers. He cannot stay stressed out, period. He needs his time of rest. He works late a lot, Wednesday nights are very difficult for him. Plus, he comes home covered in saw dust or sweaty and needs to take a shower and eat first. That's hard to do when you don't get home until 15 to 30 minutes before we would have to leave for church. Plus, he is exhausted. Home remodeling is a hard and tough business. It is physically exhausting.

You know, it really chaps my tail that people assume that our Christian walk or relationship with the Lord is based off service in the church or church attendance. Um, that can be a very good indicator but not the only one. It makes me very upset because I tell people that he does a lot in the community and he does. You just would not believe all the stuff he does for people in our community and lots of other places. He is generous to a fault. He gives and gives and most of the time I don't even know the stuff he does until someone tells me what he did for them. He keeps a lot to himself, he's not a bragger. Once again, he just goes John Wayne on me ha ha. Quiet. He walks quiet with the Lord but he's walking. Isn't that all that matters? That he is obedient and he is walking? Sheesh.

I know plenty of people go to church every time the doors are open and I can guarantee that for a good deal of them the rest of their time is spent focused on "life" and the stuff in their life. Some people like Mike go less but their walk is highly focused and obedient to the Lord. So who looks like the better Christian to man's eyes?

Mike has such great faith, I think I said that yesterday even. What a huge gift and he uses it. Jesus said to love was the greatest commandment. We are to love others and I tell you what....I'm hard pressed to think of many people like Mike who go out of their way to help people like he does. AND, not expect anything for it or tell anyone about it. He just does it because it's the right thing to do. If he knows of a need he tries to help that person or hook them up with someone that can help. He is a great man and I am so mad right now that someone would think less of him for his church attendance record and give favor to someone else because they attend more.

God is not a respector of persons so why does man do it? That really irritates me!

I am like a lioness right now, roaring in protective mode. I am like, how dare anyone judge him! They don't know squat about this man. They are lucky to even know his name, how dare anyone look at attendance and make assumptions about anyone. Grrrrr......

Yes, God should be first but God being first does not have to be defined by sitting in a pew. What if a busy man has the bible on CD and plays it in his work truck? What if a busy man prays a lot while he is driving around? What if a busy man stops to help people daily as he sees a need? What if a busy man just goes to church one day a week and spends time in the word on his own on other days? What if a busy man is focused on God and is obedient and not many people can see it? Does it make God not be first for him?

Once again, the road to heaven may be a narrow road but that road looks very different for all of us. It's doesn't have the same scenery for all of us. I wish people would remember to just focus on the plank in their own eye. My husband is an outstanding person. He is faithful, loves his kids and plays with them, he loves God and Jesus, he treats women with great respect, he serves his community well and I could go on and on. Oh, yeah and he never hesitates to tell people about Jesus. So there. Stupid people.....he stays calm and I get all outraged. I saw the hurt though and that was enough to get me all riled up.

For me, my walk does put me in church twice on Sundays most of the time and on Wednesday evenings. I go every other week on Thursdays to teach our ladies class too. I pray, I study too. So what? Does that make me better than Mike? What if he is there physically in church less than me but he prays more and studies the Bible more? Who is better then? I say nobody is better but aha, we do make those assumptions don't we? His faith never waivers, mine has but I go to church more. Why is that? A walk with God doesn't become greater because you sit in a pew more, that's why.

Why oh why do we hurt each other? Big dummies. Going to work now and then meeting Lexie for a pedicure. Gotta have pretty toes for Saturday's big graduation day! That should cheer me up.


Monday, May 24, 2010

A New Desire

Psalm 34:11
Come, you children, listen to me;I will teach you the fear of the LORD

I had a funny post to write but I think it needs to be moved to tomorrow. Today I have exciting news.

This weekend my husband surprised me with news from our Pastor that completely humbled me and excited me at the same time. I am feeling completely humbled but in a wonderful way. The news?

Mike said our Pastor approached him about Mike & I starting a "Junior Ministry" together as a couple teaching the middle school age children. We would do activities outside of the church together too. The details are not worked out yet, Pastor just wanted to know if we were interested. Interested? I was blown away.

First, I just want to say I have never even thought about teaching the kids. I teach the ladies class and that's all I have been focused on. HOWEVER, on Easter Sunday I was asked to fill in for the middle schoolers Sunday School class and I loved it! I was beside myself with happiness when my son (12 years) asked me if I would teach them all the time. I said why? He said because usually the teachers teach them first and then they do an activity or a craft. He said it's kind of boring. But he said the kids liked it that I brought out the craft to do first and I taught the lesson while we did the craft. I made it more of a discussion too. Basically, I threw the lesson plan out the window and just talked with the kids about the topic and made it completely Q & A for them. What middle schooler wants to sit and listen to an adult yap yap yap? So I would yap for a bit and then I'd ask them questions about what I yapped about while they were relaxed and doing something. I found the kids to be quite open and willing to discuss the topic. I didn't realize I was doing it all wrong, ha ha. But, that's my style anyway. I like to go my own way. Such a little rebel in my own little Jesus way. Well, I knew that was out of the question to teach them, the slots are filled and I never thought about it again.

Second, I was surprised at how delighted I was at the idea of doing this with the kids. I am the very last person in the church that would volonteer for nursery or Sunday school. Um, I have four kids and church is my place of "me time" and "rest". I don't do nursery. EVER. I hide when I know they need nursery workers. HATE IT. But you have four kids they always must like kids. Um, NO. I am trying to get away from them for a couple of hours people....leave me alone and I duck and hide. I immediately thought of this scripture:

Philippians 2:13 For it is God who works in you to will and act according to his good purpose.

God changes our desires if need be to act according to his purposes. This is why we should not fear God's will and being asked to do something that will make us miserable or something that we will fail at. If He desires us to do it, He will give us the desire and the ability. I am humbled that He has given me this desire.

Thirdly, are you kidding me? A ministry with the hubs? This is all kinds of prayers being answered all rolled up into one, okay. I can't even begin to tell you. WOW. I can't even begin to imagine all of the fantastic implications that this can bring! He loves kids, which is why I have four. I wanted to stop with the two. Well, wait....the third kid is my fault. But the fourth was all his doing. The fact that he was interested blew my mind. He likes his walk with God to be very private. He likes to do his own thing, at his own time and he totally hates feeling like he is supposed to go to church more than once a week. He says you should go because you want to and not because you have to. That's another topic but you see if we do this it will most likely be a Wed. evening thing or Sun evening or both perhaps? Well, if we commit to it then we have to be there. I am surprised and see God's hand in this. Whoopty doo. Plus, Mike never reads my bible studies that I write and has never much liked discussing spiritual matters with me. I have no idea why but if we do this then that will be a given that we are preparing lesson plans together and on the same page with the kids.

Mike has been given a wonderful gift. He has great faith and is easily able to live out what he learns. He always amazes me like that. Sometimes it's sickening. Most of us at one time or another have tragic circumstances hit us and we flail about and moan and groan and cry out where are you Lord. Not Mike. He just stays steady and faithful, like an old dog sitting on the porch waiting for his master. He doesn't waiver much. He's great with people, everybody loves Mike. I think he would be really good at it. He's always coached and is President of the local baseball rec league so he's very good at working with kids. This would be more new territory for me. But I do have the gift of being able to talk easily to people. I am extremely open, I will share anything. I could care less. I have some good life experiences to share and I do well with the middle school age kids. Just um, don't give me the elementary ages or younger. Not cool. I am pretty funny too, so I am told, humor and that age group works well. I like talking "with" them rather than talking "to" them so in this informal setting that may just work out fine. If we do it I guess the Holy Spirit will just lead us in that direction.

I had some wonderful youth leaders in my church. Boy were they fantastic! It is so important to guide our youth. I never thought I would have that desire but pretty humbled that it has been given to me. Whenever God does something new with me I always find it extremely humbling. What an honor that He has bestowed on us. To trust his beloved children into our hands. Gives me goosebumps! It's not final yet or anything but I am exicted about doing whatever the Lord has in store for us.

This could be a nice blessing for my marriage too. You know I'm always griping that he doesn't pay much attention to me. Although lately he has been making strides. He's weird to me and he thinks I am weird for wanting him to say nice things to me and flirt with me still. Maybe we are both weird? Maybe this will help bring us closer? Anything is possible! It certainly can't hurt. I am always saying he is like John Wayne, I am more of a Mae West. Can you see those two together? Sheesh. I'd be the Christian version of Mae West though, um just to be clear ha ha. I'm excited.

Love y'all,


Friday, May 21, 2010

Feeling God's Presence

What a cutie he is! Brandon is my bud.

I had an interesting day with the Lord yesterday. I swear I could just feel His presence all around me all day. Loved it. It's funny because I prayed in the morning for his grace and favor as I went out into the neighborhoods to do my Census work because I had more to accomplish than I could possibly do. When I prayed I said "Lord, you'll have to be with me if I am going to get all this done today. I'm going to need your favor if you don't mind." WOW. Boy did he give it to me. Together we got it done.

As things started to go unusually well for me early on I just smiled and I said "Lord is that you?" and then I laughed. He was mighty nice to follow me all around Ball Ground yesterday and give me His favor. People were particularly eager and nice to me yesterday. I would be at one house and the lady would say do you need to do my neighbor? I would say yes and she'd say "Well let me call her up so she knows to answer the door for you." Okay, that's never happened before. I was out in the woods so y'all I really appreciated that. Sometimes I go down gravel roads and I get a little scared. Ball Ground call get pretty remote and the people a bit country ha ha. One guy saw me coming and took his four wheeler out and said if I wanted to talk to him I'd have to come out back and sit a spell first. I love these people! What a great time I have had getting to know my community.

Another lady insisted I sit for awhile outside with her on her yard swing and we talked about everything under the sun and I still got all my work done. She was the most generous and perfect Southern hostess. I really liked her. I also really like how the ones who want to chat with me for awhile always invite me to visit their church. There is just something wonderful about southerners. I was born and raised in Miami and moved here in 1992 but to southerners that still makes me a Yankee. Miami is full of Yankees so even though my hometown was about as South as you can get I'm about as Northern as you can get to a true southerner. Yes, there is still much debate here in Georgia over Yankees and Rebels. Which, I have to say I hate that stupid Rebel flag and why do people have that dumb thing in their truck window I have no idea.

I was thinking how fantastic yesterday was as I went about my day feeling God's presence and expecting Him. It was really nice. Jesus said we are to abide in Him. Abide means to remain in a fixed state. Sometimes the definition is better than the word. I am to stay fixed on Jesus and when I do He sure does not disappoint. Hmmm, I wish life wasn't so complicated that I could just live that daily. Sometimes I'd just like to sell everything and move to Montana and live off the land. No TV, just a radio and beautiful scenery and plenty of time to enjoy people. That sounds nice to me. We muck everything up with all our stuff and our wants don't we?

Well, I have to go work now. Working from home mostly but working still. I am hoping to catch up on my blog reading tonight or this weekend for sure. I have a funny post to write about for Monday that cracks me up every time I think about it. I hope you come back to ready it :) It should be a good laugh but a learning experience too.

I just want to encourage anyone reading this to remain fixed on Jesus today and every day. It is through this fixed connection that we receive what He has to give us. We can't hear if we aren't listening. We can't see if we aren't looking. We can't give what we clench and we can't receive if we aren't open to Him. I sure do love my Lord!!

Love y'all too!!!!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Braxton, Moral Purity and Random News

It is never boring at my house.

Two things you should know about Braxton. 1. His pants are always falling down as you can see.

2. He likes to hide from me. I love the look on his face! He was like "You caught me!" ha ha. The door does not shut with him in it BTW and he managed to spill OJ all over my fridge. It was worth the pic.
He did this a couple of weeks ago but I was looking through my pictures trying to find some of Lexie's Varsity cheerleading photos and I saw these. What a hoot my boy is. As a funny side note I ran into my Varsity cheerleading photos from back in the day and what a difference between my cheerleading uniform and Lexie's!!! Now I'll acknowledge the fact that I attended a private Christian school so you know we didn't have any trampy uniforms but lol, our skirts went almost to the top of the knee. Lexie's uniform looks like they forgot the skirt practically. Oh well, times they change.
I had a great time at church tonight. Our sermon was on moral purity. Someone named Jennifer may have felt a bit convicted tonight. AND Sunday, and the previous Wednesday. I actually caught and chastised myself for thinking "I wish he'd hurry up and get off this topic." Shame on me. But, why lie. Then I thought to myself, I sure hope the Holy Spirit didn't give him this series just for me. Good grief.
I still struggle with that "little thing" I wrote about awhile back. I almost had the dern thing conquered and then an event happened and I said poo on this and I re indulged myself. Which is really weird for me, being the queen of self control that I am. I don't think I have ever in my life had a problem saying no to anything or quitting something once my mind was made up. It's really not that big of a deal even but I felt particularly convicted when Pastor said "We will tell ourselves that the sin in our life is no big deal. We will reason it out into something acceptable." If you could have heard inside my head at that moment you would have heard a very loud "DANG IT!"
So then of course I was like sheesh God, come on! Give me a bone here, I've always been such a good girl. I really need this!!!! a.k.a. I want it and don't want to be obedient and give it up. Sunday when he was preaching on sin in our life I was seated just in front of the altar. I kept looking at it and I was thinking that I really need to be at it and calling on Jesus to help me overcome my "little thing". Then I had to admit to the Lord that I didn't want to overcome it. Yep, I did. It's the truth. I can hardly believe it. I think when I turned 40 some horrible hormonal rebellion took place and I just feel like I shouldn't have to put up with certain things anymore and that's that. I say I deserve this and that's that. Um, that is so not me. Who is this crazy lady?
I feel squeezed. I know what I should do but I don't want to do it. This thing is nothing physical and I am not cheating on my husband or anything. I would never do that. It's a mental thing, it's all taking place in the mind. So of course I reason it out. But I know it's not helping me to walk blamelessly before the Lord as in Genesis when God speaks to Abraham. "Walk before me and be blameless.", God says. That really struck me last summer when I read that. I think I did a blog post on it? Huh, I'm sure I did. Anyhoo, I've never forgotten it.
I've always prided myself on being little miss goody pants. Well, that's shot to poo now. It may be a good thing in a way. I've never understood addiction and not that I am addicted to my little sinful habit (or am I?) but it will be good for me to walk through this so I can understand why people can't let go of things. I'm sure there must be a reason for this stupid thorn in my flesh. I say that because it is just so not me to let something get a hold of me. Little Miss. Self Control has lost her crown for a bit perhaps? It's not something that would keep me from teaching or anything lest anyone worry but yeah, I definitely struggle with something for the first time. Me thinks this sucks.
I look forward to the day when I take my "walk of shame" to the altar and lay this thing down. I jokingly call it my walk of shame, only because I should have been walking down to that altar last Sunday but made a clear choice not too. Hence, shame on me. But I will take that walk eventually and not now. Why not now? Because I want my need filled. But, I will say that God has been working in this thing and I can see that very clearly in the last couple of weeks. I said before my need is rooted in someone else, which of course I cannot control. So, happily I can see God moving and most hopefully the need will no longer be there and Jenn can put an end to this madness. The point also, is that I have not stopped communicating with God about this thing and praying about it. I talk to Him about it, I pray about it. He is right there in the dirty mud with me, which is right where He needs to be. Shining His light on my darkness. I won't let myself feel ashamed to talk to God or pray. That's important I think. I won't let the enemy, who I am quite confident is right in the middle of this, get me into a place where I feel rotten about myself that I pull away from God.

I think that is HUGE. I know who I am in Christ. I know I usually live by the Spirit and not by my flesh and that no matter how "fleshy" I am right now the very last thing God wants is for me to pull away from Him. I find comfort but not permission in that. I think I hold myself to very high standards too so this little fall for me is huge but I can also reason out that this is certainly nothing to feel condemned over and leave my happy place in God or church. I will beat it and I am super excited to see God moving in this thing. He is helping me. I like that. Our God is an active helping God, isn't that awesome? I like it that I can feel comfortable enough with the Lord to chat with Him about this and be honest with Him. He is responding to that, He is so good to us. Amen to that.
In other news of the day....I had my first real scare today. Some dork of a man came up behind me at his house and blocked the stairs so I could not leave the porch unless I jumped over the railing. He snuck up behind me too, and I jumped a mile. I told him "You scared me to death!" and he laughed. Um, not funny dorkwad. He's lucky I didn't have mace. Then he doesn't unblock me for a bit and as soon as he stepped off the stairs and moved his hands away from the handrails I quickly got off the porch and into the grass. Scary. I can't imagine a 5'3" woman was anything for him to be highly concerned about. Me in my flip flops and all, hardly a cat burglar I would say. I hope he enjoyed scaring the Census lady. Big doodie head.
My husband's back is feeling better, not good but better. It's an improvement so we will take it! We didn't end up going out at all for our 12th anniversary so he said he wanted to take me out this weekend (yay!). I tell ya what would make me happy. One night in a hotel. Need I say more?
Lexie is graduating May 29. This should make for some exciting family drama. Hee hee, I am kind of excited to see what will happen. All of us husband's parents who are divorced and don't get along with each other or their spouses. My ex in laws who hate me. That's always good fun when I get to see them once every 5 years or so. (When they met my parents the first time the very first thing my EX-FIL said was "We just don't understand why he has to marry her. Can't he just f@ck her and leave it at that?" yep, always good fun there.) Then there is my ex husband who I can't stand but I am always nice to because my daughter deserves that but my husband HATES my ex and will not speak to him. Like, EVER. Can you say awkward? We have the new wife (wife number 3) who is all peppy and wants everyone to feel the love, she is great. I love his wife, can't stand him. Can't I just talk to her? She is totally cool. Lexie thinks it is a great trial run for how her wedding will go. She is highly curious as to how everyone will behave. I am too! I will have to take lots of pictures. Maybe I will catch something good? You never know.....

Monday, May 17, 2010

Conviction & Image Issues

I had a really interesting conversation with someone this weekend concerning our walk with God and what it should look like and feel like. He was supposed to be baptized but backed out on it because he didn't feel like he was going to be doing it for the right reason so he said he would wait for the next baptism. Normally I don't butt in but I felt compelled to press him a little. So we discussed whether we should do what we ought to because we "feel" like it or because we just should.

I asked him "Do you want to be baptized?" He said "yes". "So why aren't you doing it?" I say. He says "Because I don't feel it and I think if I did it I would be doing it out of others pressuring me to do it." "Who is pressuring you?" "Well no one but I know it is expected of me which makes me not want to do it." Jenn's ears pricked up like a dog...... aha!! A rebel, just like me :) May I insert that I am rebellious in more milder ways and not major sinful ways. For instance my 10 year old found a bumper sticker in my 18 year old's stuff yesterday that said "I'm Naughty......Spank me." I laughed so hard and I wanted to put it on my car with tape and go to church with it just to see if anyone would say anything. It's a small church. I push limits sometimes :) Anyhoo, my husband hid it from me.

So I gently prodded him along in a conversation that leaned towards conviction. I sensed through the Holy Spirit that the root cause of this was guilt feelings brought on by conviction and frustration. The Holy Spirit was right but you know, it also had some to do with him feeling inadequate and less than for only coming to church on Sunday mornings. This is a big sticky point for me as I have lived just this thing and a tussle of sorts over just this topic led me to leave church in every way for 2 years in 2005 & 2006. Sometimes church people need to understand that some people lead very busy complicated lives and not push people to come more than once a week. For some, that is all they can do and that is perfectly fine as long as they are praying and talking to the Lord every day and in the Word. I used to work 50+ hours a week, usually 53 and I had 3 kids at that point, a big house to keep clean, yada yada and I went every Sunday morning and when I could also but good grief, my kids need me too. I would get a lot of flack for not being at every service and for me, that would have meant neglect for my kids. Yes it would. Momma was already at work at 5am, didn't get home until 6pm and started dinner right away. You know the drill, then I was dog tired from lifting 30lb + boxes all day long and working hard. Never mind the stress of supervising people. So, I could understand where he was coming from.

I tried to be helpful and he said he would do it. You know, sometimes we try to help people come closer to God and we drive them away instead. It's a shame. Every person has to walk their unique special walk with God. We all get to the same place by different routes and there are some times in our lives when we want to do more but we just can't. Pressuring someone and putting guilt feelings on them does not bring anybody closer to God. Saying if you had a closer relationship with God you would want to do "these things" only puts guilt on a new Christian if they just honestly don't want "those things" yet or just plain can't out of time constraints. I asked him if he was praying regularly and he said yes. He reads his bible on his cell phone too. Cool, didn't know you could do that. I think he's in a pretty good place for someone who works tons of hours to do what he is doing. I told him just keep moving forward. Don't stay still or go back. You do it how you need to do it but make sure you keep coming one day a week. A log doesn't burn unless it stays in the fire...... He agreed and tried to give me some crazy analogy about the lone log being able to burn by itself and I was like "don't even go there with me".

I encouraged him to keep on doing what he was doing and not feel guilty about only coming one day a week for now. God is not a God of guilt. He is praying and's all good. I had to make sure to let him know not to be frustrated that life was not going his way and link that to serving God. Serving God does not mean that our lives will be smothered and covered in protection and things go our way when we are good little boys and girls. Wish it did. We talked about that a little. We talked about blessings and worship. It was a good conversation.

Guilt feelings stink. Hate that. I'm sure he will be fine.

The Holy Spirit gave me the next topic to teach for our ladies class. It's on who we are in Christ. One of my favorite topics! I feel like I am supposed to take it in the direction of the Image of Woman in Christ. Well, that's what I got. I'll have to dig in with the Holy Spirit and see where it takes me. Since we will be discussing image I figure I'll throw in a couple of droopy boob jokes and we'll have a laugh or two ha ha.

Speaking of image. One day last week I took my 12 yr old to Gamestop to buy a game and I made a joke about being 40 and the two teens working there were like "No way are you 40, you look so young." Made my day :) Then the very next day I took my wedding ring to a jeweler to fix a prong that broke. He looked at the ring and then at me, back at the ring and said "How long have you been wearing this ring? At least 20 years I'd say." I said "It will be 12 years May 16, thank you very much." DORK. I guess I looked old to him. What does he know? Last night the subject of plastic surgery came up and I just tossed this out to Mike. I said I wanted to get implants in a few years so the girls would stay up. He said that was the stupidest and most insane thing he has ever heard me say. Which considering the things that fly out of my mouth is pretty good. I thought that was nice of him. I guess I haven't completely fallen apart yet ha ha. Maybe it's good that we are studying Image and Identity in Christ next. This just may be for me more than anyone. Turning 40 bites.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Happy 12th Anniversary to Me.

Mike-- April, 1998 with our son Brandon. We used to go up to Red Top Mountain a lot before we had a bus load of kids ha ha. Now, we picnic at the ball park. Boy he sure was skinny back then.
6'1" and 195lbs.
Here is Mr. Leisure as of a couple of weeks ago. That would NOT be our bathtub by the way. This is a home he is working on and the homeowner insisted he sit in her tub. I am not sure why but since she is the wife of an acquaintance and she is paying him to work for her, he obliged. One of Mike's employees thought it was funny and took this picture and posted it on my husband's Facebook. So I stole the picture. It's my blackmail now hee hee. Lucky for him I can see the homeowner in the picture and if she was a hot babe he would be in deep doo doo.
Well, our 12th wedding Anniversary is this Sunday. I think we are trying to do something on Saturday but his back is in awful shape and he walks like the hunchback of Notre Dame right now. Soooo......I don't know what he can do exactly. Not much probably. I keep praying for healing for his back issue, that's for sure.
I just wanted to do a little reflection on marriage, well mine at least. I just want to say that I am very thankful for my husband. He is a rock. That's an excellent way to describe him actually. A rock. Before I met Mike I was sick of dating and I began to pray and ask God to bring me the man who was right for me. I prayed for him to be a man of integrity and faithfulness. Those were the two most important character traits to me. I just could not bear to go through another cheating husband, never mind the boyfriends who were almost always unfaithful or lied a lot. People are weird. How hard is it to be truthful to someone? So that was the main thing I prayed for, a man of great integrity and faithfulness. That's exactly what God gave me.
Mike reminds me of John Wayne. That's why I call him my tool belt cowboy. He owns his own construction/remodeling company so he was always wearing a tool belt. No plumbers crack for my tool belt cowboy BTW, he makes all his guys wear their belts on their pants tight ha ha. He acts just like John Wayne and lives by these man codes he said he learned as a boy. I really like his man codes. They impress me very much. You know, if you borrow someones car return it with a full gas tank and wash the car. If you borrow a tool return it in better condition than you found it. Always sit with your back to the wall and position yourself so you can see who is coming and going out of a place (that may just come from being raised in Ft. Lauderdale, you have to be careful in FL), he is very protective of me and such. Basically, he just has all kinds of little man codes he lives by. Very impressive in this modern day and time. He is also a man of few words.
He is true to his word. That is an oddity these days. If he says it he does it. He always makes everything right that he is involved with. He is honest to a fault. I asked him one time if he liked something I was wearing and he said it looked like something his grandma would wear. So.....I don't need to tell you that he has never said anything like that to me again. Momma had to instill a new man code for verbalizing his thoughts on what I wear and I threw away all his stupid cartoon ties too. I hated those stupid ties. It's amazing we got married at all, I think we'd only been dating 2 months at the grandma/tie event. Well, sometimes you just know about someone. I think we both just knew. I like his honesty.
He is faithful. HUGE BLESSING! We have been together almost 13 years. Kinda. We were engaged and something awful happened and I gave him the boot and his ring back. For nine months he did not date anyone and kept pursuing me. He never gave up. I didn't date anyone either 'cause I was pregnant. Not a good time to start dating ha ha. That's a long story in itself but let's just say that if you are a good Jesus girl and never drink it's not a good idea to go on vacation to Miami with your new boyfriend who wanted to go to visit his family too and go to a club and get drunk 'cause you might find yourself pregnant the very next month. I used to be highly ashamed of that but now I talk about it openly to caution young teenagers and young ladies on the dangers of drinking. God has used that experience to let me help others and guide a few ladies through the shame of unplanned single mother pregnancies. I am so happy He allows me to do that and keep these women in church instead of leaving out of shame. But, my husband was faithful to a fault before we were even wed and he is so great to me in that regard. He does not ogle other ladies in front of me. He does not make any comments of any kind about any women with regard to their appearance or sex appeal. If something risque comes on the TV, especially those stupid Victoria Secret commercials he flips the channel immediately. He turns his head if a woman comes around inappropriately dressed out of respect for me. I can't tell you how much more that makes me love and respect him. TRULY. I am so impressed by him. It is hard to find a man who knows how valuable his godly wife is and treats her in the manner she deserves. He could easily hurt me and devalue me by indulging in the many sinful, lustful pleasures out there for men but he does not. He never would go to a place like Hooters, mostly 'cause he knows I'd change the locks on his tail if he ever went to that gross place. If he wants to see hooters that's what I am for. Period. I know by living with him that his character is impeccable and that his word is everything to him. I know I can trust him when he says he does not do these things and go to these places. It's just the way he is. He says a man's word is the most important thing about him. It must be true. LOVE IT.
He works hard. He never gives up on something he wants. He loves kids.He loves being active in the community, he is President of our local Recreational Baseball League. He loves people. He likes to laugh, which is good 'cause I like to tell jokes. He won't discuss politics with me, I HATE that. He likes to camp, for me He likes to go four wheeling, I tell him to have fun....see ya later. He likes thrill stuff, I don't, but I tell him to go do that stuff without me. He likes to watch that crazy ultimate cage fighting wrestling show, I find it uncomfortable. He is too smart and thankfully our kids take after him. Do you know he still remembers how to do all the dumb math we learned in school but never use like Algebra? Weird. I think he uses Algebra a lot in his job though. He won't read any of my Bible studies that I write for the class I teach unless I nag him to death, hate that. He has never read my blog, which is good maybe 'cause sometimes I complain about him here. He has forgotten how to be romantic, that's not so good but I've enrolled us in a "Marriage Enrichment" class starting soon and although he rolled his eyes at me he said he'd go. I said, "yes, you will." ha ha. It's a very rare thing for me to tell him that I need him to do something and not give him a choice about it. Let's hope they cover a topic in the class titled something like this "Men, you must take time to make your wife feel wanted by you and to feel special whether you think it's dumb or not because that is what women need." I am sure I will learn some cool things too to do for him.
He does not watch sports on TV. WHOPEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I scored big on that one. Yes, I did.
I am a lucky lady to be married to Mike. I think every married couple can find faults with each other. Nobody is perfect. I think my only complaint about Mikeypoo is that he sometimes acts like my roommate than a man who is romantically interested in me. But, we are working on that even if he thinks it's dumb. I know he hates how stubborn I can be. He hates it when I get in a bad mood. He really hates it when I say anything bad about myself. He is a very good man and I am blessed to have him. I am so glad he fought for me and we became a family and made everything right. It's exactly as it should be. Even though things get hard sometimes we don't give up on each other and honor our commitment to each other. I'm pretty sure he has had some fantasies about wringing my neck a few times. Okay, I am definitely sure about that. But, we don't give up.
I like it that he can still make me nervous. I think he has the best set of lips on the planet. The guys at work used to call him "Hot Lips". I am jealous, I have thin lips. He is super strong and I like that. I have never heard him burp or make any other obnoxious sound from his body. Momma really likes that. He is very respectful, so John Wayne. You just wouldn't picture John Wayne sitting around the living room burping and farting would you? Nope, neither does Mike. He never puts me down and always lifts me up. He wants for me to be happy. And when he tries he says sweet things that still make me blush and I don't blush easy. I like that too.
So on May 16 we will celebrate 12 years of marriage and I just want to say how much I do love and appreciate my husband. I appreciate so very much his integrity and faithfulness. You still impress me Mike, even after all these years :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Amber at The Talent Show

Who is this crazed girl? It's my Amber cat of course. Well the talent show went great. She was very nervous but I think she did awesome. I recorded her performance and put it on You Tube. I was so nervous for her I was shaking while I was holding the camera. And dang it if I didn't forget about the microphone on the camera and my family says they can hear me singing lightly in the background. Ooopsies. Want to watch? She is so beautiful!!!!!! I love my little angel cat.

Here is the link to the You Tube video.

To Canoe Or Not To Canoe 12th wedding anniversary is this coming Sunday, May 16. I was hoping to take a trip up to Helen and go canoeing but Mike has major issues with his back so that was cancelled. We honeymooned in Helen and went canoeing and there was a little "incident" and I was hoping to redeem myself. I guess it will have to wait. It's a miracle we are married at all much less still married after "the incident" ha ha. I had forgotten all about our little canoe trip until a few weeks ago when I was teasing him about a movie I had just watched.

Have you ever seen The Notebook? Our cable had gone out and it was the only movie we had that I hadn't seen so I popped it in. LOVED that movie!!!!!!!!!! So I was teasing Mike about his inability to be romantic and asked him if he would take me out in a boat on a lake filled with pretty birds......(if you've seen the movie you'd understand what I am talking about.). Boy, he didn't even hesitate to say "HELL NO! The last time I took you out on a boat you left me for dead". I clearly remember my mouth dropping open. I forgot about the "incident" but he sure hadn't. He brings it up but lately not so much. I forgot about it. He has not. So after a few moments of feeling slightly ashamed of myself I laughed like a hyena. He was not so amused.

You see, I don't do bodies of water that are not pools. Nope. No thank you. After a little "incident" at Daytona Beach when I was young and my friend Tasha saved my life (thank you again Tasha!!!!! I'm so glad you didn't know there were sharks around me or I may be dead ha ha) Anyhoo, ever since Tasha dragged my traumatized drowning thought sharks were about to eat me tail out of the ocean I don't go in the water past my knees. EVER. What about a river you say? HECK NO. I cannot stand to be in water that I can't see clearly what is around me or know there may possibly be something that can eat me nearby. I saw the sharkies, they were checking me out deciding whether they wanted to eat me when Tasha grabbed me. That was close enough for me. I'd like to not see anymore hungry sharks thank you. So.....there have only been 2 times since that time in Daytona when I ended up in non pool water up to my neck and neither time went well.

The first time my dad begged and pleaded with me to get back into the ocean. I think I was around 15 when I gave in to his begging. We were just off the coast of Homestead, FL and I gave it a go. I immediately panicked and about killed my dad climbing on top of him trying to get out of the water and back in our boat. I still remember that feeling of terror. My dad says he is pretty sure I ran on top of the water. The second time was on my honeymoon with Mike and our canoe overturned. Worse yet, it was my fault the canoe overturned.

I don't do danger. I get no adrenaline rush from danger thank you very much. He picked the "light rapids" canoe trip. I told him that was not a good idea so maybe the overturned canoe was partly his fault too? Do I need to mention he is a danger man? Why we are together......who knows. We are opposites. Complete opposites. So......I lean the wrong way and the stupid canoe overturns on some "light rapids". Light rapids my butt. The first thing I remember is the shock of the cold water. When my head came up out of the water I gasped for air and I swear it felt like something cold and hard locked around my lungs and I couldn't breathe easily. I think it may have had something to do with the freezing water? So, here we both are in freezing water, barely able to breathe and being dragged down the "light rapids". It hurt from the rocks cutting into me and everything happened so fast that when we started to get into more calm water but were still being dragged down "lighter rapids" I realized I was up to my neck in water that was not a pool. AHEM. Not good.

I made my way to the canoe as fast as I could and I won't lie.....I was all about saving myself. I never thought about team work, nope, I just knew I had to get out of the water. Mike was all like "Jenn, wait for me." I was like "Hell no." I wasn't waiting for poo, I had to get out of the water. Shame on me. I know, I know. What can I say? I completely freak out when I am in the water. I told him so. He believes me now. You think?

So he teased me relentlessly the rest of the honeymoon that I was trying to kill him and that I tried to leave him for dead. So, I felt appropriately guilty and ashamed. I don't do water if it's not a pool.

I asked him 2 weeks ago if he would go back to Helen with me and go canoeing on that same trip again. He didn't pause for a second to say "HELL NO." Quite loudly I might add. I told him I wanted to redeem myself and he practically hung up on me, ha ha. About 5 minutes later he called me back to ask if I had taken out an insurance policy on him! The nerve!!! Sheesh, you leave a man for dead once and he can't let a girl live it down.

I almost had him caved in to doing it when he threw his back out. Maybe next year? I am sure I will freak out on the rapids again and over turn the canoe so I should have the opportunity to work together this time to save us instead of leaving him in the dust. Hee hee. I am a strong swimmer if nothing else. I am sad we are not going back to Helen to canoe. I was looking forward to it.

You know, it may be a good thing. The last time Mike was going to take me out on water we went to Lake Allatoona on a friends boat to try it out. He wanted Mike to buy it. We were all excited to go out on the lake, all 3 kids were psyched. We had a whole big picnic packed up, tubing stuff to attach to the boat, floats, the whole shebang. Mike said he'd put the boat in the water and come around for us on the dock. So we stood watching him put the boat in the water and shove off. There was a lot of people there 'cause it was a beautiful Saturday morning and such. After a few moments I noticed him having trouble with the boat. It wasn't very long, as in moments, before the boat began to sink. Yes, sink. I am laughing so hard as I am typing this. I swear, it was one of the funniest things I ever saw in my life. Poor Mike was trying to get the boat back into the dock area to save it and the boat was filling up with water. At one point the engine was still somewhat barely moving the boat and Mike was floating inside the boat as he was holding onto the wheel steering it. I swear, I thought I would die from laughter. Have you ever seen someone in a sinking boat almost completely filled up with water floating and kicking their feet in the water as they steered it in? Oh my. He was not a happy camper. It was also a little embarrassing because there were so many people watching. If a hole had opened up and swallowed us it would have been fine with me. So Brandon calmly says "Well, I guess we aren't going boating today." as his dad swim pushes the boat back to shore. I laughed harder. Oh, what a great memory. I think perhaps we aren't meant to be in the water together?

If it is crazy it happens to me. I once knew a guy, his name was Kent and Kent would use the crazy things I would tell him about that had happened to me for the week at the bar at Applebees Fri and Saturday nights. Why you ask? Because they were always so crazy and he would wait until the girls were good and drunk and he would tell them my stories but say they happened to him instead and he said the girls always felt sorry for him and would sleep with him. Can you believe that? He got a lot of mileage out of the boat sinking story. Ladies, never believe anything a man in a bar tells you. Of course that may apply to the men as well. When I went out my name was always Lola. Hey, I could be a Lola.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Her Broken Heart

Well my very words from my last post were thrown up in my face this morning. My daughter sat sobbing from a broken heart and fed up she said these words for the very first time in her life "What good does it do me mom to pray and serve God and do all the right things I should do when it doesn't seem to do any good? Why don't I ever get to be happy? Why can't I ever get what I want"?

I wanted to fall over. Was this God? What the heck?

Her boyfriend broke up with her last night. It was completely and totally unexpected. I don't mind saying I want to drive over to his house and hurt him in a big way. She loved him.....she really did. He was the first real practicing Christian guy she has dated too who had a personal relationship with the Lord and was adamant about pleasing God with his life. We all loved him. He was like a breath of fresh air. In fact, everybody loves this guy. He is very popular. He said he loved her too. Then just out of the blue, no warning, no conversations to discuss any issues he just drives over to her job and breaks up with her. I won't go in to why but.....we had such high hopes for this guy. Finally a guy that would be good to her and he was until last night. Finally a guy who wasn't trying to pressure her into having sex. Finally a guy with some integrity. NOT.

Do you know how hard it is to watch your child sob? Not just cry, but sob. It breaks your heart. A person should not have the ability or inclination to do that to another human being, make them sob that is. That was pain. Then she uttered those words to me and I knew what she was thinking. She doesn't drink, do drugs, smoke, skip school, have sex....... and what has it gotten her? She gets made fun of and does not get invited to lots of things because the other kids know she will be uncomfortable because they are doing those things. She can't date several guys over the years she really liked 'cause they want sex and she has stayed pure. They tell her this..... and they call her A WASTE because they say her smokin hot body is going to waste. NICE. So she is thinking that because she goes to church and prays and lives this life free of so many obvious sins there should be some kind of SOMETHING (like I stated in my previous post) for doing these right things in this life. But instead she gets grief, gets dumped, and gets heartache over and over. Why bother she asks? She is thinking that she could be out having fun instead? All her other friends are having the times of their lives, partying, lots of sex.......what does she get? DUMPED. UNHAPPY.


I took her to the Bible and we looked in Psalms. Thank you Lord for showing me where to take her. I did the best I could for the time allowed, she had to get to school. I will need more words later on tonight but good grief, what to say? Sometimes standard plastic church answers just won't do. You know like this one "We aren't always rewarded in this life for our good works, we are rewarded fully in the life to come in Heaven." In some situations the person hearing this could just say well whoopty doo and this helps me how? Been there and I really hate that stupid answer. That's more of a fact and not an answer that should be given in any way to someone looking for comfort. 'Cause it's not comforting much at all. When I am feeling this way at the moment myself why am I presented with someone wondering the same dern thing? Argh.

I find the timing a bit unique. My poor baby. I want to help her but really, how do you help someone with a broken heart. I can just listen and let her cry. Stupid boy. I want to her to kick his butt. Why did I send her to Tae Kwon Doe for 2 years and she is six months from her black belt to take this poo off a guy. I'm like, take him down girl. Put him in a hold. Ha ha, I kid. Maybe. I wouldn't be opposed to a good kick to the head.

So, I guess this weekend Lexie and I will talk about serving the Lord and that it does not guarantee our happiness in any way shape or form. Big sigh. I wish it did. I really do. Sometimes life is just dang hard. She kept saying "It's not fair!" and all I kept thinking was nothing about my life has ever been fair. It never has. Maybe it never will. Life isn't fair, it is skewed and it does not make sense. I wish Jesus would just come back. Now. This very second. That would be nice :) Then I would not have to explain to her that nothing about the laws of anything require that life is fair to anyone. Then I think we are going to have along talk about personal responsibility.

I can see from Lexie's relationships why people have walls around them. I personally am a wall less person. I am extremely open about everything and comfortable with myself and I tend to gravitate towards people like that too so I have not experienced the whole emotional wall thing. But, I can see why people build them. Sheesh, she has taken some emotional beatings and this guy is going to do some damage. Here is a wonderful Christian fellow who said all the right things, did all the right things, was fully involved in serving the Lord, took her out constantly and he said he loved her only to out of the blue dump her for no good reason. How do you trust after that? How can she ever believe anything ever again that someone says to her? It seems like they always lie. Stinks. Lord, I need your words for her.