Friday, February 27, 2009

Runnin' in the Rain, Just Runnin' in the Rain.....

Do y'all remember that wonderful Rogers and Hammerstein musical starring Bing Crosby? I loved to watch him dance! These movies--back then!--only came on Saturday and Sunday afternoons! None of this AMC stuff! We are some spoiled people!

Anyway, I needed to do a short run this morning, and by the time I had piddled around and finally laced up my Nike's, the rain had begun. Not much, but enough for a hat to keep it from stinging my eyes! As I began running, this song played through my head. I have sort of taken a leave of absence from running on a regular basis since the marathon in November. I wasn't training for anything in particular, so I didn't run any particular distances! Didn't need or want to! As I was asked to run with friends who at one time ran slower than I did, I was now seeing the benefits they were reaping of consistent training runs. These people were faster than me!!! Oh, I've had excuses, things to do--that could have waited, and of course, the cold frigid weather down here in the south!!

Sometimes, our spiritual lives get in a rut. We need to "spice things up a bit!" I'm not talking about reading your Bible while standing on your head!! I mean looking into new Bible Studies, taking a class on a particular book in the Bible, attending a retreat or ladies' conference. Something to light a fire under your feet again! We live in a time and place where so many opportunities are available to us throughout the year. No excuses!

Well, back to the morning jaunt in the rain. No ipod, just my Lord and me. I prayed about a new run coming up that I think I'd like to attempt. But it has to be His timing and His blessing on this! To some, that sounds crazy! You just pick a race and do it. But....submission is the key! I have signed up for some races in the past, and His blessings were not on these. Failure occurred. Oh, I have some tales to share! But another post!!! I now have learned to be in tune with Him and obey His timing. In the long run, it's for the best all around!

I am praying about a particular race in May, not too far from here. It's free!! The director simply asks for a donation to offset her snacks, prizes, and H2O bottles. This is something that fits in my budget! But, even so, I am going to pray about this over the weekend and see if I get any red flags from God. I would love to have your prayers as well...for wisdom and I seek a peace from Him. Just a little background about the race and me....I love a challenge! I want to push my body and see just what it is capable of doing. Two years ago, some friends and I trained for longer races on trails in the woods. That's such an awesome place to be nearer to God! I get chills!! No cars, no sidewalks with cracks in them, no gum on the roads!! We'd spend hours and hours and hours training. Finally, the big day arrived. There were 5 of us. There was a time limit--people, running in the mountains in the dark is not my idea of fun and safety! Of the five, only 2 of the girls completed the entire distance. I wasn't one of them. I was pretty close, but not close enough. But God is good! I have a different outlook on running and life and priorities! Lots of lessons learned on the trail! I'll have to write a book one day!

I would like to try this race, called an ultra, to actually complete a longer distance and not be stopped because I was running--actually walking!--too slowly! That's a goal. But I have to make sure that it lines up with God's goal for me during this season of my life.

I thank you in advance for your prayers! Y'all are wonderful! Oh, and thank you SO SO much for the great decorating ideas from Wednesday's post! I want to use them all....but I can't! I promise to let you know what I decide!!!

Many Blessings,

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Decorating Dilemma Wednesday

I love me some lime green paint! It is fun, bright, and cheerful! I especially love SW "Gleeful Green!" I first purchased this gallon to brighten up the downstairs bathroom! These are the window treatments (or as the Nestor says, "mistreatments") that started the whole green theme in our otherwise boring beige home. I found this fabric at Hobby Lobby, bought about a yard or so and discovered the cute little clippies that attach to the curtain rod. Easy peasy, people!

Well, then I had paint leftover. I saw an adorable office nook--that I mentioned in a previous post-from Rhoda at Southern Hospitality. Still getting up the nerve to redo the laminate desk! Promise to let you know when I get started!

I painted one of the walls in the study this fun green! It matches the green candle on the other side of the room. See, I can coordinate a little bit!!

Well, then I saw my ugly, boring, beige magazine rack sitting all alone in the corner of this study---which is under decorating construction!! I found this thing years ago at a local auction! Y'all, auctions are so much fun to go to! The one that we go to is in a community called Moonville--no lie! Remember, I do live in South Carolina! Anyway, they serve hot dogs, chips, Pepsi, and homemade chocolate cake for supper while you are busy bidding! For real! It is truly an icon of the upstate of SC!!!!!!

So, I slapped some gleeful green on my $10 wooden magazine rack! But, alas, it is still boring even in green! Here is your decorating dilemma for this week!! How would y'all spice up this puppy? A monogram? A fleur-de-lis? Rubber stamping? I need some fun ideas, people! I will have black accents in this room with some pops of blue. No window treatments yet--just 20 year old ugly mini blinds! But, I have a goal--to beautify this room--a metamorphosis, if you please! It's just going to take some time and money! Mercy me!
New life for old furniture--definitely! How about a new life for an old life that could be full of pain, sorrow, sickness, cruelty, envy, or pride? Most definitely! When we become followers of Christ, we give up that old life that has the yucky stuff in it. In return, we're given a new life! Therefore, is anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come. ( 2 Cor. 5:17) I don't have to worry about redecorating my own life--just my home! God took care of redoing my life when I gave my heart to Him. Instead of worry, I have peace. So...I am now ready to have some peace about our study!

I am really looking forward to hearing your fun ideas on this "blah" magazine rack!! Thanks for helping me solve my decorating dilemma!!

Many Blessings,

Monday, February 23, 2009

Love that Lysol!

This is my new best friend! Lysol has been around forever! Remember the smelly disinfectant that was used ....well, whenever needed? Not only does the new Lysol smell better, it wipes out flu germs! Or so it says! Last night, as I lay snoozing in my nice comfy bed, I heard the little voice that all Mommies dread in the middle of the night. "Mama, I threw up!" Mercy me, time to rise and shine and take care of business!

Things have settled down in the past 12 hours, but it's not over yet! We have yet to have any solid food stay for a while. It will come, but not as quickly as we would like. As I was scrubbing down parts of the sofa that were simply "in the way at the wrong time," I thought about how Jesus had a servant's heart. He came here to serve us. He served us by loving us and dying for us even though He had done no wrong. He was perfect. We can never be, but we can try to be more like Him! Jesus did menial jobs....remember when He washed the feet of His disciples (John 13)? That job was a lowly service done only by servants. He wanted the disciples to realize that in order to be more like Him, they had to have hearts of a servant. No one is greater than another.

There are chores that we enjoy, and those that we don't (my"don''t enjoy list" is longer than my "does enjoy"!!) I love to work in the yard. To feel the dirt under my hands, to rescue earthworms who are in the way, this is a labor of love. It doesn't feel like a chore. To sort and wash smelly running clothes....yuck! I simply do it as quickly as possible to be done! But we're told that no task is beneath our dignity or too insignificant for us to do (Oswald Chambers). Someone has to do it. Child #2 couldn't clean up after himself, so I had to. Jesus is developing that servant's heart in me.

I will continue to clean the toilets at my house. I will continue to unload the dishwasher several times a day. I will continue to give time to others that really should be spent at my home. I will continue to clean up after someone else at church or at school--even if I didn't make the mess. I will continue to do these things, but I have to ask God to bless me with the attitude of Jesus. I need to do these things without fussing about them, telling others about them, and without bringing any attention to myself. I must do these things in love, kindness, and Jesus would.

Many Blessings,

Monday, February 16, 2009

Angelina Jolie Lips

On Friday, as I was getting ready to substitute, I suddenly realized that something wasn't quite right. Something in my tummy was going on! Hours later, never making it to work and back in the bed, I finally gave up on trying to be strong and fight this virus which obviously had a grip on me! So, I SLEPT! In the middle of the day! Not even sleep from exercise induced exhaustion...just chills from a fever that were part of the goody bag of a virus that's been going around. When I finally woke up, I had my quiet time. I've been reading from Oswald Chamber's book, My Utmost for His Highest. The devotional was discussing how to be devoted to hearing God. (If you have the book, read February 13.) It was absolutely wonderful. I looked up devotion in Webster's --I had PLENTY of time y'all! It said that devotion is defined as 1) religious fervor: Piety-an act of prayer or supplication. Also, 2) love or affection. I started thinking in my befuddled state of mind. Do I go to the Lord each day with religious fervor? Do I consistently show Him love and affection?

Chambers went on to say that what hinders him from hearing God is his attention to other things! Imagine that! They are good, friends, church, work, or your own convictions. He says, " It's not that I don't want to hear God, but I am not devoted to the right areas of my life. The attitude of a child of God should be that spoken by Samuel in 1 Samuel 3:10. 'Speak, for your servant hears.' ."

If I haven't developed and nurtured this devotion of hearing, I can only hear God's voice at certain times. Have I become deaf to my Lord and Savior who died and gave His life for me? Am I too busy focusing on the important things of the world so that I miss the small whisper of God?

Because I felt so yucky, I didn't leave the house for two days. I had the time to focus on God and His Word. I just don't like having to be sick to make me slow down and do this. This morning, during my QT, I was convicted again!!! In Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young, the devotional for Feb. 16 reads that I should thank Him for conditions that require me to be still! Do not spoil these times by wishing them away, waiting impatiently to be active again. Some of the greatest works of His kingdom have been done from sick beds...although you feel cut off from the activity of the world, your quiet trust makes a powerful statement in spiritual realms. God's strength and power show themselves most effective in weakness. (Isaiah 30:15, 2 Cor. 12:9)

Ok! I've got it! Granted it took a virus t slow me down to see how He desires me to be devoted to hearing Him and to thank Him for it! I'm not a dumb bunny, I've got it! I won't forget this lesson from above! No one likes being sick and having to stop their regular routine. Mine actually went a tad further. During the night on Friday, my bottom lip began to swell. By Saturday morning, it had quadrupled in size! It looked like Angelina Jolie's lip! But only the bottom lip! Oh, it hurt and ached! It was the weirdest thing ever! Because of my lovely protruding lip, I chose to stay at home and not go to child #2's church basketball game! Vanity!! Also, I still felt blah! But the lip! It's funny now, and I wish that I had taken a picture! I'm sure that it was a by-product of the virus, but totally weird!

A virus, a big lip, and Valentine's Day '09 will be forever etched into my heart as a reminder to be devoted to hearing my God. He always hears me; I need to be devoted to hearing Him.

Many blessings,

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Decorating Dilemmas #1

Have you ever had one of those days where you DID begin with a Quiet Time, but things simply started falling apart afterwards? Welcome to today! I did carpool, then I proceeded to run by Kohls and return something and use my handy dandy 30% (yep!! I got one this time!!woohoo!) coupon. Unfortunately, I left said coupon in my handy dandy Bible Study bag which was at home. No purchases. Then, I had to run to Wally World--forgot to pray before entering! Got to the checkout, and reached in for my debit card. No debit card. It was still in my running vest from yesterday when I filled up with gasoline. Pull out credit card--yuck!!!

On the drive home, I started to have a pity party, but then remembered something that I had read in my latest "Proverbs 31" magazine...praise! So, I wiped away those tears and started to lift up praises, one by one. "Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving. " Col. 4:2 My pity part was quickly over, and I'm at home now blogging--and I really need to be cleaning!

I've been reading comments on some blogs about the Blissdom conference last weekend in Nashville. It sounded like fun! One of the tips that I read from an attendee about blogging was finding your voice. Some blogs are only about this and others only about that. That's what we expect to read when we visit our bloggy friends. We have come to appreciate what their voice reflects. I started thinking about my voice. When y'all visit my blog, bless your hearts, there's no telling WHAT randomness I'll be writing about! I'm too ADD--adult onset with children and self diagnosed--to be that focused on one thing. I never know what I'll post about. And, I hope y'all are OK with that!

One of my favorite things to do is look at magazines and blogs for decorating ideas. I have a ton of areas in my home that need attention! The only room that is completely redone is the downstairs bathroom. It's pink and green and black! Too cute! The boys are slowly getting used to it...they'll have to unless they want to repaint! I'll post pictures at some point of the before and after (I haven't taken the after pics yet which is why I can't show them!!). What I would love to do is this. Maybe....just maybe, once a week or every two weeks, post a decorating dilemma at my house or at a friend's house. Give y'all some pictures to see and hopefully, you'll have an idea or two or three as to what you would do. And...all of this is on a budget people! A tiny little budget!

Here's my decorating dilemma for this week. How do you paint an ugly laminate desk that is in WONDERFUL condition? I would love for it to be black not laminate. I need for the paint to stay on said desk on not peel off! Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Ok, I've gone from Wal-Mart to a lost debit card to "Proverbs 31" magazine to budgets to laminate desks. I told y'all I was ADD!!

Many hugs!

Monday, February 9, 2009

16 Candles !!

This past Saturday, my oldest son celebrated his 16th birthday. My hubby and I started the day before sunrise with a group run downtown. Then, the birthday boy ran a local 5k to raise money for his high school Spirit Week. As soon as we all got cleaned up, six of his friends arrived at my house in shorts, t-shirts, and backpacks. Child number #1 had decided to have his birthday party on the mountain! We drove about an hour to where we were going to hike and set out. These kids were wonderful! All but two are runners, so we completed the hike fairly quickly.

They were amazed at the view from the top--as well as the wonderful weather that God graciously blessed us with! We've never had a warm b'day party in February! It was awesome! We sat on the summit and rested, ate snacks, and rehydrated. Of course, I took pictures!
Well, what goes up must come down! On the way back down the trails, one of the kids was struggling a bit. He was wearing basketball shoes first of all. Y'all, those things are slippery on the court as well as the trails! He was in front of me, slowly meandering along the ridge of the mountain. Dry leaves covered roots and rocks, making the hike down a little more intense. Patches of mud greeted us...going down steep inclines was taking longer than I had hoped. But, fear...though this child would not admit it...had seeped into play.

When we are fearful, we rarely venture out of our comfort zones. We want to stay where we know we're safe and sound. Sometimes, God calls us to go out on a limb. We can't serve Him the way that He wants if we're timid and fearful about venturing out to see where He is leading us. Remember Moses? He felt inadequate and insecure about what God had planned for Him. In my Bible Study that I've referenced for the past few weeks, we are learning about what it means for a woman to let go so God can do mighty things in her life. She must let go of fear, worry, hurt,and expectations. I've paraphrased this paragraph from "The Seven Hardest Things God Asks a Woman to Do." Kathie Reimer and Lisa Whittle have listened to God's calling in this book and have truly obeyed by writing it. It is a GREAT book, y'all.
Child #1's friend went way...way...out of his comfort zone coming down that mountain. He had no choice if he wanted to get back home! We do have choices that we can make. Are we going to let worry and fear stand in the way of something really BIG that God has in store for us? Are we going to stay in that comfort zone where we dictate what will happen next...our to-do lists? I have found myself in that place so many times! I'm being quite honest with you all! There are things that I'd like to do now, but worry holds me back. And, I know that worry is a sin! God offers us His peace...if only we will take hold of it! In John 14:27, Jesus tells us, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
Even though one child climbed up a waterfall, we all made it back down safely!! All but one of the kids in my van fell asleep on the way home. They were so cute! Even at 16, 17, and 18, they are still our babies! There's a great big world ahead of them. As long as they hold onto His Word and trust in Him, they will make it and make the world a better place in which to live.

Many Blessings,

Friday, February 6, 2009

Play The Game!!

It's Friday night...almost 10:00pm....and I am turning into a pumpkin! It's time for bed, people! But, sweet little Coco at Ordinary Miracles is playing a game. If you want to play, just let me know! It's one of those easy ones...nothing like the ones where you have to strategize and ponder the move of your opponent! Here's how you play! Coco listed 10 things that started with a certain letter. These have to be 10 things that you love! She assigned me the letter "M". So, here goes--in no particular order:

1) Marathons--imagine that! Yep, love to run, and this distance usually includes a road trip with some of my other Mommy friends.
2) Mama--I love being a Mama! My boys are precious...stinkers at times, but precious! God has truly blessed me with 2 great guys.
3) Mountains--Hiking, running or photographing these awesome works of God is a delight to behold. We're hiking tomorrow!
4) Mountain Dew--Nothing like an icy cold one of these after a long trail run! Gotta love it! Immediate energy to replenish what you left on the mountain. No beer for this chickadee...MD is the hard stuff!
5) Magnolias--The tree and flower that best represents the south! To simply inhale this fragrance is heavenly!
6) My man!--He's wonderful! He loves me just for who I am...bless his precious heart! We've been married almost 19 years...hard to believe. Time truly flies!
7) Mary Kay skin care--I confess! I do sell it because of the skin care...awesome! Especially the purple stuff in a jar....hydration morning, noon, and night!
8) May--It's my birthday month, and birthdays are fun! Even when you're old!
9) Merry-Go-Round--I love the amusement park, and this is still my favorite ride.
10) Mashed potatoes--Real ones...not instant! My mother-in-love makes the "bestest" ones ever! And lots of gravy! I know this isn't the healthiest food with the gravy, but every once in a while...yummy! Macaroni pie is right up there too, but that would be 11 things that I love which start with an "m"!

Time for bed...early run in the morning! Enjoy your weekend! We're celebrating child# 1's birthday tomorrow! My baby is turning 16! I'll post pics from his "party" next week.

Sweet Blessings,

Monday, February 2, 2009

Slipcovers 101

My mind is as blank as a white canvas and yet, at the same time, processing all kinds of stuff! Does that ever happen to you?

For the past month, I've been trying to figure out balancing family with Bible studies with wanting to start my own little business with subbing with running and with figuring out what to do in my boring "blah" study of ours! I love trying to decorate! Luckily, I'm blessed with a sister and great friends who have a knack for this type of thing. Bless MY heart! I think that I finally have a plan! There are two websites that gave me some great ideas that I'm "running" with--no pun intended!! They're both on my sidebar....Southern Hospitality and Pink and Polka Dot . Y'all, these two gals have been so sweet to answer questions. I'm getting color and "arranging" ideas from Rhoda. Make sure to check out her office pictures! Those are colors that I simply love--lime green and black! I showed them to hubby, and he was ok with it! He generally goes with "boring beige" for everything!

I have also been "junkin' "as well! Fun--especially with your girlfriends! I have a really cool thrift store not far from my house. I found some wonderful but ugly 20 year old chairs there. They would go perfectly in my study! The gal over at Pink and Polka Dot had a cute idea to make slipcovers! I loved the result that she got. Just precious! So, off to Wal-mart I went...looking for cheap fabric to make a dummy slipcover before purchasing the "good" stuff! Praise the Lord...after getting halfway finished with the slipcovers, He put a stop sign in the middle of the road! I was stuck with trying to figure out how on earth this darlin' child got the arms attached to the rest of the slipcover! A half-dressed chair stared at me for over a week! It was pitiful! I finally called my Mama in despair, and lovingly, she suggested that I pay someone to do it--it was not worth stressing over! She is SO SMART!! I just love her!

That's where I am at the moment. I have finally figured some things out! Timing is everything. I might post some before and after shots for y'all to see. will take a while to purchase the items that I would enjoy having in here to make this room fun and inviting, rather than "boring and beige!"(Translated...I don't have enough fun money to do everything that I really would like to do!)

Think of the purpose behind a slipcover. Slipcovers protect pillows and chairs from tearing and getting dusty and dirty. What protects us? In Ephesians 6:11, God's Word tells us to "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's scheme's." We need to know His Word--by spending time reading the Bible. Just reading devotionals and books by authors other than God is not what this scripture encourages us to do. Now, I'm talking to myself here....not pointing any fingers! Many times it's easier to simply pick up a book by a wonderful Christian author who will explain--in their words--what certain scripture means. This is a great tool! But, we need to be in the Word ourselves. After praying that God reveals Himself through His Word, and then reading the Word, I've started writing down what I believe He is trying to get across to me. Then, I might read someone else's interpretation of the same scripture to see if I'm on the "same page."

This entire section in the Bible (Eph. 6:10-18) on the Armor of God is amazing! If you take each part --sort of like a puzzle--and study it alone: belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit --then put it back! Y'all, we so need to know God's awesome Word! It is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Praise Him!

Many Blessings,