Saturday, May 30, 2009

Book Review: My Heart Remembers

I just finished this book.  Yes, I really and truly finished a book in less than one month.  I quite enjoyed it, and I'm attempting to hone my book reviewing skills. If you'll allow me to, I'd like to practice my review writing here, in conjunction with my Goodreads profile.

My Heart Remembers My Heart Remembers by Kim Vogel Sawyer

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Follow the stories of Irish immigrant children Maelle, Mattie and Molly, siblings who are orphaned and become separated from each other. Maelle spends her life searching for her sister and brother, grief-stricken that she did not keep her promise to her father that she would look after the wee ones.

The book not only provides background and history of the plight of the orphans during the days of the orphan trains, but also weaves a story of God's direction and providence. It's a good reminder that God's ways are not our ways, but He always works good and in His time.

The story moved me to tears a couple times. I like that it focused on the love for family and wasn't caught up in so much romance. I felt that the story moved along quickly, and once I reached the halfway point it was hard to put the book down. I would enjoy reading more of Kim Vogel Sawyer's books.

View all my reviews.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Caffeinated Randomness - Comfort Zone

Snapshot_20090529 Please don't laugh when I tell you this, but I'm having lunch alone at Starbucks today.  Alone!  I never, ever, EVER have gone to a restaurant alone.  I always thought I would be completely self-conscious to eat alone, thinking everyone else who came to eat in pairs would be looking at me.

I guess that's a little egotistical, huh?

I've been wanting to come here ever since I got my laptop, and that was over a year ago.  Whoa, I guess it's about time.  The reason it worked out today is because I'm waiting to meet a friend who had a lunch appointment and is meeting me afterwards.  I didn't want to drive home just to eat lunch and meet up later, so I thought, Hey!  This is a great day to go grab a sandwich at Starbucks and write away at your blog, girl.

And so I agreed to the little voice in my head.

So as I sit here at my table, typing away at my laptop, I am okay.  Very much okay.  Nobody is staring.  {Not that I've noticed, but I've been pretty much looking at my sandwich, iced tea, and computer screen.} 

Finally, another bridge crossed.  A victory in getting out of that old comfort zone.  I think I'll be doing this again.Randomness Friday

Click on over to Under Grace and Over Coffee for more Caffeinated Randomness!

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Work of the Spirit

I'm in the middle of reading Experiencing the Spirit: The Power of Pentecost Every Day by Henry & Mel Blackaby.  Although I haven't found them to say anything new about the Holy Spirit, nothing I hadn't known already, there are some thought-provoking quotes intermingled among its pages.

Here are a few that have stirred my heart...

God isn't looking for proven leaders; He's looking for those who have hearts that are pure and responsive, and then He equips them by His Spirit to be leaders.  So hear this carefully:  The Lord is looking not for the talented, but for the obedient.  He's looking not for the skilled, but for those who are sensitive to His Spirit. (pg. 84)

...Will God ever ask you to do something you're not able to do?  The answer is yes--all the time!  It must be that way, for God's glory and kingdom....The purposes of God are based not on our ability, but upon His ability to work through us.  (pg. 7)

You must take God at His word!  Every positive response to the Lord will open up new opportunities to know Him more and more.  The more you pursue Him, the more He'll reveal Himself to you. (pg. 21)

The Holy Spirit was sent to help you achieve God's purposes, not your dreams.  And if you aren't willing to do His purposes, the Holy Spirit cannot work in you or through you. (pg 90)

I know that God is using some things in this book to speak to me.  The second quote I shared was one that particularly hit me between the eyes the day I read it.  There was a decision I needed to make about getting involved in something that is very much out of my comfort zone.  Upon reading that God will ask me to do things that I'm not able to do so He will get the glory, it was really hard to deny the truth of that statement.  I finally made the decision this week, and I am going to do this thing that's beyond my ability and out of my comfort zone.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

30 Questions

1. Where was the very last place you went besides your house?

the grocery store

2. What are you doing tonight?

Relaxing, eating popcorn and maybe some ice cream (100 calorie, of course)

3. Who last texted you?

my sister

4. Do you have a secret that you’ve never told anyone?

I'm not telling.

5. Do you get mad easily?


6. Do you talk about your feelings or hide them?

I hide them from most people, but I talk about them to those closest to me.

7. Do you prefer warm or cold weather?


8. Who was the last person you were in a car with?


9. What color are your eyes?


10. Have you ever given up on someone but then went back to them later?

kind of

11. Have you ever thrown your cell phone in anger?

I don't think I've thrown my phone, but I remember a night that I was ready to.

12. Has anyone told you a secret lately that you aren’t allowed to tell anyone?


13. Honestly, if you could go back six months and change something, would you?


14. Are you wearing any clothes that don’t belong to you?


15. Do you have a lot on your mind at the moment?

I always have a lot on my mind. 

16. What side of the bed do you sleep on?

I sleep on the right side.  I'm not sure I'd even like the left.

17. What is your favorite thing to shop for?

I like buying books.  I would enjoy buying clothes a whole lot better if it weren't for the part when you must try them on.

18. Who knows you better than you know yourself?

Hmmm... not sure about that.  Nobody?

19. What are you doing this summer?

Working, as usual.  It looks like I will also be helping at Vacation Bible School and our Teen Camp.

20. Do you miss your past?

I miss being a kid, especially during the summer. 

21. Did you ever have tea parties when you were younger?

I don't think so.

22. What is your favorite line from a movie?

 I wanted it to be you.  I wanted it to be you so badly.  (Meg Ryan in "You've Got Mail")  Makes me cry every time!

23. Would you rather be the opposite sex?

No.  I would miss all the hair curling, wearing pretty dresses and high heels (on occasion)

24. What would you never name one of your children?

Anything that rhymed with one of our pets' names.

25. What is the coolest restaurant you’ve ever been to?

This is a tough one because I don't get out much.  I guess I'd have to say PF Chang's in Chicago.

26. Where do you go when you want to get a really good sub sandwich?

Subway (I told you I don't get out much.)

27. What style of house would you like to live in?

I honestly don't know what I like.

28. Do you flip the channel when commercials come on?

Not usually

29. Have you seen any of the Saw movies?

No, I hate horror flicks.

30. What was your favorite book as a child?

Charlotte's Web

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Saturday, May 23, 2009


This butterfly was hanging out at the church yesterday. Pretty cool, huh? He looks like a leaf. God's creation is amazing.


Think It's Too Much?

About a month ago I joined, thinking it would sort of help me keep track of the books I'd like to read and be able to rate them and review them when I finish, if I so choose.  For whatever reason, I am easily entertained by interactive tools like this.

I've continued adding books to my to-read "pile" because I kept finding interesting book reviews on everyone's blogs, but I didn't realize how long my list had grown until yesterday.  Here's the montage of my ambitious reading list:


Did you count them?  That's 17 books.  SEVENTEEN!  At the rate I read books, it's going to take me two years to finish all these.  Aiy Aiy Aiy!!!  Granted, I will be reading one non-fiction and  one fiction book simultaneously, but really.  You know it usually takes me a month to finish a book.

Hello.  I'm Liz.  And I'm a book glutton.

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Caffeinated Randomness - Daydreaming

In conclusion to the "I'm Losing It!" post, it has been determined that I need a vacation.  This comes from the general consensus of 3 people... my in-real-life friend Dana, my blogging friend Ronnica, and me, of course. 

If you know me at all, you don't need to ask where I want to go.  And if you don't know me, I'll give you a hint.  The destination I daydream about looks a little like this...


Okay, it looks a lot like this. 

This morning while I was folding bulletins, I turned on to listen to my Disney tunes.  A Dream Is A Wish your Heart Makes came on, you know, the theme from Cinderella?  My thoughts went back to when I was a child, walking through Cinderella Castle and looking at the mosaic of scenes from the story of Cinderella.  I remember eating in the restaurant in the castle, drinking fruit punch from the chilled goblets and thrilling over the cold pats of butter that were in the shape of Mickey Mouse's head.

I could almost smell Cinderella Castle in my memory, and it made me want to be there.  I imagined the thrill I might have if at that very moment I could be transported to that place and have my husband take a picture of me standing there in front of the mosaic.  There would surely be a look of glee on my face.


Yeah, I'm ready for a vacation.

Randomness FridayThis is a pretty random daydream of mine.  If you'd like to see  the randomness of some other bloggers, check out Under Grace And Over Coffee for some caffeinated randomness.


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Thursday, May 21, 2009

I'm Losing It!

Something sort of hit me yesterday, a realization of something disturbing.  Devastating, really.  It all came to a head yesterday when I was trying to remember how and when I made a purchase for the church.  It happened not only once, but twice.  I got a statement saying I had ordered ink cartridges, but I couldn't remember ever receiving the ink.  I opened the drawer, and there was the ink.  I DON'T REMEMBER PUTTING IT IN THERE.  It may have only been two weeks ago.  How can I not remember two weeks ago?

I used to remember birthdays, and who said what to whom and when.  I was the go-to-gal for information.  Suddenly, I need a go-to-gal.  Who's gonna keep track of me?

Don't think for a minute that I'm basing my memory issue on just a couple incidents, and I shouldn't think it to be a big deal.  It finally dawned on me that I've been struggling to remember a variety of things that people at church have asked me about for months.  I would pass them off as things that others shouldn't expect me to remember, but honestly they are things that I expect myself to remember.  I've felt a little incompetent, if truth be told. the straw that broke the camel's back.

Remember my scary incident at the office when the man banged on the front doors?  Remember how jumpy I have been?  Remember how I am always going to keep the door locked and not let anyone in unless they have a key, know the password, and give the secret, sacred handshake?  Well, guess who discovered that she hadn't locked the front door this morning, only AFTER she had been there for 3 hours.  Yeah.  That would be me.  The scaredy cat.

See?  I'm losing my mind.  Someone who is afraid of intruders does not forget to lock their doors.  How could they forget, unless they were becoming senile?

Can that happen at 36?

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What's That Noise?!?

Working at a church office during such tough, economic times can be a challenge some days.  In the many years I've worked in the office, we've always had the random person come in off the street looking for a handout, but in the last year the number of people looking for help has increased significantly.

I have always kept the front door locked when I'm at the office alone, but now we have begun to keep the door locked even when there are several of us here.  I have always had to use my judgment as to whether I would open the door to someone who came to the church unannounced.  At this point, though, I have pretty much made it my personal policy not to grant anyone entrance to the building if I don't know them.

A couple months ago I had a frightening incident while I was working alone.  Some friends had planned to pick me up after work to take me to lunch and make a hospital visit.  It was nearing that time, and I decided to take my things out to my car and then wait in the building for my friends to arrive.

As I walked back to the front door I heard someone yelling from across the way.  A man on a bike was yelling, "Pastor!  Pastor!"  I recognized him as someone who had been here a few times before, asking for food and money.  I don't know why he was yelling to me.  I don't look like the pastor.  {Well, I do because he's my dad, but I'm a girl. You know what I mean.}

I went into the church, locked the door, then hunkered down in Dad's office so as not to be seen.  Just then my friend called and said they were running late, and it would be another 15-20 minutes before they arrived.  At that moment, I heard banging at the front door.  I'm not talking about loud knocking.  I mean it was a full-out *BANG* *BANG* *BANG* with a fist.  I started freaking out.

When I told my friend what was happening, he said they would get to the church as quickly as they could.  The man at the door continued to bang.  And I waited.  Then it got quiet. I started imagining all sorts of scenarios.  I thought I heard movement outside the office door, and my heart beat fast. 

Finally, through the window, I saw him ride his bike away.  Still, I didn't want to leave the office and waited until I saw my friends' car pull up out front before I came out of my hiding place.  Relief finally settled in.

For weeks after that, I would freeze at every sound I heard at the front doors.  The sound of a fist banging on the door would sound in my head, and I remembered the fear.  I kept my window blinds closed, so I could not be seen from the parking lot.  Even when people were here, I still felt unsettled.  As time passed, though, the waryness started to fade, and I relaxed once again.

Yesterday another stranger showed up while I was alone.  The blinds are closed again.  I jump at every noise. 

Ugh!  Here we go again...

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Top Ten Tuesday - Goals


So it's another Top Ten Tuesday with OhAmanda, and I thought I might tell you my top 10 goals for the next couple months. 

1.  Make an appointment at the vet for Dixie's teeth to be cleaned.

2.  Lose the rest of the weight I need to, in order to reach my goal.

3.  Ride my bike.

4.  Paint the kitchen.

5.  Go shopping for new clothes at the outlet mall after I get to my goal weight.

6.  Read two novels.

7.  Paint something at the local pottery studio.

8.  Go for a walk at the park.

9.  Spend time with friends I haven't seen in awhile.

10. Learn whatever it is that God is trying to teach me during this season in my life.

Now it's time to go visit OhAmanda's blog.  You'll find many other bloggers with Top Ten lists, too.

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Thursday, May 07, 2009

Time Flies

Does anyone else feel like life is zipping by?  When I was back in high school, I always heard "adults" talk about how time goes by so much faster the older you get, and I discovered what they were talking about once I reached my 20's.

I must say, though, that in the last couple months it all of a sudden feels even faster now.  Really?  Faster?  I'm in my mid-30's, and weeks are passing at light speed.  Okay, so maybe not "light speed" kind of fast, but FAST just the same.  Do you know what I'm saying?

Tomorrow is Friday.  Friday?  Wasn't it just Monday?  I mean, I wasn't a big fan of Monday, but here I am and it's Thursday.  The weekend arrives tomorrow.  How can that be?  It was just Friday a couple days ago.  Wasn't it?

At this rate, I'm going to blink and turn 40.  How can THAT be?!?

Can somebody make this ride stop?  I'd like to get off now.

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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

What I Learned This Week - Edition #7

Oh, my internet friends, I'm bringing the vlog back.  I know you've been waiting.  I thought that What I Learned This Week could best be expressed on location, so have a look.

What I Learned This Week 5/5/09 from Liz on Vimeo.

What I learned is that I love the minivan, and I never saw that coming.  Go figure.

Now go visit Jo-Lynne.  She'll be waiting for you.

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Friday, May 01, 2009

Caffeinated Randomness - Dreamer or Doer?

Let's take randomness to it's full potential today and do a quiz, shall we?

You Are a Doer
You are primarily concerned with what is actual. You tend to be a practical person.
You love to stay busy, and you are always immersed in projects.

You are in touch with your senses, and you enjoy indulging them. You're likely a crafter of some sort.
You crave different sensations in life, whether it's working with your hands, playing sports, or eating your favorite meal.

Hmmm... I'm a doer, huh?  I guess I do like to get crafty, as long as I have some direction and focus.  I am not one to stay busy or always immersed in a project, though.  Randomness FridayObviously, you can tell by my blogging frequency.

There's lots more Caffeinated Randomness to be had at Under Grace And Over Coffee.  Click on over, why dontcha.

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