Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Random Dozen: Feb. 24

random dozen

1. Have you ever fired a gun or shot a bow and arrow?

No, I haven't.

2. Do you know where your childhood best friends are?

Not exactly.  I think my friend who was my next-door-neighbor still lives in the area, but I haven't talked to her in years.  We eventually lost touch a few years after her parents divorced, and she moved out of town with her mom.

3. Do you usually arrive early, late, or on time?

I used to arrive early for absolutely everything.  Now I typically arrive on time or a little late.

4. Are you more of a New York or California type?

Can my answer be neither?  I can't see myself feeling comfortable in either region.  I am truly a mid-western girl.

5. Do you have a special ring tone?

I use one of the ringtones that came with this phone.  I tried "Who I Am" by Jessica Andrews because that's my dad's song for me, but my dog barks every time the phone rings.  It makes it just a little bit harried when I need to get to the phone, so I switched it back to the more mellow, generic ringtone.

6. What is your favorite type of chip?

Chocolate chip!  Ha Ha!  I guess maybe that wasn't the type of chip you were asking about.  I haven't eaten chips in many months, so I'll have to try and remember what I used to enjoy.  I believe Fritos were one of my favorites.  Okay, I totally have a craving now.  {sigh}

7. Best comedy you've ever seen is ....

I think I have to take a pass on this question.  I don't watch many movies, and I can't think of a comedy off the top of my head.

8. Have you ever cut your own hair? To quote Dr. Phil, "How'd that work for ya?"

I have only ever cut my own bangs, but even in doing so, I was very careful.  It would be so like me to make a mess of it.  I could tell you about an eyebrow waxing incident, but that's another story for another day. 

9. If you were going to have an extreme makeover, would you rather it be about your house or your personal self?

There's no question about it.  I would want a makeover on my house.  It's old and needs a lot of work.  Oh, what I wouldn't give for my kitchen countertops and cupboards.

10. Are you allergic to anything?

No, I don't think so.

11. Why is it so hard to change?

It's just easier to do the same things we're accustomed to.  Change requires effort to make the adjustments.

12. One last question dedicated to February love: CS Lewis said, "To love is to be vulnerable." Please share one example of that assertion or share any thought you'd like to about this topic.

It is definitely vulnerable to love.  If love means I'm denying myself to give to another person, it means I'm opening myself up to any type of response from them.  I have to sacrifice without expecting anything in return, and that might mean I get hurt in the process. 

For more Random Dozen blogging, go visit Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee.  Why not tackle the Random Dozen on your blog?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Valley

Dear Lord, I don't want to walk this way, through this dark valley.  I've never been this way before, and....I'm afraid.  The darkness is oppressive, so much that it hurts.  I can't see what's up ahead, Lord.  I can't see!

But... if this is the path You're taking, Lord, then I'll go with You.... because I want to be with You.  I need to be with You.  I have to be with You!

So I'll go Your way, Lord.  I'll walk beside You all the way.  Just... could You hold my hand a little tighter?  And please speak Your sweet words of comfort to me as we go.  You always seem to know just what to say.

We're going to be the closest of friends.  Aren't we, Lord?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Chat Pack - Looking Back

Hi, friends.  It's Friday and another Chat Pack post.  The question for today is...

When you look back on the life you have lived to this point, what in particular amazes you the most?

Looking back through my 37 years, I have to say that I'm most amazed at the amount of heartbreak I've experienced, but in spite of the heartbreak I have survived.  I just keep on going.  My faith is still intact.  My love for God deepens, and my desire to seek Him continues to burn.  That is what amazes me. 

I know some people crumble under adversity and would rather walk away from God, abandoning the faith they said was real.  I just don't see that as an option.  Who would I be without my Lord Jesus?  And even more importantly, where would I go into eternity without my Lord Jesus?

In the time Jesus was on the earth, he had disciples that turned away from following Him after a time.  And then Jesus addressed the twelve,

Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?" But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." (John 6:67-69 NKJV)

"To whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life?"  If Christ is the only way to eternal life, then I must follow.  I can't imagine where else I'd go.  I would be so lost.  My prayer is that I never stop seeking after Him who has the words of eternal life.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Random Dozen: Feb. 17

random dozen 

1. If you could compete in one Olympic event (not necessarily winter sports) what would it be?

I always thought the rhythmic gymnastics looked interesting.  Of course, if I was to compete I would have to know... be a gymnast.  And we know that was never gonna happen.  I don't even know how to do a cartwheel.  The whole notion of my feet being above my head and not on the ground is not my idea of fun.  You should've seen me in 9th grade when we had gymnastics in our P.E. class.  We had a whole weeks-long unit of learning various skills.  I had to do a routine that involved me getting into a tripod position.  Ugh!  It was a nightmare.

2. Do remember a specific Olympic moment from the past?

My favorite Olympics were Atlanta 1996 and the ladies gymnastics dream team.  They won gold when Kerri Strug pulled off a vault with an injured ankle.  Unforgettable!

3. Have you ever known anyone who competed in the Olympics?

No.  I don't believe I know anyone.  There was a young woman from my hometown, who I believe was a swimmer, but that's about as close as I've gotten to an Olympic athlete.  Which isn't very close, seeing as I don't know her.  :)

4. If everyday activities were Olympic-worthy, which activity would you have a gold medal in?

Hmmm... What am I good enough at to get a gold medal?  Nothing domestic, that's for sure.  Maybe if I trained really hard I could medal in typing.  I know if I practice, I can type pretty fast.

5. Do you know anything about your ethnic heritage?

I know I have some Irish and some British in me, but I really don't know more than that. 

6. Do you enjoy sleeping late?

I enjoy sleeping late, but I hate the effects of sleeping late.  I like routine, so if I get up later it throws off the whole system.  Makes me feel behind.  So I would just as soon get up at a normal time and go about my day.

7. Have you ever performed CPR on anyone? Do you know how? (Yes, that's two, I know. Whatevs.)

No, I haven't.  I was taught in junior high in Home Ec class how to perform CPR.  I think I remember enough that I might be able to implement it, should the need arise.  At least I hope I would remember.

8. Name one country you'd like to visit and explain why.

Oh, you're asking the wrong person this question.  I'm sooo not the traveler.  That would require flying, over an ocean nonetheless.  I guess if it came right down to it, it would probably be Great Britain.  I do love English accents.

9. Have you ever fixed up a couple romantically?

No.  I wouldn't want the responsibility or the blame if it didn't work out.  There's potential for things to get messy if I got involved with matchmaking.

10. What is the last book you read?

I read Winter Haven by Athol Dickson.  That was a fairly interesting novel and the first I've read by that author.  Very different from other Christian fiction I've read.  It was somewhat of a ghost story, and it creeped me out a few times. 

11. Do you enjoy sleeping late? NO, YOU write the question! How's that for random??

Alright.  My made-up question is "Now that we're in February, how are you doing on your goals for 2010?"

I am so glad I asked myself that question.  :)  I am doing quite well.  I wanted to read more and keep track of pages read and books completed.  So far, so good.  I also wanted to get disciplined about my laundry.  I throw a load into the wash before I leave for work, put it in the dryer after I get home, and then fold it sometime in the afternoon or evening.  I've stuck with that routine for the most part, but I must say this week it got totally out of control, meaning that the baskets of clean clothes were multiplying.  My husband is very kind, though, and he took it upon himself to fold everything on his day off yesterday.

12. What is your favorite meal at your favorite restaurant?

I think I'm gonna have to go with Shrimp Ravioli at Papa Vino's Italian Kitchen.  I also thought of my other fave, the Caesar Salad with Shrimp at Carraba's Italian Grill.

There's more Random Dozen to be had over at Linda's 2nd Cup of Coffee today.  Hop on over to her blog and say hi.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Week in Words: Feb. 15 I recently found the Breath of Life blog, and I like how Melissa asks what important words we've come across during the week.  I would enjoy chiming in with other bloggers on this exercise because I'm a reader and come across lots of wonderful quotes during the week.
The first quote comes from Psalm 63, and if you saw my Saturday post you know I'm in the process of memorizing it.  These words are the cry of my heart right now as I walk through trials.  I have a deep thirst for my God and cling to His words every chance I get these days.
O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. (Psalm 63:1 NKJV)
My dad preached a sermon last night about putting sin to death in our lives.  He was talking about saturating ourselves with scripture in order to poison the sin to kill it.  The sentence that struck me most was something like this:
Whatever dominates your thinking will affect your behavior.
That's not a new concept by any means, but I think we forget that we can choose what we think about.  It's important to fill our minds with God's truth.  Sin only comes to fruition after we've played with it in our minds.  That's where it starts. 
This final quote comes from Sacred Marriage, which actually contains lots of crucial truths about the sanctification process played out in marriage.
It took years for me to understand I have a Christian obligation to continually move toward my wife.  I thought that as long as I didn't attack my wife or say cruel things to her, I was a nice husband, but the opposite of biblical love isn't hate, it's apathy.  To stop moving toward our spouse is to stop loving him or her.  It's holding back from the very purpose of marriage.  (Sacred Marriage, Gary Thomas, pg. 155)
Did you come across any important words that meant something to you this week?  Pay Melissa a visit at her blog.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

My Soul Thirsts For You

I am in the process of memorizing this Psalm.  I love the words because they speak of my desperate need for God and how when I seek Him as my only source of fulfillment, He fills me up.  This Scripture is of great encouragement to me, and maybe it will be to you as well.

Psalm 63

A Psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah.

  O God, You are my God;
         Early will I seek You;
         My soul thirsts for You;
         My flesh longs for You
         In a dry and thirsty land
         Where there is no water.
  So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
         To see Your power and Your glory.
  Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
         My lips shall praise You.
  Thus I will bless You while I live;
         I will lift up my hands in Your name.
  My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
         And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.
  When I remember You on my bed,
         I meditate on You in the night watches.
  Because You have been my help,
         Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
  My soul follows close behind You;
         Your right hand upholds me.
  But those who seek my life, to destroy it,
         Shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
  They shall fall by the sword;
         They shall be a portion for jackals.
  But the king shall rejoice in God;
         Everyone who swears by Him shall glory;
         But the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped.

(Psalm 63, New King James Version)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Chat Pack - Snow

Hello, faithful readers.  Are you glad Friday has arrived?  I am, not only because it's the start of the weekend, but because it means it's time for another Chat Pack question.  I am enjoying the Chat Pack.  It gives me a blogging a random sort of way.

Today's question is short and sweet.  The topic is quite timely, since we've been getting a lot of snow here in northern Indiana this week.

If snow could fall in any flavor, what flavor would you choose?

My answer is CHOCOLATE, but of course!  And since they're asking, I think snow should come in different flavors of chocolate.  Dark Chocolate.  Milk Chocolate.  White Chocolate.  Maybe the flavor could be dependent on the type of snowfall we get (lake-effect or system snow) or which direction the wind is coming from.  I would totally go for that.

What flavor would YOU prefer in snowfall?  Leave an answer in the comments, or feel free to answer the question on your own blog and link back.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Random Dozen

I haven't been part of the Random Dozen in many weeks, but I thought I'd jump in today.

random dozen

1. Are you pleasant when you're ill, or are you a grumpy, fussy patient?

I guess I'm grumpy when I'm sick, but I always try not to ask for too much.

2. When you find out that school is canceled (due to inclement weather) what is your gut reaction?

My gut reaction is to wish I was still a kid in school, so I could take a day off.  I don't have kids, so snow days (or bad weather) don't affect me. 

3. What is one domestic skill you wish you could improve?

Baking.  I can do it, but there are a lot of times I've had to throw dough or batter away that just didn't come together right.  I also struggle without a photo accompanying a recipe because I'm never sure how to tell if something is done.  I'm always afraid I'll over bake something, and then they get burnt.  I sure could improve in the baking department.

4. Do you decorate your home for Valentine's Day?

No, I basically ignore Valentine's Day.  Does anyone else ignore it?

5. What song is on your mind today?

"Glorious Day" sung by Jeff Johnson

6. Do you prefer contemporary movies or classic?

I like both, but I guess I'm more into contemporary movies these days.  When I lived at home, my sister and I would sit with our mom and watch musicals together like Singin' In the Rain, Funny Girl, The King and I, and Brigadoon.  I still like those movies, but I guess they're more fun to watch with someone, rather than alone. 

7. How well do you "compartmentalize" your feelings? For example, how well can you put aside a really trying moment to deal with the immediate situation which is not related to the trying moment, e.g., putting aside a tiff with your spouse in order to finish wallpapering a room.

Not good at ALL.  I have to deal with problems like right now.  If things aren't resolved pretty quickly, I find it hard to do anything else.

8. What is the first thing that attracted you to your spouse? (Or if you're single, to your best friend.)

Rich just sort of has this charm about him.  It's kinda like a shy humor.  I don't know how else to explain it.

9. When was the last time your heart raced?

It was last week.  Sometimes our surround speakers pick up a frequency from CB radios or cell phones when trucks drive past our house.  It comes in LOUD and SUDDEN.  Scares the livin' daylights out of me.

10. What are your memories of Valentine's Day at school?

I remember being in elementary school when we would decorate paper bags to receive valentines from our classmates.  Seems like we'd get some candy and conversation hearts, and we probably even had a little party with heart sugar cookie cutouts with pink or red frosting.  I remember one year I was probably in the 3rd or 4th grade when I was home sick with the flu on Valentine's Day.  I was so depressed because I was going to miss out on the party.  They did save me a bag of valentines and treats, though.

11. If you were going to receive candy for Valentine's Day, which would you prefer?

CHOCOLATE!!!  Ghirardelli or Dove would be just fine.  Although I will eat conversation hearts, I've never really cared for them ever.

12. Red or pink?

Definitely pink!


You should go and visit Linda's blog now and see how other bloggers answered the Random Dozen.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Still Determined to Lose

I slept like a baby last night.  Went to bed at 9:30 and didn't get up until 5:45.  I knew I was in need of some serious pillow time after exercising yesterday

I sure was glad when I was able to get out of bed this morning without too much effort.  My legs seem to have taken the brunt of the work because they are sorer than my upper body.  I can walk alright, but standing up, sitting down, and walking down the stairs makes me groan just a bit.

My program gave me a day off today, but I'll be back at it tomorrow.  I really, really want to lose the rest of this weight, so I'm ready to go again.

I think this time I'll schedule a nap shortly afterward, since I'm gonna need to be at church for Word of Life.  After the way I felt last night, I can't afford a repeat of that, or my kids are gonna be looking at a zombie.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Determined To Lose

I started a new workout plan today.  Honestly, I've only got about 7 pounds to lose in order to reach my goal, but I keep going up and down on the same 3 pounds.  I'm determined to get to my goal!  So anyway.  New workout today.  And I am feelin' the burn now. 

Did someone say "nap"?  I could sure use one about now.  {yawn}

I have a feeling it's going to be hard to get out of bed tomorrow morning.  Oy.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Chat Pack - Lost

Okay, so how many of you saw the title of this post and thought I was going to talk about the show LOST?  No such luck, people.  No such luck.  I'm not a Lostie, nor could I even try to be.  I have attempted on three separate occasions to watch the pilot episode and never could figure out what was happening.  So I gave up long ago. 

So what I'm really doing on this fine Friday is answering another question from my Chat Pack. 

Question:  If you could get one thing back that was either lost or destroyed, what would it be?

I could answer this one on a few different levels, but I'm going to keep it simple today.  In fact, when I found this question in the box a few weeks ago, this is the very first thing that came to mind... my Senior Yearbook from 1991.

LizSenior Yeah, my senior yearbook has been missing for many years.  I have searched everywhere I know to look.  I looked in all my bags and boxes of stuff I brought with me when I got married in '95.  I had looked through all my parents' boxes in storage, to the best of my ability.  I have no idea what happened to it.  I have five other yearbooks from junior high through 11th grade that managed to remain together, but the senior yearbook is gone.  GONE!  My SENIOR YEARBOOK.  The most important one of all.  It was the only year my picture looked good.  And it's gone.

I imagine all my classmates sitting at home on weekends flipping through the pages of their senior yearbooks reminiscing.  They're reading all those personal notes that our friends signed like, "It's been fun getting to know you"... "You have a fun personality"... "You have a nice smile"...."Don't ever change."  And I'm missing out on all that.  I can't help but feel a bit jealous of my fellow grads.  I hope they know how lucky they are.

I sure wish I could get my yearbook back.  {sigh}

Has anything important to you been lost or destroyed, and you want it back?

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

I'm Sick...Sorta

I think I might have an ear infection.  For the last three weeks or so I've had a funny sensation in my ear and jaw area that feels like I have fluid in there moving around.  So.  This morning when I got up it was very noticeable.  A little more intense and sporadic feelings of pressure and discomfort.  Then as the morning wore on I realized the whole area now has developed into a dull ache.  I feel slightly stuffy and am irritable, which WebMD tells me are symptoms.  (Not that I've lost my patience with anyone yet.)

I've never had this type of thing before.  I told Rich it's like being sick, but I'm not.  He informed me that an ear infection IS being sick.  So I guess I'm sick.

I am going to lay down for awhile and apply moist heat.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Sunday Highlights

My Sundays are very full days with the various things I'm involved in at church.  I thought maybe I'd share some of the highlights of the day, in no particular order.

The cookies I made for the carry-in dinner were a hit!  People were asking for the recipe, which thrilled me because I'm not typically the go-to-gal when it comes to a to-die-for treat.  Want to try them?  Click here for the recipe.

While we were waiting in the food line, one of my students pointed at me and said, You are the best Sunday school teacher!  That is so sweet to hear.  I'm thankful that God gives me favor with some of them.

Dad preached a very good sermon about the joy of the Lord being our strength.  Joy is a source or cause of delight, and we find that in Jesus.  That's why even in tribulations we can experience joy.  There is joy in knowing God is with us, in reading His Word, in serving others, and in doing the Father's will.  I love that these truths dovetail with my study on gratitude.  I think joy and gratitude go hand in hand.

Dr. John MacArthur spoke in our evening service.  Okay, that's not exactly the whole story.  Dr. MacArthur was on DVD, and I wasn't even in the service to see him.  I had toddler duty.  But I'm sure it blessed everyone who was in the service.