Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I'm Still Here

Well I had every intention of posting my Yes to God study last week, but then wamo I got hit with a cold on Thursday night, and Wednesday was homework make up night, so it never happened. I've been home wrapped in a blanket in a congested fog since Thursday night.
Because of my medical condition I have trouble fighting off colds and other nasties.

So I'm hopping to read all of your posts for the last week, and I'm hoping to post a combo of the last 2 chapters.

Thank you all for the prayers for my mom. She's doing well and is home again. My brother said she doesn't have any pain, because she has very little feeling in as a result from the stroke. So now my mom has pins and plates permanently in her arm. I talked to her Saturday she sounded good, and hopefully I'll get to go see here this weekend providing my cold starts to subside.

That's it for now.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Prayer Request/ Weekend Things

First things first, could you all pray for my mom. She just had surgery yesterday on her elbow. She broke the tip off of it two weeks ago, and had to have extensive surgery on it. The surgery went well, but now it's recovery time. Mom's 80, and has auditory aphasia from a stroke, so it's hard for her to talk to people she doesn't know. She sounded really nervous to about staying in the hospital. She doesn't really remember the time she spent in the hospital when she had her stroke. So I'm asking for prayer for healing, and comfort. Also for God to strengthen my sister who takes her to all these appointments, and for my sister-in-law Jill who will care for her at home, while she's homeschooling 3 kids. Thanks everyone.

Well I had been planning to have my study done, but that didn't happen. So I'll hopefully post tomorrow. This weekend was busy, but it was that kind of busy where your like now what happened. We had friends over for dinner Saturday night and watched a movie. The kids played so it was a just a good evening.

I got a call from my niece Amy on Saturday, and she had some time off school and wanted to know if we'd be around to come over and get some help on her Senior Year Scrapbook, and spend some time with Brinn. So she came over Sunday afternoon. We did one scrap page, she really is a talented scrapper she just needed a boost. I asked about her college app, she wants to go to a private Christian College, and was invited to the early application process. She done everything except the essay. She said she said she was having trouble transferring what was in her brain to the paper. So I asked her if she wanted help, since I can usually transfer my thoughts into words.

The thing I enjoyed was the conversation with her about why she wanted to go to this school, and how the foundation of the schools biblical ethics would influence her. She shared with me when Jesus became her savior, not just the chosen faith of her parents. All of the community service and outreach she's done, and how it had impacted her. We even talked about the election, and the challenges of being in the world but not of it. She also gave me some insight on areas that Brinn will struggle with that I never did as a teen. I got to share with her, and she knows that I've had a lot of sin in my life, but as she gets older it's easier to share more openly with her.

So we got through the essay, and I told her now you have some thoughts, but make sure you get someone who's actually applied for a college to proof it and fine tune it. I have no idea what the schools look for, my college career was trade schools more or less, and some community college thrown in. I think I probably was more blessed by it than she was. So if you think of it pray for Amy, she's getting ready to leave the nest and go into a very sin filled world. Pray that God holds her close, and she holds close to God and continues to grow in that faith.

Thanks, and hope to post my Yes to God study tomorrow.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Awards to Share and Walk A Thon News!

I was blessed by two of my blogging buddies with these blog awards, and I've been so crazy busy that I haven't had time to grab them or pass them on. Thank you both so much the are my first awards.

The Smile Award is from my friend Naomi over at Among the Gum Trees. Thanks sweety you make me smile too. You have to name 6 things that make you smile. And pass it on to 6 friends. For this one I'll pass it on to Paula Sweet Pea, Rochelle, Tammy, Laura, Lelia, and Heather. If you come and play let me know. So here are the 6 things that make me smile:

1. Ease dropping on the conversations my daughter and husband have in the morning. They are always so sweet.
2. Hearing my daughter laugh.
3. Finishing a scrapbook page, and I like it.
4. My dog and the funny way she follows me everywhere even when she's completely comfortable.
5. My daughter and her friends singing in the back seat to the Jonas Brothers.
6. Getting a Hot fudge sundae with jamoca almond fudge ice cream yummy.

This award came from my friend Connie, and so now I'm going to tag 6 more people, with this award. (And as a small disclaimer, I find all my friends make me smile and are Kreativ, but I had to pick and it was hard.) So the tag is to name 10 things that make you happy. So the taggies are: Lilly, Liz, Tasra, Lee, Victoria, Pamela

Okay now 10 things that make me happy:

1. The spontaneous I love yous from my daughter and my husband.

2. Seeing my husband study the Bible. (a prayer answered)

3. The Women's retreat I go on every year with my sister.
4. Being at the beach with my family.

5. My quiet time in the morning spent with God.

6. Listening and singing my favorite worship songs.

7. Date Nights with my husband.

8. Girls night with my daughter.

9. Spending the evening hanging out with friends and family.

10. Watching my daughter run to Family Night at Church because she has so much fun there.

Okay so there it is. There was another tag that Naomi gave me, which involved reading. But I'm going to save that for another day.


Have Won the Prestigious Golden Shoe

Yes the 4th grade class raised the most money per student and will be amply rewarded with Pizza, Ice Cream, and will keep the coveted Golden Shoe (a bronzed Reebok) in their class for the rest of the year. Fourth Graders you Rock.

Seriously this was a huge deal. Brinn on the way to school yesterday had this conversation with Brett:

Brinn: Daddy they are going to announce the winner of the Golden Shoe today during Chapel. I hope we win, our class has never won.

Daddy: Well I know, but you all did good, and if you don't win you have to be happy for those who do. The walk-a-thon was for fun, and to raise money for all the classes, and to glorify God, by doing your best.

Brinn: I know, but really Daddy if we don't when we either really suck, or were cursed.

Daddy: Well I don't think your either, if you don't win this year, you could win next year. But really Boo, God loves you and your not cursed.

Cursed wow that was a strong word. I think she's been listening to the Deuteronomy sermons with her dad again. lol.

So Thursday at about 11:30 I got a call on my cell phone from a very excited little Girl. Mommy Mommy it's Brinn we won the Golden Shoe, and the whole class screams. So sweet. The best part was they were all excited, but her teacher shared with us today at Teacher Parent conference, that the whole class showed great sportsman ship. They just went out on the playground and it was like nothing had happened, no bragging just good sportsman ship. He said he just sat out their and watched them play he was really proud of them.

So that's about it for now. Not sure what the weekend holds for us, but I'm hoping to get my Bible study done before Tuesday. That would be very cool.



Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Chapter 8, Completely Loved and Accepted

Oh hi my friends, wow what a great chapter this is. So yes it's that time again my weekly blog Bible study Yes to God hosted by the amazing Lelia on the book by Lisa Whittle Behind Those Eyes. Let me tell you this has been an amazing journey, last week as many of you read was very draining for me, but after the post I felt so uplifted, and so much love from our Father, and he sent it to me from all of you my friends who commented, and a couple who email. This week, just let me tell you is just an awesome chapter. So here we go. As always Lisa's quotes from the book are in purple.

Lisa shared with us about her friend Christa who always knows the right thing to say, and this is a quote she always says to Lisa. Now I want all of you to write this quote down and then in giant letters put it on your bathroom mirror (because that's where we seem to rip ourselves apart), and anywhere else you think appropriate. "You are an awesome spirit being, truly loved and accepted by God" Robert McGee, Search For Significance.

Lisa writes, "The depth of God's love for us is hard to comprehend. So are the height, the width, and the breadth of His love. Our human minds will not allow us to process the greatness of the love of our Father because we are programmed by the world's view of love, which has great limitations." The world tells us we are loved because of the way we look, by what we own, by what we drive and that we must earn love. It also tells us that if at anytime we fall short that love will be taken away and it's our fault.

God tells us that's not true. Think about this it always blows me away. Jesus prayed for me and for you right before he was arrested and crucified. (words added by me) Jesus prayed these words, "My prayer is not for them alone (the disciples). I (Jesus) pray also for those who will believe in my message (that's me and that's you) through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May the world also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you give me, that they may be one as we are one. I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have love me." John 17:20-26 niv. HOW AWESOME IS THAT JESUS PRAYING FOR US, and about how much He wants us to know that the Father God Loves us. That just grips my heart. Jesus prayed for me, because He already knew who I was.

Then Lisa reminds us of this in 1John 3:1 "How great is the love the Father lavished upon us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!"

I have felt the limitations of the worlds love, by being cast aside for another woman, by having family put you on the bottom of the priority list because a new man is in the picture, by being lied to, and told I'm not good enough. I have also been the one who's done some unloving things to others.

God's love is different, God's love has no limits, He cannot die, He's seen all my flaws and knows every vile deceitful thing about me, yet he loves me. Jesus was beaten, tormented, had his flesh ripped from his body, and was hung on a cross. That has been said to be one of the most horrific ways to die - He did this for me. For me was I worth that? are you worth that? If your answer was the same as mine, NO. I have only one child I can't imagine how painful that would be to give your child over to save someone else, I haven't met a person yet I would allow her to endure any suffering for. Thankfully I'm not God - because God loves us in that way. He says I am worth it and your are worth it too, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him." John 3:16-17 No love on earth can compare.

I have searched for love and fulfillment in so many ways. Through people, friendships, sexual relationships, marriages, and no matter what there has been some hurt or disappointments. I've tried shopping, eating, exercising, changing my look all left me empty. (well the food it left me fatter, but you get the picture) Only through God's love have I been able to slowly learn to love who I am, and having his love helps me to stop looking in all those other places. Thankfully God is patient because I'm a slow learner.

I love what Lisa wrote here: "Deep down inside, when no one is around and the only sound that breaks is the beating of our own hearts, we long to feel the warm embrace of love wrapped around us. We desire to truly experience lasting and genuine love, maybe for the first time in our lives. What we thought would bring us love has left us down, and we are tired of searching. Even the best of our earthly relationships with the strongest bonds of earthly love cannot quench the insatiable thirst of our souls for a deeper connection"

I am still learning how much God loves me, He shows me in many ways. Lisa told us to write down a time in detail when God paused to show us how much He cared about us through a unique experience. So here goes.

As many of you know I have a chronic illness called Autoimmune Hepatitis. (see side bar for other posts on my illness) It was January of 2001, Brinn was 18 months old, I was a single mommy living and working at my current apartment management job. I had been feeling tired for probably about 3 1/2 months and had developed a cough I could not get rid of. I'd been to the doctors a couple times but on this one visit the Physicians Assistant took more time. She asked me about my life, and said I seemed sad, and worn out, that concerned her. Then she went to listen to my back for my breathing, she paused and said can you take off your glasses, and she looked at my eyes. At that point, she told me that she wanted to get the doctor and she came back in. The doctor came in and looked at my back and my eyes, and started asking me if I drank alcohol on a regular basis or if I used iv drugs. I said no, why? He said I was jaundice and that he wanted to run some liver tests through blood work, and then he asked me other questions about my bodily functions that you all just don't want to know.

So anyway I went for my blood tests, and went back to work. I went home and kept looking in the mirror I did I had this yellow tinge to my eyes. I called my family and nobody was really freaked out yet. Except me. Over the next couple days I went for a ultrasound and more blood work, then back to my regular doctor who said my liver was enlarging, and that's why I was getting yellower. Then they sent me to a GI specialist. This was a Wednesday the 22nd of January, and by time I got to him I was orange yes orange, my eyes glowed like an orange highlighter, I was so weak, and so cold I could barely get my self there. Dr. F, my GI specialist looked at me and said I bet your pretty tired huh. He asked about me, I told him about my daughter and that I was a single mommy, he shared that he and his wife were expecting their first child. He told me that he was almost positive what I had and that he needed to do a liver biopsy to make sure, plus run some more blood. Then he told me I would need to go home and rest, and we'd go from there. He also told me that I needed some one to be with me at home that night.

I left the room got in the elevator, and it hit me this is bad really bad. I remember feeling the tears fall, and then a man standing next to me asking me are you okay, all I said is I don't know. I got in my car and drove home. Now on the Sunday before I had told a lady at church that worked in the office, and she made me promise to call her when I got back from the doctors. So I first called my sister (who's birthday was the next day) she said she'd be over as soon as she got her daughter Amy settled after school. I called my friend Linda to have her pick Brinn up from the baby sitter, my sister told me to put on worship music, and that God was going to bring us through this (I had only come to the Lord in May of 1999). The hospital called and had me scheduled for the next day for my biopsy. So I talked with Janette from church, she prayed with me then, she put our Pastor Dean on the phone. I had only been going to the church at the time for since July of 2000, and Highway was not even a year old, but Dean prayed with me and said that the church would be there to help in anyway they could.

So I put on my CD that was from my churches worship band and opened my Bible and turned to Jeremiah 29:11. Then this song came on "Come Near to God" there was a part in it that said "Lord make me still content with your will, I lay down my life at your feet. Confusion runs deep, but your plan I will receive, give me the strength to believe. When I draw near you, you are there beside me Come Near to God here and now". I looked over and saw this picture.

(sorry about the quality) This was Brinn's Christmas photo, and it was sitting where I could see it while laying in my bed. It was at that moment I prayed to God. I said, "God you have given me everything I have, my job, my apartment, furniture, a car. Please Lord take all of it, but let me stay with Brinn, I don't want her to grow up not knowing how much I love her, I don't want to be only a memory, but it's your will not mine."

At that moment, I felt the presence of God, I had been unable to get warm for the entire day, and I felt warmth and like I was being wrapped in someones arms and held like a little child, I felt so full of love and peace, then I heard the whisper. "I just need you to endure this for Me, you will not be separated." I can't express that moment in words. I just remember crying and praising God.

My sister came that night, and took care of me, and I think she was pretty shocked by what I looked like, as was my brother the next day when he came to take me to the hospital. I was green and orange ladies, and I even got the doctors in the elevators to do a double take. But I had no fear, none, I had God's love and peace in me. I remember joking with the surgeon who did my biopsy to be careful not to leave a big scar because I paid $5.00 for this procedure.

Oh wow how God showered his love on me through that time. Now I did have moments of fear, and frustration I am human. God used so many people at that time. My family, my sister came to every doctor appointment, and that was every week, she took care of my finances, and helped me to understand the things the doctor said. My brother and his wife brought Brinn and I too their house every weekend to take care of me, and my mom came and took care of us through the week. The church, helped pay my rent, brought meals everyday for the first month, and then several people just kept bringing them after that, they cleaned my house, brought a bed for my mom to sleep in, took Brinn to play groups, and just came by to visit. The people I worked with called me every week, also brought food, and promised me a job to come back to. I got to watch Brinn go from a tumbly toddler to a talking 2 year old, and had some much needed time of healing with my mom. I was out of work for 7 months, doc thought I'd never go back to work. Doc thought I might need a liver transplant, I still have my original liver. Even now as I struggle with my illness I recall that moment with God, and that picture of Brinn it's always close by to remind me if I'm forgetful of that Love.

God has shown me His precious love many times since that day, He never fails, and He never forgets.

May you know the complete and accepting love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


Monday, November 3, 2008

A Halloween Birthday

Who is this adorable baby you may ask? Well it's
me, at 9 months old. I just celebrated my 44th birthday this past Friday, yes I was born on Halloween. What's that like people ask to have your birthday on Halloween? What's it not like is my question. For the first 17 years of my life I had pumpkins, black cats, skeletons, ghost, even cakes shaped like pumpkins on every birthday cake. For my 18th birthday I asked for a birthday cake with roses on it like other people had. I get at least 1 if not more birthday cards that have a Halloween theme, and yes many many of my birthday parties were costume parties. The older I got the bigger and crazier they got. So at least my parents never had to come up with a theme, and everybody seems to remember it. Actually it's a fun day to have your birthday on everybody is in a fun and upbeat mood. I enjoy it. So here's a glimpse into my birthday this past Friday.

This year Brinn was wanted to be a Native American Indian, and she wanted me to make the costume. So with a deep breath I reached back into my brain and found my sewing skills that hadn't been used in like 15 years. We both were thrilled with how it came out, and I think Brett was pretty impressed. I got so into it I made a costume for Sarah the handmade doll Brinn and I made a couple years ago. So off she went to school for her Harvest Parade.

After the Harvest Parade I was pretty tired. Brett had the day off too. So while I napped he ran to the store to get some goodies for the kids and families coming over that night to go trick or treating. I came out to find him arranging this bouquet of flowers.

Brett also told me he had a surprise for me, one I would never figure out. About 2:30 I was sitting on the couch reading my Yes To God Bloggy Girlfriends, and he said your surprise is here. In walked my sister Phyllis (she's in the orange shirt), I though how cool she came for lunch great surprise, but the real surprise was the guy standing in the middle. That's my nephew Chris, he's like my little brother, and lives in Texas with his very wonderful wife Stacey. He walked in behind my sister, I was totally blown away. He'd flown out for my and his best friends birthday as a surprise to both of us. How cool is that.

So after we visited at home, we went to have a late lunch at The Macaroni Grill. It was so cool to see him. Chris is the oldest grandchild, and my Brinn is the youngest. Let me tell you she was not happy that she didn't get to see her big cousin Chris. Now she wants to fly to Texas, to visit him.

Chris and I are 7 years apart, and if you read my last post about Amy that's his baby sister. When Chris was born I was in second grade, and could not understand why I couldn't bring him to show and tell. Chris, Phyllis and I shared a room from when he was about 18 months old until he was around 2, then we moved and it was Chris and I until he was almost 3. Isn't it funny how God prepares us to minister to people even years before we can imagine. My sister Phyllis is who Brinn and I lived with when my exhusband left before Brinn was born. We both went through very similar circumstances just about 27 years apart.

So about 6:30 we had 4 families over, my friend Gina brought me my favorite Carrot Cake for my birthday. We only had one candle so according to my cake I'm 8 years old.

So we had pizza, took the kids trick or treating, and then had my birthday cake. I thought about putting pics of the kids but I've not asked my friends how they feel about me posting their pics. So just imagine 7 kids piles of candy and one very excited dog.
And if your wondering yes Brett and I had a date night the next evening, a romantic dinner and Brinn got to spend the night at Uncle Paul and Auntie Janice's.
Love to you all,

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Finally the 2 Story Target and other stuff

Hi to all my friends in blog land. Well for some reason I've fallen behind on everything, it took me almost a week to do my bible study post. Things have been busy, but I thought I'd share a couple photos with you.

So as promised, here are the pictures of my 2 story Target. Brett and Brinn are headed up the escalator, then you get the going down view. You can tell it's my cart just look at all the cereal in it. Bet you all were wondering how we got the carts up and down the stairs. Yep there is a cart escalator too. Sadly I've heard they are going to tear down are beloved Target in January as the mall it's in is under construction. I'm so bummed, it's so convenient now I'll have to go all the way to the boring old 1 story Target in Mountain View. boohoo

Brinn's school had a walk a thon on October 15th. This is her 6th year in the walk a thon, and I've been to all but the first one. Her team was the Gold Medal Geckos, and They decorated their own tshirts. They also got to school an hour early to pull the traditional 4th grade prank on the 5th grade class and covered the floor and room with pictures of geckos. The kids were so excited though they couldn't sleep the night before. Brinn didn't go to sleep until 11:30 pm the night before. They did have a blast but they were all tired by the end of the day.

Then on October 19 or family celebrated my niece Amy's 18th birthday. Brinn loves her cousin Amy. In fact when Amy was 8 she opened up her room and shared it with us from the time Brinn was about 1 1/2 months old until she was 9 months old. The 3 of us shared a queen size bed, we called it the ABC room. Amy helped me take care of Brinn, and was just an amazing blessing (as were my sister and brother in law) through that difficult time. I remember many fun talks with Amy when she was exactly the same age Brinn is now. Amy has grown into a beautiful, caring and loving young woman, I'm very proud of her. She's a great role model for Brinn.
As far as my Autoimmune Hepatitis is going, well it's kinda hanging out right now in a low but still active state. I don't look sick, but have endured the side effects of the prednisone, even chimpmunkier cheeks, and other fun stuff. The doctor is being very reserve in the taper of my medicines. So I'm still having weird sleep patterns and I have very small amounts of energy, and so we have to be careful what extra activities I add to my plate. Last week I went through almost 3 full days of sleeping, just can't wake up. Then other days I feel like I can do more, but when I push the envelope my body just shuts down, and it's time to sleep.
My blogging Bible study has been amazing, and has given me such peace after posting. I know God is growing my heart, and so many other women too. I truly am blessed and amazed by the wonderful openness of the women I've met, and miss everyone when I'm not on, reading the blogs.
I did have a birthday on Friday (31st) so I have a few pictures I'll post, and share more about it then.
Until then hope everyone is having a great day. I've also got some tags and things I wanted to send out and collect, just been out of the loop. One from Naomi, and one from Connie.
Well until later.
Love to you all,