Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Give Me A Break

I have a pet peeve that drives me nuts. Lately it seems like every time I check my email, there is some dire warning that has been sent by some well-meaning person, cautioning me against the dangers of...

microwaving in plastic containers

drinking diet drinks

breaking any variety of "chain emails"...(send it on to 10 people immediately or all your hair will fall out)

Take your pick...or use your imagination...just when I think I've seen it all, along comes another one, each one more ridiculous than the last. Most are just annoying, but some are downright dangerous. I received one recently with the old myth that if you are being held-up at an ATM, you should enter your PIN code backwards and the police will be alerted. I do good to remember it the correct way...can you imagine trying to figure out your PIN backwards with a weapon pointed in your face? That's a good way to get a bullet in your head.

If you receive such an email and you are tempted to pass it on, please take a moment to check it out and verify that it is legit. Go to and do a search. I was there looking up something today and I read, "Health scare artists have found a whole new medium for terrorizing the public - the Internet." That's about what most of these emails amount to...just another medium to strike terror in our hearts. Aren't there enough legitimate things in the world to worry about without all this hype? You a comet colliding with us...or having an car accident and realizing that you have on your holey underwear...or that your toddler will repeat in Sunday School what you said when you stumped your baby toe on the kitchen chair.

Please do your part to help stop the email garbage...otherwise a computer virus will destroy all your files and you will have to eat all your meals from a microwaved plastic container while sipping a Diet Coke.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Kingdom Living

We heard an awesome testimony yesterday from an Alabama man who had suffered from a rapidly progressing form of Parkinson's Disease and severe diabetes. When he was at his lowest point and the diseases were killing him, he began to study about Kingdom Living. He made the point that, although he had gone to seminary and spent many years in ministry, his idea of the Kingdom was where we'll go after we cross the Jordan...Heaven. God began to show him that the Kingdom that Jesus spent so much time teaching about was not the "sweet by and by," but was instead here and now.

What a revelation that turned out to be. He spent a lot of time studying the passage in Matthew 6 that we have come to know as The Lord's Prayer. (In reality, it's our prayer...Jesus prayed it to teach us how to pray.) What this man realized was that when Jesus said "...your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven," it meant that we should pray that God's will be manifested in our lives RIGHT NOW just like it will be when we get to Heaven. So, this is the way he prayed. God touched him and he was instantaneously healed. From shuffling painfully with a cane, or sitting in a wheelchair, to running and praising God, totally pain-free, this man is a walking miracle!

Do we really believe that God is still in the miracle-making business? Do you doubt that this is true? It is verified not only by the man's family who had witnessed him being consumed by the diseases, but by his whole church as well.

I do not claim to understand all there is to know about Kingdom fact, I understand enough to know that what I do understand is only a tip of the iceberg...but I desire to know. I am praying that God will give me a revelation of this truth and help me to experience Kingdom Living while here on earth. Heaven will be wonderful, but I want a taste of it now, and I believe that if Jesus didn't intend for us to experience it, then he would not have spent so much time talking about it. Kingdom Living is the abundant life that Jesus came to give (see John 10:10).

I fear that out of ignorance, many of us are living a life of defeat when something much better is available to us. I do not believe that God wants His children to wander around clueless. Join with me in praying for God's will to be here and now...on earth as it already is in Heaven...and that He will open our eyes to this great truth. If you dare.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

When Did We Get Ashamed?

It is an interesting phenomenon in our society, that often the first thing one is asked upon meeting a new person is "What do you do?" It is understood that by saying this, what they really mean is "Where do you work?"...and the deeper meaning of the question is "What is your worth?" In our country, often "what you do" defines who you are. If you are a professional like an attorney or a physician, then you are defined one way, but if you are a trash collector or a cafeteria worker, you are defined a different way. In India, they have a caste system that separates the people into the U.S. we have occupations.

When I resigned my position with the state as a financial coordinator last year to stay home with my precious daughter, it was the first time I had been unemployed in many, many years. My husband and I made this decision together. There was never really any debate about it...we believe strongly that we want to raise our daughter instead of turning her over to daycare workers as a substitute for a parent's loving care. We knew that it would take some sacrifices for us to live on one income, but we were willing to make them. What I do not think that I bargained for was my loss of definition because all of the sudden I didn't "do" anything...I had no occupation to rely on for my identity. This really bothered me for months. I struggled with trying to find out who I really am...without a convenient title.

In retrospect, almost at my one year anniversary of being a stay-at-home mom (September 21), I realize that what I actually needed was a mental detoxification. I had so bought into society's idea of the norm, that it took me a while to clear my head of that garbage and see the truth. Being a full-time homemaker and mother is the most wonderful and blessed opportunity that any woman can experience. The chance to teach and mold a child into the person that God wants them to be is an honor far above any degree or title. The role of keeper of the home is one to be admired...for the heart of a home is the woman. Maintaining organization within the home, cooking delicious and nutritious meals to be eaten around the table with family, taking pride in her home and creating a peaceful refuge for her husband to come in from the hostile world, providing a time and place for intimacy...these are the badges of honor that we wear. There can be no substitute for a woman's role in the home, and when that role is not being fulfilled, she and her family will suffer.

It gets on my last nerve when I hear a woman say, "I just stay home...I'm just a mom...Oh, I don't work" or some variation, usually accompanied by downcast eyes. When did we become "just" a homemaker? When did we become ashamed of what we do?

I am proud of the job God has given me and I would not trade it for the world.

What do you do?

P.S. There are great resources out there to help with every aspect of homemaking. I will be sharing some is the first:

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Little Lessons

How many two-year-olds do you think know what this is:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

My two-year-old knows. We passed one at a construction site this week and she got really excited, pointed to it and said, "Mommy...I want to play in that playhouse!" I explained to her that this was a "porta-potty," a bathroom for the men to use who were working on the building. It took her a while to digest that and she must have asked "huh?" five times. Finally, it sunk in and she simply said, "Okay."

I love the opportunity to teach her about the world around us. Now, do I think that she really needs to know about portable toilets at this juncture of her life? Probably not. But toddlers are so curious about everything and her brain is like a sponge, just soaking in everything around her. As a stay-at-home mom, I am so privileged to be with her every day so I can play a part in her learning as we experience life together. I get such a kick out of seeing those little wheels turning. It goes something like this:

Me: How many porta-potties do you see?
BK: One!
Me: What color is it?
BK: White!
Me: Who uses it?
BK: The men working.
Me: Where do they go in?
BK: In the door.

That's the end of our porta-potty lesson...I figure that's all she needs to know for now.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

On Googling...

My next assignment in my Sociology class is to write an essay on the Love Canal. I'm embarrassed to say that I had no clue what that was, but after doing a quick Google search (don't you love Google?), I found all the info I need for research on my essay. By the way, for those of you who do not know, the Love Canal (named for William Love) was a massive toxic waste dump in Niagara, NY, which later was covered over and a community was built on top of it. Later, the residents began getting sick and there was an unusually high incidence of birth defects linked to the oozing chemicals under their homes and school.

A few days ago I read a post on a friend's blog that told about her attempt to find some old acquaintances from high school and college days. I decided to Google some names that I remembered from high school to see if anything came up. I found the business website of one guy, emailed him to see if he was the same one I knew, and we got caught up on "what's been happening with you?" and "whatever happened to _____?" High school was not a great time for me and I don't have many memories from then, but it was really good to reconnect with someone from my teenage years and I have enjoyed my communication with him. I look back on the shy teenager I painfully self-conscious...and even though I know it was really me, I hardly recognize that person any more. These days, I am bolder, more self-confident and hopefully a little wiser about myself...and about life.

It is harder to find the girls I knew back then because we change our names frequently. So, in case anyone is trying to locate me from long ago, my maiden name was Deidra Tate back then and hopefully Google can help you find me.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Walking in Pain

As I begin this post, it is in the wee hours of the morning. Not being a morning person by nature, this was not the planned time for me to arise...but my leg had another idea. I woke up with searing pain in my calf...a leg cramp so severe, I almost screamed out in pain. I nudged my dear hubby awake, urgently asking him to help. He tried, but to no avail. I was afraid to move, but I knew I had to walk...even if I didn't know how I could. I stood and all I could do was prop myself on the wall. After a time, I was able to limp down the hall, stumbling at first...dragging my leg...still in the grip of the terrible cramp. I walked through the kitchen and in to the den...then back and forth in the den. As I walked, I could feel the muscle loosening. Finally relief came.

In that moment, it occurred to me that what I had just experienced physically compares to emotional experiences as well. Sometimes emotional pain comes suddenly and it can be so severe...crippling even...that all we want is to lie still. We want a quick fix...anything to stop the pain. We turn to others for help, but often they cannot help, even if they try their best. Sometimes we just have face the pain and walk through it.

Fortunately, we have a God who has promised to never leave or forsake us...even in the dark night of the soul...when the pain has us in it's grip with such strength that we aren't sure if we will ever not hurt again.

As long as we are here on earth, we will go through's the price we pay for living in a fallen world. I'm sure glad that He didn't leave us to fend for ourselves.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Praising When It's Hard

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that confess his name. (Hebrews 13:15 NIV)

What is a sacrifice of praise? I believe that this is the praise that we give when we are in a hard place...when all we want to do is curl up in a ball and hide...when even the thought of praising hurts...this is sacrificial praise...and it has to be so very sweet to God's ears. Why? Not because He enjoys seeing us hurt...but because it says to Him that we trust Him to take care of us in the middle of our mess and to bring beauty from ashes to restore us.

As we begin to praise, an amazing thing happens. Our focus shift from our problems to His glory. Here is an excerpt from a devotional article I wrote a few years ago:

"Psalm 69:39 tells us 'I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.' It is a choice of the will. We can make the choice to fill our mouths with praise and thanksgiving no matter what we feel like or see. And when we make that choice to be thankful and praise instead of grumble and complain, things begin to change. In Jonah’s case the Lord caused the fish to spit him out on the shore. We might not always see an immediate change in our circumstances. But our hearts begin to change. Things that we thought were important no longer are. In the light of eternity, most of the things that we get upset about are pretty small anyway. And even in the really, really bad things that happen to us, God has promised to never leave or forsake us, and He will use what the enemy meant for our harm to turn into something good."

He is good.

He loves you more than you can ever imagine.

Just in case you needed a reminder.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Where Does The Time Go?

I can't believe it has been almost three weeks since I have posted. There is much to post to catch up on the happenings here.

First of all, a couple of weeks ago, we were all sick with sinus junk. Poor hubby was stuck with it the longest. We finally all recovered...and now BK woke up with a runny nose this morning. *big sigh* I'm just ready for us all to be well for a while.

I forgot to post some news about Mike. Last year, he was asked by someone at the school where he teaches, about writing the curriculum for a Biblical History class that they were considering offering this year as an elective. It would be the first time such a class has been offered. Mike gladly wrote the curriculum and submitted it. When he left for summer break, he had no idea if they would be offering the course, or who would be teaching it if they did. He was so happy to find out when he returned that they were offering it and had enough sign up for the class...and that he would be teaching it! There is no textbook...he is using the Bible...which is the best textbook of all. : )

I am taking an online class this semester...Intro to Sociology. I'm working on my first essay now...the topic is the childhood obesity epedemic in the US. For all of you who know me, you know that I have personal experience in this subject, although I'm trying to keep it objective. It is hard to write truely objectively though because we see the world through our experiences and beliefs.

My nephew Josh has a blog and he has posted several times since arriving in India. He is such a special guy. He is overwhelmed at times by all that he is experiencing, but he's learning more about love in the short time he will be there than some of us will ever know.

I have a new hobby. About a month ago, I started scrapbooking. Since then, I have spent many happy and relaxing hours scrapping. I have a mountain of photos...both of BK and the I have my work cut out for me.

Last weekend I attended a women's retreat with a group of ladies from where I used to attend church. It was a wonderfully relaxing and encouraging time. It was so good seeing ladies that I haven't seen in many years.

We had a great Labor Day weekend. The three oldest grandkids stayed with us Saturday night. We took them to the Natural Science Museum Saturday afternoon. The Hunters of Prey exibit is cool...if a little gruesome. Their goal was to show the different varieties of food that these birds eat...and they suceeded...dead mice, fish, possum, etc.

On Sunday, we all went to visit a church that we used to attend several years ago. They have a great Children's Church and the boys enjoyed it. BK is getting more and more used to staying in the preschool...what a relief! When I started to leave, she ran to me, hugged me around my knees and twirled around to go play. I found out when I picked her up that she was bitten by another child. I want to teach her to punch out kids that try to be mean to her. What I really want to do is find the brat that bit her and spank him. I don't want her to learn biting from these kids...and I don't want to have to worry about her being hurt when I leave her. It's never easy being a parent, is it?

Yesterday, we went to one of my sister's to swim in her pool. My son and his family came too, so it was wild with five munchkins running around...but lots of fun.

I think that catches up with what has been going on here the last month. I'll try not to wait so long to post next time.