Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Barbra and Gracie! The resemblance is remarkable! (p.s.--I put Barbra Streisand's picture into that website....she didn't match her own face! HA!)

Avoiding decisions and goofing off.....

My dear friend and sister, Patchouli, sent me this link:

Click on it...and stick a picture of your face in there, and voila! they show you who you look like in the celebrity world.
Of course, the beautiful Patchouli looks like the beautiful Kelly McGillis.

Karen, however, resembles...
David Hasselhof? Of all the Baywatch babes, I get to resemble David Hasselhof? :-(

Well, take heart...it depends on the pose of the picture, your expression, etc. I ran the gamut from ol' Dave to Angela Merkel to Cybil Shepard...and HEY! Being the goof that I am, I had to pop Gracie the labrador's picture in there....she looks like Barbra Streisand! So, give it a shot!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Just warmin' up...

Well, I'm starting to get my energy back, I think....

I still have that "kind of scared to get back up because of the whappage" thing goin' on. But I decided that since I'm not hauling a lot of paint cans and ladders around lately, that walking Gracie is just not enough exercise to keep excess tonnage from creeping onto my bod. Doc said nothing severely strenuous, so I went out and got a "Beginning Mat Work Pilates" DVD.
I looked at the picture...it didn't look strenuous. After all, I have done Tai Bo in the past with good success. Good success meaning, like, no heart attack, stroke, or broken bones or anything...

So I get this DVD and decide to start it last night. The minute I hit the floor to do this apparently life-changing exercise, the dog is in my face...sticking her nose in my eye, standing on my hair, then lying down RIGHT behind me as I'm trying to do this rocker thing they're trying desperately to teach me. Okay...dog outta the room....

Then this sugary sweet virtual teacher is talking about the next thing we'll do that defies gravity in this realm, and all I hear is, "blah blah blah....and then YOU can have perky buns like ME!"

I get video exercise tapes and such so I'm not tempted to smack the instructor.

I did not realize that parts of me were supposed to move in grotesquely unnatural ways, and that this would be called exercise. I really don't think that, while on your right side, your left leg is supposed to be bent and placed with flat foot in front of your belly. And this is the beginning tape. At this point in the torture, I couldn't even MOVE my legs and was grateful that I have a yellow lab because they are supposed to be great helper dogs...only I had locked her in another room and I was stranded on the floor, all alone in the house except for Miss Perky Buns.

Apparently this Pilates thing has been around for quite some time. I thought it was new. Maybe that's because no one really talks about it...with good reason. There is also some huge ball you're supposed to use as you progress onto later levels. What do you do, strap yourself onto the ball and roll around because you're paralyzed from muscle strain?? I don't think so. And this Mr. Pilates guy. I think he's dead. That's probably best.

I'm going back to my ladders and paint cans.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Being pulled by Grace...

I have more fun...and get more out of naming my dog Grace (Gracie) than I should be allowed....
But God had a purpose in giving me this wonderful mutant yellow Labrador.
My son, G, wanted a dog. I love dogs, but didn't have time for one. We have cats, lizards, snakes, etc. An occasional extra teen, as well....
Anyway, I told him that if God wanted us to have a dog, we'd have one. If you're not prepared for the result of saying that to your kid...DON'T SAY IT!!
A week later, we had a dog.
Gracie is about 80 pounds, is tall and muscular, genetically messed up kidney-wise, and we didn't think she'd make it the first year. But here she is...
Wednesday we went for our morning walk, and she can be a handful. She's pretty well trained until she sees a squirrel, a kid, a ball, okay, well...just about anything. Alright, she's out of control sometimes, okay??
She saw a soccer ball and she loves to play goalie...so she took out after a ball that was innocently sitting there, minding its own business. She yanked me like a tooth on a string about 10 feet, the retractable lead jerked out of my hand and whacked my fingers; pulled a muscle in my arm, shoulder, chest...and so on. SO, I'm feeling a little out of whack body-wise...but I always like to see a blessing in everything...so I thought about GRACE.
GRACE wants to BE....to exist, to live with us, to be ACCEPTED. Sometimes we aren't paying attention to Grace and have to be jerked awake to see that Grace is there, free, loving, a wonderful gift. If God wants us to have Grace, (and He did!) well....there you are.
Being dragged by GRACE.
Being knocked over by GRACE. (that's happened more than once)
Being pulled by GRACE.
Anything to get our attention.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


I'm always talking about the wisdom of my 18 year old...and he is wise. Beyond his years. 6'4", long ponytail, Eagle scout. Top 10% of class; dean's list. Great young man.
My 14 year old is pretty cool, too. But last year as I was driving him to high school, to 9th grade, it was the 14th consecutive morning that I was cringing and listening to his pleading to me not to take him. To homeschool him.

I'd homeschooled them both for about 5 years, about 5 years ago. It was successful, then they went on to a charter school, the oldest graduated last year. My youngest, G, went on to a public middle school. He wasn't fond of that experience.
He's a scout, a basketball player, an avid video gamer. He has a great sense of humor, but as he started to high school, his mood darkened. He wouldn't cut his hair and he let it fall over his face. He was hiding. We got worried.

The thoughts of, "hey, everyone has to suffer through this stuff" went through my mind. I did. I hated every minute of high school, and if I'd had the chance to be home schooled then I'd have taken it. To be able to read and study ahead of everything....to have freedom. You bet.
But my husband and I were worried that he wouldn't develop 'strength of character' if we didn't let him go through complete and utter torture.

That morning, I turned into the parking lot. The wrong one. I ended up in a bizarre twisted loop of concrete that kept turning me away from the school. G's complaints about going turned into nagging that he would not only be going to a "hellhole" but he would be LATE as well! I just kept driving around. Finally, I turned completely away from the school. Silence. "What are you doing?" he asked. I said, "I'm taking you home."

That was 5 or so months ago. He cut his hair. He's grown 4 inches, gleefully passing my 5'10" frame to a sturdy 6'1". He does his work. He laughs. He hugs. He's filled out. His game is better......he's great at scout meetings. He cracks me up. He wore his "I'm really excited to be here" T-shirt to the orthodontist yesterday...cracking them up. He had to get his lower braces, so I took him to get a GIANT chocolate shake to celebrate at his request.

As we were passing things around in the car, we both grabbed the HUGE cup the wrong way and the thing erupted like Mt. Vesuvius spilling chilled chocolate lava all over the side...and plopping like wet putty onto his leg. 6 months ago I would never have heard the end of it. But at that moment of eruption, we both looked at each other for what seemed like 5 minutes....and then we burst out in laughter. I still haven't heard the end of it....but in a good way. He dramatically and comically re-describes the event...grinning from ear to ear.

We've got our boy back.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Prayer need

Paige came across this prayer need; a little girl named Emma Grace had a heart transplant and her body is rejecting the heart. Please keep her in prayer. http://www.thismomslife.com/

Sunday, February 19, 2006

doGmA backwards...


I just thought that was interesting.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

running for cover?

I'm not sure where I am right now. There's nothing hideously wrong, really. And, my love for God and my whole place with Him is very secure.

It's just that I'm kind of afraid to move.

See, it's been a long year. Not 2006....just from last April to now. I'm ready for things to get...different. Some of you know the whole lupus/fibromyalgia thing, and that in April of last year I got hit with the tinnitus thing....3 noises in my head 24/7.....ringing, jet engine roar, and static. Thank God it doesn't create the same response as it did several months ago. It stopped me in my tracks at that time. Then, just about the time I started getting used to it, something else came up that slowed me down. God gave me victory over that. Then, something else, then something else.

Consequently, I haven't worked a lot in the last year. I'm one of those wierdos that like to work for work's sake. Well, I kinda have to work, too. It hasn't been bad...we're not rifling through dumpsters or anything. We live comfy and we're not materialistic people. My spouse has a good job, and he's been doing some stuff on the side which has taken the pressure off of me for the time being to fill the gap. I'm an artist and writer...I do mostly murals or special wall finishes, and I write marketing stuff. It's weird, because just the right work has been available to me that I can do either at home or that isn't physically exhausting while I get my iron level back up. And, I've had lots of time to homeschool my 14 year old, read, research, read blogs and learn a lot from all of you.

But, I'm starting to feel like one of those boppy clown toys that you whap down and it pops back up. Whap. Down. Up. Whap. Down. Up.

Is God trying to tell me something?

My 18 year old says maybe that God is showing me that if I slow down, that things will still work out; that we're not panhandling on the corner, and that maybe I'm supposed to chill out. 18 year olds know everything...

It's weird because I'm such a type A personality...and this slow time isn't really bugging me a whole lot. Simon, over at his blog says: (Simon says! ha! I love that) "....I have fallen into His arms a billion times and now I like to just stay there." Yeah. It's a really comfy place to be!
My dilemma is, when I start getting more energy, will I stay there?
Or will I jump up, run out and start all over again with the workaholic thing? Then will the whapping and popping start all over again?

So, I guess it's the whapping that makes me kind of afraid to move.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

what I believe.......

Hate me, love me, frown at me, laugh at me, call me a heretic, call me a nut. I'm in good company, and I'll still love ya.

I believe that God loves us all.

I believe that not everyone loves God.

I believe that, even through all the errors, mistranslations, and tampering with words, the screwing up of gender meaning, and the politics; that what is left of the Bible, properly translated, is the inerrant Word of God...and that He still speaks through it even after the ravaging of it by man, and that He speaks even more through us.

I believe that, based upon my own epiphany of Jesus the Christ and my own prayer and research, that those who have what I call a "God Glimmer" will indeed encounter Jesus when they die; that whoever believes will be with Him. This is the choice of man, not Him. He wants us all, but not all of us want Him. We have the freedom to accept or to refuse His gift.

I believe that the Christian world and the secular, is about to be rocked to its very foundation; that the religiosity that abounds now will be shaken; that a new revelation and a new revolution is not only on the horizon...it's here...now, from continent to continent. Thank God.

John 3:16-21 [The Source New Testament by Dr. A. Nyland]
God loved the world so he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes him will not die but would at that point have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world in order to judge the world, but so that the world would be saved through his Son. Whoever believes him is not judged; but whoever does not believe him has already been judged, because they have not believed the Name of God's only Son. This is the judgment: the light has come into the world and people loved the darkness instead of the light, for their actions were evil. Everyone who commits thoughtless acts hates the light and does not go towards the light., otherwise their actions would be exposed. But the person who has the truth moves towards the light, so that it may be revealed that their actions have been carried out with God.
[Italics and emphasis mine]

"It's not HOW you believe....rather, THAT you believe"
~~Jesus, to me, September 16, 1973

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

For you....

1 Corinthians 13
From The Source New Testament

with extensive notes on Greek word meaning
by Dr. A. Nyland

Moreover, I am indeed showing you an excessively extreme pathway. If I would speak with the supernaturally given languages of people and of Messengers, but not have love, I would be a bit of metal that makes a noise, or a clanging cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all things that there are to know, and if I have all the faith so that I can move mountains from one place to another, but don't have love, I am nothing! And if I hand out all my possessions and hand over my body, so that I could boast about it, but don't have love, it wouldn't benefit me.

Love has perseverance, love is kind. Love does not envy. Love does not show off, love is not arrogant. Love is not rude, is not self-seeking, it is not hot-tempered, it does not calculate wrong doings, it is not happy over dishonesty, but happy only with the truth; it puts up with everything, it has endurance in all things.

Love never falls down. Prophecies will become inactive, supernaturally given languages will cease, knowledge will become inactive. For we have knowledge in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is complete comes, then that which is incomplete will become inactive. When I was a baby, I spoke like a baby, I thought like a baby, I calculated like a baby. When I became a man, I did away with infantile things.

For now we look through a mirror in a riddle, but then we will look face to face---now we have knowledge in part, then we will have thorough knowledge just as we are thoroughly known.

But in point of fact all three of these will remain--faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love.

Happy Valentine's Day to all my blogging friends!
I pray God's gentle hand upon your lives, happiness and good health,
but most of all.....love....each and every day.

For the story of St. Valentine:

Monday, February 13, 2006

In light of recent blogging conversations, I awoke to these words running through my head; "Be near, oh God, be near, oh God"......I love it when the Lord speaks to me in a lyric of a song...particularly one that I'm not that familiar with and usually isn't part of my practice pieces (it is now)....and I know that it is a Word from Him.

Don't you love "church" every day?

be near
by shane barnard

You are all
big and small
and wonderful
to trust in grace through faith
but i'm asking to taste...

for dark is light to You
depths are height to You
far is near
but Lord, i need to hear from You

be near, oh God
be near, oh God of us
Your nearness is to us our good
be near, oh God
be near, oh God of us
Your nearness is to us our good, our good

Your fullness is mine
revelation divine
but, oh to taste
to know much more than a page
to feel your embrace....

for dark is light to You
the depths are height to You
far is near, but Lord
I need to hear from You

be near, oh God
be near, oh God of us
Your nearness is to us our good
be near, oh God
be near, oh God of us
Your nearness is to us our good, our good
(psalms 73:28; 139)

Sunday, February 12, 2006

the Question....

Bruce over at YBMT (see my links) put in a great post...to which I had some questions that I have been asked and have struggled to answer biblically. I really like the fact that some of us agree...some of us disagree, but that there is an openness to this forum. I think the big question is: if God loves us SO much; without condemnation, and sent His only Son to pay our debt...and the Bible says that Jesus is the only way to the Father, what happens to all the folks who do not believe that Jesus was the Son of God; that He is our Saviour, our Messiah. When a teen asks you, "My dad is having open heart surgery tomorrow. He isn't a Christian. If he dies on the table, where will he go?" what will you say? I won't give you my answer yet. I want to hear yours.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

"What matters is not that we do all we might have done or all we dreamed of doing, but that while we live, we live by faith in future grace and walk in the path of love. The times are in God's hands, not ours." John Piper

"We are assured and know that all things work together and for good, for those who love God and are called according to His purpose." Romans 8: 28

Friday, February 10, 2006


Ugh....feeling better means actually seeing how the house looks.....anyone know anyone from "Clean Sweep"?

Friday notes...

Keep praying for Jordan; his surgery went well; they were worried about him losing his ability to speak, but he didn't...Praise God! They cleared out the lesion area in the frontal lobe. He did well last night, but is seizing again today. Please pray for his healing, and that the seizing is only because of the surgery, which can happen. God bless you!

Feeling tons better today! Not so "need a nap" icky. Yay! Had the energy to go to the store and the health food store....got digestive enzymes (which I'm supposed to take but always forget...how stupid is that? I started with some yesterday...what a difference) and also got some liquid vitamins. I am determined to be well! Don't wanna gross anyone out, but also got liver and some onions, and spinach and just had a small feast of iron-laden foods. I don't care for red meat products...but gee, that was really good. Sorry to all my veggie and squeamish friends.....

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Honesty with God, II

I guess the previous post came from a place of being tired. Being tired of what I'll call "religiousity." My new made up word. Jesus came to save us all and we've responded by making some churches with walls in which people can come and be bound all over again by shame and guilt offered up by righteous "holy folk".

So it goes with our experiences with trials and tribulations. I had all kinds of examples to throw out there. Most were from my own life. But then I got this email from Jordan's mom. Jordan (whom I've never met) has a rare seizure disease. It's not going well right now as they search for the origin of the seizures in an attempt to stop them and save his life. That's right. Save his life. This family has shown more fortitude and faith than anyone I've ever seen...they have inspired hundreds of people, and yet....Jordan's mom talks of how terrified she was on Monday night.

Is her terror a weakness of faith, any evidence of doubt in our Father? Has she fallen short of her experience with God? I think not. Through her fear she has run to the Father. She has shown her humanity before all of us, and this prayer says it all. Please pray for them.

"I laid in the chapel weeping and praying Psalm 143 over Jordan today....

'Hear my prayer, O Lord, give ear to my supplications!
For the enemy has persecuted Jordan's soul; He has crushed his life to the ground;
He has made him dwell in darkness...
Therefore his spirit is overwhelmed within him; His heart within is distressed...
Answer me speedily, O LORD; His spirit fails! Do not hide Your face from him...
Cause him to hear your loving kindness in the morning, For in You does he trust;
Cause us to know the way in which he should walk, For he lifts up his soul to You.
Deliver him O LORD, from his enemy of sickness; In You he takes shelter.
Teach him to do Your will, For You are his God; Your Spirit is good....
Revive him, O LORD, for Your name's sake.... For he is Your servant.' "

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Honesty with God....

Developing an intimate relationship with our Father is something to which many Christians really haven't given a lot of thought...or effort. That may seem weird, but I know that it's true.

When I decided that there was a God, that was good. But at that first revelation, I didn't have a relationship with Him. Acknowledging people wandering around you doesn't make a relationship with them. Until you can get real, get honest, maybe squabble with the Lord or even try to wrestle a blessing, you're still on the first date. He made us in His image, but obviously with the ability to really screw up. And we're all good at that. It's a fallen world, but with Jesus came grace and mercy. What an incredible gift and testimony to His unfailing love!

We all get mad at God at some point, if you say you never have, I suspect you're lying....and our spirits can fall. Yeah, that's either us or darker spiritual forces poking at us...whatever your take on it, it happens...and God knows every miss-step. Completely. And, He understands. He does! Are we to suppose that we can hide any thought from Him? Shall we walk around with fake smiles on our faces? Well, sure, go ahead. We can fool people, but never our Abba Father.

No, I think when the going gets really tough, it's better to be down on the floor, slobbering, weeping, angry even, at our circumstances or even with our Father....completely naked before Him, broken. No guilt about our weaknesses, our sicknesses, our faults. He knows every single one of them. The important thing is that we DO take them to Him! That's what He wants! He wants us to turn to Him; for answers, for comfort, for a RELATIONSHIP! We can't handle stuff by ourselves, and it is especially through these moments of raw honesty and broken-ness that we develop a most beautiful and intimate relationship with Him.

Monday, February 06, 2006

gracie chillin'

Monday midday ramblings....

Normally, I love Mondays. I guess I'm just so far behind that it looks like I'll never catch up! Thought I'd blog while waiting for the coffee to finish. Trying to get my iron count up, and just dealing with fatigue on top of fatigue. My brain is full of ideas and projects. My body is completely ignoring my brain. My 14 year old is also ignoring all of me...he is having problems concentrating on his schoolwork. I try to get him organized on days that I have to go to paint something. As you can see, it's midday already and he is still dragging his skinny self around and looking totally disinterested in his work. I just informed him that, since we dropped the umbrella program that was way too much busywork, I have streamlined his curricula in order that he will reap quality, not quantity. He seems unmoved. So, I told him he is in charge of making a choice. He wants to go to a charter school next year, and I told him that if he chooses to goof off, he may have to repeat courses. He seems a little moved now. We'll see. I'm off soon to paint a backdrop for a company, the one that I did the trade-show set for. This is a small job in comparison, but it's taking me forever to get there to finish. The trade-show set won first place for visual presentation, so I'm pretty excited about that. I have a couple off shoot jobs now because of it. I just hope I have the energy to do them! I'm pretty sure that if the health department came to my home, we would be condemned! Well, maybe just a warning. Weren't we all supposed to be working LESS in the 21st century? It seems like we're all running around more than ever. I'm taking my own advice to Chad over at Bigg Fish and I picked up my guitar this weekend after months of non-use. Very cool...but the fingers could only take about 5 minutes of holding the chords. I've lost my fingertip callouses. Anyway, if you've read this far without dozing off or throwing spitwads at the screen in my honor....remember to take some time for yourself today and everyday! I think we'll all be better for it!

Friday, February 03, 2006

A healthy approach

I was perusing natural remedies, etc. on the 'net. I use an integrative philosophy for my medical needs...I believe that western medicine is great at times, but for chronic stuff...it's lacking. My Chinese doctor got me off of, and has kept me off of, steroids in treating my lupus. Any flares I've had have usually been my fault...I have to follow a pretty strict diet to avoid food sensitivities that set off the autoimmune process. Anyway, as I was perusing....I saw this statement about taking a healthy approach. That sounded good. But then, it was like God did a switch-er-oo on my eyes, and the words separated out . Heal Thy Approach. Hmmmm. Alrighty then. Food for my thoughts......

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

One foot in front of the other.....

Yesterday, all the trees looked like thousands of arms reaching toward the heavens in desperation.

Today, they seemed to be uplifted in praise.

What a difference a day can make.