Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Morning

Merriest and Happiest!!!

Well, the trash is all at the curb and the kidlings are enjoying their toys, including Ron who is picking away at the guitar that Beth bought for him. I bought Nelson a new pocket knife which he proceeded to cut himself with trying to get the little “keep-it-in-the-package ties” on his pocket watch. He needs stitches but with no insurance he’s in the kitchen fixing lunch. I should probably take the chef knife I bought him, but he looks so much like the Iron Chef using it! (insert big grin)

While we were cleaning up after the mass opening, Nelson announced that we all needed to carry boxes out today—2 per person. I carried 2 bins (the absolute hugest) for each person and put them in the garage. Had to make up for not being able to go to Curves today!

Nelson bought me Escape perfume—my favorite, which they no longer make (why do I always fall in love with the scents they decide to can?), and Liz perfume—my second favorite! He also got me gift cards to Linen-n-things, Talbots, Ann Taylor Loft, Barnes and Nobel, and Crabtree and Evelyn. I’m excited about all that shopping!!!!!

I’m reading a book I took out from the library—imagine that! (insert silly giggle) It’s entitled: When is Enough, Enough? What You Can Do When You Never Feel Satisfied. I’m seriously liking it and think there’s going to be lots I can use in the classes that I’m teaching at work. So far, I’m really intrigued by his description of “chronic dissatisfaction” and the part I’m reading about that seems to link well with one of my other favorite books (by Shel Silverstien) The Missing Piece. I would be interested in any feedback you might have on the book.

Well, it sounds like there might be a toy war happening so I better go save Pepa!

Many blessings.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Update and the Library

Penelope did the cutest thing yesterday. There were a couple pictures of me—pre-weight loss in the dining room. One is a picture of Beth’s graduation in 2002. Beth asked Penelope who was in the picture. “Pepa, Bet, and” she paused looked at Beth and said, “Friend.” She didn’t recognize me, I was so heavy in the picture. There was another picture that was just of me and she didn’t know who that was either. Made me feel really good about what I’ve accomplished. I really am a different person.

Update on the housing situation: We dropped off our rental deposit last evening. I spent some time on the phone with the rental agent telling her my story and assuring her that we would be good renters. She called and talked to my boss, Dan, and called me back to let me know she thought it would work. On Monday they called from the rental manager’s office to let us know we were approved. Well, over the weekend we decided, sort of, that perhaps we should consider buying instead of renting—and maybe we should buy a multi-family dwelling. We hunted a bit, but didn’t find anything quickly. We decided rather than rush to buy, we would take the house for a year and do some logical searching. Now I have to find out when we take possession and when we can start moving.

I hate moving. I hate packing. Nelson won’t be able to help much. We’re talking about seeing if we can pay the church youth group to help us. They would earn some money for their mission trip and we would get strong backs! Sounds win-win to me. Then my friend Debbie said she’d help unpack—because she loves to do that. The only thing I hate worse than packing is unpacking. I told her it was a deal!

I’m going to do something quite fun this afternoon. When I moved to this county in 2004, one of the privileges of citizenship that I lost was the ability to go to the public library. Now that I’m off paper (done with probation) I can once again peruse the stacks to my heart’s content—and that’s just what I intend to do!

Hope your afternoon holds a special adventure as well.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Catch Up

I have made some dear friends here. A couple of them (Bless you Hope and Erin) came hunting for me since I've been somewhat absent. I will attach a couple entries from my journal to update you on life as I know it these days. The other thing I need to do is re-gather all my contacts here since my old fav list has died with the laptop...deep sigh and sadness!

Sunday December 10: To squeeze tight.
Yesterday, shortly after noon, Annie called. She asked if I would come get her and the kids. She had been trying to hold on in the marriage, hoping things might change. Final straws broke as words flew yesterday. There were threats of violence and she deterined to leave quickly.Quickly was 3hrs later. I arrived in 2 1/2 and we loaded and left. Penelope thinks we're just visiting Mema and Pepa. She rode with me, chattering away the whole trip.It's going to be very tight.

Our house was advertised as a three bedroom, but it really isn't. There are two bedrooms and a common landing area upstairs that we use as an office and catch all. So for the time being we put the dining room table in the garage and cleared out the dining room. Ron (Beth's soon to be fiance) is loaning us a spare bed and Nelson and I will sleep there since we get up the earliest.

When we get to Sunday School this morning we're going to let our plight be known. Maybe someone either has a larger rental property or knows someone who does. We can't pay a whole lot more. The problem is that there are few landlords who will rent to "people like me." Whisper a prayer for favor if you happen to think of us today.

I had to chuckle last night when Annie said something about an empty nest. Not a problem here. I'm actually going to understand the Christmas line from Bethlehem a whole lot better: no room in the Inn.

Blessings on your day...there are plenty little ones here!

Tuesday December 12: In a few minutes I leave for prayer and share with a friend at a local coffee shop. I look forward to the time.

Well, I no longer have a dining room table. I have a dining room bed. We borrowed a mattress from Ron (Beth's boyfriend). It's only full size so it's a bit small on our box spring, but Nelson and I are re-learning how to cuddle. Thankfully there's a TV in both Ann and Beth's rooms so when we get tired they go to their rooms and we can go to bed in the dining room.

Tonight after work we all went to look at a larger house to rent. I fell in love when I walked in the front door: hardwood floors and linoleum in the kitchen. There are 4 nice size bedrooms. The fourth is the entire third floor. It's all tastefully decorated and has lots of storage space. There's a garage and car port and a nice yard with a couple trees. It's centrally located in town and located where I could live. The biggest drawback is that there is only one bathroom--fortunately it does have a bathtub--babies need one and currently we don't have one that works. The rent is higher but doable. We are leaning toward yes, but I just get the feeling that Nelson has reservations beyond his inability to help move much of anything. We need wisdom on this--much greater than our own.

Beth is out right now with Asher and Penelope and Caden have laid down for naps. I'm just soaking in the's such a precious sound.Waves TTFN so as not to disturb the peacefullnesssssssssss.

Further news: On Friday I had a couple conversations with the rental agent about my criminal record. She ended up calling my boss for a reference--bless Dan! She called me back and we still need to go through the formality of the application (and $35), but it looks like a go. The funny thing is now that Nelson and Ron have been talking and they think it might be better to buy a would put the move off a little longer, but what we move into would be ours and when one of the girls move out then we could rent the other side and make money towards the payment. Now if we could just get an agent to call us back...

Monday, December 04, 2006

On Prayer

One of my favorite cyber people, who I have been fortunate to communicate with beyond just diary notes, has been going through a really rough time. She’s been growing in her faith and working on her experience of prayer.

Now, many people have been giving her very critical advice, judging her prayers, and her experience. This troubles me—greatly.

Interestingly, we started a quarter this past Sunday in our Adult Bible Fellowship on the Lord’s Prayer. I am quite excited about it. The teacher is one of my most favorite professors from seminary. (He’s also the professor I worked with in 2003 as I presented my story to the ethics class of the counseling program.) Anyway…I wanted to share some of the thoughts from that class because the so eloquently say what I want to say to this friend—and all the critics!

Some quotes on what prayer is not:
The business of prayer does not consist in much thinking but in much loving…Do whatever, therefore, most excites your love. Teresa of Avila
Prayer is not primarily saying words or thinking thoughts. It is, rather, a stance. It’s a way of living in the Presence, living in awareness of the Presence, and even enjoying the Presence. Richard Rohr

Some quotes on what prayer is:
-Prayer is keeping company with God. Clement of Alexandria
-True whole prayer is nothing but love. Augustine
-Prayer is a dialogue of lovers. Calvin Miller
-Prayers are tools, but with this clarification: prayers are not tools for doing or getting, but for being and becoming. Eugene Peterson, “Answering God”

Dr. Reuschling told us: There is no one way to pray (anymore than there is one way to learn or grow in any loving relationship).

Some prayers have words while others are just an ache in our heart that we have no words for.

I pray while I drive. I sing my prayers. I cry my prayers. But I also sit quietly and listen and look and watch—so that I might hear the answers, or direction, or truth that is for me.

Prayer is not duty—it really is my communication with (dialogue not monologue) the One who knows me best and loves me most.