Friday, July 27, 2007

Finally Friday

I didn't think it was ever going to get here...but it did. Today at 3:15 I met with the doctor to discuss the results of the biopsy I had done last week.

The very best news is that it was not cancer. Hugest of sigh of relief!!!!!

Next Friday morning I am having a endometrial ablation. This is to "fix" the problem of heavy bleeding and irregular cycles. According to the doctor, 50% of all women who have this procedure never have another period. I made her repeat that. Wow! 45% experience only light periods. And the remaining 5% observe no positive results from the procedure and have to have a hysterectomy. I want to be in the 50% group!

I'm just very relieved tonight. So is Nelson. I think I'll sleep well tonight.

I hope I do because tomorrow I work at Curves in the morning and then I'm driving to Annie's (about 2 1/2 hours). I'll spend the afternoon and evening spoiling my two other grandsweeties. I wish you could hear Pnel talk---she's the maturist sounding 3 1/2 yr old around! I have to show up with ice cream and a Pony (as in My Little Pony).

On Sunday then, I'm going to drive over to Ft. Wayne to visit with my friend who just graduated from seminary and took her first church. I'm taking some music along for church...and maybe my guitar. We'll have lunch and catch up before I'll head back home.

It'll be a full weekend, but I think my spirit will be blessed and I'm sure to bring home lots and lots of smiles!!!!

Hope there's some smiles in your weekend, too!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Feet Up

I'm really enjoying my weekends. Sundays especially. It's so good to relax.

There has been a lot of stress at work lately. I think it's going to get better.

Health issues have arisen. I had the ultrasound on 7/10 and the in-office biopsy on 7/17. I will get the results on 7/27. My uterine wall is twice as thick as it should be. Could be nothing. Or...Have I ever mentioned how I loathe waiting?

I had a flat tire on the way to work last Monday AM. On my way to open the Curves club at 5:10AM. Luckily Nelson was able to hear the phone ring. He got me to work and the car to the tire place and I was only about 10minutes late.

Saturday was pleasant. I worked out early. Nelson took Asher to a family reunion where he met up with his parents and with Annie and the kids. Beth and I shopped and had lunch together. I also visited the book sale at the library. I came away with a couple of bags of books for next to nothing. I love that! I got a couple Robert Fulghum books. I really enjoy his stuff. Thought provoking humor. I got a few novels, a huge light cookbook (for Nelson), a book on menopause and women's health, and two Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus books (recommended for Beth and Ron by my mom :).....)

Today Nelson and I brought snacks for Sunday School. We cut up fruit and made my sister's yummy fruit dip (equal parts of cream cheese and marshmallow whip seasoned with cinnamon). You would have thought we brought pure gold. Everyone loved them. And of course there was way to much so we'll be enjoying some for a few days. Then Nelson and I sang in church. I love singing with my husband. We picked a couple short songs that we used to do when we were providing music for revivals back in the early 80's. It was fun and very well received.

So, Sundays are just good days for games on the Palm, reading, generally vegging on the front porch wicker. Right now Beth, Ron, and Nelson are watching a couple suspense movies. I'll pass.

I'll save my TV time for Next Food Network Star later.

I think there's an iced coffee calling my name, so please excuse me while I hunt it down and put my feet up again.

May there be moments of pure refreshing in your day today!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Terrible News

I got a call from a concerned former co-worker. This person was terribly concerned for me.
This person started by asking if I was ok. Their concern began to concern me.

Turns out that Nelson and I are getting a divorce. We had a fight. He left without saying anything in the middle of the night. And now we're getting a divorce.

This was very shocking and surprising to me.

I called Nelson to check on how we are. Turns out: it was news to him too. Can you believe it? We're getting a divorce and no one told us. I didn't think it worked that way, but I guess when someone decides to meddle and spread rumors because their life is so dull that's what happens.

Anyway, I'll keep you posted. I just wish there was a way to choose who can read blog postings. I enjoy the whole process of meeting new people through this medium, but I'm really tired of the way one person and their vindictive meddling can take something that has been so positive and turn it into something so distasteful and negative.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Auto Pilot

Have you ever headed out the door and flipped the auto pilot switch on inadvertently, only to find yourself not where you need to be? I take this one path each time I go to Curves to workout or work. This morning I was also taking it to go to the factory to lead devotions. Fortunately, I “woke” up before I went beyond my intended destination.

This started me thinking about moving about life on auto pilot. I imagine we all do it. We get lulled into patterns of familiar behavior that we slip into when we’re not paying attention. We also revert back into those patterns when things get difficult, confusing, or painful.

I work within the portion of the population that has committed some kind of crime. Life has become very difficult for them. Most of them are trying to get their lives turned around, but when things get tough it’s just easier, or at least more natural, for them to revert to familiar behavior. The technical term is recidivism.

So there I was just about to miss my turn and God got me to thinking about returning to the familiar. And I was immediately reminded of Peter and the gang. Most of them were fishing when Jesus called them. It’s what they knew and they were pretty good at it. But Jesus invited them to a new way of life, of thinking; new patterns of behavior: following him.

What is amazing to me was the willingness that the disciples demonstrated in leaving behind their “familiar” to follow Jesus. Their patterns were deeply entrenched in their psyches. Their families had been fishermen for generations. This wasn’t a fad. This was in the fabric of their being. But they walked away from it and followed after Jesus.

Peter and the other fishermen really dove into what Jesus called them to. They gave their lives for this. They believed in the message. They got charged by the miracles. They really liked it when he “gave it” to the Pharisees and Romans. I think that’s why when Jesus was crucified they crashed emotionally. I believe they felt betrayed. Imagine how foolish they felt. They would have had to, look at what they gave up to follow Jesus!

So it’s not too surprising to me that they were found in the fishing boats by Jesus that morning after the resurrection. It was natural for them to return to what was familiar. They had been good at fishing and when the Jesus thing didn’t seem to be turning out the way they had hoped---well, pass the net.

It makes me smile to picture their faces as they were coming to shore and they spied someone there tending a fire. It sure looked like Jesus, but come on, there was no way! But the closer they got, the more impossible it was to doubt it. It was Jesus and breakfast was served.

The scriptures record a conversation between Jesus and Peter that I believe the other disciples “overheard.” They didn’t want to look like they were listening because it really sounded like Peter was being scolded and no one else wanted to line up for that. But they still listened.
Scholars and layman alike have taken a stab at why Jesus grilled Peter the way he did that morning. Here’s my take on it. Jesus understood why Peter went back to fishing, but he needed to move Peter beyond the grip of the familiar if he was ever going to live out the life Jesus was offering to him. So asks Peter a question—three times.

I imagine the first time the question was posed Peter answered it, almost robotically, automatically. Of course he loved Jesus. Then Jesus pointed him the direction of the unfamiliar. Again, Jesus asks, and possibly confused, Peter responds the same. Then move away from what is familiar and trust me with what you do not understand. Simple enough. But Jesus must sense that Peter’s hand is still way too close to that auto-pilot button and he asks Peter again. In order to answer this time Peter must throw up his hands in frustration—and then he gets it.

Jesus’ quasi-cryptic questioning finally achieves the desired result. Peter’s defenses have finally been broken through. He understands and never looks back. You wonder why Peter could stand so boldly on Pentecost. Ever question Peter’s ability to sing while he was in jail? That morning there on the beach Jesus finally was able to move Peter from his bent toward the familiar into the fullness of serving Him.

Now, that’s not to say Peter always got it. There was that dream sequence at Cornelius’ house where Jesus had to break through those old theories on what was clean and unclean. And that run in with Paul later in Jerusalem. Still, Peter was much more able to move past those things into the place where God was going to lead him, even to the humiliating death he endured.

So I guess the question that begs to be asked is how are you doing facing the uncertain challenges in your faith journey? How close is your hand to flipping that auto-pilot button? You’re being invited to something more. Will you leave the nets, or whatever your “familiar” is and feed His sheep, or whatever He is calling you to do? It might be messy, but it’s so incredibly worth it! Paul caught on to the process and in his letter to the Romans: “This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?"(Romans 8:15, The Message).

It’s time to move forward from the familiar and ask God what is next. It’s a little scary, but oh what an adventure!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Simple Thoughts

Have I ever mentioned I am low maintenance? I am.
I don't color my hair anymore.
I don't use multiple hair products to style my hair.
It takes me two minutes to dry and style my hair.
I don't wear any makeup. None. I'm thinking (due to lots of reading) that I should probably consider a light foundation with some level of SPF just to protect my skin.
I don't even own makeup. None.
I have never gotten my nails done. The only nail product I own is a bottle of Sally Hanson tough nails because my have a tendency to crack way down on the sides and to file or trim them there would be excessively painful.
I have less than 10 pairs of earrings.
I have about 8 necklaces.
I have more rings, 12 if I counted right.
I buy most of my clothes at Good Will. Last Sunday I wore a new outfit: a skirt and shortsleeve jacket. It's a light corally pink gingham seersucker--I love it! One of the more well to do ladies in our class leaned over and told me she loved it, it was so cute, where did I get it? She just didn't know what to do with my answer. (giggles)
I just decided that my hub has it pretty easy.
What are my indulgences?
I love flavored coffee. I want some now.
I am a bookaholic, but I have gotten much better about that. I ask for gift cards for birthday and Christmas so other people feed my habit!
I like good smelling shower lotions/cleansers. Right now my fav is by Dove. It's a creamy pro-age product. Yum.
Good food. Fresh fruits and veggies. Eating healthy and yummy--it's a passion!
Yup...I'm a low maintenance girl!
This weekend is our town's Balloon Festival. Nelson, Beth, Ron, Asher and I went last night to see the lift off and balloon glow. It was quite beautiful. We all arrived differently. Nelson drove because his ankle is extremely sore right now. Beth and Ron rode bikes. Asher was pushed in his stroller--by me. I walked.

As we sat there oohin and ahhing, we decided that this is what we would do for Nelson's 50th birthday next year. He has always wanted to ride in a hot air balloon. He loaths (capitalized and said most emphatically) birthday parties. So we're going to pool our resources (the girls and I) and get him a sunrise flight for his birthday. I'm quite excited about that! And I have to wait till next May! (more giggles)

This morning while I caught up on my internet time, I could hear the balloons floating overhead, their hot air bursts breaking the quiet morning around me. It was such a powerful but peaceful sound. For a brief moment I thought I might even consider taking flight with my hub. But a quick search of the internet woke me up to the reality of cost and my very real fear of heights--which is really a fear of falling, which is really a fear of the pain of landing....(shakes head at silliness of self). Perhaps I'll just hold the champaign for when he lands!

Time to get ready to go shopping. Beth, Asher and I are going to hunt down some garage sale goodies!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Purely lazy day.
And I've loved every minute of it.
I did not use my time wisely.
I revelled in doing absolutely nothing of consequence.
I am a sloth!

I read a couple different articles over the past week that link weight gain with stress--no duh. I gain weight when I get stressed because I am a stress eater. Tell me something new. Well, believe it or not: they did!

When a person is stressed a hormone is produced that essentially does two things. First, it increases your hunger: no wonder I'm a stress eater!!! This hormone overload also causes the belly fat to kick in to overdrive.

So today I thought a lot about kicking stress out of my life.
Actually, I contemplated ways to de-stress my distress. Here's what I mean. I believe that we are wired to take a certain amount of stress. Stress, not distress, becomes a motivator to grow, change, and improve. The problems come when we don't handle our stress in healthy ways and it shifts over into the realm of distress: stress overload that paralyzes us and causes us to react instead of acting in responsible and appropriate ways. When we get stuck in distress we make poor choices and poor choices lead to increased distress. It becomes a totally self-defeating process. In my classes I then teach ways to de-stress your distress.

In my slothful state today then, I began to examine my own life to see what distress I have allowed to crowd into my life. One of the major areas of over-stress is my working two jobs. I have been taking on more and more hours at the Curves job and at times have allowed myself to be taken advantage of by the manager when she needed someone to fill in. I will own that it has felt nice at times to be called and to be considered capable of closing the club by myself. I think my ego is over that now. I like the pocket money and the fact that I don't have to pay for my membership, but since I've started working I haven't lost any weight or inches and I'm wondering if it's due to the extra stress I've been experiencing? Perhaps it's time to quit. (insert huge sad sigh) Or, perhaps I just need to get better at establishing boundaries and limits. I'm not going to be any less a valuable employee if I learn to say no. In fact, I may be able to be an employee a lot longer if I do.

I like the way this feels. Hope I still feel that way when I talk to the manager about it.