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Can You Hear Me Now?

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Award Envy

About 10 trillion years ago...okay maybe a BIT of an exaggeration...about 2 1/2 months ago Tam over at Time for Twittering gave out an award to her 1000th visitor...who as it turns out was Joy M. This is what she received....
I couldn't believe it! Don't get me wrong...I am crazy about Joy M and I realize God doesn't want me coveting awards or really coveting least from what I understand...but I wanted my own award. I mean had I done NOTHING to merit an award...and I might have even spouted as much at Tam...

Then Tam, being not only a wonderfully sweet and giving person, but also a mother to three children, developed for a handful of us...our own award. Thank GOD she included the first 5, or I would have been empty handed yet again! So on Friday, June 2, 2006, she awarded the "FIRST 5 COMMENTERS AWARD" and THANK GOD, I was numero cinco! Here it is....

We had been trying to figure out the lettering and the HTML for it to go on the sidebar and having a heck of a time. It was eventually left alone for a while.

Then today I'm just surfing around and I feel so award-less again (as I compare myself to other blogs) so I dug and dug and dug...where was that thing...and I pulled it out of the archives and added some lettering...though probably not the very best...but good enough for now...and now I'm going to put it in my sidebar so I won't be awardless anymore!

It sort of reminds me of my one other award so far in life. After having served diligently on our H.S. drama team in plays, musicals, and even student directing, I was sitting in our awards banquet prior to graduation just moaning and groaning about the same people getting all the awards and MOI never getting anything...I mean I almost didn't hear the announcement of BEST THESPIAN...and my mom or best friend said...

"He just called your name, Kim!" ( faced girl in the back sitting there arms crossed lamenting her LACK)... I never dreamed....I'd like to thank the' the drama department for this incredibly unexpected, but so deserved desired award! Thank you, thank you...I'll be doing autographs after the banquet...

That, my friends, is my less than pretty side! EGO-GIRL! But, hey, I've got my award now! and YES it does feel wonderful!

GodPrints Meme

Sally over at Eternal Echoes has this link and I could hardly believe it was real! Check it out! Seriously…be prepared for your mouth to fall open in astonishment! Now I see why this organization is around.

And…that’s right folks; it’s time for another MEME! I found this one while I surfed the CWO. I think it’s called GodPrints. It looked like a good one to me so here we go!

1. A friend who has blessed me: HMTQ: for going above and beyond to invite me over and invite me over and invite me over while my husband is in school and working…just so I won’t have to be so alone at night. And for sharing M&M’s and for sharing laughter and for sharing scrapbooking ideas! Whether you like the name or not; you are a wonderful Pastor’s Wife! You’ve blown all my own expectations (yes I do have them) out of the water and bless me over and over again!

And of course all my Blog-buddies bless me daily with wit and wisdom and an incredible ability to brighten each day with caring comments and stories.

2. An unexpected gift: The daily gift from God of revelation about my life; both good and bad and His grace-filled redirection when I’m veering off course.

3. A kind word shared with me recently: Too many to name…just check out my comments from the “Grace” post and you’ll see many of them. Thanks to each of you and to my “LIVE” and in person friends as well, your kindness does NOT go unnoticed.

4. Something that makes me stop and praise God: When God teaches me something. When I feel the very REAL physical presence of Angels. When I worship God and feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. When I see miracles.

5. Something I’m looking forward to: My husband’s graduation and beginning a new chapter in our lives. To finish writing a book (and hopefully publish it).

6. A particular part of me I’m pleased with: My creativity and desire to encourage, all attributed to God, of course!

7. Something in my life I wanted but never expected: A Godly husband who loves me more than I could ever fathom, and truly treats me undeniably as God has directed.

8. A place that moved/moves me: Any coastal body of water where the whole world seems to stop and the power of the ocean surpasses human understanding. It’s the one place I always feel the presence of God and I feel small (at 5’11”, that’s a GOOD thing) and loved.

9. One thing/person that always makes me smile: Of course my husband because he is HILARIOUS, even in his completely monotone manner! My nephew, Blake, who is the source of many smiles; my friend Tam, because she always knows just what to say both online and on the phone.

10. Most recent “love note” from God: EVERY morning God wakes me and reminds me how much He loves me and that He loves me enough to NEVER leave me alone…Even on the mornings I ask Him to LEAVE ME ALONE!

I’m supposed to tag people, but you know me…I don’t want to add any pressure to anyone, so if you want it…take it…if not…don’t!

Have a Thursday FULL of GodPrints!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Searching for Grace

Gibee posted about GRACE on her Tuesday Toss-Up yesterday and when I prayed about whether I had anything to post about today…God again whispered that word in my ear…


I’m letting it seep in and pour through the recesses and channels of my mind as it travels downward into my heart so forgive me if this seems more rambling than usual.

I wonder if perhaps in the evolution of our humanity (now in it’s 21st century), perhaps the race to evolve has ERASED the GRACE that flowed more freely even 30, 40, 50 years ago. I suppose I can admit I see some grace SOME of the time, shared among people. It just seems far less evident than I remember in the past.

Some days it feels like (from watching the news or listening to conversations) we are consumed by thoughts of gasoline prices and subsequent gouging; the strength or weakness of the dollar; the abuse, neglect, even starvation of other humans; the lack of humility and dignity from which great leaders are born; the unity with which our very nations were formed, and we forget about the hope of who/what we are at our very core.

I feel a bit defeated by my fellow humanity today. I feel blanketed by the lack of optimism and hope and GRACE that is afforded us by our heavenly Father. I long for the motivation this sometimes brings…but at this moment I feel defeated.

I continue to see and read words of separation and disparity among even fellow ‘self-proclaimed’ Christian bloggers’ and I struggle to close my eyes and ears to the words of dissent.

I pray we would seek unity and find our common bond of Jesus and His grace, mercy, and LOVE in our search…my HOPE is for a better tomorrow.

Standing in a bit of a fog on this day of my journey…I’m not looking for answers…I’m looking for grace. If you see it…let me know! For now, I'm going back to the source and clearing the blocks in my path.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

In "OTHER" Words

In "Other" Words
Tuesday, August 29th
“I thought about the whole notion of "reproduction," and what it really means to replicate yourself.Is it merely about the passing on of eyes and chins and hair color? Or is it, rather, the replicationof the heart? Do we leave a bigger mark bypassing on our genes, or our thoughts?”
~ Shannon Woodward ~ author of: Inconceivable: Finding Peace in the Midst of Infertility

I didn’t really have anything to say today and was actually just going to take a short break but I came upon the ‘In “Other” Words’ challenge for today and it brought to mind so much of who I am at this moment that I decided to give it a ‘go’.

For what seems a lifetime, as I feel the window of opportunity closing, I have battled the demons that emerge with infertility. I’ve shared most of those here...

There are some; however, that I have not shared, because frankly even if you could or CAN relate, it feels like it would somehow belittle my own journey. While I recognize that lie as the enemy, I somehow can’t find a way to silence him in this area. It’s just too ‘raw’ and ever-present for me.

With that said, reproduction is defined (in addition to the biological term) as “a copy of something…”

When I ponder my own lack of physical reproduction, I am reminded that while my gene pool may be different from my Heavenly Father’s, I DO have the very heart of Him; the part that matters most. That is the part I am called to pass on.

My reassurance, when I’m walking in physical infertility, is that reproduction is greater than a gene pool. Reproduction is a copy of my heart to another. In my case, this process of ‘passing on my heart’ occurs through the Spiritual children God has assigned to me.

I believe that while many of us ‘suffer’ from physical infertility, we are all offered spiritual fertility! We are all called to pass on to another the seed of wisdom and of discernment and of all those spiritual fruit we inherit, the most important of which is the seed of love
I may never experience the physical passing of my combined gene pool with that of my loving husband, but we will strive daily to pass on the heart of our Savior!
Have a PRODUCTIVE Tuesday!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Just Say No!

You know you want to see more...go ahead...go over there.

Out of Center?

Yesterday Pastorman finished a sermon series on Philippians and while I typically prefer the more dramatic, less narrative sermons, this held some important lessons (truths) for me.

As Pastorman spoke about giving and receiving the first truth dawned on me about my own inability to receive…or admit my own neediness and I AM needy…some days very, very needy! Sometimes I need encouragement, other times I need a smack on the back of the head (in a loving manner), and still other times I need a shoulder to prop me up as I internalize all I am hearing and learning.

Pastorman pointed out that most of us don’t expect anything in return when we give to others, but many times we do try to repay what others give to us or even refuse something offered to us out of the independence that is sometimes actually pride and egotism (my words not Pastorman’s).

I’m sitting in my ‘pew’ (translation folding metal chair), and already having to repent for my bad attitude during a time of worship full of hymns this Sunday morning (I’ll post one day about what happens to me during these times), and then I ask God to reveal to me who is the center of my life.

I felt certain I would get the “good-job head tap” for keeping God front and center of my life lately. You can imagine my jaw dropping, eyelid fluttering response when God literally showed me clearly “I” was the center of my life. I wanted to ask Him to check again, but thought better of it. I sat there in silent repentance and asked God to help me reposition Him front and center and get me under Him where I belong.

You see Pastorman also pointed out that when God is not centrically positioned in our lives, then our lives careen out of control, due to imbalance. No matter how hard we try to maintain balance through compensation, it just won’t come without God solidly in the center.

I thought about the gifts God has given me and whether I am sowing my talents or risk losing them from misuse or lack of use. I thought about high level athletes and movie stars and other famous people who have such incredible talent, but their lives sometimes careen out of control because somehow (and the public typically gets to see firsthand what the somehow is), they forget to keep God center of their lives and these talents, and their resulting fame, begin to topple the balance. I am thankful that my own talents don't draw public attention, but they still do draw GOD-attention daily.

You see, I want to learn and apply this lesson of imbalance and giving AND RECEIVING now, so that when I actually step out of fear, into my God-given destiny, I will remember to keep God the center everyday and not have to be rescued from the pit daily.

Here’s to a God-centered LIFE...and balanced Monday!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Seeing AND Believing

I’ve been thinking/meditating a bit on a word lately. A word that is tossed about and implied more than actually envisioned (at least in my own experience). Here is the definition according to Encarta:

Transparent: obvious and easy to recognize: clearly recognizable as what it, he, or she really is.

I can hear lessons I’ve heard in church about being transparent and this definition is what I always related it to. Today as God put this word in my head, I dug a bit deeper…okay…actually I read the entire definition in Encarta and the FIRST one that pops up is:

Transparent: easily seen through: allowing light to pass through with little or no interruption or distortion so that objects on the other side can be clearly seen.

WOW! That’s so cool. So based on what this says; as I am transparent, the LIGHT (being God in me) is able to pass through me and be visible to others outside my ‘lightness’. AND the more transparent I am, the less DISTORTED that ‘light’ is; the less INTERRUPTION by my own skewed thinking…FOR THE SOLE REASON of the light being seen CLEARLY by those on the other side of light.

I don’t know about you, but I not only want to be PURE LIGHT, but also seen clearly for Christ in me, not distorted by the Kim in me. Honestly, in my initial beliefs about “transparency” it was still very “ME-CENTRIC”…and God’s idea of transparency, at least to my understanding is not only intended for my own repentance, but for His ILLUMINATION; a more GOD-CENTRIC process. MORE God Less Kim, the way I think He would really like it to be.

I love when God teaches me things like this. I love that He is able to begin to teach me this lesson in this way and He also knows that you may not learn the way I learn, so He tweaks it to fit your personal learning style!

What do you think it means to be “transparent” and how is it accomplished? Why is ‘being transparent’ so important?

For me it’s accomplished in a process of purge/refill through repentance and forgiveness. I think the importance has been my own growth in Christ and more than that, it’s the common link that binds our community. We are imperfect and always will be…no matter how hard we try to ACT right and BE right, we will ALWAYS fall short. We can either let it defeat us completely, or we can embrace the Spirit of God within and be transformed through the light of transparency.

‘There but for the grace of God, go I’ (John Bradford)

Have a well-lit Friday!

edited: one day I will LEARN HTML and all these codes that effect my post and AFFECT my mood! Smile and wave!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

How Much is TOO Much?

The fact that we live in such abundance is sometimes startling to me. Some days it hits me smack between the eyes as I gaze upon the exponential growth of my material things as I leave the ‘hut’ in search of more stuff, better stuff, faster stuff, prettier stuff.

Recently I had a vision. God sometimes brings me visions and at first I may not understand “WHY”, but soon enough He begins to clarify things for me and my eyes are opened wider and wider until it begins to pierce me from the inside out.

In this vision, God asked me to physically bring everything I had bought for the past month and put it in one room of my house. Clearly I struggle with memory issues and obedience (no surprise there)…so I said: “God, get real! You can’t possibly expect me to remember what all I’ve bought for the past 30 days and put it one room?”

God was being “REAL”. He really wanted me to see, firsthand, how much stuff I had accumulated over the course of 30 days, both “needed” and “wanted” right down to “desired”. While I never did get it all moved into one room I began to think about and mentally inventory the STUFF that I had purchased over the past 30 days. I know there were things I either forgot about or felt didn’t qualify.

It was a very big pile of stuff, as you might imagine. It was OVERWHELMINGLY big. I began to think about things faster and faster as God reeled through the purchases with me. The whole thought process resulted in a pretty large mass right in the middle of my ‘envisioned’ floor.

Let me just review a few of them: clothes, furniture, paint, groceries, gasoline, car washes, gifts, décor items, garage sale ‘finds’, dinner and a movie x 2, scrapbook stickers and paper, beads, STARBUCKS, etc.

Then God asked me to review our checkbook for the past 30 days and highlight (in groupings) the things we had purchased. He has had us do this routinely over the past few years since calling us to pay off all our debt. I highlight in green our ‘giving’; in pink is décor, hobby, and ‘gifts’ (birthday, anniversary, just because); in yellow is school related purchases for Paul; in orange is food (both groceries and restaurants). There was a LOT of pink and orange.

Then I hear God remind me that ‘where my treasure is, there my heart is also’ (Matt. 6:21). So is my heart about eating out, movie at the mega-theater, and shopping for fun stuff? Apparently!

I have heard the arguments that some Christians make about being blessed with much…as God decides. I see how each week it seems I ‘need’ something. Needing something has become such a catch phrase that the word has lost much of its impact in meaning. I began to wonder what I had done “without” and when the last time I went without something I wanted, much less NEEDED.

On the heels of all this, which I was prepared to put to rest with just an internal lesson, I received an email from Jules who is participating in this ’30 Days of Nothing’ challenge in September. She has asked us to pray about our own consumerism and potential commitment to recognize the gross excess in which we live…daily! It’s really a bit of a Daniel fast of sorts and could truly be a conduit to healing the over-consumption we drown in daily.

Will I participate? Honestly…I don’t know. I can think of about 25 excuses not to, not the least of which is my own uncertainty of success in this endeavor. Could I really live ‘without’ for 30 days? Of course I know I could, but WOULD I?

Maybe this is a ‘non-issue’ for you all, but today as I reflect on the Thanks Tank, I can’t help but reflect on when/what I have gone without, to really understand thankfulness to a God who meets all our needs.

Have a reflective Thursday!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Jesus Came to Starbucks

I mentioned the other day that after a night of restless sleep at the marriage retreat, we traversed across the street prior to the Saturday session starting, to get a much needed cup of coffee with all the bells and whistles only Starbucks can produce. Not only was it a white chocolate mocha java, but it had whipped cream on it. Yes, I know it was only 9:00 in the morning, but I can do whipped cream anytime day or night.

We’re sitting there drinking our coffee looking through the ‘best of OKC’ issue of our local gazette and there are only a handful of patrons in the place. A man came in who appeared to be homeless. He had unkempt clothes and hair and was an older appearing gentleman, and he sort of shuffled into the place. I wasn’t nervous about him being there, though I was admittedly a bit cautious.

Our current pastorman has done such an incredible job preaching about the church in Acts and how Jesus wants us to love and serve ALL people, that I don’t react with the immediate knee-jerk reaction I would have even 1 year ago. I have seen pastorman show the same love and service to anyone that happens to cross his path no matter where he is or who they are. He always gives them what he can or listens to them and at the very least prays with them.

So with this mindset firmly in place in my mind and heart I see the man attempt to order a cup of coffee. He pulls out all his collection of coins and they roll across the counter, though not too loudly. By this time we were the only patrons in the place.

Have I mentioned that a part of my multi-tasking abilities crosses over into eavesdropping? Okay…I’m an eavesdropper, sometimes at the cost of those around me. I can’t help it. I hear a word or a comment or see a visual image and can’t take my eyes, my ears, every sense…off of it.

I vaguely hear the man ask how much a cup of coffee is and the woman behind the counter just continues to say: “I’m sorry sir, I can’t help you.”

This goes on for just a minute or so and my husband is wondering why I’m not paying full attention to him. I say to my husband: “that man wants a cup of coffee but I don’t think he has the money. Would you please go pay for his coffee?” and of course my husband, who is much farther along than I am with helping and serving others, goes to the employee to notify her he would pay for the man’s coffee.

She then tells the man and my husband: “I’m sorry sir, I can’t help you.”

Clearly the man has been blackballed from Starbucks. My husband returns, the man leaves and security is close behind. Security goes out to the street to shoo the man down the road away from their 6-star hotel and high-end Starbucks.

It made me so angry. Of course, I didn’t think to just go buy another cup and take it to the man. Next time that is what I’ll do. For the time being I’m left feeling a bit sour about my own patronage to Starbucks in general. I’ve actually seen something similar happen at another Starbucks in another area of town and at the time thought little of it.

I can almost understand if the man were panhandling or scaring the patrons, but he had money. He wanted to buy a cup of coffee just like we did just 15 minutes earlier. He was a little less clean, perhaps. He may have even been a bit smelly. But he had cold, hard cash (albeit in coin form), and simply wanted a cup of coffee.

I told my husband what bothers me perhaps MOST is that at any given moment we are only 2 paychecks away from being in this man’s shoes.

I think that was Jesus in Starbucks on Saturday and what makes me saddest is not only the employees reaction and ultimate denial of service, but my own lack of outrage and action to this prejudice.

My prayer is that God would continue to put people HE chooses before me to show me His love crosses over all races, socio-economic classes, religions, cities, etc. My prayer is that God’s love would be what others see when they interact with me. And that they wouldn’t see judgment or caution, only love.

In Other News:
I also got tagged by my friend Grafted Branch for a “book Meme” and you know how I do love books…so while it’s CLOSE to one I’ve done before; it’s not the same exact Meme.

If you could write a novel about any subject, what would it be? (Just the subject–don’t give away your plot idea!)

If I wrote a novel I’m sure it would be some overly-involved story of too many people’s lives. I tend to overdo just about everything, writing included (as if you all didn’t know that, LOL). I also find that as I read books, sometimes I’m left wondering about lack of character development and that’s where the overly-imaginative, under-stimulated brain kicks in.

That said, I’d choose something supernatural and perhaps for young children; i.e. “My Walk With an Angel” or “Jesus Goes to Kindergarten” or something along those lines. I’m much more drawn to nonfiction writing but OH do I appreciate those gifted fiction authors!

Oh and I’m feeling so much better. Thanks to all who prayed and sent “well-wishes”. I’m back, I’m armed for warfare and I’m ready to roll!

Have a Happy Wednesday and remember; Love God, Love Others!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

No Soup For YOU!

Of course most of us can recall the “Soup Guy” on Seinfeld that denies soup to those unsuspecting, unprepared patrons at his own whim. What I recall this morning is how easily something as benign as soup can ‘rock my world’.

I’m home from work today. I’m a firm believer in mental health days, so to be home SICK, actually ILL is a bit of a novel concept for me. Thank God, I am a fairly healthy person and rarely physically sick enough to miss work.

Last night I was up a total of three times violently ill. I know the culprit is the leftover soup I had for dinner. It didn’t taste bad at 5:00…but let me assure you when I rolled over in bed at 1:00 and lost a large part of it on my pillow and bed I KNEW it was the soup. Can you say DISGUSTING!

I don’t deal well with down time. I’m a very driven kind of person who prides herself in getting things done. SO the sheer fact that I slept soundly (after the theatrics at night) until 9:30 says a lot! The fact that I then only moved to the recliner (aka: the coma chair) until just minutes ago also speaks volumes. Even sitting here now I feel weak and my stomach is still churning around, I know my rest is not over.

Believe it or not I’m going somewhere with this…besides just the bathroom. The point is; God offers us rest, the only lasting rest we’ll ever find. Resting in His able, assured arms is a daily offering to us. Some of us struggle to just rest (I won’t mention names, we know who we are). Some of us struggle with the truth in the Scripture: “Be STILL and KNOW…” Many of us struggle with finding value in rest.

Some of that value is HEALING, renewal, clarity, and assurance. Some of the greatest value is ‘clearing the mechanism’ to really hear from God. As I’m home and recouping today and RESTING, I pray God would remind me to rest regularly so that my body doesn’t rebel and steal rest from my seemingly endless busyness. I have to remind myself that a dirty house and unfinished office work will still be there tomorrow.

My time with the Father, even in quiet meditation is where the value lies in my life. The time with my Father is what reaps the fruit He is seeking.

Have a healthy Tuesday and add this to the list of why NOT to eat leftovers.

On another note: How is it Erica Kane can still look so youthful? She was an adult when I watched this show in high school, 20 some years ago. She must be approaching her late 50’s early 60’s by now. Maybe the soaps should adopt some “aging gracefully” mentality and allow these actresses to pare back on the cosmetics in favor of TRUTH! (I sense another post from that subject alone…)

I’ll be in the ‘coma chair’ if you need me.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Things That Go Bump in the Night

The marriage retreat was wonderful that first and foremost reminded me once again how incredible blessed I am with my husband and how perfectly matched we are. I’m not going to pretend we don’t ever have disagreements…we do…it’s the nature of male/female relationship. The difference is we don’t have disagreements with a resulting festering wound.

My first reminder came in the form of hearing others speak about their marital woes or frustrations. I realized; “wow, my husband doesn’t do any of those things these poor women have to deal with.” Then as I listened to our ‘teachers’ speaking about helping one another and serving one another; I realized the ideal spouse he was describing was MY husband. I was convicted in that I am not always the ideal wife to his ideal husband, and I pondered that thought for a bit.

Why would God bless my socks off with him, only to allow him to deal with my less than pretty side(s) (definitely plural)! Is God intending great things for my husband and so he must be tested to some galaxy limit? Is God letting me ‘coast’ awhile? Whatsup? Instead of responding in fear of the trials to come; right now I’m resting in the comfort of this wonderful spouse God has given me, and I am trying to find ways to show him more often how very much I do see and appreciate his giving, serving nature. I also want to remind him daily just how much I love him.

Sometimes when you don’t even think you need a marriage retreat for the material, God still manages to bless you by reminding you how truly wonderful you have it! That is what I brought home from this retreat.

So the material and ‘hanging’ with our church friends was all really fun, but let me assure you it will be a very long, long time before I stay in that hotel again! Here is the “rest of the story…”

Honestly, I’m assuming any hotel where the rooms start at $199/night (thank GOD not what we paid as a group), would be well above average. I mean I have stayed at those “we’ll leave the lights on for you” motor-inn’s much of my traveling life and had fairly good experiences. Suffice to say, my expectations were high and evidently a bit too high. These are, after-all, only larger versions of their smaller cousins: the motor-inns.

We get checked in around 4:30-ish without any problem. We take the lavish elevator up to the 8th floor and immediately I hear what one rarely hears at 4:30 pm on a Friday; MEN AT WORK! I hear construction and I hear it like it’s going to come through one of our walls. As I sit down to rest for a moment and review the amenities (because that’s just something you do at a NICE hotel), I see their script apology (on linen paper) for the ongoing construction…from 8:00-5:30 M-F and 10:00-5:30 Sat.

I immediately flashed to my dream role of Audrey Hepburn in “My Fair Lady” and the music begins with a slow, sweet melody and I begin singing (in my head of course, I don’t want to scare the husband on the arrival)…

“All I want is a room somewhere,
Far away from the cold night air,
With one eNORmous chair,
OH Wouldn’t it be lover-ly”

(All sung with that wonderful cockney accent that I adore!)

I figured since we were to meet some of our group for dinner, I didn’t have to worry my pretty little head about a bit of construction taking place just one layer of drywall over. I tried to put it out of my head as we descended the mirrored elevator down to the grand lobby.

Add to that there was a “Docs and Jocks” conference taking place and many professional athletes were present for ‘gawking’. You couldn’t really hear the construction in the lobby and apparently they weren’t staying at this hotel.

We met up with our group and headed over to Bricktown which is one of OKC's newer touristy areas. It’s been a work in progress but now has several nice restaurants (and by nice I mean very pricey) with well-positioned chefs…the kind of place where you can’t order off the lunch menu after 3 pm (we know because we tried) because it’s probably a different chef and we don’t want to insult the dinner chef with our budget restrictions. The kind of places you don’t always see prices on the menus.

I ordered an $11.00 salad and was served a trough of greens and a few veggies, with chicken on top. It was fine. It wasn’t over-the-top wonderful, but it was fine. My husband ordered some crawfish dish and it only appalled one of his seat-mates. As long as I don’t witness the brain-sucking I’m fine. These actually came without heads so it was much safer. BLECHHHHHH! I know, I know, you pay for atmosphere at these places, but I prefer atmosphere and really wonderful not budget-breaking food.

I did realize being in Bricktown no matter where we ate it would be expensive, so we were prepared. It was good company and we laughed through the meal as we visited before the first ‘session’ of our conference began at 7 pm.

After the conference and a trip back to bricktown (on foot) for some “Marble-Slab” chocolate/coconut concoction, the hubs and I headed back to the hotel earlier than the others. I’m one of the ‘mature’ (translation…really tired and not-worth-anything-socially after 10:00 pm people). We crawled onto the king sized bed and I envisioned this wonderful night of restful sleep without an alarm intruding my pre-dawn REM state.

I was a bit worried when the satin/silk pillow covers kept sliding out from under my own silken tresses. I hit my head twice on the headboard, but if I moved the pillows down, I found myself flat against a mattress, as the pillows shot up from beneath my head to rest pleasantly against the headboard, SANS my head!

It then dawned on me at some point after midnight that these sheets were not fitted, rather flat and tucked under the mattress. I’m a MOVER in bed so I was lying on part of a mattress pad, part of a bare mattress and a sheet had entangled my foot in a strong hold the likes of which I haven’t seen on any ESPN match, to date. I struggled to loosen my foot from the death grip and nearly fell off the bed as I did the “bounce-upward (while laying flat) and quickly reposition-sheets-below-me ‘maneuver’. I scored a sleepy ‘7’ for my attempt. It would suffice.

The next interruption was around 5 a.m. when I felt certain our adjoining room door had been left open as I could hear not only a blow-dryer running as if it were for my own head, but people talking in the same room as me. Wait…I thought as I pried my eyes open…it’s NOT a dream. Those are people in my room…well in THAT room, the one with the EARLY risers discussing, in detail, their plans for the day away from Hotel Hell!

I listened to the conversation, commenting occasionally during conversation lulls and hurried them on their way with an air kiss and a wave as I performed my bounce-reposition maneuver yet again to claim my interrupted sleep.

About 30 minutes later I arose with a clatter…a leg cramp so strong, and a sheet holding tight to my other foot as I attempted to rise and stretch the cramping misery. Only then did I recall my husband reminding me to bring some other shoes besides flip-flops since we would be walking to and through Bricktown on this ‘retreat’. The old adage: “Never sacrifice fashion!” came to mind. Hindsight is 20/20?

OUCHHHHHHHHH I thought as I hobbled across the room seeking relief from this endless cramp. Eventually it subsided with the husband waking saying: “what’s the matter?”

I went back to bed and slept until the people on the OTHER side arose at 6:30-ish to an alarm and showers and more hairdryers…when I finally got up! I got up, the hubby got up…the whole HALL could get up for as much as I cared at this point.

Princess and the Pea ain’t got nothing on me! Thankfully there was a Starbucks across the street and I didn’t mind paying double the usual extortion rate for a cup of white chocolate java to sooth my tired nerves and overstrained calf muscles.

We went back to the remainder of the conference, another trip to Bricktown for lunch and the closure of our conference. I was beyond thrilled to sleep in my own smaller, but perfect-for-us bed at home Saturday night and the dogs were so happy!

This morning I’m still moving slower than usual, but by weeks end I should be back to my ‘fighting form’ for any foot wrangling sheet expeditions! My husband started his final semester at school today…I believe he has Thermodynamics at 8:30 a.m. (not my dream course obviously), but just 16 more weeks til graduation and our life begins? Okay…16 more weeks til we get to figure out how we will spend our increased time together! A problem I am MORE than ready to jointly solve.

Have a wonderful, HOTEL-FREE Monday!

Friday, August 18, 2006


Seriously, I am SO thankful it's Friday!

This weekend the hubby and I are headed to a marriage retreat hosted by our church in one of the big beautiful, comfy hotels downtown! I love those kinds of retreats. It’s an overnight stay in very plush surroundings, and a wonderful way to spend some quality time together before the final semester of school ensues and steals my husband away for 16 weeks. In some respects the actual retreat is just an added bonus.

There was some discussion on retreat subject earlier in the week with Pastorman and his wife. Who, by the way, has asked to be renamed: “Her Majesty the Queen” and so for brevity sake she will be referred to as HMTQ (a bit close to HTML perhaps, but hey, who am I to question).

HMTQ asks what the actual retreat subject matter is and Pastorman informed all present that it’s about growing spiritually as a couple. Sounds pretty good to me. I’m not familiar with these teachers at all, but apparently I will be about 10 hours from now.

It’s a short retreat and will be over Saturday afternoon but I’m always telling hubby how nice it would be to just go spend the night in a hotel for a ‘date’ and being the pragmatic one, he insists there is no reason to pay for a hotel when we live IN TOWN! Maybe we’ll touch on that this weekend…LOL! In all honesty, I enjoy a dinner at a really nice place and a movie almost as much.


I googled ‘Questions For God’ today just to see what people wonder about the Most High and I fell upon a survey (a bit dated from 1999) that USAA did and here were the questions…
34% What is my purpose here?
19% Will I have life after death?
16% Why do bad things happen?
12% have no idea what they’d ask…
7% Is there intelligent life elsewhere?
6% Exactly how long will I live?

In a ‘safer’ environment online, these were the 10 top questions:
1. Why don’t you stop pain and evil?
2. Can love really work?
3. S%x (altered to prevent google gagging) -- do you approve?
4. Is the occult real?
5. Is heaven real?
6. Will the world end?
7. Who was Jesus?
8. Does Prayer Work?
9. Did you create the world…and does it matter?
10. Did you write the Bible?

And from this site there is 1 serious and 1 funny question each week and anyone can put in responses.

Do you feel old? And The dinosaurs were more fun than us, weren’t they?

I’ll leave you with these thoughts…is your marriage everything God desires it to be? And for you seeking singles…are your prayers affirming the marriage you know God desires for you?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Essential Essence

Essence: from the Middle English essencia, from Latin essentia, from esse-- to be.

Defined in part by Encarta: The quality of nature of something that identifies it or makes it what it is. And the most basic element or feature of something.

And by Merriam Webster: something that exists : entity. One that possesses or exhibits a quality in abundance as if in concentrated form. The most significant element, quality, or aspect of a thing or person.

I was thinking this morning about my own essence and what that means to me. When I originally thought of the word essence, it floated around in my head as a sort of ethereal whisper of a word. No I don't ALWAYS sit around reading the dictionary or thinking of obtuse words to use...sometimes they just come. This is what happened.

Literally as I sat at my completely uncluttered and uninteresting desk I began to visualize the word: ESSENCE. It appeared big taking up my entire line of vision. The word was white and puffy like clouds.

Then I heard God ask: “Kim, do you know what your essence is?”

Being the obedient daughter of God that I am (hold the laughing to a minimum please), I quickly looked it up (note references above). I read the meanings and let them sink in a bit before answering. For me, I know how God sometimes asks these things to retrain my focus on Him.

“Lord, are you asking me what I’m made of?” I quietly asked. “Or do you want to know ‘who do I think I am?” I asked in only partial jest.

I felt a smile warm me from the outside in and I knew this was one of those times…those times when God is asking me to repeat back to Him who He says I am. Not some rote lesson, but in my own words, who I am in the most basic AND in concentrated form. What is MY most significant element, quality or aspect.

For me the answer is simple. Both in basic AND concentrated form: I am Kim, daughter of a King. My essence is the spirit within me. The spirit of a living God. The spirit of a breathing God. The spirit of a loving God. The spirit of God. (I can almost hear the trumphets blare)!

I'll leave you with these thoughts know it's coming...what is your essence? What is the most essential AND the most concentrated YOU!

“Love is the essence of God.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have a wonderful day reflecting on the essence that is you!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Big Thanks!

I was visiting other new friends yesterday and this referral comes from a new Book/Bible Study ‘friend’ I’ve just met: Pilot Mom. According to other comments it’s been around for awhile, but this is the first I’d seen of it. I agree with Pilot Mom who said:

“I hope the military personnel get tons of these cards. Do your part to let them know how much you appreciate them. And then pass on this website so others can send them, too. What a great idea!”

Just go to, pick out a thank you card and the Xerox Company will print it and it will be sent to a soldier serving in Iraq. You can't pick the recipient, but it will go to some member of the armed services.

The best part is it is FREE and children designed the cards. Up there on top...that's the card I picked! I hope you’ll all go and if you’ve been before, I hope you’ll go again and send more cards! As someone whose mantra is all about ‘encouraging one another’, who better to encourage than a man or woman fighting to preserve freedom. No matter what our individual politics are, we are all united by our land and hopefully many of us by God!

Methinks I just participated (on the sly) in yet another WFMW! SSSHHHHH don’t tell a soul!

Have a blessed Wednesday and remember:

“Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Colossians 3:14-17

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

This That and the Other

THIS: I've been tagged for a new BOOK Meme by Jules at Maced with Grace. I figure if she’s gonna do it…it must not be too bad!

In Jules’ words: If the directions are thoroughly confusing, it helps to read them three times.

If you could write a novel about any subject, what would it be (Just the subject—don’t give away your plot idea.)

If just the thought of having to write anything gives you hives, what would you like to read about in a novel that you’ve never seen done before?

If you hate reading fiction what subject might make you change your mind or try it anyway?

And here are the rules:
1. Answer one of these questions on your blog.
2. Link back to whoever tagged you.
3. Tag 5 women bloggers.
4. Plus, check out previous responses, and if you know of a novel that pertains to the subject someone wishes they could write or would like to read about, suggest the novel to them in a comment.

I chose #1:

If I could write a novel about any subject, what would it be?

Okay this is totally off the top of my head but I would write a novel about Jesus being 33 in 2006 and his life from high school forward. I would have him regularly meet with and talk to God in unusual places.

If you know of a book like this I would LOVE to read it. I’ve read Joshua and I’ve read God on a Harley. Both were awesome reads BTW! If there’s something else I haven’t read (similar to this) let me know!

I just hate tagging people, so I’m going to tag all of you who are up for it. You may even leave your responses in the comments for us to see.

THAT: My MIL (the Volunteer Services Coordinator for this hospital) sent me a link for a “Random Act of Kindness” opportunity that would bless many. If you are interested in sending some stuffed or unstuffed dolls, email me and I’ll send the pattern. It’s in Adobe and since we all know I’m HTML illiterate I’ll just stick to emailing these items.

Here is the info:

Need Random Acts of Kindness for Kids!

Kids need plain muslin dolls. Each doll will be decorated by the sick child with non-toxic markers. The staff uses the medical play doll to explain procedures or to show what posture/body position is needed.

Each becomes a "hospital buddy" and, of course, goes home with their new kid buddy!

Out-of-city/state sewers don't need to stuff the medical play doll. A group of dolls can be sent in a large business envelope and we will them stuff here. Send to:

Presbyterian Vol. Svs.
PO Box 26666
Albuq, NM 87125-6666

Thanks from all of us especially the kids!

AND THE OTHER: Praise Report! Many of you know that I have been praying (along with my husband) about our adopting a child in the near future. I had been hemming and hawing about it…just going back and forth as I weighed pros and cons. I realized I was trying to take it on as some personal challenge so I let it go, literally and just prayed for some Godly wisdom during our joint prayer time some time ago.

Last night I got a phone call from Pastorman’s Wife who is also dear friend of mine.

She said: “You know the new couple that have come to church the last couple of weeks?

I said: “The couple who sat behind us last week?”

“Yes.” She replied. “Guess what she does for a living?”

“Uhm” (…drawing a blank here) I mumbled.

“She’s an attorney who specializes in adoption!” she squealed! Okay, so honestly Pastorman’s Wife does NOT squeal, but I was ready to!

I’m pretty sure God is just putting me at ease about how everything will line up in HIS time. I’m going to pray again not to get ahead of myself, but I am also going to spend some time getting to know this person and shoot some general questions out to gather more information about this unbelievably complex process.

I think that just about covers it all. Have a blessed Tuesday!

Monday, August 14, 2006


Not so long ago, when I was a BRAND new ‘blogger’ there was a bit of an uproar resulting from a small handful of people involved in ‘judging’ blogs based on content. I remember the resulting feelings of division and for lack of blog-appropriate verbiage: it wasn’t ‘pretty’, as a matter of fact, it was downright ugly! An ugliness I don’t want to be a part of again.

I’ve posted recently about my own beliefs regarding ministry. I will probably post about it again someday; perhaps in another light, perhaps not. I read the resulting comments and felt a bit challenged by some of them; not challenged in my own beliefs, but challenged by the degree of passion expressed so openly; from both sides. It’s truly inspiring.

Then, as I was surfing around my fav’s today I came across some aftermath and it honestly hurts. I feel as though I’ve been belittled and a bit patronized because of my own convictions. I know I’m not alone. I know how badly words can hurt someone from my memory mentioned above.

My reminder to each of us (myself included) is if we feel extremely passionate about something someone has written, show grace in responding or commenting. Show the God-given grace we have been afforded in our salvation through Christ. If that’s not possible, then surf elsewhere. That’s what I’m telling myself as I ‘pay this painful lesson forward’.


Life and Football

It’s football season which brings to mind so many things. Among my own favorite teams is a blue and grey team to the south of my fair city (be nice). I’m a tried and true fan since the ‘Staubach Years’ and while I’m unsure if my initial passion was his ability or the result of some school age crush, the passion ‘stuck’. I’ve watched my team have awesome seasons (back to back championships) and as all teams experience, many dismal, (or what we like to call) rebuilding seasons.

It’s interesting to hear commentators discuss teams and each player and what specific players are expected to add to the team. This year my team picked up a player whose own recent history is less than stellar. His physical abilities are amazing…it’s his teamwork that needs some serious refinishing. He almost single-handedly took a team to its proverbial knees in his efforts to showboat his own prowess. I’m less than thrilled to have acquired him but I will take the ‘wait and see’ approach prior to my own commentary. Go TEAM GO!

My husband would add that my fan status is in question because I don’t watch every game. Part of that lack is due to my ever-developing fruit of self-control. It’s just not there yet! Part of that lack is also due to complete and utter disdain for Madden (be nice). I will watch some of my team’s games this year in an effort to see if they operate as a ‘team’, and what the less literal cost of this acquisition will be.

What does this have to do with anything, you ask? Let me enlighten you where my head is this morning.

As I listened to this player’s interview last week I thought about church and my own ‘team’. I thought about how God sends people to our ‘team’ and we then either accept or reject them. We may let them ‘play a few games’ to see their moves, or we may cut them during practice. We may seek out specific ‘players’ because of past performance in the hope of becoming a better team.

Church is much like football. We are a ‘team’. In God’s words we are a ‘body’. We are to operate as ONE-BODY. If someone attempts to showboat, the WHOLE body is crippled. But if we practice together and study the ‘plays’ together and suit up for the game and actually GET IN THE GAME, then and there we see the fruit of our labor.

Our victories are souls brought to Christ. Our Championship ring would be studded with gems of souls no longer lost. It doesn’t matter so much which team they become a member of. What matters, is that they are a part of a body that will allow them the grace to grow, while offering them the discipleship to be molded and placed in the position God has created them for. If they never get off the bench; we lose. If they play only for themselves; we lose. The balance is found in teamwork; the building of a body with plan and purpose.

Have a wonderful Monday! And who is your favorite team and WHY?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sunday Summary and Stuff...

*Disclaimer: If you weren’t here Friday, skip down to the pics for the ‘fluffy-post’.

I want to leave the conversation from Friday with these thoughts.

First, I want to thank each of you who came and read and commented. It is heavy stuff, but the ‘stuff’ our world is made of and the ‘stuff’ Jesus died for. It matters less whether or not our doctrine aligns, than if our hearts align.

My personal goal is to GO make disciples of all nations; to see the blood of Jesus pour out over the world, and to be a part of the heart absorption of the cleansing power of that blood, in whatever way Jesus directs me.

Jesus did not just wait for the sick to come to Him. No, He went out and found them and loved them and healed them. THAT is the body in which I am a part. So it should, and it DOES break my heart that the young and/or weak turn to a place where they find love and acceptance and answers from a source other than truth and light only God can offer.

God created us to have a yearning back to Him (that God-shaped hole we each possess from birth). He is constantly ‘woo-ing’ us back to Him, ALL of us! Some of us feel and respond to this romance early and some not so early. Some find our way by holding the hand of another, who is willing to see beyond the pain and flesh, to see the brokenness of a heart void of Jesus.

I firmly believe and will ALWAYS assert that God is God for all. A part of the grace and mercy afforded us is that Jesus came to meet us exactly where we are. Of course He desires more for us and gently (and sometimes not so gently) urges us forward in our growth. My hope is that this post and subsequent comments served only to facilitate further seeking and wisdom and discernment in the call God has placed on us to the lost.

When our ‘organized religion’ is no longer serving it’s purpose in Christ, it seems it has then overstayed it’s welcome and become more of a hindrance and a source of judgment and condemnation instead of a path to Jesus and the cleansing conviction that only HE can provide. We must gird ourselves in truth, but truth without love is only empty judgment.

I urge each of us to maintain the motivation of love for ALL humans. I urge each of us to open our spiritual ears and our spiritual eyes and our spiritual voice to proclaim boldly the love Jesus died to offer.

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.” I Corinthians 13:1-3

My witness is only authentic if and when it reaches the very people Jesus puts before me, including the lost. I am called to more than communion with other believers. I am also called to the lost.

"Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings (1 Cor. 9:19-23).

In the words of Forrest Gump, ‘that’s all I have to say about that’.

Because I had all this excess physical energy from over exerting my brain, I was able to get quite a bit accomplished at home.

Take a look:

Of course that’s not IT…keep going….

And from this:

To this:

It is SO much brighter than I imaged. I still have a bit to work on in terms of wall décor, throw rug, ribbon curtain, scripture border, etc, but it’s coming along….and you’ll see in this picture the pillows I made….

My mom and I found that darling “faceless” bear at Hobby Lobby for $5.00. They apparently ‘sell’ their display items sent from the home office once a promo is over. I made the green pillow behind the large blue pillow and the four other pillows to the right of the blue-bear.

One of the down sides is I get ready each morning at that vanity you saw above and I now have a nice ‘blue glow’ to apply make up in. I haven’t quite mastered that after day 2, but thankfully church-folk are a bit forgiving or too polite to mention misapplication of makeup. You know I have a history of poor-lighting make-up mishaps….so I imagine the coworkers will inform me of any such ‘issues’ and eventually my eyes will adapt to the lighting and another perk is that previously pesky fluorescent lighting will seem so much less problematic!

One more photo I’ve been dying to share that now resides in the ‘blue-room’ is original artwork provided by a then 4 year old artistic prodigy! She is the daughter of some dear friends of our….what do you think? I’m thinking about writing a children’s book and having her illustrate it…all about this colorful zebra!

This still doesn’t do it justice, but it’s closer. Yes, the mat I purchased for it is an almost exact match to the wall! Isn’t it gorgeous! It’s my favorite piece of art in the house right now. This young lady is now 8 or 9, so it's actually worth more in its age!

Have a colorful and happy Sunday!

Friday, August 11, 2006

My Head Hurts!

This post already had me thinking, thinking, thinking, then I went back a couple of days later and this post which posed all these wonderful questions had me jump over to this site and reading his material is much like being in a very interesting course in college. It could be the material was speaking to me or it’s just intriguing information. In any case all this reading is what has my head spinning.

There is, as with all things in life, an up side and a down side to this process. The UP side is it gets my mind thinking and my heart moving towards new thoughts. It gets me searching through the Bible for truth, discernment and much clarity! The DOWN side is it makes it very hard to just accept ‘fluff’ and it ups the bar for my own rambling about 1000 fold.

Over the next few days (or however long it takes to understand where my heart is leading) I want to unfold the questions posed in Philips Johnson’s comment, whether they are rhetorical or for clarification only…they still got me thinking!

So today I’ll post this excerpt here from Eternal Echoes, where Sally has become a daily source of wit, wisdom, and growth. Go ahead and just ruminate on this for a bit. Please feel free to throw in your own two cents and bear with me, or just ignore me, as I travel through this dense fog that has fallen.

As a Christian in 2006, it concerns me greatly that women are turning to Wicca or other religious arenas to find the place GOD, our GOD, has designed for them within Christianity! DO not be concerned about my own roots. I am firmly planted and I believe GROWING leaps and bounds within the Hand of God, thank you Jesus!

Finding a safe place to be...

Two quotes from comments on the my recent post Counter Cultural,

first from Kim: I totally agree with what Johnson wrote about women seeking an alternative to the male dominant Christian church. I struggle with this very thing daily! I don't necessarily want to choose a denomination to match my beliefs, but I do want to belong to a church that embraces giftings regardless of gender!

And then from Philip Johnson: My plea all along has been that women do not see the church as a place where they can explore spiritual growth and spiritual questions. My plea has also been that here Christian women are desperately needed to take up the challenging task of ministry, missions and discipleship. In these forms of outreach we succeeded in being over-loaded with male volunteers and sadly too few women.

Beyond that I would like to pose these thoughts for reflection and others to discuss:

* If discipleship takes place with Wiccan and New Age adepts responding to Christ, what kind of assemblies would form where women are the primary/majority actors?

* What kinds of intuitive gifts and forms of ministry might be emphasised by these women?

* What kinds of relationships are likely to ensue, and what social skills would such a group have to offer back to the wider body of Christ?

* What kinds of theological and ministerial emphases would emerge about healing? about the Holy Spirit? about community formation?
The proverbial fields are white unto harvest, and where pray tell are the workers (but especially female ones) committed to be serving in those fields to sow, reap etc?

and that my friends is why my head hurts....

Have a blessed weekend.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

I Feel Much Better Now!

How refreshing!

Our Dear friend Susie Pie has done it again! Yep, I asked for it…I got it…a new look! Call me vain…call me beautiful…heck call me both! I love it. It’s got just a touch of the bright green I love and a totally ‘me’ graphic (at least totally my “title”).

This has been a real test in patience cause’ Susie Pie has been busy, busy, busy! But she worked very hard to get it done and up today and I’m praying blessing upon blessing on her already Jabez sized blog-territory.

Go check out her designs…they’re amazing! If you’re as tired of the same ole, same ole, as I was, let her have a stab at it. You know what a shopper I am…I checked around and frankly her prices really can’t be beat….oh unless of course you want to pick up HTML for Dummies for $18.89.

Then spend a bit of your precious time reading and interpreting the language…and then figuring it out so it’s ready about the day before the second coming…go right ahead! Frankly if you can do this yourself, I applaud you! I can’t and I willingly admit it. I need help! I want help! I asked for help! I told my husband this ‘facelift’ could be his anniversary gift to me this year so I even saved him a shopping day.

You’re welcome honey!

We now return you back to your regularly scheduled blogging.

Happy Friday…1/2 day early!

P.S. I’ve been chewing on something a bit all day and am preparing a post. I’m not guarding my words as much as I’m guarding my heart, so once it’s fully prepared and prayed over, I will post it…perhaps this weekend?

I'm So Excited!

Not so long ago I was blogsurfing. You know how you just jump from one to another via comments or through someone’s blogroll. I fell upon this wonderful blog! She really is quite an encourager (which is right up my alley and SO needed SO often), but she is also funny, and gifted in writing and music, as well as being the mother to a beautiful girl!

I came upon this post. Seemingly just another Thursday 13 post (which I do not participate, being the non-conformist I am, LOL). The list ‘caught me’ because it started off saying: Thirteen Nice things you can do. Courtesy of Do One Nice Thing.

I started reading through her list and each one was a wonderful opportunity to do something nice for someone either short term or long term. I thought about how our blessings come through blessing others! SO I picked one…any guesses????

Hint….you know how much I love to write and I LOVED Charlie’s Angels growing up!

I didn’t make it any further than #5 when I knew I’d made a match! At first I thought…hmmm high school seniors don’t need angels, they need probation officers. As I read on I realized they were talking about SENIOR CITIZENS, which I, one day in the VERY distant future, will be. I clicked the link “Senior Angels” and I landed at a place that was organized and providing such an incredible service to so many.

I read through the suggested information and decided I would sign up to do this. I immediately got a reply notifying me that they had received my application and they would review it and notify me if I was selected. I was also asked to pray about my own willingness to commit long term to a person (as their angel) and to be certain I was willing to send weekly letters/cards and monthly gifts.

I knew absolutely this is one of the areas God has gifted me…writing, words, cards, encouraging…all of it just waiting to be put into good use. I was then contacted via email to be introduced to the ‘group’ (which is ENORMOUS! I might add), and given the rules/regulations and all that yucky, albeit necessary, organizational junk. I was also notified that the matching process takes up to 3 weeks and not to get discouraged…I would be contacted.

In the interim, once you are ‘signed-up’ you begin to get the (almost daily) updates and emails from other ‘angels’ regarding questions/concerns for their ‘assignments’. It was all a bit overwhelming and I almost thought I’d made a mistake and was almost ready to send an email backing out. I prayed about it instead.

Well, yesterday I got my email with my “Senior” and all her information. I haven’t even sent a letter yet but I am ready! God brought this woman into my life at this point in my life to correspond with. I will be her “Senior Angel” and I know I will grow through this experience and fall in love with her as the process develops.

If you or your family (yes, the whole family can sign up to angel 1 person) are looking for worthwhile volunteer opportunities, this could be the one! Check it out, check out all those opportunities listed at Butterfly Kisses, and see if perhaps God is prompting you to serve in one of these areas!

God Bless and have an EYE-Opening Thursday!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Words of Affirmation

I’ll be bold and say at some time in our lives, ALL PEOPLE struggle with their identity and/or self-worth. It could be just a little or it could be a WHOLE LOT, but we all go through times of self-doubt or lack of confidence about our abilities, intellect, and for many of us our very God-given appearance.

As self-assured and certain as I appear and as assertive and sometimes aggressive as I am, I still have a bit of self-doubt. Usually these periods are directly related to hormones or emotional flux associated with specific triggers. Regardless of what the cause, they exist and they trip me up fairly regularly.

A few years ago I found a source that helps me soothe the savage beast and actually even empowers me. I use this technique and have helped others to utilize this technique as well.

What is it? You ask…well words of affirmation of course.

I take a small photo album, you know the ones they sell for one-dollar or less, typically used as grandma brag-books. Instead of filling them with pictures, I fill them with my favorite Scripture, or Scripture that affirms who I am in Christ; the “me” God speaks of!

I hand write the Scriptures onto note cards or colored paper and put stickers on them, or doodle a bit on them (you know me; MORE IS MORE). Then every day, either while I’m driving, waiting in a drive-through, getting ready in the morning or just down on myself…I read them each…out loud. I repeat them. I repeat them again, sometimes. I personalize them and make them mine!

Not only is this a wonderful tool for Scripture memory, but it’s also a way to crawl out of a funk (when I remember to pick them up).

I had almost forgotten about them, in the midst of a busy summer, but I stumbled across them during room cleaning and decorating and lo’ and behold the same Scriptures I had in there still ring so true to me. I can almost recite them verbatim, but it’s still nice to look at my writing and know God gave these to me! I actually have about 3 books for this and I pick up empty books to fill for others who are walking a lonely journey.

I remember Beth Moore talking about using note cards to remember Scripture, so you may already have the note cards complete, just transfer them into an album and drop them in your purse or put them in your nightstand and read them OUT LOUD each day!

Edited 7:26 pm 08/09/06 to add pictures from my affirmation book. Found it's stashed space. There are actually 20 scriptures in it are some samples

Have an awesome day!

Hey, I kinda did a WFMW...only it's more a works for me EVERYDAY! or when I don't misplace it...

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

He's Not a Mind-Reader

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my prayers. In all honesty, I’ve been thinking about prayer in general, not just mine, but collectively, OURS! Yep, yours and mine.

Now don’t go flying off the deep end in offense or concern of judgment. This post is not about judgment (at least not that I know of), if conviction comes…it’s yours, you own it so deal with it! I’ll just try to focus on ME ME ME and my own issues, thoughts on prayer.

Prayer is something that has always come with ease for me. I remember praying as a young child before bed. I remember the day it hit me what I was praying as I said these words:

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take!

It scared the bejeebees out of me when I realized I was talking about death! I still don’t really like that prayer. My salvation brought the ASSURANCE of my soul being taken by the Lord, as a matter of fact, He’s already got it! It’s in need of a daily deep cleaning, but He’s got it! I’ll just tweak that children’s prayer to say:

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I should sleepwalk to the street,
Lead me to put some shoes upon my feet!

As I matured, well let me reword that, as I mature, God has taught me much about prayer and its power! I’ve seen the healing of bodies and souls through prayer. I’ve seen freedom through prayer. I’ve seen deliverance of demons through prayer. I’ve seen angels through prayer. I’ve seen visions and prophetic messages through prayer. I’ve met and prayed with some of the most gifted pray-ers you could imagine! I’ve learned from their examples in many areas. I keep a mental list of “prayer warriors” to call on in times of intense prayer needs! These people live “Pray without ceasing” on a daily basis!

I want to be one of these people!

One of the most powerful dialogues we can have with God is in prayer. Yes, I mean dialogue, not just one-sided conversation. The answers don’t always come immediately or in the form we choose or prefer, but the answers always come! My favorite prayers are on my drives to work or shopping or wherever. I just start talking to God as I would talk to you.

Side note: God and I had a discussion early on about speaking in KJV language…I just can’t do it without laughing. It’s like trying to speak Shakespearean (only worse) and it sounds very contrived to me. Key words being “to me”. If it works for you, it works for you, just expect some laughter coming from my end of the table if we ever pray together. The thou’s, thee’s, and thine’s are not a part of my prayer language.

I CAN be goofy in prayer. I think this has always been just in front of God alone, or perhaps the ‘girls’ were there…anyway, many times I sing my prayers to God. Goofy I know, but I love to sing and since I’m never going to be a professional singer, I get a kick out of singing dialogue. Do not ask...I will not do it. Sometimes I create goofy “Dr. Seuss-ish” prayers to God, reminiscent of “Green Eggs and Ham”, especially when I don’t want to do what He’s asking of me.

“I will not go there, Africa is too far,
I will not go there, God you are!

I will not go there on a boat,
I will not go there as a goat,

I do not like it, it’s too wild,
I do not like it, I’m just a child!

Not on a coast,
Not for a roast,
Not with a lion,
Not if I’m dyin’,

I will not go there, in a car,
I will not do it, God you are!”

And Yes, I do say them out loud! It’s like when we’re singing a hymn that causes painful flash-backs and I revert to “Mary Had a Little Lamb". I even showed my husband how it can be sung to ANY song! Obviously, he was duly amazed! I’m quite a gifted artiste’!

A bit of a digression, my apologies!

The bottom line is I am a firm believer that prayers become more powerful and more alive and more REAL as we boldly speak them aloud! God calls us to be bold in our faith. God desires our worship and praise and many times this is accomplished in prayers we speak/sing/create out loud!

The other thing to bear in mind that I always share in discipleship is: Satan cannot read your mind. God totally hears your thoughts and knows your heart, but Satan is a bit dimwitted (clearly a fool to give up God for his vanity), and he doesn’t know what we’re thinking, so speak it out loud my friends! Shout heavenward all the words you have for God and put the enemy on notice that as a child of the Living God you have been signed, sealed and delivered by the blood of Christ!

So there…

Monday, August 07, 2006

Ready, Set, Read!

Books Meme

I have a lot running through my mind in terms of recent visions (not including any sugarplum visions being held til late November, early December), and dreams, as well as current reading, but I’m not prepared mentally to pen these things until I can clarify, through prayer, what it is God is teaching me and showing me!

Instead, I've been tagged by Sally to do Book Meme…I LOVE books, so here goes!

1. One book that changed your life: Aside from the Bible, I’d have to say, ironically enough: “The Celestine Prophecy”. It just came at a time in my life of sheer seeking and it facilitated the lifting of the proverbial lid off the tiny, undersized box I had place all things Spiritual in my life. While I don’t necessarily consider myself a James Redfield follower, I do think the book offers a different way at looking at growth and serendipity.

2. One book that you've read more than once: The one that comes to mind that I’ve read now 4 times is Mike Yaconelli’s “Messy Spirituality”. It always ‘keeps things real’ for me in terms of my tendency to go pious and self-righteous. I look forward to dialoguing with Yaconelli in heaven one day! I can almost hear him from there now!

3. One book you'd want on a desert Island: Not including my Bible, I’d go with a dictionary or perhaps good diverse, thought-provoking poetry (light on words, heavy on thought and meaning).

4. One book that made you laugh: I’d say from a secular perspective I’d go with any of Bill Cosby’s books, but in the Christian genre I’d choose any of Barbara Johnson’s hilarious books and always; Nancy Kennedy is another one I’d read in a heartbeat for laughter!

5. One book that made you cry: I cry fairly readily when reading both fiction and non-fiction probably because it’s a ‘safe’ place to cry and if something I read doesn’t move me to tears, laughter, or deep-thought I probably won’t finish it anyway. Most recently (in the nonfiction category) it was while reading “Searching For God Knows What”. When Donald Miller starts to describe the love Adam (and God) had for Eve, after waiting for so long for her creation…it moved me to tears to think of how much God loved Adam and Eve and more so how much He loves us!

In the fiction category it was Karen Kingsbury’s book “Forgiven”. In all honesty there hasn’t been ONE Karen Kingsbury book I haven’t cried while reading and I admit it freely. The thing that touches me most is that the way her character’s ‘hear from God’ is exactly how I hear from God, so it’s very confirming and faith-building for me!

6. One book that you wish had been written: The Meaning of THIS Step: Holding on to your memory stones!

7. One book you wish had never been written: All self-help books that have the 1,2,3,4,5,6…steps to (fill in your preference of disorder or ‘issue’), unless the steps are God, Jesus, Holy Spirit.

8. One book you are currently reading: I’m reading: Searching for God Knows What (Donald Miller), When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull up a Chair (Geneen Roth) ; and Second Time Around (Nancy Moser)…oh and I’m still working on Discipline of Grace (Jerry Bridges) which I have been reading through for about 8 months now…apparently God isn’t ready for me to finish it yet or I’m just not there yet!

9.One book you've been meaning to read : Hmm…let’s see… I’ve been TRYING to read On Religion by John Caputo and I still haven’t read “Generous Orthodoxy” by Brian McLaren, and now he has the new one: “The Secret Message of Jesus” which I’m looking forward to reading.

I think I’ll tag: Tess if she hasn’t done this one yet…Shalee and Jamie cause they’re both such avid readers…and 2 more: How bout Joy M. and MommaB cause I think knowing what someone reads is very telling! I guess I’ll go let them all know now! And if you want to participate or already have…let me know so I can get some good book reviews/referrals!

Happy Reading People!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Will Play For Money!

I 'scored' Saturday in my find! Take a look at the new $10.00 purchase:'s my new reading chair with ottoman, for the "green room"! I saw it at the 2nd sale we went to and as I approached it, I wasn't even sure whether it was for sale and if so, why it was still there. We were early, but there were others shopping around. When I got closer and saw it was actually for sale and the low, low, bargain price, I knew I had to have it. Want a closer peek?

Okay, since you're being so it is a bit closer....

She's just perfect! Okay, so not perfect...yet, but closer enough to tide me over til I can re-vamp her a bit! She's white leather and she was purchased by the previous owner from an estate sale. Unfortunately due to numerous children and fabric choice it was no longer sensible to keep her. She sturdy and well built. She's got a solid wood frame and the legs of a champion. She's got good bones! She needs a bit of a refluff in the seat area, as you can see and her ottoman is a bit de-fluffed as well, but upon close inspection and cleaning yesterday afternoon, she is prime for just the kind of repairs I can make.

I've been debating recovering her with some loopy, funky, fringy or perhaps chenille type fabric. I even considered painting large black circles all over her, but somehow she's growing on me just the way she is. She's very comfy. She 'fits' me well and I can read or sit with my husband if he's on the computer.

The table sitting next to her is a marble slab table I got for $2.00 at a sale this spring. The antique lamp isn't 'right' but it was perfect on the organ that used to be in this room.

Yes, I said organ. You see when I was young, my brother played the 'sax', my sister played the violin and while my dream was to play the piano, my parents assured me their budget was more the Kimball Organ 'speed'. So, organ it was. My parents financed it and we brought it home. That was when I was in Middle School. Yes I was a late music-bloomer.

I would go to the 'mall' each week and take my lessons; then come home and each evening mom would set the stove timer and I would sit and 'play' and practice for my 45 minutes just before dinner. It wasn't long before I loathed my impetuous decision and ultimate bartering for this beast! Though probably no more than my parents did.

I got to where I could play fairly well and performed in a few 'mall' concerts, but I was no piano player. Heck on the Kimball, the notes are clearly printed and lit up on the keys and the 'second hand' only has to press one key for the rhythm.

My mom had kept the organ all these years, even though she hadn't been played in some time and her circuits were a bit old and untuned (the organ NOT my mom...I can't believe you were even thinking that!). My mother relinquished it to us when we bought our home here in OKC. Our home isn't exactly a mansion and so it was a tight squeeze and my mother wouldn't allow me to just 'gut' the organ and use the empty innard space for storage so she just took up space in the office. I had asked if mom would take the organ back when I found my 'reading chair' and she assured me she would.

This organ was sitting in this room when I left for "Holy Scraps" at church on Saturday. I told my husband we would wait and move the organ when I was available next week. I came home from Holy Scraps about the same time as my husband was arriving home in my father's van. My husband approached the car covered in sweat and I knew the organ was gone.

My husband, by himself, put the organ on a $2.00 rickety 'dolly' and PUSHED it to my parents house, some 1.2 miles away, across traffic. When we walk to mom's, we go across a field, but if you take the streets, as he's a long, traffic-filled walk. Not to mention the 105 degree heat with about 112 degree heat index for the day, when I arrived home.

I lectured him severely about the danger of heat exhaustion or heat stroke (as any good wife would) and he assured me he was fine and did I want him to put the chair in the office. I told him I would move it myself to get seated and cool down! He carried the chair into the office and then finally sat down.

The organ is now gone and in it's place is the $10.00 reading chair and ottoman. I'm hoping to read many books in this space and I'm now almost completely ready to concentrate on the 'blue room' which I have mentally planned and designed and can't wait to get it done!

Tomorrow is Monday, enjoy your Sunday evening and stay cool!

edited 08/07/06 to add title and... My husband also pointed out he could have put a sign on his back that said: "will play for money" and he did get an offer for help at one point, but being the MANLY-MAN he is...did it himself! and the $2.00 dolly he commented to say was actually $40.00 was purchased at a garage sale two years ago for $2.00!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Twitterer Hears...for 1st Time!

edited to include source of generator for these cool doo-hickeys!

Yep that's right...I got to talk to "Tam", and Yes as a matter of fact I DO feel special! She's only one of my favorite people in the whole world! She's one of those people who, as it turns out, is in my family. No, I don't think we share direct genetic material, but she's a part of the family I would create if I could make the perfect family for kpjara! And she is a sister in Christ!

We talked and talked and I got to ask questions and more questions and she answered and answered and we talked some more. I even answered questions she asked and I don't always do that. I don't doubt for a second we could have talked all night, easily, but in as much as my eyes are burning this morning from trying to stay up late like some sort of immortal acting 16 year old, I'm paying today...and you know what I'd do it again, as a matter of fact I look forward to doing it again, hopefully soon!

So join me in a shout out to "Tam" and all her brood, here's praying you have the most awesome-est of weekends!

In other news: This weekend is "Holy Scraps" at my church (our women's scrapbooking group) and I'm so looking forward to making some headway on a 'special' project due soon as well as having some fun/fellowship with some of my favorite churchy-women (and of course M&M's will be consumed).

I finally got the "before" pictures of the project room I am doing. I made it look a little worse than usual so the after pictures live up to the effect...sort of like extreme makeover when they strip the poor soul of all their makeup and show the REAL person before! There is extra dog hair on the current comforter and a few 'skewed pictures' as well as a towel drying on my vanity chair in there!

I got about 5 or 6 pillows made last night out of this .25 cent funky green fabric scrap I purchased at a garage sale early this year (before this project came to fruition), and also two table runners I got dirt-cheap at TJ Maxx I like this store almost as much as two of my other favorite haunts: this one and this one! I could get myself in plenty of trouble at any of these places. I'm a total bargain hunter and have lost out on purchases because I want to wait for one more mark-off, that's the one thing that saves our budget.

I'm thinking of doing a post of my cost-savings items. I'm not quite as avid a shopper as I used to be; God really has done a work in me to break the materialism I was existing in. Everyone once in a while I can still hear Him whispering: "You don't need another decoration, Kim!"

Still if you're looking for frames, home decor, bedding, etc., let me know I'll help direct you by color/brand/thread count/crystal pattern! This week, in addition to the table runners for under $4.00 apiece, I also picked up a HUGE mosaic 'stained glass' vase that has lime green, turquoise blue AND it could go in either the green room or the future "blue room", for $8.00! I could only beat that at a garage sale, which I have also been faithfully perusing (during the early pre-heated hours of 7:00-9:30 on Saturdays). I've picked up a few 'finds' and you'll see those soon as well!

I think that just about covers it...oh and the hubby and I are going down to Norman for dinner tomorrow evening to another friend/fairly new blogger's house: "Serenity". We've been friends for awhile now and it's bound to be a fun-filled evening!

Praise GOD it's raining again. We got a nice long rain-storm last night that cooled the whole city down from it's overheated state! It's raining big fat, heavy drops of soul-cleaning, skin-cooling rain. It's the kind of rain I would be out playing in if I were home today! I love to walk and dance and SING in the rain (I just have to watch out for lightening and large swirling clouds) in Oklahoma!

Have a beautiful Friday!