Sunday, January 29, 2006

Nothings

Lortab makes me itch. Now my tooth hurts and I look like I have fleas. I can't quit scratching.

Brody openly defied me today for the first time. He found a piece of gum on the floor in the living room. I told him no but by the time I could run in there he had ripped the wrapper off, tore the gum in half and was trying to shove half in his mouth when I grabbed him. He was highly offended that I wouldn't let him keep it.

My church is getting a lot of young couples in it. They look at me as if I'm some mature woman since I've got 4 kids. Ha! If they only knew that I walk around clueless half the time they wouldn't say that. It's weird how new people perceive me. Everyone else just thinks I'm goofy.

Because I can't chew, I'm living off of soup, Slim-Fast, yogurt and cranberry sauce. Ya know, things I can strain between my teeth and then swallow. It's getting old.

I'm ready for bed. Good night.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Guess What?

My charmed life gets better and better. My tooth that I had the root canal in, not the one I'm having surgery on, is abcessed! It hurts like 'you know what'. Please pray that the antibiotics the doctor called in will work quickly. I'm strugglin'.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Get Off My Back

I know, I know.... it's been a really long time since my last post. I've been really overwhelmed. Life has snuck up and bit me in the butt, again.

I've been busy planning out a new nine week unit study for school. Very time consuming. It's been fun though. The Middle Ages, woo-hoo. I've got the lesson plans done, still working on the tests and worksheets.

In the past six days, two kids have been to the ENT, all six of us have been to the dentist for cleanings, I've had a root canal and a consultation with an oral surgeon. Good news - only Maggie had cavities (just 1), Ty and Brody are better now (they're on antibiotics for sinus infections). Bad news- the root canal couldn't be finished because it kept bleeding so now it's sensitive and Dr. Koplon found a large 'lesion' in my jaw. Come to find out, it's (more than likely) a very large abcess from a dead nerve. The problem is that it's sooooo big. It's never a good sign when your doctor looks at your x-ray and says "Whoa! What's that?!?!?" For a few days Chris and I were dealing with the possibility that it could be a tumor. Needless to say, I was in a quiet mood for a while. I wasn't scared really, just quiet. Long story short, I'm having a root canal on Tuesday and oral surgery next Thursday. Dr. O'Neill will clean out the cyst and fill in the gaping hole with bone chips. Sounds like fun to me!

Seriously though... as Leslie said today "You've had a lot of health type issues lately. Haven't you?" I guess I have and I get really, really tired of it. I don't like pain and being away from my children. I don't like spending money on things I can't enjoy. I don't like not being able to take care of my family. And as I type this I am reminded that wait... it's not all about me. For some reason, I can't truly grasp that concept.

I want to be comfortable and God wants me to be holy. And in these moments of dread and fear, He reminds me that He is always here. I want to be tough and people tell me that I am. But I don't feel tough and full of faith because I feel like crying. But I think that's what real faith looks like. Real faith is experiencing my pain and fear, crying and knowing, really knowing that He has a plan. I don't understand it and I wish He could make me holy without pain but He is God. He knows all the things that I don't.

Plus, He takes care of me. He doesn't give me a task and then tell me to get on with it. He lavishes His love and grace on me. His Spirit provides me with all I need. He surrounds me with His children. I cannot possibly take the time to type the names of all my friends that will be there with me. To care for my kids, bring me food, help me clean, listen to me whine, pray for me and with me, and love me.

Life is a journey and I cannot wait for the destination! My heartfelt prayer is that there will be no teeth in heaven.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Dr. Kim

Dr. Kim Schmitt is our lovely friend. God has used her skill and knowledge to keep Brody, Ty and Gracie healthy these past few years. She always has a smile and love for my kids. And in return, they love her more than any other doctor in the world. (Our dentist, Dr. Koplon is a close second) Whenever I tell them that it's time for a doctor visit, they cry if it's not to Dr. Kim. Seriously, they do.

Ty had to have allergy shots for a couple of years. You would think that he would hate the doctor's office. He doesn't. They brag on him and encourage him. They give him treats and hugs. So an otherwise traumatic experience has been an overwhelmingly positive one for him.

Poor Brody has had the most awful time with ear infections. She put tubes in, but his ears would push them out after a couple of months. She ended up putting in something similar to a 't-tube'. These new ones won't come out on their own. After horrible recurring infections for the first year and a half of his life, he's been healthy now for a year. Colds - yes. Ear infections - nope.

Gracie and Maggie haven't had to visit her often as a patient but they love going. Her office has a really cool play room and super sweet staff. Dr. Kim is also the one who discovered Chris' Dad's throat cancer at a really early stage. She probably saved his life.

I asked Ty why he loves her. His reply? "Because she takes care of me." Simple as that.

It's really cool to me how God puts just the right people in our lives at just the right times. Once again, He proves himself trustworthy.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Being Real

I think that everyone is fake at some point or another. I'm sure there are people who are always fake. But even those of us who try not to be fake can't help it sometimes.

I was talking to some friends the other day, at different times, about this. Why is it that when we're going through a dark place we hide it? We put on a smile and laugh. I do it sometimes. Almost a year ago I went through a darkness. Life seemed overwhelming and tedious. But I tried really hard to act like nothing was different. Why?

Well, I think there are several reasons. To begin with, I try to maintain my reputation. People tell me I'm friendly and outgoing. Because of that, I feel the need to live up to that... to not disappoint anyone. Which is kinda stupid when I think about it. Not to mention, sinful. I'm depending on my reputation instead of resting in my position as a daughter of the covenant.

Another reason I'm tempted to be fake is the feelings that occur in those dark places are scary and deep. To not feel happy or contented or peaceful is weird and uncomfortable. I don't like it and don't want other people to look at me funny. I want to hide. I want to pretend. But when I do that, I reject the grace of God. I try to take care of the problems myself. Quite simply, I'm not trusting God.

Being real means that if I'm unhappy, when someone says "How are you?" I can honestly say, "I'm struggling today." I don't have to unload on them, telling them all my deepest sorrows but I can ask them to pray for me.

And when I do that, the next time that person is having a hard time they'll be more likely to ask me to pray for them. I will have humbled myself and that makes it a little easier to ask God for help. Burt preached a sermon last year that has helped me a lot. The title was Remembering Wilderness and Surviving Wealth. In the dark places, I seek Him. Nothing makes sense anymore, He is all I have. But when life is peachy, I get into a routine and don't seek Him out anymore.

The dark places are really blessings in disguise. God uses them to show me who I really am and what trusting Him looks like. Romans 5:3-5 says "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance produces character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."

I can taste of him in a deeper way in the wilderness because I'm hungrier. Needier. Weaker. And he meets me there and supplies all my needs. HE becomes my peace.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Alternative to Wal-Mart

A lot of people ask me how I can manage to not shop at Wal-Mart. "How can you afford shopping anywhere else?" or my favorite, "But it's so much faster to get everything in one place."

Propoganda! That's all that is. People have bought into the advertising that Wal-Mart is cheaper and more convenient. Poppycock!

I buy groceries, dog food, diapers, pull-ups, household items, everything for a family of 6 for around $400 a month. You can, most of the time, find what you need on sale at other stores for the same price or cheaper than WM. You just have to be committed. Look at the sale papers.

"Why don't you just take your sale papers to WM. They'll honor them."

Not neccessarily. They don't honor Buy One Get One Free or percentages. And many times, if you get tons of items that way, they bring in the CSM to hand check each item. Not very convenient.

As to the "convenience" issue.... how many times have you gone to WM only to find they don't have what you need? And you still have to go to another store or settle for something else. Not to mention the fact that the store is soooooo big that it takes forever to get from one place to another.

Then there's the check-out problems. They never have adequate numbers of check-outs open. I have to wait at least ten minutes in a line before I start checking out. (Do not even get me started on the 'self-ckeckouts'!)

Today, I bought all my groceries at Publix. A produce manager offered to help me pick out the best bag of grapes. The butcher ground a fresh pack of ground chuck in a family pack for me, at the sale price. The cashier helped me unload my buggy. The bag boy had me pull up to the front of the store and sit in my van while he loaded my groceries for me in the rain! How much did I spend? Well, for a receipt that is literally 28 inches long, I spent less than $200.00. I bought food for two weeks, dog food, bird seed, laundry stuff, toilet paper, paper towels, snack foods, sodas, etc. I might could have done even better if I had gone to Winn-Dixie and Food World but it was raining cats and dogs and I couldn't stand the thoughts of it!

Publix's slogan is "Where shopping is a pleasure." Today I would have to agree with them.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Sound

My kids are studying sound in school. Sound waves, frequency, etc. Ty, who is reading a A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, surmised that there are lots of sounds that would be really unfamiliar to King Arthur. Maggie realized that most of these noises are so familiar to us that we don't even hear them anymore.

So for school, they had to make a list of a.) loud sounds, b.) soft sounds, and c.) sounds we don't even hear anymore. Here are my sounds that I don't even hear anymore.

1. Anytime Chris starts talking about shoes.

2. Gracie's whining.... I put her on ignore.

3. Kim giving me pertinent information... don't ask me why.

4. Silence... but that's just because my kids are so loud.

5. The buzzer on the dryer, and I have it up really loud!

6. Curse words in movies. I don't even register them.

7. My Mother's voice in my head. (Is that good or bad?)

8. Chris' alarm that goes off at 4:oo am when he has to go to work in Anniston. And it's on my side of the bed!

9. My kids talking to me when I'm working at the computer. That is, until the questioning is soooo repetititve that it breaks through my sound barrier.

10. Wiggles movies. I don't realize I'm hearing it until I start singing all the songs. Very annoying!

Maybe later I'll make a list of all the sounds that I wish I didn't hear.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Sleep

I am sooooo sleepy right now. If I could I would climb in the bed and sleep until tomorrow. I slept fine last night. I don't know what my problem is.

Since I can't sleep, I better get busy. Lord knows I have plenty to do. Maybe this is brain melt from homeschooling today.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Stupidity

Some may call it stupidity. Others may call it selfishness. I call it thoughtlessness. It is what plagues me. It is that deep down character flaw that causes the ones I love pain.

Sometimes my mouth overides my butt. I say things that are callus or arrogant. I do things that hurt others. Plain and simple, I just don't think.

Last night, I did something that stirred up fear and bad memories for my friend. And if I had just stopped and thought I would have realized it before it was too late. But I didn't and now she feels all sorts of conflicting emotions and convictions.

It reminds me of something that happened to me after my Mom died. For those of you that don't know, my Mother was a self-medicating bi-polar. She was into other things too. My sister and I realized that things were out of control. Kim contacted Mother's doctor, who wouldn't return her calls. Kim called an attorney, who said that we had to have a doctor. It was horrible. There Mother sat in misery, insanity and filth and the only people who cared could do nothing about it.

Anyways.... after she died, we had to clean out her rental house. The most traumatic thing for me were the gnats. There were literally thousands of them. We wore masks to keep them out of our mouth and nose. It was awful. About two months later, I opened my pantry and out flew a gnat. One gnat. Just one. My mind knew there was only one but my heart freaked out. I started shaking and crying and hitting myself in the head. Chris ran into the room and grabbed me. All I could say was "No. No. I can't be like her. No. No....." It took me a few minutes to get myself under control. And even longer to really release that to Christ. But where my Mom's sin abounded, His grace abounded all the more.

So for my thoughtlessness to trigger emotions even remotely like that causes me deep pain. I ask myself, when will I ever learn? I don't know. I hope soon. I pray that Christ will come back today. He is my only hope.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Prayer Please

I hope all who read this will pray for me. I am in charge of planning a Women's Ministry Event. Not a meeting or a coffee. An event. As in decorating, childcare, speaker, food, seminars, etc.

Internal thought* me no can do this... me too stupid... plague, pestilence, danger, danger.

I can try to convince myself that I can do this, or I can lean completely upon my Savior. In this I am weak, but I am boldly stating that He is strong. Please pray that I will trust him. He is enough. He can do this.



BTW, off topic, it's 74 degrees here. All my windows are open and the fans are on. Lovely! Of course we'll probably have tornadoes tomorrow. ;o)

New Favorite CD

Just a quick note to share my new favorite CD. I've played it way to many times. If I don't slow down, I'm gonna get sick of it.

It's Ethereal, titled Tending Both Sides. You can find it at www.etherealband.com