Tuesday, September 28, 2004
by Jack Vettriano
Where in the world did he get that title? Would there be an ELEGY for an alive Admiral? I love this picture but the title seems to take away from it. Anyone got a clue why JV came up with this title? What do you think it should be called?
I guess the woman in red is the Admirals widow? I wonder if she is being served from a special bottle of wine they bought on their honeymoon. Maybe they were saving it for some special anniversary. Could she be drinking and remembering her brave slain husband as the violins play "their"song? Could it be that that is what he wanted? It was all he wanted. No funeral. No stuffy words in his elegy. He asked that it just be the woman, the wine, and the music he loved remembering him on the beach where they first met....
I love art. A painting can launch a dozen different epic stories with some imagination. My parents both have an artistic flair. Sadly they were raised in a climate that looked on art as impractical and unimportant. The thinkers of this time built churches with stark white walls, bare unimaginative sanctuaries and institutional looking facades. To this generation, who did so many wonderful things, art was an indulgence, an extra, a societal trinket... But is it? As A child I remember my mother calling her painting class a " guilty pleasure." "Guilty of what?" I wondered but never asked.
The spiritual, intellectual part of a soul needs to be fed beauty and wonder to thrive. Creativity is a gift that must be nourished and molded. Art in it's simplest form is an expression, an attempt to communicate through images more than mere words can express. I hope art will not be left out of our churches in the future. As we navigate this post modern, and some argue post-Christian, era we must use all the forms of expression given us by God to communicate His message. We must not limit God to the small spectrum we have limited to religion. We must let his message and his transformation of our lives shine through our actions, our art, our music, our literature, our poetry and our architecture. We must be His expression!
Anyone want to share this soap box? :) Go find art in your world today! Blessings!
Dear Tech Support:
A Troubled User
Dear Troubled User:
Have any program tweaking you would like to share?
Monday, September 27, 2004
No matter how many new post I blog, the blogger dashboard says I have written 62 posts. I do not know why 62. What is so great about 62? It will also tell you if you "view my complete profile" that I have 0 postswritten , 0 words written, 0 links, 0 total post, 0 new post and I average 0 post a week. ZERO, ZIP, NADA! You know, I have prayed for this type malfunction to happen on a credit card....No matter what I charge, the balance is 0! Wouldn't that be nice?!
BUT there is the whole "washing away sins" thing. Jesus paid the debt, wiped the slate clean, made the balance zero, zip, nada! WOW! Do I really appreciate that? Do I live like my slate has been wiped clean? Do I appreciate all it cost him to pay my debt?
I hope the blogger dashboard starts to count my post but, I thankfully pray that my Lord does not count my sins!
Go make this Monday count!
Sunday, September 26, 2004
Friday was a better day than it sounded...I wrote my post after the paper route and before going back to sleep for an hour or so. I guess I came across a little more "grey" than I intended. But I love the comments. I hope you take a second to check out my friend Holly Kirby's new blog. Holy is a friend from the ACU days. She is quite a writer as I recall. Welcome to blogworld Holly!
About last week...The tragedy experienced by the Martin family has truly affected me, as it has many people who have heard about it. My cousin Ashley and I decided it touched us so deeply because it hits so close to home. Mike Martin and his wife are the same age basically as we are. Their kids were our kids ages. This type accident can happen to anyone at any time.
My heart still hurts for Mike Martin, and even though I barely know him, he has been a constant in my thoughts and prayers this week. I don't expect that will change any time soon. BUT I also realize that none of us are promised tomorrow. God challenges each of us to live life to our utmost each day. Some days it is harder than others for sure, but the charge is always the same. He calls us to rise above our situations and feelings and soar. With that in mind, we had a great weekend!
The Ranger game was great, even though they lost by 1! We were exhausted when we pulled into the hotel at 11:35pm, but it was a good exhaustion. Rhett enjoyed the game though he didn't like the noise. He is very sensitive to sound. Rhett can't stand fireworks because of the boom. Needless to say when Jordan hit a homer and the fireworks went off at the ballpark, Rhett wanted to go! But we stayed and he says he loved it! Kolby had a great time too. Like her Mama, she enjoys the atmosphere and the excitement of the crowd way more than the game. I spent most of the 4th and 6th innings taking walks around the stadium... which is fine with me!
Saturday we had breakfast at Cracker Barrel, went to a few malls, drove by our old neighborhood, and ate a very late lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. Kolby ate her first ever cheese cake and loved it...Surprise, surprise. I could write a whole blog about The Cheesecake Factory. From sweet tamale corn cakes, to garlic mashed potatoes, to 30 different kinds of cheesecake, this is hands down my favorite restaurant! Yesterday we all split a slice of " Adams Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Ripple Cheesecake" OH MY GOODNESS! It was love at first bite for all! Then we were off to ride the little train at Northpark mall and "do" the disney store before heading to my cousin John Dunaway's wedding.
John and Kris planned their wedding at the Dallas Arboretum for a year. God blessed them with perfect weather! It was a very pleasant 74 degrees as John and Kris married in the picturesque setting of the botanical gardens with a backdrop of the sun setting over White Rock Lake and the Dallas Skyline. It was beautiful!
This family has seen sorrow. The wedding was all the more special because it was the fullfiilment of so many dreams for all involved. It is about time the Dunaways were able to experience JOY! John had some problems as a teen. His Father passed away several years ago from cancer. His mother Anne has been a pillar of strength and love. I was as happy for her as I was for Kris and John. Kris was a beautiful bride! It was a great family moment. My kids went nuts the instant they saw their cousins and I was grateful we were outdoors. The kids dominated the dance floor during the reception. About 9:30 we were all so tired, we had to leave before the cake was cut and drive home to Waco. It was a great weekend!
Now back to reality... Not that reality is a bad thing. Rob and I have been stressed out over some things, but all and all, God has given us a very good life teeming with promise! He has blessed us with each other and two precious children. I imagine Mike Martin would tell us what a blessing that is... and with that in mind, I am off to scrub my kitchen floor with a smile on my face! Have a blessed day!
Toby Slough is talking about "Wrestling With lifes greatest Fears" this month at Crosstimbers Church in Argyle, Texas. Ever since I met Toby in April of 1997, his voice has carried the word of God straight to my heart! Since we do not live anywhere near Argyle, I now listen to Toby via audio streaming. Toby talks to me as I fold laundry. It's great! Last week his sermon was "What's Wrong with Me?" Again the message spoke straight to my heart! If you have 30 or so minutes, take a listen!
Friday, September 24, 2004
Lots of thoughts this morning, but little time to type.
My heart has been heavy the last few days because of bad news.
*A guy who went to ACU named Mike Martin lost his wife Lisa and three boys (ages 4, 2 and 2 months) and mother-in-law in a horrible traffic accident in Sherman,Texas on Monday.
*A good friend called and told me about some hard times another friend has fallen on.
*Another friend's husband is leaving her.
*A church we once went to seems to be struggling again.
*The beheading of the hostages in Iraq is sickening.
All this really bad, painful, heart wrenching news. Of course the first piece of bad news was bad enough! My heart aches for this guy I barely know. I can't imagine his grief... it hurts to try to even fathom it! Please Lord hold Mike Martin and his father-in-law James Wood in your loving arms right now. Please help them cope as their lives have been forever shattered.
Depression runs in my family. Times like this make me wonder if my genetic trends make news like this harder to take. I don't know. Does everyone get to the point that they want God to come now and end all this? Or is that just me? At times like this I want my Father to come and make it all better.
What do we as children of God do when the truly bad news of our world bombards us? How are we supposed to respond? This is hard for me. I know it is useless to cry and mope for days for it does no one any good. But, it also seems callous and uncaring to just brush the pain and anguish of others aside. How can we flippantly go on as if nothing happened, even if it didn't happen to us? This may seem more dark and dramatic than I intended, but I wrestle with how God wants me to react to bad news.
On a related note, I asked God to show up strong for me this week. I just really want to see Him big in my life so I know what to do in several situations. Maybe He has "shown up" by reminding me how much I have to loose through the tragedy of others and therefore how much I have to thank Him for. An attitude of gratitude. A thankful heart. Please Lord grow these things in me.
Or maybe He showed up big by way of a phone call from one of my best friends who lives in Keller. I miss her. I miss her terribly at times. Maybe God knew I needed her call from out of the blue and the two hour talk that followed! If you are reading this, I miss you Kristi!
Or maybe God showed up in the form of free Ranger tickets for tonight and an being able to find a sub easily for the paper Saturday. It will be so refreshing to spend the night away from here, just us our little family. It seems we need a get away, even if it's just for one night. I know there are more logical, rational, responsible things to do with our time and money, but the thought of being at a game and spending the night in a hotel just the 4 of us, is so appealing! AND THEY ARE GREAT SEATS! This will be Rhett's first major league game. Why has it taken us three years to take him? Go Rangers! Stay away hurricane Ivan rains!
Or maybe God doesn't have to "show up" because He has been here all the time....
As I said, many thoughts, few moments!
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Last night Troy Duncan on NEWS 8 said that Fall officially began yesterday at 11:30AM. How exciting!
I love FALL!
... when the morning air has a cool crispness to it.
... pumpkins and colored leaves.
... Fall festivals and dressing up for Halloween.
... football games on Friday nights when a sweater is needed.
... the end of 100 degree heat.
... orange, yellow, and brown spice colors.
... the smell of bread in the oven.
... warm afternoons followed by cool nights.
... crystal clear true blue afternoon skies that fade to orange harvest sunsets.
... a blanket, a cozy rocker and the October edition of Southern Living.
... hay bales, scarecrows, and pumpkin patches.
... candy corn, apples crisps, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin bread.
... taco soup, corn casserole, and homemade chili.
... the State Fair and Homecoming.
... the best holiday of the year, Thanksgiving!
... not giving presents, just being together and being thankful!
What do you love?
HAPPY FALL Y'ALL!
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
THE "NEXT BLOG >>" BUTTON!!!!!!!
Last night after I ran a trillion errands and helped Rob get the kids in bed, I decided to check out my regular blogs. Since I had already read most of the posts, it occurred to me that I might "surf" blogs. So I clicked the "Next Blog" button.
At first I was just amazed to see how many bloggers there are in Brazil. I saw some college and highschool kid bllogs that were ..well I moved on. Then I found an Anti-Bush blog that turned my stomach. They were really mean. Instead of leaving a snide comment (like those left by some Anons I have read lately) I just decided to silently "Next Blog" on. At that point, I now wish I had returned to my beloved blog family and just re-read old post. But alas, I did not. I had no idea what was in store for me as I moved the mouse towards the NEXT BLOG button ...click . . .
FREE GAY PORN! That is the next blog I stumbled on. YIKES! And this wasn't just a pro-homosexual blog, this was an "In your face, Let us show you how, We're gay and we want you!" type blog. Within 5 seconds whatever powered this site had managed to beat-up my pop-up blocker and before I could say gem-men-nee, two ugly necked gay men in "the act" were staring me in the face! SO GROASE! The pop-ups just kept coming. I am warped for life.
I think I suffered a mild stroke as I tried to shut the pop-ups down. These X-rated , no make that XXX-rated, pop-ups did not have close buttons. Really! Is that internet legal?! Finally, like a heart attack victim trying to break open a bottle of try-glycerin, I turned my computer off completely. I knew it could crash the disk and that windows would scold me once I (if I ever again) turned the computer on, but I did not care.
Seriously, I almost felt molested. My first thought was to erase all the history, cookies, and temporary files so that those awful pop-ups would not come back. I wanted Rob to do it, but he was asleep. If he hadn't had a paper route to get up and throw, I would have waked him. I decided to wait until daylight to deal with my gay demon possesed computer again. My Gateway has since been cleansed. Truly, it was an awful and frightening experience. Oh to have been a fly on my wall watching me flail as I tried to stop those pop-ups. I'm sure it was quite a show!
Last night I had to put the whole thing out of my mind, but it was not easy. Even as I type this today, it sickens me. I will don't know if I'll ever touch the "Next Blog" button again. I have parental controls, a pop-up blocker, an integrity filter and many fail safes on my computer but, somehow none of that kept those awful pictures from poping up on my screen. I would report the blog site but I can't because I have erased all traces of it(I HOPE) from my computer. Sort of makes me wonder if we need internet police!
I guess I lead a sheltered life. THANK YOU FOR THAT SHELTER! Evil is alive and well and out there in forms I don't want to imagine. AND It is recruiting! The battle is real. I said a prayer for all the lost soles caught in a lifestyle that craves porn... any kind of porn, before I went to bed last night. For some reason I wonder if the two young men I saw pictured have mothers who know what they are doing. I can not imagine the emptiness they must have inside to let their bodies be exposed and trashed that way. Really it is very sad.
I want to move on to happy thoughts now but I had to warn you DO NOT TOUCH THAT "NEXT BLOG" BUTTON!
Monday, September 20, 2004
The only reason I can blog about this is most of my family pays no attention to my blog endeavors what so ever. Should this suddenly disappear, you will know that one of them has become blog savvy.
For those of you who are not blessed to have lots of family living at your finger tips, let me share a glimpse of my families Sunday Dinner yesterday. First of all this was not the average Sunday dinner for us. It was special because we were celebrating my Nana's 95 birthday. As I blogged about last week, because of Alzheimer's, Nana lives in a special home that can meet her needs. We have learned over the last few years that attempts to take her out of the home are miserable for her and us. SO to celebrate her birthday my Aunt Thomasue reserved two rooms at the home. If you can't take Nana out to the celebration, take the celebration in to Nana.
This was a logical and reasonable solution, or so I thought. That is the last time you will see the words logical and reasonable connected to this event. My Aunt is a bit of an over-the-topper (some argue that I get "it" from her). So in her quest to make her Mother's birthday special, she decided to recreate her home dining room in the rest homes stark but functional activity rooms.
T-sue not only cooked and carried "special" chicken, roast, 2 broccoli and rice casseroles, sweet potato casserole, green beans, blueberry salad, homey green salad with three dressings, 5 pans of sister Shubert rolls, and cake and ice cream to feed 32 people up to the home, she also brought 5 table clothes, 8 silver trivets, many silver serving spoons, 4 or 5 flower arrangements, a dozen framed pictures and two dozen "kinko" copied poster pictures, three happy birthday banners, a dozen serving towels, and about 24 items of sterling silver. (The eternal run-on sentence is meant to help you feel overwhelmed, confused and out-of-breath as I did while we were unloading.) My "always prepared" Aunt even brought her own tin foil, zip lock bags, hot pads, scissors, tape, lighters, craft paper, tape, cups, 3 kinds of plates, and 2 kinds of napkins. I am sure I left at least two or three dozen items off of these lists. The boxes just kept coming.
So after church, the small army that is my family (25 adults & 6 kids) assembled at "the home" to unload a fleet of SUVs and turn the meeting rooms into Shez-Nana! Mass confusion ensued. I am amazed that it only took us two hours to get everything ready. All the while, the six great-grands:Kolby 6, Samantha 5, Rhett 3, Justin & Scarlett almost 3, and Whitney 7 months, were running wild, screaming "I'm hungry" as we tried to get everything up on the walls and warm on the table.
My Nana was sitting in her wheel chair in the midst of the chaos asking "Where's Caskey?" ~ her husband who died eight years ago. Every once and awhile she would stop to tell us "I really don't think you should be doing that," no matter what we were doing. By the time the adults finally sat down to eat, the kids had finished and were running wild again. The only breaks in the loud roar of conversation and confusion came for the prayer before the meal and the traditional singing of "Happy Birthday".
BUT the food was incredible! The table looked beautiful. We were all able to be there, which almost never happens anymore. The many pictures inspired some lively, fun conversations. The kids had a blast playing together, despite a bleeding nose, two head-on collisions, three smashed fingers and several trips to time out. In a brief lucid moment, my Nana told us she was the luckiest person she knew. (Rob likes to point out that she really doesn't know anyone anymore, but that is beside the point.) I'm not sure she appreciated all the hub-bub and decor, but I think she grasped that it was all for her. My Nana has seen 95 birthdays. I'm not sure any could top yesterdays event.
My aunt and my mom completely floor me with their blind devotion to their mother. In the years since this disease has taken control of her mind, Nana has cussed them up and down, disowned them time and again, and even tried to report them to the authorities for neglecting her (my Mom had a job and it really put my Nana out that she could not stay with her 24/7!) But this honory old lady was once the sweet mother that rocked them to sleep, curled their hair, cried at their weddings, came for weeks to help when they had babies, and assured them God was in control when life seemed too hard or crazy. She is still their mother, even though she is not the mother she once was.
I looked at my Mom during the hour long clean up process yesterday and said, "Mom, I love you but when you are in the home, you are getting take-out on plastic plates!" My Mom laughed and said that is exactly what she wants because that is how she lives now! HAPPY BIRTHDAY NANA! May we all love our mothers beyond sanity....ours and theirs!
Saturday, September 18, 2004
Friday, September 17, 2004
I bless GOD every chance I get; my lungs expand with his praise.
I live and breathe GOD;if things aren't going well, hear this and be happy:
Join me in spreading the news; together let's get the word out.
GOD met me more than halfway, he freed me from my anxious fears.
Look at him; give him your warmest smile. Never hide your feelings from him.
When I was desperate, I called out, and GOD got me out of a tight spot.
GOD's angel sets up a circle of protection around us while we pray.
Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see--how good GOD is. Blessed are you who run to him.
Worship GOD if you want the best; worship opens doors to all his goodness.
Young lions on the prowl get hungry, but GOD-seekers are full of God.
Come, children, listen closely; I'll give you a lesson in GOD worship.
Who out there has a lust for life? Can't wait each day to come upon beauty?
Guard your tongue from profanity, and no more lying through your teeth.
Turn your back on sin; do something good.Embrace peace--don't let it get away!
GOD keeps an eye on his friends, his ears pick up every moan and groan.
GOD won't put up with rebels; he'll cull them from the pack.
Is anyone crying for help? GOD is listening, ready to rescue you.
If your heart is broken, you'll find GOD right there; if you're kicked in the gut, he'll help you catch your breath.
Disciples so often get into trouble; still, GOD is there every time.
He's your bodyguard, shielding every bone; not even a finger gets broken.
The wicked commit slow suicide; they waste their lives hating the good.
GOD pays for each slave's freedom; no one who runs to him loses out.
Psalms 34 The Message
Thursday, September 16, 2004
Thursdays are the days when McKenna and Rhett are both at Mothers Day Out until 2:30. Basically I have 4 hours and 45 minutes to myself. It is my doctors appointment, haircut, errand running, PTA, Lunch with Rob or friends,Church work day. Problem is all week I think "I'll do that Thursday" so much that my "Thursday list" is too long. There is no way to do a weeks worth of "stuff" in 4 hours 45 minutes.
So today I decided "No more!" Thursdays are my day. Sometimes I will choose to do errands, PTA, or other things. Instead of piling my Thursdays full however, I am going to try to get everything done before Thursdays so I can truly enjoy the day. This is not going to be easy for me decause Thursdays have been my do-it-all day ever since Kolby was two. Also, I feel selfish. However I am reminded by the mirror, my stress level, and even a few of you that I need to take some time for myself. Otherwise I burn out and can not be what I need to be for everyone else. It is a needed thing. So here's to Thursdays! Hope you all have a great day.
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Excuse the long post. I am writing it to tell my kids about their Nana Ruth.
Today my Nana Ruth is 95 years old. It is hard to imagine how much the world has changed since her birth in 1909. Airplanes, automobiles, computers, dishwashers, microwaves, VCRs, cam-corders, records, 8 tracks, cassettes, cds WOW! As I visit with her in the very nice alzheimers unit a few miles from our house, it is equally hard to imagine that the agitated, anxious, woman who constantly looks for loved ones from her past is my grandmother. This is not the spunky Nana of my youth.
Nana Ruth was the life of the party. Unlike most girls of her day, she did not marry until she was 31. She was a working girl who lived with her parents, liked to hunt, drive, and take a "sip" now and then. She was also an incredibly sharp dresser who had a great little hat for every outfit. My Grandaddy was the only guy who could handle her. They met at church. A year later she agreed to their first date. It was two years before they decided to settle down and get married. My great grand-dad still thought she was too young. My Nana was something else.
One of my favorite memories was walking into the entry hall of my grandparents fully restored, 100 year old home in Coleman, Texas and seeing her dance towards us with a three layer, perfectly iced, chocolate Italian cream cake singing "I knew you were coming so I baked a cake, I baked a cake, I baked a cake!" Who wouldn't love a reception like that? That was my Nana.
She made the best fried chicken, roast, fried okra, mashed potatoes, chocolate pudding, sheet cake and all kinds of candy. She could play the piano and had the sweetest alto voice. My Nana could sew and landscape. I loved shopping with her because mid-way through, we always stopped to get a "Coke" and visit.
My grandmother knew much about the lost art of visiting. In the summers, I would stay at her house for a week or so by myself. I remember going to sleep to the sound of my grandparents visiting with friends on the front porch, and waking to the sound of Nana visiting with a neighbor over coffee on the back porch. What ever happened to visiting on porches?
Nana always got up and "put on her face". She would wear a "housecoat" most of the morning doing chores and cooking. At noon we always ate lunch by the "television" (not the TV) and watched "the story"(Days of Our Lives). She would snooze a bit if the Salem crew was having a dull day. I remember playing in the empty chairs of the Beauty shop "Tommy's Beauty Curl" where she went every week to get her hair "done." After I told her I wished I had curly hair about a hundred times during a visit , she marched me down to The Beauty Curl for a perm. It burned my head and made my eyes water, but oh what curl I had! It was like a white-fro. I remember my Nana was a little alarmed when she saw how well the perm "took". The next day she marched me back to have it "taken out". It is a wonder I had hair at all after that visit!
Nana had a temper too! Once when my cousin Amber was watching Nana make a layer cake for her Bridge Club, one of the layers broke but she salvaged it for the bottom. The second layer also broke badly. Then when the third layer came completely apart, Nana said the "D" word and threw the pan across the kitchen hitting the phone and knocking it off the wall. Amber, age three, ran to Grand daddy and whispered "I'm Scared." From that day on we called a chocolate layer cake a "Beep" cake.
My Nana had six grandchildren. I was the oldest and the only one she ever spanked! I liked to kid her about that. She said several times she regretted it, but I know I deserved it! My Nana almost had heart failure when at age 20 I told her I was going to Africa for eight weeks. But through her tears, she asked if I needed any money. She did not like the thought of me going over there. Her generation was extremely guarded about people who were different, and that is putting it as nicely as I can.
Nana at 93
My Nana also came up with a generation who constantly sought, but was never assured, salvation. At 95, she may not know who I am or who her brother is, but don't ever tell her that any one has "gone to heaven" for she'll argue "You can't be sure of that." She has no clue what she did 30 seconds before, but she is quick to quote the " Narrow is the way" scripture. Of all the things to hold on to! Even though she is miserable and agitated all the time, she is so scared to die. She just isn't sure she will make the cut. Someday I pray my sweet Nana will close her eyes and wake in the arms of Jesus. She will be in such shock!
It may seem wrong, but I pray daily, as I have for the last five years, that that day will come soon. Nana is so unhappy. There is nothing any of us can do to help her. She is in the best facility money can buy. She has a sitter, whom she loves, who comes to be with her when my Mom and Aunt can't be there. She lives in the same town as her two daughters, and six grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. Nothing seems to ease the hold this dreaded disease has over her brain. It is heart breaking for my Mom and Aunt to see their mother this way. It is heart breaking for all of us.
We don't visit as we should. It is so hard for she constantly asks where her husband, parents, and friends are. She cries when we finally brake down and tell her they have passed. She follows us out as we leave and bangs her head on the door crying when we don't take her with us. Sometimes I feel it is best to just stay away. She seems less tormented when we are not around. I guess we trigger too many memories. But today we will brave the storm to take her a cake, coke, and flowers and try to visit. I pray we see a little glimpse of the woman we love.
I'm making her a layer cake....and it stuck in the pan!!! I have to laugh and think "Now what would Nana have done in a situation like this?"
You know, throwing a pan full of cake is oddly empowering!
Monday, September 13, 2004
Saturday, September 11, 2004
From the CREAMED CORN dashboard drafts......
Where have all the good men gone
And where are all the gods?
Wheres the street-wise Hercules
To fight the rising odds?
Isnt there a white knight
upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and I turn
and I dream of what I need
Chorus: I need a hero
Im holding out for a hero til the end of the night
Hes gotta be strong
And hes gotta be fast
And hes gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero
Im holding out for a hero til the morning light
Hes gotta be sure
And its gotta be soon
And hes gotta be larger than life
Somewhere after midnight
In my wildest fantasy
Somewhere just beyond my reach
Theres someone reaching back for me
Racing on the thunder and rising with the heat
Its gonna take a superman to sweep me off my feet
Up Where the mountains meet the heavens above
Out where the lightning splits the sea
I would swear that theres someone somewhere watching me
Through the wind and the chill and the rain
And the storm and the flood
I can feel his approach
Like a fire in my blood
Thank you Shrek 2 for bringing this song by Bonnie Tyler back from the cassette tape graveyards of the 80's and onto the play list of my mind. This has to be one of my favorite songs. I discovered today it is oh-so good to mop the kitchen to. I think I sang it over and over for an hour. Kolby is amazed at her Mommy...Well dumbfounded anyway. Although I think it was in the movie Footloose, I have to say it was actually Days of Our Lives that made me love this song.
It was the summer of 1984. (Oh my goodness was that really 20 years ago?) The long haired, leather jacket wearing, rebel-with-a-cause Bo Brady was about to rescue/kidnap the love of his life, the beautiful, rich and blackmailed Hope Williams from the church where she was about to be forced to marry the despicable Larry Welch. To get some good "get away time", Bo leaves his boss, the grungy cigar chomping flat foot, Howie Hopstedder behind in a thickly veiled wedding gown to walk down the aisle in Hope's place.
With all the pomp and circumstance of a royal wedding, Hope/Howie walks the asile to the front of the church. The snake-like Larry Welch's smug grin is suddenly wiped off his face as he lifts the veil to find Howie chewing on a cigar "Pucker up Sweetheart!" Bonnie Tyler's song screams I NEED A HERO and the viewers realize Bo has saved the day as the camera breaks away to Bo and Hope screaming down the road on his Harley, Hope still in her gown. Hope tosses her veil as she wraps her arms around her hero and the credits roll. (for it was a Friday) Bonnie Tyler serenades us to the commercial break. And that was THE DAYS EPISODE of my life ....
That had to be one of the greatest moments in the history of Daytime drama. I had it on VHS tape for many years ...until my sister recorded the Smurfs over it!!! I have almost forgiven her. My cousin Ashley and I would love to get our hands on that episode. If any of you know how we could, feel free to comment. We acted out Days and dreamed of Hope and Bo all the time!
I hear The Brady's are still together and just as tormented as ever, bless their hearts! Last count, I think both had died and come back two or three times each. True soap opera drama. (I think I was 8 before I learned that dead people could not come back because of "the story".)
I'm not a Days watcher any more but, oh what memories!
I think I wrote this a few weeks ago but decided it was a good weekend blog. Happy Saturday!
Friday, September 10, 2004
I am re-reading Rubel Shelly's Prepare To Answer because really, I don't feel adequatly prepared to give the reason for my faith. In this post-modern world, I am unsure that my old pat answers ring true. I originally bought and read this book after I became engaged to a Catholic boy who was asking questions. : ) Rubel helped me out then, but not in the way I thought. I realized Catholic boys worshiped and claimed the same Christ... who'd a thunk that? And really Rob's questions were more heart felt and sincere than my born, bread, and educated church of Christ religious answers. ANYWAY my recent re-examening of my faith response sent me re-visisting this book. Around page 172 Shelly says the following in reference to Jesus' statement to the high preist of the Jewish nation that he was the Christ and the Son of God...
Claims of such magnitude cannot be ignored. They are either true or
false. They must be believed or rejected. If they are accepted
as true and believed, profound implications follow for every aspect of one's
life. If they are thrown out as false and repudiated, one stands
either to deny existence of God altogether or else to propose another means to
acess into his favor. Any attempt to be neutral to Jesus of Nazareth is
tantamount to rejecting him.
In marketing we call that a hard sell. (Not a hard sale!) I used to work for a marketing company on the Porsche account. Porsches are a hard sell. They require a certain lifestyle beyond the cost of purchasing the automobile. Even though I was not a salesperson, I learned to size up a "patron" pretty quick to see if they truly "fit" the Porsche profile. Sometimes it wasn't a matter of money, it was a matter of automobile enthusiasm or an ability to appreciate and maintain the car. Porsches are really SPORTS CARS not luxury vehicles. If you want cup holders and electric everything, you are more of a BMW/ Mercedes person. If you don't want the sound of the engine to drown out your BOSE music, you are more of a Lexus/Audi person. If the music IS the sound of the engine, you are a Porsche person. Of course we were finely tuned to sell the lifestyle, not just the car. That is what marketing companies do.
Is that what we try to do as Christians... sell the lifestyle and hope the world will buy Jesus? He made it hard for us "marketing" Christians by rejecting all others claiming to be God. He is it.The real thing. The original. No other way to the Father except through him. You either call him your Savior or you call him a liar. No middle ground. The original hard sell.
Or is He a hard sell? The more I think about that inference, the more inaccurate it seems. I don't have to sell salvation as I sometimes think I do for several reasons. First, slavaton was given to me and to all, so there is nothing to sell. Second, I don't have any special claim to salvation aside from Jesus Christ, so I can only direct folks his way. Christ commissioned me to get the word out and be prepared to answer with the reason for my faith. He did not bottle salvation and send me out to go door to door like a Girl Scout selling cookies.
The Bible even says that faith is a gift from the Father. Why do I think I have to muster faith up from deep within myself? Faith doesn't come from within, it comes from above. Want faith? Go to the source. Want Salvation? Go to the source. I guess I'm not a salesmen, just a bill board. In the class room of life, HE is the Teacher and I am supposed to be the illustrations of His text. I am the life application examples. How good of an illustraion am I? Would the Teacher pick me as his example? Jesus has to shine through me as my Savior if I am to be His bill board. Hhhmmm? What do you think?
As for the reason for my faith, HE gave it to me. My Savior makes himself known to me every day. He gave me undeserved salvation from a life of having to do it all alone with my pitiful, inadequate, human self. He delivered me to the Kingdom where I am a favored child of the Most High. What does that mean in my every day life or in yours? .....
As you can see, big thoughts are swimming in the soggy matter between my ears this morning. I think I need to get back to Rubel's book. Chow
Thursday, September 09, 2004
Thursday already! Wow what a fast week this has been. It has been a fun week, but very busy. I have actually blogged a few times but have been interrupted or had to run. I currently have several drafts in the ole dashboard! After Rhett's party Sunday I will finish them.
I had no problem however finishing lunch today with Brandon and Martha Kate at Ninfas...Tacos Al Carbon YUM! Brandon and MK were great friends of mine and of eachother at ACU. Martha Kate and I were housemates and now go to church together. She is one of my closest friends. I never tire of being around MK! Brandon and Martha Kate were in Reflections together and were the best of friends. Both are so dramatic, funny, and talented. They are true performers. Having lunch with the two of them was such a treat. "Fun" just doesn't do this lunch justice. I burst out laughing a few minutes ago thinking of some of the stories told at lunch today. My kids think I'm nuts! :)
Brandon is an exceptionally "real" person. I truly loved getting to see him, and I mean literally see him. Even though I kind of feel caught up on the day to day details of his life because of this incredible thing we call blogging, it was nice to hear his voice say his words and see the expression on his face. But I don't want to down play blogging, because I have grown very fond of this medium!
I am convinced that one of the best WMD's in Satan arsenal is isolation. He wants Christians to focus on their problems and feel alone and unworthy. When he keeps us away from each other, from talking and discovering we are all in this struggle together, he prevents us from doing the work of our Father. Blogging has become one of my favorite defenses against this. Reading the thoughts, struggles, and joys of others lets me see that I am not alone in my journey in Gods Kingdom.
Many think that the internet has isolated our culture and I am sure on many levels that is true. However, through blogging, we are more connected. For example...Mike Cope couldn't sit down and have coffee with 500 people everyday and get anything else accomplished. He can however blog and 500 of us can read and discuss the blog as we take our coffee breaks. Thus we feel more connected to him and to eachother. These are interesting and challenging times in our churches. I am glad we have this tool of blogging to connect and get through it together.
Happy blogging ... I have skinny chicken enchiladas to make! Double Mexican food day...gotta love it! :)
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
There is nothing I can say better than Mike Cope said in his post today. Go read it! Mike is the master blogger. It is not just what he says and how he says it, it is the authentic Mike that seeps through the words and the authentic Christ that saturates his thoughts. I could say I want to be like Mike but the truth is I want to be like Christ.
Thought for the day... Everything out side of Christ is irrelevant. Christ is the focal point, the center of the target, everything else is just...creamed corn! :)
Monday, September 06, 2004
Ever read your own blog?
Today I took some time and just read some of my earlier posts. I wonder what I would think of me if I just knew me through these words? It made me think of some things I should tell my blog family.
First an update...
My Mom spoke to Nick's parents a week ago. They are doing remarkably well. This is hard for all of them but they are admittedly more spirit filled than ever. Bill told my Mom that he never thought he could live through loosing Nick but he has, and as much as it hurts, he is OK. In fact, thanks to Nick, he is closer to God than ever. He also told of three other families he has been in touch with in his community who have lost teens since we lost Nick. He said he never thought he would be able to minister to strangers in the midst of such pain, but he can now and is! Thank you God for all that you have done in that situation. It truly is of YOU!!
Deby Evans has been moved to Scott & White Hospital in Temple. She is breathing on her own but having a hard time communicating orally. Her long term prognosis hasn't been talked about around me. Her family is still so grateful that she woke up and that she obviously has a high level of brain function. We are praying for the best for Deby!
In other news. . .
Rhett has yet to cry when I take him to Mothers Day Out! This is a miracle!!! I have felt so good about him lately! Yesterday on his real birthday he got a train table and lots of "Thomas" tracks and engines. I have never seen a child play with something for so long. I will have to rearrange his room to get that big thing in there but I think we will tire of it in the middle of the living room soon! We are getting geared up for the big party next weekend.
Rob shot an 89 in golf this morning. He is so pumped about it. He loves to go play with my uncle and cousins. (And not just because they have a corporate membership & he plays free.)They all get along really well and have a great camaraderie. I think he enjoys my family more than I get to at times! As hard as moving here was and still is, I am so glad we are here.
I am about to embark on a major body transformation stage. (yeah, a diet!) This is not something I want to blog about yet, but don't expect anymore Bluebell, Mexican food, of FRIED salad recipes from this blog any time soon. It's like I have a clutter tolerance for weight...I can go so long and then I just have to do something about it. Pray for me because this is so against my nature. Discipline is not my forte!
Speaking of, Kolby is doing much better. I think it's hard to be a kid. I forget that when I see how easy and fun my kids lives are compared to mine now, but there should never be a comparison! Kolby is so much like me at her age. She is sensitive, curious, and mischievously independent! She is also very sweet and loving. She has been so patient with Rhett lately, more so than I would have been at her age. Ah the peaks and perils of parenthood!
Well, I now have some LABOR to do around the house. Hope all are having a great holiday weekend and are safe from the awful east coast storms! Take care!
Sunday, September 05, 2004
Rhett Thomas Grosz was born on September 5, 2001. 1 Year Picture
2- year Wiggle Party
Today is Rhett's third birthday! I have blogged about my sweet son before. My kids birthdays are a little emotional for me. Every year I think back to the day they were born and all subsequent birthdays. Every year I am amazed by the little people they are becoming. I just can not believe that Rhett is three!
We have post-poned Rhett's "Thomas the Tank Engine" party until next Sunday due to Labor Day. Today Rob's Mom is here from Denison and we will have a little family party at lunch...or dinner as my Mom calls it. This year Rhett is very into Thomas! I had never known much about "Thomas the Train" until last June when we had dinner at Scott and Mereidith Kimbrough's. Their son Cooper introduced Rhett to Thomas, and that is all we have heard about since. Rhett has even been known to call himself "Rhett Thomas the Tank Grosz".
We are all in BIRTHDAY MODE! Birthday parties are quite a production around here. Call it my over zealous attempt to celebrate the birth of my children, or a vent for the inner frustrated event coordinator I always wanted to be, or just a sickness...I'm not sure. There is nothing I enjoy more than putting a kid's birthday party together. Give me a theme and I go nuts! Kolby has had some real doozies! One year a seven foot Elmo greeted our guest at the front door. One year we turned the garage into an Ocean. My Halloween parties have been pretty fun too.
Rhett (the second child) seems to get the short end of the stick in many ways...Birthday parties are no exception. It seems that by the time September rolls around I am running low on energy and $$. But I want his parties to be as fun and special as his sisters. I will most likely spend most of "my spare time" and lots of my " I should be doing other things" time this week getting ready for next Sunday's birthday party. Most of the following week will be cleaning up and recovering. I would be lieing if I said that I don't enjoy every minute of it! Some laugh and say I'm crazy. They are right. I am crazy about my kids and crazy about this short time in their life when I can wow'em with a pull-string pinata, an " I can't believe you made that" cool birthday cake, a bounce house, and little bags of themed party favors. The pictures and memories alone are priceless.
In dark moments, a little voice tells me God wouldn't want me to put so much energy into such things and that I am wrong and frivolous to take on about birthdays the way I do. Rightly or wrongly so, I attribute "that little voice" to part of my OLD church of Christ upbringing that seemed to discourage any type of celebration. I don't think it was meant the way it came across but I remember thinking God was a stick in the mud when I was a small child. Jesus loved me, but he didn't want me to celebrate Christmas, or Easter,(I still don't understand the reasoning for ether of those) or clap my hands in church or even speak. (The way one of my great-Aunts quoted "Children should be seen not heard" I swore it came from the Bible.) I even had a Sunday School teacher in third grade that said laughter would lead us down the "path of destruction" and therefore we should not laugh very often. SHE REALLY SAID THAT! I think she quoted a scripture too, but I have blocked that out.
Of course now my answer to that little voice usually says something like "Really? How do know that God did not create me to plan birthday parties?" I am so glad that my children are growing up knowing a God of love and JOY! Heaven knows we all have much to celebrate. Maybe these parties and my over the top approach to many things in life are a rebellion against that "Joy is bad" type of thinking. Then again... it could just be a sickness! But what ever it is, if you are any where near Waco next Sunday around 3:30pm, come on by! We are having a PARTY!
Friday, September 03, 2004
Last night I blogged about my political preference. Even though I still strongly back Bush, I can't help thinking that the people of Florida have much more on their minds and hearts right now. Politics just seems so irrelevant in the face of such things. I noticed Jeb Bush was absent from the crowd last night, which is as it should be. I am praying for the people of Florida today. I pray this storm dissipates and turns away from heavily populated areas. I am amazed at the size and strength of this storm. Will Frances be one for the record books? I hope not.
My mind seems to be preoccupied with several storms lately...Frances, the stormy atmosphere of this election year, and my own personal storms. Yes, my God is bigger than all these storms. My mind knows this. Still sometimes contemplating all these big storms and an even bigger God leaves me feeling very small. I wonder what my part in all this is?
Does anyone else ever feel that way? Just wondering...
Thursday, September 02, 2004
He is running against Hollywood. He is running against the frustration of democrats who took a close and rightly hard-to-swallow loss four years ago. He is running against a societal longings for easy answers, cheap freedom, and irresponsibility. He is running against the image that he is just the continuation of his father. He is running against a world view that thinks the the US could make it all better if we really wanted to.(..as if!) He is running against the cold, power-hungry roots of some in his own party. I even hear he is running against some guy named Kerry. He is the polarizing target of many. He is hated by ten of thousands. He is our President.
George W Bush has my vote. I have been voting for him for over 10 years now. WHY? Because even when I don't agree with him, I TRUST HIM! AND He gives me HOPE. Tonight as I listened to Bush speak, I felt hopeful. He paints a picture of America that I want to see. He is real and he is soulful. He has never disappointed me. He is not afraid to stand alone for what he believes is right. He does not back down or run away. He is a self proclaimed reformed jerk. He has seen the darker side of life and come away better. He is a Christian who seeks God's will. ( I'm not saying that the other guy doesn't do this or that everyone in Bush's administration seeks God, But HE does.)
President Bush could take world leaders to any fantastic place in the US he wanted and wine and dine them, but he brings them here,to his Texas "Prairie Chapel" ranch and ask them to help him clear brush or tag calves. (It is so wierd to see the world leaders in Crawford,but we have seen our share in the past four years!) Why does he bring Prime Mininsters and Princes home to Crawford? Because President Bush is real. He has seen all that money and power has to offer and in the end he knows there is no place like home. He is grounded. He is not easily bought or buffaloed into to doing something simply because it is popular. I think it irks people that he can not be bullied or bought. I love this President! I pray for him regularly. I hope he is our president for four more years. I shutter to think about the alternative.
Having said that, Presidents and Kings serve at the will of our Father God. Nations rise and fall. Dynasties are built only to crumble. BUT our God is forever!!! God lends the leaders of this world power, and God always knows best, ALWAYS. I hope Bush is President again. If he isn't, I trust God is in control and has other plans that are beyond my scope of understanding. I may never understand why men like Hitler and Osma Bin Laden come to power but, God was,is, and will always be in control. I must trust God above all others!
Still, I strongly urge everyone to vote, regardless of who you vote for. If you don't vote you can't gripe!!! If you believe in the other guy as staunchly as I believe in George W Bush, I would not try to change your mind. I doubt you could change mine.
May we celebrate the fact that we live in a country where we are free to like or dislike our President publicly. May we also remember to those given much, much is expected. A little eternal perspective makes the next four or even forty years seem insignificant. Enjoy this political season, for it is just that, a season!!!
Wednesday, September 01, 2004
OK fellow bloggers, against my better judgment I am going to post this because...well, maybe I'm supposed to.
The last few days/weeks, there have been some very intense but private unbloggable things on my heart. Blogging has become such a "vent" for me that tonight I typed out the following little ditty just trying to get a perspective. . .
My heart is covered by a non-bloggable storm.
Have you ever wished that you could take a vacation from your body or your mind?
Some storms know no borders, and will not stay behind. No place for refuge can I find.
I wrestle it into a box and throw away the key, but the tricky ole storm always works free.
Do I hunker down and stay here, hoping for an end? I am starting to wonder if this is an eternal wind.
A brand new phrase that seems well worn.
(I know, I know! Emily Post is definitely safe!)
In truth I would never have posted these silly words, but it gives you insight into the wrestling match going on in my brain and the name I christened the struggle with ..."Storm".
I then went outside and prayed under the stars. I was brainstorming and ended just begging God to save us from this "storm". I used the word storm specifically several times. BUT for some reason I was drawn back inside to my email box. I read a few, returned a few, then came to a fwd from my Mom. I love my Mom, but some of her fwds are a little too "Pollyanna" for me. I rarely read much (if any) of them. But tonight I did. Here is the last line of her e-mail.....
> "Stop telling God how big your storm is.
> Instead, tell the storm how big your God is!"
I THINK NOT!
Just wanted to share that!
We serve an awesome "BIGGER than the STORM" GOD who reads our posts while they are just drafts. Amazing! You think God will leave comments? :)
Anninversaries are sort of the opposites of birthdays...the more you have the better! Yesterday Kolby and I watched our wedding video. It is something I have done every anniversary and now Kolby loves to watch with me. She made me promise I would wait until she was home from school to start my "Wedding Movie". (Rob watches it with me sometimes, but he has this job thing that he does all day.)
Anyway, I am amazed how every year those people look younger and younger! Sometimes I wish I could go back in time as a guest at our wedding reception and warn that young couple about some of the pitfalls they would encounter. I wish I could warn the groom to stay away from AXA (long story) and that bride to stay away from Blue Bell when she's pregnant! But I know those two pretty well, and I doubt they would have listened. My mother-in -law congratulated us on surviving the 7th year itch....Is that why my skin has been so prickly lately?! :) Glad to know that's over!
I guess I could make a zillion random anniversary observations but this is the one that matters most. I am married to an incredible guy! Really. I don't have words to properly describe my husband. Rob is fun, hard working, sweet natured, compassionate, centered, driven, humble and very, very giving. If I got what I deserved in life, I would have married someone far more self-centered and flawed. I am amazed at the strength of Rob's love for me for I know at times it is completely undeserved. Still his love is steady and constant.
Last Sunday Rob was leading communion thoughts and I found myself thinking "WOW! I am married to him!" Rob inspires me to want to do and be better with his self discipline and dependability. I am the creative type that always has ten irons in the fire, not to mention five projects spread across our bedroom. This should drive Rob's military raised personality nuts, but he rarely says anything. He is very patient, understanding and tolerant. Rob is a great guy in just about every way that comes to mind. In case you are reading this Honey, know that I know how blessed I am to be your wife. I love being Mrs Rob Grosz!!! Hugable Grace, Thank you God!
For all the rest of you who don't know us, I want you to understand that Rob and I are not an "Eddy Bauer" couple...That is our lives don't always look like they belong in a catalogue. I know and love many people who truly are like that, but that is not us. We in no way live in picture perfect circumstances. Our cars are old, our carpet is stained, and our garage is plain scary. Somedays we are lazy. Most days we take on too much and are exhausted. There is always a mile long list of things we need to do around our house. There are dishes in the sink more times than not. The weeds in the flower beds thrive before we get around to plucking them out. Our kids whine, our dog often stinks and we have been known to have some "spirited" discussions at inappropriate times. We do not have it all together. We are the first to admit we have made some bad choices and not always dealt with things the way we should.
Ken and Barbie we are not.(Odvious to all who know us.) BUT we love each other deeply. We want and strive to do and be better and we attempt to become what God our Father wants us to be. There is a room in the Kingdom for Ken and Barbie but there is also a room for Rob and Stephanie... Thank goodness God's grace comes in "one size fits all kinds".
Happy September everyone!