Friday, May 30, 2008

Rod and Chopper were offended

So I needed to post again today. Apparently, they were not amused by my description of Chopper's Olympic gold medalist gymnastics routine yesterday. I am now fondly remembering the days when Rod didn't read my blog. Remember? I do.

When Rod read the post and said, "I really can't believe you wrote about that. In public."

I responded, "I had nothing to write about. Nothing to say. Nothing to share."

At his shaming glare, I thought I should come up with something quick.

What better thing to do than throw the family under the bus. Hypothetically. Of course.

I now present to you, without further blathering, "The Houseboat Weekend. On Memorial Day.With Pictures. Lots of Fun." (Has anyone noticed that I'm not so good with titles?)

This is the houseboat. It partially belongs to Rod's brother, Craig.

This is the hot tub on the upper deck of the houseboat. Yes, I said HOT TUB. Cool, huh? No, that is not my Aussie shampoo. I would not wash my hair in the hot tub. The hot tub is for relaxing in and looking out at all the other docked houseboats. None of us could afford the gas it costs to take the houseboat away from the dock more than a few feet. We voted on it and no one really wanted to get a second mortgage so we could motor across the reservoir.

Rod, Craig and brother Doug returning from a long trip of fruitless Kokanee fishing. (I am the REAL Kokanee killer in the family, and I refuse to share my fishing secrets. Or my lures. Or my leader length. Bah ha ha!!
Sister Tambry Lyn arriving on the houseboat. Good to have her and her hubby Dan aboard. Even if they can't catch Kokanee. We accept and love them anyway.
This is sis-in-law Patricia. In the kitchen. Wishing she could cook up some of the Kokanee her husband Doug caught. Oh, that's right. He didn't. So sad. (And yes, that is a flat screen tv and a fireplace over in the corner. On a boat. And you're right again, those are my Pringles on the table.)

Here is a pot of crawfish we caught right before we left. So we let them go. Besides, we were probably out of butter and lemon. Dang it.

So, even though I take awful vacation pictures, we did have a relaxing and fun time with the fam. We saw a wild herd of horses with two foals trotting nimbly along the canyon walls. We saw a bald eagle catch a fish right near our boat and then fly away with it in his claws. Awesome sight. And we saw the Kokanee Queen back on her throne and catching fish. Good times.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I would have posted but....

a) I've been so down since American Idol ended that I jumped in an old VW van and hit the road so I could follow the Two Davids around for their press junkets, photo ops and mini-concerts. Oh, and I still don't have a laptop so I can't get online.

b) I have a mysterious and communicable disease which confines me to staying under a plastic bubble (a tarp, really) watching my "stories" on the flat screen and eating Jelly-Belly candy like there's no tomorrow. But not the popcorn flavored ones because those are as gross as Peanut-Butter Cap'n Crunch. Sorry, Cap'n.

This disease gives me bad hair days EVERY DAY and adult onset acne which is really something to boast about.

**FYI: It is not my poor food choices that are contributing to my symptoms, so don't even go there. In fact, if you are going to gently suggest that, please leave my blog immediately. Thank you.

c.) Everything is going great and I have nothing to write about. Except that my dogs have worms. And that doesn't seem like polite conversation. Especially the part where Chopper holds himself up solely on his front legs like a canine gymnast and swings his back legs forward so he can scratch the itch on his doggy nether regions. On the new carpet. Which I am dousing with gasoline a cheaper flammable liquid of some sort and flicking a match and just walking away.

Because, ewww, Chopper. Really, just ewww.

A snippet of each of those choices is true. You'll have to decide which snippets.And I'm out of Jelly Bellys. Please send some ASAP.

Appreciate it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

My Mano

Last week's testimonies have stayed with me. Stories of God meeting you, saving you, growing you, forgiving you and loving you have staying power. No doubt we all know and appreciate each other more than we did before, and we also know our God a little better ,too. That was a tremendous thing you did, ladies. Thank you so much for participating.

Today has been a rainy, yucky day that makes you think of those two kids staring sadly out their window in the Dr. Suess book ,"The Cat in the Hat."

But Rod is home from work today, and although he might be bored, or wish he was doing something else, he makes me happy being here.

We just took a walk with the dogs in the drippy rain and Rod sings me songs like my iPod Nano. He is my Mano. Except I can't turn him off or switch the song. I know this because I tried. A few times.

I don't recognize the song half the time because he has the words all wrong. So, in the spirit of the drizzly day, I join in singing with my mano. Except we are not singing the same words. Oh, and neither of us can really sing. I personally believe this is why we don't have a large raccoon population near our house. Our singing.

Sometimes, we'll sing songs but insert our dog's names where we feel they fit. The dogs seem to really enjoy this and I can laugh until I throw up. It's a gift I have. Especially when I start to laugh at something that Rod sang, and then he starts to mock my laughing and soon I am falling down, throwing up, tears streaming, no sound at all, in fact barely breathing laughing.

So, just wanted to say, I love my mano. He walks around the loop on a rainy yucky day, sings silly songs and makes me laugh until I hurt.

Glad you're mine.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"Tell Me Your Story" Testimony Bloggy Carnival!

Okay. Maybe you're not as excited as I seem to be, with my unending lifetime supply of exclamation points.

But I am very much anticipating visiting your blog, reading the story of how you met God and being encouraged.

All three of you.

Please click here if you'd like to read what "Tell Me Your Story" is all about. I'd love for you to join in by linking your blog to this one and posting your own story. (Mr Linky widget follows. KC of Mindless Chatter of a Busy Mom gets all the props for fitting me onto her white board calendar and sending me understandable instructions for Mr Linky. You ROCK!)

***Be sure to leave a comment for the bloggers you visit. They'd love to hear from you.***

Following is my "God story."(originally written 1/08):
"What's the best present you ever received?"

This common, ice-breaker question was asked of me recently and I knew immediately what I wanted to say, but I didn't say it. The setting was a light-hearted gathering and everything was , well, light-hearted. And I wanted to keep it like that. Because if I answered honestly what the best gift I ever received was, I would be weeping before a word got out of my mouth.

And I, my friends, am an ugly crier.

The best gift I ever received was the forgiveness of my sins and the promise of eternal life with the Father who loves me beyond reason.

I know. Just about everyone we know can say that, and it's the truth.

But the thing is, I don't deserve it. I really don't deserve it, and the fact that innocent, omnipotent, precious Jesus suffered and died for me, is absolutely ludicrous.

Because I murdered two of my own children.
(Don't think I'm being dramatic or over-the-top when I use the word "murder." I think not using it is what has helped get our society into this mess) I deserve to suffer and die. I deserve eternal hell apart from everything that is lovely, beautiful and good. The least I deserve is prison time in a small cell somewhere.

Oh, I repented.Repented is hardly a big enough word, but I don't know a better one. I regretted. I would eagerly give my life to change places with those children. I have been literally wracked by guilt and grief because of my selfish, cruel, thoughtless horrible decision to end the lives of my two babies by abortion. Nothing I can do will ever take away the grief of not knowing these children during my lifetime. Sometimes I look at Josiah or Amy and my heart just breaks into quarters. There was no where I could turn that would relieve me of the massive pain and life-swallowing shame.

But do you know what God did? He counted my tears and saved them in a bottle. He comforted me. He rejoiced over me with singing.He lifted my head. He welcomed me when I came to him.

It makes me shake my head in utter disbelief. Here I was, the most undeserving person on the planet, not worthy to raise my head in praise of him, uncomfortable in my own sick, sinful skin.

But he never left me. He sent his only son to suffer and die in my place so I could spend eternity with him, the Father who adopted me into his family. As one of his beloved children. He forgave me.
He loved me.

Unbelievable grace.

Scandalous, undeserved mercy.
It gives me goosebumps to think about it.

Today is the anniversary of Roe vs Wade, the decision that made my horrible decision easier for me and thousands like me.

Women are continuing to kill their own children everyday (45 million since 1973) and ruining their own lives in the process.

I volunteer in a women's prison and sometimes help lead a HEART (Healing and Encouragement for Abortion Related Trauma) bible study there. This article was sent to me by our local HEART leaders today and it shows very clearly how guilt-ridden women who have had abortion are, even decades afterwards.

If you want to read more about my testimony you can go here, to the Eternal Perspectives Ministries website. This is Randy Alcorn's ministry and you can find answers to so many questions you may have about a variety of subjects pertaining to abortion as well as Heaven, the persecuted church, money issues, grace and truth etc. Truly an excellent site. You can also find out more about his books such as Heaven or Safely Home to name just a couple.

On a personal note, Randy and Nanci are very good friends of mine, as it was through them that God rescued me. Not many people invite a complete stranger into their house to live, and then find out she is not only homeless, but pregnant. I cannot say enough about their love and graciousness.

I have found Jesus to be the only forgiver of sins, the only way to eternal life and honestly, the best present I ever received.

Next time, I'll post a blog about something frivolous again, like my hair troubles (and believe me, they are many) or a recipe for chicken and dumplings or pot roast. But today this needed to be said and my children needed to be remembered, as do all of them. Not as faceless potential people, but as dearly loved, missing sons and daughters.

This is what the LORD says: "A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more." Jer 31:15

The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." Zeph. 3:17

Monday, May 12, 2008

Don't forget.....

Tomorrow is the Bloggy testimony carnival called "Tell Me Your Story."
Please do consider joining in and linking your post up here using the fabulous Mr. Linky.

I'll leave it up all week.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Ba-ba-Bad to the Bone

No, it's not another post about the dogs.

You probably wish it was.

Last week, God began working on my heart. My coal dark, small as a black button, hard as obsidian heart.

He started out showing me where I had some, shall we say, "issues."

I looked, then turned away, shrugging dismissively.

"No, that's not really me. In fact, that's what I despise in other people the most."

Going on with my day, God gently but firmly turned me back to my issue again, using another situation to open my eyes.

I was a little uncomfortable this time. But still unwilling to really stop and look.

"No, really. I promise that is not how I am most of the time. This is just a circumstance that is out of the ordinary.
Anybody would respond like that. Don't look at that. Look at me! I'm good. I do good stuff."

And I walked quickly away.

The third time that day, God, being as faithful and loving as He is, steered me back to my issue.
I looked this time, but I didn't want to see. I wanted to run away. I was heart broken.

It hurts to look at how I have failed. All my good works are as filthy rags.

I still have a sinful heart. I still fail. I am bad to the bone, as my pastor Stu Weber told us this weekend at church.

It's like I dress up and try to believe I'm looking as good on the outside as I am on the inside. I want to fit in with everyone else I see at church.

Hair, (just trimmed and a nice weave) lip gloss, new clothes, the all-important strappy shoes. Ready to go worship the Lord and looking fine.

I'm not that bad, I try to tell myself.

On the outside.

But the Lord sees me where I live. My tiny black heart with all my issues that I try pretend I don't have. I'm just a few decisions away from spending time in prison. And I don't mean as a volunteer.

Jesus only lets me pretend for so long before He teaches me. I'm not all that and a bag of chips. (I know, very 2007)

I'm a broken, bad to the bone sinner deserving of hell but heading to heaven, daughter of the King and sister to her Savior.

I'm no good.

But He is.

Take the focus off me.
As Stu put it this weekend, there are only two grades availableon this grading curve of life : A+ and F-. There was only one A+ in history and that was Jesus.
I (and you) get the F. We can never live up.
The good news is we don't have to.
"What a wretched man I am! But who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ our Lord!" Romans 7:24-25
"Tell me Your Story" testimony carnival is next Tuesday, so I hope that a few of you are preparing your posts and linking up! Click on the link for more info!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

When I open my eyes it will be Spring

This is Dresden, who is one of Lila and Chopper's puppies.

I saw this on his blog yesterday (Yes, I know! A puppy with his own blog!) and it summed up precisely how I feel.

I'm with you, Dresden. I'm with you.
(Hope you don't get upset I "borrowed" your picture!)

***For information on "Tell me your Story", click here.***

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Trouble in the Wilderness

*** Cick here for info on "Tell me your Story"***
It's actually my backyard, but to alot of people, it is the wilderness. I will show you pictures of what me and the dogs saw on our trip into the wild.
You will be awed and amazed. If you stay awake.
These are the deer that come and look into our back windows at night,peering in at the t.v. screen. I am convinced they will stop doing that when the American Idol season is over.

Chopper and Lila love to walk around our loop with me even if it is muddy. Who am I kidding? Especially if it is muddy.

The next part of the trail is actually covered with water which makes muddy shoes for me, and muddy everything for the dogs.

I have been walking fairly consistently so I felt pretty good as I was cruising around my loop. I was walking quickly, arms pumping, singing Pink's "Trouble" with my ipod.
"And my fingers are bejeweled
With diamonds and gold
but that ain't gonna help me now
(chorus - sing it with me...)
I'm trouble-yeah
trouble now
I'm trouble y'all,
I disturb my own town
I'm trouble y'all,
I got trouble in my town"

I was feeling remarkably spunky.

I can't imagine what I sounded like, as I honestly can't carry a tune.
In fact, if hunters such as Rod had been with me, they would have been very thankful. I have no doubt that the sound of me warbling out those lyrics in my flat monotone would have stunned any forest creatures into immobility.
A priceless gift is what I have.

I was feeling so frisky, that I thought to myself, " I think maybe I could even run."
And by run, I actually mean a slow jog that no human being under the age of 87 would ever mistake for a run.
So, in a burst of enthusiasm, I began running.( Again, I use the term "running" loosely)

My dog Lila, rushed up to me and began leaping and barking and knocking into me. She had never seen me run before(come to think of it, no one has) and obviously thought this was great fun!

It was, until she began trying to body slam me with a joyful grin on her doggy face.


I looked around for Chopper and finally located him peering fearfully from around a fir tree. He was terrified. "Why is she running? Is there a fire? Is the sky falling?"

Poor Chopper! But, I was able to call him out of the forest and back onto the trail using only my superior leadership skillz. He responded immediately to the calm focus of my voice, forgetting his overwhelming fears. (see picture below)

It is like I am the bullmastiff whisperer. I should write a book....

when I'm done walking. Maybe someday I'll be able to run with abandon and joy like Chopper here. Hopefully that mud puddle will dry up, too. :-)

Enjoy your day! And keep in mind the "Tell Me Your Story" Testimony Bloggy Carnival. Click the link to read more about it and join in. Thanks!