Wednesday, April 22, 2009

We laugh. We cry. And there's a Give-Away!

This is my second attempt at writing this post. The first one began innocuously enough giving you information about an upcoming cover story in the May/June issue of Bible Study Magazine about one of my favorite people, Randy Alcorn.

The article focuses on Randy's approach to bible study as well as writing, so naturally,I was very interested to see what they wrote.
I also visited Bible Study Magazine website and found out a little bit about their magazine. It honestly sounds phenomenal and something I am thinking of subscribing to.
The story on Randy is great and he opens up about his thoughts on writing fiction.
“One of the reasons I love writing fiction is that
it can help readers open up the gates of their
minds. Through good fiction that contains
biblical truth, both non-Christian and Christian
readers, who may not believe in certain things
the Bible teaches, can discover truth.” Randy says in the article.
He goes on the explore what his bible study habits are.

See? All this is good and interesting stuff. I know I'd like to read more of that article.

But as I'm writing my blog about Randy and this story, slowly I'm sliding from nicely informational post to scary,emotional post and I'm becoming a bloggy pool of sentimentality, weeping as I type.
Maybe I don't carry it quite that far, but you get the picture. And it isn't pretty.

Because when I think of Randy and his wife Nanci I cannot help but gratefully think of who they have been to me. I am pausing here to think best how to put this so I don't overstate it...

They pretty much rescued me the same as you would rescue someone from, you know, a BURNING BUILDING or a RAGING FLOOD.

They were were JESUS WITH SKIN ON. Oh, yes they were.

They housed me, clothed me, fed me, attempted to discipline me, loved me anyway, were SO THERE for me in every way a person can be there for another person.You seriously have NO idea. They introduced me to their church family where I have been ever since.

They introduced me to JESUS and HOPE and ETERNAL LIFE....and my HUSBAND.

No, I was not a part of Randy's and Nanci's family. They were not obligated to help me, to rescue me. No one paid them to take care of me.

Who does that?

They did.


Can you say GRATEFUL?

I can.

But not without choking up.

So, all that heartfelt, but mindless gushing to say that you should all go get the May/June issue of Bible Study Magazine, (doesn't the name of the magazine just make you want to subscribe? Me,too!) and enjoy the cover story about my friend, Randy. (Yes, he talks about Nanci in the article, too!)

Also, Bible Study Magazine is teaming up with Randy's Eternal Perspectives Ministries to give away 40 copies of "Heaven." Click here to enter the drawing.

Here is a brief blurb about this oh-so excellent book:

"In the most comprehensive and definitive book on Heaven to date, Randy invites you to picture Heaven the way Scripture describes it¿a bright, vibrant, and physical New Earth, free from sin, suffering, and death, and brimming with Christ's presence, wondrous natural beauty, and the richness of human culture as God intended it.

God has put eternity in our hearts.

Now, Randy Alcorn brings eternity to light in a way that will surprise you, spark your imagination, and change how you live today. If you've always thought of Heaven as a realm of disembodied spirits, clouds, and eternal harp strumming, you're in for a wonderful surprise.

This is a book about real people with real bodies enjoying close relationships with God and each other, eating, drinking, working, playing, traveling, worshiping, and discovering on a New Earth. Earth as God created it. Earth as he intended it to be. "

Don't ya want to read more? Me, too! (We are so much alike!) So go enter the drawing to win it.
Randy has done all the studying and reading and research and praying so we can benefit from his knowledge on this subject. You will come away changed.

Randy and Nanci helped change the course of my life. I will always be grateful and always love them both.

I think of how, when I had no family God provided them for me. I will always be just wreaked and broken by the love God showered on me when I so completely deserved the opposite and by the Alcorn's extraordinary example of commitment and grace.

In the years since I lived there, we've shared alot of life's "stuff" from weddings, work, potlucks, church stuff, speaking thingys (engagements sounds too serious and professional), mole-throwing, all things doggy, family stuff and on and on.

There have been more crying times than we wanted. Lots of praying times.

But mostly, when I think of my friends Randy and Nanci, I remember laughing.

Usually at them.

But lots of times with them, too. :-)
***Congratulations to Randy for getting the last of his revisions for his latest book into his editor today!! Yay, you're done!!! Woo hoo!!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Birthday Wrap-Up

Yeah. I know. My birthday seems to have stretched on for an eternity this year. I am even tired of all the hoopla.
But, I promise. This is it. The end of the celebrations.
The crew and I went to a weekend of Beth Moore wonderfulness.
I am feeling a bit under the weather so I will not be blogging about the conference today. You may be thankful for this, I don't know. But I did take these pictures. And I tried to keep the text to six words as that was my assignment, both at the conference and when I was putting the pictures together. (Thanks,Jen.)
Enjoy with my blessings.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

B-Day Extravaganza!!

I am not usually one to toot my own horn.

One, because I am not musical. At all. It would not be a joyful noise unto the Lord.

Two, because I like to be all subtle when bragging on myself, so you're not quite sure that is what I am doing. Then you start to question yourself and your motives rather than me and my bragasaurous ways. That's the way I like it. Uh-huh.

But I just have to boast to you about my fabulous birthday week.

It all began with going over to Ashley's apartment. (Ashley being Josiah's girlfriend. Please try to keep up.) She wanted to make a birthday dinner for me. During the week, she sent me this email:

"Hey Diane I was just wondering what thought you might like for dinner on Wednesday and what your favorite kind of cake was?"

FYI: we are keeping Ashley, so please stop sending pictures and vital statistics of your sons, nephews and brothers.

We had a fantastic dinner of chicken enchiladas, corn and chocolate birthday cake. This was topped off with taste testing jelly-bellys with flavors like pencil shavings, earwax or vomit.

Seriously. Oh my goodness. The laughing interspersed with the gagging. It was priceless. The truly hysterical part was when you didn't know if your white jelly belly was coconut wipe. Or if the light brown candy was coffee flavored or....wait for it....ear wax.

Oh the joy of seeing Rod tasting baby wipes. It brings tears to the eyes, I tell you.
(Ashley, Amy and Josiah watch Rod as he spits out the really disgusting jelly bellys, which he insisted was dog poo. It wasn't. But it might as well have been.)

We ended the evening watching American Idol together singing and dancing along. And mocking Paula's bent-back fingers hand clapping. Fun was had by all.

Then, last night, Rod took me out for a birthday dinner-and-a-movie date. Although someone did ask to come with us (I won't mention his name but his initials are Josiah) we decided some quiet time would be nice. And it was. Not a jelly belly in sight.

So now we come to the Birthday Extravaganza Weekend!!! Guess who is coming to help celebrate ? I'll give you a hint....she has exquisite hair....she is the Mama Siesta....

Can someone say "birthday exuberance?"
I KNOW!!! I am very excited to say the least. To be completely honest, Beth Moore is not actually aware that it is my birthday we are celebrating this weekend in Portland. She probably pretty much for sure does not know I exist. But I am so much looking forward to spending the weekend at the LPM conference in Portland with my crew.

To wrap it all up in a ginormous bow, Brenda, Jen and I are going to eat at the Melting Pot on Saturday where we will dip all manner of food into a fondue pot and eat ourselves into sweet oblivion.

There you have it. Pretty much the best birthday week. Ever.
PS. Thank you to my Facebook and Bloggy friends who have stopped by to say Happy Birthday to me. You are all more than I deserve. Love you!
Next week: Back to reality. I'm ready.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My running partner

I was tense with pent up anger today when I headed out back to begin my run. I was also about an hour early because I just couldn't wait any longer to start, even though it was still pretty dark and more misty than dry outside. Not like the last two brilliant days.

But my running partner was there ready to go, as always.

I popped my ear buds in and turned on my ipod and called the dogs to start the loop, ignoring my partner. Like I said, I was mad.

And when it comes down to it, I blame him.

It has been one unbloggable, undealable, unhandable problem after another this week. Not one. Not two. Not even three. To make matters worse, now Rod and I are even fighting about it. In fact, I went to bed last night angry and watched American Idol by myself.(Now you KNOW it's bad.)

What am I supposed to do now?

Matt Redman is singing "oh no you never let go, through the calm through the calm and through the storm, Lord you never let go of me..." My running partner moves silently alongside me as the tears finally find their way out of my heart and I begin asking why.

My feet are pounding the trail and my ipod is drowning out the sound of my crying.

My running partner matched me step for step as I pounded angrily down the trail.

I shouted as I cried. Why would you let all this happen?

What am I going to do? I don't even know what to do. I don't know how to be. Why aren't you helping me?

And then, broken.

Don't you love me any more?

So much of it comes down to that for me. Still a little girl with big old abandonment issues.

My running partner has big shoulders and knows me inside and out. Sometimes I shout at him and cry. He knows that and loves me anyway. We have that kind of relationship. It's a give take and take kind of thing we have going on. It works for us.

As we run, jumping over muddy puddles, my mind and heart begin to quiet and I am able to sing along with Nicole Nordeman "When the sun starts to rise and I open my eyes You are good, so good. With every breath I take in,I'll tell you I'm grateful again... You are good."

Before I know it, it is time to head for home. I have wrestled through my problems with my patient running partner and I am quietly ready to begin sorting out my stuff. I know I'll begin by reading some letters he wrote a while back encouraging me and others about just the kind of circumstances I'm in right now. He's a great guy. Seriously.

My running partner and I call the dogs before turning the last bend on the loop and heading home on the trail through the woods He made.

Hear me as I pray, O Lord. Be merciful and answer me! My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” Do not turn your back on me. Do not reject your servant in anger. You have always been my helper. Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me, O God of my salvation! Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close. Psalm 27:7-10

Thanks to Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee for getting me going with running (and wogging) again for the last two weeks. I really needed the encouragement. Head over to her blog to read all the other 30x5 bloggers that have gotten a much needed boost from her!

Monday, April 6, 2009


My son, having heard all about the wonderfulness that emerges from my bread machine on a weekly daily hourly basis put in a request for a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread.

Sure, I was quick to reply. Because what mom doesn't love to give gifts of food to their children, especially once that are warm and fragrant and speckled with plump raisins and spiced with cinnamon?

The yeast didn't work. I made a rock for Josiah.

"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?" Matt.7:9

Clearly, I will.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I'm going to be losing readers today. I apologize for the following post. After this I should have .5 reader. That should be interesting.

Some things are blog worthy. Like Cap'n Crunch. American Idol. My new bff the Panosonic SD-YD250 Bread Machine. On a scale of 1- thrilled, it makes me sing happy songs of joy. It produces carbs of deliciousness which I slather in butter.

Because butter is still my hobby.

Some things happen which do not make me sing for joy and just are not blog worthy.

Like, say January-February 2009.

I blogged once in a while but not much and my heart wasn't in it. There have been some things weighing on me and it wasn't appropriate to share here (gasp!)

(But thank you Cindy for listening to me blather all the way from Indiana. I owe you a casserole. Or something chocolate. Maybe I'll just be nice to you for a while. We'll see how it plays out.)

But God is working all things out according to His good purpose and that leaves me free to blog about the dogs, ice cream, weight loss(or gain. Don't be a hater.) and little maggotty things.

That's right. Little . Maggotty. Things.

See how I love you and have given you every opportunity to flee or at least put down your pizza?

I am a giver.

So, our story begins a couple months ago. The time line is blurry because, frankly I think I'm suffering from PTSD associated with said bugs.

I had noticed a few tiny little moths fluttering around the kitchen when I would open the cereal cupboard, but I paid them no mind. (THAT,right there, could be my main problem.)

A couple days later there were a few more, and though they were tiny little things, they were not cute and they were becoming annoying.

(Right now you could leave. You could click here and go read how BigMama got to have dinner with Beth Moore! Yes , I'm serious!)

So I began bringing things out of the cupboard and setting them on the island. Because although it sounds like I must live in a barn or a pigpen somewhere, I do have an island in my kitchen. I figured the moths were a good indication that I should probably do some kitchen cupboard cleaning with the Lysol and some hot water.

Well, this next part gets a little hairy. I reached all the way in the back of the cupboard, where I never reach, where things that we don't eat just get shoved carefully stored, and I found this giant container of peanuts from Costco. Well, they used to be peanuts.
Innocent, innocent peanuts.

(CLICK HERE and go read about Linda's 5x30 movement! Seriously, she is always entertaining and witty and charming and hardly ever gross.

Please, save yourselves. I'll be fine. I've learned to deal. But you've still got a life to live.)

If you are still here, make an appointment to see your psychotherapist in the morning.

Or your exterminator.

Or just pick up your monitor and throw it on the floor. All the bad pictures will go away. Except for these next close up ones. They will be burned onto your retinas so that you will see them every time you close your eyes.

Welcome to my world:

See the little moths up near the top? So that is where they were coming from. NOW I feel better. I just want to pull my eyeballs out and kill myself. And now that I've shared all this nobody is ever going to come over again unless they are wearing a moth-proof HAZMAT suit.

Never mind. Nobody is going to come over. I wouldn't come over if I didn't live here. I'll understand when you studiously avoid my eyes at church or the store and hurry on by. Pretty soon, as people are driving by our house, they'll say, "Oh, that's where Maggot Girl lives, isn't it?" Poor, lonely Maggot Girl.

Anyway, I'm sure I don't need to tell you but, every item, food related or not was disposed of immediately and I torched the entire house bleached down everything.

Honestly, the whole thought to this leaves me feeling really itchy and twitchy like I want to tear off all my clothes and keep scrubbing at myself so the maggots will just go away. But the nekked look has not been a good one for me since July 1964.

I'm not even sure what brought all this to mind today. Maybe it was the threat of the Scary Internet Worm on the news.

Or that I saw a couple moths flitting about the kitchen this morning.

Oh, Cindy...let me know where to send your casserole. :-)