Thursday, December 2, 2010

"I don't know what I'm gonna wear"


This little girl (click on the link) is too cute and too courageous for words.
She takes over the 911 call that her Daddy made when he suddenly had chest pain and breathing difficulties.
I would want her there for me if I trip on the ice or the dogs knock me over.(again.) Or if I need to go shopping.
Oh yes, she has her priorities straight.
What do you think of her?

This was too cute not to pass on. Thanks, Linda Hill for posting it on FaceBook last night.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I'm a fraud


Pretty much that's what I want to say. After a while I get burdened with pretending to be someone I'm not and I have an overwhelming need to come clean and say I'm not who I seem to be.

I think because I lived as I fraud for so many years that I still struggle.

I'm not comfortable hiding. I need to be free and sometimes the details of everyday life bind me.

I eat Cheetos. Sometimes for breakfast. I isolate myself for days on end because I'm comfortable doing that.

I have a short temper with those I love the most. (Rod)

Sometimes I think that a delegation from church is going to drive up my driveway, knock on my door and come in and see the dishes in the sink and the dog hair on the floor. (who am I kidding? It's on every available surface.) They'll see piles of books everywhere. Some are great. Some? Not so good. They'll politely inform me that I can no longer attend my church because I am not who I've seemed to be.

Never mind the church delegation. How about Jesus shows up?

I need to be saved. Again. Today.

Create in me a clean heart, Oh God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.

(The above part of the post was written Friday of Saturday this week.The following was written today.)

This past weekend at church, God showed up and spoke to me. He spoke through Pastor Alan who gave the message and Pastor Jonathan who taught the theology class I went to.
Alan said,
"Would you be willing to let the Lord be your source of joy, rather than medicating yourself with Cheetos and isolation?"

If you go listen to the sermon you will be able to pick out my paraphrase. But I got the gist of it. Oh yes I did.

Then later on, Jonathan spoke about the fruits of the spirit in Galatians. He was talking about how he would try to project a patient image, rather than actually being patient. Until his Dad kindly pointed it out to him by saying "so you don't really have to be patient, just act like you are?"

Ouch. Good ouch.

That is the crux of my problem, I think. I don't need to act like I love someone, or act like I'm patient, or try to act kind.

Let God be those things through me.

It is not my job to be those things, to strive to achieve the fruits of the spirit.

I need to abide in Him.

The fruits of the Spirit will be the result of my abiding...resting in Him.

Big sigh of relief.

Yes, these are things I know, but they are truths that I need to be reminded of so I don't stay in the dumps, focusing on myself with in-grown eyeballs.
So, with a resounding "YES!" I say I am more than willing to let the Lord be my source of joy again.
(originally posted in June 08....But wanting Jesus to be my source of joy again this morning. His love, his grace, his sacrifice. His mercies are new every morning. Thank you Jesus.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Forgetting I'm in the race


I'm trying to lose some weight.

My goal is to lose 20 lbs by Christmas. I am halfway there, but I've stalled out.
Partly because I haven't been able to run the loop because of all the snow and ice. Partly because of my lightning quick moves of popping anything with butter and/or sugar into my mouth without conscience thought.

I am a Butter Ninja.

I am not in a race with anyone else, just trying to set a goal, get healthy and be able to squeeze myself into a pair of jeans without looking like I squeezed myself into a pair of jeans.


This morning I weighed myself and was spitting angry and ready to kill the next person I saw slightly concerned to see I've gained a pound.


Sure, it might be the rich, buttery hollandaise sauce I spooned onto my chicken cordon bleu and broccoli.


Or the piece of pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting that I accidentally ate after dinner.


Whatever.

It might be because I now have to exercise on the elliptical machine (read: hated device of torture) where I drape myself over the handle bars and basically hold my weight up with my arms while chugging half-heartedly along.


Yeah, picture that, why don'tcha.


I need to recognize that I am in a race, even if it is only with myself.


If I continue to thoughtlessly eat whatever deep-fried, ranch dipped morsel I see, and only exercise as if I'm a tired mama bear entering her hibernation, I will not reach my goal.


This made me think of the other race I'm in. The other race I always I forget I'm in.


The one that matters more than my battle of the bulge.


1 Corinthians 9:24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!


Galatians 5:7 You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth?


Philippians 2:16 Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.


Philippians 3:14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.


Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.


I forget I'm in this race sometimes.

I get a grouchy, tired attitude.

I "feed" myself with things that aren't necessarily good for me, and certainly won't help me run a race.

I don't live as if I'm in training,but as if I'm on vacation and it's all about ME.

I get lackadaisical and half-hearted and don't run with endurance.

Ouch.

My goal for this race is simple:

2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.

This would be my prize:
Hearing the Lord say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

Take a minute and just imagine that moment.
Really, think about Jesus saying those words to you when you have finished your race.

This prize pretty much makes my other prize of fitting into a pair of jeans look kind of silly and just about meaningless.

Do you ever forget you are running a race?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dashing Through the Snow

So we got our first blanket of snow.
I love snow.
It covers up all the problem areas in our yard and makes it look like Narnia.
It is quiet and peaceful and beautiful.(please remind me of this when I am hating all the snow in February.Thank you.)

It doesn't quite cover all our mistakes. The cover for the grill,however, is buried in the snow next to the grill. We will find it in May, 2011.

Regardless of all the snowishness. I still need to hurry into town, go to Costco and then get my hair did.

According to the news, I need to do this NOW, this MORNING, before the icy claws of old Man Winter grip the entire area and all manner of havoc is wreaked.

The dogs are out of biscuits, and this is BIG.
They come inside after their morning romp in the snow and trot quickly over to the biscuit drawer and wait happily for it to be opened and them to get their snack. It is like Christmas every day.
This is what happened this morning, when they showed up at the empty biscuit drawer:
Sadness ensued. You could see their disbelief and watch as the hope died.
The disappointment was palpable.

So I must go over the river(s) and through the woods and snow to Costco. I will bring the dogs their biscuits so I don't have to experience their accusing eyes again.
So, which boots do I wear out into this Monday weather?The utilitarian Colombian snow boots with world class traction? Or the London Fog furry snow boots that look super cute?
Would it help to know that a mouse died in one of the furry boots a few weeks ago, and there is a possibility that one might be able to detect an unpleasant odor when I walk by?
Guess which boots I'm wearing?
(I am more shallow than you might think.)
(I'll use an extra spray of "Happy" this morning. Just in case.)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Random stuff and also some things

Erin, my blogging friend did a post a couple days ago on random things that are going on in their lives.
In honor of Erin, and the fact that I have absolutely nothing to say and yet still find myself typing , I too, will do a random post, complete with bullets.
In no particular order.




  • Thanksgiving is next week. I am bringing pumpkin pie. I am buying it at Costco. Riveting, yes?







  • We have snow. I prefer it to the rain. The dogs, goats and horses prefer it to the rain. Rod prefers the rain.(worried about getting to work blah blah blah) He will be voted off the island mountain at the next tribal council. The tribe has spoken.







  • I am staring out the window wondering what the next random, bulleted point will be and how lame I can actually become.

  • There is snow and ice on the steps that I am staring at, and I should really go scrape that off before someone falls and hurts themselves and can't cook me dinner. Naw.

  • My friend, Jen and I have been listening faithfully to all both podcasts of "Groupthink Rescue" a weekly production headed up by a teaching pastor at our church. Starts good, biblical discussions and has the potential to shift some long standing paradigms. I highly recommend it. Here is your shout out, Dan Franklin. :-)
  • I am almost done with Christmas shopping which means I will have plenty 'o' time to work on the organizing of gifts and help for families in need at church this year. So much fun, to work on this! (call/email if you or your group want to help a family in our area this year)


  • Just got a phone call and the families I have been concerned about this Thanksgiving are now having turkey dinners provided. So thankful for the family that is putting up all the turkeys! Looks like we'll be turkey wrangling tomorrow.
I really do love Thanksgiving. I guess I was just feeling blah. Which makes for a super fun-filled and exciting post, don't ya think?
Me, too.

And turkey is the best. I love it with stuffing and cranberries and gravy. I love it by itself.

Here is the turkey I made in 2007. Yes, of course I took a picture. I cherish the memory of this bacon wrapped, maple glazed, oven roasted beauty.

But, I'll be honest. It made terrible soup. Tasted like turkey pancake soup. Not my best idea.

All this talk of Thanksgiving has cheered me up, and I seriously can't tell you how happy I am that lots of people will get blessed with a delivered Thanksgiving dinner basket next week.
What are you especially thankful for this year?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I thank God for the iPod


Seriously, don't you?

Also I am super happy this week about the CD by Third Day, Move.

I just thought how appropriate that is, as we have been going through a move this week with the kids moving in with us. (You might be hearing about that a time or 87. It is only fair. They get a roof over their heads. I get blog fodder.)

Back to Third Day and their great, great CD. I just have no words. But you should at least go take a listen.

This CD kept me running an extra .5 mile this morning with me imploding like a an old casino in LasVegas not noticing. (well, almost not noticing.)

I was running the loop while playing air guitar during "Everywhere You Go." Sweet!

The wild air drumming began on "Follow Me There."

And if you are not waving your arms like crazy while singing along with Mac and the guys on "Lift Up Your Face", well then...Go take a listen and then tell me you are not at least tapping your foot a few times or maybe warming up your favorite air instrument.
Honestly, this super sweet, Southern rock-gospel-hillbilly-pop-whatever just makes my heart sing loud and I worship from the inside out.
Kinda like how a microwave works.
Hmmmm.
I really wish I could go all Oprah on you and say "

And you EACH GET A FREE COPY!!! AND YOU!! AND YOU!!! AND YOU!!
But, I am not Oprah, and no one is paying me to say these words, or giving me free CD's to give away so you will have to go get your own. But I would love to hear if you like it as much as I do. Let me know!!
Have a good day, friends!

The "honeymoon" phase with new roomies.

You may have heard we have some new roomies.


Or cellies, as we sometimes call them.



Our son Josiah, his wife, Ashley, and their son, Max, AKA, Mister, Monkey, THE JOY OF OUR EXISTENCE AND OUR REASON FOR LIVING or Baby.



Anyway, here are a few random things that have been heard around here during the two weeks since they have moved in.



"We get to make dinner tomorrow night, okay?" (this is good for two reasons: Siah likes to cook and we like to eat. Classic win-win.)




"Please don't mop before I have a chance to do it when I am off of work. We live here now, too, you know." (Okay, Ashley. I'll try to hold off.)





"Aaaauuuuuugggghhhhh!!!" This was so high pitched and piercing that I think paint may have peeled off the neighbor's house and was emitted by Rod this morning in bed when Max placed his chubby fingers on Rod's bare nipple, dug in with his abnormally strong fingers, pinched and then pulled straight back. I think Rod may have lost conscienceness before Max lost his grip.


"Why does this room smell so magically delicious and not like wet dirty dog like the rest of the house?" (Ashley sells, and thus owns an outlandish product which simultaneously looks beautiful, heats up some yummy smelling wax and has a sparkly little night light effect going on. I don't even need to buy any and I reap the benefits from my roomie.






"Why are there TWO computers on the desk in the office?" That is so I can change my FB status and watch last night's episode of "The Office", Duh!) work twice as efficiently a before. Duh!

"Wait a second. You just made a call and doubled our Internet speed and it didn't cost us a dime? Are you the man of steel?



"Wow. I had totally forgotten how much fun it is to fall asleep to movies in my room at night. Thanks for the extra T.V., best roomies ever."




Me, grumbling, "Where are all my potholders? Did I leave them out in the camper?" Ashley: "Oh, I'll crochet you one! Look, I'll start now!"

And she did.






"What the heck? Did you clean out the dishwasher? And then you LOADED IT,TOO? But, you're a dude....and I raised you...and...and...oh...(sound of muffled crying as I hugged and kissed my boy.) Sure, all he did was cleaned out the dishwasher and loaded it, and I should probably expect that from roommates.

But I hadn't prepared myself for ADULT Josiah moving in, you see. Being all responsible and stuff. Being a firefighter in a war zone, getting married, having a baby son, sure, I can deal.

But cleaning out the dishwasher and loading it back up with the dishes from the sink. I simply was not prepared.

You want to sweep a woman clean off her feet? Unload her dishwasher and load it back up.


Am I right, or am I right, ladies?





I'm sure I'll have a different list when they have over stayed their welcome. I can't even imagine that now, especially with all the benefits they bring.



Hello, Max! Hi there, faster Internet!



Perhaps in in late September 2012 or next Saturday at 8:11 PM.




I know, I know.


It's all fun and games for now, until someone doesn't want to clean their bathroom, or put away the milk carton that they just swigged from or rub Mama's feet with warm lotion for an hour or two.




But all is not lost.


I figure if the right person reads this, I'll still be able to rent them out for a pretty penny.






Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My besties

In honor of the fact that Oprah is having a reunion of the original cast members from the movie "The Sound of Music", and I grew up singing those songs and can still belt them out in the most off-key voice you can imagine, which I do with gusto, I thought I'd make a list of my favorite things this week.

Plus, I was running this morning and IT WAS NOT RAINING, although my lungs did get an ice-cream head-ache. But the dogs and I did not give a fig. (what does that even mean??) We were thrilled to be out on the trail after a dismal couple days trapped by the flood waters and "exercising" on the elliptical.
And I really think Chopper and Lucy suffer from SADD. Sun-All-Dark..Depressed. Lucy slept for 23.5 hours yesterday. Then when she woke up, she was all tired and SADD looking.



But on to today and the LIST OF BESTIES!!



My first new thing this week, my Asics that I scored a great deal on. Yes, I know I already bragged on them. But two things:
1) I hadn't actually worn them out for a run. Now I did. They held up well on the trail. Yay!
2)I forgot that I already mentioned them yesterday and had to go back and look. Yep, I have a BIG life full of important facts and figures that need remembering.








The next thing would on the list would

have to be TEAVANA. My first taste of their White Ayurvedic Chai &Samurai Chai Mate began a troubling, but somehow liberating, conversation in my mind.
Could I cheat on my coffee? Could these warm, earthy and delightful teas take the place of my morning, noon,afternoon,evening joe? Maybe so, maybe so.






While at Costco this week I came across something that I might be willing to do a little prison ministry in order to get. From the inside. From the Hole, if need be. Just a little B & E.
They are sheets.
Supposedly.
I don't believe they have a thread count as they are woven by angels using gossamer butterfly wings as fabric. They are Spalena sheets and bedding and can be found at your local Costco warehouse. Who knew?



While still at Costco, I found the Cast Iron Dutch Oven that I have been waiting

months for. The pictures do not do it justice and when I opened it I heard an Alleluia chorus of celebrity chefs including Bobby Flay and Cat Cora as well as the angels that had been working on the Spalena sheets.

I had a moment.

Visions of the two recipes that I will be making this weekend danced through my head :(They performed an exuberant tango)

A nice crusty artisan bread is easier to make than you might think!

Beef braised in beer and molasses served with garlic and mascarpone mashed potatoes.
No I am not kidding. Be jealous, be very jealous, then go make some for your own family. They will kiss your feet. Or maybe buy your some Spalena sheets....!!!)





















Stuff & Things

Very random week. Zig zaggy.


Cool new word, huh?


You can use it if you want. Just make sure you use it properly and in context.


Thank you.


We'll begin with the begin with the weather. It was very blowy, as Forrest Gump, would say.



I came home from the store Sunday morning (where I snagged the BEST deal on some Asic running shoes...40% off clearance! Yes! Score!) and I saw this on my front porch:



As I said, It was very blowy.


And very rainy. I am still not into the rain, and didn't run outside with the dogs and the new Asics yet. Chopper looks even more glum than usual.




I came in the house and smelled something.


No, it wasn't cinnamon or pumpkin bread. The dogs weren't busy with their fall baking while I was out.




It wasn't old socks or even a dish rag that had had seen better days.



No, one of the dogs decided they would disrespect the fact that I did not put them in the outside kennel on this rainy blowy day,and with nothing but love and kindness in my heart, allow them to stay inside on their leather couches cozy cedar dog beds.



Unwillingly and with growing horror and nausea, I followed my nose to this




I turned and ran with arms outstretched into the kitchen where I saw this:




:



Back to this:








Now over to this:





Sad, isn't it?


What is really sad is that I was just at the store, buying those Asics and I forgot paper towels.


If you think any toilet paper is going to work to pick up bull mastiff poo, you are sadly mistaken and I don't suggest you try it. Unless you are wearing disposable gloves. And have boiling water and antibacterial wipes and a hazmat suit ready. Just sayin'.

(I used and old shirt. Sorry, Amy. But you left here for the last 84 years. I figured you were over it. But I could wash it and get it back to you...?)


If you are upset with me for putting up pictures of dog poo, a couple things.

First,it is not as if you have never seen dog poo before.



I had to come home, find it, smell it, clean it up.


I should be able to glean something positive out of it and if that means taking a picture, downloading it, posting it and blogging about it so you can share in my agony, so be it.


"Carry each others burdens." Galatians 6:2

Thank you.




Now, because I feel kind of guilty, I'll throw you this bone. Baby Max in a tub. Just let the baby in the bubble bath erase all the horror.








All better







.




Thursday, October 21, 2010

Phone calls in the middle of the night


Sometimes its scary news.

Sometimes it's good news.

Sometimes you just can't remember.


So I was chatting on the phone with my most excellent daughter-in-law last night and she mentioned that her folks were coming from Idaho to help her and Josiah move next weekend.

As I have noticed that the house deals have not been working out as quickly as hoped for, I asked where they were going to move to.


There was a pause, then, "Well, with you guys....right?"

Then another pause as neither of us said anything, and then both of us shouted, "Josiah!" at the same moment.


I heard Ashley saying furiously "Josiah, you said this was all worked out! You said your parents were fine with it!" And Josiah in the background, probably deflecting blows, saying, "I did! I talked to them! I did!"


A fuzzy memory began to surface of the phone ringing shrilly, waking me out of a deep sleep in the middle of the night, probably after 10, but maybe 9:45 or so, a few weeks before.


I will automatically answer those middle-of-the-night calls because it is most likely the kids calling with an emergency of some sort, like how do you make meatloaf, or have you seen this episode of "House." But I usually stay asleep during the first half of the conversation. Everyone can vouch for this.

So I vaguely remember one such phone call with Josiah, and I seem to remember him asking if he and Ashley and Max could move in until they found a place to buy.


Apparently, I said yes before I hung up.


I'd best get the guest room ready.

The kids are moving in for a bit.

(oh hurray!!) :-)
(I bet they are SO EXCITED)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Not very sharp

Well, maybe I AM sharp.

You be the judge.


We did not have a real peaceful time of sleep the other night.



The sheets were not cooperating.



My legs and feets (yes, I typed in "feets" accidentally, but it made me giggle so I am leaving it in there) kept getting all tangled and twisted up in the sheets and I was not even comfortable at all, I tell you.
AT ALL.







This is what I found when I woke up.








Apparently, I have toenails that will skin a buck.


Or at least fillet a steelhead.


You better watch out, Rod Meyer.


You better just watch out....


The end.


That WAS the end.


But the real ending happened when I went into our hall closet and got out another fitted sheet. This one is actually made for a pillow top bed. A really really fluffy pillow top bed, which ours is not. So when we put this "fitted" sheet on, it tends to slide around all night and we tend to be all grumpy and complain about it and ask who is going to Costco next, do we really have to go to Costco? Can't we just order some sheets online? Make sure the thread count is high enough.


No, I am no making any of that up. We enjoy bed.


I got this letter from Godfrey today. He is one of our Ugandan Compassion children.He says God is in his school, and that he loves us very much. (We love him, too)


In case you can't see it, he says he thanks God for the program because it provide eggs, blankets and books.


I wonder what thread count those blankets are?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Things running through my head as I stack firewood




Man, that is one freaking big pile of wood!



Don't look at the pile of wood.



Think good thoughts...



This wood will keep us toasty warm this winter.



I'm hot.



I'm tired.



I'm thirsty.



Am I a first grader?



No, the first graders I know are not this whiny.



Rod will be SO surprised that I've stacked all this fire wood. I can't wait to see his face when he see this!



It will make him happy that he doesn't have to break his back tossing all this wood, or hire someone to do it for him.


Gosh, I sure hope that stack of wood does not fall on me and pin me under there and I have to use the chainsaw to cut off my arm so I can go in and eat lunch. Rod would not like that surprise, I don't think.

Boy, does my back hurt. I am not even kidding. I wonder if our insurance will cover back surgery for me. If I really need it.



I wonder if I'm losing weight?



I wonder what I can eat for lunch?



Why don't the dogs help?



Ingrates.



I'm really hot.



I'm so tired.



I'm still thirsty.



Think I'll go blog for a minute.


Don't tell Rod I'm stacking Mt Hood the firewood in the shed. Let it be a surprise.
I know, most women might surprise their husband with a nice dinner, and/or a little something from VS. But I know Rod's love language. And it is surprise firewood stacking.
I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Vitamin D and other things that get stuck in my throat


Why do the tiny vitamin D tablets always get stuck in my throat? It makes no sense. Advil slides on down. 5-htp rolls down, no problem. VicodinTylenol PM just about jumps down my gullet.

But the vitamin D lodges itself halfway down every time.




If I suddenly stop this writing post, please call 9-1-1.




Thank you very much.





So I am taking these vitamins because I have heard that we don't get enough from other sources and if we don't get enough we can become depressed. Do you think the "D"in vitamin D stands for Depressed? Or Diane?(Yup, I am the center of my own universe.)




I have been depressed.



So I am trying THE NEXT BIG THING: vitamin D.



Hoping it works.



It's weird, isn't it (just agree with me here) how if you get to feeling down, different areas of you life begin deteriorating?




(By "you" I mean "me.")




Because I'm going to take a wild leap here and guess that you didn't eat a Snickers ice cream bar for breakfast the other morning. But I did. Okay?



Okay, fine....TWO Snickers ice cream bars.




I saw them when I opened the freezer to get some non-caloric ice.




The moment I saw them I knew I would eat them. Well, I thought I would eat ONE, and had high hopes of saving the other for an afternoon snack.




Hope was smacked down.




See, when I'm depressed, even my normally bad eating habits can deteriorate just a smidge further.
Unbelievable, I know.




Ive been eating unhealthily (pretend that is written in a large,flaming font for dramatic purposes.Not that I am ever dramatic) not exercising, lazing around (Hello, Facebook), doing the bare minimum of housework to just squeak by so the camera crew from "The Hoarders" doesn't show up on my front porch ready to film the next episode.

Also I've become increasingly impatient and snappy with those people God has placed in my life as a blessing.(I know he pruned all the roses and hydrangeas even though they were blooming, but he was just getting ahead of the yardwork game. I had WORDS to say.)
I've found myself reading this book and not The Book. Spending time with Dr. House and the talented kids on "Glee" rather than with God.


When I put myself first, it is awful. My food choices, how I spend my time and energy, my entertainment choices are all about how to please ME. Putting myself first makes me happy for a moment but ends up making me absolutely wretched. My selfishness gets stuck in my throat just like my vitamin D.

I must be a joy to live with. Just ask Rod. Or maybe don't.One of us may not like his answer.


When I put God first,...well, I don't really know because I've never done it long enough to tell you anything I've learned.
Ouch.

Although I am in His grip, I don't live like I am. In fact, I do everything I can to live like I'm not his child.
When a whisper in my ear says, "There is nothing wrong with what you are doing. This is all harmless stuff, " I will remember some verses like this one in Galation 6:
"Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant.
Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature.
But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good.
At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up."




Why, oh why, do I turn away from him when I need him the most?




I take a thousand steps, one by one, in the wrong direction. When I finally stop to get my bearings, I feel I am too far away to come back easily. So I take more steps, even faster, as though I'm trying to escape.



Do ya feel me here?




Or maybe it's just me.



Is it just me that tries so hard to be fulfilled by things, rather than a person; The Person I was made for?




Today, I've had enough.



Today I stopped taking a million steps in the wrong direction.


Today I turned back to Him.




I could really beat myself up for my lack of commitment and devotion, my laziness, my horrible eating and physical habits which harm me from the inside out .


But then, once again, I'm focusing on me, not on Him.




Thinking about what I can do,or not do, instead of what He does.


I would fail before I started.


But I remember that His mercies are new every morning. So I'm gonna keep it simple by doing these three things:


1. Spend time with Jesus.

2. Spend time with Jesus.

3. Spend some more time Jesus .


I'm a moron. Really.

But He loves me anyway.


(I'm going to keep on the vitamin D for now. Anyone else take it? Notice any differences?)
**Edited to add: I am not saying anything is wrong with Snickers ice cream bars, "Glee", "House" or books other than the Bible. I AM saying that persuing those things in place of a relationship with God is not only harmful, but wrong.But I still find myself doing that at times.
There. The entire blog in one sentence.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Chocolate covered...

Spiders.


I didn't want to write yet another post about insects (yes I KNOW spiders are not technically insects. But I don't care enough to google and find out what they actually are.)



But I figured if I wrote "Chocolate" in the title you might click on the post and read it.


I'd kind of lure you into my web, so to speak.
Yes, I went there.


Plus, chocolate covered spiders MIGHT be good.

If you deep-fried them first.

And then dip them in ranch.

Let's be honest. ANYTHING would be good if you deep-fried it, coated it in chocolate and then dunked it in Ranch. Any one of those options would be fine. Together they are the elusive Trifecta of snacking.


Who want to volunteer to try that concoction?


I might be tempted, but this year's spiders are Jurassic Park spiders. So you would have to take a few bites, And chew a little bit. Like Big Mac Spiders.



I am scared to go to the mail box, or get the dogs out of the kennel, because the SPIDERS...they are SO FREAKING LARGE.


For all I know, the dogs may have been carried off by spiders by now.





The spiders are keeping me from living a normal life.





For example, this one is keeping me from Windexing the sliding glass door. (why yes, I made it a verb.Thank you for asking.)





This one is keeping me from walking between the dog's kennel and the pump house. I have probably walked there a grand total of 1000 7 times in the last 12 years, but that is not the point. Now I know I can't walk there. Disturbing, no?





This Queen Mother of all that is disgusting is keeping me from eating sleeping soundly.
(Or maybe that was the Macho Nachos I consumed like a tsuami while watching the Packer's break their record last night at Geno's. Not sure.)
I tell you I just can't sleep knowing this eight-legged creature from SpiderWorld is living RIGHT OUTSIDE MY WINDOW.



So,basically,the way I see it is that spiders are keeping me from cleaning my house and watching "Glee" tonight.
Ba ha ha ha!!
As though a spider, even if it is large enough to saddle and ride the trails with could ever stop me from watching "Glee."
But they are stopping me from cleaning my house.
Nevermind.
Unless the spider is named Laziness, it is really not responsible for the dusty conditions around here.

I need to stop talking about spiders because I am getting that creepy-crawly feeling like a large spider is on my shoulder or Rod Stewart is singing "Tonight's the Night."
How is the spider situation where you live?



Thursday, September 23, 2010

Catz. Are they really necessary ?

I know. Them's fightin' words.
But cats are on my mind this morning.
That can't be a good thing.
I consider myself to be a dog person.
I consider there to be something wrong, deeply wrong, with cat people. (oh, get your own blog.)

Dogs will be in Heaven.Obviously.
Cats belong in the seventh circle of hell.
That said, I could really use a cat right now. Because there are mice in my house. My dogs don't even notice. But I can hear their tiny mice feet scurrying around at night. Unless Mr. Squirrel is still visiting.
Someone sent me this cat herding video this morning.
It made me smile and I think I even COL.(chuckled out loud)




But wait! There's more kitty wonderfulness to be had here today! Please enjoy the following which was found on Craiglist not too long ago.
You're welcome.
You're very welcome.
Carton Of Irregular Cat Hats
Hello. I have a big box of used cat and kitten hats that I have collected over the years for various occasions. As of recently my cat, Snowman, is no longer living and thus I am forced to get rid of these precious memories. I would not feel right asking money for them so I am offering the whole box for free. There are many styles from formal to cute and funny.









There is a variety of 14 different hats total. I just hope you and your pet can find as much joy in these hats as me and Snowman once did.
E-mail me if you are interested and I will give you my address where you can pick them up. I can also arrange for a free delivery if you are not too far away.

PS: I just looked at this post after I published it and I am still so blown away by Snowman. Notice the hopeful look in his eyes in the first photo, like maybe this is the only time this will happen with the kitty hats.

Then the next photo, as reality as begun to sink in; that this is to be an ongoing ordeal. And finally, the despairing, yet still cat-like baleful stare into the distance, as if he is above it all, and he is not, in fact, wearing a fluffy lamb costume on his head.

And what kind of "formal occasions" would call for a cat wearing a hat?!

Okay, I'm done. Wait, look at the title again. "Carton of Irregular Cat Hats." As opposed to REGULAR cat hats?

Okay NOW I'm done. Enjoy your Thursday.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Crank and Lemon bars


I am cranky today.


Pretend the statement above is written all in bold, italicized, angry red font. And it is the size of large skywriting.


Do you feel my crank?


You should be able to because it is out of control crank.


For some reason, I felt the need to share it all with you.



I was just making the Pioneer Woman's lemon crumb bars and could not for the life of me open the stupid,stupid lemon juice bottle.


A pen, a knife, my teeth. None of them worked. Neither did throwing the bottle or cursing.

I do not think that entering the Lord's presence in prayer is a wise idea what with my mood.


Rod opened it.

Patient, patient Rod.

Whom I shall begin calling Job because of his great forbearance with my previously mentioned crank. He can just continue to call me one of the following:


Crank-mobile.


Crank-meister.


Cranky McCrank.


All are applicable.


You know you are cranky when , while making the lemon bars,you begin getting angry with the ingredients.Say that the butter and the brown sugar begin sticking to the sides of the bowl and the beater. But you are busy zesting the lemon.

So WHO can help by scraping the bowl?
NO ONE, that's who.
Rod is not here anymore, as he escaped into a torrential down pour to take the dogs on a walk rather than stay under the same roof with moi.


I can't believe I was getting mad at the butter and sugar. Butter is my BFF. I guess that doesn't matter today.


I need another hand or two to get these lemon bars done..God, WHY DIDN'T YOU GIVE ME ANOTHER PAIR OF HANDS??


As you can see, I have been in an unimaginably testy mood. Probably just hormonal. But pretty irritable.

Oh, well.

The kids are all coming over for dinner in a little bit and bringing the grand baby Max.

That should help.

I find him magically delicious.


Edited to add: Speaking of magically delicious, the lemon bars were exquisite.Also, no animals or family members were mutilated or murdered in the making of this blog today. They were just tortured by my company until my hormones settled down. Everyone is fine. Promise.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Avoidance Behavior

Sometimes, when I feel overwhelmed with situations or circumstances I will avoid experiencing the emotions of it.

Please tell me you do this ,too.

My fears this week are because Josiah is going to be a civilian firefighter working for our government in Afghanistan.

For a year.

Leaving his new wife and baby Max. But they have worked through the decision making process together and I am proud, so proud, of their family.


But, rather than do the healthy thing, by facing my fears and moving through it, I will post about what I do instead. Sound fun?





I don't know what avoidance behavior looks like to you, but I sure can tell you what it looks like to me. I'll call it the three "F's".


The first one is "Food"


Duh.


I will eat like a starving hyena, gobbling down my food as though the other predators on the savanna are circling. It actually does muffle my pain for a little while.
At least until the first burp.


Why am I scarfing down the Cake Batter ice cream, you ask?


Because it is time for breakfast, that's why.


Why I couldn't choose a healthy obsession like Shredding with Jillian rather cramming down Little Debbie cream-filled oatmeal pies,which, FYI, I don't even LIKE. No clue.


My next "F" stands for "Footwear".

Can I get an Amen?

I won't lie, I love me some nice boots. Something about the smell of new leather calls to me. Boots might be another one of my love languages. When I am searching for new shoes from Zappos I can forget for those few days moments the fears I have. Boots are like chicken soup for the sole, dontcha think? It works for me. At least until the UPS man leaves.








My newest obsession is my third "F", "Friesian horses".
Oh my word. I love these stunning, majestic creatures. Other horse breeds are dead to me when I look at the Friesian pictures on the internet. (Sorry Drifter. Love you, Polly. Mean it.) While I search the web for horse farms where they raise these horses (hello, Martha Stewart) I can forget my pain and anxiousness and set my worries aside. But they are waiting for me when I am done dreaming about Friesians.



None of these things are wrong, in fact I like to picture myself, in a new pair of Steve Maddens, eating a Burgerville Tillamook cheeseburger, riding on my perfect Friesian stallion. Or maybe styling it's gorgeous mane, or taking another picture of it. Or just hugging it and never letting go.
Welcome to Diane World.





I know that Jesus tells us to bring us our burdens and he will give us rest.

He IS rest.

But I am afraid to name all of my fears for this next year.Because if I actually do bring my burden to Jesus, than I have to feel it, and I am a little afraid of that emotion. Actually, alot afraid.



This week, saying that I am "giving it to Jesus" and "laying it at the foot of the cross" have just been memorized statements. I want it to be more than words. But right now, it has just been that.


I'm sad that my son will miss his baby's first year. That tears me up.


We have so enjoyed, over-the-top enjoyed, our Sunday dinners and movies with this new little Meyer family and I am broken up that it will not be the same for a while.



I'm afraid about things being different. I've been awful comfortable and happy. Super happy. Extra comfortable.
But I do SO believe that Jesus will ease my fears if I only focus on him.
Follow him.
Have faith.
Let the friends he has placed in my life comfort me.
Leave my fears at the foot of the cross.
That is quite a few "F's" right there. And I didn't even have to try real hard to make that work.
Anyway, I expect I'll be crying this out for a while.Don't let me scare you.
But I know where to turn and what to do. And it doesn't actually involve food, footwear or Friesians.
I'm not gonna lie. I might not want to say no to the occasional Ficodin, or a stray Falium. Just sayin'.



Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Nana Post




Besides the post "Things heard on the way to the hospital" I have not blogged much about our 4.5 month old grandson, Max Rhiley. (The "h" is not silent. Go ahead and try that out.)



That is because sometimes certain things are just too big, too ginormous to lay out there for public consumption.
Because a kajillion people read this, don't ya know.


Besides the fact that Max is indeed quite large (16 lbs, 84th percentile for height...length?m 82nd percentile for weight.) our love for him is enormous and I have no words.



Almost.



Notice how I was able to toss out baby facts and figures all willy-nilly? I don't have a clue what those even mean.



I just know that we love him beyond anything. From his baldy head to his monkey toes, we adore this boy. We have this, like, AMAZING connection. (I apologize. Some of "The Bachelor" came spilling out. And I don't even watch that show.)



Sometimes we have been so filled up with love for him that we bust out in speaking in tongues. But, maybe that is just our goofy baby talk. Not sure.



I am sure that I could gush on and on about our love for this sweet, sweet baby, how good he is, how precious, how no other grandparents in the history of the universe have ever come close to loving a grandson the way we do. Don't argue with me. It is the truth,



We were able to have him up at our house a couple mornings ago. It was a gorgeous, perfect fall day, when the sky is an almost electric blue and the sun is shining warmly down. Rod, Max and I were sitting on the back deck enjoying the perfection of the day and the baby. Rod was playing gently with Max, letting him grab and hold his big Grampa fingers. As Rod held out his hand with Max's dimpled baby fingers clinging to his finger, he mused aloud, " Won't it be great when these tiny little fingers can wrap around a hunting rifle?" Then he smiled at me with all the joy and hope he was feeling inside shining out of his eyes.



Well.



Really?


Hmmm.

Not quite what I was thinking about, but okay, then.

Oh, and I was just kidding about the "h". You don't really have to call him Max Rhhhhiley. Unless you want to.







Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Carb-O-Rama


Bread.

I wish I could quit you.


But I can't. So I will make delicious bread, like this rustic loaf that will astonish you with it's perfect texture; chewy inside and a crispy crust.


And guess what? It's so easy a monkey could do it. For example, I have made it numerous times and it ALWAYS turns out. No kidding.


The only downfall is you need to begin making it the day before you need it. And you need a Dutch oven or pot with fitted lid that can go into a 450 degree oven.


So if you NEED bread NOW, you will have better chances with your bread machine or a quick trip to Safeway.

Although I have read about this super-easy no-knead bread for a few years, I had never made it until now. Maybe because I was enjoying my easy bake oven bread machine so much.


I got the recipe from The Steamy Kitchen, although there are hundreds of websites out there with this recipe, or one kinda like it. If you click on the link, you will be able to see pictures of this bread being created, step by step.


So, go on now. Make your family proud, happy and full. Make your house smell like fresh baking bread and cover up the scent of decomposing squirrel in your closet. But maybe that's just me.


Rustic, No-Knead Bread


So, let’s start. 3 cups of bread flour in a big bowl.


secret: I sometimes use 1/2c whole wheat flour + 2 1/2c bread flour. This is amazing!

1/4 teaspoon of instant yeast:


3/4 Tablespoon Kosher salt.


Add 1-1/2 cups of lukewarm water.


Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until everything is mixed together. Not too much, though!


Wrap up the no knead bread dough with plastic wrap. I just cover it in the bowl I mixed it in and leave it on the counter.


Give it a kiss good night and let the no knead bread dough sleep for 12-20 hours on counter or in a nice, warm, cozy place.


Next day:
Dump out on floured surface
Wet your hands. This will prevent the very sticky dough from sticking to your hands. If you find dough sticking to your hands, wet again. With wet hands, grab the dough and fold over all ends towards the middle. Turn dough blob over so that you get a nice, smooth, tight surface. Try to tuck the dough ends under to get that taut surface.
Gently move dough onto a floured towel.

Cover. Let nap for 2 hours. It should puff up nicely and double in size.


secret: When I run out of time, I sometimes let it sit only for 1 hour! If you let it nap in a tall, narrow bowl the dough rises nice and tall, about 6″ high.

If you leave it out on the counter – that is fine too, the dough will rise up and also out….making a flatter No Knead Bread loaf, about 3″-4″ high.They will both taste the same, just looks a little different.


A half hour before the nap ends, slip covered pot into your oven. Crank up the heat to 450F. Let it pre-heat for 30 minutes or longer.


After pre-heating, remove the hot pot from oven. Now plop this wobbly dough into the hot pot. Doesn’t matter how it lands – actually, the messier it lands, the more “rustic” it looks. Shake pot a bit to even out the dough.

Cover and put back into the oven. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Photo below is peeking through oven door after 30 minutes. Then uncover and bake further for 15-20 minutes. To check – you can either tap the bread (should sound low, hollow, like a drum) or take its temperature (should be 210F in middle).

That's it! You will be rewarded with a thin, crunchy brown crust, large, open holes. The bread is slightly chewy, flavorful and perfect texture.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Them dogs don't hunt

But certainly not from lack of trying.

This morning I decided to start running again because a) my hamstring tendon just barely hurt, and b) the Black Death-sinus infection-fork in the ear thing I have going on might possibly be loosening it's iron grip.

So I headed up the trail with the three bullies. I was in front and saw the coyote just before they did. It was just a few yards up the trail. How weird that it was a mostly black with maybe a little dark brown. Maybe it is a sign, and black is the new gray this fall, but I had never seen one that color before.

Neither had the dogs, apparently. They rushed the coyote so they could get a closer look and commend him on his cutting edge fashion sense. Or eat him for breakfast. Not sure.

But it turned and did that peculiar skippy-hop run that they have going on, and disappeared into the woods. All three bullies crashed in after it. No stealth involved.

I waited on the trail and listened for a few moments before doing what any red-blooded, mountain dwelling, hunter's wife would; I began yip-yipping, whoop-whooping to call it in.

I don't mean to brag here, but my husband is both proud and a little envious of my coyote calling skillz.

He has seen me call coyotes in (actually I think they are coming closer to see what kind of lunatic is making all that racket, but, whatever. They come in.) and has lavished me with praise. Varmint calling ability is clearly Rod's love language.

A few moments later, the dark coyote popped back on the trail, looking around see who had been trying to have a convo with him. When he saw it was just me, he turned and did his little hoppy-skippy run in the opposite direction.

Meanwhile, our brave hunters were making the biggest ruckus our woods have witnessed in a long while. When they finally burst from the trees, mouths wide and panting happily, the coyote was gone. They were so two thousand late.

But from the simple looks on their grinning, slobbering faces, they had forgotten what they had been chasing anyway.

Nope. These dogs can't hunt. They can't even find a squirrel in my closet. We'll be working on that today.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Open letter to Mr.Squirrel

Dear Mr. Squirrel,
Let me start my apologizing.
I'm sorry if I screamed and scared you when you ran, uninvited, into my house. You just startled me with your speed and your chattering. And let's face it; you ARE a rodent.
I'm sure you'll have noticed that our dogs, although large, are not great hunting dogs. I do believe this is why you are extending your stay with us.
To be honest, I kinda thought you had left sometime yesterday when I left each and every door and window open so it would be easy and convenient for you.

There are a couple issues that I need to bring up.
Last night, I heard you rustling around in the books on the floor by my nightstand. I'm sure you thought you were being quiet and unobtrusive and didn't hear me wake up. Probably because I wasn't making any noise because I had pretty much stopped breathing.
When Rod turned on his lamp, we saw you run like a rat out of *ell, (excuse the expression) straight into the closet. First of all, I don't think I would scream like that if you would just walk slowly and sedately across the floor, rather than darting around like a tweaking chipmunk on amphetamines. Seriously, If you would step carefully, I would try to use my inside voice.

You ran directly into MY side of the closet. Let me clarify. MY side of the closet where my new Steve Madden lace up, mid calf boots reside. I'm not sure if you thought that would make a cozy place to nap, or a safe spot to store up some walnuts for the winter, or just a place to curl up and do some reading, but let me be clear, Mr. Squirrel. Those boots will not fit you and I do not want to find you or remnants of your stay in the boots. Nor do I want to find the leather more distressed than is usual.
With that said, I do believe your stay with us has reached it's conclusion. Again, I do apologize for the random screaming.
The doors and windows are open. Please leave.
Thank you.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Year of the Insect


Every year I have hopes that the winter freezes and bitterly cold temperatures will destroy all forms of insect life around here.



Please don't argue with me and say, "But you can't mean the beautiful Monarch butterfly, or the useful earthworm." (yes, that is an insect in my mind.I don't even know if it is actually classified as one)



I do mean all insects. Mosquitoes, gnats and moths.I wish death and destruction upon them all. And they can take their gnarly house flies with them.



Mosquitoes are as prevalent as the grey hairs that are cropping out of my head this year. And way more annoying.


I am looking like I am being slowly eaten alive. Besides the bites all over my torso,head and limbs, I have a bite in my arm pit and and two bites in my ear.



Yes, my ear. Was I sleeping? Was it a stealth-commando mosquito armed with silencers on it's wings? I don't really know. But I do know that I look like either an itchy dog or a lazy orangutan picking at his arm pit. Nice.



Sometimes, when everything gets itching all together, I think I might remind you of your great Aunt Mary-Sue, (you, know....The Drinker) doing the Macarena at the family picnic. HeeeeeeYaaaaaaa!


And mosquitoes are just one of the insects I want to direct the anger of a thousand suns towards.


Last night, I was laying in bed reading with my reading lamp, when two demonic moths began fluttering blindly around the lamp (which is near my head, fyi.), making horrible flutter sounds and leaving their powdery moth residue everywhere. (I'm guessing on that last part.)



I began shrieking and doing an energetic and totally rhythemless Macarena trying to gently encourage them to leave using my inside voice, when Rod turned to me and said, "I like moths and I never try to kill them. They eat mosquitoes." Then he rolled back over.


Eating a mosquito is definitely a plus, but not enough to save their fluttery little lives. You'll be saddened to know they have passed and are no longer with us.


Earlier this week I went into my bathroom, which I have previously thought of a generally safe place. (Don't even go there.) Something on the ceiling caught my eye and I saw what at first looked like generic Oregon slug who had been on the TSFL program. And was consistent. In other words, he was thin.


Something in my sinful human nature made me look closer and I noticed thousands. THOUSANDS, I'm telling you, of legs. Little tiny waving appendages moving the creature from Jurassic Park across the ceiling and towards my bedroom.


Where I sleep.


Correction.


Where I used to sleep. Now that I know insects like this exist I don't know if sleep will be possible.


Rod came running at my roar.After we studied this creepy-crawly creature for a while, and I took pictures, Rod shot it with his .30-06 Remington. (I'm not 100% certain what he used as I was huddled in a corner at the other end of the house, rocking and humming to myself. But it may have been a plastic spatula.)


He brought it out into the kitchen and began to throw it in to the garbage. I don't think so.



I made him throw it into the garbage disposal and turn it on for five minutes. I don't know if these satanic insects have zombie teandacies, but I don't put it past them. I am taking no chances, my friend.

So, long story short long, I really am hating on the insects this year. How about you?

The end.










Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Jobs and Job



B'ness has been slow lately. SLOOOOOW. As in DEAD. Work has been harder to come by than unicorn tears. So, each day we pray for work, and we ponder the feasibility of selling our children.
Only kidding.

Unless you know someone who is interested in the fastest barista in the Western Hemisphere or the highest ranked Call of Duty player in Oregon. And he comes with a wife and child. But I don't think I can legally sell them. Not that I would.
Call me.

Anyway, I was reading some Charles Spurgeon last night to Rod out on the deck. C.H.S. was writing about Job and his afflictions and trials.
I know, I know.
Mine don't even come close and yours probably don't either. But he said, "The best piece of furniture I ever had in my house was the cross of affliction. Adversity is the richest field in all the farm of life."

It is rich because we grow during these times. I need to be reminded of that, even in my small suffering and worry. (But honestly? The best piece of furniture in our house is the leather lovesest.Or the pillow topped bed. It is a toss-up)

Mr. Spurgeon ended his chapter on Job by writing this:



"God is glorified not so much by preserving us from trouble as by upholding us in our trouble. In trials we are tempted to grow impatient for God's deliverance, to doubt his wisdom, and to despair of ever being happy again.


As I read this 22nd verse (Job), I wetted it with a tear. In all Job's trials he did not sin by blaming God, yet I, who have suffered so little have often sinned and blamed God. Haven't you? If so, let your tear follow mine. But the tear will not wash away the sin. Fly to the fountain filled with blood and with it wash away your sins of impatience, bitterness rebellion and unbelief."




So this morning, as I went on my run on the Heavenly Loop, I was able to sincerely and honestly thank God for our small suffering, knowing that he loves us and will refine us, bit by bit. I looked at our situation in light of the incomparable immensity of God and the incomparable love of Jesus. It was the best time of worship that I have had for months. The burden of anxiety and worry have literally been lifted off and laid down.
Big sigh of relief.
Now I have to go get ready for the day because we get to watch baby Max today! And I have to post an ad on Craigslist.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I can't hear you....

(Originally written 2/09. But appropriate for today, too.)


As I stood, shivering in the darkness of pre-dawn this morning on the snowy back deck, I called for Lila to come back into the house.
I could see Lila.
Standing just out of reach with her nose in the air, sniffing for predators which might be lurking about in the dark perimeters of the yard.
If she caught the scent of a raccoon, or saw a flash of coyote eyes gleaming from the dark woods, she'd sail off across the snowy field like a flash and I'd never be able to stop her.
Darn her!
Here I was, offering her breakfast and a snuggle in front of the woodstove, but she just wanted to pursue fun and danger. Great.


As it was, she stood totally still and focused on the place where the trees and brambles met the yard, casually ignoring my calls which were growing louder and angrier. More shrill, no doubt. That's got to be soothing to wake up to. I'm sure my neighbors love me lots.




Seriously, it is as though she has dog biscuits stuffed into both ears and refuses to listen to us calling her no matter how we threaten or cajole. She effortlessly ignores the sounds of my calling without a twitch of her ears to signal that she even hears me. Lila can be three feet away from me, literally, but she is so focused on her own agenda she will will not respond at all.




When we go on runs, Lila moves silently and stealthily through the forest, belly low to the ground, never snapping a twig or disturbing a stone as she travels, hoping she'll encounter a bear or a cougar.
(Can you find the bull mastiff in the picture here?)
When she doesn't, (has she ever?) she'll settle for Rod, me and Chopper, leaping suddenly out of the woods and onto the trail and doing her best to terrify us.
She is so sweet and adorable, and we love her to pieces, but Lila is always moving to her own drummer. Her mind is focused entirely on her own agenda which usually has nothing whatsoever to do with ours.



I hate to admit it, but that sometimes reminds me of myself. Often times it takes a rock to fall on my head for God to get my attention back on Him. He can be calling my name and I'll be focused intently on the whatever has captured my attention and not even hear His voice. Sometimes, to be frank, I just don't want to hear it. Have you ever done that?

Like last night during a particularly eye-opening section of my Beth Moore Esther study. It was painful. I didn't want to work through that garbage. I closed the book and my bible and watched a DVRed Office re-run.



How very like Lila I was! Studiously ignoring the calling of my name to come do some learning and gain some valuable knowledge and wisdom. Maybe do some growing and stretching. Because I didn't want to. Because it was hard. Because I had my own agenda.



What a Lila I am!


I can't help but compare this stubborn dog with Chopper, our other bull mastiff.






When he ventures off the trail during our walks, all it takes it one brief call and the crashing and breaking sounds that ensue make it sound like a herd of angry bull elks is charging us.

But no.

It is only Chopper, grinning crazily at us as he bounds back onto the trail. His desire to please is endless and there is no need to entice with treats as he makes us feel it was the biggest pleasure in the world just to see us again.

He responds to us calling his name as though he has been waiting all his life for the sound. He leaps to his feet in an instant and dances happily over to us.
He looks eagerly up into our faces with his laughing eyes, just wanting to know what we want him to do, or where we want him to go.
His joy is all consuming and contagious.
Even when I have to put medicine in his ear, which he hates, he responds with perfect obedience. No running away or pretending he can't hear me calling. Just calm submission.


At the risk of spiritualizing things too much, I want to be like Chopper.
Searching out Jesus' face eagerly and with devotion. Ready to do His will.


So, have you noticed any Lila tendencies in your life lately?

Do you want to be more like Chopper?

Me, too, my friends.



Proverbs 1:24-25
“I called you so often, but you wouldn’t come. I reached out to you, but you paid no attention. You ignored my advice and rejected the correction I offered.



Isaiah 6:8

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"