Sunday, March 30, 2008

I Made Up For It

That day that I had yesterday? I definitely made up for it today. I feel rather satisfied with myself!

I am not sure what happened to me over the last year, but cleaning this house and acting like a domestic goddess was definitely not anywhere in my attitude. I've managed to keep things at a livable pace, but just barely. I've just been overwhelmed by life! There is so much to write, so much to read, so much to listen to, so much to absorb.

I tend to get stall-foundered (yup, it's a madeup word, but one my mom made up and I've lived with for a long time) when I get overwhelmed. I shut down in several areas. One of the areas I tend to shut down is at home. It's a totally safe place here, I don't let people in ... I don't care what it looks like (not exactly true ... but, for the sake of this blog ...) and when I get in to the house, sometimes I just have to become a vegetable.

So ... the house pretty much went to hell. This morning I woke up early (7:30) and after a little bit of waking up, I started cleaning. By the time I went to Bible study tonight, I had the living room cleaned, the kitchen cleaned (scrubbed even) and me cleaned. The kitchen was a disaster and now it's scrubbed clean. It feels wonderful to have this done.

Tomorrow night I hope to attack the dining room and maybe the downstairs bathroom. One of my worst habits is the collecting of cardboard boxes. Good heavens, but I have trouble getting these damned things out of my house. I got rid of 4 rather large boxes today (oh heavens, plus 2 others -- sheesh, I even forget about them!) and as I glance into the dining room, I see a whole bunch more. Oh blech.

I also have a whole lot of memory stuff from dad. So, I am hoping that once I get the cleaning done around here, I'll be less stall-foundered and more ready to actually do some productive work - like scanning all of that memory stuff into the computer and passing the boxes of actual stuff off to Jim or Carol.

After Bible study tonight, I came home - put a few more things away and then treated myself to a home-brewed pedicure. It was just wonderful to soak my poor footsies in hot water. Now, they're all soft and fresh again. Yup ... it's been a good day and my body says that it is ready to relax and go to sleep. Good Night!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Saturday night

It's still Saturday night - at least when I start this. By the time I post, it will be Sunday morning. I have done absolutely nothing worth anything today. I have been an incredible slug and my brain hasn't really been engaged at all. The most difficult thing I did this day was to order Chinese food for supper.

Cyclical. That's what my body is and right now I am obviously at that point where I am unable to easily handle an overload of information and/or stress on my brain. Yet, what has been required of me at work this week? Exactly that ... an overload. Now, what I'm about to say will sound incredibly like whining and I suppose it is. In fact, as I ponder ... I'm certain that it will sound like whining. And because I am my father's daughter, it occurs to me that it is best left unsaid.

Suffice it to say, I nearly brained a waitress last night because she ignored our table for an outlandish amount of time. Well, that is quite the overstatement. But, I was actually at the point of giving her a good tongue-lashing. Only the presence of my friends and husband caused me to rethink my position on that.

Hmmm ... and it was a short week as well. Good thing for me that I didn't actually work on Monday or by Thursday evening, I would have been murdering (in my mind of course - goodness, this stuff is on the internet - what am I thinking making these types of statements?) the petty annoyances that entered my world.

But, I've been around the block enough (I've been reminded a lot lately of exactly how old I am - and twice now, my boss has thought it hilarious to bring it up ... he might have to be next on the 'list) to know that this is absolutely part of the cycle of life. I go through periods of time on a regular basis where things that normally don't bother me at all drive me batty!

I have always been able to work continuously through distractions. I remember the first time that I realized my ability to do that. I was in jr high and was practicing with soloists for state contest. As I was playing the piano, people were talking around me, playing multiple instruments in the room and several would be playing on the same piano, albeit different songs. At one point, the director walked into the room, saw what was happening and brought it to my attention that it wasn't normal to be able to focus on a single song with all of that other insanity occuring around me. Hah ... I just did what I had to do to finish the task! That was the first memory I have of being able to multi-task with chaos begging to permeate my concentration.

As I've gotten older, though ... that impermeable membrane around my consciousness gets battered as hormones fly around. So ... when too many people beat at the door all at the same time, I need more quiet time to recuperate. Reality? My psyche will get itself back to normal in a day or so and I'll be back to handling multiple tasks, conversations, meeting and insanity flying at me within a short span of time.

Now, though ... since I've done nothing productive today - it's after midnight and I'm still a little wired. Hmmm, I should probably at least try to go to sleep. Reading is supposed to put me to sleep, but right now the books that I'm reading - even the supposed 'boring' New Testament textbook actually interests me and doesn't put me to sleep. Hmmm ... will 'Fresh Prince of Bel Air' do it?

Monday, March 24, 2008


Ok ... for those of you who don't know, my husband is deathly afraid of jello. His attitude is 'there is no food that should move like that.' He's probably right. He tells me that from a very early age, he has had this unnatural fear of jello. His mother would bring jello out in front of guests to watch him react. Hey! Everyone messes with their kids, right? Well, poor Max would cry.

The problem is, I love jello. I always have. There is no more fun sensation that sliding that stuff through your teeth, eh? I'm not a HUGE fan of weird things in my jello, but I can work around it. Orange slices always seemed wrong in lime jello, but honestly, everything seemed wrong in lime jello. The best jello is simply that ... jello alone.

Now, because Max has such a visceral reaction to jello, I saw no reason to make it. In our 14 years of marriage, I have probably only made it a couple of times. But, today, I opened the cupboard and saw a box of grape jello in there and couldn't resist.

Max has gone upstairs to take a shower and the jello has set. Glorious! He doesn't have to watch me eat it, I can stick my spoon in the bowl without worrying that I have to share it with anyone and I can slurp and slide it around in my mouth all by myself! Sometimes 25 cents can give you the greatest pleasure! There's going to have to be more jello in my world, I can tell.

Almost over

I've had an incredibly long, wonderful weekend. It's fun not being at work and not feeling guilty about it. You know, I spent 20+ years at Insty-Prints feeling terribly responsible for all that went on there. I had to be there every day. I don't think I ever took a sick day and I rarely took vacation. It was just too stressful to be away from that place. I treasured every holiday that happened and prayed for snow days so we could just shut the place down.

I'm still not able to move past the idea that I'm not in charge, that I don't have to do everything or keep watch over everything so that it maintains a certain momentum. Max and I are actually trying to plan some vacation time this year - a chance to go somewhere and not worry about what is happening back at my place of work.

However, days like today are still treasures. A day off with no responsibility. A day just for me to hang out. Max had to be at work, so the house was really quiet. Well, not so much quiet. Goodness, but there was quite a breeze blowing outside - but still, a good day.

I've been reading Romans this week for Disciple I. This is almost too much information for me to grasp. How fortunate we are to be called children of God. As I reflect on the Resurrection, I realize over and over just what has been done for me. I'm a Gentile. Until that moment, few Gentiles were going to be accepted into the Kingdom of God. Without the work of the cross, I might never have been exposed to the Creator in such a way as to bring me to Himself.

When Jesus sent His disciples to the ends of the earth, He sent them to me. This is not something for me to take for granted. This is something for which I am eternally grateful.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

I began my morning listening to a podcast that comes from 24-7 Prayer Spaces. I know that this may come as a surprise to many of you, but I am very careful about the emotions I allow into my heart. I get easily overwhelmed by emotions and consequently, I don't walk into emotional situations if I can help it. The next point that I need to make is that I avoid the emotions of Good Friday / Easter like the plague! I simply can't watch a movie about Jesus Christ. I know what is going to happen and the pain of watching it is more than I can take.

So, I listened to the Good Friday podcast. On purpose. And of course, I cried through the whole thing. But, there was a reason. I'm not even sure that they said the words plainly, but my imagination took off in the quiet spaces of that podcast. I saw myself at the foot of the cross. Oh, I allowed myself to see the brokenness of Jesus' body and I wept. But, then, as I sensed the tears and blood flowing over me from the cross I began to look around.

I saw his mother and I sensed the pain that she was feeling as she watched this man she loved more than anything going through torture. There was nothing she could do. I saw his close friends, helpless ... lost. I considered the pain that they were feeling as they could do nothing to rescue their very best friend! My heart began to break for those people that loved this man with incredible depth. All of them knew that Jesus was doing this as a sacrifice. They knew that He didn't deserve it. They knew that they didn't deserve the amount of love that He had for them. Each one of them, like any human, had screwed up somewhere in the relationship with Jesus and yet ... there they were, experiencing the worst thing a friend could imagine.

I think of the time that I got on the plane after meeting Max the first time and falling in love with him. Now, I knew that we would see each other again in a month, but even at the beginning of our relationship I didn't want to face being without him. I cried and I cried as we sat together in the airport, waiting for that plane. I couldn't imagine no longer being able to look into his face or being unable to hold his hand. I wanted to stay or take him on the plane with me. But, the time came that we had to be separated. I waited until the last moment to get on the plane and my heart broke all the way back to Omaha.

The nights that I sat in the hospital with my mom. I knew that I had a very short time left with her. Every moment that I could be there was precious to me. I crawled into her bed and held on with all I had. I did everything to help her physically during those last weeks. I preferred doing that to having a nurse in the room with us. Those moments were mine. And then, that final night, as she lay dying, I faced the reality that I was going to meet the rest of my life without her.

So today, I allowed ... no, I asked for ... emotions to flood through me as I thought about the people who loved Jesus dearly while He was on this earth. Because today, by facing the loss of someone so dear, we are able to experience the reality of the resurrection.

Within a couple of days after arriving in Omaha, Max and I began planning for my next trip to North Carolina. We lined up the moving van, he began cleaning out his condo and packing to move. You see, the next time I saw him, I wasn't going to have to leave him. I was going to be getting into that moving van with him and we were beginning our life together.

I still miss mom terribly, but I'm planning for the reunion in heaven. I can't wait.

Sunday morning. Resurrection Sunday. Jesus returns to life and gives us back the hope that He came to bring to us. His family and friends had to face the grief of the cross so that all people could know the joy of new life.

Thank you, Lord Jesus.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Ok, one of my favorite quotes comes from Matt Hill. When directing a piece of music and you come to a note that lasts longer than 1/4 note, what should the singers do. Well, many directors will get specific and ask you to crescendo (get louder) or decrescendo (get softer). Matt's direction is to 'do something!' Just make what could be a very boring note ... interesting.

So, tonight as I realize that I have had nothing interesting to say in quite a long while and could easily have just put myself to bed, I decided to take his advice and simply say 'something.'

You see, not much new has been happening in my world. And what does happen is either so completely boring that I would waste brain power just thinking about it again, finger power typing it out and your time if I force you to read it. The other stuff that has been happening is really of no consequence to anyone but myself and I can't even process it enough to put it into words.

That hit me today in staff meeting. We were to answer the question, "How have you encountered God since the last time we met?" I realized that I could have cheated and said a lot of things and yes, God has been doing a lot of things, but what God HAS been doing in my life is causing me to process on my life and right now I'm not at a place where I just want to share it all openly.

You see, I have a tendency to blurt out everything that is happening in my brain and around me. There aren't too many secrets about me. But, God has been working on me to keep my flipping mouth shut and just learn from Him right now. I don't need to tell everyone what He and I are talking about because ... well, I don't know why. But, I do know that as I've been starting discussions about things in my brain, amazingly enough, distractions occur and the conversation ends rather abruptly. Of course, this is after I have been told by God to be quiet about it. So ... I'm guessing that obedience is the best bet. And you all know that as soon as I have it all processed out and God releases me, I'll be blabbing like a crazed woman.

So, in case anyone is worried, God and I are having a lot of conversations, just not public ones.

And as for the rest of my life, well, right now it's pretty much: get up in the morning, go to work, come home, take a nap, make dinner, go to bed; repeat 4 x, WEEKEND; repeat. Don't get me wrong, I love my job - but I have no other life happening ... so, I'm boring. Maybe over the weekend I'll get enough sleep to decide that I'm not quite so boring and I'll let you in on it.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

All better

I do believe that I've slept through a large percentage of the weekend. But, I feel great. I still have a bunch of garbage in my chest and my voice is at about 30%, but hey, sometimes it just takes time to get through it. Fortunately I don't have to be a part of worship leadership for 2 more weeks, so I have some more time to get this voice back to a sense of normalcy. Whee!!

I missed my favorite band last night. Thousand Houses was playing but I just didn't dare stay out late on a Saturday night when I had to be at church so early this morning. Goodness, but I'm old! But, worship was great and I'm always thankful to be part of a worship experience that invites God into our midst.

Tonight was Disciple I Bible study. Much as I love going through the Bible, I'll be glad when this is over. I'm not up for scheduling an entire year of Sunday night activity. Gracious! We talked about Acts this evening. So much great stuff in that book. The beginnings of the church.

Now I have to start reading the book of Romans. This is one of the most difficult books for me. Paul just unloads. The depth of the book is incredible and requires more than just a one week read. That's all I'm going to get, though, so I guess it would be a good idea to get started. We'll see what I come up with.

Tomorrow is the beginning of a new week. A week that forces me to watch Jesus walking towards the death that redeemed a world. I'm more grateful than I can ever articulate, but I hate having to watch this week progress. I'm just not worth it. I'm glad He believes differently.

Friday, March 14, 2008


Ok ... so, sometimes it takes an incredible team of people to get things done. In my world ... it's the easy things that require a team.

The clock in our office died this week. Well, the batteries died. All that was required was for us to bring the clock down, replace the batteries and then put the clock back up.

We noticed it on Tuesday. And then recognized our problem:
#1 - I'm too short to reach the clock.
#2 - Cody was too lazy to crawl in behind me and reach the clock.

It stayed dead.

Wednesday. Someone else recognized our problem, but we admitted the reality:
#1 - I'm too short
#2 - Cody is too lazy.

Thursday. Jennie was in the office and we repeated our conundrum. She dragged a chair over and pulled the clock down. Hmm ... now I'm going to have to do something about this. But, the batteries were in the work room and there were people in there I didn't want to bother, so I set the clock aside.

Friday. I tried to go in and get the batteries, but I got sidetracked. By the time I sat back down at my desk, the clock was taunting me. I got up and went to get the batteries.

Upon replacing the batteries, I realized that I didn't have instructions for re-setting the clock. It's an Atomic Clock, so it should set automatically. But ... I did have to figure out how to set the time zone. No instructions. Craig said that he had a clock like that at home, but couldn't help me - the team was failing me. I finally went online - read through them, figured out how to set the time zone and voila. The clock works.

Cody put the clock on the wall.

It's all a matter of teamwork.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Something profound

I always feel like I should be saying something terribly profound in the title of my blogs. So ... I did.

The last few days have been awful. I've felt awful, I sound awful. That upper respiratory thing kicked me in the butt! However, at 10 pm this evening I began feeling pretty good again. So, I'm hoping that tomorrow is the beginning of a fresh new cycle of exactly that ... feeling pretty good. I don't quite have a voice to speak to people yet, but it will happen. If I could breathe (ok, I'm still not completely healthy) I might dance a jig. For now, though ... I'm just going to be grateful for drawn-out moments of 'feeling good.'

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The clock in the kitchen

Yup ... it's now reading the correct time. Most of the rest of the clocks in this house are adjusted automatically. There is a Spongebob Clock on my desk that I have to adjust every six months, but I hate having to fix that kitchen clock. So, I just look at the minute hand and make assumptions as to the hour. Except for the next six months (or however long Daylight Savings is this year). For this period of time it is now correct. Sad and Pathetic. Sure, if you think so. Me, it's just part of that life that I simply accept for what it is. And it entertains me a little bit.

This has been a long, nasty weekend. Max has come off a week of upper respiratory hell and though he feels better, he was diagnosed with bronchitis (he calls it the trumpeter's swan cough) on Thursday. They gave him drugs. By Thursday night, I was starting to cough a little bit and by Friday night I wanted to curl up into the fetal position. I spent most of Saturday whining and / or sleeping (Max discovered that I can do both at the same time).

Last night I had a scary episode in which I hauled myself up off the couch (we're both making too much noise to get any sleep together) in a complete and total panic. I was having a coughing spasm and there was no space for me to retrieve oxygen. All I could think was "how do I tell Max I'm dying?" Ok, I might be a little overdramatic, but it was frightening. I forced myself to calm down and take small amounts of air in until I could calm the spasm and get enough air to breathe normally.

The weird thing was that we had watched an episode of "New Amsterdam" earlier in the evening where the victim suffocated with a plastic bag over their head. I had just told Max that dying by suffocation was one of my irrational fears. Oh well ... I lived through this - it's just a coughing spasm. I have had them before and I will have them in the future.

At some point this afternoon, I'm pretty sure I crossed the barrier. I no longer feel like a zombie, but am beginning to feel a little more human. I'm still coughing. The stupid body doesn't know that I'm all better, but at least the fever isn't pressing on me and the coughing isn't triggering every few minutes.

Last Wednesday I was talking to the kids at Soul Seekers. I asked if they could tell me their favorite hymn. Ummm ... nope. Ok, I'm fine with that - most of them really haven't spent much time in a traditional service. What about their favorite scripture passage. Again - no. In fact, several of them responded to one person's "John 3:16" with "What's that?" No, they don't have any concept of scripture being a part of their lives. They hear it and it is all around them, but they aren't making it a part of their personal lives.

If you were to ask me the same question, I might not be able to answer immediately, but mostly because it would require me to limit myself to only one. Ok, I might also have to look it up really quickly so that I could identify exactly where the passage is found ... but, I do have many.

Then, I asked them to be honest and tell me whether or not they had even opened their Bible in the last month. Only one or two could honestly say they had read anything out of their Bible in that period of time.

Does that freak you out? Oh, it does me. But, I guess the question is there for us all. Have you even bothered to read the words that God gave us in the last month? I pray that we all can say "of course!" Because this is the only way to know who God is.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Relaxing morning

Max left the house at 6:45 this morning and I didn't. How cool was that! Jennie is picking me up in a bit. So, I've had a very relaxing morning ... and I'll be at work in a bit. So, I'm not home feeling terrible ... I'm just home waiting. She asked me to take Soul Seekers for her tonight - she has to be somewhere and I couldn't imagine doing a 13 hour day if I didn't have to. Whew!

Yup, I need to get busy and finish my Revelation study (cleanup, check footnotes, bibliography, etc.) so that I can send it off for possible publication. And I need to get busy writing again. I could really be happy staying at home writing for a living. I doubt that it will ever happen, but there's no reason a girl can't dream, right?

Whoops - I got caught up shopping online at Hello! I just placed the order and Max can pick it up tomorrow before he picks me up. Oh my goodness!

Oh ... the other thing about it. Last night was the 7th night in a row that I cooked at home. Now that's an accomplishment for me - at least in the last year or so. I'd like to keep it up - so I need more groceries! Whee

Ok ... now, I'm running late. Whoops.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A bagel and a Chai

It is now an hour past when I usually go in to work. I'm still at home. :smile:

I could eat breakfast here, but I won't. I plan to stop for a bagel and a hot Chai tea (I keep typing 'Chair' tea) on the way in to work. I don't need it, but by golly I have freedom and I'm going to use it!

Alright, I really need to be moving. The car isn't going to start itself and get warmed up (again: soon. soon.)

Monday, March 03, 2008

I'm so sorry you're sick

How do you tell your husband that you love him very much and you're so sorry he doesn't feel well, but, YEA! I get the car tomorrow and don't have to be at work at 7:00 in the morning. Yippee skippee, yippee skippee!!! This is awfully exciting.

Oh wait, I'm supposed to be terribly chagrined that my poor husband is feeling so badly. Awww ... poor Max.


You have NO idea how much I treasure that extra hour and a half in the morning. I wasn't trying to drop my head into my hands to sleep during the day, I wasn't yawning all through the day. It was just plain awesome. Soon ... soon ... soon.

We watched another episode of S.W.A.T. this evening. The television series from the 70s - not the movie. Good looking men being macho. They had great cars, great haircuts (hehe), and looked good in those clothes. Yup ... I'm a girl of the 70s!

Robert Uhrich was so hot. Maybe you remember him in Vega$, or maybe in Spenser for Hire.

Then I watched an episode of Starsky and Hutch. Again, the television series from the 70s. Not the lousy movie. More good looking men being macho. Those were great years! And they didn't take themselves too seriously. It's the Han Solo effect. A swashbuckling hero with a sense of humor.
So, I do have to admit to an addiction for 70s / 80s television. But, doggone it, television was fun! CSI is good stuff, Law and Order - excellent acting, LOST is wonderful. I could go on and on. But, tv when I was young? What a riot! It was just plain fun.
Yes, I promise I will get past these posts. And on to something more profound one of these days.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

The Fleeting moments of the weekend

It's approaching 11 pm and it's time for bed. I've had my weekend and now I must return to some sense of normalcy. I see these weekends as short retreats from the world. Max and I hide in our haven ... our home ... and recharge so that we can enter the world again. I can't imagine having to be busy every single day of the week. So, I'm thankful for the respite.

I've done a lot of cooking these last few days and I do enjoy it. I've read a couple of novels, discovered a bunch of old television shows - remember "Nanny and the Professor?" If you don't, you are too young. How about the old S.W.A.T.? Again, you're too young. I watched the pilot episode for "Bewitched." Wow, Elizabeth Montgomery was beautiful!

You'll see that I've put "The Daily Puppy" in the sidebar of my blog. Gracious me, but those pups are addicting! And there are a couple of dachshunds that have shown up in the last few days. ARGH! They break my heart, they're so adorable.

Here's a sweet thing: I overheard Max talking to his older brother on the phone yesterday. He was upstairs and I wasn't really paying too much attention, but I heard him say Leica's name. When he came down, I asked him what he was telling Buck. "Oh, I was just telling him how much she loved me." Ahhhh ... adorable (or adorkable). Isn't it wonderful to see what an animal can do for a person? She is absolutely my dog. She will follow me anywhere. But, she loves him so much and this makes him feel great. I'm awfully glad to have her around.

When you pray ... do you have a long list of people and things to pray for or do you ask God who He would like you to be interceding for? I've been spending a lot of time lately asking God how He wants me to pray. It occurs to me that the time I spend with Him is not only precious to me, but to Him and since He is the Creator of the World, I should probably ask what it is that He thinks is most important. This is certainly changing my attitude about prayer.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Animals adhering to my body

I would have liked to take a nap this afternoon. In fact, I curled up on the couch fully prepared to shut my eyes and drop in to yawnosphere. However, it was not to be. All of a sudden both of my small animals were plastered to my body. Why? My stupid landlord is hacking away at the walls on the other side of the duplex. Pounding, sawing, drilling ... whatever sound they can make, they are making. For heaven's sake, this has been going on for nearly 2 years and they still haven't rented that place. What are they doing.

However, the good thing is that it allowed me some close bonding time with a cat and a dog.

Sci Fi is sucking me in

Ok ... I will admit to the fact that I'm a complete sci fi junkie, but in the course of the last 10 years, I've read very little of it, simply because I have had no time. The internet became a huge time spender (I don't waste time on the internet, I learn). However, I have discovered that the biggest time wasters are stupid computer games. I can get myself lost in these games for much too long.

And, I was reading quite a lot of non-fiction. Mostly Christian-based study stuff. Those books aren't something to curl up with in bed, but I would read until I was pooped and then drop into nanaland.

Because I wasn't spending hours in bookstores looking at the new sci fi that was coming out, I was losing touch with what was good. I have no friends that read this stuff anymore and no one is telling me what to find on the shelves. It was alright. I didn't have time for it anyway, right? Right.

Slowly but surely, sci fi has found me again. I'm addicted to several RSS feeds. I have a terrific feed reader and one of those addictions is (A Directory of Wonderful Things). They popped a relatively new author (since I quit reading scifi) at me in Elizabeth Bear. I've been reading her blog and an online book that she authors with others. Then, I discovered which offers me a terrific book each week in pdf form.

Why do I love sci fi? Because it gives me new and different ways of looking at life on earth. It continues to ask the question: "What if?"

What if things were not as we assume they are?

Answering that question always expands the limited way that we think. And I like having my mind pushed in new directions.