Tuesday, September 30, 2008

CNN *again*? Who are you??????

-----"Same fools" who brought you this effort are going to try again, Dobbs says.-----

I just can't let it go, because I am so stunned to see 'experts' reporting that the emperor is nekkid. And then to see that CNN is reporting it?

Well, it's enough to make me a bit unsettled.

And Now for Something Completely Different

A GIVEAWAY!

Really? What's the catch?

None, really. Visit this website as they launch their new online purse store.

from their site...

-----Handbag Planet is almost here. To celebrate the October 15, 2008 launch, we are giving away a free handbag every hour for 24 hours on the day of the launch. Our high fashion, trendy handbags are inspired by popular designer brands and priced between $30 and $80.

After signing-up in one easy step below, you can select the handbag you would like to win. There's absolutely no catch - this means no shipping/handling fees or credit card required. Yes, it's really that simple!-----

hehe

How awesome is that?

I've already entered...wish me luck!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Was that a PIG that just flew by?

This man *is* an expert on all things economic (remember, I said that I am not--lol) and he's on CNN's website with his guest commentary on the bailout.

Here's his take on things.

"Bailout FAILS" is an oxymoron

The Bailout bill FAILS? FAILS?

Huh. Really? Is *that* how it is?

I prefer to see the glass half full.

Maybe, just maybe, we should be encouraged that the politicians *listened* and responded to the wishes of their constituents.

Maybe, just maybe, we should remember that it is seldom in the best interest of wise decision-making to make haste toward an ill-defined goal.

Maybe, just maybe, this will allow the free market system to rebound, self-heal or run its course.

I do not pretend to even begin to understand the complex
intricacies of economics. I am no expert.

But I do know that no-one (including governments) can live beyond the reaches of their personal resources. Oh, you may get by for awhile, but eventually, you have to pay the consequences and pay up. Not fun.

But to delay the inevitable through false means is to behave like a child. You know how a child covers his/her eyes when they've been naughty to protect from being busted by their parents? One of my children used to even say to me, in a conspiratorial stage whisper, "Don't see me, Mom. Don't see me".


It's time for us to 'man up'. It's time for us to demand that our system of government work for us, by enforcing the laws of the land. You cannot legislate morality, but you can enforce the laws that exist. And they must be applied equally under the law.

This will require that we all plug back into the system, pushing our (my) fat tushies off the couch, away from the TV and into the realm of knowing what in the heybillies is going on in our government at every level, from the PTA and the school boards to the White House.

We must monitor our legislators; their salaries, their voting records, their conduct. We must monitor our own expenditures of time, money and emotions.

We must realize that this is serious. We must not deny the hard truth and the hard road ahead.

We must not allow politicians to whisper to us, "Don't see me".

Tea, Anyone?

9/29/2008

Senator Iowa x2:

I want to share my views regarding the proposed Federal Bailout of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

I cannot stress strongly enough that I am furious with the Washington politics that offers up the American taxpayer as the bailout plan for the criminal misconduct that occurred in the administration of these government agencies.

I wish to see prosecution of the individuals who have created this financial crisis.

It is intolerable that the American public should be made responsible for this mess that we did not create.

The socialization of our economic system will be the death of our nation. A free market system is essential to our continuance as a world leader.

Socialization NEVER works. Bigger government NEVER works.

I will not be satisfied that our elected politicians have done their job and "put country first", unless and until the responsible parties are brought to justice.

I respectfully request the honor of a personal response to this correspondence. I do not wish to receive a form letter from you on this issue.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Thank Goodness for Saturday

Here's what we did on Saturday, before the suh-weet sinus infection spectacular. (heavy sarcasm)

Cheeks, Mountie and ZAP!

I gotta confess a few things here...

1). my real name is Teri; see post entitled "Identity Crisis" (on my other blog) for the full story.

2). I am struggling with a pretty bad sinus headache.

3). the first time I watched this little praise gem (below), I couldn't laugh for the pounding and ringing in my head.

4). after some IB and sudafed, this video is flippin' HI-larious!

I think Val from (D)rivvel Supp hit the highlights in her post; cheeks, Mountie and Zap! Might just be my new fake swearing phrase.

Thanks for thinking of me and knowing what I'd like. heh heh

(C)hicken Supp for the Soul.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Beyond Golden


Sixty years ago today, Virginia Alice became Richard Dudley's wife, at the home of her sister. Sixty years. How amazing is that?

They met on a city bus, shortly after Dick came home from the service (World War II).

They have raised two sons and have seven grandchildren and two great-grand children.
They are hard workers
, happy generous people, and man, can my mother in law cook and bake! Wowza.

I respect and admire all that they have done in their lives, not the least of which is to have stayed married for 60 years!

Happy Anniversary, Dick and Ginny! We love you very much and wish you many more happy years together.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Everything In Between

New Homecoming 2008 post (with photos) over at the other blog.

When Your Job Makes You (almost) Cry

I am a speech pathologist. I (mostly) love my job. I love people. I love helping people. I view paperwork as a necessary evil.

I dislike useless, arbitrary, everchanging paper trails that require that I keep up, not with research-based therapy techniques (although, by law I must keep up with those, too), but with silly-pants forms.

One year (and I am *not* even kidding), they had a meeting to tell all 500+ of us that the new form was no longer called a "Written Prior Notice", but a "Prior Written Notice".

Truth. Swear.

So, what almost made me cry today at my job? Could it be...

Ridiculous papers?

Frivolous forms?

Capricious cr@pola?

Nope. Joy.

The progress of two of my precious little boys from tantrum-throwing, frustrated, angry pre-verbal persons, to right-on-the-cusp-of-language-breathrough kidlets!

Yup. When the first little boy (at my 9:00 AM home visit), 'got it', he lit up like a Christmas tree and I thought, "*This is why I get up in the morning".

Yesirree. I can still see his delighted face. And can feel the slight stinging of tears in my eyes. Is that unprofessional?

The look on his face was one like it all finally made just a little bit of sense. Like for the first time, he could see how language might actually work for him and not just be a bunch of Charlie Brown's teacher noise.

Like he could begin to use this complex symbol system that we call 'speech' to get something he desparately wants...like Thomas the Train, or a banana or more bubbles.

You don't have to directly teach the cause and effect, the simple exchange of language to most children. But to mine, you do.

And there is no more rewarding job that I can imagine.

Unless it's this job...with no "Prior Written Notice" form.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Now that I've received the "Smile" award....

...it's time to get my rant on.

Oh. My. Word.

I am beyond fed up with the villification of Sarah Palin and her family. I read today that SNL has a new sketch starring Tina Fey as Sarah Palin that implies that Bristol Palin's child was conceived by an incestuous relationship with her father.

Can you imagine the hue and cry if anyone publicly implied that Barack Obama was molesting one of his daughters? The "outrage"? The din would not die down. For decades.

And Chevy Chase wants Sarah Palin "decimated" on the show? Really? How unbecoming.

And Tina Fey wants the election over with, and Barack elected, so that she never has to play the role of Sarah Palin again? Huh.

I dunno. I guess it seems to me that you're getting alot of very positive publicity, press and accolades for your spot-on Sarah Palin impersonation. But, hey, if it is so very distasteful to play this role, by all means, politely and graciously decline.


You know, here's the deal. Obviously, just because you are a public figure does not mean you have no opinions or thoughts in your pretty, talented and highly paid head. Public figures, actors, actresses, athletes, etc. have the right to their opinions.

What causes me to take notice and offense? When highly-paid, pretty- faced, left-coastal types presume that I am a stoopid, uncouth heartland dweller who requires enlightenment for my bitter gun and religion clinging ways. ugh.


So, all you pretty, talented, highly compensated people, please remember that even (and especially), us lowbrow, silly pants Mid-westerners, like to laugh at your antics, your "Vacation" movies, your "Baby Mama" nonsense, but we may or may not be in agreement with your privately held views.

And we may, in fact, decide that we sort of don't care for you mocking our beliefs anymore. And making disrespectful, disgusting insinuations about a family that has done nothing to deserve such treatment.

And while you may or may not notice the loss of our admiration and price of admission, we will very likely cling to our long-held principle of not supporting with our dollars, things and beliefs that run so contrary to our own.

Because that is another powerful way to cast a vote in America.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

If I'm one, then so are you!

A post by Melissa has me thinking.

Hmmm...Maybe I am not as weird as I thought I was. Other people are interested in ummm....er, unique things.


Here are some things I have spent waaaaay too much time researching on-line.

1). Old time Freak Shows and the people who were on display. Who were they? Where were they from? How were they treated? What were their lives like? What (likely) condition did they have and could they have been helped if born today?

2). Medical History--tuberculosis, black plague, Spanish flu pandemic, childbirth through the ages, polio, iron lungs, the beginning of the Mayo clinic, sanatoriums, mental health, poor farms, county homes, Kirkbride buildings, etc. etc.

3). Buxton, Iowa--a coal mining town populated almost exclusively by African Americans. Fascinating! No longer exists, except as ruins.

4). The Salton Sea---who knew? I hope to see this one day.

5). Lustron homes---you know those all steel homes that look like lunch boxes? So cool. We have a few here in our town. I would loove to be able to snoop inside one.

6). Planned communities--such as Levittown, PA; Ladd's additon in Portland.

7). Due to the recent Olympics, I have harnessed the power of YouTube to help me remember all the gymnasts of my youth. Ludmilla Tourescheva, Nadia, Olga, Cathy Rigby all have routines on YouTube. The weirdest thing is, that I could do all of Cathy Rigby's Olympic routines when I was in high school. The sport progresses that much every four years. Then, of course, you have to look up what has become of each former gymnast.

8). Early amusement parks--especially on the East Coast; Luna Park, Coney Island . But I also loved researching Venice Beach in CA. It was so pretty back then. Now, it's edgey and quirky and fun in a different way. Saltair was another long ago fun place.

9). My family genealogy. All the surnames, places, countries, photos, cemeteries, battles, etc. I can get lost in this for hours.

10. Frank Lloyd Wright homes--we have several here in Iowa and I've visited some in other cities, as well. What a great architect. What a strange person.

11. Mormons: both dh and I have some Mormons in our family trees. I have 'met' some dear folks online, who are Mormons. Although I do not agree with the theology, I am fascinated with the historical aspects of their religion.

12. The history of the cities I have lived in...the settlers, the early days, the schools, the cemeteries, the hospitals, the people who left their mark in great homes, great ideas, great contributions, etc.

13. Any place I am planning to visit soon. I must go with a plan, otherwise, I get home and someone will say, "Oh, did you go see.......?" and I will have to sy, "No, I never knew that...." and then, I'll have to be all bummed. No siree. Must have a plan for must-see sights when traveling.

14. World Fairs--especially the World's Fairs of Chicago and St. Louis. Absolutely amazing.

15. The history of other newer religions and peoples: Christian Scientists, Gospel Hall, Mennonites, Assembly of God, Vineyard, Mormons, Amish, Brethren, Icarians, etc.

Obviously, I could go on and on and on. I spend far too much time learning worthless tidbits of info that is not at all useful in my daily life. I guess it is my drug of choice. sigh

It's low cal.

Almost free.


Rationalizing is the first sign of addiction, eh?
Who wants to pray for me? :~)

Wartbug Wins!!!

My son's college football team pulled off an awesome win yesterday in Pella.

Here is the article from our paper. We were sitting in the end zone on the grass and had front row seats to watch that final kick win the game. Woooohooo!

Small college football: Wartburg clips No. 9 Central
PELLA — Spencer Herzberg missed two field goals and had another blocked last Saturday against Augsburg College in Wartburg’s double-overtime defeat.

He even misfired on an extra-point attempt in the second quarter Saturday.

But redemption was sweet for the senior placekicker from Iowa Falls.

Herzberg drilled a 41-yard field goal with 41 seconds remaining to help the Knights knock off ninth-ranked Central, 19-17, in an Iowa Conference football thriller at Schipper Stadium.

“Kickers always wait for a moment like that to win a game,” Herzberg said. “It was the first time in four years I had a chance to win a game. I felt fortunate to do so.”

It was Wartburg’s first win over Central in four years and snapped the Dutch’s 28-game, regular-season winning streak. The last three meetings between the teams have been decided by six points or less.

And it was the 17th consecutive time Wartburg has bounced back with a victory after a loss.

“It speaks to the resiliency of our team,” head coach Rick Willis said. “I told the guys at the end of last week’s game, we’re going to find out what type of team we really are.

“We showed it today. We came into a tough place, on Homecoming, and Central really changed some things up. I’m so proud of the guys to pull through.”

Wartburg (2-1, 1-0 IIAC) built a 16-3 cushion in the third quarter after quarterback Nick Yordi ran in from 8 yards for a touchdown.

Central, however, responded with 14 unanwered points, including a 9-yard pass from Zack Bandow to Cam Waugh, to take a 17-16 lead with 11:35 left.

The Knights started their winning drive at midfield with 3 1/2 minutes left. Yordi converted with receiver Justin Vetter on fourth-and-three for 16 yards to extend the drive.

Then, three plays later, kicking into a slight wind, Herzberg cleared the crossbar by about a yard.

Aided by two Wartburg pass interference penalties, Central (1-1, 0-1) drove to the Wartburg 45 in the closing seconds, but Bandow was pressured and hit. His errant throw was intercepted by Blake Suckow to secure the victory.

Yordi completed 12 of 21 passes for 274 yards and a score. Alex Boom ignited the ground game with 87 yards on 28 carries.

Wartburg returns home next Saturday to play winless Cornell at 1 p.m.

Wartburg 3 6 7 3 – 19

Central 0 3 7 7 – 17

Jared #91, second from the left, white jersey.


Me and my boy!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Field Trip


My and my young Republican. She is a great critical thinker and is not intimidated by her liberal schoolmates and teachers.


My girl and her friend, B. Love that B's mom let her come with us on our "field trip". Her parents and dh and I think alike on many issues.



My sign.
I like this slogan for McCain. It is fitting and rather Kennedy-esque.

The jet.

See those gals flanking Senator McCain (are they twins?)?. While we waited for McCain/Palin to arrive, they sang a very soprano-y and church-y rendition of "I'm Proud to be an American". eh

Anyway, I took my girls to a local fast food place after the rally and in swoops bloodred lipstick gal #1, saying, "Oh!!! My sister and I just sang at that rally!". My addled response? "Oh. I wasn't able to see you two. I could only hear. You were nice".
(lame)

Yes, Governor Palin is in the white suit, mid-stage. Click on the photo to play "Where's Waldo?".

Looks important. Too bad it was for YESTERDAY. Plus, it's Cedar Rapids, not Grand Rapids. No respect for Iowa. sheesh


My button on my busyprint shirt.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sharing the Suffering

Angie, from the blog "Bring the Rain", is a woman I really, really, REALLY admire. Never met her. Would love to someday. Might have to wait till Heaven, but oh, to call her a sister in Christ already...Wow.

In case you are not familiar with her family's story (where ya been, under a rock? haha), I would highly suggest it is worth the time it would take to go to her blog and read from the beginning, to the present. I spent *hours* one night reading and crying and praying and getting to know this woman, who surely is one of God's favorite kids. Now, I regularly check in and I always leave uplifted.

Anyway, a recent post of hers has had me thinking for the past few days. Read the linked post and then come back and we'll talk. I'll wait...

Back? OK then. Wow, huh? Woooowwwww.


See, I have things like this that I do when I want to meditate on the Lord. During the time I first met Him, I would put my little ones to bed and RUN downstairs to my date with Christ. I would turn off the lights, light a few candles and put on a worship CD.

Then, my God and I would dance. Unashamedly. Without concern for how I looked. Did. not. care. I was in love! And I would sing my heart out to my Lord. My Savior. My Messiah. My Redeemer. My Papa. My God.

I would kneel and bow and dance and twirl and sing and spend the last hour or two of my day, just worshiping God and enjoying His presence.
I would picture myself, holding His face in my hands, gazing into His eyes, simply lost. To be loved unconditionally was the most intimate thing I had ever experienced. How intoxicating. What a precious time that was for me and my brandnewbaby Christian faith.

Another scenario I have imagined that assists me in entering the presence of God is to picture myself as a kid, welcoming home my Dad. I hear His footsteps, I run to Him and jump into His arms. I chatter incessantly as He nods and smiles and listens and laughs. We sit on the couch together, snuggled up.

Then, I notice that my Dad is tired. I know what to do! I get His footstool. I get Him a glass of water and set it near Him. I get Him a snack. I ask about His day. I hover. I 'help'. I rub his shoulders. And I feel loving and useful and warm and special. Just me and my Dad.

These are special imaginings for me. They are not anything I read about in a book. The are simply natural for me. They sort of just happened to me, without my seeking, but I have come back to them again and again, as a way to connect with God.

Angie's way of connecting with God is far more beautiful, terrifying and sacred (in my opinion). My connection methods seem kindergarten-ish and immature, by comparison. This feeling does not originate with God (IMHO), as I do not believe that God is all into our comparisons with one another. I do not believe that Angies's way is preferred by God over 'my' way. God is not like that.

But what I do know, is that it takes a courageous Christian to knowingly and intentionally enter into the suffering of Christ. From the title of her blog, "Bring the Rain", to the writings she shares, to her meditation exercise, Angie is not afraid to enter into and share in the sufferings of Jesus. And I am overcome by that.

Me? To this day, I cannot stay in a theater or a room when the "Passion of the Christ" movie is portraying the torture of Jesus. Like, as in, I physically bolt from the room, panic-stricken, because I know what is coming. I cannot watch and I cannot listen , but neither can I leave entirely. I stay nearby, eyes covered, ears covered and alternately crying or shaking or both.

I am a weenie. I can't handle the truth about what happened to Jesus.

For me.

I wonder if I will ever be able to enter into the Lord's presence the way Angie does. Does that even matter? Just thinking about it makes my stomach turn. I feel queasy and panicky, even now, simply considering the prospect of looking upon his horribly battered body. How can people be so mean? So cruel? The mocking, the pleasure, some took in His suffering and death. ugh. (deep breath).

Not sure how to wrap up this little musing. Did I have a point? What was my point? Hmmmm...I am flippin' Aunt Clara (shakes head pathetically and rolls eyes)!!

Oh yeah. Go read Angie's blog. You will feel blessed to know her, too, no matter how you connect with Jesus.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Oh dear.

I remember my pastor said once that, generally speaking, people weren't Christians for one of two reasons:

1). They had never met a Christian or

2). They had.

Sadly, this
little clip lends itself well to #2.

Oh dearie me.
::snicker::snort::

Monday, September 15, 2008

TOOTHY GRIN

::gasp::

Melissa, my dear bloggy friend has kindly awarded me the SMILE award.

Awwww....shucks.

I want to thank her, not only for the award, but for the very kind words she wrote about me and my blog.

Ummm...I don't know that I can agree with it all, though (never, *ever* negative?---yikes!), but I can support the *idea* of it. lol

Characteristics for a Smile Award recipient:

1. Must display a cheerful attitude.
2. Must love one another.
3. Must make mistakes.
4. Must learn from others.
5. Must be a positive contributor to blog world.
6. Must love life.
7. Must love kids.

These are the rules for awarding The Smile Award:

1. The recipient must link back the the award’s creator. (check)
2. You must post these rules if you receive the award. (check)
3. You must chose 5 people to receive the award after receiving it yourself. (check)
4. You must fit the characteristics of the recipient of the award, as posted by Mere.
5. You must post the characteristics of a recipient. (check)
6. You must create a post sharing your win with others. (check)
7. You must thank your giver. (check)

People I’d like to give the award to:

1. Lois at Musings of the Dings
Lois and her husband offer consistent, sound teaching and advice on the subjects of Biblical child rearing and other family matters. I find them solid and sweet, honest and funny. And their children are such cuties!

2. Val at (D)rivvel Supp
Val is one of the funniest writers I know. She has a BIG love for Jesus and orphans and lives out her beliefs in her daily life. She is not afraid to call a spade a spade and I appreciate that. Her kids all darling, too!

3. Maureen at My Little Pearl
A dynamic, go-getter of a single adoptive mom, who besides living out her own dreams of adoption, started a foundation to assist other families in bringing home a child from China. She is all mid-west, all smart and city-cool and a real heroine! Her precious daughter is the light of her life and that makes me happy.

4. Christianne at A Full Quiver
This cool mom is a mother to the little one that will always sort of be 'mine' (in my heart). Their daughter Graci, is the little girl I pursued to be our daughter, but God knew better. Christianne is the mother of two bio children, two adoptive special needs children and two angels in Heaven. She and her husband are a funny, sweet, faithful team of two who are self-described 'kid-junkies'.

5. Christi at Cherry Blossom Life
Another single adoptive mom who is courageously living out her dreams is Christi. The story behind her adoption of Abbey is nothing short of miraculous (not exaggerated) and now, she is living another chapter of unbelievableness! Christi's faith is pleasing to God and an inspiration to me!


So, there are the bloggers upon which I wish to bestow the SMILE Award. The award that feels good to give *and* feels good to get.

Everyone wins!
Bravo! Bravo!

Life Imitates Art

OK. You all know that the profile picture I use isn't me, right? It's Aunt Clara from 'Bewitched".

She is addled.
I am addled.

She is old.
I am old (but not *that* old).

But after today, I am wondering just how old I look.

I visited a preschool classroom to evaluate the communication skills of a few of the children. One bright-eyed, red-haired little chatterbox (obviously, not on my list of children to see), asked me, "Who are you?".

I was happy to aswer, "My name is Mrs. _____. I am a speech teacher".

She squinted up at me from the paper she was coloring and without missing a beat said, "You look like a Grandma to me". And back to coloring she went.

And I stood there, mouth agape, not knowing whether I should burst out laughing or CRY! sputter sputter

The kind preschool teacher quickly came to my defense (she must have noted I looked like I might CRY!--lol) and said gently (in that preschool way), "You just look like a mommy to me".

And I'm not sure, but she may have given the little red-headed chatterbox the stinkeye!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Really? I forgot my favorite one?


This is my favorite senior photo, in that it looks exactly like my darling daughter.

This is her, "Really, Mom?" pose.


As in, "Really? Midnight?" or

"Really, you want me to clean my room today?" or

"Really? You think $25.00 is enough for a __________?".

You get the idea.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Nothing New Under the Sun

Who Am I?
>
>
>I am under 45 years old,
>I love the outdoors,
>I hunt,
>I am a Republican reformer,
>I have taken on the Republican Party establishment,
>I have many children,
>I have a spot on the national ticket as vice president with less
>than two years in the governor's office.
>
>
>Did you guess?
>.
>.
>.
>.
>.
>.
>.
>.
>.
>.
>.
>.
>I am Teddy Roosevelt in 1900.

My Baby's Senior Photos

Her eyes were that big as a baby, too.

I like black and white. So crisp and expressive.

No words. I just want everyone to know that she is as pretty on the inside, as the outside.

All kinds of cool finishes make the portraits even more special.

My girl. (sigh)
A little more serious.
No my favorite pose, but I love her face and the setting is all urban and cool.
This one reminds me of when she was a little girl.

Love the smile and the colors in this one. Cool!

I spent waaaaay more than I had intended. Waaaay more.

But my dear husband helped me through it by saying, "Next year, she leaves. Then all you have is pictures. Get whatever you want. You will never regret that you have too many pictures".

Serious. What a Prince of a guy, huh?

Coming Soon

My dd's senior pictures.

They sure don't make 'em like they used to.

Wowza!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Defining Moment


Grandparents speak of Pearl Harbor. Parents speak of the day JFK was shot.

My children (and I) will speak of 9/11 as the defining moment of our lifetimes. That day, everything changed for America.


We remember.
We will never forget.
We will never be the same.

God bless America.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

96 Verses

96 verses.

The young pastor of a local former house church preached 96 verses. From the Old Testament.

96 verses from the book of ....I forgot, but it had the word cubit in it, many times. The passages were God's explicit instructions on how to build the Ark of the Covenant, the Table, the Lamp stand and the veil and curtains of the movable, portable dwelling of the Presence of the Lord, prior to His incarnation.

It would seem that this might be boring. I have, in fact, read these very passages before and have found them dry and confusing and more a tad irrelevant. God's Word irrelevant? (ugh. how embarrassing. or ignorant. or arrogant. or something).

But, the Young Pastor plowed through verse after verse, often stopping to confess his apology for putting us through this, for the new people in the church, for the fear he had that we would leave and think his teaching was, I guess, irrelevant. His earnestness was endearing, his passion obvious. I forgave him immediately for these two reasons alone.

I even nodded off a few times (just being honest here--not proud of the fact). But the strangest thing had begun to happen. As he continued on and on, reading, reading, reading, I felt peace. And sweetness. And comfort. And security.

In what? Some dry passages of Scripture? The metal folding chairs on the old wooden floors? The strangers amongst whom we shared our Sabbath day? What was happening here? It was
odd.

I was unable to put my feelings into words, until the end of the teaching. As we were warmly approached and welcomed by the curious faithful flock, as we shook hands and introduced ourselves to the young pastor, out it came. The reason for my contentment. The simple reason.

"The Word of God was preached here today", I said to Mr. Young Preacher Man. "It was awesome". And I meant it.

And I was going to say more, but it seemed like that would just be weird, cuz I could feel that hyper verbalness welling up in me, that thing I do, when I am stoked and can't find the right words, so I try them all on for size, tossing them aside faster and faster, as I get closer and closer to the kernel of truth I am searching to put into coherent words. When I am like this, my entire focus is on making my listener 'get it'.


As the Word of God was preached, in my hearing, it was like a lullaby. It was not unlike being warm and sleepy and safe and cozy in my bed, listening to beloved parent read a bedtime story of fairy tales we could not comprehend, with vocabulary wholly unfamiliar to us.

What does a small child know of the profound struggle of right versus wrong, good versus evil? Of princes and princesses and witches and spells? Of wicked stepmothers and sleepy dwarves and dragons and briars and castles and swords? Nothing, that's what. And yet, that is the child's favorite bed time ritual.

But it doesn't matter in the least. The child's soul resonates with the story, the voice of truth, the love and familiarity of the storybook tale, written by our Maker on our hearts from the time we are knit together. Although we have never heard the story before, we know it deeply. We recognize it from the first time we hear it.

It is the same with the preaching of the Word. We recognize it. We identify with it. We know it intimately, even if it is the first time we hear it. Even if it seems irrelevant, we know it as truth.

It soothes us. It comforts us. It sings us to sleep and tucks the covers up under our chins. It causes us to rest safely and securely, without needing to understand it all.

Cubits? huh?

Showbread? what?


It doesn't matter to the heart of a child.

And this child's heart knows she is safe when in the house of the Lord, listening to the timeless Word of God, which is living and active, sharper than a two-edged sword, able to separate soul and spirit, joints and marrow. (Hebrews 4:12)


Thank you, Young Pastor. Blessings upon your church.

Keep preaching the Word.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Insight

"Why hadn't I realized how much of what I thought was love, was simply my own highly developed gift for making lemonade?"

---Nora Ephron, "I'm Sad About My Neck"

That statement pretty much sums up the first 44 years of my life. I have always, always, always 'made lemonade'.

It was my finest gift and it carried me through many a dysfunctional relationship. Through childhood, such that it was. Through men and a first husband.

My lemonade-making ability was noted and admired by others. That fueled my lemon squeezing and sugar-coating. My life was not all rainbows and roses and puppies and kittens, but you would have never known it.

Heck, I didn't even know it.

Lemonade-making was born of necessity, of survival in my family of origin. It was all I knew and over time, it became me. I was a lemonade-making, sunshiney chameleon; in many ways, a happy idiot.

Successful by the worlds' standards, loved by many; unknown to myself.

Wow. I am sad for the former me. I did not know any better. I did not know another way. Dissociative episode after dissociative episode = my first 30 years. ouch.

So, now, I am well into my 40th decade of life and I would not go back to the old me (except my waistline, and... my chin). This healthier version of me has been hard-won, God-given and is precious to me. I know who I am, what I am good at and am learning to be OK with me, as I really am. What a gift.

Part of this journey, I am sure, is a result of the aging process. Mellowing and all that. But I know people who have become bitter with age, so that alone is not responsible for the ease I feel. My faith is likely part of the equation, but again, not entirely. I know we all know unhappy Christians.

So, I will give credit to my Maker, for continuing the good work He begins in us, until it is completed. He brings my thinking into alignment with His wisdom, loves me unconditionally, and leads gently and surely.

I am just glad to no longer be trying to make lemonade where there was only ummmmm...dung.

Thank you, Lord.

A Perfect Fall Saturday

Mark, Abby, Rachel and I went to the Iowa Hawkeyes game on Saturday. Abby is home from Seattle for a visit and Rachel had never been to a Hawks game before. Tailgating food, perfect weather, a winning score and Rachel's feather boa made for a great game day. Topping it off, we went to the Amana Colonies for dinner.

The last of summer






God is so creative. How many flowers in the world? How many shades of pink? How many shapes and textures? I'll tell you. Endless. That's how many. God's amazing artistry showcased at the local arboretum.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Of Dreams, Death and Dying

Coulda been the heat, coulda been the food (lamb fries?--google it), coulda been the hotel bed...whatever it was, I was having night after night of weird and disturbing dreams, while on our recent rip to OKC.

Although, I cannot remember all the details of the death and dying dream, I can remember the highlights (or the low points, as it were).
The jist of it was that it was (somehow) revealed to me that I was going to die--soon; not much time left.

On one hand, I was all, "Yay for me! Going to Heaven. Gonna meet Jesus!" and the other part of me was all, "Noooooooo!!!! I cannot leave my babies! I cannot leave before dd graduates...and marries...and has her own babies!!! I cannot leave my son. There's so much more I want to teach him and see him accomplish."


Panic. Wailing. Peace. Hyperventilating. Pulling it together. Making lists. Falling apart again. Sobbing. You get the idea.

Lather. Rinse Repeat.

It was gut-wrenching to experience and to watch myself experience (you know that weird dream phenomenon that has you both living it and simultaneously, watching yourself)?

So, anyway. All that to say, I was reminded of what Paul said in Philippians 1:21, "To live is Christ and to die is gain."

Sounds so easy the way he says it. So holy. pffft.

You know how Seinfeld snarls the word, "Newman"? That's how I feel about the Apostle Paul. He is simply not one of my favorites. Give me that ridiculous, blowhard St. Peter-guy any day. Love him.

At any rate, I hope when the time comes, I will be a bit more prepared and graceful and submitted and less snotty-nosed, ugly-face crying.


After all, who doesn't want their Papa to be proud of them?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Stealing the Show

It would be hard for me to imagine ANYONE stealing the show from Governor Palin last evening, but I saw this and I gotta say...this lady really shines in her own way. Thanks to Val at her awesome blog for sharing this.


Busted

As I was driving hither and yon this week, I heard the Lord say (in my heart), "Remember the last time you were really mad at Me for making you do something that you really did not want to do?

You obeyed me, but were very angry about it. This lesson (about adoption) has been the same---obedience, but resentment.

Aren't you very glad you obeyed me about the first thing?

Do you not believe that you would have missed a very great blessing, if you would have had done things your way, in your wisdom?

Is this, then, not the same? Can you not trust me to bless you again, even when you cannot see how it could happen?"

loooong silent pause

Then, repentence (which is defined as 'to turn').

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Hot Links

Here are some well-thought out blogs with references and thoughts pertaining to all things God and Sara Palin...

Femina

Albert Mohler

Both are blogs which were referenced on this favorite blog of mine:

Musings of the Dings

They've each stated things better than I could, thus saving me from the frustration of trying.

Awesome, huh? I love when that happens.

Sara, Sara, Sara

"It's like looking in a mirror", I said in these two posts, referencing my ability to relate to VP candidate, Sara Palin.

Not any more.

No, sireee. Not any more.

After hearing her speech tonight at the RNC, I have changed my tune.

My new tune?

"I'm not worthy. I'm not wooorthy".

Let the campaign begin.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Lightening the Mood

Hey Readers!

Tired of the political rhetoric (including mine?).


Mosey on over to my other blog to read of the fun Labor Day weekend we had. The two most recent posts are the relevant ones.

There are photos, too! Photos of some of the most hokey, kitschy, corny things you'd ever like to see on a road trip. Love it.

Ahhhhhhh...the lessening of tension has already begun. (smirk)

Hey, Andrea. Help me follow your logic.

Husband called me today (laughingly) to tell me how 'uneducated', 'blue collar' and 'working class' I am to be impressed with Sara Palin. Huh?

Here's the transcript of the quote from NBC's Andrea Mitchell:

Brokaw: ...There are other Republicans who are saying, listen we'll be able to pull those Hillary Clinton voters who are not happy the way Obama treated her across the line. What are the chances of that Andrea?

Mitchel: Well, they think now that they have a story. They have a story of a working mom, she is a colorful character, an Annie Oakley... you know, Annie get your gun. They love her story, but when she tried to talk about Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania, in western Pennsylvania, yesterday at a rally with conservative Republican voters, Hillary Clinton was booed. So, she can use the Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro analogy if she wants to in interviews, she cannot use that at Republican rallies.

She is not appealing to the same women who were really voting or supporting Hillary Clinton on ideological issues but they think that they can peel off some of these working class women, not college educated, who, the blue collar women who were voting for Hillary Clinton and may be more conservative on social causes.

Two thoughts; one short and concise and one long and a bit passionate.

First, for the record, I don't like how Hillary was treated by her own party. In my opinion, she may have been more electable than Obama, but since the Democrats went with Obama for the Presidential nomination, why the heck didn't Obama choose Hillary for his running mate? I am puzzled by this.

Secondly, I like Sara Palin because she is *not* a Washington politician (whoo-hoo!), she is willing to take on unpopular battles, even within her own party (admirable); she has a large family (like me), supports the troops and their mission (me, too), is pro-life (like me), NRA supporting (ditto) and has been a popular governor for her state.

She balances work and family everyday (as I have), has made choices to pursue her dreams and convictions (like me). Her family is imperfect (like ours)--teen pregnancy (yup), has a special needs child (a soft spot of mine for 23 years of my profession as a speech/language pathologist, which I have to have a Master's degree in order to practice). She married her high school sweetheart (awwww) and managed to *stay* married to him. She is Christian (raising my hand again).

So, how exactly does my support of Sara Palin make me a former Hillary supportin', uneducated, blue collar voter?

I am, once again, puzzled.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Scandal? zzzzzzzzzzzzzz ::snort::

It seems that it has been confirmed by the Palin family and the McCain staff that Sara and Todd Palin's 17 year old, Bristol, is pregnant. Hmmmm....

Seems people are vilifying this poor teen. Seems that this is fuel for the folks who oppose abstinence-based teaching and pro-life beliefs. Hmmmm....

Again, I am mystified.

Who doesn't know a pregnant teen? Not hardly an unusual occurrence in our society. Many (most?) keep their baby. Many (most?) do not believe in abstinence only practices. But they still conceive babies.

While a teen pregnancy is often unplanned and perhaps, unfortunate, having a supportive family is the best possible framework for assisting one's daughter.

Bristol Palin has the support of her family during this time. Thank God and ho hum (insert yawn and stretch).

A pregnant teen can and does happen to 'every family'. A baby is a blessing, created by God. Always.

God allows free will. Our country allows abortion on demand. But, as with many things, just because we can, doesn't mean we should.

Again, viewing the woman that Sara Palin is, is like looking in the mirror, people.

Like looking in the mirror.

Of Blog Designs and Politcal Times

Been gone awhile. Must blog. Will start with two comments, as it is 1:38 AM.

1). Disliked the old blog. *Really* dislike the new prissy blog. Am in the preschool phase of learning things, so come along, as I figure stuff out oh, so s l o w l y.

2). Sara Palin. It's brilliant.

I am now energized for this election in a way I NEVER expected to be. I am really surprised (because I am a dullard) by the venomous response (by many) to her nomination for VP. Huh. Who knew?

For me, it's like looking in a mirror. I never had that feeling with Hillary or Geraldine (yes, I am that old).

But this woman? I 'get' her. And I like her. And before the addition of Sara Palin to the McCain ticket, I was seriously, seriously feeling hopeless about the upcoming election.


Obama is simply not someone I can look to for 'change'. I find him terrifying for many reasons (hey, my blog, my opinion). And Joe Biden? (sideways glance; confused, scared expression). Ummm...not an option.