Thursday, March 30, 2006

Ahhhh Spring! Achooo!

Finally! Today is supposed to get up to a beautiful 60 degrees. My three year old thinks that any warm weather is warn enough for the slip-n-slide. She doesn't really get the difference between 60 degrees and 80 degrees yet. I love spring. There's nothing like watching the world around you spring to life after a long winter. But as much as I like spring - it doesn't like me very much.

I am an allergy sufferer.

Me along with millions of others. I find myself looking for medication at night and first thing in the morning. Midday, I'm stuffed up and have decongestant on my mind. I feel like an addict.

But after years of not being able to take a decent antihistamine* , boy am I greatful to the brilliant minds that made that stuff! Even with the medications though, I feel kind of junky and I really just want to lay on the couch and watch movies. Who has time for that?

A mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do. We're re-financing our house today - I should be excited about it. But I'm sort of focused on finishing this and going to find my Claritin at the moment.

What also worries me is that in ONE WEEK I will be flying off to California for the Mount Hermon's Christian Writing Conference Do you know how many trees and flowers are out there? I'm a little concerned as to how the inside of my face is going to handle the influx of new and different pollens. I'm just hoping I can clear airport security with an entire pharmacy in my carry-on bag.

* You're not allowed to take antihistamines while pregnant and nursing - I was doing one or the other or both for close to six years. That's a whole other story.

Monday, March 27, 2006

When you're the cause...

I didn't have a very good day at church yesterday. I have a fairly high tolerance level for dealing with difficult people. Usually anyway. Not so yesterday. I work in my church's cafe making great drinks with lots of caffeine in them for those that ventured out early to church. I love working in the cafe. Serving there is usually a joy for me.

Well, there's been an ongoing...issue..with someone else that works there. I won't go into all the gory details but this person was around all morning yesterday, doing what they always do and by the time we closed the cafe, I melted down into a puddle of tears. My threshold for being able to handle it had been crossed. Crying is a release - so I really didn't expect the guy who runs the cafe to come over and want to know what happened. I didn't say much but since he already knew what the issue was (since everyone pretty much feels the same way) he went to this person and basically told this person to leave me alone. When my husband came and found me crying, he also went to this person and told him to stay away from me. My husband is the picture of patience and so him being brought to the point of confrontation, well, it just says a lot about what I (and others) have had to deal with.

Well, as you can imagine, the whole thing blew up. Now this person has pleny of other issues and perhaps it was really those other issues (and not the incident with me) that caused him to talk to the senior pastor for over an hour. It might have had nothing to do with me.

Yet I still feel like I provoked the incident - was a spark for the fire that suddenly flamed. I kept thinking - if only I had kept my emotions under control for a little while longer. If only I had snuck into the ladies room to cry there. Several people tried to reassure me yesterday saying that something had to be done, and that it was good that it happened. That I hadn't done anything wrong.

While that may be true, it still feels yucky when you're caught up in something you never meant to be involved with. And I've just never been comfortable with the yucky.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Thursday Fun Question...

Thirteen Things about Sarah's Life with Animals

For a little fun this week...which one of these 13 pets did Sarah NEVER own?

1. Horse
2. Dog
3. Guinea Pigs
4. Squirrel
5. Goat
6. Rabbit
7. Lovebird
8. Geese
9. Chickens
10. Fish
11. Peacock
12. Cat
13. Hamster

Wow. I've had a lot of pets!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Hidden Destiny

My husband and I took our kids out to Luray Caverns on Friday for a little family adventure. It's a magical place and today I am astounded at a God who can create such magnificance and hide it underneath a hill. It was discovered in August of 1878, over 125 years ago, and yet existed inside that hill long before they found a way inside. The hill doesn't look like anything special on the outside, but inside you can walk for over a mile around the sculptures God formed - one drop of water at a time.

I have been thinking about Elizabeth, John the Baptist's mom, because I will be teaching a class about her just a little over a week from now. Elizabth had been barren for many years - at a time when being barren was a shame to a woman. When she became pregnant with John, she told no one about it for five months ,remaining in seclusion. I have been thinking about that for weeks now - Why did she hide? Well, we can never know for sure until we ask her in heaven - but here is my take on the situation.

She was pregnant with destiny - from her womb would come the one who would "make ready a people prepared for the Lord." She would take part in an event that would change the world forever. Yet no one else knew. She had been barren for many years and there would be no outward signs of her condition for - around five or six months. She knew what was growing inside of her, but others might have been very skeptical. Imagine an old lady running around saying she was pregnant. At best she would have been dismissed, at worst they might have thought her delusional - or even mad. She chose to remain silent, until the outward sign of the inward gift was made known.

Our own destinies sometimes can be just like that baby growing in Elizabeth's womb, or those caverns hidden under that hill. No one else may know they are there. You may be the only one who is aware of what God is doing within you, the purpose that is growing inside of you. God has placed within each of us a hidden destiny. We may know bits and pieces - aware of something that is bigger than us, but we don't fully grasp God's work in us and around us. We are prone to tunnel-vision, aware of only what is right in front of us, instead of what God is growing within us. I think Elizabeth was wise to keep the secret, to cherish that time when it was just between her and God (and her mute husband). It's a special time. Because once the world knows, everything changes. While that day back in 1878, only three men climbed into that cavern, now millions of people have wandered through it as they bathe it in artifical light. It's not quite the same because now what was only between you and God, is now available to all.

I think that God has placed a treasure within each of us. I so often see it in others. I marvel and wonder at what God might do with them. But just as Elizabeth eventually had to give birth to John, we too, have to be willing to give birth to our destiny - when God says the time is right. Because even though sharing that destiny changes it, I for one am glad those explorers shared their discovery so that millions can experience a taste of God's beauty. It can be hard to wait - especially when God has shared a secret with you that you wish those around you knew. It's easy to need others to affirm to you what you already know. But that's when we have to trust and know God's voice so fully, that we can no longer hear the doubters, the mockers or even the skeptics. All we need to hear is God - and trust that He can see inside of us, even when no one else can.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

What's it worth?

We decided to refinance our house this year and today was the day of the appraisal. The guy came over and walked around our house, took pictures, measured things and looked carefully over every room. Without saying a word you could see the calculations going on in his mind. Counting bedrooms, counting bathrooms, asking questions about the heat and our apparently non-exisistent sump pump (I don't even really know what that is.) All of it to figure out what my house was worth.

It was all a little odd. Being a woman, my home is my domain and it reflects a part of who I am. So when someone comes through in order to put a price tag on my home, well, it kind of feels a little bit like they're putting a price tag on me. I was weighed and measured and found lacking a sump pump.

Seriously though, aren't you glad that God doesn't measure us that way? Knocking on our door with a clipboard in hand?

How many missions trips have you been on?
How many hours do you serve in the church each week?
How many times did you pray?
How many pages in your Bible did you read this year?

God doesn't calculate our value based on what we've done or haven't done. Our value doesn't skyrocket when we do good things, or plummet when we fall into sin.

God made the calculation of our worth a long time ago. He looked us over, measured us, and found us valuable enough to send His Son to die for us. We are a valuable, prized possession and nothing can take that away. So the next time you feel like someone's looking you over and measuring your worth, just remember that God already did that, and He has declared you a treasure. And His opinion - well, it's the only one that really counts anyway.

Cross-Posted on 4:12 LIVE!

Friday, March 10, 2006


I think the Crayola company is trying to drive me, and mothers everywhere, simply mad. My oldest child is seven and in just the few years I have had kids they have come out with a whole slew of products that moved Crayola products from their permanent residence at the kitchen table to other spots in my house.

Window Markers- Lovely idea. Create markers that kids can draw on the windows with and you can wipe off. Found these when we went to the Crayola Factory up in Pennsylvania. It's not the real Crayola Factory, it's sort of "this is how we do it" demonstartion thing. The kids still thought it was cool and they got to do all sorts of art projects. (As an aside, they had this really cool drying machine that you can stick their paintings in and it's dry when it comes out the other side. I want one! This would totally rescue me from the art projects that dry all over my counters!) Anyhow, they have a store (of course) and it's got every Crayola project imaginable. Hence the window markers. But frankly, it's not pretty and my back door always has scribbles in various colors on it. For some reason it hasn't dawned on the older ones to draw nice pictures on it, they just want to scribble on it. And I have to clean it. It never comes off the first time and requires Windex to get the film off. And don't get me started on the door frame problem.

Bath Crayons - We have tons of bathtub toys and I'm all for the kids having fun in there. It's my fault - I mean I bought the crayons, thinking my three year old would enjoy them. But I just spent all sorts of time in there wiping crayon off of the bathtub. It's bad enough I have to scrub out the tub, now I get to clean the walls every time too.

Color Wonder - Another great thing - in theory. The markers/paint/crayons whatever only work on special paper. They can't draw on walls or your carpet with them (so why are they encouraging my kids draw on the bathtub and windows?) But did you catch the word "special paper"? Yea. It's the Diaper Genie all over again. Special paper means that you can't just grab a stack out of your printer to keep them happy. Nope, Crayola is determined to keep me as a returning customer. Well, I draw the line at this one. You may have taken over the bathroom and the windows downstairs, but you will not make me buy special paper to work with the special markers. You can't make me!

Wow. I feel so much better now. And if anyone knows an exec at Crayola, feel free to forward my comments.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Thirteen Things about

Thirteen Things about Becoming a Writer

1. Lots of work, with very little pay.
2. The ability to have a broadband cable connection and make it a tax write-off.
3. The chance to make pretend people do what you want them to do...unlike the real people in your everyday life.
4. Getting random letters from people who say your books helped change their lives.
5. Getting random letters from people who say your books are terrible. (I haven't actually gotten one of these but I got some bad reviews on Amazon - same thing:-)
6. Walking in a bookstore and re-arranging the bookshelves so all your friend's books face out.
7. Being able to surf the Internet and call it "research".
8. Being able to buy books and spend time reading them and call it "research".
9. Writer's Conferences! A little piece of heaven on earth.
10. Getting used to rejection - my pity party time has gone from three days to about thirty minutes. Not bad.
11. Developing the fruit of patience. Because everything takes absolutely forever!
12. The glazed-over look of your non-writer friends when you begin to discuss your WIP, POV or current H & H.
13. Spending twice as much as you earn for the chance to do something you love...priceless!!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Just amazing!

So sue me - I love my reality television. Of course, The Amazing Race isn't just any old reality show. Those that are already fans, you know what I mean. Those that aren't, well I probably won't convince you anyway:-)

My husband and I always try to decide which roadblock (an activity the teams must complete before moving on - they choose between two) we would do if we were running the race together. Sometimes we choose wisely, and sometimes we don't. You don't get all the details sometimes and often racers will start one project only to abandon it to try the other one.

God doesn't give us all the details either. He guides us. He has a plan. But He's not always very clear about the details of that plan. Think of Joseph and his dreams. God gave him the dreams AND they came to pass. He saw his family bowing down to him. But just look at all he went through before he got there. He was thrown in a pit, sold like a slave, falsely accused, thrown in prison. You get the idea. Somehow I think knowing all those details might have put a bit of a damper on Joseph. So in His mercy and grace, God shares with us on a need-to-know basis.

That doesn't always go over with me very well since I'm an information-gatherer at heart. Strange rash - I'm on the Internet looking it up. Strange word - I'm whipping out my college dictionary. Strange idea - and I'm off exploring it. It's just the way I am. My three-year old, when given a "no" to something often says, "but I neeeed it."

I feel the same way with God. "But I neeeeeed to know."

God's not buying it. And I'm probably better off. I know what I'm supposed to be doing now and I have a vision for the future. How I get from here to there? Well, I'm just going to have to trust God. It's not like He ever gives us a vision for something, tosses it in our laps and then leaves us to figure it out. He walks us through step-by-step and only when we've come full circle will we see how all the pieces of our lives fit together.

And that's just as it should be.

(But I'd still like to know if I'm going to get to write another book!!)

Monday, March 06, 2006


Little girls dream - it's just a part of growing up. One of my dreams was to be on stage at the Academy Awards accepting one of those coveted gold men for my mantlepiece. Being an actress was my singular goal for many years. Sometime during college I decided that eating spaghetti-o's in some hole in the wall trying to get to endless auditions isn't what God had for me. Instead He brought me to writing, where I get to become all the characters, and into writing for the movies, where I get to act every part - just not in front of a camera. I'm content with that.

But watching the Oscars always brings backs those old desires and memories. The glamour, the anticipation. It's just so amazing. I watched the Montage Show, oops I mean, The 78th Academy Awards and for a little while got lost in it all. Seriously - is it any wonder it always runs long? How many montages did we have to see? It starts of course with the red-carpet entrances. I thought perhaps that Charlize had grown a second head but upon closer examination it turned out to be The World's Biggest Bow on her shoulder. Naomi Watts looked like her dress had been mauled by King Kong, but for some reason I think it was supposed to look that way. Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams both had plastic smiles and plastic answers for the cameras. I'm wondering if they were pod people sent in their place. I certainly hope they have more personality than that. I loved Will Smith and Jada's interview, real, genuine and made me laugh. Jennifer Garner nearly fell on her tail when she walked out to present - but her super-spy skills saved the day and she stayed upright, with a sweet and self-deprecating comment about it (I do my own stunts). I love it that she made light of it instead of trying to pretend it didn't happen.

Jon Stewart - he had his funny moments, but he seemed a little...I don't know... scared? I kind of felt like I wanted to rescue him.

The awards. Oh yeah, they gave those out as well. Unfortunately I haven't seen many of the nominated films. Just from the clips it looks like Capote was a tough role. He probably deserved it. Reese- well I just love Reese Witherspoon and am so glad she won! She has kids, you know and her daughter is right in between my first two children. Yeah, that doesn't have anything to do with anything.

I also was very aware that the kind of movies I want to write will never make it to the Kodak Theater. But I think I would be pretty happy if they just make it to my local movie theater. Now that would be pretty cool!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about My Fabulous Husband

1. He does dishes. And cooks. And does laundry. I could stop right there.
2. He plays dress up princess with our daughters. I have the pictures to prove it.
3. He thinks I'm beautiful. And he's cute.
4. He cheers me on when I exercise and ignores it when I eat a doughnut.
5. He likes all the same shows I do.
6. He would go on The Amazing Race with me and be awesome.
7. He is rock steady even when I'm all over the place.
8. He dances. Sort of. But only in the privacy of our kitchen.
9. He makes the kids laugh so hard they shudder with joy.
10. He loves and honors Jesus Christ.
11. He tears up every time we watch Extreme Makeover Home Edition. But don't tell him I told you that!
12. He keeps me from being impulsive. Particularly when it comes to having more children.
13. Did I mention that he's really cute?

I had to give this Thursday thing a try:-)

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Hearts of Gold & Locks of Love

As I get ready each morning, The Today Show plays in the background as Katie, Matt, Al and Ann smile their way through three hours. Ann has been growing her hair for the past year to donate 10 inches of it to the Locks of Love program. I'm sure you've heard of it. With donated hair, they make wigs for children who have lost theirs due to disease or illness.

It's a wonderful program. So I thought today was the perfect day to share with you that my five year old did this as well. Here she is, long beautiful hair down to her waist - and she had had enough of it. She said she was tired of having to wait for my to braid it all the time. (No amount of trying to prove to her that it never took me more than a couple of minutes to braid it helped. Sigh)

I didn't even want to think about letting her get her hair cut so it took me six months of her asking to agree to it. I realize moms have to let their babies grow up and all of that but she's five!! However, I firmly believe in not power struggling over things like this. If she wants it short, then what would be my reasoning for saying no? My personal preference? Not quite enough to justify it. besides, my mom made me keep mine long for years and when I got it lopped off i went for a perm at the same time. The results were catastrophic.

So back to the program. I thought, well, if I have to go through the agony of watching her get it cut, at least it can go to a good cause! So ten inches got chopped off in one little blond ponytail, and packaged up to send to Locks of Love. She was thrilled. And after discreetly crying my eyes out, I was happy to know that it went to a child who could really appreciate it.

It even inspired her speech teacher to donate her own hair. The Today Show cut lots of hair today as the audience was inspired by Ann's donation. And maybe my daughter's donation will inspire you.

What a cool way to give - don't you think?