Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Prayer List

I had the weirdest thing happen yesterday.

(Should I call being put on a Prayer List a weird thing?  Hmmmm, I'll have to think about that.)

I still read the online Notices from the church where I used to work and included are Prayer Lists.  Commended to Our Prayers This Week, Continued Prayers for Members, and Continued Prayers for Friends of the Church.  I should explain that I wasn't a member of the church where I worked.  I have always attended another local church.

Anyway.

I'm reading along and get to Commended to Our Prayers This Week, and there is my name.  I re-read it about three times before it sinks in.  My name?  Who put my name on the list?  Why would they put my name on the Prayer List?

I called my son into the study and asked if I was sick and no one had told me?  He answered no and I exhale a sigh of relief.  Ha!

I have to admit that my first response to seeing my name was "What the heck?"  I'm at a good place in life right now (although unemployed, I'm fortunate that my husband does have steady income).  I have quiet moments to study my Bible, have been journaling and blogging, listening to God, the house has never been more clean, the meals are hot and healthy every night, etc.  Who thinks I need prayer?  I'm awesome! :)

Then my second response started forming in my brain.  Why would I begrudge people praying for me?  I pray for others all the time.  When someone tells me a personal problem or issue they're experiencing, I ask how I can pray for them.  Why do I think that I don't need prayer?  Heck!  I should be dancing around just thinking that people are praying for me!

Deuteronomy 4:7 says, "What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him?"
Prayer brings us closer to God.  It is one necessary part of having a deeper relationship with Him. 

I've come to the conclusion that I am thankful for whoever put me on the Prayer List and grateful for the people who pray for me.  It was a surprise to see my name in print, yet definitely not weird!

Have you had a similar experience with prayer?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Losing It (Week One)



I have joined Mary at Giving Up On Perfect in the "Losing It" weight loss challenge.

My plan is basically to eat less and move more.

1) Get on the treadmill 5 days a week.
2) Drink 48 oz. of water per day.
3) Take-in less calories (and healthier ones at that).
4) Lose 20 pounds at the end of 10 weeks.

Here is the update for Week 1:

1) After dusting off the treadmill (yes, I said "dusting" since it had been still for a loooooooong time), I tied on my tennis shoes and walked.  5 days, 3 mph at a 1% incline, for 15 minutes.  I'm currently doing a Bible Study called "Me Myself & Lies...A Thought-Closet Makeover," by Jennifer Rothschild and you would have been laughing to hear me talking to myself through the 15 minutes!  I kept repeating, "I am worth 15 minutes of exercise.  It's good for me.  I can do this."  (Can you tell I really don't like to exercise?  Ha!)
So this upcoming week my plan is to increase the time to 20 minutes.  Who knows what I'll be saying to myself for 20 minutes, yet I guarantee it will be a positive pep talk!  Thank you Jennifer!

2) I'm also not a big fan of water...yet I did drink my 48 oz. a day. I admit that after a few days it didn't feel like punishment.  This is a habit I can live with.

3) I have been writing down what I eat (and drink) in order to be mindful of what I'm putting in this body. I am hoping that the Girl Scouts in my area aren't going to be outside selling cookies anymore too.  I love Lemonades...shortbread cookies with lemon icing....but I digress.  I did take-in less calories and actually had fish for dinner two nights in a row.  That is a miracle for a girl raised in Texas and so very appreciative of a good steak.

4)  Drumroll please........the scale moved down 1.5 lbs. this week.

Before Christmas, I had lunch with a friend and we discussed how when we even had the thought of "I need to lose some weight, " we'd sabotage ourselves and put on a few more pounds.  A vicious cycle!  Not anymore!

I have been sedentary for too long.  I like this feeling of accountability and knowing that I will report my actions/progress on a weekly basis.  I also appreciate your encouraging comments. 

At the end of Week One, I am thankful.

If you care to join us, go to http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ or just stop by to cheer on the other participants. See you next week!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Grapefruit

I ate a grapefruit this morning.

One thing I miss about not working is that at my last job (at a church) the organist would ask if I wanted to buy a case of grapefruit.  (It was actually one case per month so it ended up being three cases.)

Each year I would answer with an enthusiastic, "Yes!"

It wasn't cheap and there would be 15 to 20 grapefruit in each case.  The first case always disappeared quickly.  The second case would last until the third case arrived.  And then I noticed that when I carried the third case into the house, I would be thinking about how many neighbors I could call to ask if they wanted some grapefruit.  I think the last time I carried in the third case, I ended up throwing about half of it away.  Wasteful!

There is truth to the saying about "having too much of a good thing."  By the time the third case arrived, I didn't appreciate the sweet/tart taste at all.  I didn't appreciate grapefruit anymore.  Until the next year.

And that is one reason I left my last job.  Not because of grapefruit (ha!) but because of not being appreciated.  I gave "my all."  They took (even to the point of  reducing my option for benefits and freezing vacation I had earned).  And I left.

It has been two years since I walked away and in that time the church has hired their second parish secretary.  Don't get me wrong, there has been no winner in this situation.  I am now looking for a job in this slow economy without success and today, I'm missing the opportunity to purchase a case of grapefruit.

Are you appreciated at your job?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Losing It (The Beginning)


I am joining Mary at Giving Up On Perfect with the "Losing It" weight loss challenge.

My plan is basically to eat less and move more.

1) Get on the treadmill 5 days a week.
2) Drink 48 oz. of water per day.
3) Take-in less calories (and healthier ones at that).
4) Lose 20 pounds at the end of 10 weeks.

This is something that I need some positive peer pressure or should I say an accountability group to keep me going.  So there will be a weekly update on how I am doing.  And although there are prizes involved....I would be just as pleased with being 20 pounds lighter!

Care to join us?  http://www.givinguponperfect.com/

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday

Today I went to the Ash Wednesday service at my church. The service was wonderful and the Associate Pastor had an awesome sermon on Isaiah 53:4-6 and John 10:1-10. Two of my Bible Study Buddies sat with me and there were about 30 of us worshiping together.

The exciting part was seeing one my buddies who has been absent for a couple months because of cataract surgeries on both eyes. Miriam is about 90 years old and a sweet, wise, Christian woman. I think of her as a living legacy.

Months ago the question was asked of us, "How would you explain what Christianity is?" Her quiet voice said, "I would quote John 3:16. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." A concise explanation which I loved!

Miriam is a treasure who will be back at our Bible Study on Thursday. Hooray!

Do you have a wise woman in your life?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day

Years ago, I realized that Wonderful Husband couldn't read my mind and I think he was thankful that I finally came to that conclusion. We successfully navigate through holidays (like Valentine's Day) as well as years of sharing a bathroom, raising children, and have learned to communicate effectively through our life.

I am a low maintenance woman (man is he lucky! Ha!). I don't need a lot of money spent on me or things given to me in order to feel loved or appreciated. I like to think that I have a good sense of humor. I'm able to laugh at myself. I'm not mean-spirited because I don't believe that it's humorous to make a joke at someone else's expense. Our 27 years of marriage have been blessed with more good times than bad.

Yet years ago I remember telling him that I didn't like funny Valentine's cards. I do like to laugh, yet cards making fun of how clean our house is or how bad a driver I am were not hitting my funny bone. I like Valentine's cards to tell me that I am loved and if asked, he'd marry me all over again. We share a good life, not a perfect one.

I also like flowers. Don't get me wrong, roses are not my friends. They die too quickly and most don't bloom...their heads just droop after a few days in my care. (Good thing I had better luck raising our children than I do keeping plants alive!) So Wonderful Husband knows he can buy a loose arrangement of flowers at the grocery store and arrange them in a vase we have at home.

For years I have received a loving card and flowers from Wonderful Husband and I'm never disappointed. In fact, I'm always thankful. I am loved. I am appreciated.

My gift to him is also a card expressing my appreciation and love for his presence in my life. I'll cook a nice dinner and toast some heart-shaped bread to "decorate his plate." The flowers will be on the table and our good life continues.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Do you have a Valentine's Day tradition?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snow

Yesterday I was laughing at the large white dogs in our neighbor's backyard. They were bobbing through their yard and I could only see their heads or curly tails. Two feet of snow had fallen and hadn't begun to compress. They were enjoying their romp.

Today I was in our frontyard. Watching our son use the snowblower. The snow was shooting out in a lovely arc and looked beautiful. I had initially thought I'd shovel our front walkway. Nope, the snow was too deep and too heavy for me. So after our son had finished most of the driveway and walkway, I was in charge of knocking snow off of his car so he could move it back and continue to remove snow from the driveway.

It was quite a workout for me and I did need our son's help to reach the heavy snow located in the middle of the car's roof. (By the way, it's a small car, a Corolla.)

After he finished the driveway I asked him to remove the snow in front of my garage and told him I wasn't able to get a shovel-full and then throw it on top of the deep snow. He kindly understood my request and told me that I was too short and said it shouldn't be allowed to snow that much for a short person like me. Ha! I totally agreed!

Two days in a row the snow made me laugh and provided me with free entertainment. Life is good!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

An Old Saying

I attended a monthly Mission Committee meeting at my church on Monday night. Once again I was irked during the meeting. It is not a coincidence that Bill D. has been at the last two meetings when I've had annoyance issues.

Maybe Bill D. is my latest "Christian Challenge" that God is assigning to me. Hmmmm, I'll have to think about that....

I understand that Bill's professional life is corporate. He talks about "Return On Investment (ROI)," and he is head of his own company and doesn't seem to know (or understand) that Mission Committee is a collaborative effort. He has very black and white corporate thinking. Unfortunately not Christ-centered thinking.

Colossians 2:8 says, "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."

Not too long ago I heard someone say this old saying, "Be careful when you point at someone's flaw because three of your fingers are pointed back at yourself."

Oh yeah, did I forget to mention my own bad behavior during the meeting? My lack of patience, lack of Christian love, and not obeying Scripture regarding unity?

Colossians 3:12-14 says, "Therefore as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and peace. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."

Well, well, well...I didn't look like the hands and feet of Christ at the meeting did I? I initially was only going to pray for God to soften Bill's heart while serving on the Mission Committee. Then I realized that I needed to ask for forgiveness and for God to guide me in clothing myself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and peace. After all, I have 3 more meetings to attend before moving off the committee. I want to behave better.

Do you have a "Christian Challenge?"

Friday, February 5, 2010

Luke Was Missing!

My friend Terri and I talk every week on the phone. She had emailed me earlier in the week that she purchased a new Bible but had to take it back to the bookstore. She wrote that she'd update me on the story via phone on Thursday.

Terri and I are working through Jennifer Rothschild's study, "Me Myself & Lies...A Thought-Closet Makeover." She wanted to purchase a new Bible so she went to a local bookstore and bought a NIV Study Bible (Large Print Edition).

Pause....I'm thinking that Large Print is in my near future too! Ha!

Anyway, she bought the Bible and a package of Bible Tabs and one night sat down to do the tabs. It takes quite a bit of effort and time to place the tabs and she was working her way through when all of sudden she was ready to place the tab on Luke....and Luke was missing!!!!!

I laughed so hard (and still am) because I'd never heard of a Bible missing about 50 pages before. We started joking about someone at the publishing house not appreciating the book of Luke. Or maybe someone did and decided to take it home?

Of course her story didn't end there. She took the Bible back to the store and since they didn't have another copy, she still doesn't have a Bible. She also had to argue (in a kind, Christian manner) about getting a refund on the tabs since most of them were in the Bible she was returning.

She was in the bookstore for 45 minutes ... and came out with nothing. Except maybe a headache. Ha!