Thursday, February 26, 2015

What Kind of Mood Are You In?



Do you remember mood rings?

I know if you are my age, more than likely that answer is definitely yes! Even now I love coming across them because they were part of my childhood, part of my high school growing up!

They were rings or pendants you wore that depending on the color it was displaying would relate to your mood. It was a fantasy novelty item that truly one never really considered if your mood really related to the color indicated on the ring or pendant. and almost every single girl had one.



The reality was that they were dependent on your body temperature and nothing more. Yet we wanted to believe we could have some insight into someone without really even hearing them speak or knowing what was going on in their life. Perhaps if you had something to say to them you might wait til their "mood" ring or pendant indicated a more favorable outcome for you. How silly right?

Is that any less silly than those that would consult tarot cards or reading your horoscope?

Pretty much the same thing, and people will often consult them before making any significant life changes, even though the results are pretty much as accurate as a mood ring would be.

Why then won't will go to the one in whom all power of creation resides when faced with uncertainty or the unknown future? God knows it all and if anyone can seriously change the outcome of what you are going through it most certainly is God.

Now, don't get me wrong, God may in fact have you just where He wants you to be, and He may not remove certain wrongs in your life at this moment. What I can say for certainty is that He is in control of all of it, the good, the bad and the ugly and while you might not know how it will benefit you this side of heaven, He does. The ripple effect may not directly impact you but someone who will benefit from what you are going through or have gone through. Life is like that, where the lesson is often learned after the test and not before hand.

So whatever you're going through right now, whatever answer you need help with, consider asking the God who cares first and then be willing to wait however long it takes for him to answer you. Remember, too, the answer might not be the one you were looking for and that's okay, He'll get you through it!

Seek God first in all things and don't forget to thank Him while your waiting!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Stop Reading Each Other's Mail



It's funny when you get married, and mail comes, you think that things changed and you can now open your husband's mail. I'm sure guys don't mind if you open the bills addressed to them or even their credit card statements, but what about cards or things that are clearly not addressed to you? Do you still feel like you have the right to open them?

I know when we first got married, I loved getting mail. Perhaps now with two people living in the same house, you would get twice as much. Even junk mail seemed to double. But there were things like cards during the holidays that were addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Smith and I would jump at the chance to open those. Hopefully something good came inside. I felt justified because my name, Mrs Smith was on the card so I could reason why opening it was okay. Most of the time it wasn't anything new and over the years that newness has worn off.

Now when cards come, our family knows to make the envelopes out to the person they were meant for, instead of that generic format and no hurt feelings will apply.

In fact, there are times when I don't even want to open mail addressed to my husband and even during Christmas it can be a detriment as well. I remember our Amazon account is set up under my name and we both use it. However sometimes he can forget when placing an order, that unless he changes the name on the address it will default to me instead. Now since I get quite a few packages in the mail, mostly books, I am not certain which are books and which might be something else. It could even be something I ordered as well.

Needless to say, I've ruined some great presents because I opened them without realizing they weren't mine simply because they were addressed to me. Now we know better.

Yet how simple it is to forget we still do it all the time when it comes to reading our Bibles and understanding the roles and responsibilities that God has clearly outlined for both husbands and wives. How many times can you clearly recite the duties your husband is supposed to do? How clearly you can remember those passages from scripture and often times fail to read your own, much less commit them to memory?

I have to tell you that is reading one another's mail from God!!!

God clearly has defined separate roles for husbands and wives in a marriage, and we are meant to pay attention to our own, not point out where significant other's faults lie in not applying their own biblical truths to the marriage. I am 100% guilty of that.

I even am the arm nudger whenever those are brought up in church as if my husband isn't paying attention. Are you the same?

Ladies, it's high time we spent some time simply focusing on our own issues instead of reminding our men of their shortcomings and what they are NOT doing.

It's simple.

If we focus 100% on our responsibilities and our husbands do the same, we'd have some incredible kind of marriage!!!

We need to simply STOP reading one another's mail and get busy reading our own. Not only reading it but applying it, doing it, committing to it every single day. Not when we feel like it, those will come later when we develop good habits.

And don't pray for God to take care of your man following through, ask God to help YOU follow through on your end and see if some significant things don't begin to take place. I'll keep you in prayer and ask that God work on strengthening your marriage and for you to grow more in love with your husband more every single day!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Older I Get







I remember growing up, I looked forward to growing older. When I was younger, I couldn't wait til my next birthday, my first double digit, my first 'teen' birthday, "sweet 16", 18 so I could be an  adult and then 21 when pretty much everything was legal. Now that I am older, I notice, I am no longer looking forward to getting older, in fact, I long to linger in whatever year I am currently at and cringe that time continues to roll forward.


I've noticed a few things as I do get older, there are definitely more aches and pains and those that I do get seem to last quite a bit longer than they used to. Things don't heal quite as quickly as I remember and recovery certainly takes a whole lot longer. Have you noticed that as well?

Experience teaches us that life will always continue to move on a forward momentum and often times seems to be speeding up instead of growing along in those graceful golden oldie moments. In fact, I just got my AARP card in the mail and thought why not? All these years must mean something right?Who doesn't want to take advantage of things like your senior discount, although I am not quite there just yet, but close.

I also notice how hard it is to continue along at the same pace as when you were younger. I appreciate and long for naps now. I'm not the night owl I was in my early teens and hate getting up early. For me, sleep and bedtime is now part of my favorite time of the day. It's a time for me to simply catch my breath and take a break from the demands life has placed on me during the day. I love vacations, holidays and days off from simply having things planned. I love the spur of the moment decisions and often times those are some of the best memories I have, the unplanned ones.

I often wonder what life will be like in the next five years much less ten. I know fitness and stay healthy continue to be a challenge. Every ten years our bodies metabolisms change and it becomes that much harder to lose weight than if I would have done it 10 years earlier. So much is changing and it seems like we are struggling to stay ahead of the fast pace. I fear, if we don't, we'll be left far too behind to catch up.

There are plenty of older jokes where you simply give up caring what people think of you. Age doesn't seem to be such an issue as it was when you were younger, and to that I can agree. I'm not ashamed of how old I am, but no longer am excited when someone asks either. I can see that time is a great teacher. It shows that the mistakes we make are great learning tools to ensure we don't make them again and most of all so we can share them with those around us. How quickly I notice that younger people have a tendency to write off our advice simply because they don't believe we can relate to what they are going through, and perhaps looking back, I can see I might have been the very same.

However, now I treasure the advice from those much older than I am. There is something to be said for all that time they have lived on this earth and I hope I have plenty more opportunities to not only take to those elderly around me, but to learn so much from them in the time they have left. I hope one day someone will look at me in much the same way as I am looking at my elders now. There is so much to learn from those who have gone before you. I just hope I am not too late.

Monday, February 23, 2015

How Does Your Garden Grow?



Spring is just around the corner and already new life is just bursting at the seams wanting to break forth with newness inside. I know my poor trees and rose bushes barely had a chance to take their winter's nap before the temperatures became unseasonably warm and thus they are beginning to prepare for spring sooner than they normally would. In fact my poor willow tree had barely just shed it's leaves and already new buds were beginning to form. Now the tree is filled with potential new life just waiting for the pollination of our bees which are just buzzing each time I walk outside to check our mail. Kinda sad when you think about it too.

It reminds me of the nursery rhyme of Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary, How does your garden grow? I'm not even ready to head outside and begin preparing the plants for another tough season. So why should it matter. It might still grow without any help from me. It might gain enough moisture from whatever rain we get, even though in Southern California, it hasn't been much at all. In fact as of today, just four days in just four months.

I remember when I first moved into our current home, I feel in love with a plum tree in our neighbor's yard, the beautiful pink blossoms just waiting to bear fruit in due time. Over this last year, however they simply stopped caring for their yard, they stopped watering it, and I guess I can understand in light of the drought we are having. Water can get expensive. But to look at his yard now, it's sad because the tree is now almost dead. I'm sure that it might come back with some loving care, but left to its own, I'm not sure we will see anything this year from it.

When you look at your own garden how does it grow? Are you one of those green thumb types who can grow anything with just the right look? Or are you the prayerful type that when you plant something, you hope it doesn't die and often pray that it doesn't?

I've had to ask myself these same questions and to be perfectly honest, my garden outside pretty much looks like my marriage on the inside. It needs some serious work if it's going to last this year. I'm not be any means saying my marriage is falling apart, but much like my garden outside, if I am looking for some strong roots and blooms to fill my plants, I have to invest some serious time. It will stay if I don't because Steve and I have vowed our marriage will never end in divorce but if I want something more than mediocre, I have to put some time in.

Now to be fair, marriage is about both people putting in equal time, but I can't control my husband. Oh how I wish I could, because I know it would be so much easier with both of us working on it at the same time, but because I am held to a higher standard as a believer in Christ, I will have some answering to do before God if I don't. Simply put, love is all about action, and it is only love when it acts.

It's not about saying all the right things, it's about doing all the right things. Love is a verb, it isn't a noun. It's all about showing the other person, that they are the most important person in the world next to God in your life. That you are willing to put aside all your own interests and instead ask the question, What can I do for you to make your day better?

For us wives, I think the question we need to ask ourselves is how are we doing at our job as a wife? Honestly ask the question, "Am I being the best wife I can be to my husband today?"

If I am 100% honest, I can say, "No, I am not."

So as you can see, I have some work to do but in my garden and in my marriage. I want to invest the time, because I want a marriage that is vibrant, strong, sustaining despite the world around us that simply wants to redefine what marriage is. I want to do it God's way and not my own. So we need to heed the words of Winston Churchill, Britain's Prime Minister who in the midst of the war, stated, "Victory is not won by evacuation."

It's time to dig deep and invest some time. Be filled with God's Spirit because you can't win this war on your own and the enemy wants nothing more than to destroy our marriages. Are you with me? 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Prayer Request: Kat's Surgery is Today!



Good morning social media friends and family. My surgery for kidney stones is today and I could really use your prayers today. My check in time is 6:00am and surgery is scheduled for 7:00am. It's suppose to last an hour and here is specifically what I need your prayers for:

1. The surgery is a success with no complications.

2. That NO STENT is required.

3. That I have no infection.

4. That their is no or minimal pain from the surgery.

5. That my blood pressure remains calm.

6. That the stone is completely broken up and can pass without any complications.

7. That I have God's calming Spirit and I am completely at ease when I arrive.

I will have my hubby keep you updated but if you can cover me with prayer beginning today I would sincerely appreciate it.


Monday, February 9, 2015

It Feels Like Only Yesterday!



17 years of being married. Hard to imagine not because it's been so difficult, but because it has been so exceptional. In fact, Steve just mentioned it last night how when you think of 17 years, you would expect that to be a really long time, but in fact, it seems like only yesterday when I was telling him this marriage outlasted my first one of ten years.




The best part is that 17 years has given me time to see my amazing husband in a variety of situations to see how he responds to when storms batter our marriage and family. He is my Rock. He remains calm, at least that is how I see it on the outside. He may in fact, be a turmoil waiting to erupt on the inside and I need that in my life.




I've often told him, he's a mentor of how I want to be. I can let my emotions run away with me quite a bit, but Steve holds his tongue. It's a perfect balance of why our marriage works. But don't let that fool you.




Our marriage remains strong because of the foundation we have built it on. We have God, front and center in our marriage. We pray for one another when we are together and apart. We pray in happy times, and in the midst of storms. We pray for our children, for decisions, for how to manage our marriage and our day to day responsibilities as a husband and wife, but as parents, friends and family members.



That is why when things rock marriages not ground in Christ, it can be more than a challenge to deal with because you are dealing with it in your own strength and not God's. We have supernatural help beyond our world attempts and that is why things are so great for us.



It doesn't mean we don't deal with adversities like the rest of the world, but we have a supernatural strength and peace that come from God that help us manage through this and we don't fall apart as much as I've seen family and friends do.



We also have a great network of Christian family and friends but that we know and through social media we can rely on when we need some extra prayer. It comes in handy to know that there are so many believers petitioning the heavenly throne room on your behalf.



To stay that Steve is the perfect guy would be false, but he is the perfect guy for me. God knew it when he sent him into my life more than 20 years ago, when my heart was so broken and I was completely out of hope.



It began simply as a friendship that grew into something only God could orchestrate. He took on the role of a father to my oldest without any reservation. Later we would add to our family with the birth of our youngest, now 16. We've grown into such an amazing family watching both of our daughters accept Jesus into their life. It's been an experience walking through some times I would never want to repeat with this rock by my side in this life, and I wouldn't want it any other way.



To say he completes me, would be an understatement. He adds to me and makes me a better wife, mom and friend. He is the person I would give up anything but God for, just to spend time with him and I wouldn't want to spend time with anyone over him. We make one another priorities and always take the time out for each other. I look back and think that I am so proud that this man, not only has filled his godly role as my husband, but as a father, he has role modeled what I can only hope our two daughters will want to find in future husbands of their own some day.



So thank You God, for giving me this time with an amazing man. Help me to remember to continue to lift him up daily in prayer. Help me to acknowledge the many ways he helps provide for us as a family besides bringing home a paycheck. Thank You for the many years I have had up to this point and it literally puts a smile on my face, knowing that when this life ends, our eternity together begins!



I love you Steven Smith, for being the very best part of me! Happy 17th Anniversary!!!

Friday, February 6, 2015

The End is in Sight



For my blogging friends and family and even those who follow me via email or through another social media platform, the wait to deal with my persistent pain in the side, my kidney stone, is going to be finally evicted on Tuesday, February 10th.

These long journey began in the beginning of December last year with what seemed like for all intents and purposes to be a UTI or bladder infection. After two weeks of antibiotics, I was still dealing with the symptoms associated with it. Thinking the first round of antibiotics, Bactrim, might not have worked, the doctor prescribed a stronger one for the next 10 days, Cipro. You would think based on everything you read that by day 4, I would be feeling better. But no such luck. I went to Urgent Care on the day before New Years Eve knowing that everything would be closed down until after the first of the year.

Thankfully I got a great doctor who listened, really listened and figured out that the symptoms might just be something else. But to be on the safe side, he hooked me up to an IV and gave me some really strong antibiotics with some pain meds mixed in (Toradol). Trust me when I say, I was in a lot of pain.

Meanwhile, he sent me for a CT scan that same day. Not a pretty wait for the CT scan. While it should have been in/out, they had to wait for insurance verification to begin the procedure. Fast forward 3 hours later and we have to wait for the results to be sent back to the doctor. I went home and laid down for about an hour while my husband kept pressuring the office to at least give me something for the pain while I waited.



They advised me to come back in to wait for the results and they could give me something stronger for the pain. They were nice enough not to let me sit back in the waiting room with all these really sick people whose cold and flu I did not want to catch. They allowed us to sit in some really nice reclining chairs used for IV patients who need to get fluids while watching I Love Lucy reruns. Pretty nice considering.

Another hour passes and the doctor finally comes back with the results of the CT scan, the culprit, a pesky kidney stone 7mm large just inside my right kidney. He tells me I have two options, (1) head to the nearest ER and see if they can help me to get it removed. This means waiting as though I had never been seen. If you live in the High Desert, that is not an option. ER wait times are between 2-8 hours and knowing all they would do is stabilize me and send me home with a recommendation to see a doctor about getting that removed. (2) was to take medications like Flo-Max to see if I could pass it on my own while waiting to make an appointment with a urologist. I chose option 2, and he gave me some Dilaudid in my IV which literally felt almost euphoric!

Now here it on February 6th and still have not been able to pass that pesky stone who seems to like his new home quite well. The doctor has scheduled a procedure to shock the stone into smaller pieces to see if I can get rid of it once and for all. I am hoping this will work.



The days have been horrible in the weeks leading up to this procedure and I was lucky enough to secure a prescription of Dilaudid for the pain. At times I was taking 5 of these a day but am managing right now to seriously learn how to manage pain without it. NOT EASY by any means.

The thing that really is frustrating is trying all the home remedies trying to get this to pass. I've tried, water with lemons, hot tea with lemon juice and honey, apple cider vinegar, drinking a few beers and drinking more water than a camel does. Nope, not moving at all.

So will you join me in prayer if you can remember?

Surgery is scheduled on Tuesday, February 9th at 7:00am. The procedure is supposed to only take an hour.

What I need specific prayer for?

1. For the stone to pass on its own until the day of the procedure.

2. For the procedure to work on eliminating the kidney stone.

3. No stent will be required to help pass the stone.

4. For the procedure to be pain free when its over as well as the passing of the stones.

5. To prevent any infection or complications from the procedure.

6. Peace of mind the day of the procedure.

Thank you in advance for your prayers today and in the days leading up to the procedure.