Thursday, September 30, 2010

Stormy Night

She sits in her bedroom staring out at the open window into the night sky. It's filled with clouds that make the sky look darker than it should be. A storm is coming.

The night remains a constant reminder of what her life has become at this point. She keeps the lights turned out, partly because it's easier to see the display of the storm in the clouds as they light up from time to time, showing a crack in the sky of the bright lights before the sound of thunder booms in the distance. Each time the sky lights up the storm grows closer.

The other reason for the blackness in her bedroom is because that is how she feels about her life. It's dark and void of all light and life. It matches her mood for the moment which is empty. Its also a way to hide the fact that once more she is alone again. The darkness provides a sense of escape. It's here that she can pretend that somewhere in her room she isn't alone. That someone is with her although they can't be seen.

Once again, she isn't forced to face the fact that she will go to be alone. No warmth on the other side of the bed. No tossing and turning or even the game of tug of war with the sheets. She places pillows on the bed to take his place. A reminder of just how big the bed really is when it's missing someone she's supposed to share her life with.

It's a reminder that he has chosen something other than her to fill his time with. His job, his TV programs, and even video games take her place. It places a certain amount of value on her even though it isn't what she wants to know. That she is alone. Again.

The lightening once more travels in its downward path and for one moment, her room lights up, but it's still just a reminder that what she believed isn't real after all. Her room really is empty and the only sound she continues to hear besides the thunder is the sound of the tears hitting her pillow. But at least here in the darkness no one can see her pain. And then the rain begins to fall.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Meaning of Relationships

Did you ever stop and really think about the significance of being in a relationship?

Oh it could be any kind of relationship. Parent and child. Husband and wife. Friend to friend. Family member to family member. Or even perfect strangers caught in a moment of true companionship.

I was contemplating this thought the other day as I reflect so often on how we can see God in the smallest of things, if we are willing to look.

Normally I make all kinds of references to God when I look at how I interact as a parent with my own kids and see how God views us, but yesterday God took me a bit further to show me why it was not good for the first man and woman to be alone.

To be alone refers to not needing anyone, a sense of independence, a willingness to take care of your own needs and rely on yourself for everything. It's sad that too often we find people who love that lifestyle but how truly lonely is really is inside. Everyone needs a relationship at some point in their life.

Relationships teach us the values and fruits of the Spirit, God created in all of us. Even the meaning behind the husband and wife relationship, teaches us about unconditional love. How far we are willing to serve others or put their needs before our own, or even to have someone to share a memory with. To not be all alone.

Friends to friends offer us new challenges as well. We learn to care for someone else simply because we love like God does not because we are obligated to care or love them. We learn the gifts of kindness and generosity through our friendships with others.

Even the kindness shown to the stranger offers us the true meaning of love deep inside, to give without expecting anything in return, simply for the sake of putting someone else before us for a minute.

In all relationships we have, no matter their significance and if they are blood related or not, God is teaching us what key elements we find in each are also present in the one we have with Him. He is always teaching and always showing us they we need one another much like God desires to have a relationship with us, we are not meant to be all alone. We are meant to have companionship with another.

How do you see God in the relationships you have?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Weekend Wrap Up and Free Giveaways

Well as you know we are once again stuck in the middle of God's magnifying glass and we are the ants. Well at least that's what it feels like outside where we live. We are in the midst of another heat wave. We topped out our temps around 107 yesterday with highs expected today of 111. Nice huh?

Oh for those of you that are sharing your 60 degree temps and fall like weather, can you send me a plane ticket? I need relief. This has been the worst year for me allergies wise. I have suffered daily with horrible allergies being one of the sole financial contributor of Sudafed and 4 Way Fast Acting Nasal Spray. They have become part of my daily routine to keep breathing normally throughout the day.

Yet to escape the temps this weekend, we headed to the local beach, which isn't at all local but more like 1 1/2 hours from our home to Huntington Beach. Our girls love it because of the large sand bars that stretch out into the ocean which makes swimming there a whole lot less frightening. We decided to leave late in the day and stay for a sunset dinner at the beach. The pictures at the top and throughout this post are the pictures we took there. We had an absolute blast despite temps being around 76-85. We were able to teach Kailee about erosion when the tides went out and we could see tidal pools with water still streaming in pools as the water came in and out of them.

Today, Steve begins his long work days and soon traveling out of town for work staying super busy but we've been grateful for the time he has been able to work from home. Hopefully this won't last long and God's blessings will be plenty while he is working.

To wrap up some of my latest book giveaways that are ending this week and today: Here they are if your interested in entering. I have included the links so you can see what they are and how to sign up to win a copy.

Heart With Joy ends today.

A Hope Undaunted Win a Signed Copy - Ends 10/2

I am posting more reviews including some great family DVD's and Devotionals. If your interested, please check out my book and product review blog, Reviews From The Heart.

Here's hoping that all of you have an amazing week ahead!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Day At The Fair

WOW, are the temps climbing from where they were just a few days ago. Remember when I told you about temps being in the mid 70's with the crisp coldness to the air, well yesterday was a far cry from that. We topped out at 100 degrees while attending the fair with virtually no shade available on hot pavement. Even though we arrived at 9:30am, we tried to get to as many exhibits as the kids wanted to see.

Our all time favorite has to be the Big Red Barn! It's just another indicator that my family has missed their calling in life. I firmly believe we were meant to have farm animals because we fell in love with all of them.

Here are some of the pictures. This one was one of my favorites as I love cows and these are the little ones that you could pet. Their eyes are just so beautiful and I love their pink noses. I am a sucker!

Next came the llamas and as we captured here, this one had the most incredible blue eyes you've ever seen. Their fur was super soft and fluffy. These were Caitlyn's favorite!

Another fun thing we did at the fair was the Toyota exhibit where the kids could climb in and play with the cars that they wanted to see. This is Caitlyn in her hybrid Prius. Shes our environmentally friendly person in the family. Mine was the gas guzzling but ultra luxurious Sequoia!

One of the last things Kailee wanted to try was sawing a log in the Great Outdoors exhibit, and I think she discovered it isn't a easy as it looks.

All in all, we spend most of the time in the farming area seeing all the cute goats, lambs, horse, chickens, cows, horses and pigs and while on the way home, we all agreed that at some point we want a small farm. We are off to the beach today so will update you with pictures tomorrow. So how was your weekend?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thankful Thursday, September 23rd

Today is the day that according to my devotional stated that I needed to find 5 things to be grateful or thankful for and here they are:

1. I am thankful that my gallstone attacks lately are being controlled by pain meds til I can find a doctor I can trust.

2. I am thankful that my raging migraine headache is going away thanks to our Great Heavenly Physician.

3. I am thankful for the last two days of unusually cooler weather that really made the first day of fall feel like fall here in the High Desert.

4. I am thankful that my daughter's high school isn't going to drop her from her web design class due to our diligence and prayers to fight for what we believe is right.

5. I am thankful for the ability to take my family to the county fair for free tomorrow and spend time exploring and discovering all of God's goodness.

If you want to join in on Thankful Thursdays with us, join up at Greg's General Store and list your 5 for the day.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What My World Has Looked Like Lately!

What no picture, no clip art? Nope, because that is exactly how I've been seeing my world for the last two days.

Dark, cold and black. It's OK however it's not a bad thing like when it comes to the spiritual realm but this is for some odd reason, I woke up with a headache on Sunday, persistent but not overwhelming. Yet because we made plans for the kids to enjoy a day at Disneyland, I didn't want to disappoint. Got sunglasses? Check! Got pain reliever? Check! What could possibly go wrong?

However by the night's end, my head had gone from irritating to feel like I split my head wide open. I couldn't tolerate lights of any kind and any noise was just horrible. So trusting my hubby to get me home as fast as humanly possible, I went straight to bed. With my head in cased in ice packs, a cover over my eyes and double my prescription of Norco, which is safe but tells you the amount of pain I was in, and still the headache persisted.

Thankfully Steve was off on Monday so he did the usual school stuff with the kids, while alternating new ice packs for my head and keeping me as medicated as one could be. This mean ice cold temps in the house, darkened rooms, no noise and ice packs.

Finally I emerged from the fog this morning and aside from a slight soreness in my head, I am making some strides forward.

Here's is hoping that you are all having a great First official day of Fall, as we awoke to 59 degree temps and a windy day, but its not going to last, with temps predicted to reach well over 100 by Saturday. So hello fall! I am enjoying today!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Dress Code Over Academics?

Is it me or have any of you noticed how crazy our schools have been lately?

Here are some of the latest trends happening in our daughter's high school in her Senior Year.

Dress Code takes precedence over Academics subjects. Yup you heard me loud and clear. Our school finds that the way to enforce the learning of all students is with a dress code that goes way outside the limits.

Besides your standard stuff like overly baggy pants, showing undergarments which I am a firm believer in keeping out of the school, they are condemning students who wear tanks, any tanks, shorts that don't measure a certain length above the knee, lets just say Bermudas is the new length and anything above that is out, and any shirt that a teacher feels is too low for their standards in this case, a standard V neck t shirt, is grounds for dress code violation.

The worse case yet, my daughter's high school facilitator stopped her on campus for an ankle brace she was wearing under her jeans. It looks "suspicious" and was warned. Am I over reacting?

Want to know what they school has decide to do with the "offenders"? 1st time is a warning, 2nd time is a three day suspension from school. End of story.

So my thinking is that this school would rather suspend students for wearing what "they" deem is inappropriate versus such things as vandalism, bringing weapons to school and even threatening or bullying students.

Not to mention this school would rather suspend a student over keeping them in school to "complete their required school work". Help me, please!

As of today, I have filed a grievance with the school administrator for the issue with my daughter's knee brace and the warning she received. We'll see where it goes from there, but honestly, what are your thoughts? Have the schools simply lost sight of the real issues with students or am I simply a parent that is over reacting?

By the way if my kid looked like the one in my blog picture, I wouldn't be writing this.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Back in the Saddle Again!

Hello everyone,

I am sure that you are so busy since some of you have families and kids and that has meant a return to school obligations. I know for us, it has meant huge changes from our summer transition to now finding a balance and a new normal. So what does that mean for me?

Being a stay at home mom of two daughters, one in 6th grade who is homeschooled and the other in her final year at high school, makes for a super busy life on it's own. One has to be shuttled back and forth to her high school and the other on Wednesdays needs to be taken to a Community Day to encourage social and school sessions with teachers.

On top of that, managing three blogs, a house, balancing schedules with a hubby who is traveling and whose schedule never stays the same, and reviewing books is super hard. My biggest challenge was how to squeeze God into this picture and hope for His time management skills to take hold.

Here's what I discovered, God first and foremost. Nothing else really matters outside of setting time aside for Him and His will for my day and my schedule. After that everything else seems relatively simple. Too often I find that people, especially people pleasing moms try to fit it all in and most of the time, God couldn't even fit all of our needs into His busy day. We are over committed.

We need to weed out the unimportant. Managing three blogs everyday can be challenging. However you can post a week out if you use the options for posting ahead of schedule. Commitment met.

I take books with me everywhere. You know how often I find time to read while waiting for my kids? A lot or while in the waiting room at doctor's appointments or waiting for oil changes, car repairs, meetings. You can see how, plus for me, my reading is my personal vacation each day. It's what this mom does to unwind.

Balancing a clean house everyday, well that's simply asking my family to help out and pitch in. Who said it's a mom's job to do it all? Not me. Now we do a little everyday, with having nothing planned for the weekend where we can all sit back and enjoy work well done.

Can I say I've missed you?

I haven't heard much from some of you and hope that we can reconnect once more.

Heart 2 Heart will remain my personal blog in which I will share my personal insights on my spiritual walk and what I am doing in my day to day life.

Reviews From The Heart
will still offer giveaways, product reviews, contests and lots more. I will post a recap on Heart 2 Heart on Fridays.

ARK for God or Acts of Random Kindness, will still host little ways in which we can all give back. I will share stories, videos and tips of what you can do to make sure your treasure passes through God's fire test!

Most of all, my ministry will remain committed to serving God to the best of my ability as often as I can to visit you all during the week. Weekends for me will be off but the posts will still continue. If you want to join any of the blogs, simply click on each of the links. I have about 4 giveaways going on Reviews From The Heart, all Christian books and even a T-shirt giveaway.

More to come on what's been going on tomorrow. SO glad that you are still with me.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Just wanted to let you all know that I am taking some time off from blogging for awhile. Life has been out of control for quite some time and I need a break to reflect on my life and the goals I am looking at making. I thank you all for your support and talk to you soon. ~ Kat