Saturday, July 31, 2010

Another Chance

Another Chance
by Charles R. Swindoll

Ecclesiastes 12

Instant replays have become old hat. Whether it's an impressive backhand or a slam dunk or a touchdown pass, we never have to worry about missing it the first time around. It'll be back again and again, and probably again. In slow motion at least once. Every coordinated movement, every graceful or powerful motion returns to be analyzed by fan and announcer alike.

It occurred to me recently that I'd enjoy (for lack of a better title) delayed replays of some of the more significant times in my life. I'm fantasizing the possibility of having a chance to relive a particular experience that could have been handled differently. More wisely. With greater tact. In better taste. You know, all those "If I had that to do over again" thoughts. Wouldn't that be neat?

Just think of all the things you'd refrain from saying that you blurted out the first time around. It would be a whole other story the second time around, wouldn't it?

Even everybody's friend, Erma Bombeck---the gal you'd think never regretted a moment---agreed. However, she admitted:

If I had my life to live over again, I would have waxed less and listened more. Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy and complaining about the shadows over my feet, I'd have cherished every minute of it and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was to be my only chance in life to assist God in a miracle. . . . I would have cried and laughed less while watching television . . . and more while watching life. . . . There would have been more I love yous . . . more I'm sorrys . . . more I'm listening . . . but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it . . . and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it.

Unfortunately, life doesn't offer "delayed replays." Second times around don't happen.

"You mean God won't forgive?" You know better than that. "And people can't overlook my failures?" Come on, now. That's not the issue at all. Most people I know are amazingly understanding. Our biggest task is forgiving ourselves.

The main message is clear: Think before you speak. Pause before you act. Make every minute count.

Another chance? No chance. Today is memory in the making, a deposit in the bank of time. Let's make it a good one!

Today is tomorrow's yesterday. How do you want to remember it?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Funnies - My Arms Are Broken

Life is too serious to not find some joy in our weeks so I am joining Kim at Homesteader's Heart for Friday Funnies. Hope you enjoy this video and have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thankful Thursday

There are so many things to be thankful for each day, however many times, I fail to take notice to the ways God is speaking to me through the things I see, hear, touch, taste and feel every day. He truly is in everything if we simply take the time to look.

1. I am thankful for the cooler temperatures we have had the last couple of days peaking in the mid 90's after some mid 100 degree weather a few weeks ago. It's giving our air conditioner a break.

2. I am thankful for the many days my hubby is able to work from home. Even though he's busy working, just his presence at home is a nice change from him being gone so much.

3. I am thankful for ice cream. Nothing truly tastes better on a really hot summer day. Beside a glass of frosty lemonade or ice tea.

4. I am thankful for the birds that continue to visit our yard in the early morning and evenings now. It's our hello and goodbyes every day.

5. I am thankful for the summer rain when it comes even though we really haven't had a lot, nothing beats the smell of it when it does and cools everything off.

For more things to be thankful for, visit Greg's General Store and sign up to participate each Thursday!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Waiting in Anger

This has truly been a tough two days. You know how it goes, just when you think you got life down part, something happens to completely upset your way of doing things and that once routine way of getting through the day is one big mess!

Well that's been the turmoil in my days after a particularily spiritually dry time. I am sure you've all experienced those too. Those days when reading the Bible and even praying just seems like you're going through the motions but your heart just isn't in it, but you do it anyway because you know you should.

On Monday night, after a long eight hours of work, my hubby was called in to work that night adding to his growing work hours to do an emergency call. The trouble was, he was knee deep in a project already and had to put that aside to leave and head into LA but not before stopping quite a few times to pick up supplies. We could both see it was going to be a long night already.

Not only that, he was going to work with my brother who can be a rough challenge to deal with on his good days. Those two would be working together and it wasn't something either of us was looking to. Let's put it this way, he has a bit of an Eeyore personality that can suck all your emotions completely dry. When he is in a bad mood, everyone knows it. He's just not pleasant to be around. But he is trying to change according to him. It's this negativity that most people try to flee from and it's impacting his job. So he is attempting to change.

Unfortunately that night I got to talk to him and had to deal with Mr. Change. He is a very controlling personality and likes to control the conversation. He will tell you whether or not you have deviated from the topic in hopes of corralling you right back, unfortunately I don't like to be told how to have a conversation, so with him I completely and utterly lost it. I think all those dry days of just taking it all in and dealing with it internally, came pouring out. We literally verbally fought it out for an hour.

My poor hubby didn't even know that anything had transpired by the time he arrived to meet him for work, and during the duration of the time the two worked together nothing came out. However I tried in vain to bury all that emotion inside, knowing that Steve's birthday was the next day. I tried to call him and just have a different perspective on the emotions that were truly at this point running my day and making me physically sick. Only Steve didn't call back.

When his evening finally ended and he did call, I wasn't ready to talk to him and just explained I would talk when he got home. During that time, I asked God how to deal with this situation. I never really got an answer but tried to keep my emotions in check and when Steve arrived home, I told him everything that had happened. Needless to say, he was pretty upset because he knows how cruel my brother can be. He was angry because he didn't even know any of this had transpired.

That's when emotion struck and I let him have it too. I explained that having to work in the communications field made him a poor communicator because he can't even talk to his wife on the phone. Let's just say that this conversation was not going well. For two hours we fought it out.

Can you see where all this is going? I've learned a valuable lesson that I have to let the fire of anger burn out before talking about it. I am trying to learn how to not let my emotions run away with things and put it on the back burner but for me, my emotions are a way of who I am. They influence me in more ways than I care to count.

The birthday yesterday went ok, and we had to stay at home, due to the nature of his work, could require him to be called to work at any time. It took me most of the day to let all the anger to leave so we could actually enjoy Steve's birthday. We all took him to dinner last night and it was a better evening.

I just wanted to share with all of you, my ability to fall short and not be the perfect Christian. I don't know if anything else would have worked out differently. I am still in the process of defining boundaries with people that try to take too much of my time and really work on rebuilding our relationship that took a terrible beating last year. It's a work in progress but if you could pray for us, for wisdom and protection from the enemy, I'd appreciate it. For now, I am drawing closer to God and seeking His help!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Happy 42nd Birthday Sweetheart!

I have to share my celebration today with the most special person in my world besides God and that is Steven! He turns 42 today and I wanted to share with all of you the most amazing things about this man.

1. He's married to me and for that every day I am thankful if for nothing else.

2. He's taken on a blended family with accepting my oldest daughter, Caitlyn, from my first marriage. Thank you for being the dad in her life!

3. He is the most patient person you will ever meet. Nothing really bugs him.

4. He is willing to help out anyone no matter what they think of him. He truly does have a heart of gold.

5. He's a great cook and when he gets the chance will always cook for all of us.

6. He is a true care giver. I can always rely on him when I am feeling sick or run down, or simply need a break.

7. He is like the energizer bunny. He always finds the energy to keep going and going.

8. He truly does love his mom and dad so much. Thank you for them for giving us Steve!

9. He has been friends with so many people from high school and still is to this day.

10. Everyone who meets Steve instantly likes him. He is a likeable guy!

11. No matter where we go, he always runs into someone he knows. No matter where we are. Go figure!

12. He truly does have a heart of God. He continues to be an example of what I need to work on in my own life.

13. He can quilt better than I can. Truly nothing he tries, he fails at.

14. He will always be my hero! Nothing is impossible for him.

15. He has his own blog. You can find it here.

16. He loves Marvel Comics!

17. He loves to read war and science fiction fantasy books.

18. He will go see any "chick flick" movie with me and cries right along side me. Even cartoons.

19. He collects swords. He has 5, including a replica from Eragon and Jack Sparrow's sword from Pirates of the Caribbean.

20. His favorite colors are black and teal.

21. He loves Froot Loops as his favorite cereal.

22. He favorite cookies are Peanut Butter and Nutter Butters.

23. He agreed to date me based on my resume that I submitted to him about why I would be a great girlfriend/wife.

24. He helped me move into my first apartment when I was going through my divorce as a friend, because I had no credit.

25. He loves trucks. He had one and had to give it up for a family car. Here's hoping God will bless him with a truck in the future.

26. He loves 80's music, country, and old school rap.

27. He's a great manager and leader and when he has to move on in a job, people miss him and cry.

28. He loves movies like Transformers, Iron Man, and Star Wars! He even understands why I love Twilight.

29. He still surprises me with candles at night, breakfast in bed, and fresh coffee some mornings.

30. He loves to ski, golf and bowl.

31. His favorite time of the year is fall.

32. His favorite place to be is on a tropical beach somewhere, Tahiti or Hawaii, he'd be there.

33. He travels a lot for work and last year traveled well over 75% of his time.

34. He is a die hard perfectionist. He will do whatever it takes to get the job done and always to his excellent best.

35. He loves chinese food.

36. His favorite drink is Creme Soda.

37. He has to have coffee with flavored creamer in the mornings to start his day.

38. He has been a wonderful father to both Kailee and Caitlyn. They really do look up to him. He is always doing something with them.

39. He is the best husband in the world to me. I find myself more in love with him each day.

40. He is the ultimate procrastinator but once he gets going, there's no looking back.

41. He loves cheesecake.

42. Here is hoping for another 42 magical years with you. Happy Birthday Steven! You have blessed my life and the lives of our children in so many special ways. Thank you for always being you!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Restoring Romance Again

Too often life gets out of control and we find ourselves wondering where has all the time gone? We have so many demands placed on us by family, friends, church, job and others that by the time we get to ourselves we have just run out. Physical stress and fatigue wears on us since we weren't programmed to handled so much in one day and the consistent demand to do more is ever present.

Our relationships then begin to suffer when we don't have time for everyone who is demanding that time. We will take care of our job responsibilities usually first, because that is what pays the bills, then our kids come next and then if we can find time, maybe our spouses. Forget any time for us. So how do we capture the romance that is nothing more than a smoldering spark that used to be a raging fire. It's quite simple really, we need to change our priorities.

First and foremost it should be our relationship with God. I mean God doesn't want someone who dates Him, He wants a marriage to us. Imagine if you will that God only remembered you, when you remembered Him during your day. Kinda scary when you think of it that way. I don't think for most of us, that we give God any time in our day, because we know He will always be there later, like we tell our kids, "later honey!"

If we can rearrange our priorities to include God in our daily time management schedule, our whole days would go smoother. Since this is about romance, our next item on that priority list should be your spouse. We need to include them in our appointment books or Blackberries or whatever you schedule your time into. Whether it is phoning them just to see how they are doing, or making time at the closure of your evening to hang out, watch some TV, attend Bible Study or church, the point is to make time. No excuses!

I am not saying to put your job on the back burner by any means, but if we don't care of our spouse, our marriage will wither away and someone else may just be offering what we aren't. You'd be surprised at how often affairs begin because the husbands or wives simply didn't have the time for the other, no one to talk to, or to do the things you normally do. We weren't supposed to live our lives like room mates thanks to the added responsibilities of households, kids and jobs. We are supposed to put our spouse's needs even before our own.

So if you are wondering how to get that spark going again, beside just sex, you need to begin by nurturing that relationship you have neglected and stop taking advantage of your husband or wife, thinking that you will have time for them later. Begin today and show them just how much they really mean to you. Plan something to do with just them, keeping it out of the bedroom preferred. Guaranteed the longer you continue to show your spouse the attention we all need to have, the better your relationship and marriage will go!

Can't wait to hear your results!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Happy 17th Birthday Caitlyn

Today, my oldest turns 17 and she's finally driving, and I thought I would share some pictures with you along with 17 of the best things about her. She enters her Senior year in a month and this will be our final year with her as a high schooler. Time sure does go by fast!

Even though she is off with her friends, enjoying the day at Knott's Berry Farm, I wanted to dedicate this page to her.

1. She was the best baby ever. No crying, well behaved. It made being a first time mom so easy. I hope it is with yours when you have kids.

2. She loves owls. They are her new favorite animal. She loves Christian music and concerts!

3. She has such a tender and compassionate heart. I truly see her in the mission field later in life because she loves people so much.

4. She never carries a grudge. No matter how many people who have disappointed her in her life, she is always forgiving.

5. She is friends with all her ex boyfriends. This is a great example of number 4 even though some of them have hurt her pretty bad.

6. She's a social butterfly and always loves being around her friends and participating in all her school events, dances and field trips.

7. She is a friend to the end. She will be your BFF unless you no longer want to be hers. She has friends from her childhood still.

8. She loves her social networking sites, Myspace, Facebook, and even has her own blog.

9. Her favorite colors are black and purple.

10. Her favorite dessert is dark chocolate and anything made from dark chocolate.

11. She loves thrill rides except for ones that spin around, or drop. Worse yet, ones that spin around and drop in the same ride.

12. She has parents on both coasts and has been a huge survivor of a divorce and some things a child should never have to experience and comes out a hero to many.

13. She only has two class to complete in her Senior year and has a 4.0 GPA and straight A's throughout high school, except for a B+ in her freshman year in Biology. Not her fault if you ask her.

14. She was baptized at summer camp last year and truly has a heart to serve God. She is saving herself for marriage.

15. She loves anything vintage and old fashioned. She loves clothes and fashions from the 30's and 40's.

16. She loves musicals. Mostly the old classics like Holiday Inn and White Christmas.

17. Here's hoping that this truly is your year. You're driving and you are more independent now than ever before. Happy Birthday Caitlyn! You're truly a masterpiece!