Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Confession: I am the "weird" mom.

Walmart has been out of brown paper lunch bags for two weeks. My kids won't carry lunch bags, they want everything disposable. They drop it in the trash can on their way out of the lunch room and their done. So when I didn't have brown paper bags, I had to become resourceful. I used what I have. This is tomorrow's lunches, not Christmas presents I keep in the refrigerator In January. Nate (junior in high school) says he gets some funny looks when he gets his lunch out, but these bags are really durable and hold his lunch and he likes them. And then he added, "besides Mom, my friends know you." Like that explains everything? Like this is not my first weird moment? My first offense?
In my dreams, I'm super mom that has it all together.
In real life, I have lunches packed in Christmas bags, dirty dishes in the sink, clothes finishing in the dryer when I'm going to bed. I can see 5 pairs of shoes on the floor from where I'm sitting. And 3 hoodies but I'm going to bed. They'll still be there tomorrow. This is bad enough. But now I also get to be the weird mom?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mrs. Jonah

Last week I shared my husband's Jonah story. Today, I'm going to share my experience as Mrs. Jonah. When Steve told me five years ago that he had a calling on his life and he needed to pursue it, I was the supportive wife. At least outwardly. Inwardly, I was a mess. Not with his calling or his decision to (finally) pursue God's will, but with my role. I grew up in a fundamental Baptist church and Christian school, where everyone was "called" to be a pastor or missionary or pastor's or missionary's wife. I just said the same thing as everyone else when asked, because to not be called would have been like admitting you weren't spiritual. I actually had plans to marry a really hot guy, have lots of money and have my kids over extended in sports. Okay, all kidding aside, I never felt a call from God.
So we jumped in, Steve started college, worked full time, volunteered at church, and kept up with five kids. I drove a lot more, did a lot more housework, and typed enough papers and helped with enough research to feel like I earned my own degree. A few months into all this, I was in my car, wondering again why I didn't have a call of my own, when God made it very clear to me that he didn't have to call me. I had married Steve. My call is to support Steve, which means taking care of him, our children, and our home. (In that order, come see my home some days.)
This is not easy for me, because I'm a stagehand when I want to be the show. I don't want to be in the show, I want the lead. I also want to write the show, and direct it. Which I'm not qualified for but I want it anyway.
Our lives changed drastically when Steve started following God. We didn't have less trials and troubles, in fact they increased. The difference is, when you are following God, and you know it, they are easier to handle. I'm pretty sure that in most of the storms we've faced, I should be the one thrown overboard, (but due to my acidic nature I would've caused some major intestinal discomfort and the whale would've chucked me up long before he got to shore and I would've drowned). I believe that we all have a call from God. I may never set the world on fire. I may not even set my corner of the world on fire. But if I submit to what God's plan for me is and support my husband, raise my kids, and love those in my life, I will have done what I believe what God has for me. This is overly simplified, but I believe this is what I'm called to.
I hear it said often that God doesn't give you more than you can handle. YES HE DOES! God believes in me way more than I believe in myself. My answer to that statement has become, God doesn't give you more than you can handle WITH HIS HELP. If I can handle it on my own, then I don't need Him. He makes sure I don't get that confident.

I will never be in the spotlight, but that really shows my laugh lines, so stage hand it is.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

And the winner is...

From, the winner of the baby booties is...

List Randomizer - Here they are in random order:
Timestamp: 2009-01-25 20:43:15 UTC

I'm giving away to number 1 & number 2, so Wendi and Jenny, let me know preference of boy or girl, and either 0/3, 3/6, or 6/9 months. Wendi, send me your mailing address. Jenny, I'll deliver.

TUNE IN FEBRUARY FOR THE NEXT GIVEAWAY. I HAVE A FRIEND WHO MAKES....JEWELRY. Some lucky lady will win her choice of a bracelet. And they are cool. Will be positing pictures soon.

I Can

In honor of Mark's sermon last week on Change, with a focus on training, I found this postcard with sayings about running I thought I would share with you all, mostly because of the last two words. (It does miss the two most important ones to me, I run because I want to be skinny, and I run to get away from my kids.)
I Run Because
I love not just the finish line, but the trip along the way - it makes me feel free - I've got energy to burn - I need energy - it's my anti-depressant - I hope my children will - I need an excuse to eat - stopping would hurt so much more than a blister or a broken toenail - walking takes too long and I have things I need to get done - my personal best is just that: mine - others can't - it's a good kind of sore - it makes the pavement feel needed - there are a lot worse addictions out there - there's no better way to explore a city or enjoy the spring flowers and fall leaves - I "just felt like runnin" - there's no drug like adrenaline - I'll never know how far I can go unless I try - the pavement doesn't complain when you pound it - it takes all I've got, but gives back more - I Can.

Are you inspired to run?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Middle School Angst

I returned to 7th grade this week. It’s a miserable time. It was when I was that age, and as I sat in the room full of 7th grade students today, I’m sure it is for them also. The changes in kids from 6th to 8th grade are huge. You have a 6th grader that just turned 11 and an 8th grader that is 15, differences are huge.
I had the opportunity to be in a position this week where I knew I was the outsider, I knew I wasn’t wanted. And while this is never a fun thing to experience, these individuals don’t have the power to hurt me, so water off a ducks back. (But I still didn’t like it.) On the other side of that, I had a chance today to remember how it feels when someone makes you feel like you belong.
Whitney had an honor roll breakfast at school this morning. Last quarter when I went, I was late getting there, and we had to sit with (gasp) kids she didn’t know. Worse yet, they were boys. So I was under strict orders to be there early, and to not pick a place to sit until she was there, so we could sit with her friends. I got there early, being able to take simple instructions such as, be there early. I did however sit down, because there were chairs. While waiting for my pip squeak to show up, a mom came in and sat down with me. Now fortunately for me, it was one of 5 moms that I knew. We visited, and before I could tell her my situation, she told me that her daughter, M, had told her the same thing Whitney had told me. So we continued to visit, and Whitney and M just happened to come into the cafeteria together. So we both got it right. Whitney plays club volleyball with M. They are friends, and I know the mom, not well, but I do like her. It was probably the most enjoyable honor roll breakfast to date, and it is number 6. Because I was included, I was made to feel like I belonged. This lady doesn’t have the power to hurt me either, so the feeling of belonging was the same as the feeling of being the outsider, based on the source. But what a difference it made in my day. Being wanted as opposed to being unwanted.
I do need to point out here that I have many wonderful friends. I never feel like no one cares, and that I’m all alone. (I’m not counting my family, they are great too.) I have a couple of friends that I am 100% positive that when I really need them, they would not be available for me, they would MAKE themselves available for me, and that makes this object lesson God gave me even more powerful.
If I can tell the difference, with many healthy relationships and good friends, then how would it make someone feel who doesn’t have my circle? I know women who don’t. God has thrown down a new challenge to me, that there are women who need to be included. They need to feel like they belong. God created every one of us in His image, each of us with our quirks and oddities and personality differences. I see the value in every person, but I don’t always show that I see it. Colossians 1:16 says “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.” I should place the same value on God’s creation he does. If we are created in his image, Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them, then we all must look like him a little bit.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My Responsibility

I read Matthew 6 this morning, and it has been spinning in my head all day. It's not a new passage, or a new concept to me, yet for some reason it really made me think. Hard. Praying should be done in our room with the door closed, or should be a private matter, not done to prove to everyone how Godly we are. We should use the words necessary, but not ramble on like the pagans, because God already knows what we need before we ask. We should give in secret, not so the world knows what we are doing, because then we have already received our reward. Then later, Scripture tells us by our fruits everyone will know us.
What really got to me today with this is the idea that we plant our seeds and water them in private, and then our fruit will be seen by all. If my life is not producing fruit, there is a problem with my private life. I can't blame it on not being fed at church. It's not the pastor's fault or the Bible study leaders fault. It's not the type of worship music we sing. My spiritual life is my responsibility. I can enhance it with church and Bible Study's and connection groups, but they can't do it for me.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


We are in the middle of a sermon series “Change” at Newspring. I know one thing I need to change. I ate 6 chocolate frosted Valentine’s cookies last night for dinner. (Then I went to Weight Watchers). Dessert for dinner? Store bought from the bakery at Dillon’s. Dangit, they were good.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My index finger doesn't hurt...

February 2009 Runners World magazine has an article containing advice from runners and readers. One man says that when he is running he concentrates on body parts that don't hurt. Another one says she dedicated each mile of her marathon and kept running so she wouldn't have to confess that she walked anyone's mile. What drives me? I don't mean running, although there are lots of things I do to keep myself putting one foot in front of the other. Why do we do the hard things, or even just the necessary things? What makes me get off the couch at 10:00 to pack lunches and clean the kitchen after being up since 5:00, getting kids out the door to school, off to work, volleyball practice, squeezing in a work out, fixing supper, making sure homework is done, clothes are clean, etc?
For me, there is nothing more important than taking care of my husband and my children. I want their lives to be as easy as possible. I would suffer pain, every heartache for them, because I hurt with them. There isn't anything I wouldn't give up for them, won't sacrifice for them. But they don't grow if I remove the obstacles. Obviously, the broken heart from the relationship that didn't work out is beyond my control. The sickness, I can treat, and hope for a little relief for them until they are well, but I can't take it out of their body into mine. I realized this week, that my daughter learned a lesson being sick. She's 7th grade. Always before when she's been sick, she just wants to stay home. But this time, even though she really was sick, she begged to go to school. She knows that she was missing out. She knows she will have to make up homework. She learned that sometimes it's better to tough it out. And that she is strong enough to do so.
So I'm back to the title of my blog, what drives me? The knowledge that "I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST BECAUSE HE GIVES ME STRENGTH". Phillipians 4:13. This may be running the 10th mile, or it may be just getting out of bed in the morning.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Go Live

I work at Spirit Aerosystems in Wichita, Kansas as a buyer. This is not a glamorous job, lots of computer time, meetings and looking at numbers. I enjoy it. It's rather solitary, and in my crazy world, I get little solitude anywhere else.
We are implementing a new software program. This activity has required countless hours of training. Training so that we will be ready on the first day we come in and sit down to use this new system. They have offered training and refresher training and training updates for the last year, all in preparation of implementation, so we will be as ready as we can possibly be. I think this is like my spiritual walk. God has me in training. Everyday I have occasion to learn, to improve, to make the right decision and do the right thing. Everyday I have the opportunity to build character and prepare myself for the day when someone will "flip the switch". I've heard it said that the trials in our lives are to prepare us for what is coming in the future. Somehow, I always had this in mind that bigger and worse and more horrific trials are coming. We've all lived through some doozies, so thinking that the next one will be worse has me rolled in fetal position in the corner sucking my thumb. The life of Joseph illustrates perfectly how the trials he faced prepared him for the day someone "flipped his switch". They call this day "go live" here at work, and I see a parallel in Joseph's life. He endured being thrown into a pit, sold by his brothers, lied about, thrown into a prison (back in a pit) and was left there for a long time. In my old way of thinking, Joseph was being trained for something even worse than prison. But I realize that Joseph was being trained for something hard, but IT WAS SOMETHING GREAT! When he was removed from prison, he was able to save a great many lives. The day he was removed from prison may very well have been his "go live" day, the day God was training him for. Genesis 50:20 "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.' (ESV) In my life, as I look at the past trials, sometimes I have just functioned. Sometimes I have seen victory. Now, I believe that they were opportunities to train me and prepare me for what is to come. Will there be trials? Yes. Will it be hard? Sometimes. But I believe God means it for good. Sometime, somewhere, someway, I will be able to use what has happened in my life for good. I have seen this day come in other people's lives where they hit their stride with doing great things for God. You can just see that they have had their "go live" moment, and they are making the most of it. I want to be ready for mine.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What's In A Name

Last week my son and I were talking and he said something about a guy at school, and he called him by a new nickname. I didn't know who he was talking about, so he told me and gave me the circumstances surrounding the nickname. It was funny, but it was tough and cruel as 16 year old boys tend to be. (Unless they around hot 16 year old girls, and then they are mush). I have thought several times this week about that nickname, and felt sorry for the boy who has earned it, and it was earned. They call him by his batting average from last year, which was bad. Really bad. Even the coach now calls him by this number.
With 5 kids and 3 nephews who have all grown up together, we have seen our share of nicknames. This is different than name calling, and my kids call each other some very uncomplimentary things which can be universal, these names don't belong to anyone special. But when these nicknames are said, everyone knows exactly who we are talking about. Pooh Bear, Bob, Chopper, Nater, Mini Me, Welchy, Little Welch, Baby Welch, Jellyman, Jerrfy, Whitey, Shake n Bake, Freak, Scooter, Care Bear, Bofe. These kids all have common names that don't get butchered, mispronouned or made fun of, or at least not very much. Hard to mess with Cameron, Brandon, Jeffrey, Kari, Amanda, Ashley, Nate and Whitney, last names Baker and Welch.
My nicknames in high school were not flattering. Pootsy, Flatsy Patsy, Potsy. Worst of all, Cow Patty, from the song by Jim Stafford. "Yippi ay yay, Cow Patty, she rode into town to find the man that killed her daddy…" Yeah, I hated that one. Saw Jim Stafford in Branson, didn't make the connection till he actually performed the song. Ripped all those scabs wide open, right there in the theatre at 32 years old. (Now I'll be singing it all day, 40 shots rang out, 40 people fell, Patty and that killer, they shot that town to…Yippi ay yay) . I even remember the "clever" guy who started it, I had the wildest crush on him before that unfortunate moniker.
I don't have any nicknames for my husband but other people have over the years, and I heard a new one this summer. People we had never met at church knew his name, but said they always called him Mr. Teeth or the Dentist, because of his smile. He's Mr. Teeth, I'm Cow Patty. I'm going to take a minute and wallow in self pity (and download the song, it's kind of catchy)...Okay, I'm back.
A couple years ago Pastor Mark Hoover at Newspring Church did a series on people in the Bible that God changed their name. Abram/Abraham, Sarai/Sarah, Jacob/Israel, Saul/Paul, you get the idea. Steve (Mr. Teeth) sang a song during that series titled "You Changed My Name" by Travis Cottrell. "You changed my name, you called me forgiven, you changed my name when you called me redeemed. You took my place and wrote a new beginning to the story I was living and I'll never be the same. You saw what I could be and reaching down for me, You changed my name." My past is not pretty, but one line of the first verse says, "Who I was before, doesn't matter anymore". Praise Jesus he sees what I can be, and he works on me. I have already blogged about what I CAN do, which according to the Word of God is ALL THINGS. Also blogged on the need to change, because Jesus is doing a good work in me and will complete it on the day He comes and takes me home. Who I was doesn't matter, who I am is changing, who I will be is exciting, and completely in His hands. There will come a day when I won't be Cow Patty anymore.
Just for a laught, these are kids who don't need nicknames because their given name is weird enough. I find these worse than Cow Patty, and they are on their birth certificates. Coco (Courteney Cox & David Arquette), Apple (Gwyneth Paltrow & Chris Martin), Rumer (Demi Moore & Bruce Willis), Diva Muffin Zappa (Frank Zappa), Moxie Crimefighter (Penn Jillette), Tu Morrow (actor Rob Morrow), Jermajesty (Jermaine Jackson), Fifi Trixibelle (Bob Geldof & Paula Yates), Kal-El (Nicolas Cage & Alice Kim. Note: Kal-el is Superman’s birth name), Free (Barbara Hershey & David Carradine), Audio Science (Shannyn Sossamon & Dallas Clayton), Bluebell Madonna Haliwell (Geri "Ginger Spice" Halliwell), Pilot Inspektor (Jason Lee & Beth Riesgraf), Sage Moonblood (Sylvester Stallone).

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I love the story of Jonah, although I think that teaching this lesson to a group of children in Sunday School might be hard now. The whole class probably speaks whale. The story of Jonah is so much bigger than the whale, that was just 3 days in his life. A scary 3 days, but he didn't die there.

This picture is one of my all time favorites. It's really nothing special, just legs. It's the graphic used in Mark's Newspring Church sermon series fall of 2008 about Jonah titled "Running". I love this picture for so many reasons. I know and love the legs, (and the rest of the man). I know and love the photographer and his family. I know and love the church where it was used, representing four sermons; Running from God, Running to God, Running with God, Running ahead of God.My husband (the legs) graduated from Bible College this last summer. In one of his classes he was talking to his professor and described himself as a modern Jonah. He felt God's call on his life at 18, but ran the other direction. Then because of choices he'd made and the repercussions of sin in his life, he let that calling go. This sermon series after Steve made that comment made it even more powerful to me.Steve ran from God twenty years ago. He ran to God a long time ago. But the running with God took longer. Five years ago Steve and I entered the most difficult and challenging time of our lives, (lives that have never been easy). Some of the trials were recurring consequences to decisions we had made in our past as some decisions mark you for life. Some of the trials were because life is hard. You didn't do anything to be in that storm, you can't make it stop. You just have to ride it out (or throw someone overboard). Steve came home one afternoon and said he'd had lunch with our pastor, Mark. They had talked about Steve still feeling that call on his life, but he felt that it was too late. He had rejected it. Mark told him the same thing that day that he said in Running from God. If you don't answer the call when it's made, you won't get a different one, you get the same one again. We don't get to choose. Fortunately, if we do as he says, we will find that we are so much happier and figure it out that God really does know better than we do. So Steve started following God's lead and began Running with God (and drug me with him). We are Running with God. It's not easy, it's a daily, minute by minute effort to live for God. Satan wants to defeat us, and he derailed Steve once, but he's not going to again. Now we want to stay with God and not Run ahead. God knows what he has for us and he knows the timing.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Giveaway Part 2

More bootie pics, they are so cute. Be sure and register to win.

Bootie Giveaway

My sister is quite talented with a skein of yarn and a pair of knitting needles. I will be giving away a pair of her baby booties. I personally know 5 pregnant women right now, so this would be a great gift. Register in the comments section and on January 26 I will post the winner.

Friday, January 9, 2009


Check in on Monday for information and to register for the first ever I CAN Do All Things giveaway!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Drinking Problem

This is my desk at work by 11:45 this morning. The coffee cup was my Earl Grey hot tea. The little round pack is crystal light. I use an 18X36 wall calendar as a coaster. I was holding my ice tea in my other hand when I took this picture. By the end of the day I will have finished all of these. And probably at least one more diet coke and ice tea. I am one thirsty girl.
Much of my grocery budget is spent on liquid. Diet Coke, ice tea, Crystal Light, Mountain Dew, Gatorade, 4-5 gallons of milk per week, plus my 3x a week habit at Starbucks. (I would like for it to be more, but it's expensive and not conveniently located on the way to work). Twenty-five percent would be a fair number. I could save roughly $150 a month if we just drank water. And I do drink a lot of water. The other stuff just tastes so good.
Most of my thought processes bring Scripture to mind. Eight years in an A.C.E. school have. I know many verses, and there are many about thirst, I looked them up, and in KJV there are 51. Exodus to Revelation. I have thought a lot about thirst today, and a few verses stick out to me. Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Doesn't leave much room for doubting the outcome here. We hunger and thirst, we will be filled. Psalm 42:1 As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.
The second one is the one I thought long and hard about. I started training for a half marathon in July. Missed running the one in October, so now working on one for March. But, I digress. With this training came a lot of running. Long runs. Kansas in July and August is hot. It is still 98 degrees at 8:30. I know now what it is like to be so thirsty that I pant. One time this summer I was attempting a new distance. I made it, and as I was running the last two blocks, I saw my husband walk out the driveway into the street and look for me. When I got home to him, he handed me a 32 oz green tumbler of ice water. Drinking that water made me feel about 100% better, 7 miles in 95+ degree heat had left me panting and thirsty. (I now run with money in my armband and stop for a bottle of water at Kwikshop.)
I was thirsty, and my husband met the need. He didn't quench my thirst, the water did, but he provided the water. I think God brought me through this thought process to get to this point. I can't quench the thirst only God's living water can do that, but I CAN provide it. So if you are thirsty, drink up! I will even bring you the 32 oz green tumbler (metaphorically speaking)!

Monday, January 5, 2009

There's too many fat people at the Y

This is what I told Steve when I came home from working out. My Y exploded over the weekend. Friday when I was in there, it was a normal day, a little busier because school was out, high school kids, college kids, but normal for school being out. Today, WHAM!!! Where did they all come from?

A few years ago, I was one of those fat people. But I stuck with it. I maintain a pretty rigid diet, I found what works for me, it allows the occasional Krispy Kreme, Oreo Truffle and cheeseburger. I run, cycle, climb stairs. I pump iron. That term makes me laugh. I do push ups and pull ups and crunches. I work out with my husband when I feel especially masochistic, because I know I will be sore for several days after.

**TIME OUT - weird family moment, my daughter just yelled, "Mom, dad is walking on the table." Yes, dad was walking across the dining room table chasing her. At least he didn't do a WWF flying leap off and tackle her. That's what keeps me from getting involved in these little disputes, because that does happen in my home.**

I am glad to see so many fat people at the Y. This is where they go to get healthy. Wouldn't it be something if our church attendance jumped like this with people concerned about their spiritual health? Seriously, wouldn't that be something? No joining fee, no membership fee. AND FREE TRAINERS.

Today is yesterdays tomorrow.

I don't do New Year's resolutions. If I need to make a change, I need to make a change now, not next week, or next year. If I plan to eat better starting Monday, I can gain three pounds in two days preparing for Monday.

Philippians 1:6 says "And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." (NLT)

God is expecting me to change, continually. And I want to. I just wish it didn't hurt so much. Recently I had the opportunity to see myself through anothers eyes. Someone that I respect. I value their opinion. I did not like what they saw. That doesn't make it not true. So after a period of prayer, Bible reading, and looking really hard at myself, I made changes. It was hard. It hurt. It was humbling. It was necessary. I don't always feel like making the changes, but as one of my IPOD preachers says, "fake it till you make it".

This doesn't make me fake. It just means that sometimes you have to wait for the feelings to catch up to the actions. I'm going to use a safe example. I was at Target the other day to pick up a box of pills, a package of socks and diet coke. I like Target. I have good experiences at Target. I usually shop at Walmart because it cheaper. I don't like anything about Walmart except the falling prices. This day, I got Walmart service at Target. 20 people in line. I had time to count, because there were only two registers open. Sale prices were not in the computer. 75% off Christmas merchandise had to be taken manually. When it was finally my turn, they opened 3 more lanes. The lane I was in didn't have a card reader. I asked if they could take my debit card in that lane, Sure we can. Until I handed them my card and they realized they didn't have a card reader. We had to move to another register. 45 minutes for my 3 items. I wanted to tell the lady what I thought of their efficiency. I could manage Target so much better. Instead I smiled (grimaced?) and said thank you, have a good day. Because God would not have been honored with me telling this clerk how I really felt. I really did want her to have a good day. I was just inconvenienced and irritated. (And I hate going back to a store and apologizing to someone for being rude. Humiliating.)

I CAN put actions in place and let the feelings catch up with them. If I wait till I feel something to act on it, it most likely will never get done. If I act, the feelings usually catch up somewhere during the action. The good work will not be completed on this earth, but it will be on the day Christ Jesus returns. Until then I remain imperfect, but willingly and actively changing.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Chance or God ordained?

The weekend before Christmas I ran into the same lady from my church 4 times in 5 days. It seemed everywhere I went, she was there. She always wanted to talk and for a long time. It was mildly inconvenient; one day I was at work, one day I was late getting to my place for worship, and one day it took 20 minutes from my work out. I know, really selfish. The last time was two days before Christmas and I was finishing my shopping and helping (okay, not really) Steve find black pants he liked. When I saw her that day, I ducked her. And, I did have the decency to feel bad, at least briefly. The next week, I ran into one of my son's friends everywhere I went. This was not quite so annoying, as teenage boys usually only nod or smile, because it's not cool to talk to parents. This boy did talk, but after two minutes, he had nothing left to say.

After these two occurrences, I realized that maybe God had placed these people in my path over and over so I would talk to them, and maybe pray for them. Maybe they needed encouragement, and just a smiling face or kind word would help. And I ducked, out of selfishness. During the season of giving. I have not seen this lady since, either.

I owe countless people apologies for ducking them at Wal-mart, the Mall, the Y, even at work. I began to think that some of these people don't have a big family or great friends. The may not be the recipient of kindness and encouragement often. They may be lonely. And in both of these cases, I know that to be true.

So I am left to ask the question, do I believe in random chance encounters, or do I believe God has ordained every step in my earthly existence? If so, I am responsible for my actions with every individual in my path. At least the ones I know that I can acknowledge and be kind too. So if you see me at the grocery store or the mall, I won't be ducking you.

DISCLAIMER: I make no promises regarding the Y. I am not a pretty girl when I work out. I sweat, I stink, I may have to avoid. But know that it is done in Christian love and for your benefit.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Really, I Can.

As I was running today, I was feeling the extra 4 pounds (of Spasagne) and I wanted to walk. But the inner voice, amazingly similar to Steve's, told me it was mental, I could keep running, just push through it. So I did. I could be sappy and say because he is the "wind beneath my wings", but honestly, we are just both highly competitive people, and he pushes me to do more, to be better, to be stronger, and I want him to be proud of me. As I thought "I can keep running", and was feeling good because of my perseverance, I realized that my God has told me that I can do ALL things, through him, because He gives me strength. I never have to do anything in my own strength. The many times I have attempted to do things in my own strength, I have really screwed them up. I'm not making my running today a spiritual battle, just a time alone that God used to speak to me.

So I have decided there is no better way to enter a new year than with the idea firmly in mind that "I Can". I have a big year ahead, I know I have many changes coming, and I want to handle them all with the attitude of "I Can", knowing it is the start of "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Because He Gives Me Strength."

8:31:00 PM
by Patsy Baker