Friday, August 25, 2006

Journey to Wellness

So my husband brings home this little paper called Journey to Wellness, take the test of your lifetime. He had been at a 4H pool party with Michael and these papers were passed out there.

It has you start with the number 76, and then you add or subtract from that number based on a page and a half of questions. One question is: If you live in an urban area with a population over 2 million, subtract 2. There are other questions regarding health habits of yourself and family members. Karl bombed on this one because 2 grandfathers died before he was even born. All of my grandparents lived until at least 60 years old. The test also includes driving habits, taking into account whether or not you are likely to die in a car crash.

So, we get to the bottom of the test, and Karl said this thing estimated he would live to be 80 years old and I would live to be 95. All I could say was a sarcastic "Thanks!"

That's 15 years! There is a difference of 15 years between our life expectancies (granted no one but God knows the true number of our days, but this at least gets you thinking). We've been married for 15 years. There have been times of joy and times of sorrow. Frustrations and Elations. Not many people pull their firstborn child out themselves while their husband is driving 70 miles per hour to the hospital. So there are definitely experiences in our marriage these 15 years that I would greatly miss if we had never gotten married. So, I'm thinking how many experiences we would miss in 15 years difference of life expectancies?

Our choices: I can make my health worse (not going to happen on purpose), Karl can improve his health chances (a lot of effort on his part, but doable) or we can just accept the fact that I will outlive him by 15 years.

Repeatedly, the scriptures pound the message of health. God desires us to prosper and be in good health. 80 years of age is nothing to sneeze at, by any means, but I believe God's plan for us is to be as healthy as possible. So, pray for Karl and I as we try to climb the Mt. Everests of his health (his job literally is very hard on his health) that seem impossible. We must remember that with God, all things are possible, even good health!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

How do you say I'm sorry?

Interesting phone call. My 12 year old niece (whose gorgeous development has all of us {especially her mother} on our guard lately), called recently to ask advice on boys. Whoa. Well, at least it was for a friend of hers. It seems that her friend likes a certain boy and my niece thinks the boy likes her friend. The problem is they are both terribly shy. So my niece is left with the difficult task of helping these two "tweens" break the ice and talk to each other.
After speaking with my husband, as she wanted a guy's point of view, she then talked to me on the phone and said she was so confused. I told her that she was now right on target and welcome to womanhood! She went on to say that she would never understand men, and again, I welcomed her into the club.
However, it reminded me of another recent incident. I screwed up and made a big mess of a situation and it was totally senseless because I overreacted. So, I sucked it up and apologized and asked for forgiveness. That's when it hit me. The person I apologized to and asked forgiveness of....I couldn't remember the last time they ever apologized to me for anything or even hinted at asking for forgiveness, even though this person manages to cause me hurt and pain. I suddenly realized that I'm the one always apologizing (don't worry, it's not my husband), and even though this other person can be hateful and hurtful at times, they never apologize.
It got me to thinking that teaching our children to say "I'm sorry, I messed up, please forgive me," may be the best thing we ever do for their future relationships. I certainly wouldn't want my child going through life causing pain and suffering and not being able to own up to it and receive the healing of forgiveness and a change of behavior.
I also began to wonder, if we can never say "please forgive me" or "I'm sorry" to people we have relationships with, whether as close as immediate family or the other end of the spectrum, then how can we approach God? Does our inability to communicate on the "horizontal level" with our fellow mankind mean that we also don't have what it takes to communicate on the "vertical level" with our Lord and Maker?
And it's not just the words, I'm sorry. What about "good job, way to go, thanks for all your hard work, I appreciate all you've done." If you find yourself having a hard time communicating with someone, you may be having difficulty communicating with God as well, and it might just be time to stop and learn how to say "I'm sorry."

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Music and Water

I'm ashamed that it's been so long since my last posting. Alas, the "busy" of life has overwhelmed me as of late.

The boys have their first music recital this weekend. Michael is playing his solo piece on the piano, as well as the duet with his teacher of "Coming Round the Mountain" with another student playing the banjo. It's a great piece. Matthew is playing his solo on the piano as well as his "original composition" of a piece in a minor key about Jesus dying on the cross. Of course, it is only about 3 measures long, but he's only 4 years old, so his teacher wants to give him credit for those 3 measures!

Family is coming from out of state for the recital, and the baptism. Michael, some weeks back, went to the pastor and said, "may I please speak with you at length in the library." The pastor told us later that it was like talking to a small adult. Oh well, that's Michael and we love it! He requested baptism, and then the pastor found out what we had been doing in homeschool, and realized that Michael was pretty much ready for baptism. Since that time, we have reminded Michael over and over that it's not about how many correct answers you get or how good you are, but it's about committing your life to Jesus because you love Him.

So, we are very busy this weekend, and leading up to this weekend. I've made invitations for the recital and am completing the programs for that night. We are a little overwhelmed with all that needs to be done, but praising the Lord for His blessings!

Monday, August 7, 2006

Where is the Music?

My Mom sent this to me, and it was a great blessing, so I thought I would share. It is from Lucado's book, "A Gentle Thunder."
In the Psalms, we learn that the Lord inhabits the praise of His people. Yes, we can cross every t and dot every i, but if we don't have the overflowing love of God in our hearts that pours itself out in praise, it is much indeed like dancing without music.


Hearing God’s Music
by Max Lucado

Let's imagine that you want to learn to dance. Being the rational, cerebral person you are, you go to a bookstore and buy a book on dancing. You take the book home and get to work.

Finally, you think you’ve got it, and you invite your wife to come in and watch. You hold the book open and follow the instructions step by step. You even read the words aloud so she’ll know that you’ve done your homework. “Lean with your right shoulder,” and so you lean. “Now step with your right foot,” and so you step. “Turn slowly to the left,” and so you do.

You continue to read, then dance, read, then dance, until the dance is completed. You plop exhausted on the couch, look at your wife, and proclaim, “I executed it perfectly.”

A Gentle Thunder“You executed it, all right,” she sighs. “You killed it.”


“You forgot the most important part. Where is the music?”


You never thought about music. You remembered the book. You learned the rules. You laid out the pattern. But you forgot the music.

“Do it again,” she says, putting in a CD. “This time don’t worry about the steps; just follow the music.”

She extends her hand and the music begins. The next thing you know, you are dancing—and you don’t even have the book.

We Christians are prone to follow the book while ignoring the music. We master the doctrine, outline the chapters, memorize the dispensations, debate the rules, and stiffly step down the dance floor of life with no music in our hearts. We measure each step, calibrate each turn, and flop into bed each night exhausted from another day of dancing by the book.

Dancing with no music is tough stuff.

“Let God have you, and let God love you—and don’t be surprised if your heart begins to hear music you’ve never heard and your feet learn to dance as never before.”
~ Max Lucado ~

Saturday, August 5, 2006

A New Venture

Back in April, there was an unfortunate incident, upon which I shall not elaborate, but which necessitated our family seeking out another mode of transportation.

Thus began more than 3 LONG months of searching for a vehicle, settling with the insurance company (which was excellent to us), deciding which direction to go in and making it work to purchase a new to us vehicle.

We finally settled on a 2004 Chevrolet Venture that needed a little work on the back end. Seeing as it was in the body shop for 3 months and 1 day, it would be safe to say that the little bit of work on the back end turned into a lot of work and actually a clip job.

But at last, the Chevy Venture is in our driveway, and I embarked on the task of completing forms vin verificationAlas, proof of insurance, registration and so forth. For my efforts, a license plate with a diamond in the middle of it (yes, Arkansas has diamond mines).

Michael is a very curious child. Always looking into all kinds of things and seeming to touch everything when we are in a new environment. However, at this point, Karl and I were probably testing and experimenting with things even more than Michael as we tried to get used to our new vehicle.

Our venture has this cool computer display that tells you what direction you are heading and a variety of other pieces of information. One of the things it displays is your current miles per gallon. You love looking at it when you are going down hill and it shows that you are at that moment getting 99 miles per gallon of gallon. With gas prices as high as they are right now, that's a good number to see! But then, there are the uphills. Sometimes the miles per gallon drops to as low as 9. Yikes!

Although I haven't always had the computer display in front of me, being a frugal mother of three, I've tried to drive in a manner to conserve as much fuel as possible. Karl however has confessed that seeing that display has changed the way he drives.

If we could see a special display in our lives, our words and deeds, that would enable us to see whether we were reflecting Jesus at 99 positive witnessing opportunities per moment of life or 9 positive witnessing opportunities per moment of life, would it change "the way we drive?"

Thursday, August 3, 2006

on being a woman

So, Deb wanted to know why I haven't been writing.

Well, I've been in survival mode. If you are a man or just plain sensitive to things like this, maybe you don't want to read anymore.

Sometimes being a woman isn't all it's cracked up to be! I only pray that since my mom and sister and other women in my family have just as many if not more problems than I do (and several hysterectomies to prove it), that Greta won't get our defective gene and grow up resenting being a woman.

It appears that for the most part, I have recovered, until next month when once again I will feel like I'm in labor again. I'm done having kids, but it seems my body wants to put me through horrendous pain every month. But there is hope. In heaven, I'll have a new body.

I think Jesus knew exactly what He was doing when He compared the second coming to a woman in labor. It's awful, but the rewards are beautiful.

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

9 Myths

Just read a great book. Wanted to pass it on to everyone. The message in this book is good whether you have kids or not!

"9 Myths that Damage a Child's Confidence: What parents think, what children say what professionals observe" by Pat Holt.

Check it out when you get a chance. I found it at my local library.