Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Here is one of my other favorite songs from the Glad "A Capella Christmas" album. Follow along and enjoy this one too! Glory to God in the Highest!

by Bob Kauflin

Glory to God in the highest!
Glory to God in the highest!
Glory to God! Glory to God!

Glory to God in the highest!
Peace on the earth to men.

With whom He is pleased.
With whom He is pleased.
Glory to God in the highest!

For unto you is born this day
A Savior who is Christ the Lord.
Unto you is born this day
A Savior who is Christ the Lord.
Here is a great one for Christmas from my favorite group called Glad. Enjoy! Follow along with the lyrics, published below the video link. Awesome.

In the first light of a new day
No one knew He had arrived
Things continued as they had been
While a newborn softly cried

But the heavens wrapped in wonder
Knew the meaning of His birth
In the weakness of a baby
They knew God had come to earth

As His mother held Him closely
It was hard to understand
That her baby not yet speaking
Was the Word of God to man

He would tell them of His Kingdom
But their hearts would not believe
They would hate Him and in anger
They would nail Him to a Tree

But the sadness would be broken
As the Song of Life arose
And the Firstborn of Creation
Would ascend and take His Throne

He had left it to redeem us
But before His life began
He knew He'd come back
Not as a baby but as
The Lord of every man

Hear the Angels as they're singing
On the morning of His birth
But how much greater will their song be
When He comes again, when He comes again

Hear the Angels as they're singing
On the morning of His birth
But how much greater will their song be
When He comes again to Earth

When He comes, When He comes
When He comes to rule the earth

When He comes back
When He comes back
To Rule the earth

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Still Looking...

We are still looking, striking out everywhere we go. This is a bad time for the rebellion.

Honestly, there are a lot of people out of work right now and the competition is quite fierce. I am thankful that though we live in very humble circumstances, we don't owe anyone except our mortgagor.

Wishing anyone who reads here today a very warm and peaceful Thanksgiving time. Though times are tough, we have so much for which to be thankful!

I thank God for my loving family, a roof over my head, and food on the table. Even if it's beans and rice, every vegetarian knows that combination offers all the essential amino acids! I am also thankful to be part of the family of God. In the end, that is all that really matters.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Well, if anyone is reading here and knows of anyone looking for a broken-down old home school mom who is good on the computer and has a smattering of bookkeeping knowledge, please let me know!

We became totally unemployed in September and the entire family is now looking for work to keep the bills paid and the youngest in college.

Say a prayer for us, please!

Monday, October 13, 2008

How Many Sleeps Till Christmas...

I was poking around the Internet tonight looking for inspiring ideas for the holidays when I came across several websites featuring widgets that count the days, hours and minutes until Christmas.

I was distressed to see there are, at this writing, only 72 days left until Christmas. I am not ready for this. This year has been somewhat chaotic in my life. I thought 2007 was bad, 2008 is worse! Sickness, lots of travel, kids moving out, husband leaving job. I'm just not ready for Christmas!

I am, however, ready to annoy all my friends and family with it by placing countdown widgets on my blog. Not that the world will notice; in over a year I've had only 239 visitors and most of those views were probably generated by my incessant previewing after placing new items in the sidebar.

That's about all I have to say for now. I'm tired and ready for sleep. I have a big day tomorrow, getting the house ready for a sitter and getting ready for my big airplane trip.

Good-night everyone!

Good night
Sleep Tight
Don't let the
Bed bugs bite

And if they do
Take your Shoe
Beat 'em till
They're black and blue.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Emptying The Nest

The house is empty tonight except for my husband and me. All four of my children are spending the night at the new home of the oldest two. I am colliding inescapably with one of the brutal truths of motherhood. After 28 years as a mom, my home will soon be nearly empty. We had a taste of that change when our firstborn marched off to war 4 years ago; today our oldest daughter makes *her* first flight into a new life. I thought I was ready, however I am unprepared for the conflicting emotion with which I now sit. (How am I doing, English-major daughter?)

I am crying at the drop of a hat. Where does that come from? I should be rejoicing that my children are finding their way into the world! Dear daughter number three will not be far behind number two. I feel such emptiness anticipating that thought!

There will be three of us left at home, but of course the youngest will be off at school much of the time, and off with her young sweetheart as often as possible as well.

Who will eat my cooking experiments? Who cares if I even cook? Can I keep my vegetarian ways when the other two are meat-a-saurs? Who will help me choose my hair and cheek colors? Who will tell me the glasses I am considering are actually awfully dorky and I should look at a different style? Who will help me remember where I parked the car when I am finished shopping at Costco?

In the "before-times" I wore tans and blues; everything in my closet was tones of neutral. My children encouraged color. They encouraged me to be bright and bold. Do I go back into browns?

All these years of loving and teaching, I thought I was building them. I find that they have also built so much into me.

I know, it's a natural and necessary change. I am proud of the people my children have become and want them to be happy and independent. For the first time I understand fully the tearful smiles and the wistful, lingering looks I received from my parents as they left me at my college dormitory when I was 18 years old. For them, an adventure was ending; for me it was just beginning.

So, I prayerfully enter this next phase of my life with some sadness, but I know the Lord is with me and will not allow me to wallow long in my self-pity!

This probably sounds really dumb, but it's how I'm feeling right now and it's my blog...so I'm posting it and will probably have updates soon!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Young Mom Needs Help

Of the many blogs I read, one that has been especially fun for me is called Cooking 4 All Seasons . This blog by a young woman named Srivalli is about Indian cooking. My family has developed a love of Indian food prompted by my husband's close working relationship with some wonderful people from India, and I have learned so much reading Srivalli's blog!

I'm writing this little post to support Srivalli's effort to help the young mom who works in her home. What a blessing it would be to help this young mom get the heart surgery she so desperately needs. If anyone is actually reading here, please say a prayer for Lakshmi and her family, and if you are so moved maybe you can send a little help her way. Just click the link in the little box at the top left of my page.

(Edit added October 12, 2008: I've removed the link, the fundraiser now over. About half the needed funds were collected.)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Fiber Isn't Just for Geriatrics

You've heard all the jokes about old people and prune juice. But I want to drive home the point that if you take care of yourself when you are younger, you have a good chance of protecting yourself from some of the degenerative problems that plague older people. Take care of your colon!

I repeat what the professionals are saying: get your colonoscopies and eat lots of fiber; you need a minimum of 25-30 grams daily, most people probably don't get half that amount. Drink lots of water. Get some exercise. These will help contribute to a happy colon! Believe me, when your colon ain't happy neither are you.

Check out this list showing the fiber content of common foods. Measure your diet against it, print it and carry it with you. It is surprising how challenging it is to get enough fiber from diet alone especially if you are of low metabolism like me and must eat many fewer calories than most normal people.

If you have bowel issues, be sure to check out Heather's Help for IBS website. Even if you don't have IBS, she has some great info on bowel health. It's really important to think about!

I was standing in the laxative aisle yesterday to pick up some fiber (aside: am I the only one to see the irony in selling laxatives in the incontinence aisle?) , and there were some young women standing there looking puzzled (and uncomfortable abou being in that aisle), poring over the laxatives. I wanted to shake them and tell them to get fiber instead! Laxatives are a short-term solution to an immediate problem, and shouldn't be used continuously. Fiber will keep you going (under most normal circumstances of course)!

Looking over the array of available fiber supplements can be daunting; I've found few that I like the look of. It is difficult to find supplements that aren't loaded with calories from sugar, or loaded with artificial sweeteners, colors and flavors. There are two types of fiber and we need both. Insoluble is found in whole grains; wheat and rice bran, flaxseed, vegetables. Insoluble fiber provides the laxative effect; it speeds things through your colon. Soluble fiber is found in fruits, oats, beans. There is soluble fiber in Fibersure or Heather's organic Acacia Tummy Fiber. Citrucel (methylcellulose) is also soluble. Metamucil contains both soluble and insoluble but some folks just don't like the texture; it doesn't bother me and I use it. Metamucil has the advantage of feeding your intestinal flora.

There are some chewables out there that look pretty good. FiberChoice sugar free looks nice, not sweetened with sugar nor with artificial sweeteners (though it does contain some coloring). It's a great one to tuck into your purse or pocket, easy to travel with if you don't want to cart powders halfway around the world with you.

OH! I almost forgot Unifiber, a new one on the market that does not have to be kept apart from your other medicines. That is a great feature! The only place I found it around here was Walgreen's.

Feel free to mix and match as long as your total daily dosage ends up being the one that's right for you. I use the clear-mixing powder in my morning smoothie, take the caplets with lunch, toss back a Metamucil chaser with dinner. I'll be carrying some chewables in my purse in case I'm eating out or traveling and away from my regular products. Not easy to mix that tall drink while sitting in an airplane. And as always, I will eat my fresh fruits, veggies, and whole grains.

Not a subject we like to talk about over lunch, maybe that should change!

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor or medical professional, remember these are the observations of someone who is finding things that are helping ME. I cannot make personal recommendations for you, be sure to discuss these issues with your own doctor. I have not been paid to plug any particular products, just telling people what *I* like.

I Almost Forgot!

After finalizing my colonoscopy post, I realize I forgot to tell you...sounds like there is nothing too bad going on in there. No polyps or cancer, no ulcers, just a few diverticula and some scarring where the diverticulitis infection was. Doc says that's what's causing me to have continued pain, he thinks it should fade by 6 months time. I hope so.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

You Know He Love You When...

Earlier this week I experienced one of the "rites of passage" to senior citizenry. People are urged at the age of 50 years to submit themselves to a colonoscopy. Many delay it, others choose to avoid it completely. I was in the latter group (ignorance is bliss, right?) until my painful diverticulitis attack in May.

I won't chronicle the scientific details or give a play-by-play of my own event. You can watch a video at the Mayo clinic link in the previous paragraph, or any of many entertaining videos on YouTube. Information abounds on the Internet, as well as horror stories.

I was very nervous for many days before this test. I am a control freak, and the idea that I do not have consciousness of what is happening to me (and thus do not have input to any decisions made *about* me) is difficult to accept. For the five days before the test I followed the doctor's instruction sheet to the letter, and more; no nuts or foods with whole seeds, no lettuce, no cabbage, no spinach. No popcorn, my favorite snack! I totally gave up eating for three days (not just one, as recommended) so I would be nice and empty before using the "clean-out" solution. This, on top of eating so little the last two months I have now lost 30 pounds. Believe me, I was hungry and very thirsty when I arrived at the endoscopy center! How stressed was I? My blood pressure was 150/100. I'm usually 120/70.

The sweetest thing about the whole thing is that my dear husband got up at 4:00 in the morning so he could take care of his demanding clients before my 8:00 AM appointment. The test is only about 30 minutes in good circumstances, but there is a good bit of waiting before it starts and a bit after it's over. He spent 3 hours just waiting with me. While we were in the pre-procedure waiting mode, I sitting on the hospital bed in hospital gown and tied to IV and patient husband nearby, he reached into his laptop case and pulled out (insert shocked gasp here) A KING-SIZE SNICKER BAR!

"How dare you bring that here!" I exclaimed. "How dare you even SHOW that thing to me in my current state of starvation!" He teased me with it for a bit of time, then tucked it into the sheet folded at my feet. He said, "Emergency rations for you." Bless his heart, he brought it for me!

The nice people let it stay on the bed with me while I was carted into the exam room, they placed it with my clothing on a little shelf built in to the underside of the bed while doing the procedure, and retrieved it for me when I was awake. They wheeled me to the recovery area and brought my husband from the waiting room. He immediately opened that Snicker bar and gave me the first bite.

I am blessed to have this man as my husband and my friend. He looks out for me, loves me when I am least lovable, makes me laugh. He calms me when I am afraid, helps me solve problematic issues practically when I would run on pure emotion, keeps me from obsessing on things that just don't matter. He reminds me that God is in control when I get angry at the things I can NOT control. The Bible says husbands are to "love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it..." My husband lives this out every day. I am thankful for this precious gift.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Feeling Very Old...

For anyone reading who wants to read neither an organ recital nor a rant about an organ recital, please skip this post!

As the title says, I feel very old right now. I know, I
should feel old. I AM old. When will I get that through my head? I'm over 50 and should expect all this decay to be catching up with me. Up to now I've always had lots of drive, energy and endurance able to hold out against kids much younger than I. Always able to do the "big jobs" with energy to spare. Between thyroid crashes, that is!

Until recently. I've had more bouts with sickness in the last six months than I think I've had in the last six years. Every cold bug that's gone around town, I've managed to catch. And not bounce back from. I've lost almost 10 days every time. When that norovirus outbreak hit nearby? I think I had that too, and I wasn't back to full speed for a full two weeks! I thought I'd never been so sick in my life.

Then two weeks ago, another bug. Or so I thought. You know the drill, aches and pains and fever that send you to bed. Then came the worst cramps I ever had. Well, they tell me it's diverticulitis. That it is allegedly a "lifestyle" disease. It is supposed to happen to people who live on white bread, fast food, no fresh fruits and vegetables. Did anyone tell this disease that I am working on living a more vegetarian lifestyle full of all the recommended whole grains, fruits, veggies, and legumes? I don't drink soda pop. I rarely do fast food (less than once a month!). I don't eat from the Costco freezer much anymore either. I'm a good girl and take vitamins, minerals, and fish oil.

The cure is as bad as the disease! The antibiotics make me nauseous and keep me wide awake at night, the pain killer (Vicodin, no less!) gives me a headache and doesn't kill pain. Then there's the liquid diet. I've been doing liquids for 5 days now.

I guess I'll be living on Metamucil for the rest of my life. I don't ever want to go through this again!

The real insult? I've been struggling to lose some extra pounds added over the last couple of years. After a week of minimal eating, and almost another week of water, tea, broth and gelatin, how does my body repay me? Not an ounce has come off. (sigh)

This is going to be a real spiritual struggle for me. I want to think I deserve to do as well as my mom who, at 81, has no health issues outside of glaucoma and macular degeneration (both well controlled, thankfully!). But in truth, what do any of us deserve?

We deserve the complete and utter wrath of God (the wages of sin) . It is only by His mercy and grace that we have anything good in our lives, and the wiser choice is to be grateful for what He has done and that He has withheld from us what we really deserve.

End of rant!

Check out this great quote on Christian growth from the team at Pyromaniacs.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Strong Call for Homeschooling

I read a number of blogs on a regular basis; Ingrid Schlueter's "Hope In Laodicea" is one of my favorites. In this morning's blog post Ingrid shared the story of a little 7-year old boy who has been violently bullied at his school several times over the last year.

Sadly these events are no longer rare occurrences, they have become part of the normal environment for far too many schoolchildren.
This is criminal!!! If a child had come to school after receiving at home the kind of injuries this little boy suffered at the hands of other children, child protective services would have invaded his home and removed him to foster care!

What is it going to take to get parents to yank their kids out of the schools and protect them from this? The schools won't do it, their hands are tied by government regulations! The educational establishment is so intent on trying to offend no one that they are willing to sacrifice precious children to this kind of abuse.

Homeschooling is not the great mystery many of my friends thought it was. I did it with my 4 children and I am here to tell you that if I in all my weaknesses could do it, any loving parent can do it. Was it easy? No. But the difficulties were NOT in the educating. The difficulties came from the challenges of living within the means of one income. It was incredibly hard to live in a tiny house (the best we could afford on one income) with 4 active little ones. It was difficult doing without a lot of the things that other families have and do (fast food restaurants, large wardrobes, nice furniture, even top-notch curriculum packages).

Blogger and author Tim Challies wrote a book review that addresses nicely the issue of covetousness. I struggled with this as a homeschool mom! In retrospect, I would not change a thing. The Lord has been so gracious to us and met our needs all along the way. Isn't that all He promised us?

I strongly challenge all parents (especially Christian parents!) to seriously consider homeschooling. It is time to take our children back from an educational establishment that actively works against everything we believe in, and stands aside while children are brutalized. There are some great books out there that can be helpful in making the homeschooling decision. Check out:

There are plenty of veteran homeschoolers who would be happy and willing to help out any family desiring to take the plunge into educating their children; I certainly would offer my help and encouragement. I realize there are exceptions, but in general the schools are no more than government brain-washing camps. It is high time to stop giving them public schools a free pass while we still can, they have much to answer for.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Sin & Temptation Chapter 7

I tried writing a brilliant response then lost everything I wrote to a sudden power outage. It must not have been brilliant at all and I will be thankful to be spared any embarrassment.

I enjoyed this chapter perhaps more than all those already discussed. Though the main point is simple, it brings to mind so many things most of which are already covered here by others.

When Owen talked about unregenerate people who try to kill sin, one immediate thought was about some of my children’s Christian friends. They demand that their associates cease all their worldly behaviors because they feel as Christians they should not have to be exposed to cursing, etc. They are demanding that the “unregenerate” behave as “regenerate” not for the sake of the sinners, but simply for the comfort of the “saved”. I know Blackaby’s “Knowing God” is in some disfavor among Reformed types, but I took one thought away from that that had great meaning for me; we should not be cursing the darkness for doing what it is supposed to do…being dark! Rather it is our job to be salt and light, to proclaim Christ wherever and whenever we can.

One more thought. I was reading recently at Slice where Ingrid shared a quote from Paris Reidhead out of the book Getting Evangelicals Saved. Paris was a notable preacher from the mid 20th century and he called for a one to two-year moratorium on preaching the “plan of salvation”. He said:

    “Then I would call on everyone who has use of the airways and the pulpits to preach the holiness of God, the righteousness of God and the law of God, until sinners would cry out, ‘What must we do to be saved?’

Since beginning to read this book I have developed a deep grief for all those who will be lost because the church has designed itself to be inoffensive to the world. I understand now more than ever how hard it is to get into the kingdom. In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus said , “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”

I pray the church in America will wake up and stop following after fads. Everything we need is in the Word of God.