Monday, April 30

Step Four: Scrape Off the Wallpaper

Cheri, from Northwoods Ramblings, posted today on wallpaper removal. Yes, wallpaper, and her words are perfect for me.
Last night at about 7 p.m., the last of the old wallpaper fell to the floor. Hours and hours of soaking and scraping were finally over. The wallpaper was every bit as difficult to take off as the wallpaper in the computer room was.

The difficult job was made even more so due to the fact that when we last had the kitchen papered, we did not remove all of the backing from the previous wallpaper. 'Be sure, your sins will find you out.' Now that we are painting, not papering, it was important to do the job right.

I never dreamed 16 years ago that I would regret not removing all the old backing. The old gummy paste was really hard to get off. It was a good reminder to not just cover over ugly attitudes of pride, selfishness, bitterness, and envy; but to completely confess and remove them. Otherwise they come back to haunt you when you least expect it.


I'm working on Step Four: Taking an Honest and Spiritual Inventory. I need to soak, scrape, and scrub. I must uncover my negative as well as my positive qualities and deeds. If I don't do it right this time, I will have to come back and do it all over again, and it will be more difficult next time.

Cheri, thanks for the object lesson.

Saturday, April 28

Baby Birds, One Week Later

This morning I went out to see the baby birds. I am amazed at how much they have grown in one week! They can hop and fly short distances.



Thursday, April 26

Who I've Been

Who I am hates who I've been, and so often who I am hates who I am. This song captures guilt, shame, regret, and depression perfectly.

RELIENT K LYRICS

"Who I Am Hates Who I've Been"

I watched the proverbial sunrise
Coming up over the Pacific and
You might think I'm losing my mind,
But I will shy away from the specifics...

'cause I don't want you to know where I am
'cause then you'll see my heart
In the saddest state it's ever been.

This is no place to try and live my life.

[Pre-Chorus]
Stop right there. That's exactly where I lost it.
See that line. Well I never should have crossed it.
Stop right there. Well I never should have said
That it's the very moment that
I wish that I could take back.

[Chorus]
I'm sorry for the person I became.
I'm sorry that it took so long for me to change.
I'm ready to be sure I never become that way again
'cause who I am hates who I've been.
Who I am hates who I've been.

I talk to absolutely no one.
Couldn't keep to myself enough.
And the things bottled inside have finally begun
To create so much pressure that I'll soon blow up.

I heard the reverberating footsteps
Synching up to the beating of my heart,
And I was positive that unless I got myself together,
I would watch me fall apart.

And I can't let that happen again
'cause then you'll see my heart
In the saddest state it's ever been.

This is no place to try and live my life.

[Pre-Chorus x2]
[Chorus]

Who I am hates who I've been
And who I am will take the second chance you gave me.
Who I am hates who I've been
'cause who I've been only ever made me...

So sorry for the person I became.
So sorry that it took so long for me to change.
I'm ready to be sure I never become that way again
'cause who I am hates who I've been.
Who I am hates who I've been.
Lyrics from: www.azlyrics.com

Dear God, Thank you for your forgiveness and for taking my guilt and shame. Please help me to forgive myself for the person I have been. Help me to stop punishing myself for the things you have forgiven. I don't want to be the person that I hate. I want to do your will. In Jesus Name Amen.

Wednesday, April 25

Set Free


And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. John 8:32 (NLT)

The footnote from this verse in The Life Recovery Bible says the following:
To be "set free" is to know the truth--the truth about ourself and about Jesus our liberator. The truth is this: We are a slave to sin and powerless to manage our life effectively. With God's truth as a standard for our moral inventory, we can recognize and confess our needs and struggles, our sins and addiction. As we confess these to God, to ourself, and to at least one other person, we share the truth about our life. When we turn our broken life over to God, who alone can make us whole, we are again acknowledging the truth. These different applications of the truth can combine to set us free from sinful habits, chemical dependencies, and emotional bondage.

Saturday, April 21

Hungry Mouths

This picture of Yardboy, Tater, and Little Man was taken around 5:30 this evening. They were so hungry! A mother's work is never done.

Joking aside, these baby cardinals are in a rose bush just outside of Little Man's bedroom window. I took the pictures this morning. They are so homely, that you gotta love them.

Monday, April 16

Blogging Diet

I am putting myself on a blogging diet. I've been spending too much time on the computer, so I must cut back. See you in a few days.

Thursday, April 12

More Easter Stuff




The first song of our Easter worship service ended and the pastor said, "Christ is risen!"

Seemingly everyone in the congregation (except me) replied, "He is risen, indeed!"

On Easter afternoon I read at least two blogs that mentioned the same instant response.

Have I spent my entire life under a rock? I didn't know that I am supposed to say, "He is risen, indeed!"

Next year, I'll expect it and I'll get it right.

***************************

I was insanely busy last weekend. Having both sides of the family within a hour's drive is great, but it can really wear me out.

With all of the driving, picnicking, working on a linen book marks for the Easter service (pictured above), decorating for Easter service, cooking, entertaining, egg decorating, egg hunting...I didn't make it to the store to buy candy for my kids' Easter baskets.

In a moment of clarity, I remembered that there was still some Easter candy in the pantry from last year. I put the old (but still tasty) candy in the plastic eggs that we have used for years. The kids never knew the difference. I wonder if I can use some of it again next year. Nah, I'll splurge and buy new candy next year.

I got the Easter baskets and toys last year about a month after Easter. I saved a bundle! I couldn't help thinking of Cheri from Northwoods Ramblings when the grin of frugal satisfaction spread across my face. Do the cheap Easter baskets qualify me for honorable mention in the next edition of Tightwad Joy?

My mom decorated the egg pictured above with an old silk tie and boiling water. By the way, the real eggs were not left over from last year!

Monday, April 9

It's my birthday!

Today I am thirty-one-derful years old!

Sunday, April 8

He Chose Me

One of the prayer rooms at our church is absolutely beautiful. The sounds of soft music and running water fill the room and block out sounds from the hall. Tapestries and plants hang from the walls. There are stations around the room that serve as physical reminders of what God is. A large wooden cross lies in one corner with paper, a pen, a hammer, and nails. People can write their worries on a paper and nail them to the cross!

I went into this prayer room once or twice last summer during Vacation Bible School. I didn't stay too long. I didn't want to take up time that someone else might want or need in the room.

A month or two ago, my friend C spent an hour in the prayer room before church began. I remember wanting to spend time in the room alone with God too, but I knew that I wouldn't actually go in there. I didn't need a prayer room. I could meet God anywhere. In my mind, that room was made for other people, not for me. I passed the prayer room off as a beautiful, inspiring place for others to use.

************************************

Last week, I really had a hard time sitting through my Step Study meeting. I had so much that I needed to say, but I couldn't form the words. I could see my answers on my paper, but I couldn't read them aloud. I needed them to come out. I needed someone to hear my words, but I didn't feel safe.

After the meeting, my dear friend C could tell that something wasn't right. She asked if I was okay and I told her that I wasn't. She asked if she could give me a hug. I said that I would start crying if she did, and I didn't want to do that. So, she took me to the prayer room.

For the first time, I sat down in the prayer room and took in its beauty. I told C my secrets and she prayed over me. I told her that I never used the prayer room because I felt unworthy to use it. She told me that the room was made for ME. Jesus died for ME.

***************************************

Friday night at CR, our Senior Pastor gave his testimony and then preached. The title of the sermon could have been, "I Choose You." He spoke of how Jesus made great efforts to show Peter and Mary Magdeline that He chose them. He loved them and He met them where they were.

I walked away with this: God loves ME. He chooses ME.

**********************************

Church this morning was beautiful.

We placed white table cloths on all of the communion tables. I draped the altar with the white crochet table cloth my grandmother gave me as a wedding present. Thirty Easter lilies perfumed the air and white candles softly lit the room. Yardboy played the drums with the worship band. They played my absolute favorite song, Agnus Dei. My parents, brother, and grandmother drove over an hour to be with us on Easter. Perfect.

The time came for communion and I stood up to head toward the nearest table. I tripped on the way out of my row, but recovered quickly. I wanted to go to the altar at the front of the room. It was the prettiest and the scent of the lilies was intoxicating near it. However, Yardboy lead me in another direction.

I knelt beside my husband, pinched a piece of bread off of the loaf, and dipped it into the juice. I prayed, "Thank you, Lord, for giving your body and blood for me," just as I have been doing all these years. This time, I placed the bread and juice on my tongue and my eyes welled up. "Thank you, Lord Jesus, for giving your body and blood for ME!" Communion was never real for me before. It was just something I did to be obedient. Today I experienced communion. I finally got it!

*****************************

After church today I sent my parents, brother, and grandmother to my house to start making Easter dinner. I had about 20 minutes of work to do before I could leave church.

We were almost finished cleaning up and most people had left the building when I looked up and saw my friend C. She and her daughter (who is the same age as Little Man) were standing at the back of the church. This sweet little girl saw me and ran to me, squealing with delight all the way. I picked her up and she gave me a big hug.

I love children, but I am not a very child-oriented person. They aren't drawn to me like they are to some people. I can't remember a child (other than one of my own) ever running to me like that. I think that is what made it so special. She love me. She chose ME! This precious, innocent, little girl chose ME, just like God did.

Friday, April 6

With all of my might?

In the ending paragraph of my last post I said, "To the surprise of some, there are United Methodists that are running toward Jesus with all of their might. I am one and I am proud to know many others."

I feel like a fraud! I struggle! I am so imperfect!

I want to run toward Jesus with all of my might, but I often stumble. Sometimes I just walk in His general direction. Other times I purposely walk in the opposite direction.

I am working on Recovery Step 3: "Turn my life and will over to the care of God." Principle 3 is: "Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ's care and control."

All my life and will? Well, that would be running toward Jesus will all might, wouldn't it? That is what I want. I need God's help to run.

This is the Principle 3 Prayer, changed a little to fit me:

Dear God, I have tried to do it all by myself, on my own power, and I have failed. Today I want to turn my life over to You. I ask You to be my Lord and Savior. You are my One and only Higher Power! I ask that You help me start to think less about me and my will. I want to daily turn my will over to You, to daily seek Your direction and wisdom for my life. Please continue to help me overcome my compulsive overeating, anger, codependency...and may that victory over these issues help others as they see Your power at work in changing my life. Help me to do Your will always. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Wednesday, April 4

Our Church

Check out Pistol Pete's post entitled "The Revolting Church." Then read what I have to say about our church.

We attend a (dare I say it) United Methodist Church. Gasp! I am a child of the Jesus Movement, so the idea of joining the UMC seemed absurd. However, we absolutely love our church.

On Friday nights we gather at our UMC for Celebrate Recovery with codependents, victims of abuse, drug, sex, food, and booze addicts... We are able to openly admit that we screw up. Then we accept each other's love and God's grace. Our CR group is one of the largest in the USA.

On Sunday mornings, we attend a rocking worship service with many of the same people we meet with on Friday nights. Yardboy recently started playing the drums with the praise band. It is truly a "come as you are" place. We aren't an Emerging Church, but we are emerging from what is considered traditional.

I grew up in a Five-Fold Apostolic Ministry, and tried many others Christian churches, including an Emerging Church. After 10 year of church hopping, Yardboy and I became members of a main-line denomination.

I don't think the kind of church really matters as long as the people in it are wholeheartedly seeking God. Sure, some traditional churches are truly stuck in the mud, but not all of them are. To the surprise of some, there are United Methodists that are running toward Jesus with all of their might. I am one and I am proud to know many others.