Sunday, October 31, 2010

Boo-Who?

Little play on words for the Halloween post here. Get it "Boo-Who? Yeah, okay. Lame, but it is just five in the morning here and I am awake on a Sunday with not much else to do but blog away...why I am awake, I have no idea. It is not because I am all excited for Halloween candy or anything. Yuck. Since we started living with out additives over six years ago, I've become a chocolate snob. I don't want anything that is fake. I want REAL chocolate only. It's how I roll now. We wind up donating all the kids candy to the Marines. I figure its okay for them to be aggressive anyway. ;)

So I hate Halloween. Why? Well of course there is a million reasons why. Duh.

I should play it from the angle of my strong moral core and principles...Yes. That should be why I can't stand the day. It is a pagan thing and as a strong believer, I should just simply shun the whole thing...right. I should be completely offended that a teacher can hand out a skeleton pencil but not one with a cross on it. That and a whole bunch of real, solid scriptural reasons should be why. I tried that. It would have worked too...but the truth is, that is not real reason I hate the whole mess.

Heck, loving legalism as much as I do, I could get rid of Christmas and Easter too if I tried hard enough. No Santa, no Easter bunny! I think I could even get rid of the 4th of July...you know, pledging my allegiance to my nation instead of to my God alone. There might even be a way to get rid of birthday celebrations! We could so go down that road here...or at least I could. Life with out any holidays, real or imagined? Bliss, I tell you! Pure bliss!

Why, Mair?

I hate the pressure. I hate the disappointment that no matter how hard you work to create the perfect costume, the darn thing is getting covered in a coat...we live in NY for crying out loud. Poor Maggie was all but crushed to find out her Tinkerbell costume would have to go over her jeans and she would have to hide her wings under a warm coat. Not very Tink now is it? The good news is I don't have to take her out for trick-or-treating...she is going to the JETS game with daddy today and I am so off the hook!
As a matter of fact, Jack is going as well and the teens and tween are all with friends. I will be home alone and I hope to not answer the door...if you turn off the lights, no one comes up the great hill...too spooky I suppose! Yay me!

But back to the whole "I hate Halloween" thingy here.

I run. I run for most of August for football and now swim. I run for most of September as we acclimate ourselves to the new school year. I throw three birthday parties between September and October and have another birthday to get through at the end of this week too. The entire month of October is rough to begin with...and while the leaves are awful pretty on the tree, when they fall to the ground that means clean up. Not to mention that if it is Halloween that means Thanksgiving is only three weeks away, than it's Christmas and I have not bought a single gift yet. And did I meet all of my 2o1o goals? 'Cause New Years is right around the corner.................AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Someone please play Billy Joel's "Pressure" right about now and hand me a xanex and tell me to chill? I'll take 2.5mg please.

Sigh. I am so un-fun. Funny, extremely. Come on, you read the blog, evidently my funny is a hit in South Korea for crying out loud. Who knew I would translate well? John is fun. I am not.

John plans and executes the fun stuff, like going on hikes, and getting the kids costumes, and going on "daddy adventures" where they are bound to get lost following a "daddy shortcut." I make everyone laugh. That is how we have always been. But I think he has way more memories of fun days than I do.

Fun has been a learned skill for me. Doing fun things meant more work and I would get all kinds of freaked out by it. Fun doesn't just happen darn it! There is planning involved in fun. You can't just have fun...or can you?

I can get so caught up in the "I have to do's" around here, that I tended to miss the fun of having a large family. I've missed the forest for the trees way too often. I don't like that about me.

"The hum-drum of everyday life done well. That will be one of your biggest challenges, my dear." That was once written of me. Hmmmm. But the reality is, there are special days that need special fun and I have worked hard to remember to just enjoy the insanity way more than I do.

I'am trying.

Have a Happy Halloween and remember to let your kids eat a ton of junk tonight and rest in the fact that you shall send them off to their teachers with a hang over in the morning! You can nap after they leave...or least until the phone rings to tell you how rotten they have been all day. Now that is FUN! ;)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Mary. Her name is Mary.

Have you ever tried to discuss the condition of our nation with a somewhat hysterical liberal? I highly recommend it...just for fun. I hate to see anyone have blood shoot out of their eyes that leads to a hemorrhage and all that. But given the time in our nation and where we live in our nation, finding a liberal to annoy is not all that hard.

In NYS you can now keep your kids on your health insurance until they are in their late 20's (26 or 29. I can't remember) and I find that shocking. That is not a child, that is a mooch. I get to have an opinion on that one. Why? Because I did not have health insurance from the age of 18 to the age of 25 when I started working as a nurse? Did I ever get sick? Yup...paid for it out of pocket, monthly until the bill was paid. Did I worry at times? Sure. But it was not what decided my life. I was young and healthy and I had hard work to do.

And what of my mom? We lived those last three years she was on life support with out insurance. I've told you all that before. I begged, borrowed, and well you know for whatever care I could get her. There was even one time the hat was passed at church to get her meds paid for so I didn't have to dip into the mortgage or food or whatever money we may have had. It was the hardest time in our lives and frankly, it sucked. There were years I thought about that time like I was living in Hell. It was the single most stressful situation I have ever been in. And I was in it for years and years on end...although I was a size 2 during it all and I looked fantastic from the stress and anxiety diet!

And I count my blessings that we met along the way. Mrs. Dunn who faithfully brought Mom communion EVERY DAY. Mrs. Stahl, who made sure I made it to RN. Annie's folks who made sure we stayed in our home. The respiratory therapist who threw me the left over albutoral for Mom's nebulizer treatments. Her doctor how made a couple of house visits with out pay. My brother who sent me to California to get a break during it all. Our beloved "Mommy Sitters" who did everything from keep her company to iron my blouses. Oh did I ever see the very Glory of God in the Body of Christ!

Do I wish anyone the hard times we saw? No, of course not. Not my worst enemy. But hard times will hit every individual and every family in our nation. Simply because we live in a fallen world. What I do wish them is the joy of seeing the Glory of God in the Body of Christ.

Case in point, a dear friend told me a story about her supermarket trip the other day. Mind you she wasn't bragging to me. We tend to be each other's accountability and we get to share with each other what God has done for each of us. And she was thrilled that God would even ask her to be a part of His work.

"Miss J" (name changed because she is humble) saw a homeless woman in town. She has seen the woman before and had been moved to tears when she saw the woman pushing her grocery cart in the snow last winter. Miss J saw her outside the super market the other night. She had a very real sense that she needed to go and bless her. The Holy Spirit would not let her go.

"Give her everything in your wallet."

And so Miss J left her grapes in her own shopping cart and followed the homeless woman to the bench she was sitting on, with all her worldly goods in her own cart.

"May I sit with you?" Asked Miss J.
"You don't have to." Said the homeless woman.
"I know. But I would like to. May I?"
"Yes."
"What is your name?"
"Mary."

And so the conversation went on for a while. Miss J gave her all the money she had in her wallet. She learned that Mary was the daughter of a police officer and after her parents died, she remained in the house her parents had for many years. When she could no longer pay the taxes she was evicted. Mary is in her late fifties or early sixties...or maybe the age is only the way she looks after years of being on the street.

Is Mary crazy? Maybe. Is she mentally ill? Not that Miss J could tell. But maybe. Mary's face was clean and she still has the good upbringing to be polite. Even homeless, Mary is still a lady.

When Miss J and I talked over Mary on the phone yesterday we were left in the quandary of how do we help a Mary? What is the Lord calling on us to do? How do we best serve her? Can we get her a warm shower? A job? Will she work? Where can she live this winter? Do her feet hurt from all that walking? Is there any family? Is there a government program for her?

"I don't want social services." Mary explained.

I don't know if that is her crazy showing or if she is a libertarian who wants smaller government.
Don't matter to us anyway. We are left with all this information and no idea what to do with it. So we start with prayer.

"Do you know God loves you?" Asked Miss J.
"Does He?" Mary asked back.
"Yes. Do you have a church family?" Continued Miss J.
"No. I don't go to any church."
Miss J didn't push. "Okay."

As the Body, we start with prayer. Miss J knew the voice of God and obeyed. Maybe her encounter with Mary, blessing her with some money, and some company is all God intends for Miss J to do right now in terms of hands and feet faith. But we have a God who does not just ask us to obey Him and then leaves us with the overwhelming task of fixing it. Now we do something that perhaps no one else has done. Now we pray, for that homeless lady...Her name is Mary. And He adores her. He knows her. He knew her name before He hung a single star in the sky and He asked us to join Him in His work. For now, that work is prayer.

"Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." James 5:16

A non-believer won't understand that. But we serve a God who will availeth much...and we come in prayer for Mary with expectancy that our prayers will availeth much for her.

Mary. Remember her, won't you? Pray we get to watch His Glory fall on her.

Her name is Mary.

Monday, October 25, 2010

"Don't step in the thing!"

That was my final salutation to each family member. After, "Have a good day!" and "Jesus is just wild about you." and "I love you." responded with a "Love you too, Mom." and answered back, "What's not to love...And don't step in the thing."
What the thing is, we don't know. It's on the back walk and everyone in the family leaves via the back, kitchen door. The thing was discovered last night as we made our way home from Sunday dinner at our friends, Vanessa and Coach Mike's...that's not his Christian name...we added in the Coach, 'cause he was Jack's coach last year. And we love them...and they feed us...another blog. You get it by now.
Anyway, the thing. Best we can tell the cat, Mr. Mittens, ate something that fought back. I am not going to describe it to you, but the eye ball staring at us was enough.
I asked everyone if they wanted to go out the front door instead of the kitchen door. Nope. We are a kitchen door kind of people. Why? 'Cause.
I like being kitchen door people. We have friends who come to the kitchen door and announce their arrival by swinging it open and yelling, "Hi!" with so much familiarity, the dog never moves from his spot on the carpet.
Most days the front door isn't even unlocked. It doesn't need to be. The kitchen door however is open all day long. It is our coming and going door.
Both doors bring us into our home. The front door opens to our foyer and leads to the living room...the kitchen door opens up to the kitchen and family room...kind of a way of life.

I have this heart for woman who have front door relationships with God. Don't get me wrong, He is so worthy of a fine entrance...but it's a kitchen door relationship I believe He is after with us, don't you think? In the coming and goings of the day, to pull up a chair at the kitchen table and spend some time with us, I think that is more what He is after. Some days, every counter is covered in flour and the remnants of a recipe gone wrong. But He has never cared. He is with me as we clean up the mess together...and there have been some messes I can't imagine trying to tackle alone. Even when I am the one who veers away from the recipe and the ruined meal is all my fault, He is there for the clean up. I imagine He has even enjoyed some of my success too.

"Thata' girl." He might just say about me.

I can't imagine telling Him to stay in the living room, where it is neat and tidy. I have a kitchen door kinda' God. How about you?

Now to wait for John to get home to clean up the thing.

"I am the door (gate); whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture." John 9:10

P.S. As of 6:43PM EST, the thing is gone....but I don't know where. Liz thinks perhaps the thing got up and walked away. Lets not find out. ;)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Another suit story...


In case you missed it, my spiffy dresser was all set yesterday for a night on the town with his lady. It was his department's 100th Anniversary. A policeman's ball if you will. I pulled off getting his suit, not just to the cleaners, but home, as well. And I felt so proud.

However, at the last minute, Retired Sargent Schlusser decided to wear his uniform...last time and all that. It was a Policeman's Ball, sort of...And since there is not one picture of he and I in the house with him in uniform, I put Brennan to the task of Kodachroming us. I love the way he looks in his uniform!


And we were off to the country club to visit with his old co-workers...and some of them are way old...but some of them are young enough to be our kids. Yeah, time so marches on.

We stopped to pick up his Honda (another blog post for another day. My blog, I get to decide what to post!) and of course the battery was dead. I was in luck! I didn't even have to call a cop...the one I share my bed with was right there in uniform, to rescue this damsel in distress.

"Thank you officer." I said.
"Just doin' my job." He said.

Battery was jumped, and we were on our way the hour south. The same long commute John took for fourteen years.

We didn't talk much on the way. The sun was setting over the mountains and the rays splashed on the color of the fall foliage. Honestly, I am just me centered enough to believe God painted that parkway just for me. He knows how much I love it...I am okay with sharing my blessing though. I'm big that way. Truly, the leaves of the field clapped their hands as we went forth in peace and joy. Even in silence,we can be pretty stincken' cute when we go out on a date. We get all flirty and annoy people around us bein' all in love and such....

And than we entered the club...how can I set this up? Should I just come and tell you all that John was the only one in uniform? Should I set it up a little bit more? No? Okay.

Yeah, we left.

Seriously.

As we waited for the valet to bring around the car that whole lovey~dovey thing was replaced with a tension I can not bring to life on the page. Silence. SHHH. Read quietly, he might here you.
Safely in the car, my so godly man, let forth an expletive or forty...Most of which are still banned by the FCC. Some of them I didn't quite know but I think he must have learned them from the other cops on the play ground. Bad influence and all that. I didn't say a word until we were at the light.

"Do you want to just go home?" I said.
"*&*&*(&)^^&^%&%^%" He said.
"Okay." I said.
"Where am I going to get a suit now?" He said.
"Make a left." I said.

We pulled into Men's Wearhouse. I walked up to the first salesman I saw and informed him I had a situation on my hands and needed back up. This was a 1019...officer in dis-dress. Sensing mischief was afoot, my new partner in wardrobe protection and I went about to serve and protect the pride of my man. With the precision of a well trained professional (Seriously. I was a personal shopper before nursing school. You don't just shop like that without years of training.) I assessed the scene, kept it clean, and went in for the charcoal gray wool.

I was in and out, in less than 7 minutes. New shirt, tie, and sports coat in hand.
We drove around the back, where the sarge dressed and returned to his spiffy dressen' self. We returned to the party with only a few jabs at the mishap. And being retired, he doesn't have to go into the squad room on Monday and hear about it for next year.

I suspect I may just get an award at the next medal day the department has. But the truth is, I was just doin' my job. It's what I was trained to do. Now, be careful out there.

P.S. It was a few days later that I was thinking it was odd that so many of the wives were not more dressed up, like for a wedding...hmmm. Crud, they wern't all under dressed, I was over dressed. Sigh.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Lifted...

I am signed in, so hopefully that means you will see this, this time.
John and I have an event tonight...shocking, I know. Given that we are the couple who never gets to go any where, we have been quite the social butterflies of late. And yes, John's suit is secure...that was a stress this week, but by the grace of God, I pulled it off. Thanks for asking.

I found myself in DSW looking for another pair of shoes this week. I was convinced that there was a world wide shoe conspiracy against me. Be it the hooker shoes I walked out of at the wedding in September or the not so hooker, but still rather woman~of~a~certain~profession last weekend, I knew it had to be the shoes. It could not be me. I have perfectly fine feet...ugly toes, unless my nails are done, but great feet.

I had a doctor tell me years ago, "You pick: sneakers or real shoes. You can't really go back and forth on this one." Not the thing a nurse wants to hear. I ignored him and did what I wanted. Typical nurse.

It seems that while my Fit Flops have been great for my back, they have not been so great for the arch of my foot. Yup. Fallen arches...nothing says "Hot" like a fallen arch. So I got me some gel thingies to put into my sling backs and I think I just might make it through the night. At least I am hopeful I can keep them on all night. Last weekend I was crippled by the time I got through the parking lot to the wedding reception.

I suppose it comes down to a pride issue in me. I like the 4" heals on my feet. I like the way I walk(ed), the way I look(ed) ten pounds thinner, and they are just plain sexy for crying out loud! I have to say, I also lov(ed) hearing other woman tell me, "I love those shoes! I can't wear heals that high anymore. But look at you!" Yes, I would think, look at me...The mother of five in hooker shoes and I am hot, hot, hot. I can do all things in hooker shoes who hot me out!"

At that wedding reception, I was on my way to the car to get my flats after we were there about five minutes. A woman stopped to tell me how pretty my skirt was and I told her I was heading to the car for my flats.
"When you become a woman of a certain age, high heels just don't work for you anymore. Sorry, dear."
I kinda hated that woman. I prayed for her as I searched for the car...the one I never found....it was a big parking lot. Don't judge. I went barefoot. Stop laughing at me.

So I have a new project: Do house work in those spectator pumps after all. Yes, I can be seen with my gel thingy arch support in a pair of heels at any given moment. I will be ready for a dinner date at the drop of a hat...or an arch. This is my new life goal. I shall walk in pride and smack my practicality in the foot.

"Not only does she serve the Lord, she does it all in high heels!" Will be heard spoken of me from women who wish they could do the same. Yes, I shall be the envy of others! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

"In his heart a a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." Proverbs 16:9...and I am sure I can take those steps in hooker shoes. Right?

Think about it, a lady of ill repute washed Jesus' feet with her hair; For His first miracle, Jesus turned foot bath water into the finest wine; At the end, Jesus washed the feet of his apostles...feet are very important to Him...my feet, my happy feet are important to Him...I have biblical president to stand in 4" heels on.

Okay so the heart issue, I have to take to Him. I get it. Pride is sin...No. I should not want to be envied for hot shoes. But that doesn't mean I am not going to ask Him to direct my feet in these:




Thursday, October 21, 2010

Crud...

I just finished an entire post to remember my dad. Today is five years since we said good bye and blogger ate it. Since no amount of success in ministry is worth failure at home, I am not going to re-write it. I have to get John's suit to the cleaners and now you all know that could mess up the rest of my day! Be blessed. And I am going to enjoy the sights and sounds of fall, even as I remember saying good bye today. Miss him still. I am completely blessed to look out my windows and see the Glory of God come down with each spectacular tree in all it's splendor. Enjoy this.

"You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands." Isaiah 55:12


Sunday, October 17, 2010

One spiffy dresser!

Well I have finally come clean with John about the suit incidents of 2010. Incidents is plural and yes, I used spell check to make sure I had the correct spelling. The JETS just got a touch down so there is joy in Schlusserivlle at the moment and that may be the noise you hear in the background...oh, wait, that's right. You are reading this, not listening. Blond moment here.

As a matter of fact, the entire suit situation has been one blond moment after another. Actually, this red head here could effect a change in the blond to red head jokes for all eternity. My antics might have made Luci wish she had thought of them and written an episode or twelve. Yup...I am that good.

Suits and dresses are not part of our lives all that often. Or at least not the usual. This year we have attended three weddings and still have a "Policeman's Ball" to hit next. John is a new man, now that he is retired. He was not a big dancer. I use to expect him to not dance. I would find some other wife who's man didn't want to dance too and we would hit the dance floor when "SHOUT" came on. Our men were left looking somewhat uncomfortable at the table. But there are just some songs that you can't sit out for crying out loud!

Now that John has Dance Fever, his suit has to be cleaned in between events and you know that leaves me with a problem. Use to be I had a year to worry about it, now I only get five days. That is just wrong to do to a somewhat scatter brained mom of many. Not to mention the scaring my brain has already received from him doing the "start the lawn mower" move.

I forgot to clean John's suit before his best buddies wedding back over labor day weekend...you know the wedding I sent him to on the wrong day? Yeah, that one. I encountered a Vietnamese woman at the counter of the dry cleaners who told me there was no way she could have it done by the morning...when I told her my husband was going to kill me (yeah, I played it up a little bit. Man is the kindest thing on earth) and she went into gear. She proclaimed that she would not have an innocent woman's blood on her hands and went about using a sticky roll on it, pressed it, and sprayed it with Fabreez...Day was saved and I sent John to a wedding in a dirty suit...twice.

Fast forward to October...I had learned my lesson. I had that suit in the way back of my very paid for mini-van for two weeks. I was ready.

I forgot until the Wednesday before the wedding.

Have I mentioned that my mini-van is slotted for a very special episode of Hoarders, Maryellen's Car Edition? Yeah, I keep my car the way I kept my bedroom as a teen, less the stack of Domino's Pizza boxes and mattress. My laundry room is usually a disaster too, but that is another blog post for another day. Back to the car...

When I got to the cleaners, I could not find the suit jacket. You see, the hatch on the way back of my van has been known to fly open once in a while. Usually it happens on our street and all is well. But since Kia is known for electrical problems (as in my windows will not go up...yeah, it's been raining so I am driving the pick-up truck) so there is no little light thingy to tell me the way back isn't latched. Best I can figure when the way back flew open that one time on Rt. 9 during rush hour, the suit and shirt must have flown out. I was pretty sure a homeless guy in the city of Poughkeepsie was walking around looking pretty sharp.

After a consult with a few girl friends as twisted as I, it was decided what to do: Lie. No, just kidding...just not tell the whole truth. John's suit was double breasted and that is out of date. A man needs a new suit at least every five years, if he is not in a career that requires a suit every day. That is the rule of thumb, I was told. John's suit was at least 7 years old...this just might work, I thought!

After an hour of sending naughty text messages, I suggested we go shopping for a new suit. Look, don't' judge. I didn't have time to pull an Ester and make him a big meal over a couple of days. Everything was working out. Suit purchased and my man was a happy man after all! Yay me!

Friday, I had to drive the pick up...windows, Kia...keep up, won't you? When I went to climb into the cab what do I see to my surprise? Yeah, the suit jacket and shirt. I have no idea why it was in there or how. Sigh.

I decided Providence was keeping John from looking out of style. Yup, that is how played this one. As a matter of fact, after the wedding on Saturday night, I came clean to John and told him the whole story...I started it with, "God even cares that we look our best. Guess what He did for you!?"

I gotta run. I have to drop John's new suit off at the cleaners for next weekend. Here is to hoping I can get this done with out a story...but that would make life boring, wouldn't it? Oh and I have to drop his old suit jacket off at Good Will...out of date but still pretty spiffy!


There is a ps to this post....

Friday, October 15, 2010

Youu gott gewd haiyr

That statement is based on a conversation heard in a bathroom around twenty plus years ago. One guidette said to another, "Youu gott gewd haiyr!" You have to sound SothEast Yonkers/Bronx to say it right. And for the record, I have to say, I am bit blessed by the shows "The Jersey Shore" and "HouseWives". Not because I've ever seen them before, but because it has brought back the age old term of guidette and made it PC again. I wonder if I could call a wife beater T-shirt a guienny-T again and get away with it?

So on to my hair. Yes, I got some good head-a-hair on me. For the kid who's mom use to have to scotch tape bows on, things have worked out well.

John pretty much doesn't care what I do with my hiar. Most of the time it is in a pony-tail anyway. Unless we are alone. I tend to keep it long because, well...let's just say it's good to have longer hair sometimes. Although I am starting to see why woman of teens tend to have way shorter hair...there is less frequency for the opportunity of long hair to be a factor...I've said to much already. And this is a family friendly blog. But if I ever show up with REALLY short hair, pray for us.

The thing is I stopped caring what style my hair is years ago. I got alota hair and hair dressers tend to like to get in there, because well...it's good hair. It seems everyone wants to frame my face. But for me that's a bad idea.

Think about it:

As a nurse, most of the time, I spent my days looking down at people in beds. Can't have those long wispy bangs...And since that nurses cap of mine is out of style (ugh!) my hair was always pulled up.

As a mommy, I spent/spend a great deal of time looking down to little people. Hair in my face is annoying...and for a season, little people love to pull on it. So my hair was always pulled up. Besides, little girls love playing with a mommy's hair...thank God I still have a Maggie to do so!

As a housewife my head is in a toilet, over a meal, or sorting laundry...yeah, hair pulled up. Honestly, who needs my hair in their brownies!

And as a writer? I type the blog as I think. Schocking, I know...but a book is written in a notebook, in pencil...nothing worse then trying to see through my hair while I look down at the paper. Hate that!

And color? Yeah, ever try to match red hair when the gray starts to pop up like something out of one of those Discovery channel shows? You know the special about the cicada invasions. They only come out every 17 years but my grays come out about every 6 weeks. And that can be way scarier! Fortunately, I don't have to dye my hair, I just get my roots done...that should leave you confused for at least a few minutes.

I have to admit, I miss the hair of my twenties. I had two hours to fuss over it on any given day. If I had a hot date, I could spend the day getting myself all pretty and making sure the coif was perrrrrrrrrfect. But those days are gone. I've handed that vanity over to my teens. For the record, I do get annoyed at them when they take too long. Gosh, they look perfect just out of bed. Wish I had done a better job of showing them that as a woman. They will get it, it just may take longer then it should have.

Mom use to tell me my hair was my crown and glory. But the psalmist says in chapter 16:31 "A gray head is a crown of glory; It is found in the way of righteousness." So I am praying my righteousness shines through in spite of the gray being covered by a box of L'Oreal 7A.


PS I just got the hairs cut...I give you my word: John and I are just fine. I may live by the words, "Can't change your life, change your hair." but I assure everything is fine. Stop reading into it! Now go have a wonderful weekend! xoxo to all of you.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

To save a life...
















Can you tell the two pictures apart? Can you tell which happened when? At first glance, it may be hard to tell...okay, maybe it's hard to tell all the way around. The picture on the left is from 1987. You remember. Baby Jessica? She fell down a well and was trapped for 59 hours. As a nation we all cried with joy when they pulled her out.
Last night John and I watched as they lifted the first Chilean miner out of the shaft and it was that same emotion. I pray by the end of today, they will all be out.
Baby Jessica is a grown woman, married (as far as I can tell) with children of her own now. She has her scars just as the men will...many of hers are physical but most of the Chilean men will have emotional ones that run just as deep.
After Jessica was pulled from the well, I wrote a poem (probably not very good) about her. I was struck then by the similarities between a child in peril, in a well vs. a child in peril, in the womb. She was only 18 months old when she fell into that well...she was rescued. All the resources in the nation came together to save that baby...
But the unborn? No one could hear them cry...no one was there to rescue them.
Today our federal dollars would still rescue a baby from a well...
And today our federal money is used to kill a child in the womb...can anyone tell me what the difference is between saving a child from a well and saving a child in the womb? We have a president who voted three times against the born alive act. And make no mistake, abortion is in the Obamacare bill. OUR money will be used to abort children.
As a nation, there is a 40 days of prayer and fasting going on. Last weekend, there was a life chain on our main road. People are gathering for an hour at a time to pray in front of abortion mills.
Nations came together over the past 70 days to rescue those beautiful, strong men out of that mine. Praise God for the technology we have today to do so. The timing of their rescue and remembrance of those who suffer in silence strikes me, once again. I don't think I will write a poem this time though. Nope, remember I have a blog now...and tens of tens are reading it!
So maybe two or three of us will pray. Pray like crazy for the innocent lost in a silent holocaust. Maybe the tide is turning in our nation once again. Maybe a child's life will be saved.
What have you (and I mean me in there too!) done today to save a life? Our time in prayer is just as important as the NASA technology used to rescue those miners...more so.
Let's pray...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Penurious

I've begun to do some study on what it means to be penurious in today's day and age.

Definition of PENURIOUS
1
: marked by or suffering from penury
2
: given to or marked by extreme frugality

Actually, there was a word that fits better but I didn't want any hate mail. I've fallen a little PC here for you all. If you should google "penurious" use the thesaurus...and you will hit on the word I mean. Or not, this fits my purpose here anyway.

I am not just talking about the year we had here, but rather the state of mind John and I were both raised in and adopted as our own. The thing is, how to know when you are being penny wise and when you are being penurious with a dash of pound foolish thrown in...

I am pretty sure there is no way to know, with out lifting our finances daily to Him...

I mean how else would you know if doing a project yourself is the smartest way to go, or if hiring someone is smarter?
How do you know if you should buy all the beef on sale in ShopRite next week or wait until you need it?
Should you buy your stuff only on sale or do you splurge now and a then...

I don't think there is a cut and dry answer. Ugh.

I like little boxes. I like formulas. Do this, all the time, every day and Voila'! You too, can have righteous living! Has that worked out for anybody else? No, sigh...I was kinda' hoping for a comment letting me know it worked out. That way I could follow your plan! Six easy steps to a better life kinda' thing? No? Crud.

I am also starting to think this lack of formula thing translates beyond my check book. I need to be willing to do the crazy stuff in order to live the godly life.

Lets face it, 10%? Seriously? I mean who, in their right mind would give God that much, especially when taxes are this high and we have all these kids and just the one income...I mean, who STARTS to tithe at the height of the worst economic crisis our nation has seen in this generation, if not ever? And commit to get out of debt...Oh and while you are at it, retire from a great paying job.

I just got this funny image of our Abba shrugging His mighty shoulders and saying thusly~'cause I think He is going to speak thusly in Heaven when we get there~

"Makes sense to Me!"

Formula's only work in math. Trusting God with the ridiculous is what I am getting better and better at.

Even this woman's event...crazy. Stark, raving crazy. No way anyone is going to support it. But I honestly believe, He is calling me to it. So that would require obedience, wouldn't it? I think it may even require generous and courageous obedience not skimpy, penurious obedience...

Remember when Peter reminded Jesus (don't ya' love Pete's chutzpa?) that they needed to pay the tax to walk into the temple? Did Jesus tell Him to borrow the money? Did He tell Peter to take it out of the food money, just until pay day? Or maybe He told him they would walk in like they owned the place and no one would dare question them? Nope...

"But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours." (Matthew 17:27)NIV

Now is there another account of the boys getting money out of a fishes mouth? No. I mean more then once Jesus fed the multitudes but this is the only account of finding tax money in a fish. Why?

Not 100% sure, but I wonder if it is because sometimes, we have to be willing to let Him do the crazy in our lives. Sometimes, we have to do the unexpected. Do the crazy to see His Glory.

I am so up for crazy, how about you?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Dream a little dream of me...

That's me in my dining room/office. My daughter, Brennan took this. Notice the bottle of Windex on the table? Yeah, I was trying to get permanent marker off the table when I decided I was needed on Facebook instead.

This is where I come and meet you in the mornings or at night or okay, a good portion of the day because I am way addicted to the key board and screen. When I took the NYS typing regents, I had no idea what good use I would put that 90-words-a-minute skill.

I was told in my Sophomore year of high school...excuse me, I didn't attend high school....I attended a Preparatory Academy, but I digress. I was told that I should drop the academic classes and take secretarial classes instead....Maybe go to Katherine Gibbs in the City. I was told to not even consider college...good advice, given that I got a 750 on the SAT's, combined.

So I learned steno, a way deader language then Latin, I might add. And I scored an internship as a secretary at IBM my senior year. I didn't get the internship because of my grades, it was pure charm that got me in there. The teacher who organized it all, liked me. So she gave me a shot...I let her down when I quit before Christmas. I HATED IT!

In my heart, up to the ripe old age of 17, I had a plan: Become a secretary, no college thank you very much, marry the boss, make babies and live happily ever after. No, seriously, that was the whole plan. Oh, except that while I was the secretary, I would wear spectator pumps and great suits like Princess Diana.


Oh, and I would not be giving up the shoes once I had achieved the happily ever after status either...no way. I would wear them to the supermarket...like my grandmother did. I had it all worked out.
Except that I was a lousy secretary...and I HATED it, not just at Big Blue...everywhere. And so I ran to college and achieved quite the cumulative average of 0.05~and that does not just happen, it takes skill. Do you have any idea how many classes you have to cut in order to achieve that kind of average in a junior college?

But I charmed my way into a four year woman's college...didn't finish that either. I was pretty sure I could still marry the boss. I would just not meet him at work. I would need to meet him in a bar...a good bar. Like one of the ones on Wall Street...yeah, never got around to that...Thank You Jesus!

And then God called me to be a nurse...There was no charming the interview staff at Cochran School of Nursing. As a matter of fact, not one of them commented on my gray, suede pumps or fantastic gray plaid suit (it was a shorts suit, remember them?) but one of them did inform me that I would need to get rid of my acrylic nails...the sacrifice of a nurse.
There is no human reason I even got in to Cochran. When they asked why nursing, I told them about my mom (some of them knew her as a patient) and the fact that this was vocational. They let me in...And they were pretty sure I would fail the first test.
But I didn't...I made it all the way through and I adored proving them wrong. I got the whole package when I met John in the ER and we now live our happily ever after...I did meet the boss at work after all!

Why this trip down memory lane this morning? I have been dreaming again, while I scrub permanent marker off of my table or mop the bathroom floor (in between I kind of think bad things about the previous home owner who put down a white tile floor in there. Five kids, a husband and a dog do not do well with a white tile anything!) or while I am driving my mini-van taxi to and from the next assignment with the kids.

But I don't want anymore daydreams and fabulous Maryellen ideas to interrupt my life. I don't want to spend a couple weeks or months or years with an idea that is only based in M.e...I want His vision, His dream, His plan...and the steps to take to see it all the way to the end.

I have had an idea for a woman's conference for a few years now...but NO WAY was I going to do it. I've had friends in charge of those types of things and I have seen how those same conferences can wreak havoc in the home on children and marriages. Remember the whole Beth Moore~ism: "No amount of success in ministry is worth failure at home." I pray that every day...
The conference has turned into a Friday night event...And while I am excited by the idea, I have seen enough to be terrified of doing the whole thing. Not afraid of man, more a fear of the Lord...Holy fear. Because with out Him, it's just another fabulous Maryellen idea...and the world has had enough of those to last this lifetime.

...Oh, and it is doomed for certain failure by the way. No one will sponsor it. No church organization anyway. And it looks like it will be in February...in NY, that means snow is a good possibility...It will never get done. Just like going to nursing school after being told I would fail chemistry at the age of 15...Yeah, I got an "A" in college, when I took it unto the Lord.

So pray, my blogesphere friends. Pray when you think of it that The Lord's plan not meet with my resistance or fabulousness. He is so much more fabulous then me, don't you think? And I only want my dreams to be His will or rather I want His will to be my dream.

Oh I almost forgot! I don't wear spectator pumps around the house after all. I do wear shoes, just not the ones I thought I would wear...these are way more of a blessing!


Oh, and my toes are way cuter too!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Boundary lines drawn...

"We trust God in most areas of our lives—but our faith always has boundaries and limits. We have at least one small area that we block off, where we don’t really believe God is going to undertake for us ." David Wilkerson

Well that shook the ground this morning. I mean shook it!

Ahhh. Woman of faith that I am...unless we are talking money. You would think, at this point, I would believe Him. But I still struggle with it when the bills are do. And when I say struggle, I mean playing tug-o-war with a tiger and a stick, kind of struggle.

...and I get cranky...and I am impatient...and I don't want to get off the couch. Sigh.

But He is yet, still God. When I feel hopeless, He is the God of all Hope. But I have to say, it takes a couple of days for me to get there. Not quite 40 years wandering in the desert, but still way long.

Why? Maybe it is my own boundaries with the Lord. I say I trust Him, but...

This morning as I woke up, I had that heavy heart again...the one that is convinced that I can never get it all done. The one that avoids the bills because they are there and I get afraid there won't be enough. I HATE this job...even though I am the one that asked John to let me do it...because I was sure I could do it better.

You see, I don't actually want to trust God with the details of our check book...I want a win-fall where all our financial needs are met at one time and forever more. THEN I will give away freely:
To feed the poor.
To clothe the naked.
To visit the imprisoned.

Or maybe He wants me to trust Him in season and out. When things were bad, he met every need. Things are not bad anymore. We are on the other side of it...but the fear lingered on. Fear based in disbelief...That boundary that David Wilkerson was talking about up top.

Do I or do I not believe Him to be our Provider? Most days, or I should say, most hours I do. He has never failed, me or anyone else for that matter.

Remember the old song, "One, day at a time, sweet Jesus, that's all I'm asking of You." And maybe I start with that list of Thanksgiving for all He has already done...excuse me won't you? I have this most amazing God, waiting to hear from me.

Be blessed dear ones. Start with the Thank Yous and see what happens to your requests...they may just change by the time you get to the Amens!

“Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” (Psalm 139:16)


Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday and Thank You very much...

holy experience



If you can, go take a look at this awesome woman's vision to live a life of thanksgiving. I feel blessed to have found her and I love this idea. So starting today, Monday will be "Thank You Monday." What a great way to start the week, I think...and you know, my blog and all that.

You may have noticed of late a lot of grumbling from me of late. Maybe it is just Post Traumatic What The Heck Do You Do When Everything Is Brand New In Your Life Disorder...we have had a lot of new with out a whole lot of not knowing what to do in our lives these past few months. Time to stop and count how many roses there are to smell.

So stop and think about what you are grateful for. I will post stories for some of the things on my list...but today I will just post the start of my Thank Yous. And just so you know, some of them will be quite shallow, but not number One.

1. Jesus.
2. I woke up next to the love of my life.
3. No teenager angst on Sunday.
4. Jack is not afraid of righteousness.
5. The JETS won!
6. My living room is clean, sigh.
7. I have a place to sit and just be.
8. I was called to sit with Him this morning.
9. I get to start this journey towards a thankful heart...
10. I can pay the bills today.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

He said, She said...

Over the years, John and I have often talked about what a great couple we are, with each other. This morning it feels a little bit like the hypocrite in the Gospel of Matthew where the guy stands up and prays thus:
"I thank you Lord that I am not like other men! I pay my taxes on alllllllllll that I owe and I pray twice a week. Did you get that Lord Twice a week!"

The way the story goes, according to the way we told it:
"If Maryellen," or John if I am the teller, duh. "wants the house painted orange with purple poka-dots, I will paint the darn house orange with purple poka-dots. It is not going to be all that important in the end. Why care that much?"

Last night, we "discussed" the paint color of the house. I want the new balcony stained. I can't have it. He wants it painted...yuck. I gave in to paint but I want the bottom painted charcoal gray...the darkest it can be without being black. He wants it yellow. "

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Screams my heart.

As we "discussed" I was getting more and more annoyed.
Me: "I can't see fighting over this. Can't we try painting it yellow? It's one roller over on the front board and if I simply can't live with it, we try the black? It's easier to paint over the yellow anyway."
Himself: "I didn't realize we were fighting. I don't want to create more work for me. I want to paint it once and be done."
Me: "Make no mistake. We are fighting over it. Whatever, do what you want. It's YOUR project now."

Silence...

What have we proven here? Neither of us cares if the house is painted orange with purple poka-dots, for sure. Any other normal combination is an invitation to The Cold War part 2.

This is the "normal" type of stuff couples disagree over. I know that if I want to dig in, I could win just as easily as he could. Come on, we are a combination of Irish, Russian, and German...you honestly think we couldn't pull blood out of a stone on this if we wanted to?

I just don't want to win. I want to hear him say:

"YOU were so right! What was I thinking? I should have gladly done what you wanted all along. Who was I to think my way would be better anyway? You are the Decorator in Chief around here and I submit to your superior talent!"

I would stand on my new balcony, hot coffee in hand, on a chilled Fall morning, resting in my victory, overlooking my spoils...as in spoiled rotten that is.

We are in the middle of a crazy season both as parents and as spouses. Wouldn't the enemy of our souls love to plant a seed of discontent in both of us? Yeah, I think so too.

I woke up this morning, still 100% right. Yay me? Nah. John is the love of my life. In the end, it won't matter one layer of paint who picked the color. It will, however, matter how well we loved each other. Now I fear, we will argue over who gets to give in...like I said, it has been a season!

Let him paint it yellow. It is not really all that important. Unless of course it is the wrong yellow...

Friday, October 1, 2010

A new skill...

Is this working?

I ask because I just learned how to send a post to my blog via my phone...Look how savvy I am now! Next, I try to send a picture! I love learning new things, even when they are very silly like this!