Friday, December 31, 2010

The View In Front Of Me...

A very dear friend has been posting pictures during this week of
miserable weather in the 48, from a tropical location. She has titled them, "The view in front of me." On New Years Eve, that is a blog post!

I've spent some time this last week, as I am sure many of us have, reviewing the last year in my mind. I've read over my blog, my journal, chatted with friends and the kids. I've curled up with my man and tripped down memory lane, sometimes in stitches over the adventures we have had. Glory to God for all He has accomplished in us this year. Who knew on the eve of 2011 we would be where we are? Right, He did.

We have prayed like crazy this year for Belle Malone. She continues her fight with little change in her health. Her mom, Kim, has become my dear friend. After five years in church together, it took Facebook to make us friends. How blessed I am to love her.

John and I learned to not spend and to give Him our first fruits. I still have my refrigerator and I may just give her a good cleaning today as a symbol of all we have been through. How amazing to learn a want from a need...and to trust Him with what our needs are. Truly Matthew 6:25-34 has become a way of life to us. I got to read it last night with our middlest daughter, Brennan.

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

We found that, at times, we were way more pagan than we realized. We worried often...until we didn't. He met us every dime of the way.

I watched as John fell head over heals in love with our God this year. With every ounce, John trusted Him and we have fallen deeper in love with each other because of Him. He is the reason we are who we are. a nation, we stood together to declare "WE THE PEOPLE!" in a voice we had long forgotten. Look at us! We remembered that Washington works for us and we surround them. We are still the greatest nation on earth and if the FCC does not take down my post, I will rest a little easier knowing freedom still exists...and we remember that as a Christian nation, freedom has never come free.

I learned that Red Bull and vodka can turn even the most well intentioned woman of faith into "that girl at the party"...don't ask how I know that. Just trust me. Witnesses? I will not let you find them! There is no reason to go any deeper into this discussion. I have no desire. So stop asking. You may think I am just trying to fill up space next to my very nice picture. While that may be true, I will not regard your presence about this subject matter any more. Time for me to hit the Enter key and scroll down....

I have found my faith grew deeper. My insecurity is less~thank you Beth Moore. If you do nothing else for yourself in 2011, dear ones, read "So Long Insecurity" this year. It is a game changer and you will never be the same for it. It grew me to know that other people's insecurities are not my own. There is a standing with out apology...not in arrogance but rather in the humbled righteousness of one who knows that I am nothing with out Him. He is my all and all. Sometimes, I forget...but not for long. He always reminds me who I am in Him. The Truth really will set you free...

To the New Year! I get to look forward to February 25, 2011. House Me from the Wind Ministries presents: HouseWyne. An evening of wine, woman and song with a whole new meaning. God has orchestrated this woman's event with the ease of the Creator of the universe. Given that I know nothing about event planning, it is blast watching the miracles happen. He has organized a team of woman who all know what they are doing and all with the same heart: to show woman that we are invited to sit at the banquet table of Jesus and He desires to give us our fill. And gift of all gifts, He has arranged it so the event is free. We will take up an offering with the proceeds given to a local charity...Who gets to play hostess to over a hundred woman for free? Honestly, can you even stand His goodness to us? Details to follow in the next couple of weeks and watch for our fliers and ads on Cablevision if you are local...

I may wind up with roads that look more like this: I know I can't see around that curve. I have no promise of tomorrow. None of us do. But look at the VIEW IN FRONT OF ME! Can't you just see the very Glory of God? I have no doubt the curves are what will keep me alert. I enter this new year a little lighter (yes, I lost ten pounds but that is not what I mean and you know it) in my spirit. The past is in the behind now...or something like that. I think I know where it is written better..."Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained. "( Pillippians 3:12-4:)

See you next year, dear ones...Oh! And I have turned off comment moderation. So if you haven't left a comment in the past, feel free. No hoops to jump through any longer. Just another little something I am leaving behind this year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Car keys, ice skates and sunshine...

Someone, anyone, please bring back global warming. Baby it is cold outside. I like a good snow storm as much as the next guy, but the cold is unreal. When the girls asked for a ride to the mall last night I was not a happy mommy.

"It is too cold." I said.
"Target is IN the mall mom. Please?" A chorus of teen/tween voices harmonized together.
"Fine." I said with as much enthusiasm as I could muster. It wasn't much.

And on the way there, in John's truck, we had 77WABC radio on. That is talk radio for the person pinging to South Korea. Anyway, some lady was on the Mark Lavine show and she was talking about saying no to our kids.

It happens to all of us she said. There are sometimes, weeks on end, when all we say is "No." No, because it is easier to say that. If we say yes, we have to pull out the glitter, the glue, the paint, the snow shoes, the cookie dough, or in the case of my teens, the car keys.

Life is easier with least in theory.

Sometimes we all fall into the totalitarian parent mode. No is the quickest way to not have to serve...but we end up with kids who are constantly annoyed and rebellious. Totalitarianism works that way you see. The no only works temporarily when it is a lifestyle.

I got a taste of it on Christmas Eve. The town my husband retired from needs all kinds of documentation for us to switch health care plans...important things like marriage John would put up with me if he didn't have that piece of paper!

Someone should have told Sr. Helene, the nun who told me to become a secretary and learn steno, that office work and ADD don't go well together. I am no secretary, but I sure could use one. You see a good secretary would know exactly where all that paper work is. Yeah, can you picture me, pulling out boxes and drawers looking for all the paper work to prove we are citizens and that we all belong to John? Yeah, that's me with my upper body in the attic, moving mice traps, trying to reach that box...the one from the move five years ago that never got unpacked from the last house...that never got unpacked from the move eleven years ago....Sigh.

So Christmas Eve. Papers have to be in the town hall by December 30th. The right thing to do would be to get all the paper work needed for our health insurance. The kids were good sports but I could see they were sad. I stopped the hunt and we went ice skating.

I went ice skating. I was the fun mom. The paper work would get done, another day would be stressful, but not Christmas Eve. For the record, all the kids fell a lot...I however, did not. And yes, I did actually skate the entire session. Wisenheimer.

Instead of being the cranky mom in Target last night, I went with the relaxed mom. I asked the girls to pray I would find one last paper so I didn't have to drive to the capital to get the records I would need. They promised, we shopped somewhat quickly and went home. First place I looked, I found the papers. Thanks Lord.

Sometimes, when we stop telling the Lord how bad things will be if we don't get something done, He is just waiting for us to shut up because He already got it done. Sometimes, we need to say "Yes" to the kids, just so we can bless them for no seemingly good reason. And sometimes that yes requires ice skates or car keys.

Yesterday, Maggie asked to paint...she painted about ten paper plates and made them into know because we have all this snow and maybe I would like a little extra sunshine in my kitchen to help keep me warm.

What can you say yes to today?

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Traditional Jewish Christmas for the clan...

That is our plan for Christmas Day this year. As I may have mentioned, we spent the week after Thanksgiving in Florida. Since we got back we have all have suffered from The Disney Flu~Strep, stomach viruses, upper respiratory stuff, laryngitis, etc, etc, etc...The kids have run ragged getting ready for the big day: shopping, cleaning, baking. Wait a minute, that was me.

So when John asked how I wanted to spend the day I told him in the Traditional Jewish Way: A movie and Chinese food. We are going to see the new Narnia movie so I am not so sure it counts anyway. Besides, I still plan to have some kind of dessert ready for us all...that should count in the good gentile way for something.

While today we plan to have fun and later go to church, I would like to spend Christmas Day like the holy family did, a couple of thousand years ago. Lets face, Mary did not make a ham, Joseph did not clean up the family. I am also pretty sure they didn't go to the movies or eat fried dumplings either. But I do know they spent the day in awe at the birth of the Savior. Mary surely cuddled that baby and Joseph must have held the hand of his beloved wife. Jesus cried and settled in on His mommies breast. They were just together.

Now if some shepherds should stop by, I shall have some extra fried rice and death by chocolate waiting for them.

God bless all and Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Margaret Colleen turns seven today...

Dear Margaret Colleen,

You arrived seven years ago today shooting me a look that still gives me quivers when I reflect on it. I knew Margaret suited you perfectly. While your impending arrival was quite a schock, you are a constant reminder that God blesses us with infinitely more than we even know to ask. And you are also a reminder that God truly does desire to give us the desires of our hearts. I had always wanted a Margaret Colleen, but it was many years, a few sisters, and a wonderful brother later that you would bless our world in ways we never imagined.

Before we go bowling and eat cheese burgers for your meal request, I just had to share what I pondered in this heart of mine all day.

Jesus was born to a mommy too. Given the awe that you have inspired in my heart, I can only imagine what she must have felt like that day. You were wrapped up and kept warm, just like His mommy did for Him...but did she have any idea that the prince she just delivered would one day wear a crown of thorns? Oh Maggie, I have no idea the future God has in store for you. I do know it is a future with a hope...if it is lived for Him. You will do great things for Him dear child. Always be in awe, that God was just a little boy...He was once seven years old too. I think you are perfect just the way He made you to be...He was just simply perfect.

You help me remember the awe of His birth. Thanks for coming. It is my great joy to be your mommy.

Your sister~in~Christ,

PS You said when you saw this picture, "I got to meet Poppy?" Yes, yes you did. And Poppy was as wild about you as he was your sisters, brother and cousin. Trust me when I say that while Christmas may be easier with out him, I still miss Christmas with out him. God bless little lady. Love you all the way to the Heavens and back.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

How many kings?

Something that struck my heart in Disney was the Christmas music. In between the jingle bells and the baby it's cold outsides, there were three kings and little towns of Bethlehem. It was extraordinary to me at first: How often can you be in Disney and hear The Name above all names, right? I actually got emotional at one point contemplating that...and then I had to go have our picture taken with Snow White. No time for contemplation while there is fun to be had!

Someone just told me it wasn't the real Snow White. Yeah right. And the Santa at the mall isn't real either. What kind of chump do they think I am? Silly.

Where was I? Right, Christmas music...We went to see Mr. Peterman (you remember from Seinfeld...Elane's boss...can't remember his real name!) and an amazing choir. Each song was Christ centered on the birth of our Savior and Mr. Peterman read the Gospel of Luke...may I just say: Glory.

But that is when you saw the contrast. It was all about Him. There was no Micky or Mini to distract you. There was no Santa or tree. Just Jesus in the middle of Epcot. And that is when it all came together so clearly in my heart.

I am not against the "ho-hoing" or the figgy pudding in anyway shape of form. But a study was just done on the Christmas stories reported on the major networks. Out of the 589 stories about Christmas, only seven of them even mentioned Jesus. Seven.

There are only seven days left until Christmas day. Enjoy the fa-la-la-la-la-ing. And if you have a little one, by all means, put them on Santa's lap. But won't you remember Him, maybe just seven times? Even just once per day? Don't let the crazy world we live in make you forget why we celebrate. Take a look at that creche' and remember Him.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Another day, it should mean something....

"Teach me to number my days, Oh Lord..." David was wise enough to cry out. Wish I was that wise some days. I am not always a good steward of my time. Honestly, it's easier to tithe my 10% into the basket than it is to tithe my time...

Hmmm...what would happen if I gave Him just that, 10% of my time? I mean, my life belongs to Him, but what would happen if I made sure I had that fraction of time carved out each day for Him? Not in a legalistic way like a Muslim call to prayer or anything. Just made sure I gave Him that time, alone each day. What would that work out to be? Math teachers?

Let's see: 10% of 24 hours would be 2.4 hours a day. Wow. That would be some chunk of time. What if I gave Him just the hours I am awake? That is something like 23 hours a day right? No, it just feels that way. In actuality I am up for about 16 hours a day. That would make it 1.6 hours of face time with Him. I willing to give Him that?
In reality, no. I have to give at least that to Facebook, Twitter and e-mail. Duh...He understands I have a busy social networking life. Right?

We give Him the first fruits of what we produce...FIRST. Okay, I tithe after taxes and make up for it in April. At least that is how we did it this year. So can I justify not spending time with Him in the morning? I tend to give Him the fruit of my time, after everyone leaves the house in the mornings. Again, not trying to play legalistic girl here, just adding things up in front of you all. And you don't mind, do you? No of course not. If you did, you would not come back!

I got up this morning with a heavy heart over some things that are going on in my world right now. One of them is the woman's event House is throwing in February. Everything is falling into place...including the finances. I have trusted Him every step of the way until I didn't. I started to get ahead of Him in one area and He pulled the back of my scruffy hair, ever so gentle and said:"Knock it off. I've got it." And got it, He does. Hmmm. Trust. It would be a lot easier if I had spent some of that 10% with Him this morning. Conviction of my heart...once again.
No matter how much I adore Him, no matter how amazing my time with Him is, I too get lazy in my prayer time. Shocking, I know.

But sometimes, He allows a sifting or two in a season to get our attention. He has one going on in my world right now, that came out of the blue. It won't end our world, but it hurts.
The thing is I know for a fact that no situation, good or bad, can touch my life with out first passing through His hands. That means that He has a plan. That means I don't have to get ahead of Him or figure the whole thing out alone...but of course that brings me back to numbering my days.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


I love the way my girls look in this picture way more than I love the way I look, but wanted to show them off anyway.

And I feel like I look skinny in this one, so even though there is some guys shoulder in it, I am showing it off! And the girls look awful pretty to meet my friends Johnny and Tina. I never did mention we were going to surprise them for their anniversary did I? Of course not, it was a surprise, silly. We combined the visit to them with a trip to Disney...

Never mind that Jack is squinting or that Maggie may or may not have her eyes is our Christmas picture this year. I am so not going to try and get everyone to pose again. Besides, I look skinny in this one. Good hair day too!

I love Bell too girls but she married a beast and just because he wound up looking like this:

does not make him a prince charming. Or maybe it does. Charm is rather deceitful isn't it? Jack, don't ever be a beast.

That concludes my Disney Parenting for the day.

It was a wonderful trip with my family. I could live with out the "RUN!" of it all but it was very good to be together. John and I are so much more "beach with a book" people. The kids are too. They would rather hit Ocean City than Disney next year. That is going to work out real well since we spent their inheritance on this trip.

More pictures to come after we get over the latest rotten cold we have here in the house. Be blessed all.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Queen for a day...

Being the Queen Mum of a large family has quite a few of them is to wear my tiara in public when ever I darn well feel like it. Of course, this shot was taken at Epcot and I didn't take home the scepter or the tiara...and I couldn't finish the beer either. But that is another story for another day.

Let's face, I look great in a tiara. I do. Go on and think about how great I look. I know it may distract you for the rest of the day, but it is a chance I had to take.

Are you back? Great. I don't want to cause you to stumble. Stay focused here. Not easy, I know, but I believe in you.

That tiara got me to thinking a lot about my real life crowns. The ones I wear in the course of any given day. We all have them. Some of mine really do sparkle, just as I am sure you have sparkly ones too.

The one that I wear to do housework gets all dusty and I found some mold on one corner the other day...what do you expect? Half the time it is hanging over a toilet, dishwasher, or washing machine. It gets all moist under that dust...okay, let us just say together...EWWW! But it shines right back up with a little elbow grease.

But I always wear my best crown to church. When I take it out to put it on....Oh boy does it sparkle and gleam like crazy! When I place it on my head and start to get the fam out the door to church...that is when it always turns black as coal. It is ugly with the words of sin I tend to let slip from my lips to the kids, dripping from each point. As I threaten each child and glare at the husband we make our way to church. The combs on the crown seem to dig a little deeper into my hair and poke at my head as we make the last turn onto the street our church sits. As we pull into our parking spot (yes, it is ours. I get a little annoyed when no one leaves us a spot in front of the play ground. It's a Yonkers thing. If someone took your spot in front of your house, you rang the bell and told them to move it. No, we didn't use our driveway. I don't know why. Why are you getting off topic?) and we start to exit the clown car.

Somehow I manage to gleam up that tiara once again. I make it all sparkly and pretty, paste that smile on my face and speak in loving tones to the family once again. It stays all perfect for the entire service as I sit tall in my own righteousness. How good and holy I must appear to those being hit by the rays of light shooting off of my tiara!


Truth is, all my tiaras get laid down in front of Him. I can take them off or I fear He will knock them off. I am of no position to walk in piety in front of Him.

I am glad I get to play "dress up Queen" in jest with my family...that has been way fun. In real life though, I plan to spend my day as servant. No tiara needed.

"They lay their crowns before the throne and say:
You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being." (Rev. 4:10-11)