Thursday, July 31, 2008


Thursday my sister told me about a past acquaintance of mine. It was actually my sixth grade homeroom teacher from Central Elementary in New Phila. He actually remembered me, and he was the one that brought it up. You see it was in 1971-72. Not that he is that old (really) it's just that I was in his first class the year he began teaching, so for him to actually remember me with all of the students he's had over the past "few years" is a surprise.
The thing that my sister said that he remembered specifically was that I was a "religious" person! I used to carry my Bible to school, and he remembered that! Then Suzanne had the opportunity to fill him in on what has been happening in my life (after he asked), and she told him about Liz, and that it was my "FAITH" that helped get me through that time! What an opportunity to witness. It appeared that he and his wife were touched after she relayed the information.

I guess we really don't now what we do that speaks to people. It's been so many years since I was in his class, and to find out now was so very encouraging. I also received an e-mail from another girl this past week. She used to come to our house and visit with her family. They are from Cincinnati. She is a couple of years older than Liz, but she and her sisters were good family friends that we have not sen in years. Anyway, she e-mailed me this past week and told me how much something that I had written here in this very blog that touched her. My greatest hope is for this to be an instrument that God can use to touch many.

Jeff called me today to find out what this blog address is so that another friend of ours could read it. I was surprised once again that he would be interested. I was even surprised to find out that Jeff reads this! I also found out that my oldest son has read it too. Surprise surprise!

I have had another week that I truly do not care to repeat. I won't bemoan all of it, but please keep us in prayer.

I am going bonkers waiting to hear from the publisher. When I received the e-mail from Sue she said I should hear from them with in the next week. That will be three weeks this Tuesday. Every minute that passes I am more convinced that they too will pass on publishing my manuscipt. If they were really excited about it, they would have contacted me by now, so, back to the publisher listings for me I think. BUMMER!

I do have to buckle down to finish the devotionals. They are due by August 10. And I need to polish the story I am sending to Gary Chapman and James Stuart Bell. Maybe something will happen from that connection!?

I am nearly ready to begin working on my new guest room within the next few days. I have already gotten a few things, but the rest will have to come from my "archives" of stuff. I find doing that kind of stuff very cathartic, plus it lets my "artistic self" feel artistic I guess. It's fun.

Right now I am fighting for foot room under my desk. It has started to storm and I have a scared beagle hiding under my feet! What a crazy pup.
We are under a severe thunderstorm warning until 8:15 I don't particularly care for storms, but Buzz is a real hoot at the moment. At least I won't have to water my flowers and the garden. I have begun canning beans and beets and have made a small batch of fresh salsa. Oh my is that salsa wonderful. I smell like a garlic factory, but I have really happy taste buds.

Sunday our church NewPointe Community Church ( is doing something out of the ordinary. We are NOT having church we are going to BE THE CHURCH. WE are doing things for people like a community service project see the web site to see some of the other things we have done (The Big Give tab) features some of the things we did. Our small group is one of the groups that has pictures on there. We took in supplies to the homeless shelter our pictures are of our small group around my dining room table assembling our baskets, and also the back of my van has stuff we delivered too. Check it out. Anyway, I think our group is going to do some yard work, gutter cleaning, and some other things for some Senior citizens in the area. It should be fun. I will post pictures this next week of our group. So, if you live in Tuscarawas County and see people out doing things on Sunday if they are wearing bright yellow t-shirts that say go-08 Community Outreach that is a part of NewPointe's parishioners reaching out to our community! Make sure you at least honk to show your support.

Well, I need to fluff and fold some more laundry. Until next time...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A stressful week

Don't you just love it when you are awakened at 5:40 AM on a Monday morning with a phone call, stating that your father has been taken via ambulance to the Emergency room. You get there can't find him for a little while, still don't know what is going on for about 20 minutes, only to find out very little. You wait in the outpatient surgical waiting room, for a short while... End up spending the remainder of the day sitting with a totally groggy/sleeping 78 year old man in ICU. (He is going to be fine by the way) We found out he had a severe case of colitis brought on my poor circulation. UGH.

Then you get to take your mother to another hospital on Tuesday morning (picked her up at 6:15 AM) for surgery. She and my father are divorced, but they usually know what each other is doing. At this point, my mother still does NOT know about my dad. We didn't want anything to get in the way of this much needed surgery for my mom. After she is released today, we may tell her. She already ended up spending another night in the hospital than was originally expected. Not been a great week.

Then, I realized on Monday night that my garden has decided that NOW would be a good time to put out a yield of string beans that need to be picked and canned. I gave away as much as I could in a short time and canned and cooked the rest... for the moment. I should have another half bushel/bushel ready on Friday. I have beets to process today. I think the rest will wait a day or two before being ready. WHEW!

I am still waiting to hear from Strang Communications as to whether they are interested in publishing my book. They said I should hear from them by this week, but we'll see... I want to be hopeful, to be excited, to believe that this may be the one, but I have been warned by many an author not to get your hopes up. The tendency is to not locate a publisher easily. Even the best authors have received rejections, so far I have been to 5 publishers, and been rejected by all of them, maybe this one will be the positive one, maybe not. I have certainly learned a lot in this process. 5 publishers is actually very few. I know that one woman was rejected (I think she said) 42 times before she found a publisher for her book. Oh, my! I truly hope that won't be the case, but I need to prepare myself for that happening.

Another lousy thing that happened is I gained 2 stinking pounds. I have worked so hard to lose this weight, and then as the stress kicks in, I gain weight. Makes me feel like screaming.

Sorry about the complaining, I guess I needed to vent (to the whole world).

I am guessing, actually I know that this is the point that I need to double my prayer/devotional time to gain a bit of strength, and sanity.

Oh, here is some good news. My nephew Josh is back home from Iraq!!!!!!! Hallelujah. He came home early (he was there as a civilian, working for the Gov't) to go to the Mayo Clinic with his wife Rose. Rose has a very rare type of cancer called MPD (a blood disorder). She saw the world renown specialist, and received a very positive report. THANK YOU JESUS!

I have rambled and complained enough. I just figured that I needed to vent, and also blog since it had been a week and a half...oops!

Hey, my living room looks great! I love the color. Chris has painted his new
house too. In the first picture you can see the back half of the living room done, then see the front half with the cutting in done. It was bland white, but I did have a boarder. Now it is a warm color called Bagel. I love it! What a difference it makes. Here are mid and finished pictures.

The color in the pictures truly does not do it justice. I mentioned Chris's house. He is now living in the "shed" where Micah used to be. Micah packed up his stuff when he was home on vacation (not real happy about it) but he did it. Chris chose a really dark gray. I wasn't sure I would like it, but it think it's okay now. I'll post pictures of that next time. My next project will be to turn Chris's old room into the "guest room". I have decided on paint colors, I got two quilts, and am collecting furniture from my sister, our storage unit and another couple of pieces I have here. It's going to be very "antiquey looking" I am really enjoying doing this. Kinda therapeutic. Well I better get a move on, laundry to fold beets to pick and can...yippee.
For some reason the pictures won't line up right, so sorry for the goofy layout.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Living up to my own words

Well, I suppose I need to be careful what I say. Particularly if I write it in this blog. On Thursday I had a heated conversation with Jeff in regard to something he asked me to do. It is something I have done in the past and could tell that it just was not where my calling is. (Or so I thought). On June 22 I wrote about being challenged. That I wanted to be an influence in people's lives. When I got a phone call from Jeff and he asked me to attend a meeting with him I threw a fit. I know, that was dumb! The phone call ended in a non pleasant way, with me having a fit, and Jeff being hurt.

Later in the evening, I brought up the subject again. I was still very upset and wanted to find out some things. In this conversation Jeff actually had the audacity to bring up what I had written, and said "well I thought after what you wrote about the message that Dwight shared maybe you changed your mind". (see June 22 blog below). Why is it that when you feel so strongly about something when you originally write about it, when someone brings it up again you want to say "that's not what I meant". When in all actuality it is what you meant, you just don't want someone throwing your own words back in your face.

Well, needless to say, I really battled with this. I thought about it all night, and all day Friday. I knew what I needed to do, what God wanted me to do, what I was sure Jeff wanted me to do. Then, just when I had pretty well decided to go ahead and go, I was pulling weeds in my flower beds and low and behold... my back went out! For those of you that know me, that is not a good thing. I have had two back surgeries because of ruptured discs. That is enough to strike fear in the heart of someone that knows that pain!

Let me give you a little larger picture of what my day had produced. I had been cleaning like a crazy woman (I do that when I am upset). I had cleaned my room that evening , prior to weeding the garden, and a few loads of laundry. I was attempting to do more laundry when my washer died again. So, enterprising woman that I am, decided that I'd let those clothes soak... and ask for someone to "jiggle the wires later). I then proceeded to tear down the living room. I removed all of the pictures, "nick-knacks" move furniture, remove the wall paper boarder in preparation to paint. I have had the gallon of paint sitting in my dining room for about four months. No time like the present... right?

It was after I had accomplished all that Jeff came home that the conversation commenced.

I knew that before I could paint (or Jeff could) that I needed to scrape that remaining wall paper residue from the walls, and wash the streaks left from the vinegar/water solution I used to do that. I have everything torn up in the house and then go outside to pull those weeds that I have been meaning to get to. So, I go outside and begin to pull weeds, and in one smooth move (really) I managed to send sharp pains down my back! I continued to pull weeds, then pick up sticks... anything to escape what I knew I needed to do.

At 3:00 I came to the conclusion that I simply needed to quit doing things and get ready to go to the Attention Center with Jeff.

This is something that he has done for about 18 years or more. He is able to go in and spend time with these kids, and then share what God has put on his heart. Normally there is at least one other person there with him, but he wasn't sure if the other person would make it or not. All he did was ask me to go in and help him, and I threw a fit! I have gone to this place about four or five times in all of these years, and have not been impressed. It was something that had been upsetting to me because of the way the kids acted. I felt like it was a waste of time because the kids didn't listen, and weren't receptive! It didn't matter that Jeff said that it really wasn't that way, that nearly every time the kids were well behaved and responsive. I had that picture in my mind that it wasn't going to be worth my time...

The thoughts running through my mind of what my husband so kindly reminded me that I had written just a few weeks ago. Where was I going to be that I could be an influence in any one's life? I have turned into a hermit back here on our farm. I only go somewhere when I want to, since I am not working I can pick and choose where I go and when I want to go.

OKAY! I get it! I went up and took my shower wincing in pain, and figured I would try to be ready by 4:00 to leave. If I didn't make it by then I would just not go... Well, I was ready plenty early. I drove to the Attention Center and saw that Jeff was already there sitting in his car preparing to go in. He was surprised to see me (I was surprised to see me) and was so happy that I came to support him. I went in (still wincing from pain) and told him in a nut shell why I was there. I couldn't do much at home, so God allowed a "thorn in the flesh" to put me where I should have been willing to be in the first place.

At this moment it is 4:03 AM and I cannot sleep. My back is bothering me a bit, but my conscience is bothering me more. Jeff will be getting up in about 20 minutes to go to the prison in Chillicothe to visit a man that never gets visitors. (No, this is not the man that killed Liz) He is going not because he wants to go, but because he feels that this is what God wants him to do. To be an influence in some one's life. Just so you know, I have the coffee ready for Jeff to take on his trip! (some consolation huh?)

Let me give you a little suggestion; if you feel God impressing you that you need to be doing something, anything that will make a difference in some one's life, and you blog about it or even think about it. It is much better to answer that call. It can be a very painful experience to get you to that point. I really meant what I said on June 22, I just wanted God to use my time table, and to "send me" where I wanted to go. Not one of the more intelligent thoughts I have had!

Lord, help me to be obedient, and not so stubborn in the everyday things in life. Let me see that You have a plan for me, even if that plan consists of something that I don't want to do, but You want me to do!

In case you are wondering, the kids were great! They were very attentive, and even polite. They listened and didn't have nasty comments or snicker. They were much more willing to be there and participate in the meeting than at any other time I have been there. I am ashamed to say that I felt the way I did. Those kids are there because of a wrong decision, I was there because of a right decision that I made the wrong way. I didn't do anything while I was there except hand out snack chips to the kids that won the game we were playing. I said nothing, but being there said volumes!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Finally a nice day!

Does it seem like summer has been lacking around here? This has been a very unusual summer as far as I am concerned. Although it is kind of like my emotions have been, sort of different every other day.

I have been invited to write for a book to be published in Spring of 2009 (next year) it is a book that is being written by Gary Chapman and James Stuart Bell. It is titled : Love Lessons: Everyday Acts of Love That Change Lives.
I am praying about whether I should write something or not. I have had so many positive remarks and encouragement, and them someone threw another thought into the process, so I am not positive if I should go ahead with this or not. Any thoughts? I want to make sure this is something that can be a blessing to the people that read my portion, but I also want God to receive the glory. The book is sort of like a Chicken Soup for the Soul type book, but not concentrated about God. Here is the excerpt from the invitation:

The story should include descriptive character development, especially related to the soul; how emotions, perspective, and quality of life changed based on the interactions between people. We prefer stories to be in first person, based on your personal experience of growth. But “as-told-to” stories will be considered. These stories do not have to include God in them and, if they do, God should not be the focus. We will be appealing to both the Christian and secular markets with the message of how to love others from a human perspective, so please eliminate Christian jargon.

So, perhaps you can see my predicament? I need true wisdom on this subject. While it is a tremendous opportunity, I am not sure what to do. Please, if any of you can give me ideas or share your wisdom let me know!

On to other things... it has been so nice having Micah home for the week. He has to go back to Virginia on Wednesday morning, so his vacation is almost over. It's been fun cooking for all of my guys and seeing them enjoy eating. We had a family reunion on Saturday, and had a lot of food there, as well as the rest of the stuff for the long holiday weekend. I am attempting to get back in the swing of things again with my diet. I was afraid to get on the scales this morning, so I will wait until tomorrow. I have been pretty good today. I had only 18 more pounds to go to get to my goal, and I don't want to have to lose the same pounds all over again1 Ugh...

Got to see my cousin/good friend from high school today. We were really good friends in high school, and said way back then that our kids would call us Aunt Cassie and Aunt Becki. Funny thing is, now I am really related to her my husband and she are first cousins, but we still call each other "Aunt" even though were really cousins. Goofy I know! It has been a year since I saw Cassie and the girls Katie and Maddie (16 and 14) and I was so shocked at how tall they are! They are both 6 feet or over. (I must have gotten in the wrong line because I am soooo short!) It's just not fair!

Well, Jeff wants to go for a walk, and as much as I don't want to go, I know I need to, so I'll see you later!