Wednesday, December 31, 2008

hopes and plans

I don't do resolutions.
I'm not even very good at goals.  
Let's be honest - I don't like to do things I don't like to do.

But, I do try to start each new year with at least a little direction.  Some, shall we say, plans.  Hopes maybe.  Hopes and plans.  That sounds good.

I plan this year to spend one hour per day working on my book.  I know that's lame and nothing at all compared to what I should be doing.  But it would be approximately 265 more hours than I have spent this year.  Or something like that.
My hope is that when I have written an hour, I will be on a roll and the words will keep coming.  I am hoping that just setting aside a time slot will work wonders.
I hope it will entice me to write more because I plan to have my book finished by September so I can present it to some agents.

I plan to take the dog for a walk once per week.  Ok, I know it should be daily.  But I don't do it at all right now.  If I were setting goals, I would make it a goal to walk her every day and then I would end up walking her once per week.  That's how I do goals.  But since this is a plan, I can just be honest about it.  I may end up enjoying our walks enough to do it more often.  I hope.

I plan to be more consistent with the laundry.  I plan to at least put up each load as I finish it.  I hope this becomes so routine and easy that the entire process loses it's intimidating hold on me.

I plan to spend more time with friends.  I hope they have the time to accommodate me.

I plan to be better at sticking to the way that I know I need to eat.  I hope it will become second nature to me and I will no longer feel the pangs of deprivation.

I plan to be more faithful in my Bible reading.  I don't hope, but I know that this will make everything about my year better.  Because all of my hope for life is contained in God's Word.  I need to drink it in.

What about you?  As you face 2009, what are your plans?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

book giveaway

Review for Gunfight at Grace Gulch on Books and Starbucks.  Leave a comment there, not here, and you will be entered in a drawing for a free copy!

Monday, December 29, 2008

big God

So thankful today that I do believe in God.  So glad that I know He is real and that He is present in my life - and the lives of others.

Please pray for Robbie who blogs at Joy Dance.  Her husband sustained a brain injury yesterday in a motorcycle accident.  God is bigger.

Continue to pray for Susan at Accidental Poet.  Her mom is still in the hospital.  God is bigger.

Another friend of mine named Susan has her husband in the hospital with pneumonia, kidney failure and something wrong with his blood count that they suspect may be cancer.  God is bigger.

Continue to pray for Brenda.  You can see her picture on Sharon's blog Many Hearts One Family.  She is seriously ill.  God is bigger.

Pray for my friend Claudia who's husband is in the hospital.  He had his stomach removed because of cancer.  God is bigger.

Pray for healing for all of these people.  And for God's comfort and grace for their families as they wait.  And wait.  And watch.  And hope.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Friday, December 26, 2008

convicting sermon from an atheist

You have probably heard of the magician, comedy team of Penn and Teller.  Teller doesn't talk and Penn does.  And what Penn says, if you've ever heard any of his podcasts or radio programs is that there is no God.  He's a very vocal atheist.
But watch this podcast.  Tell me your thoughts.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

blessed Christmas

So many thoughts go through my mind about Christmas.  
About the amazing idea that God took on flesh.
About the fact that He walks with us; shares our suffering and our joy.
About the fact that He threatened so many.
About the fact that He changed everything.
But every blog I've tried to write just doesn't work.
So, I will just say
Merry Christmas
And if it isn't Merry.  If life is too heavy right now,
Be blessed.  
Embrace the One who loves  you so much that He gave Everything for you.  

Monday, December 22, 2008

dear diary

Been reading my old diaries.  Oh, I hope my daughter's joy will not be dependent on boys.  As I read, I laugh, roll my eyes, and feel a bit sad for this girl who was so boy crazy.

Here's some stuff from when I was twelve. 

Jan 2, 1979 Dear Diary,
Today was a good day.  Julie went to Anna's.  Me and dad went shopping at Safeway.  We went back and forth finding things.

So, I'm wondering... was it Julie being gone that made it a good day, or the excitement of grocery shopping with dad?

Jan 15, 1979
Today _____ looked at me.  (names have been deleted to protect the innocent)

Jan 16, 1979
Today I didn't get to go skating.  I was really upset for awhile.  I think _______ knows I'm alive now.  I hope he likes me.

I continued to document every time this particular boy looked at me.  I think he talked to me once.  I'm pretty sure I pulled that off like satin -- you know, smooth.

A bad day:
Jan 20
Today was terrible.  Mom was grouchy.  I didn't feel good and Julie was noisy.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Hanukkah

I am re-posting from last year.  I think perhaps there are some of you who didn't read it then.  To those of you who did, my apologies for the repeat.  

The history of Hanukkah as I understand it is:

After Alexander the Great died, the Greek empire split into three dynasties; one of which was the Seleucid Dynasty. One of the rulers in this dynasty was called Antiochus IV Ephiphanes. He was so evil that the Bible, in the book of Daniel, uses him as an example of what the Anti-Christ will be like.

He desecrated the Temple of God. The Bible calls it the Abomination of Desolation. He made the Israelites stop their daily sacrifices and sacrifice to other god's instead.

One day when an Israelite made one of these sacrifices a godly man named Matthias killed him. He started a revolt in which the God-fearing Jews went throughout the land tearing down false idols and killing those who worshipped them. It was a time of purging for the land of Israel.

When Matthias died his son Judah took over. He is known as Judah Macabee. These Macabees went into the Temple to purify it after Antiochus had profaned it. They cleansed it and re-dedicated it to God.

The lamps in the Temple were to burn continually. But when they rededicated the Temple, there wasn't enough oil to last for more than a day. They miraculously continued to burn for eight days until more holy oil could be obtained.

There. I find some very significant stuff for all of us to think about. Purification. Rededication. We can't go wrong spending some time dwelling on that this Season.

And the Light will never go out.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


I typed Jesus came, Christ came and I came into a concordance.  This is why He came, according to the Bible.

"...Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners..." 1 Tim 1:15

"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill."  Matt 5:17

"Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." Matt 10:34

"For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;"  Matt. 10:35

"He said to them, "Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also; for that is what I came for."  Mark 1:38

"And Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind."  John 9:39

"I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."  John 10:10

Friday, December 19, 2008

the horror

boy: Mommy, what are you doing?

me: finding a book

boy: for what?

me: to read.

boy: WHY?  Why must you read on this beautiful day?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


A muffler, mittens,
hat, and ear muffins, too
Three pair of socks,
a coat zipped up to my chin.

But my oh my, these jeans 
are feeling mighty thin.

Marvelous, amazing, 
spectacular feat:
the invention of
the heated car seat.

Call it a pizza warmer if you wish.
I think that's kinda dumb.
I love the way my magical seat
defrosts my frozen bum.

Monday, December 15, 2008

today, thus far

We have frozen hot water pipes.

I hear the low in Denver last night was -19.  Yes, that's a minus sign.  Crazy.

Mrs. Claus looks like an old Russian granny with a babushka.  I know because they were in the car next to me at the stop light.

Yes, I had to go out.  Twice.  My dearest girl missed the bus, so I drove her to school.  Then she called because she needed lunch money.

But, I saw Santa.  He has a handicap sticker.  Who knew?

Friday, December 12, 2008

beautiful feet

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: Isaiah 53:4

Sometimes it just seems like too much.

In the past two weeks, our small community has lost five teenagers.  Four of those to suicide.  An eighth grader from my daughter's school was buried yesterday.  He was hit by a car.

Today Angie Hunt is singing at her father's funeral.

Denis has stomach cancer and will have surgery on Monday.

Brenda is having a health crisis involving several new, serious diagnoses.

Sandy's husband was murdered a couple of weeks ago.

Linda is recovering from ovarian cancer and Judy from breast cancer.

These are examples just from my small frame of reference.  My little world has this much suffering.  So multiply it exponentially to get the bigger picture.  Not everyone will have a Merry Christmas.

Yet, Jesus is acquainted with our grief.  He knows pain and suffering.  

When one of my kids asked why I had a picture of a foot on my blog, I said, "Because it's Christmas and Jesus got feet."  He traded feet like bronze for feet of flesh.  Pudgy little feet with ten little piggies.  He stubbed his toes.  He stepped on splinters and stickers and rocks.  Nails were pounded into that flesh.

I know that during the thirty-three years that He wore those feet, he experienced grief and loss.  Joseph isn't mentioned in Jesus' adulthood, so obviously he died.  Jesus knows our pain.  We are never alone in our suffering.

If this Christmas is a difficult one for you, cling to the deeper truth of the Holiday.  Jesus put on flesh, suffered and died.  God came down to walk with us.  He walks with us still.  Forget the bells and tinsel, the egg nog and cookies and cling to the one who has walked where you walk.  He hasn't been in your shoes; He's been in your feet.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

thursday thirteen

Thirteen of my favorite Christmas ornaments.

I like this one, just because it is pretty, and it's a cross and that's really what it's all about.

This one is sparkly and oh so pretty!

This one is very pretty, but I like it especially because I got it at a Bible Study luncheon and I really miss those women.

We like this little birdie.  Just because.

This ornament was given to my daughter at her baby shower, before she was born.

I love sheep!  And I love the homey quality of this one.

This one just makes me smile.

We each picked out an ornament that suited us.  My girl picked this one because she loves wolves.

My son's pick.  He's a monkey boy.

We picked this one out for my dad.  He used to take me fishing.  We haven't been in a while, though.

This is my hubby's.  He loves to fly.

This one is my mom's.  She isn't a chicken; she just likes them.

When asked which one suited me, my husband chose this one.  Not sure what to think of that, but I do love it!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

you are amazing

Angie Hunt had this little movie on her Facebook.  It is about 15 minutes long, but please watch it.  It has a powerful message.

Side note - please keep Angie and her family in prayer.  Her daddy died yesterday and she will be singing at his funeral on Friday.

This video moved me to tears.  The power of a kind word is underrated.  
But what was sad to me, was the way people took and took, but none had a kind word for him.  We all are aware of our own need for validation and I think we tend to think that everyone else must be confident and secure and not be nearly as needy as we are.  But truth is that we all want to know that we have value.  That we have something special.

About a year ago I decided that when I had a nice thought about someone that I would tell them instead of keeping it to myself.  But I've kinda forgotten.  But now is a good time to start on that again.

I think one of the worries I have is that I will sound insincere.  I thought this guy sounded a bit that way.  But maybe it's just because we aren't used to hearing positive comments.  Maybe we have been taught to suspect that there is always an ulterior motive.  Well, I don't care.  I will say nice things when I can say them from the heart and how people interpret that is their business. 

What are your thoughts?  What touched you most about the film?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I saw a study on BBC a couple of weeks ago noting the increase in loneliness and isolation in the UK.  There has been a huge change since the Seventies in how connected people feel and in the sense of community.

We don't need a study to know this.  It's happening in the US, too.  Probably every modern nation is seeing the same trend.  Some of the causes mentioned are increased student populations, people moving more often, and a general lack of trust.  Although the feelings of isolation decrease trust.

If you watch an old movie or TV show and see the neighbors visiting on the front porch and having BBQ's together, it brings a sense of nostalgia and loss.  At least for me.  I think it's sad that people have pulled apart.  

I am involved in church and a writers' group and a prayer group and the school.  But what about people who don't have any social network at all.  Most people have jobs that gets them involved with others, but I don't think close working relationships are the norm.  We've shut ourselves off and tend to keep it that way.

But how do people cope with life on their own?  I am so grateful for all of my friends and acquaintances.  

Since moving to this house, I have been trying to get to know my neighbors.  I have invited them all to a party at my house this weekend.  Been to one of their houses for lunch and another for a party.  I have never had that kind of neighbor involvement anywhere else I've lived.

If we don't build meaningful relationships with people, then why are we here?

What are some ideas you have for reaching out to your neighbors?  What can we do to help people feel connected somehow?  Loneliness is a shame.  People may not even realize what they are missing, it's become such a common thing.

What are your thoughts?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

God so loved the world

 I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, there was a certain man dressed in linen, whose waist was girded with a belt of pure gold of Uphaz.  

His body also was like beryl, his face had the appearance of lightning, his eyes were like flaming torches, his arms and feet like the gleam of polished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a tumult. Daniel 10:5-6

This is what *Jesus looked like when He appeared to Daniel.  And when John saw Him in a vision, He looked like this:

I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash.

 His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire.

 His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters.

 In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength. Revelation 1:13-16

And yet...

While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.

And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.  Luke 2:6-7

How do I wrap my head around that?

*Some believe this was an angel, but others, including myself, believe it was Christ.  

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

expanded horizons

When I lived in Colorado Springs, I could see Pike's Peak from my house.  If I stood in the right spot of my yard, so I could see through the trees and houses.  From some parts of town I could see it close up, towering and majestic.  But in my new town, I can see at least fifty miles of mountain range from my window.  And from some parts of town I can see from Long's Peak to Pike's Peak - at least one hundred miles of mountains.  I have views far beyond what I had in my old place.

My horizons have expanded figuratively, too. I have so many new friends.  New opportunities.  New church, prayer group, writers' group, etc.
But, I also get to keep my old friends because they are only a short drive away.  I've doubled my world.  My life has expanded.  It feels abundant and rich and I am grateful for my blessings!

Monday, December 1, 2008


I like noses.  I have been known to sit and admire noses.  If you catch me looking at you, I might just be studying your nose.

But it seems that most people don't like their own noses, (nose?).  I don't really like mine.  I don't hate it, but I don't love it.  It is crooked and has a funny little blob on the end.  Yet, one time I met a girl and the first thing she said to me was "You have a cute nose."  Cracked me up - still does.

I've heard other people say they dislike their nose and usually it's a nose that I've been admiring.

My cousin Q has a nose that I really like, and yet, small children have said rude things about her nose.  I guess it's all relative.

I like noses with personality.  Long straight noses are nice.  I also like roman noses. There are many perfectly good noses that don't catch my attention.  Too run of the mill.  Little perky noses are likely to go without my notice.   I like a nose that makes a statement.  Not sure what that statement would be...

What about you?  Do you like your nose?  Do you hate it?  Or is it just something you live with?