Thursday, February 28, 2008

All in the Name of Love

“Excuse me, will you please look into the camera?” the agitated photographer asked.
“I need you to look into the camera, Miss!” he said.
Purposely looking over my left shoulder with my eyes closed, the photographer finally took the picture. I wasn’t in a very cooperative mood so he finally settled for a profile shot. There’s something about a policeman trying to get you to pose for a mug shot that is very upsetting.

It all began on a hot summer night in 1997 when the big breakup happened between me and my then boyfriend, Gene...
Having two children and a tattoo bearing his name, I took our breakup very hard.
Especially when he started seeing other people.
One night our kids stayed over at my parents; so after going out with some co-workers, I decided to pay Gene a visit. I noticed the other woman, whom I call Rebound, was there. I finally persuaded him to come outside so we could talk and after arguing for a few minutes, what happened next is still out of my realm of thinking.
I ran into his house, locked the deadbolt leaving him outside. In his bedroom there was Rebound sitting on his bed on the comforter I had purchased for him. Following an exchange of words, we got into a cat fight. I could hear Gene knocking on the door and ringing the doorbell trying to awaken his sleeping roommate, so when Rebound ran from the room, I ran out the back door. I quickly got in my car and sped off.

Instead of going home though I returned to the crime scene. I parked down the street and snuck up to his house. I stood on the tips of my toes trying to see through the blinds covering his bedroom window. I wanted to see if Rebound had let Gene back into the house and if she did I wanted to know if he was comforting her...
on the comforter I had purchased.
I could hear them talking, but was having a hard time seeing anything.
Then I looked down and there it was. Lying on the ground was a big block. Instead of standing on it for a better view, I hoisted the heavy cement block up over my shoulder and sent it crashing through the window.
For a brief moment, I felt some sick gratification in hearing Rebound scream from the shattering glass and blinds ripping out of the wall. I felt like I was on a re-run episode of COPS as I again ran to my getaway car. This time I took myself home as I felt I had worn out my welcome . I didn't even think of returning to the location of my crime of passion. I'm sure Gene was probably a little mad at me by now.

I was so freaked out at myself as this was not normal for me. I quickly changed into my pj's, and hid under my covers. I felt so ashamed and then my doorbell rang. Looking out my window I saw a police car parked in front of my apartment.
I couldn't believe Gene called the cops on me!
I opened the door to two police officers as I tried to act like they woke me up.
“Miss Jane, we are placing you under arrest.”
Shocked I gasped and said “For WHAT?”
“For trespassing, vandalism, disturbing the peace and assault. Will you please get dressed so we can take you downtown?”

The ride to the police station was very quiet. So many thoughts were racing through my mind. Thoughts such as:
4 tickets in one night?? I've only gotten speeding tickets before...
How did this happen?
How am I going to explain this to my parents and my kids?
Should I call Gene with my one phone call?
These handcuffs are so tight…

After a few deserved hours in jail my aunt bailed me out and back home I went with my 4 tickets and no man. A few days later we apologized to each other and Gene was able to drop only 3 of the tickets because in Nebraska assault is a ticket that can't be dropped. So, for the next year I was reminded of my night with Rebound as I endured the diversion program. In order to get my clean record back I had to go through many hours of serving my community and lots of counseling. After an entire year of meeting all of the requirements successfully, the state finally forgave me.
Things got better as Gene came to his senses and stopped seeing Rebound immediately and admitted that I am the only woman for him.
I like to think I didn't scare him into loving me as others have suggested.
I didn’t even have to get my Gene tattoo removed, because two years after that crazy night, I walked down the aisle to marry my best friend.
Since that night so long ago, we've both re-committed our lives to Jesus, bought a home, added another child, a dog and now have a granddaughter on the way.
Life is good.
As for Rebound, we too forgave each other and last I knew she's somewhere in Florida.
My sincere hope is that she lives happily ever after far away .
OKAY...that's just a glimpse of the ugliness of my past.
I can't believe I acted like that!
I share this with you because when I gave my heart back to Jesus He took me as is.
No hesitation on His part.
I didn't have to "clean up" my mess of a life before He wrapped me in His arms.
He didn't require me to go through any program first before my slate was wiped clean because Jesus has already gone through the diversion program for me.
He took my place for what I deserved.
Dying on the cross was what He did so that I could escape going to hell.
Jesus took my place in the Eternal Diversion Program and to Him I am thankful.
~Many Blessings~

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

No shoes. No shirt. No number? NO SERVICE

The beginning of January I had to go downtown to the government building to pick up the tax forms I needed for the company taxes from the IRS office. I first went through the 3 man security check at the front door and once cleared, I found the office I needed.

I picked a good time of the morning to go as the IRS office was completely empty. Metal shelves against the walls held every form possible and so the search began for the green form I have used once a year for the past 8 years. where to be found.

So, I turn around and go up to the only person sitting at his desk. He doesn't acknowledge me so finally I say, "Excuse me, I was wondering if you knew where the FUTA tax form is?"

Without looking up, he says, "You need to take a number."

I looked around at the empty office and said, "Really? I'm the only one here."

Still not looking up he said "Ma'am, please get a number so I can help you."

I started laughing and mumbled something under my breath about wasting tax dollars as I ripped a number off and went and stood in line.
Again. By myself.

Finally, he stood up, reached his hand for the number and so I gave it to him. He crumpled it up and threw it in the garbage can as he asked, "How can I help you?"

I just laughed as I said, "That was pointless."

Arguing, he said, "No ma'am that is how the government keeps track. How may I help you?"

Keep track of what????

I just smiled. Asked my question. Found my form.

Then pushed my way through the crowd to the exit door.

Aren't you so happy that when we have a question for God, we aren't asked to "take a number"? And if anyone had the right to ask us to stand in line and wait, it would be Him.

Glad it's G-O-D and not I-R-S we have to turn to on a daily basis!

Jeremiah 29:12

Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

~Many Blessings~


Monday, February 25, 2008

Move It!

First of all, those who wanted to know about my son Aaron's retreat-thanks for asking. He said it was "awesome and really fun!" He showed me his notes and told me they were his own, not copied and they were so good!!! This is a boy that is hungry for the Lord, but the enemy tries hard to keep him down.

In my previous post I talked of how God pencils himself into our schedules and I'm in awe of how He didn't leave out a single detail of what makes Aaron's heart beat. The policy of our church is that no leader is ever alone with a kid. Well, one of the other adults had to back out at the last minute. The guy that took his place "just happens" to be Aaron's favorite pastor in our church, Pastor Solo. I love how God works!!! Aaron can talk, play or watch basketball 24/7. Solo loves basketball. Aaron and Solo talked ball until 1am. Connection. Bonding. Solo is a man on fire for Jesus and so my son camped overnight with 2 men--the youth pastor Isaac and Solo that live, breathe and share Jesus.
My favorite note Aaron took was "Draw near to God and he will draw near to me." Oh dear Jesus, may you draw near to this God seeking child.

Oh, and good thing the "smell-good" was packed. He said the shower water smelled disgusting so I asked, but was it warm? His answer: "Mom, it smelled like rotten eggs! I'm glad I packed my cologne." I'm sure the young ladies were too. Nothing like a boy seeking the Lord that smells good! Oh dear Jesus, may he always smell like rotten eggs to these boyfriend seeking little girls!

Last week I went shopping and bought 3 pairs of workout pants. Not having the proper clothing has been my excuse for staying immobile. As I've shared before, I'm in First Place which is a weight loss program that is Christ centered. Last week, when I stepped on the scale, it revealed that Lelia had gained 2 pounds. Yes, gained. Or as says... I happened To manage to achieve an increase of.

That was last week and I still haven't made it to the gym. I have worn my pants though and I've thought about going and that in itself made me tired. Am I subconsciously determined to gain another 2 pounds this week or what? The class' weekly goal is to lose 2 pounds a week, not add for goodness sake! Bottom line, is...I can wear these workout clothes, but the weight will not drop until I move my body. I need to walk on the treadmill, lift weights, play basketball with my son, anything. I just need to move. Otherwise, the scale is going to keep going up and I'll be sad and eat.

Same thing in our walk with God. We have to move to grow. We need to be in His Word daily, we need to be listening and talking when we pray, we just need to be learning more about Jesus Christ. Our relationship with God is something we can never allow complacency in. He's just not something to get bored with.

As wearing workout clothes won't make me skinny, neither will just calling myself a Christian. We have to move to be able to be different. No matter what is going on in your life, keep walking with Him. When I used to workout on a regular basis, and I found myself getting bored I would change up my routine. If you're stuck in a "routine" with God, change it up. For example, I could do Beth Moore studies one after the other, but a few months ago I did Max Lucado's study Experiencing the Heart of Jesus and it was incredible. Change it up, just make sure to draw close instead of apart from God.

Like my son Aaron wrote down...

"Draw near to God and he will draw near to me."

James 4:8

Join me this week in making this the prayer of your heart.

~Many Blessings~


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Alone in the woods

Yesterday afternoon, I took our handsome teenage son Aaron out to our church. He was leaving with the youth group on an overnight retreat. The retreat was at Timberlake Ranch Camp which is the camp I attended when I was a kid. It's a little over an hour away and such a neat atmosphere; a bunch of cabins in the woods. I was excited that Aaron was going to be able to get away from all of us and just spend some alone time with God. At least I was hoping that was what my teenage son had in mind.

As he was packing his bag I went through the checklist with him ...
Change of clothes? Yes
Pj's? Yes
Bible? Yes
Pillow? Yes
Sleeping bag? Yes
Cologne???? Yes mom cologne.
I questioned the cologne since he was going to the woods and suggested tooth products instead. After spraying his neck with what he calls his "smell good", he re-packed the cologne, but thankfully asked me to get his brush and paste for his teeth.

About an hour before departure time the youth pastor called us and said Aaron was going to be the only guy going due to some last minute cancellations. The pastor told us that Aaron could invite a friend for free, but the friend he wanted to take was sick. I'm a firm believer that sometimes God arranges our schedule and pencils Himself in. This thought excited me as I pictured God and Aaron having one on One time together with no distractions.

As we pulled into the church parking lot, I told him I'd be praying for him. He smiled and said, "Mom, if I were you...I'd be worried. I'll be the only guy this weekend. I look good, I smell good and I'll be alone in the woods with girls." He laughed as he tried to wink at me. I laughed and slapped him on the back of his head, kissed him goodbye and sent him off. What I saw as a "no distraction weekend", he was viewing as a "no competition weekend".
Oh Lord...

This morning I got to thinking about and praying for my Aaron. Even though I know he was just teasing me, I thought of how often I do that. God works it out to have me all to Himself and my mind is just not on Him. I wondered...what have I missed out on?
How many encounters with my Heavenly Father have I missed because I've been self-centered?

God wants your undivided attention and so when He clears your schedule and writes His name into the empty spaces, don't miss your appointments with your King.
The thought that the Creator wants alone time with me, just makes me crumble.

~Many Blessings~

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Oh Happy Day...and night!

I've mentioned praying for certain changes to happen within me as I'd like to have a life that reflects the fruit of having the Spirit dwell within me. Things such as patience, self-control...believe there's 7 others mentioned in Galations, but I just pick one fruit off the vine at a time.

Well, a few weeks I got a new cell phone and the guy tried to transfer all of my contacts for me, but had no success. He told me to try the other store, so I did.

The fresh out of high school, very happy hostess greeted me and asked me if she could help me. Trying to sound equally joyful, I told her what I needed as I handed over both my old and new phones. On my new phone I had only programmed in the numbers of my family, knowing I'd be getting the rest transferred soon. On my old phone I had roughly 140 numbers programmed.

At least three times she repeated which phone she was transferring the numbers from. Big job in the hands of the young hostess. Did I mention she was happy?

A few minutes later, numbers successfully moved over, she returned and handed me my phones. I thanked her and back to her hostess podium she happily went.

I started looking through my contacts on my new phone. All five of them! Okay, maybe the other 135 are still camping out on the old phone. Flip open that one, check the contacts. Five contacts. Wow. Blood pressure rising.

I started to say something when I remembered that Miss Lelia decided to pray for not only patience, but I had decided to pray for my tongue. See, it's very sharp. As a matter of fact, this description I found on the web of a Ginsu knife describes my tongue perfectly: Ginsu Knives are legendary for their ability to cut through just about anything and stay sharp.

Whether you're a 43 year old man or 6 year old child, my words can slice you apart whether it's deserved or not! So, I've been praying for the tongue to not be so quick to let the words roll from it when found in frustrating situations. So far so good.

Until God sent happy go lucky Sprint girl my way. Oh, how I wanted to tear into this little girl and burst the happy bubble she was enclosed in. Like I said before, she confirmed minimum 3 times which phone she'd be transferring numbers from and to; so I was in a little disbelief when she did it wrong. Had she been distracted by greeting someone else and multi-tasking isn't her strong skill? In her defense, both phones are black. NO, there is just no excuse. All I know is I had no numbers, except for my loved ones. Not a huge crisis at all, but a frustrating moment in Lelia's world.

As I made my way to the nearest exit, the happy Sprint girl noticed me and asked "Is there anything else I can do for you?", as her voice went higher with each word. I just smiled and sweetly responded, "No honey, you've done enough. Thank you." And as I made my great escape, she threw in one for the road..."Have a great night!!"

Friday night.
Older kids gone.
Little one to bed.
Hubby snoring with remote in hand.
Lelia getting carpal tunnel from punching contacts into new phone.
Spunky Sprint girl fast asleep resting for another busy day as the
Hostess with the Mostest.
What a great night.

Think I'll be taking a break of asking God for any specific change in my life as I have finally caught on to how He does things.

I pray and ask for change
He listens and teaches
I think I've got it
He wants to see if I really do
I hit the streets
He puts Sprint girl in my path
I almost cuss her out
He reminds me what I asked for
I smile, bite down on Ginsu tongue and leave Sprint girl in one piece
He smiles and gives me a thumbs up
We all live happily ever after

Oh Lord, I love your ways. You make me want to do better. I just lift happy little clueless Sprint girl up to You today and ask that You please help her to have a great night! And please give her the day off next time I need to get some help with my cell phone. Amen.

~Many Blessings~

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lived, Loved, Laughed With...for A Long Time

Today I rejoice with my parents, Acey and Linda as they celebrate 38 years of marriage!
Mom, that's 13,870 days and nights to be exact!

I love everything about my parents.

To others they're Acey and Linda.
To my sister and my husband and I they're Mom and Dad.
To my kids they're Grandma and Grandpa.
To my granddaughter on her way they'll be whatever she calls them.
To many foster children they're Mama and Papa.
To God they are His delight.

If for any reason they would've called it quits in their marriage, it would've been during my late teenage years. Sometime in my early teen years I grew to hate these two people. I constantly threatened them with a move across the county as I schemed to move to Florida from Nebraska immediately after high school as they would just roll their eyes at their jobless, no car of her own, broke daughter. Needless to say, there were no palm trees in their basement which is where I lived until my 20's.

I was a rebel with literally no cause and continually wreaked unnecessary havoc in their home with the selfish choices I made that effected everyone within arms length. I was just impossible. Their love child gone bad. A child that makes a couple wish they would've never met.
I was an ungrateful creep on the vacations they took us on every year which is why to this day my Mom will not travel more than 1 hour away from home with me. I've been forgiven, but my actions never forgotten as her stroll down memory lane always takes her down the highway traveling with her teenager from hell.

It wasn't until I was older that the feelings of hatred I felt toward my parents finally dissolved and my feelings of appreciation and love tucked deep inside my heart

As a little girl I'd stand on top of the love of my life's work boots as he led me around while I held on tight to his hands. As a mom of two and a new bride, I again held on to my first love's hands. He led me around the dance floor as I apologized to how I treated him and my Mom for so many years.

Funny how when you have kids of your own the way you look at your parents is through different glasses. Suddenly the wisdom they offered to their troubled teen doesn't seem so stupid to their adult child striving to grow up.

The first family vacation Gene and I took with our kids was to Florida. I remember how excited I was while planning every detail of the trip and then it hit me. I called my Mom and told her how sorry I was for all the trips I ruined. My parents always took us to the neatest places and I'd always protest having to go. Feeling kidnapped, I would make it my mission to inflict misery upon my fellow travelers.
It just made me sad because as an adult, I finally understood the sacrifice, time, planning, and money it takes to travel with a family to the next town let alone a different state. She assured me I ruined nothing but my chances of getting to travel anywhere with them ever again.
In life.

Last fall when we found out of our teenage daughter's pregnancy, these two people comforted, cried with, prayed over, laughed with and loved my little girl. Now I know how they felt when I got pregnant at 19. I now know the emotions they felt. From heartache to joy, from anger to hope, from feeling a closeness to God to pressing against His holy chest like my life depended on it. From normal life to welcoming new life. From dreaming for my daughter to dreaming for two. From passive prayers to passionate prayers.

When times get tough in my marriage I've learned from the best to stick it out and depend on God. When finances are tough, I've learned to keep tithing and depend on God. When my kids do things that rock my world, I know to depend on God. When I take a beating from the demands of life and want to walk away from the people I love the most
it's God I depend on.
I have learned so much from my Mom and Dad.

I've learned to...
fight for my marriage in the middle of a fight
love hard instead of hardly love
stay on the narrow path when the wide one looks appealing.

I've watched as they...
rode off on their Harley's together
kissed and hugged
laughed and cried.

I've listened when...
they've laughed together until it hurts
she's lovingly called him "Mr. Man"
they've prayed together.

I've seen reality when...
they've sought the Perfect God in an unperfect world
Dad traveled and Mom never worried if he was cheating
they did let the sun go down on their anger.

They've allowed me to see 38 years of love, laughter, faithfulness, trials, tears, anger, forgiveness, friendship, heartache, healing hearts, support of the other's dreams, devotion to each other and most importantly I've seen a couple that deeply loves the Lord.

Mom and Dad, thank you for showing me what to expect in marriage and motherhood. Thank you for always being there for me and for still being there for me. Thank you for loving me when I was unloveable. Thank you for faithfully serving God in the ministry of foster care even when your hearts have been ripped out when kids leave after loving them for 2 years. Thank you for how you love my husband and our kids.
I thank you for never throwing in the towel on "Acey and Linda" when leaving and buying a new set of towels would have been so much easier. Thank you for showing me what "for better or for worse" looks like. Thank you for accepting Jesus into your life and never stopping your chase of Him. Thank you for putting Jesus above one other.
Thank you for giving me a desire to be with my man for 38 years.

I love you both.

Happy Anniversary.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Truth be Told

Right now, I'm trying to convert some old habits that have caused body expansion into some new healthy habits that in time will make me shrink. It's a tougher task than I thought it would be simply because I'm not cooperating with myself and doing what I should be doing on a daily basis.

I say I want to make changes, but my everyday actions don't see eye to eye with my verbal goals. How then when I stand on the scale, can I be disappointed at the number that glares back at me? Any sane person knows she can't sit on the couch day after day eating ice cream and expect any positive results from her choices. Too see the changes I desire, I have to change the way I do things in my life.

This morning I had an awesome time in God's Word. I'm currently doing the
Beth Moore study, The Beloved Disciple. One thing she said this morning was exactly what my heart needed to hear. I've been struggling the last few weeks with having consistency in God's Word and during those dry spells is when I get hit the hardest by the enemy with things from my past. Here's what God had me hear this morning...

"Our denial just keeps us in bondage. It is truth that sets us free. When we are in bondage and we want to trust in that oppression, we will back off from His Word because we know good and well He's going to tell us the truth and we don't want to hear it."
~Beth Moore~
(Beloved Disciple study: session 5 audio)

Right now I'm in First Place, which is a Bible-based weight loss program that meets weekly. Now, do you think I want to attend my meeting on Thursday nights if I haven't done what I need to do throughout the week? I back off from wanting to go to my meeting because I know the scale is going to tell me the truth.

Same thing in my spiritual life when I'm not in God's Word. When I flirt with the enemy I will back away from reading God's Word because as we know, God is a teller of truth. When we are fooling ourselves the last thing we want is to be told the truth. The times that I choose to be idle instead of exercise and eat nothing but junk,
I don't dare ask my husband if I look fat in something, because I've learned that he will sweetly tell me nothing but the stinkin' truth.

My sweet sisters in Christ, may we make the time everyday to dive face first into His Word and breathe in His holiness, soak in Him and allow His Living Word to fill us up. When we seek Him daily, THEN we will begin to see the changes within us that we could've never imagined possible.
Love to you...

~Many Blessings~

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Grant me patience Lord...NOW pretty please.

Two weeks ago I told you about my couch from God. What I didn't tell you, is that My Man's back went out while moving it. Poor thing has been on the couch ever since. Up for two different doctors appointments, an MRI and back down for rest. I've showed much grace by not reminding him that he's resting on the couch he almost didn't let me have.

I've been asking God to help me with patience as it's been running as thin as melting ice these last 2 weeks. I'm fully aware that regular doses of strong pain meds, heat, ice or an abundance of his favorite foods has not brought My Man even an ounce of relief from the intense pain he's feeling 24/7. The MRI revealed 3 bad discs, so in March he'll have a procedure then possibly surgery unless God does some healin'!

So, why is it that when I'm trying to cook, clean or write, does his request for a glass of water sound worse than the screeching attempts of a horrible violin player? I took Beth Moore's advice and started to pray for what I lack---patience. In no way do I want My Man to feel like My Burden, because Lord knows, through having babies and a severe sprained ankle, he's had his fair share of playing caretaker to me.

So yesterday, while driving, I'm stopped by a school bus. I start to tap on my steering wheel in frustration as there are no kids exiting the bus. Just waiting and wasting my gas and time. "COME ON kids, hurry up and get off the bus for goodness sakes!" Doesn't this bus driver know I'm a busy woman with things to do? It's freezing outside and I want to get back to my warm house! I don't have time to wait for this bus. I can't believe traffic has to stop for this. HURRY UP!!

That's when I saw who traffic was stopped for. Through my instant tears, I watched a young teenage boy with such a look of determination on his face as he wheeled himself off the bus. I wondered if he was cold as I waited in my warm car as he wheeled up a ramp. I wondered if he noticed the rows of stopped vehicles waiting on him. Was anyone inside to greet him as he opened the front door and rolled over the threshold? All I could do was muster a pathetic apology to God as I was now the one holding up traffic as I watched until the front door closed.

Patience. God will give us what we want, it just may not come to us the way we want. He's not going to just hand it over to us, He wants us to learn it and will be patient with us until we cooperate. If we pray for God to give us patience, we'll find ourselves in a situation that requires us to be patient. As we mature, we'll recognize the moment and eventually sieze it with the right response.

A few hours later, minutes before bedtime I hung a calendar on Alivia's wall. I had bought her the cutest Max Lucado's Hermie calendar earlier that evening. I left the room..

"Mom, why does Lincoln have a birthday?" (We live in Lincoln, Nebraska)
"What are you talking about?"
"My calendar says Lincoln's birthday on it."
"Oh, that's the President Lincoln honey, it's his birthday, not our cities."

I come back into her room, we say prayers, I love you's, kisses, hugs, and a tuck. Then I turn and see the cutest Max Lucado's Hermie calendar hanging on her wall with circles. Five of them. Big and sloppy. In green marker.
"Alivia! Why did you do this? Look how messy your new calendar looks now!"
Untuck, sit up and innocently looks at Mom with no patience...
"I wanted to circle all of the important dates."
I wanted to tell her that she doesn't even know what Ash Wednesday is, but then the young determined boy wheeled across my mind and I just couldn't.
"I love it Alivia, it's beautiful."
I love you's, kisses, hugs, a tuck and away No-Patient Mom goes.

Okay, Lord. I get it!. You're just going to keep pitching to me until I hit the ball, right? Ugggh!
And to think once I get patience down He'll probably want to work on love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness. Maybe He'll let me skip self-control...

Oh Lord, did you know when you chose me that I'd be so much work?
Thank Yourself that you have patience!

Well, ladies I had my 1st giveaway and it was soooooo much fun. Thank you all for your wonderful comments-you all are such a blessing and I've enjoyed visiting your blogs. I had my lovely daughter Alyssa draw a name for me and the winner of the Valentine's Day Giveaway is...EMILY!

Enjoy your new book written by Lysa TerKeurst called "What Happens When Women Say Yes to God". If any of you haven't visited Lysa's blog before, please go now, come back, but go visit her. You'll feel like you've known her forever as God has blessed her with the gift of making any sister from any walk of life feel comfortable. You'll laugh, sometimes cry and any desire you have to know Jesus will increase after spending time with her, for she is one contagious woman of God!

So, congratulations Emily on being the winner of my 1st bloggy giveaway! Send me your e-mail so I can get you Lysa's book, the hand lotion and the Lip Appeal sooner than later.
Thanks again for everyone who entered. We'll do this again real soon!
~Many Blessings~

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Too young too smell this old...

For years I whined about how my husband didn't get me anything for Valentine's Day. He stood firmly on his ground of not feeling any pressure from Hallmark to buy me something. So I would pout and be mean to him and have a dessert with peanut butter in it since he hates PB.

Then his heart softened and he began to realize how much he loved me and how much he hated peanut butter ice cream. So finally he gave in and delivered a bouquet of flowers to me at work. While my co-workers swooned over how sweet he is in front of him and his chest puffed out because he believed them, I took my beautiful flowers and felt I had accomplished the change in him I had longed for.

See my Dad set Gene up for failure. When I was a little girl not so long ago, my Dad would either have waiting for me in the morning a card and usually a flower and candy or he would come home after work with something in hand. Being the only love of my life then he showered me with lots of love on Valentine's Day. Then along came Gene and nothing. No card, no chocolates, no candy, no nothin', just an attitude. So, for me to all of a sudden get flowers, in public mind you, was a huge victory for Lelia.

Then came the year of the perfume gift. A beautiful box, perfectly wrapped by a professional gift wrapper woman I could tell. I opened it up and it looked like a box of candy. So pretty I almost didn't open it. But, I did and boy was I surprised.

Newly conformed Valentine's Day Man watched as I opened his gift. A box of perfume...Forever Elizabeth by Elizabeth Taylor. Gulp. Pretty box, I thought with confusion. "Yumm." is the only approval I could give my Valentine as he watched me smell it. All I could picture was this elderly woman standing next to her friend Michael Jackson and now I was going to smell like her. An 80 year old washed up movie star legend and I was going to smell just like Elizabeth...forever.

What woman in her 30's wouldn't want to smell like that? I could hear my friends...
"Oh Lelia...what are you wearing?"
"Forever Elizabeth by Elizabeth Taylor." I would proudly answer.

I just couldn't imagine saying those words to my girlfriends who wore hip perfumes such as Ralph Lauren, Dolce & Gabanna, Victoria's Secret...but not one of my girls smelled like Liz. But me. I did. I will because I had trained him for this day. I had cried, begged, pouted and hoped for this day. So I sprayed some on my wrist and told him I loved it.

Then he said something that wasn't even in his training, he just learned it on his own. Words spoken that sounded so much sweeter than the words "Be Mine" that I thought I wanted to hear. As he grabbed for the remote control, he said, "The sales lady told me to get this for you honey. I didn't even smell it, so if you don't like it you can exchange it for something else. I just liked the box."

Of course, my guy liked the box, not the scent of Liz!!! Thank you Lord for watching over me and yet making me feel like the most blessed girl on that Valentine's Day!! I finally had an arrow shot through my heart...a stinky one, but an arrow from my cupid asking me to be his Valentine. Needless to say, I returned it and bought some lovely perfume from Dolce & Gabanna called Light Blue. I smelled beautiful and my guy loved it...more than the box it came in!
One thing I've learned is that this guy loves me and a card that ends up in a drawer or a bouquet of flowers that eventually dies or chocolate that expands my waist will not prove the love he has for me. While I'm not saying that these things aren't nice, I'm saying they don't prove he loves me anymore than he did February 13th. The man is just crazy about me and no stinky perfume can prove that!

Okay, for Valentine's Day I am having a give away!
All you have to do is leave a comment on my blog. If you don't have a blog you click on the anonymous button and leave it that way. I just need your e-mail address so I'll be able to get in touch with the winner.

So here's the give away...
1.) I love this woman's call from God on her life and I daily visit her blog. Lysa TerKeurst. She is a wife, mom, speaker and author and I'm giving away her book, "What Happens When Women Say Yes to God." Please go visit her blog if you haven't already...she's awesome and she too is having a contest.

2.) You have to have "kissable" lips on Valentine's Day just in case you get "Forever Elizabeth" from your man then you will have soft lips to thank him with. So, I'm giving away Lip Apeel from BeautiControl. It's an incredible "mask" for your lips and also comes with a lip balm to make them soft.

3.) You have to have soft hands in case you get "Forever Elizabeth" from your man so when you wipe away your tears you won't scratch your cheek from having rough hands. So, I'm giving away a big tube of BeautiControl's Regeneration Extreme Repair Hand Therapy. I use it everyday and it is incredible hand lotion.

So,there you go. Post your comment. The contest will end at midnight tonight, February 14th and the winner announced on Friday. So tell your friends to visit me and enter to win some awesome stuff! Oh, and don't forget to visit Lysa's blog too~you'll be blessed, I promise. UPDATE: Contest is extended: will end midnight Friday, February 15th & the winner announced Saturday instead!

Enjoy your day and remember...if you get a gift from your boyfriend, fiancee or husband that leaves you saying intelligent things like "Yumm" probably trained him for this moment in time, so smile and receive your gift with much joy! If you get nothing, like I did for many years, be thankful...acting happy while in shock is tougher than you think!
~Many Blessings~

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Daily Bread special is good, but I'll try the Dead Rat dinner instead...

I have a close friend who resides in Atlanta, Georgia. Let me tell you our story of how we met & tell me God didn't orchestrate this meeting here in Nebraska...

In 2004, I was listening to a program on Family Life that her husband Raymond was on talking about a book he had just written called "Changing for Good". It sounded like something I needed in my life so I ordered it that day. A few days later I went and picked it up at the bookstore and literally, couldn't put it down. I was working the night shift that week watching over a man in the hospital, so while he slept I read for a few hours. I started reading it Monday night and by Thursday night I was finished. (This is a book I HIGHLY recommend.)

That Friday night my husband and I attended our first Family Life Weekend to Remember conference. I was flipping through the program book looking at the bios of who our speakers were for the weekend and couldn't believe it when I saw the names Raymond and Donna Causey. I had just read this guys' book after listening to him on the radio and now I was going to hear him and his wife speak for 2 days! Little did I know what God had in store for me.

Turned out that Raymond had a conflict in his schedule and couldn't make it, but his wife Donna was able to keep her commitment. She spoke to the woman on Sunday morning and I'll never forget meeting her afterwards. I introduced myself and I said, "I just finished reading your husband's book." Suddenly my head lowered so quickly in shame that my chin was resting on my chest. The tears started to flow as I shared my why of reading her husband's book and what I desired about me to "change for good".

She took my hands in hers and said, "We need to talk. Come find me after the conference." As I looked up, I saw so much sincerity in her eyes that after the conference I went to the back where she was. We sat and talked for over an hour while my husband took a siesta on a couch in the lounge. We talked like we were old girlfriends catching up. I poured out my heart for the first time to anyone and she listened. We laughed, cried, hugged and prayed. Just like women of God do. Since that spring day in '04 we have been listening, laughing, crying and praying with and over one another via phone and e-mail.

We've not seen each other since the day we met, but we have formed a close friendship that will last forever. Just the other day we talked for awhile and rejoiced at the changes going on in both of our eldest daughter's lives. Her daughter Kimya is getting ready to be married the end of this month and my daughter Alyssa is due to have my granddaughter this April. New beginnings that we are both trusting God with.

Just the other day Donna said, "You know, I believe that God didn't have Raymond at that conference for a reason because I think you would have just talked to him about the book and our friendship would have never happened. I believe that."

Me too. God knew we needed to form this friendship and made the path clear for me to approach her and made her so approachable.

One of the many things I love about Donna is she is about as real as they come. She is a woman of God that will listen to what He wants her to tell me and then just tells it to me like it is. I just e-mailed her after we hung up the phone the and I told her...

"I love that God always gives you what to say to me because you always hit the nail right on the head. BUT sometimes, when my flesh doesn't feel like hearing the "truth", I wish you'd just miss hitting the head of the nail and smash your thumb!"


When we were talking on the phone she asked me about a certain area of temptation in my life that pops up out of no where at times. I told her I was having a tough time and she asked if I knew what triggered it. I told her in all honesty that when my face isn't buried in God's Word, I can expect a full blown attack. What she said to me next was so incredible...

"When we do not fill ourselves up with God's Word then we are starving ourselves and when we're hungry, we'll eat anything. We would rather sit in a corner and eat a dead rat and drink poison than starve. We HAVE to be in the Word daily and let God fill us up and satisfy our hunger."

~Donna Causey~

I have no idea what you're going through in your life, but don't starve yourself of being in God's Word on a daily basis. Read it, cry over it, memorize it, sing it, shout it, love it, speak it, share it and let it fill your heart to the fullest. Don't find yourself like I did this week sitting in the corner feasting on a dead rat. His Word is alive and meant just for you today. Get in it and see if you aren't changed by Him. He is crazy in love with you and whether you're married, divorced or single He wants to be your everything. He wants to be your year-round Valentine.

When temptation hits you...get in His Word.

When you don't like your spouse much...get in His Word.

When you can't pay the bills....get in His Word.

When you're so lonely...get in His Word.

When you're young kids are misbehaving...get in His Word.

When your teenagers are impossible...get in His Word.

When you're feeling depressed...get in His Word.

When you feel disorganized...get in His Word.

When you feel like you don't need to read the Bible...get in His Word

The great I AM is just waiting for you to get in His Word

so He can get in your heart.

~Many Blessings~


Sunday, February 10, 2008

What a Girl wants...

As you may know our teenage daughter is due to give birth in April to our first granddaughter. So needless to say, our family has had our fair share of discussions of childbirth, contractions, babies, diapers and so much more.

Much more than what I thought until the other night. I was with our 13 yr old son, Aaron & Miss Alivia, who is 6. As I pulled into Pizza Hut's parking lot, out of the blue, Alivia informed us that she was NOT going to have a baby. As Aaron was exiting the car to go get our healthy dinner, he non-chalantly said, "Livvy, you don't even know where babies come from."

Alone with her, she confidently responded to her big brother through the glass of her window seat, "Oh yes, I do."

So, I asked her "Really, from where?"

"OH, I am NOT telling you."

Arms folded, she sat in the back seat looking out her window watching Aaron wait for the pizza.

"You can tell me Liv. Where do you think babies come from?"

Giggling, she then starts to point to her private parts.
Then in a serious tone, as if we were talking woman-to-woman she says...

"But I'd much rather purrfer to have a baby that way then have my tummy cut open."

I just nodded as I thought, always good to know these things ahead of time. Way ahead of time.

Okey dokey...guess I better monitor what Alyssa & I talk about a little better than what we
have been doing. Not that we've been talking about anything bad, but some things are better left to learn later. But just in case... I'm never talking to hubby Gene again about nothin' when little girl is awake!

I can only imagine what she's taught her friends at school during recess.
Who knows what the 1st grade girls are "purrfering" now adays.

~Many Blessings~

Friday, February 8, 2008

Change is SO good!

November '86 my high school volleyball team won the state championship in our class. Was such an exciting time for our close knit team. Our victory was so inpirational that our boys basketball team won state the following year. Tomorrow night the school is going to honor the 1986 volleyball champs and also the 1987 boys basketball champs during half time.

So, Saturday night you will find me along with my fellow teammates from 20+ years ago in the gym at Lincoln Christian School getting applauded by current LCS parents and students for our accomplishment. It's so nice, but at the same time if they knew what was put into earning that trophy, they'd throw us a full blown weekend of festivities...parade and all!

Oh we were so determined with our young selves to win the title of "State Champs". Funny thing is that 20 years later, it just doesn't seem so important. As a matter of fact, until I recently saw a picture of that night with the year printed on it, I always thought we won in '87, not '86! All seems so irrelevant, but at the time it was everything.

Immediately after school, we'd head to the locker room to change into our practice clothes. We'd stretch, run, jump, spike, serve, pass and do it all over again. We worked hard as a team to encourage each other and work toward a common goal and together we did it. Today I break out in a sweat just thinking about going to the gym. I wish I still had the energy to do what I did when I wore single digit clothing sizes. Things have changed.

Even though we had put many hours in the gym together, my teammates & I have gone our separate ways. I still correspond with a few of them, but I'm close to just one teammate out of ten. Even 20 years later, the relationship I have with Sheryl has changed. When we talk now our conversation is still about boys, but it's about her 4 sons and my one. We still talk about other girls, but it's about my 2 daughters and one granddaughter on the way. Things have changed between us for the better. I am so thankful that God never keeps us where we are in relationship with Him too.

August of '07 we found out our teenage daughter is pregnant. Rocked my world, but didn't shake my faith. I'm definitely not the same person I was in August. My faith has gone deeper and my love for Him is stronger. Goals have changed and even the things I talk about are different. My relationship with my Heavenly Father is no where near being in the same place that it was in last fall. Just like my relationship with Sheryl, my one-on-One with God is better. When things come into our lives whether expected or not, we have to continue to draw near to Him and like He tells us in His Word, He will draw near to us.

I'm posting 2 pictures below. The first is the team and unfortunately, I'm #9...the 2nd player from the left in the top row. The one with the bad haircut and unibrow. Funny how one big bushy eyebrow makes a girl celebrating a victory look so angry! My friend Sheryl is the 1st one on the left next to the coach and she still has the same haircut...kidding!!! Same body, but different haircut. Yes, after 4 boys she can still wear her acid washed jeans from the 80's~like gag me with a spoon! She'll probably be wearing them tomorrow night! Anyway, the 2nd picture is a recent picture taken of me by my 6 year old. She wanted me to pose, so I obliged. I'm showing this recent picture to let you know I have since learned how to wax & pluck the brow and thank God I grew the hair out. Wouldn't it be scary if I showed up tomorrow night and I still had the big brows, hideous haircut and the shiny medal hanging from my neck? Would be bordeline creepy if you ask me.

As I'm not the same physically, I'm not the same spiritually I was 20 years ago and to God I'm so thankful He keeps moving me. Keep moving with Him friends and you'll find yourself in a place you never dreamt you'd be. Did I ever imagine I'd be a Grandma before I turn 40? Nope, but I wouldn't trade where I am with God right now for anything. In April, I'll be the oh so young Grandma with good hair & thin shaped brows holding, kissing and praising Him for His beautiful little creation of my granddaughter!

~Many Blessings~


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

No Leaps of Joy

Awhile ago my little girl Alivia was sick and missed a week of school. The doctor wanted to do a follow-up so I picked her up early the first day she had returned. When she got into the van I asked her if her friends were happy to see her.

With a hint of disgust in her voice she said, "No they didn't clap or cheer or nothing." I started laughing at the visual of her friends actually doing that. "Do they normally do that when you walk into the class room?" I asked her.

"No, what I mean is that they didn't leap for joy."

I probed no more, for clearly she was disappointed at her fellow classmates lack of enthusiasm at the sight of her.

One thing I adore about God is what it says about Him in Psalm 118. Verse 1 says, his love endures forever and then again at the end of the chapter the last line of verse 29 reminds us of how his love endures forever.

To me that's so sweet to know that if we wander away from underneath God's shelter & try to live life on our own that when we finally can't stand the pit of misery and come back to our senses, the angels join our Savior in clapping, cheering & I would assume He even leaps for joy at the sight of us.

In Luke 15 when the prodigal son returned home, his father threw a party; no a huge celebration. He provided the best of the best to rejoice that his son was back home. I heard a speaker ask "why did the psalmist start & finish Psalm 118 with his love endures forever?" Her answer: because he knew if anyone could exhaust the love of God it was him, and he couldn't because of the King's enduring love.

When I look back at my walk, I'm sad at the many times I've turned my back on God, but I am more thankful that I have a Father who celebrates me when I collapse into His awaiting arms exhausted from the ways of the world. A Father who claps, cheers & leaps for joy when I call on His name. I am thankful, yet undeserving of His enduring love, but I can't imagine not having it.

Thank You Jesus for welcoming us with everlasting, unconditional love when we walk into your arms full of grace & mercy. Thank You for celebrating us.

Maybe Mrs. Anderson's 1st grade welcoming comittee needs a lesson on showin' some lastin' love! Lol...

~Many Blessings~

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

2,920 days too long...

Today's the 8th anniversary of the death of my sister-in-law Armentha "Ment" Turner. The day I held the phone to my ear 1500 miles away from my strong, former football player tough guy husband of only 6 months and helplessly listened as he cried and told me she was gone.
We found out she was sick on December 31, 1999 and 2 days later Gene and I flew to Florida and stayed a week with his family. She was in a medically induced coma, but when she heard her baby brother's voice she started moving around. Tears falling down his face he leaned over her and told her how much he loved her.
Later in the week, we went to her house that she had just moved into that summer. Since she had moved out of her Daddy's house at the age of 18, she had always lived in apartments until she built her dream home. Her dream home painted in her favorite color pink. First-time home owner at the age of 46. Built for a daughter of a King.
It was clear that she intended on coming back home, but God had other plans. The television still on and her dinner plate full of stale food sat on the coffee table. She didn't want to bother anyone so she had driven herself to the hospital.

After we returned home to Nebraska, Gene's family kept us informed of her progress. Things were looking good as she was awake and smiling at everyone. She couldn't speak because of a tracheotomy, but the sparkle in her eyes spoke volumes of encouragment to Gene's siblings.
A few weeks later, on a Sunday morning before church I felt God stongly put Ment on my heart. He wanted me to call the hospital. Gwen, Gene's oldest sister was in her room and I told her I felt God wanted us to talk to her and asked her if she would mind putting the phone to Ment's ear. Sweetly she obliged and I went to find Gene.
I found him in a corner of our basement in the dark and I quietly and tearfully observed this strong man of mine on his knees. His hands and head were raised toward heaven and he was whispering prayers to God on behalf of his sister for more life . His face was soaked with tears as He knelt before the throne of mercy and grace begging the Great Physician for a miracle. I was hesitant to interrupt such a personal cry of desperation, but eventually I tapped him on the shoulder to tell him that Ment was on the phone.
Gene talked to her and told her how much love he had for her and even prayed with her, then the kids and I took turns talking to her. Gene got on the phone once again and then handed it back to me then returned to his corner of the basement to praise His heavenly Father as I talked to Gwen briefly. I remember her saying, "I don't know what y'all said to her, but she is crying hard."
The next phone call we received from Gene's family came the next morning at 5am informing us that Ment had relapsed and wasn't responding. Gene flew back to Florida that evening and a few days later along with his family was by Ment's side when she went to be with Jesus.
To this day, Ment's death would be one of the hardest things we've had to go through as a family. A time that would bring us all closer to God. A God that chose to say "no" to our request of a miracle. A God that tenderheartedly gave one last phone call to express our love. A God who felt the aches of a little brother's heart that didn't know if when his plane landed his sister would be dead or alive. God graciously kept her alive. A God who did not lose the love or devotion of those Ment left behind.
Over the last 8 years our families' love for God has done nothing but increase. My father-in-law Willie Joe, my husband Gene, my brother-in-law Will and my sister-in-law Gwen are all serving the Lord with all of their mind, strength, heart and soul. Even though they weren't ready to let Ment go, they chose to praise Him in the middle of their pain. They chose to seek His face and thank Him for the years they did have with her.
So much loss and yet so much gain.
Sometimes God will allow something to be taken from us that we may never be able to understand. These are the times when we fall face down before Him and tell Him, in You I will trust. It is You I will lean on. It is You that I will seek. I love You and although I have no idea what You are doing here Lord, you've got every beat of my heart. You have my attention. Use this darkness in my life to let your glory shine.
Our life here is short. A vapor. Are you ready to put down your plate of food and go home to Him when He calls your name? If you have never asked Jesus Christ to take over your life and you want to know more, please e-mail me or leave a comment so I can tell you what I know of this awesome God.
The God who wants to capture your heart just like He did Ment's. I believe that as she laid in the hospital bed surrounded by the people she loved she knew that her day to see Jesus face to face was closer than what she wanted it to be, but I think toward the end she was more than ready to go home to her Prince.
I choose to believe that on February 5, 2000 God had Ment right where He wanted her...
in His arms.


Monday, February 4, 2008

Kid-free, Guilt-free, Sugar-free. What about Sad-free?

Last week my parents invited our 6yr old daughter, Alivia and our 13 yr old son, Aaron along on an extended weekend trip to South Dakota. Normally, I'd jump all over a weekend free of kids, but this time I hesitated. My husband of course, left the decision up to me.

So, I prayed about it and early Friday morning I told the kids to pack their bags because they were gonna hit the road. My hesitation was out of protecting my parents' sanity. See, Mom & Dad's ministry is foster care. They currently have three siblings in their care-7 year old Alicia, 4 year old Joe and 2 month old Maddie.

Everytime I thought of how much I'd accomplish in my kid-free weekend, I would get a vision of Mom & Dad driving down the highway for 5 hours outnumbered by kids. Two little girls who both like to be "the boss", a 4 yr old boy who loves the challenge of seeing what Grandma won't notice in her rear view mirror, a newborn who sleeps during the day and is cholic at night and a 13 yr old man-child who doesn't like any of the kids I just mentioned.

So Friday morning I had our 18 yr old daughter, Alyssa take the younger kids to Grandma & Grandpa's for me so I wouldn't have to feel guilty watching my folks try to pack 5 children plus their baggage into the SUV. Kisses planted, hugs squeezed and many I love you's spoken in my driveway and off to work I went...guilt-free.

I got excited throughout my day when my to-do list ran through my head. Instead of basketball games, breaking up sibling fights and being a taxi cab for my son, I would be painting the basement, moving furniture, cleaning, doing laundry, catching a movie with my sister and just relaxing. So much to do in so little time. I stayed at work late Friday night since I had no kids to pick up from school and my husband Gene would be at his part time job late into the night. My oldest daughter Alyssa was at a basketball game and hanging out with friends afterwards so the night was all mine.

So what's a girl to do? I decided a movie and some ice cream that I like would be my first adventure. No Cookies 'N Cream this time; I was going to pick out the ice cream I wanted without hearing "that's gross" about my choice. So I stood in the ice cream aisle at Sun Mart trying to make my decision. What happened to just chocolate and vanilla? Peanut Butter Panic, Chunky Monkey, Bunny Tracks, Cappucino Fudge Blitz....then came the loss of vision.

Yes, tear filled eyes in the middle of the ice cream aisle. Suddenly I realized I was going home to an empty house. Could it be that I missed my kids already?? It was such a weird feeling. Oh this is ridiculous! Just pick out a flavor my mind screamed at me!

As I quickly re-grouped and tried to pick out some comfort food I saw the faces of all of my new friends in the weight loss program I just started called First Place. The faces I would have to be accountable to on Thursday and explain my weight gain to. Would they understand I was going to celebrate but then got overwhelmed with sad feelings because I missed my kids and my husband wasn't going to be home to console me? Sure they will, I thought as I quickly grabbed a cold carton of Starbucks Java Chip.

I started walking away and guilt got the best of me. Being aware that my actions have been caught on tape and the security guard probably thinks he's watching an episode of Guiding Light, I returned the ice cream back to its freezer shelf. I quickly wiped my tears and went and found a much better choice to indulge in. I chose Double Chocolate sugar-free pudding to drown my sorrows in. My First Place girlfriends will be so proud of my strong will!

As I pulled in the driveway and looked at my dark, lifeless house I drug my sad self up to the front door when suddenly I realized, my son's dog is awaiting a human face to lick! I couldn't open the door fast enough as I dramatically dropped my purse and the pudding and started yelling, "KANE, KANE! I'M HOME!!" as I ran to find him. (Note to self: tell the First Place girls you exercised before snacking.)

Clearly confused over my excitement to see him the equally excited canine peed all over my wood floors as I let him lick my face. Being aware that Kane probably just finished licking his private parts, I didn't even care as I was so desperate for his love. After I cleaned up the pee, took a shower, scrubbed my face and put on some comfy pj's I grabbed my pudding & parked myself on the couch to watch TV. No Hannah Montana or sports tonight...Lifetime channel instead. I even got a little crazy and flipped the channel to the Home and Garden channel!

I still missed the kids, but I accomplished so much this weekend. With my hubby working, Saturday I began to to check off my projects one by one. I even spent some much needed time with my sister Michelle. We stole my Dad's new Toyota Trunda for the day as we rode in style to a small town and hit all the ma & pa shops on main street. Back home, I cooked her a pasta dinner and we laughed together at the movie 27 Dresses that night.

So, that was my kid-free weekend. Mom and Dad returned the children with sanity intact, and a thumbs up for behavior. At my First Place meeting this Thursday I will tell them how I made the better choice of sugar-free pudding over ice cream and not tell them how I ate all 6 little cartons before hubby got home. As Grandma would say, Heavens to Betsy!

God punished me though for my glutton act as I endured a sleepless night thanks to the Double Chocolate diarrhea I had. So mark this in your mental file of what not to do when you're sad ..."Don't eat 6 cartons of sugar free pudding in 30 minutes" or you'll sit on the toilet as Lionel Ritchie says ALL NIGHT LONG!

*2/5/08: Check out a post I just read by Debbie at Chocolate and Coffee titled "Junk Food Produces Weak Christians". VERY GOOD word! Thanks Debbie!

~Many Blessings~
*Also~Congrats to Karla at Looking Toward Heaven for winning the scholarship for She Speaks. Read her touching entry for the contest if you get a minute called "Moses had the right idea - Wherever He leads, I'll go"
I guarantee you'll leave blessed!