Monday, November 26, 2012

Change is in the Air

Q and I went to Lost Maples this weekend. It was wonderful. Walking in the woods with beautiful color. People passing and speaking in foreign languages. Sunshine. God's beauty all around.

The bright leaves on the trees and the dead leaves on ground reminded me that change is in the air. As it is in my life.
My oldest daughter is off at college. Change.
My youngest daughter is a senior in high school and trying to decide where to go to college.
My new job didn't pan out.

There are many good things that are resulting from these changes.
Avery is getting a college degree.
Ashlyn is preparing to get a college degree.
I found out I enjoy having a job. That was a little bit of a surprise after staying home for so many years.

The leaves fall so that the trees can rest before the new year. Change. New beginnings. Goodness.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

New Career for an Old Lady

God is so good.

Every year in January I ask Q if I need to get a job this year. Every year he has said, "No". Until this year. You see our oldest daughter, Avs, will start college in two weeks. Our youngest will be a senior in high school, so she will begin college next year.

So, many months ago, I started looking for a job. I applied for a coordinator at a Christian retreat center. They called and said they would call back to schedule an interview. Nothing. I applied for several secretary jobs at the school district. I applied for a front desk worker at a fitness center. I applied for paraprofessional jobs with the school district. I applied for a secretary/receptionist at the county extension agents office.

I had one interview, yes, one. The most frustrating part about all of this was that I have two, yes two college degrees. I worked for 13 years in corporate America. I have been a stay-at-home mom for 12 years while my kids have been in school.

So, I went to God in prayer. I would be all excited for a job and then not get a call for an interview. I changed my prayers from wanting a job, any job, to God give me the right job. God knew how much money we needed. God knew my skills. God knew my responsibilities at home. God knew the right timing.

Every week, I check the paper for jobs. Last week there was a Certified Pharmacy Technician job. Nothing else that looked promising. I thought "Nah". This week there were still no promising jobs in the paper, but the Pharmacy Tech job was listed again. I thought, "What the heck". I dressed casually in capris, t-shirt, and cardigan with some sandals and went to fill out an application.

Here is where it gets crazy! The interviewer talked to me for about 10 minutes and then said, "I am interested in hiring you!!!"

I told him I was interested too. He said, "Can you start at noon today!!!!!" So crazy.

Well long story short, I spoke to Q (who also couldn't believe it) and I will start my new job on Monday. They are paying me more money than any of the other jobs I applied for. The hours are great. I will train and then take a test to become a Certified Pharmacy Technician.

When I finally trusted God to provide, boy did He come through. It relieved so much of my anxiety and stress to let God figure out the details. While all of this was going on, I couldn't help but think of that old joke -
God help me win the lottery. God Says, "Buy a ticket!!"

So I faithfully applied for all jobs that seemed like a good fit. And as usual,  God provided just the right thing at just the right time!!! Thank you God!

Photo from

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Observations at 7,280 Feet

We spent last week in Colorado. We rented a condo on the Arkansas River and Q and I took four teenage girls to the mountains.

1. The setting was beautiful. Temperatures were cool. Thank you God, since we did not have air conditioning!

2. Four teenage girls can get along for a WHOLE week without fighting!!

3. Eating at a restaurant while it is pouring down rain is charming. It is not so charming for all of the parties involved though when the rain starts leaking on your table and they bring a bucket to catch the water!!!

4. Cute teenage girls attract the best tour guides!

5. July in Colorado is the rainy season.

6. Traveling with adult children is better than traveling with small children!

7. As long as there is a Wal-Mart, we can get what we need.

8. T-shirt painting is not only a do-at-home activity. The girls designed t-shirts for the zip-line tour. They said "Hold your tits" or "Hold your chi-chis"!!!

9. YOLO is not a saying in Colorado, it is a trendy clothing store we frequented.

10. If you cannot find a cool scarf to purchase, buy a cheap dress and cut it up to make a scarf when you get home.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Wild to Mild

Last summer my sister had some wild cats living under her house. My brother-in-law caught two of them for us to look at. One was Siamese and the other was solid black.

When we tried to pet them, they went crazy. Hissing. Scratching. Flailing. We decided to bring them home. Well at first, they hid in the bathroom and would hiss every time you came in. I would talk to them and they would back away with fear in their eyes.

They finally came out of the bathroom and explored the house. We named the Siamese one, Tango, and the black one, Obie.

Gradually our love replaced their fear. Now Tango likes to snuggle. She enjoys our nap in the afternoons. When I lay on the couch, here she comes to lay with me. Tango doesn't really like it outside. She has adapted to indoor life and enjoys the easy life now.

Obie likes it outside. He comes in every morning and purrs while he gets a rubdown. He has a loud meow and greets me when I go check the mail.

Thinking about these two little wild cats that have grown into loving adult cats reminded me of the power of love. God gave us this great capacity to love and be loved. What are we doing with that gift?

Are we loving others and maybe making a huge impact in their lives or are we hoarding our love for later? Are we taking the love given to us and growing with it, or are we hiding in the bathroom, backing away in fear?

Take your capacity to love and give it to others. They need it. Take your capacity to receive love and grow from it. Let God's love and the love of others be your guiding force.

As I write this, Tango is snuggling with me. Her life and mine are better because of love. Love took her from wild to mild!!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Shining Through

The last few days my devotions have been about prayer. One devotion got me thinking about how some of my prayers are recited instead of specific. When I pray for the same people or situations over and over I have a tendency to ask God for the same things.

How do I mix it up? How do I make my prayers specific and yet pray for some of the same people every day?

Each person must have multiple needs, so I should think more and recite less. For example, my Mimi is in an Alzheimer's unit of a nursing home. She is is pain and wasting away. My prayer is always God please do not let her suffer and when it is her time, please take her into your arms.

But, I could pray for:
her to have a good day,
her to eat a good meal,
her not to try to walk,
her not to fall out of bed,
her to feel the love of her family,
her to be treated sweetly by the staff,
her to have someone to hold her hand,
her to have someone to read to her,
her to feel God's love shining through her confused state.

When I thought about it, instead of rushing through my prayer time, there were many things I could pray for that would be helpful.

Whenever I see rays of sun coming through the clouds, I feel like God is shining through on me. When I am old and not myself anymore, I hope someone will pray for me to still feel God's love shining through.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Always, Continually, In All Circumstances

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I have the hardest time with these words. Rejoicing is easy when things are easy. The problem I have is rejoicing when things are difficult. I have to admit my difficulties are nothing compared to what some people are going through. The things that challenge me are a mean word, or a mean look. I know it comes with having teenagers, but it still pushes me to the edge. I suppose my behavior must frustrate God, but He never gives up on me. I must continue to try and rejoice.

Pray continually is a little but easier. As I have gotten older I find myself praying off and on throughout the day. Someone comes to mind, pray for them. Someone is mean to my kid, pray for them. I have to admit it usually takes me a moment or two to refocus from frustration to praying!!! Rock the baby who won't go to sleep, pray for them. Pray, pray, pray!

Give thanks in all circumstances, again is easy when things are easy and hard when things are hard. I have so much to be thankful for and yet those little annoyances get me off track. Pick up the cotton balls and nail polish remover again. Wash the dishes used to bake brownies again. Call, no answer again. Little things. Dumb things.

Lord, help me to focus on You. All the time. Help the mean words and looks to bounce off of me. Help my prayers to be sincere. Help me to remember all I have to be thankful for. Help my heart to be overflowing with love even when I get frustrated. In Jesus name I pray.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

One thousand gifts - more

I am continuing to log my 1000 gifts using the app on my IPhone. It is a struggle to be thankful for everything that I encounter in every moment. Like mean girls, I really have trouble being thankful for that!! I suppose the mean girls create a situation where my daughter and I can share and discuss the situation. I am thankful for that!!

As you can see I have not even reached 200 and it is now May. I need to be much more thankful!!!!! At this rate it will take me years to reach 1000 gifts!

137. Quentin and Cole in a video game match. Charlie is watching.
138. Full moon through the fog and trees.
139. "Think God" billboard on the way to SA.
140. Hunter snuggling with Chloe!
144. Powdered donuts for the kids at Mother's Day Out.
145. So much for sharing food!!!!

Friday, May 4, 2012

"He chose poorly" from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Do you remember the Indiana Jones movies? In the movie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indiana gets involved when his estranged father, Henry Jones, is kidnapped by the Nazis.The Nazis are hoping Indiana will recover the cherished Holy Grail.

The story culminates when Henry gets shot. Indiana proceeds to the room containing the Holy Grail. He is followed by and Elsa and Donovan (the bad guys). The room holds the Last Knight who has been kept alive for 700 years. The room has several rows of chalices on display. Elsa quickly chooses the most lavish chalice and gives it to Donovan so he can drink from it. He disintegrates into dust. The Last Knight says, "He chose poorly."

Indiana realizes that the Holy Grail belonged to a humble carpenter and chooses the simplest chalice. He fills it with water and pours the water on his father's wound and gives him a drink. Henry's gunshot wound heals. As they prepare to leave, the Last Knight warns them not to take the chalice past the great seal. When the chalice falls in an abyss, Elsa tries to retrieve it and falls to her death. Henry is about to suffer the same fate, when his father tells him to let it go.

Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! ’
Ezekiel 33:11

This scripture reminded me of this movie. The Lord does not want us to die as wicked beings like Donovan and Elsa did. He wants us to turn from our evil ways and live. Indiana got caught up in the moment and almost went to his death by following Elsa.

I have seen so many people follow someone else and lose their way. I have seen good people do unexplainable things when influenced by evil.
Here are some examples:
Mean comments about a parent volunteering to help with a student dinner.
Mean tweets when a "friend" wins Prom Princess.
Mean comments on FB for no reason.
Mean texts by someone pretending to be someone else.
Mean letters pointing out every annoying thing about a "friend".
Mean words seconds before the Homecoming Queen winner is announced.
Mean words and actions spurred on by jealousy.

I am not a Bible scholar, but I am pretty sure this is not what God intended for our behavior to be like. Turn from your evil ways and live. Live like God wants you to. Let that meanness go and take the high road. If you don't change your ways, you will have to account to God for your behavior. He does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked, but want us to turn from those ways and live like He intended.  

Photo credits:
Photo 1:
Photo 2:  

Movie info:

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Do Not Lose Heart

16So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (ESV)

Yea, though I walk through the shadow of the valley of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me.
Psalm 23:4

These two Bible verses were part of my devotions last weekend. It never ceases to amaze me how God knows exactly what we need.

We had been to see Mimi and when we got back in the car, I opened my devotion. I was stunned and pleased to read the words of Paul. Her outer self was wasting away, but she was being renewed day by day. What a relief! This momentary (in God's time) suffering was preparing her for eternal life. It reminded me that even in difficult times God is there overseeing all of it.

The second devotion talked about the "shadow of death". It reminded me that this unpleasantness will pass. Death is inevitable. The path to death is inevitable. Maybe there is lingering unpleasantness or maybe death finds us quickly, but either way "thou art with me". That provides me great comfort.

If you or someone you know is suffering, turn to God. He is waiting, providing, comforting.

Photo credits:
© 2012 Zarita de la Cerda Interior Design

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Another Bird?

Power belongeth unto God -
Psalm 62:11

It was a long weekend. My grandma, Mimi, is failing. My sister Donna decided that she would make a visit to Mimi. She would drive from Ohio to Missouri.

My other sister, Katie, decided she would drive up from College Station. She asked me if I wanted to "ride" with her. So at 8pm Thursday night Avery and I drove to College Station. We arrived around midnight.

The next morning, my nephews woke us up bright and early with alarms blaring!! Our plan was to drive to Missouri. It took twelve hours and about six stops!!! We got to dad's house around 8pm.

The next day we went to the nursing home. It was just heartbreaking. Mimi is very frail and slightly unkempt. Her hair is straight. She no longer does her weekly appointment to get her hair done (even in the assisted living and nursing home she always had her hair done). She does not recognize us and seems sort of lost.

We pushed her wheelchair to her room and helped her get in bed. Donna fed her some soup for lunch. She settled in and seemed to rest. I sat on the bed with her and held her hands. I told her, "I love you." She said, "I love you too." That made the whole trip worth it. I knew she always loved me, but it was nice to hear it one last time.

When we went back to Dad's, I called Quentin. Since there is no reception for my cell phone, I had to go outside. As I was standing there talking to him I looked at the shrub next to me and guess what? There was a little bird sitting there watching me. It was a baby bird and he was nervous. He sat very still as I talked and then as I took some pictures.

I think that little bird was there to remind that God was near. Even in the most discouraging situation, God was right there by my side. The power belongs to God and He supports me during the good and the bad times.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bird Watcher

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; - Job 12:7

People who know me very well know that I have a thing with birds. Not a bad thing like my sister, but a God thing. Well yesterday, it happened again, only this time it was not a Cardinal, but a Scissortail Flycatcher. I was walking out to my car from Quilt Group. All of a sudden a Scissortail Flycatcher flew near me. He landed on a branch and then looked at me. I thought I should take a picture, but when I got close he flew to a sign in the parking lot. I snapped one picture and then went on my merry way.

Well, later after Quilt Group was over, I loaded my car up and was getting ready to leave. Well here came that bird again. He got pretty close and just looked at me. Photo op! He flew to a Crepe Myrtle and taunted me. I thought, "I know I will get in my car, drive close to the bush and then snap his picture."

I ease my car close to the bush and he flies to another bush along the drive. I ease up next to the bush and this time he flies across the parking lot to a bush facing the convenience store. So, I follow him. Well, while I am trying to snap his picture, some guy across the street is walking around his trailer. He thinks I am taking his picture. Oh, yeah, big grin!!! Well that is just embarrassing. Finally the bird flies back to a Crepe Myrtle along the drive. So, I do a 360 in the parking lot and stalk him one more time.

He just sits there as a slowly get closer and closer. I took several shots. He even squawked at me. What is he trying to tell me?

The message in all of this is slow down, take some time, enjoy the beauty God has surrounded us with. God is here with us in each and every moment. He uses all sorts of things to remind us of that. What is God using to tell you that He is near?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

You're Blessed

"You're blessed when you're content with just who you are - no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought." - The Message, Matthew 5:5

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. - Bible NIV, Matthew 5:5

A good friend sent me a note yesterday encouraging me to keep writing. I have to admit the last few posts on FB have not been my words, but words from Good Morning Lord, a FB devotion. It made me pause and think about why I have not been writing.

For Lent, I decided to read my devotion every day. You heard right, EVERY DAY!! I then vowed to post one or more of the messages on FB. I did it! I only missed a day or two. The result is that I got into a new habit of reading and sharing God's word.

The bad news is that with all my other obligations, I have let my writing slip. I have a graduating senior and am busy with all of that - senior parties, dinners, graduation quilts, booking rooms, etc. So, I have relegated my writing to the back seat. But what if God is trying to use me to help others? I have just pushed God to the back seat. Whoa, not a good idea!

I am blessed to have friends who encourage me to keep doing God's work even when I am busy. I am blessed because I am content with who I am. I am blessed because God is using me to help others. Isn't that what it is really about anyway?

Note: The butterfly picture is courtesy of

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Real Life versus your Virtual Life

Well the new big thing is Pinterest. I was reluctant to get sucked into another time consuming internet group. After seeing my girls "pinning" cool things to their bulletin boards though, I have to admit, I was intrigued.

So, I requested a logon. I waited 4 weeks to be admitted as part of this exclusive group. I got my logon and had to think of a user name?? What the heck!! So I used my number one hobby and the two initials of my first name coming up with quiltbe. It had a nice ring to it. Quilt and Be. I can quilt and I can Be.

I logged on and created a few bulletin boards. I have to admit, at first, I found it completely confusing. But after spending HOURS on it, I finally figured it out!!!

I now have 16 boards and 503 pins. Can you imagine a room with 16 large bulletin boards that will hold 503 thumb tacked images??? Neither can I.

As I traversed Pinterest, I decided this was great and everything, but what was the real point? What good does it do to have all of these interests and desires, if you are not going to do anything about it?

So, I decided to step out of my virtual box and into my real box. I ordered the Jessica Simpson shoes I had been coveting on Pinterest. Yes they were expensive, yes, I am old, but I did it anyway.
I have to say though, I might have been spurred on by my teenage daughter who said, "Mom, your virtual world does not intersect with your real world" or something to that effect. I was appalled!!!

Well, that was all I needed to get me going. I bought some royal blue skinny jeans while shopping with my daughter. The sales girl, a mere teenager herself, told my daughter, "Your mom looks freaking awesome!" NOTE: this is not me in the photo below!!!

I have started a new goal. At least one day every week I will integrate my virtual life into my real life.

So I wore the Jessica Simpson shoes to a funeral on Thursday!!! I did get the worst blisters ever though!!!! I wore the skinny jeans all day last Friday. I wore my awesome hat from Carmel, California with an old crinkle skirt and crochet vest this week.

I am all about being real. I do not want to have this really cool image on Pinterest and then be this dowdy old lady in real life. So I am stepping up my game!!! How about you?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - A Beginning

It is never too late to start being thankful. As I reviewed some of my favorite blogs tonight, I saw a few tools to help me be more thankful. Ann Voscamp, as usual, is amazing. I added her app to my phone tonight.

I often think of the words she said in her book. Being thankful at all times. It is so difficult when your child is angry. So difficult when I am sad. So difficult when things do not go the way I want. But even in those moments, I reach out to God and ask for help. Help to be thankful, right here, right now.

And so my list begins.
1. My wonderful Lord who sustains me at all times through all things.
2. My beautiful sweet girls.
3. My wonderful husband, who worked to help me become a stay at home mom and still insists that I do not need to work.
4. My gift of quilting.
5. My good health.
6. My siblings.
7. My dad and stepmom, Sue.
8. The moon coming up over the pool in the backyard.
9. Toenails painted red.
10. $42/yard fabric on sale for $4/yard.
11. Tango meowing at me when I ask her, "Where is your toy?"
12. Just Dance on the XBox.
13. Teenagers at my house - eating, sleeping, talking, swimming, playing video games, being.

To be continued...

Friday, January 6, 2012

Less or More

A thought struck me this morning.

I recently heard an acquaintance talking about their Christmas break. She and her husband had decided to do a scaled down version of Christmas this year. They would buy each child a large gift valued at about $200 dollars. They would not provide other gifts at Christmas. In the spring, they would take a trip together as part of their Christmas gift.

Christmas night, the husband put the children to bed. When he came back into the living room. He told the wife that the children were mad at her. She could not believe it and blew up at him. "Those kids are so selfish!" she said. I was shocked. Who is the selfish one in this picture?

Then I heard of another similar incident. A young boy had his birthday. For his birthday, he got an $8 toy and a pair of $20 shorts. He was still out on Christmas break and spent the entire day of his birthday in the car with his dad running errands. He did get to eat out that evening and got a birthday cake, but it made me wonder, is that the best his parents can do?

Flash back to our Christmas. We spent way too much on gifts. This year, since we have teenage girls it was harder to find things they really wanted. Some clothes, some boots and shoes, some Apple accessories, a movie, $200 gift cards. We know it is over the top, but this is our last year with both of the girls living at home. Our oldest will move to college in August.

It made wonder, which is the best way to approach it? Is the "less is more" approach really better? Or does it instill the thought in the child's head that they really do not matter? Do the children wonder why the parents can afford lots of new things for themselves, but they only got one or two gifts?

Does "more, more, more" really send a better message? Does this make the children spoiled? Does this make them expect too much, and then when they don't get it, they are really disappointed?

I think both things are true. The "less" approach can weigh on the kid's mind and maybe even their heart. But I think the "more" approach can set the stage for future disappointments. Now knowing this, why do we still choose the "more" approach? I want my kids to know they are loved. I want my kids to know they are worth the effort. I want my kids to understand that giving to others is more important than giving to themselves.

I personally don't believe more is better. In this instance, I have to make an exception though. More is better when demonstrating to my kids that they are important, loved, and worth the extra effort.   

Monday, January 2, 2012


Well, we have come to the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012.

On Christmas Eve, we went to the Candlelight Service and then spent the evening with our good friends at their traditional get together. The kids are all older now, so the excitement level at opening presents is less. The thankfulness for the gifts is a little more though! Two of the kids are out of college, one is in college, two will graduate from high school this year and the other three still have several years to go. We are older now. Wiser? I hope so, but I am not sure.

It is bittersweet. The kids laugh. We all do. But in the back of my mind I wonder how long will our little get togethers on Christmas Eve really last? College, marriage, grandkids. Change will inevitably come. I am not ready for it yet. However, I know that God will help me when the time comes.

It is not that I do not want them to grow up, I do. I want them to have great careers, great marriages, strong Christian lives. But the moments of all of us sleeping under the same roof will end and that makes me a little sad.

My goal this year is to enjoy EVERY moment. Avery will graduate and move off to college. Ashlyn will become a senior in high school. Life is moving on. I am so thankful for the years we have had and the things we have shared. As things change, I ask God to help me adjust, help me embrace this with all that I am. Help me to see the positive and dwell in the possibilities of the future.

Happy New Year. Blessing to you and yours.