Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Some People Change

I don't usually watch CMT or listen to much country music. It's just a sure ticket to get my head thinking in the wrong direction. However, every now and then, a country song will come along that speaks some truth. I love how this Montgomery Gentry video gives credit for change where credit is due. Without coming right out and saying it, it is pretty clear that a tent revival is going on and that God is responsible for the changes made in these people's lives. Amen and Amen!
YouTube won't allow this video to be embedded so just copy and paste this link to watch:

Thursday, May 22, 2008


My original plan for today's blog was to post some pictures of the kid's field day at school. But, umm, there were some weather issues that are going to pre-empt that post. Mainly this tornado...

which I practically drove through. I was in Platteville on my way to pick up Max when it went through that area. There was hail like I'd never experienced. And after the hail there was a cow (injured and wandering in the highway) and a horse running loose up the highway and this truck...

I drove right past it after it had overturned. Honestly it was like being dropped right in the middle of a scene from "Twister". It was surreal and I am so thankful that I had stopped for a few minutes hoping the storm would pass. Otherwise I might have been smack dab in the middle of it. Scary stuff!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I often read Christian recording artist, Shaun Grove's Blog (Shlog). This is a piece of his writing that really hit me today...

The great American prophet Stephen King writes“...stopping a piece of work just because it’s hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel **** from a sitting position.”

Shaun continues: A “God thing”, I’m relearning is not necessarily a thing of less resistance than the thing you already know today. God’s way is not necessarily the way I feel most confident in or the most qualified to take. It’s not necessarily the quickest, smoothest, clearest, most reassuring thing.

Oh boy, did I ever need to hear that today! Thanks to my fake friend Shaun for speakin' some truth. Now, I'd better get back to shoveling.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Cleaning off my desk...

At the bottom of the pile of papers on my desk, I found some sermon quotes that I had written down a few months ago. I don't want to forget the quotes but I do want to throw away the paper...must decrease is my mission!

Solution is to put the quotes here and then put the paper in File 13.

At the bottom of Bach's manuscripts were the letters "SDG": They stood for Soli Deo Gloria meaning To God Alone be the Glory.

"Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever."
Westminster Catechism 1640


Friday, May 16, 2008

It's a Wonderful Life

Here's a little photo journal of the life of cats at our house:

They have pretty much taken over the place as you can see!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Some Confessions and a Vent

Maybe if I write about this, I can get it out of my brain and then get some work and dinner done!
Confession 1: I have let my children out of the car while double-parked in the school parking lot...on more than one occasion. This happens because there are cars parked in the drop-off area and traffic ahead of me in the "moving" lane is stopped. To wait until the traffic moves and I can make the loop again would cause my children to be tardy. And, if police were on the scene, I would deserve a ticket for it.
Confession 2: Nothing brings me to the point of road rage type frustration more than the school parking lot. I don’t like feeling forced to choose between breaking a rule or having my kids be late. Is it because I'm a stickler for following rules? Probably not. If that were true I wouldn't have had to make confession #1. Perhaps it is the lack of common courtesy that enrages me? Common courtesy says that if you are in the drop-off lane and your child has exited the car, you don't sit there and talk on your cell phone for 5 more minutes while obstructing traffic. Common courtesy parks in the parking lot when you need to go into the school building instead of leaving your car unattended in the drop-off zone. So are the violators those who double park or those who camp out in a No Parking Drop-Off Zone???
Switching gears a bit, common sense (really nothing to do with courtesy) says that you don't put your child in danger just so you can get them picked up from school faster. This isn't a double parking issue but a crossing the street where there is no crossing while parked in a No Parking Zone issue. Which leads to my next confession:
Confession 3: I almost hit a child while driving up the road to school this afternoon. It was a child I know, whose mother I know and dearly love. However, this mother is choosing to park in a No Parking Zone and have her child run (between parked cars) across the street. She darted out from in front of a parked SUV right in front of my van. If I'd have been going the speed limit (I was going slower) I would have smashed her.
Vent: I was upset when I retrieved my children so a teacher came to check on me. I told her what had happened and she suggested that I report it to the principal and also the police. (The road that the child ran across is a city street and under police jurisdiction.) She said that the police had recently been at the school cracking down on the double parking issue. (See Confession #1). I was too upset to talk to the principal - at that moment I would have been sobbing and embarrassing my own children! So I drove home and calmed down and made my call to the police station. Officer So and So could really not have been any more disinterested in what had happened. He even had the audacity to say, "Well, did you hit her?" (I wish I would have said, "Yep, and she is still laying there in the's your sign!!) But I didn't and he could tell by my silence that I was fuming. "Is there anything else I can do for you ma'am?"
"Yes, as a matter of fact, you can not just blow me off!" I really did say that (to a police officer) and then proceeded to tell him how we had meetings with other officers, school crossing guards, the principal, and city planners last year about this very issue and nothing is being done.
Bottom line is, do we really give a flip that our school parking lot is an accident waiting to happen? After all, there are meth labs and presidential elections and gas prices to worry about. Do a few violations in a parking lot really matter in the grand scheme of all there is to be up-in-arms about? To me they do. They matter because today I could have hit a precious child who I adore. A precious child who has been at my house for play dates. (I have sewn patches on this little one's Brownie vest for heaven's sake.) And for the rest of my life I might have had to live with the fact that I injured or even killed a child because a simple parking lot rule was ignored. To me that matters. I hope to her mother it matters. I wish it mattered more to the people who make the rules and now fail to enforce them.


Just a little administrative note:

I've had to turn on "Comment Moderation". This means that if you leave me a comment it won't appear right away in the comment section. I have to "approve" the comment first and then it will appear. So all of you nice friends will see your comments eventually appear. All of you evil "friends" who try to send me viruses or weird links in your comments, well, you are going in the trash.

That is all...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

She's a Good Girl, Loves Her Mama

This morning I was walking and praising along with Travis Cottrell when my ipod suddenly flipped to Tom Petty's "Free Fallin". I just love how the first lines of the song describe my blue-eyed girl and her kitty whose name is Elvis...

"She's a good girl, loves her mama
Loves Jesus and America too
Shes a good girl, crazy bout Elvis
Loves horses and her boyfriend too"

Well, except the boyfriend part. She's not allowed to have one of those until she's 33...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Begin the Music

Max is helping to lead worship at Cowboy Church this morning (at his rodeo in Eagle).

Several of us pitched in to get him an acoustic guitar for Christmas this year and he has "bonded" with it to say the least. He can pick and sing a mean "Folsom Prison Blues" and lots of Chris Ledoux, but he has also added some Skillet and Third Day into the mix. (That's what he will do this morning - not Johnny Cash :-) )

How many emotions can a mother have at one time?? Pride, joy, fear...

I've been trying to pray for him but it comes out more like begging:

"Please Lord, please let it be a positive experience so that he will want to do it again."

"Please help a 15 year old see that worship is all about You and for You and not so much about him. "

Psalm 81:1-2: Sing for joy to God our strength; shout aloud to the God of Jacob! Begin the music, strike the tambourine, play the melodious harp and lyre.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

It's Just Not Every Day...

*Disclaimer*: This post is not for the faint of stomach!

Okay girlfriends, let's face it, when it comes to getting grossed out, we females are usually on the receiving end.

Like when my little punk brother went duck hunting and then proceeded to chase me around our parents' house with the dead mallard - all the while squeezing it's throat so it would quack at me.

There was my first trip into a fraternity house in college where the carpets wreaked of spilled and rotting beer - that's a smell that just never quite leaves the memory.

And the time when I was pregnant with Blue and Buford was producing some kind of green methane fog under the covers. I had a meeting with Ralph that evening if you know what I mean.

And most recently, when my loving Buford (who works in the meat industry) said, "Hey honey do you want to see some pictures from a slaughter house in Iraq?"
"Will I be grossed out?"
"Probably." he answered.
I wanted to be a supportive wife so I looked: EEEWWWWW! (shudder)

But tonight...tonight I believe I may have turned the tables a bit. It was innocent enough. I just asked Buford to help me empty some trash cans that were too heavy for me to lift into the dumpster. The backdraft of the odor from the contents of the trash cans had him gagging and retching in the backyard. I should have warned him to hold his breath but I believe the chuckle I got was worth it. Suddenly the shoe was on the other foot and the "ungross-out-able" one was thoroughly grossed out!

Would you like my recipe? Let's call it "Trash Can Stew" and here's how to make it:

60 pounds of grass clippings and pulled weeds
20 pounds of dog poop
5 or 6 overgrown summer squash from the garden
A piece of broken soaker hose

Beginning in late summer, place the above ingredients into 2 large Rubbermaid Trash bins. Pack down real good in case there is room for some various other ingredients like leaves or mushy tomatoes. Fill the trash cans so heavily that it becomes impossible for you to lift them into the dumpster or carry to the curb for pick-up. Then, in the fall, forget to ask your husband or significant yard person, to help you with the cans. Allow the trashcans to sit out beside your fence for the entire winter while every rain and snow contributes to the moisture content of the Trash Can Stew. Then, when spring clean-up comes around, very sweetly say, "Honey, can you help me dump these trash cans? They are just too heavy for me to lift." Hold your breath but don't let him in on that little secret. The fumes are sure to trigger a quick gag response. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 1, 2008


I have a family member who has "done time". He went to jail when he was barely 18. Then, due to a minor mishap that violated his parole, he was sent back a second time. At that point he decided to serve out his full sentence so that when he was done - he was done.

I saw him last month for the first time in several years. His formerly shaved head, replaced by a gorgeous mane of hair. The scrawny frame of his youth, now filled out and muscular. His rebellious and dark teenage angst, replaced by quiet politeness.

We didn't have a whole lot of time to talk, surrounded by family as we were. But my mind has been awhirl ever since with the many things that I would like to say to him.

First thing would be: I have been there. No, I've never been locked up in an actual prison but I have been in a spiritual and emotional one. I have screwed up royally and regretted it. I have acted impulsively and then instantly been awash with the horror of what I'd done. I have been trapped in a cell of wrong thinking and destructive behavior. If God's book were the standard by which we were judged, and not the legal codes that govern cities and states, I would deserve more than one life sentence - if not the death penalty. I would like you to know that you are not the only one in the family with a history, not the only one who made some big mistakes.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8

Secondly, I would ask you to not live in regret. Regret causes you to walk backward, live in the past, and repay for the crime again and again. Regret is like a constant emotional flogging that robs you of hope for the future. Regret says that we hold the keys to our own destiny and we have hopelessly ruined it. Regret is the belief that we have made more of a mess than God can clean up and we have blown it beyond repair. It tells us that, with that kind of past, we really can't expect anything good to ever happen to us. There is a way to turn around and walk forward away from regret and that is to choose to believe what God says over what your past says:

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Next, I would say: Even though the cell door has been unlocked, there are some who would like to keep you imprisoned. But when you've owned up to your mistakes and taken the punishment for the offense, it's time to walk out of the cell and into freedom. The world wants you to wear the label of who you were emblazoned across your chest for all to see: "Felon" - "Sinner" - "Divorced".... scarlet letters that loudly declare our guilt. The problem is, if we believe we are what those labels say, then that is what we will continue to be. You see, I could do nothing to earn penance for my vast array of sins. I finally crawled to the cross and laid each one of them down. I sat there at Jesus feet until He declared me pardoned. Then I began to see what His Word said I was. The power of His truth peeled off those ugly labels one by one and replaced them with new ones: "Forgiven", "Redeemed", "Loved". Today I walk free, without shame, without regret, without accusation because I did some time at the foot of the cross and believe that Jesus' forgiveness and pardon is real and without limitation. I hope you can learn to walk in freedom too.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36

Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you. Galatians 5:1 (The Message)

Finally I would say: Dear one, I love you. I believe in you. I believe that God has good plans for your life, that He has given you special gifts and talents and He wants to help you discover those. I think that you are through with childish things and I believe that you grew into a man while behind those bars. That's what I see when I look at you now. I am praying for you and have faith that my God is powerfully able to answer those prayers!

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20

April Goes Out with a Roar

April 2008 will not go down in history as one of the best months of my life. In fact this morning I found myself in Psalm 42 asking: "Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?"
Recounting the major and minor events of the month, I suppose I had reason to be downcast and disturbed:

April 1: I began doing business back at home, no longer in the cute and convenient little room at the Green Pear. This change was a mix of sadness at saying goodbye to spending everyday with my BFF and frustration at trying to make a home with children and pets suitable for wedding gowns and business clients.

April 11: My dear sweet Father-in-law passed away suddenly. We were thrown into a whirlwind of preparation to travel quickly to Tennessee. The pause button on life was pressed for two weeks as we spent time with our family. A strange blend of joy and grief at the same time.

April 24: The drive home was full of sniffling, blowing, & sneezing...we were all at different stages in some sort of head cold!

April 25: We arrived back in Colorado to find all pets and house intact. I rushed to do laundry and unpack because Buford was flying out Monday to West Virginia for training for his new job. (Yes, Buford started a new job in April - it's a good thing but still adding a bit to the stress of life.) We discovered that an underground pipe for our sprinkler system had broken. Brown grass for awhile longer.

April 28: Max didn't have school so I picked him up for a bit of shopping and lunch in a nearby town. While backing out of a parking space I heard a loud scraping sound. Another car was backing out at the same time at a weird angle and neither one of us saw each other. No one at fault, just some paint scraped off the bumpers. Dang it!

April 29: I was in the midst of wedding alterations before we had to go to TN. Today, a sweet woman who ordered a bridesmaid gown 4 months ago and then found out she was expecting, came for her fitting. Big baby bump! We were about 4 inches from the zipper closing with seam allowances of only 1/4"! Yikes, what to do????

April 30: Using the matching shawl that came with the bridesmaid gown, I made a gusset for the back of the dress and reinserted the zipper...then prayed...because the wedding is Saturday and if this didn't work, it was going to take hours to re-do it.
Shortly before midnight, I managed to pull a three-drawered Rubbermaid container off the top shelf of the closet down onto my head! The drawers were filled with spools of thread that I had carefully arranged and color-coded. Not only did I have a bump on my head but thread went everywhere, unrolling as it fell. I wanted to cry but I knew crying would do no good - I put away the thread and went to bed.

Which brings us back to this morning, May 1 and Psalm 42. I think the Lord knew I'd about had enough because, in the newness of His mercies, this is today so far:
1. It is snowing - clean and wet - starting a new month afresh.
2. The bride and pregnant bridesmaid came for their final fitting. Praise you Jesus - both dresses zipped up and fit perfectly!
3. After dropping the kids at school this song came on the radio and it lifted my spirits high. After all - that stuff in April - it was only the world.