Snow Angel

>> Sunday, March 2, 2014

I was at a Sacred Rhythms Retreat this weekend at Little Galilee.  It was

The book and video we used is by Ruth Haley Barton and subtitled: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation. The whole weekend was just - wow! It's still hard for me to put into words and I keep saying that and I am wanting to write about it.

One of the points we read/discussed was honoring the body. How can I glorify God in my body?  In order to do that, we must learn how to listen to our bodies and begin to treat our bodies like the temple of God, which they are. How can we bring others to Him if we're limping around not enjoying life? It's time for us to eat our veggies, ya'll.  Put away the potato chips and maybe bake some kale? The author didn't say this - I'm ad-libbing. But honestly, this is what's helped me feel so much better.  Eating fruits and vegetables - making cauliflower pizza instead of the 'cardboard' stuff, as my husband says.

Eating better has helped me lose weight;
and losing weight has helped me get up and get active;
and getting active has helped me get in tune with my body.

I was sick for so long, and being active and stretching myself is how God speaks to me. I never thought I would enjoy riding my bike for 30 plus miles or enjoy doing yoga or cardio with a 29 year-old friend who pushes me.

Never in a million years! 

At the end of the retreat, while every one else was enjoying the fireplace and talking, I put on a few layers of clothes and went outside in our late-in-the-year-snow and plopped down in front of the big picture window and made a snow angel.

After a bit, I stopped trying to entertain the spectators and was caught up in just laying there, quiet...
listening to my breath...
and the longer I lay, I felt more vulnerable spread eagle, but felt safe at the same time...
I also realized I wasn't all that cold on the ground - the building kept the wind from hitting me,
Abba Daddy was protecting me...
and then I looked up at the sky - my God-given blue eyes connected to the clear blue sky.

For a few minutes or five or ten, I don't really know how long it was, I experienced the God who brought this late in the year snow.  Such a big big sky, and me, so little on a huge expanse of earth.

Who am I that God should love me so very much
 to meet with me for that little bit of time inside a snow angel?

I ventured outside where no one else dared and He, Abba Daddy, met with me. A couple of years ago, that wouldn't have happened. I would have stayed inside, warm. Now, I love stretching myself to do new things. Experience new adventures. It's one way God speaks to me and it's okay. I don't have to sit with my Bible and continually feel bad because I seem to be learning impaired. We all listen and learn in different ways. There is a time and place for studying God's Word, of course, but the more I spend with Abba - the more I want to spend with Him in every way imaginable, and that includes getting into His Word - you see? And I've had times in my life where I've done that. Right now it's a dry spell.

He's waking me up. My eyes were wide-open looking up into that great expanse of sky - into the Heavens and that experience is still very real to me even now. God just now plopped this verse into my mind and I Googled to find where it was found in the Bible.  I'm not as learning-impaired as I make myself out to be, I suppose.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts." - (Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV)

But the more we attempt to spend time with God, our ways will hopefully align with God's ways a little bit better. Our thoughts will mesh with His and hopefully we will have many more meetings. That's my wish; my yearning...many many more.

Snow angels actually are my WA friend's thing.  It's her birthday today (Sunday) and I just had to make her a snow angel, but God had a different plan.

He wanted to meet me; 
to talk to me; 
to look into my eyes. 

If I hadn't gone outside to do something so silly like make a snow angel, would I have had my personal God-encounter? Would He have met me in a different way?  I don't know. I wonder how many other encounters with God I've missed because I wasn't in tune with Him.  

So that's what this retreat was all about.  Learning how to find our own rhythm that works for us to come close to God.  I guess mine is listening to God in a snow angel, huh? And now I'm eager for lots more encounters in my days.

"The Christian practice of honoring the body is born of the confidence that our bodies are made in the image of God's own goodness. As the place where the divine presence dwells, our bodies are worthy of care and blessing...It is through our bodies that we participate in God's activity in the world." -- Stephanie Paulsell


Peter Stone's, Forager

>> Monday, January 13, 2014

Ethan Jones, the eighteen-year-old narrator, immediately introduces us into his working world of Melbourne - a post-apocalyptic city infested by the Skel, a nomadic tribe of savages. Ethan and his crew are foragers, hence the title of this dystopian novel written by an Australian author, Peter Stone.

The reader is constantly being hit by questions. When one is answered, another one is brought up. It truly is well-written. We are introduced to a future society and outlandish government control. I believe the novel is on the level of Ender's Game or Divergent.

Ethan develops a new relationship with his father.  He 'wakes' up to a whole new life. He learns to stand up for himself and his crew.  By the end of the novel, he gains so much more than what he had, or what he thought he had than at the beginning.

I dare you to get hold of this book and read it but...beware!  There are many twists and turns.  You might want your Dramamine!  I can't wait to get hold of the second book in this trilogy because there are some unanswered questions.

"Peter Stone graduated from Melbourne School of Ministries Bible College in 1988. His wife is from Japan and they have two wonderful children. He has worked in the same games company for over twenty years, but still does not comprehend why they expect him to work all day instead of playing games. Since his late teens, he has dealt with major depressive disorder, otosclerosis (going deaf) and epilepsy, but has a grateful and thankful heart, because he believes all things are in the Lord Jesus' capable hands." "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." Philippians 1:21


Light of Christmas

>> Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I've been noticing lots of new Christmas songs this year. Some are based from old, traditional songs but some are completely new.  I sleep with our Christian radio station in my ear, WCIC. I woke up at 2 AM to go to the bathroom and this was playing.  I loved it - even that early in the morning and had to find out what it was.  Owl City and Toby Mac teamed up to do this.  It's a visual extravaganza and it has a message we need to hear in this busy Christmas season.  Your kids will love it! I want to find the Veggie Tales movie it was created for. I hope you enjoy!

Merry Christmas!


Two New Loves

>> Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Since I turned 50, I've developed different loves in my life.

These are the people I love and the things 
I have loved and continue to love:

I "love the Lord 'my' God with all 'my' heart and with all 'my' soul and with all 'my' mind and with all 'my' strength.' (Mark 12:30)

I love my husband and I will continue to love him until 'death us do part. It's not always easy and it's not always easy for him to put up with me, I'm sure of that - but we are in it for the long haul. I know, even if I forget to put gas in the car and I run out and he has to come get me - it's a forever love.  Even if I spend too much money on something like, let's say, ummmm...a bike - it's still a forever love.  We don't show it the same as we did when we were first married but it's more mature now and I like it.

I really love my kids - Ryan, Kristen, and Nik and Kristen has brought Jordan into the family and I'm loving him too.

Of course, I love my parents and brothers and sisters and Jim's family and always will.

I love love LOVE my job and the people and kids I work with. It makes it so much easier to get up each morning.

Okay, well - now that I've turned 50 - 
I have two more loves to add to my list.  

I have a cutie little grandson who I get to love on...lots! I'm so blessed to have him only live about two hours away. 

It's amazing, this connection I have with the little guy! He's six weeks old and 8#. He's growing slowly but I know it's just a matter of time before he shoots up and I'll be wondering where the little baby went. Already, I just missed one weekend and he's smiling a lot and staying awake more.

I love being a grandma! Honestly, it's way better than I ever thought it would be.

The next love in my life, my kids don't understand. I barely understand it.  I LOVE riding my bike! I'll get home from school, grab a Medifast bar and some water, and then I'll take off to parts unknown. I rarely go the same way twice. I keep finding new roads to explore. It is fun to finally find an exercise that I love to do - that I LONG to do.  It also draws me closer to God as I experience His creation.

I've lost 40 plus pounds now since July and I am changing - from the inside out.  Medifast has been the vehicle to help me lose the weight and has given me the energy to hop on my bike and go GO GO!!! Even Medifast was appointed to me by God and is a story in and of itself.

Since I started riding the last of July, I've logged 379 miles - my longest was done at the Prairie Pedal - 42 miles at one time.  I'm on my second bike. I didn't realize when I bought my first bike that I would want one I could ride for long periods of time.  Last weekend, I chose a bike that would let me do just that and since then, I've put 91 miles on it.  You see, I LOVE it!  And I'm not quite sure what drew me to it except maybe it was God.

So you see, now that I'm 50, I have some things figured out a little bit better.  I'm getting this eating thing down and I'm losing weight and exercising. I am living life to the fullest and loving hard and strong!

I'm loving being 50!  



>> Sunday, September 8, 2013

I am now officially a grandma!

People told me how great it was and I knew it would be but this little guy has totally and completely rearranged our lives and rooted into our hearts. How can a 6 lb, 5 oz little guy do that in such a short time?

But this is one of the first scenes we came across when we realized Kaden was born and in the nursery. A group was gathered around him. He was certainly popular.

He was wide-eyed and looked right at us. I'm pretty sure he was trying to figure out which one of us was brave enough to get him out of there!

He was whisked away from the only people he truly knew, his mama and daddy, and taken to a bigger hospital for further help.  He finally got to come home a week later.

All Kaden's tests looked good but the doctor said she can't guarantee what will show up in the future.  Of course not.  We just want him home now and the future will take care of itself.

The best thing is, he is beautiful - a miracle - and I'm proud to wear the label - Grandma.

It was hard for Kaden to figure out the nursing dilemma.  Hard to go from bottle to something different.  The poor little guy doesn't even know what normal is yet.  His whole life has been crazy so far. Within a couple of hours, he got to ride in a helicopter. How many of us ever get to do that?

Kaden has his first doctor appointment tomorrow. I'm anxious to see how much weight he's gained since he's been nursing. I'm not worried though. If peeing and pooping is any indication - he's doing just fine:)

Today is Grandparent's Day and we got to spend some time with our little sweet pea.  Not much but just long enough for me to get wet on. Just enough time for me to get my Kaden fix. All's good. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that my daughter had a baby. Surely she's not old enough! Can't be! Surely I'm not old enough to be a grandma! Can't be!

This 50 year old stuff is turning out to be pretty awesome! 

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