Thursday, October 29, 2009

'Inadequate or Not Enough...'

Pardon the soapbox...

I keep seeing commercials for a new drug that will grow eyelashes, for those of us who have 'inadequate or not enough lashes'. What? I am so disturbed that now even eyelashes can be inadequate, I just can't even tell you. And it may cause staining around your eyelashes that may be reversible. AND it may cause your iris's to turn brown, and that may not be reversible. But if you have inadequate eyelashes you have to do something about it!

Facebook has changed, again, and I keep seeing notifications like these:
John Doe only has 17 friends. Suggest friends for him!
Make facebook better for Jane Doe, write on her wall!
Evidently a computer generated social application can now tell us how happy we are, or aren't, by data-mining our online communications. Nice.

Christmas advertisements have been pushing on the kids channels for a while now. Grace must have everything for Christmas, or her next birthday - which is next September. AND she thinks that I really must have that thing that mounts on the wall and dispenses toothpaste. She's sure I want it, need it. Nope. I'm positive.

I don't know how you feel, but I am tired of feeling inadequate. I don't want to be told that I need more things and I definitely don't want some computer program to imply I am short in the friend department. I don't really have a solution, but I know more stuff, more adequate eyelashes, and inane comments on my facebook page are not the answer.

Today I am asking God to re-aim my desires, give me supernatural peace & contentment and teach me the difference between 'needs' and 'wants'. HE'S the only thing, the only one that makes me adequate, and HE'S what I want, AND what I need.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Girl's Night In

The perfect makings of a girl's night, especially if you're 5.
Waiting for the movie to start.
A great excuse to snuggle.
Not a bad movie with a lesson in honesty and the importance of friendship.
All together a good night!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Will This Empty Well Ever Fill Up???

No. Never. Going. To. Fill. Up.

I'm pretty preoccupied with my health right now, frankly pretty unhappy with it, and so this is what's on my mind today. So that's what this post is about; both my spiritual and physical health. Let me tell you what that has to do with the above title...

I am so blessed to attend a great church that freely teaches great tools for spiritual growth. One of these tools is called the Gospel of Wholeness. Think: accountability with a healthy dose of critical thinking built on a Biblical foundation in areas most people hide or ignore... Or this is how I'd describe it today. Here's how I found out about the gospel of wholeness:

In early 2004, Hubby & I decided we needed to diet and a friend had gotten great results on the Atkins diet. So we started Atkins (which does work, but it's not good for you, and it's hard and who likes hard things?) and after one week I found out I was pregnant. Yes! No more Atkins! But hubby kept on it and was a whole new person, or half a person, when baby Grace arrived. (I'd like to throw in a hot picture here, but that's not what this post is about!) And he looked and felt so great that that should have motivated me to make some positive changes, but I was still nursing and baby needs some Dairy Queen, too, you know?

Fast forward to Fall/Winter, 2005. My poor habits had sabotaged hubby and now we were both needing to do something about this same topic. So we kicked around the idea of doing Atkins again. I didn't want to. I still don't want to. 1. Because it was unpleasant. No, because it sucked! Really. And B. because I just felt like the state of my body was the result of more than a diet choice and Atkins or not, I felt like there was some other component in this whole thing that I needed to get a handle on. I confided this to a friend while I huffed and puffed to keep up with her on a lunchtime walk and she exclaimed about how I needed this Gospel of Wholeness as she had just gone to a GoW workshop. And so I got the CDs of the workshop and we started going over this stuff together.

It's life changing. I want to be clear here: this is not a new Gospel. GoW is a set of tools that I was never taught on how to go deeper, learn more, get healing, receive from God... I was actually pretty angry when I heard some of this stuff the first time - why didn't anyone ever tell me some of this!!! (deep, cleansing breath....)

Now I have a friend going through some pretty tough stuff and I am thinking about going through GoW with her. She's a newer Christ follower and I know this stuff will help her, and just thinking about it is helping me. Which brings me to the title of this post (thanks, if you've made it through this whole story!). I need a refresher myself! As soon as I started thinking about doing this, 'empty well' started going through my head. This phrase comes from Jeremiah 2:13.
My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken me,
the spring of living water,
and have dug their own cisterns,
broken cisterns that cannot hold water.

And I know the Spirit is calling to me to look at my actions. Instead of going to God, who has everything I need and only the best in mind for me, I continually choose to literally feed my emotions. Happy? Let's celebrate (with food)! Sad? Feed that sorrow. Bored? Just eat... You get the idea. I go to empty, dusty, echoing wells to meet my needs instead of the Father who is the Spring of Living Water! Which is just wrong. When I lay it out like that it seems so obvious which choice is the right one, it's just not as clear in each situation.

So I'm working on it. And if I blog about it, I may feel just a bit of accountability. I'm going to pull those discs out and start going through them again and I'll pass on the tools to you, too. I just know God wants to bless your (our) socks off!

In the meantime, what are some of your empty wells? And how're they working for you?

Monday, October 26, 2009

More Thank Yous

13. Divine forgiveness, straight from the heart of Father God, poured out for me when I just can't muster an ounce of it myself.

14. Staying home & snuggling up with a sick child.

15. Turning up the heat. :o)

16. A teenager well enough to return to school and a husband well enough to return to work.

17. (Re)Connecting with friends, old and new.

18. Dishwashers - OK, ANY home appliance!

19. The gift of baptism, the testimonies of the saints, NEW LIFE!

20. A giant crock of homemade sauerkraut, pickling in the basement.

I've been lax in noting what I'm thankful for, but resolve to start this week with new eyes to see! Won't you join me?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sick with a Chance of Mr Bubbles

We still have a sick house,
but here's a shot of one bright spot today:

Grace has been asking for weeks
if these have come in the mail yet.

Micah likes to wear stuff that other people might find weird. He's OK with getting those looks.

What a treat today when everyone is sick!

Thanks, Mr. Bubbles! You make getting clean so much fun!

BOO! Sick-sick-sick! & a Quote

BOO at the ZOO! was last weekend.
I got to spend a beautiful fall Saturday with lions, tigers & Cinderella.Hay ride.
(Highlight of the day: we saw the PINK PANTHER!!!)
How real princesses travel.
Alternate travel arrangements.
This was really brave.
Grace knows these are not real but generally avoids anything like this.
Her idea to stand by the spider, but no too close!


H1N1 as well as strep have hit the Wilson household. We should have purchased stock in Nyquil, ThermaFlu, Tylenol & various thermometers... hindsight is 20/20... Micah came home sick late Friday night from a youth group retreat, has been out of school since Monday and I already told the school he won't be there tomorrow. Hubby came down with it on Monday, Grace has had a low fever off & on since Monday, but was hit with the full blown sick last night. I'm still trying to decide how I feel. Micah was planning to be baptized on Sunday followed by a luncheon/reception with family and friends at our house - postponed until February. By then we should be immune to this crud - right?

However, there has been one bright spot in our week. Micah, who has slept in a loft hubby built since he was 4, has outgrown most toys and no longer needs the extra storage/play area a loft offers. We bought a futon for Micah, paid extra for the better mattress, and now his room is a more grown up space, when the bed is made. Grace is a prime toy-hoarding age with many 'sets' of toys that need organization, and as the youngest, she's in the smallest room. Micheal and Micah took the loft down and put the futon together Sunday night before the full force of little piggies hit. The loft was in pieces in the living room, but in a burst of energy the loft went up in Grace's room on Tuesday. She's so excited! And I am excited to have a place for everything (and hope to have everything in it's place, soon). I will have to tackle the stuffed animal issue soon, possibly in the dead of night when no one can see what I dispose of... I do remember taking every stuffed animal I owned to bed with me every night for a while when I was young, I didn't want any of them to have hurt feelings! So I can hardly blame Grace for the stuffed animal stampede. Here's a shot of the loft in her room:
No picture of Micah's grown-up space yet.


A quote I really like:
"Only a powerful soul can offer love. Only a powerful soul can afford to be humble. If we are weak, then we become selfish. If we are empty, we take; but if we are filled, we automatically give to all. That is our nature."
~Dadi Prakashmani, Indian Peace Activist and Spiritual Leader

But here's how I read it:
"Only a friend of God (powerful soul) can offer true love. Only a Christ follower (powerful soul) can afford to be humble. If we are without God (weak), then we become selfish. If we are empty, we take; but if we are filled with God's Holy Spirit, we automatically give to all. That is God's (our) nature, to show His love through His people."
~ Dadi Prakashmani, Indian Peace Activist and Spiritual Leader

I continue to pray:

You alone sustain me. Fill me up, Papa, pour me out for You.
So be it!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's all about Jesus, a Rodent & a Recipe

First snow, Saturday, October 10, 2009
When Grace got up and saw the snow, she said,
"I guess Jesus must have forgotten about Halloween
because now it's Winter!"
She couldn't wait to get out and play in it
and she came in c-c-c-cold!
Sadly, I have a thing for Dairy Queen's co-co fudge (it's SO good you should try it!!!) and have been to our local DQ enough to know the owners by name. When they ordered this sweatshirt and it was smaller than they expected, they knew just who to give it to!


Last night Grace wanted me to buy her something,
I can't even remember what, and she said,
"Please? Pretty please? Pretty please with Jesus on top?"

This was only an hour or so after she burst into the bathroom and explained to me all about how Jesus created us, so we worship Him. And we praise Him, because He created us. And so we love Him, because He created us. And He created everything...
This went on for a few more sentences, but you get the idea.

Lately, it's all about Jesus. I love that.


Last week my van started making weird noises, which is always a treat. By Friday it sounded like a rainstick whenever I turned left or hit a bump. I think rainsticks are cool and have always thought it'd be nice to have one to play with just to hear that relaxing sound... but not in my van. And bits of something were flying out of the vents, too. What a treat!

On Saturday, hubby spent 4 hours taking apart the ventilation system of the van and here is what he found:
This is just one of the filters he pulled, they were both like this. And there was more.
About 1.5 pounds of birdseed packed away in the vents of the van for winter. I can't even blame the kids for this. Some rodent is going to be hungry this winter because his stockpile is gone. Hubby made a little video I will try to upload as soon as I can wrestle the iphone away from him.


Easy Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup

To a pot of boiling water (I use a dutch oven) add:
Chicken, diced (from leftovers or deli if in a hurry), about 2 C.
2 potatoes, diced into even size pieces
1-2 carrots, peel outside, then use peeler to 'peel' coins right into pot
2 pkgs. Uncle Ben's Long Grain & Wild Rice
1 seasoning packet from the rice (use other to taste if you want)
3 chicken bouillon cubes or chicken soup base

Simmer until everything is cooked through and broth is reduced.
It should look like this:

Then add 2 large cans of (undiluted) Cream of Chicken soup.
If it's too thick, then you can dilute with some milk or water to your liking.
Continue to heat on low until heated through.

When we have chicken I often cut up the leftover chicken as soon as dinner is done and freeze it in water in a ziplock bag. The water in the bag keeps it from getting freezer burned. Then all I have to do is add this cube of frozen chicken to the water, all the other ingredients, and I can have a thick, hearty soup on the table in 45 minutes.
Easy & delicious!
Let me know if you make it!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bayfield Apple Festival, 2009

Bayfield Apple Festival - wind gusts up to 50 mph, 10' swells on Lake Superior.
We had 1 1/2 hour without rain and 1 hour with rain
before calling it quits.
Smallest turnout I've ever seen.
All the usual food vendors.
iPhone photos op
I wish you could hear the chimes the wind made.
The sailboats sounded like 147 wind chimes - beautiful!

Just a fun picture.
Neither of the kidos came with
but Micah did get this awesome hat.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

U-Turns Allowed

The things on my mind today begin as follows:
  • I'm tired. Why don't I sleep? Why can't I turn off a show mid program or close the book or leave that last load of laundry until tomorrow? Why?
  • Why do people compliment your hair on the days you took the least amount of time to fix it and pretty much hate it yourself? Why do I have curly (read: unruly) hair?
  • Teen angst and 5-year-old-cussedness sucks. I don't know how to parent either well.
  • On my way into the office I saw a sign for something-or-other that listed things like, 'no heterosexism, no ableism, no racism...' I had to look a few up: heterosexism: discrimination or prejudice against lesbians or gay men by heterosexual people and ableism: discrimination in favor of the able-bodied. I'm sad we even have to have words for these behaviors.
  • I could go on, and on, and on...
But I'm choosing to do a U-Turn. My camp friends know what this is: after evening chapel, if campers feel like they need to or want to go back to the chapel to talk to a staffer, they can. It's an opportunity to press into whatever God is doing in their lives. So they can do a physical U-Turn and hopefully a spiritual U-Turn as well. It's the definition of repentance, a chance to not just be sorry but to proactively make a change in your life. (Fu-ah, fu-ah ha tu na, fu-ah, fu-ah, ke wa ho [paddle away from Satan, paddle toward God, apologies for my spelling])
So, I repent. Father God, teach me to be thankful today! Help me see You in the big and the small, please show me what You delight in and give me Your joy. Allow me to see what You are up to in the world and people around me. May I participate in whatever it is? Thanks, Papa!
Here's a new version of my complaints above, and a continuation of One Thousand Gifts:

4. Our bed. It' warm and comfy and my hubby is in it, which leads me to,

5. Sleep. Enough said.

6. The opportunity to learn to parent and participate in the lives of two great kids.

7. Everyone is unique. What a boring world it would be if we all thought the same, looked the same and had the same gifts and abilities.

8. Crisp October mornings.

9. Geese in flight as the sun rises over Lake Superior.

10. Sweet text messages from a sweet hubby.

11. Friends, friends who hug you, listen to you, love you, pray for you and let you do the same for them.

12. The ability to recognize things for which to be thankful.


Here are a couple tools I'm using to practice thankfulness:

1) A little notebook with a study plastic cover and mini pens
that don't take up much room in my bag.
This allows me to write what I'm thankful about before I forget!
It's too easy to forget important things.

2) A correspondence kit, all packed in a little accordion file.
It includes everything I need to tell someone how special they are,
how thankful I am for them
and how I love them.
The great thing about this is I can leave it in my car and
when I have a few minutes to wait while out somewhere
I can just grab this and I'm all set!
(Some of you should watch your mailbox!)

Get your thankfulness on - today!