Thursday, September 28, 2006

Please Only You

So here I go again, again
I let myself get spread so thin
But I can see right through my skin
And I don't like what I'm finding in my heart

So many different voices call
And I try hard to please them all
I run in circles 'til I fall
So I'm falling on my knees and praying

Please, Please, Please only You, only You
Please, Please, Please take my heart, and make it true
Let everything I say and everything I do
Please, please only you
Please only you

For every moment of my time
For every thought that fills my mind
For every melody and rhyme
This is the prayer that I'll be praying

Please, Please, Please only You, only You
Please, Please, Please take my heart, and make it true
Let everything I say and everything I do

This is what it means to be
The reason why I live and breathe
To know that I am totally existing for Your pleasure
I'm still learning but I know
As this becomes my only goal
The more I find my heart and soul is filled up with joy when I

I please only you
I please only you
Please only you

Sunday, September 24, 2006

My Place of Abundance

I am springing out of bed with new life and vigor. I am so happy to be alive today!

Some reports are in order.

Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller

I have taken foray into the postmodern church mindset and read Blue Like Jazz. I loved it, and I can't wait to talk to people about it. What I liked most was his openness to admit that we Christians cannot just jump into the hip pocket of the Republican party and call Bush Jesus because he is not. I really like George Bush. I voted for him. I believe he is a born-again believer in Jesus Christ. All that said, he ain't Jesus, and if another believer wants to vote for the democratic candidate, I will not condemn that person's spirituality.

I also really like his emphasis on Christian spirituality and not on Christianity. I loved the confessional at Reed College where the Christians confessed to the students the sins of Christianity. It moved people so terribly. What a beautiful thing.

This is recommended reading for all Christians. Michelle and I will go to Imago-Dei church in Portland as a result of it.

Suburban Christian Church

We are still as pleased as punch with our new situation at Suburban. The 2 1/2 hour talk that I had with Kim on the phone was so stimulating, so amazing. The people in this church are very outreach oriented. I believe that Kim has such the right attitude in showing love and kindness to people. She must have similar gifts to me. I really look forward to gettting to know her in the future.

I have to believe that God plucked me from my old church (that I still love and pray for on a regular basis) and set me in a place of abundance.

Psalm 66:10-12 (ESV)
For you, O God, have tested us;
You have tried us as silver is tried.
You brought us into the net;
You laid a crushing burden on our backs;
You let men ride over our heads;
We went through fire and through water
Yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.

Amen and Amen

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Conclusion of the Dale Carnegie Course

I have just completed 12 weeks of the Dale Carnegie Training: Effective Communication and Human Relations. What a time. I feel like it was a fabulous class for me on a personal level that will help me for the rest of the life. I was nominated twice and won one award, but the most rewarding thing that happened to me during the time was what happened on the 11th week of the class. Here is what I posted about it on another website:

We had to give a talk on someone who has really inspired us. We practice with our neighbor before we give it to the whole class, and my neighbor, Anthony, would not share his. I had seen he had written it out on a piece of paper, and I asked him, "Do you usually write them out?" He replied, "Not usually, but this one is really important."

Later, as we were volunteering to go, I volunteered to go after him, and when I went to sit next to him in the front "waiting" chairs he said, "Oh, my plan is working out perfectly!" What did he mean by that??????

Well, he gets up there, and he says, "I would like Carol _____ to stand." I was already at the front of the room, and I stood up, and he said, "Someone who has really inspired me during the course of this class is Carol ______."

OH MY! Tears.

Then, I sat down, and he gave the most beautiful speech, and I cried. He said that he was inspired by how I didn't listen to the doctors' diagnosis and I helped my son learn to talk (my first talk in the class about a defining moment in my life). He talked about how inspired he was by the fact that even in the difficulties that I encountered in my leadership in my church, I persevered (That was the talk on how I am learning to manage stress and I talked about how I am just praying for my partner every time I hear that she has said something negative about me and this has relieved my stress). He also said that he sees my stick-to-itiveness in even when I had to be a back up to an Olympic Gold Medalist, I still worked hard to make her better (My talk on an achievement in our life.).

By this time, I am going back and forth between extreme embarassment and extreme tears of joy.

Then, I had to get up and give my talk to the whole class. Talk about having to gain composure very fast!!!!!

At the end of my talk, my Dale Carnegie instructor looked at me and said, "It is obvious that you have had a tremedous influence on this class and that is a sign of a true leader."

I sat down and asked Anthony if I could give him a hug (I am old enough to be his mother. So, nothing wrong with doing that.), and he gave me the sheet that he had written out his speech on and said, "I wrote it out so that you could have it."

Can I just say that I was a bit overwhelmed?

OH MY!

The icing on the cake is that Anthony won the award for the best presentation of the evening. What a sweet win for him.

On graduation day, my dear husband, George, was able to come and meet everyone in the class. My trainer went up to him at the end of class and said that I paved the way for the other people in the class to be really vulnerable by the first talk that I shared. Also, John, one of the guys in the class came up to George as we were leaving in the car and said, "George, I want to tell you that you have one hell of a wife." LOL! I thought that was so sweet.

What a wonderful group of positive and fun people. I will never forget what I learned in this class, and I will apply the principles for the rest of my life because they are all Biblical principles.

"When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade!"

Sitting in the 76.3 degree sunshine and sipping my lemonade!

Life is so sweet. God is so kind. God is good to all and His tender mercies are over all His works.

It is well with my soul.

I am sitting out on our front driveway in one of our camp chairs on a beautiful fall 80 degree day. How perfect is that. The wind is blowing in such a gentle way, and we are having a neighborhood garage sale. I haven't had one in 25 years since I had a sale to sell stuff to raise money for the trip to Glen Eyrie in Colorago Springs. Amazing.

I am in such a good place. Life is so grand.

I had a two and a half hour talk with Kim S. about so many things that are just so on my heart. I think I have found a soul mate. Kim is the Children's Ministry director at my new church, but she also has a real heart for showing love and kindness to Internationals. She is teamed up with all these people like Beth A. It is so encouraging. God is so awesome. I had no idea that all of this was going on in our city. I have been so clueless.

Pinch me please.

I forgot to write about Anthony. I will do it in another post. It was such a positive thing. I am so blessed these days.

Monday, September 18, 2006

So, peaceful but a heavy heart

I am sitting here on a Monday where all I had to do is homeschool this morning. So, I have a very free day and decided to fast and pray from Lunch today to dinner tomorrow for the church that I left. I heard some very disturbing things on Friday, and I was even more disturbed when I talked on Saturday with the perpetrator of the disturbing things. It made me mad to sad. Now, I am just grieving in my heart. I don't want to give up hope for this church that I loved for so many years. You are calling me to pray.

BUT, there is so much hope about the future in my new church!

Carrie, the Family Pastor, is going to the Peacemaker Conference and wants to talk about discipleship.

Roxanne, women's leadership person, wants to meet to talk more about the leadership course she wants to develop.

Vicki, the Women's ministry director, and I had lunch and she talked about authenticity, prayer, waiting on God and not moving ahead before you know it is what he wants you to do, becoming a Mary when she was naturally a Martha, discipling, healing, her heart for women, and inviting me to come and share my heart on the second Monday of the month when I am ready to do it. What a sweet woman of God! I love the maturity that I feel surrounded by.

Joyce wants to talk about discipling college women!

Kim wants to maybe use Foundations for Faith with the Japanese students.

Cheryl wants to talk about the International Cooking Class.

Tina wants to talk about smaller group Bible studies.

God, you are already giving me women to partner with and they are all so NICE and NON-CONTROLLING!

I asked George to pinch me when we left church yesterday it was SO exciting to be there.

In fact, the sermon was on "Strengthening the Foundations," and that is exactly what God told George in his quiet time right before church!!!! As Steve (dear pastor Steve!) was giving the sermon, George drew a brick wall. He didn't even know that the front of the bulletin had a picture of a bricklayer making a brick wall with the quote:

"The strength of the building is determined by the strength of its foundation."

God is in this move. I know it beyond a shadow of a doubt. We have finally come home.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Following the Leader

I have now met with or talked to personally eight of the main leaders at our new church, and I have to say how very impressed I am with every single one of them. They are authentic and want to follow what the Bible says about peacemaking, and this is one of our main criteria for selecting a church.

I feel so very privileged to be a part of it all.

Thank you Lord. I am so amazed at how you have worked in us!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Home at Last

We have finally decided to stay at Suburban Christian, and I feel at home in a church for the first time in my entire life.

God is so good. Thanking and praising Him.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

One sentence to explain my life

Laura, of TDS, asked us to write a one sentence summary of your life.

Still contemplating that one.

We just completed our first week of homeschool, and it is going GREAT! I love this life with my children. It just fits for our lifestyle and the balance we are seeking to create in our kids and our own life.

No one is running our life except the Lord Jesus Christ. I must remember not to let anyone run my life again or any church run my life again. There is a fine line between submission to authority and idolatry. I think I crossed it last year, and it was scary. I am back in a very good place again.

Patty gave me the greatest idea about using some of my tithe money to go and get pedicures and manicures from "Blondie" so that I can spend more time with her and continue to love on her. I definitely think I will do that! What a great idea! Thank you Patty!

God is so good.

I had the most lovely meeting with R.M. yesterday about the future of leadership development at SCC. She is so lovely. I love the people that I am meeting there, and I continue to just want to listen to His voice as I make plans for my future. Lord, I don't know what doors You will open, but I really want to be discerning about what ones that I need to walk through at this point in time. You are so good to me. I want to walk slow and listen to You all the way. Yesterday was so encouraging, but I want to walk through a door that You want me to walk through, and I have a tendency to get so excited about everything. I am so grateful that Your Holy Spirit will lead and will guide me to all the truth.

You are so very good.

I know I keep saying that, but it is so very true.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Part of My Day

This is a no exercise day. So, I slept in until 7 a.m. and got on the scale to see that my dinner and dessert at Novak's was still in my system. :) I am still at my goal weight though. I just would like to be lower, but I know that I am probably three pounds less than what the scale said this morning.

I spent a leisurely morning looking at Jesus On Leadership: Becoming a Servant Leader. This book covers so many of the things that we did in our leadership class in a much better format! I am so glad that I came across when I was at my mother-in-laws. I am praying about my meeting with Roxanne and hoping that God will open some doors there. I don't know what kind of doors I am hoping that he will open though. I am praying about that and will spend some extended time praying in the car and tomorrow morning on this. I need to hear from God

I also need to hear from God about whether to do the Myers-Briggs workshop for the Oasis Interaction Group and whether to join the cooking club with internationals. Also, should I do BSF/Suburban Ephesians/Bird's Eye View of the Bible?

I went to get my new crown. This is my second fitting. This time it filled the gap, but the dentist thought it was the wrong color for me. So, they are darkening it ever so slightly.

The boys and I worked on their timelines this morning. I think this is going to be a really good year of learning history with less details about every single thing and seeing most points in broader strokes and going deeply in only a few cultures. They like ancient history the best. So, this will be a very good year.

Now, the boys are doing their math, but they seem to have deteriorated into talking and laughing. So, I better go.

I must practice for my talk on stress relief tonight. I am finally ready to have the Dale Carnegie class be over. I have LOVED it in every way, but now that things are kicking up for the fall, it will be really nice to be home another night of the week. I only have three more weeks to go, and it only overlaps with my Bible study two weeks, and it doesn't overlap with Bird's Eye View of the Bible at all.

Friday: Two hour workout, three hour homeschool, make a meal for the Smiths, meet with Roxanne McAuley, meet with Teala at Iovino's Restaurants during Happy Hour from 3-4:30

Saturday: Workout, shopping, Dot photo pictures, Forsyte Saga.

Sunday: Workout, Suburban, rest.

Monday: Rebekah's for walk and prayer, homeschool, "Garden of Blessing" at Suburban.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Our First Day of the 2006-2007 School Year!

I'm keyed. I'm pumped. I'm psyched! (To borrow from the vernacular of my college days.)

WE STARTED SCHOOL TODAY!

It went great. Here is what we are doing for this year:

HISTORY

Starting all over again with the Ancients, but we will do those first 100 pages from our OLD history book, The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History, and do the prehistoric stuff that we missed last year. I challenged both boys to write a report from this first leg of world history, and they both want to write a report on Dinosaurs. Michael's head is already turning with ideas.

I also introduced them to the Timeline books, timeline figures, and history notebooks. They loved the Ancients book covers for their notebooks.

BIBLE

I am having them each read a chapter in the New Testament and jornaling in a notebook. Trying to introduce having a daily quiet time every morning. Then, we will read Old Testament together and read a selection from The Awesome Book of Bible Facts. I also have timeline figures for Biblical characters that we can add to our timeline.

We also are praying through Windows on the World as we learn about many of the countries. Today we learned about the Garden of Eden and also prayed for modern day Iraq.

SCIENCE

We are going to let the dinosaur study count for both science and history. Then, I have the Usborne Earth Science book that I bought from Laura H. for only $2 many years ago. :) It includes three books in one. One on the earth, one on ecology, and one on weather and atmosphere. The second half of the year, we will study astronomy when we can do some star gazing in the spring. I will use the Ring of Fire Rocks kit for science experiments.

GRAMMAR

Just went to Kinko's and copied off the first fifty-five days of the Daily Grams. I stil love this simple way to do grammar every day in ten minute increments! I thought I had already done the copies, but I guess not. :) We will also continue our Vocabulary on the Vine studies with Greek and Latin roots.

LITERATURE/READING

Michael is reading the A.A. Milne poetry book called And Now We are Six. Paul is going to read the entire Narnia Series.

I will also continue reading A Child's Garden of Verses that I never finished last year! I know there is another Sonlight book that I would like to read from Favorite Poems Old and New. I will have to look it up in the library.

I also want to read some of the Read-Alouds recommended and one of our favorites: Detectives in Togas. Paul does not remember it, and Dad has never read it. So, I will have him read it to them at night.

Other ones that I am considering are:

Beyond the Desert Gate
Eagle of the Ninth
Flame Over Tara
God King
The Golden Goblet
I, Juan de Preja
Master Cornhill
Otto of the Silver Hand
The Second Mrs. Giaconda
The Shakespeare Stealer
A Single Shard
The Trojan War
The Wrestling Game
Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths
Archimedes and the Door of Science
The Bronze Bow
The Great and Terrible Quest
Hittite Warrior
The Ides of April
Mara, Daughter of the Nile
Mary, Bloody Mary
The Mystery of the Roman Ransom
The Phantom Tollbooth
A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Minver
The Saurai Tale
Shadow of the Bull
Theras and His Town
The Cat Who Went to Heaven
The Children's Homer

WRITING

Handwriting is a nice book I got from Bob Jones Press. I will have them write in their history notebooks about things we are learning in history. Much of their writing will also be their research reports. I will do dictation too, but I am not sure of the sources at this point.

SPELLING

It will be no more books for this homeschool mom. I am liberated from them. I will be correcting their writing as they write and give spelling tests from them. So much more practical.

MUSIC

Michael is taking banjo lessons and Paul is taking piano from Suzannah Doyle. She is fantastic. We will also be studying one of the BIG composers a month. This month will be Bach. I have a great Disney record on the composers that George had as a child.

EXERCISE

Still working on this one. I am thinking swimming after music practice on Tuesdays. I thought that we would do fencing, but it is in Salem, and that is a bit far.

ART

I want to finish up those water color books. I want to also do some nature journaling in our journals. I also want to use the Great Artists book that I have never used. Maybe with our coop kids!

CO-OP

Dee and I are really going to do it this year! I promise! We will do fun things and field trips and such.

PLAYS/FIELD TRIPS

With Co-op and also with the plays group. I think one play a term will suffice. The kids are growing out of many of the plays. I also would like to go to a Shakespeare play next summer.

BOYS GROUP

They will be meeting every Wednesday instead of every other Wednesday. Abigail also mentioned wanting to do something together on an every other week basis too.

I think that is it for now!

I will write about what I will be doing tomorrow!

Old Herbaceous

This was a sweet story about a gardener in England from the time he was a boy to an old man. It made me cry it was so short and sweet.  Here...