Monday, July 30, 2007

Who Are You?

Yesterday I wrote about friendship...I wish I could say that I know where all those people are today. I don't. I also wish I could say that I have never blown it with my friends. I can't. Do you wish you could find certain people from your past and show them how much you have changed? I do. I am not the same person I use to be. I didn't do anything, but God has.

I have thought a lot about what I would write on that dry erase board. In bondage...Free. People pleaser...Performs for an audience of One. Perfectionist...Made perfect in Christ. Proud...Broken by God to be made Whole. Sinner...Daughter of the King.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Both sermons at church today centered around friendship. (I go to one of those 'strange' churches that still has Sunday night church.) Tonight's specifically challenged me to be more thankful for the incredible friends that God has blessed me with during my life. The text was Philippians 1:1-8 and the three points were:
  1. Appreciate your friends' devotion
  2. Appreciate your friends' distinction
  3. Appreciate your friends' determination

As I have thought about these points, I have decided to make a list about friendship. The inspiration of this list goes back to my childhood. We had a set of sheets (I don't think they are still around, but anything is possible) that had the Peanuts characters all over them. They then had all these statements that began with "Happiness is..."

Friendship is...

  1. Taking you to and picking you up from the airport.
  2. A random phone call, card, or e-mail just to tell another person that you care.
  3. Asking someone if they need anything from Wal-Mart and then buying it for them.
  4. Dropping everything because you know they need a shoulder to cry on.
  5. A Papa John's pizza, paper towels, and a rented movie.
  6. Laughing so hard that you cry or think you might wet your pants.
  7. Sharing a look that speaks louder than words ever could.
  8. Putting together an entertainment center and then going back to Target to talk the manager into giving you a refund because it went on sale the day after you bought it.
  9. Taking you the doctor when you are too sick to drive.
  10. Able to overlook differences and embrace similarities.
  11. Proof reading your papers in college and seminary.
  12. Late night conversations or e-mails.
  13. Sending a book in the mail so that they don't have to go buy it.
  14. Standing in the rain to get Tony Dungy's signature.
  15. A gift.

I could go on and on, but will refrain. So, to all my friends, near and far, thank you. I know I don't tell you each enough, but I love you and appreciate all that you do.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Pampering the Pigs and the Pig Skin

Let me begin by saying that like most women I like to be pampered. As a single woman, it doesn't happen that often. Occassionally I will treat myself to something that can only be described as indulgent, but oh so good. When I went to get my hair cut on Thursday I noticed a sign that said that manicures and pedicures were half off. After spending all day at Universal yesterday, I decided that my feet deserved a little pampering so I called and booked an appointment.

Can I say "ahhhh..."? I could have spent all day there! (I did find it odd that she found a knot in my arch, but I think she just about got it out. Now, if I could only get the knot out of my shoulder.)

After the pampering, my roommate and I headed to our leasing office to sign a new lease. Overall it was an uneventful process, but the leasing agent shared a little "secret". Apparently our apartment use to be the model. He then shared that there is a large number of Bucs players who also live in our complex (we think a player was actually signing a lease in another office). A couple of years back (details were fuzzy on the time line) two of the Bucs coaches decided to live here. They really liked the layout of the model, but there were no units like that availble. No problem they said, they would just live in the model. All this to say, I live in Jethro Franklin's and Greg Burn's old apartment. Who knew?!?!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Weekend Projects

With all my computer problems over the weekend, I never got to share the two projects that I tackled while my roommate was gone.

I have several antiques in my apartment. I laugh when people discuss buying furniture because my family has this very odd habit of switching furniture around. When I was in college, my brother and sister-in-law got my bedroom suite, I ended up inheriting my parents, and my parents got something that I think belonged to my great-grandparents that had been at my grandparents. We also joke about the fact that our family has enough furniture to completely set up an additional house.

I have inherited some really neat pieces. One of my favorites is a desk. I acquired when I started seminary. It was actually in the first house my grandparents bought after my grandfather returned from World War II. According to my grandparents they bought the house from some old couple. No one actually knows how old the desk is, but my grandparents have been married over 60 years.

When I acquired the desk it was painted green. I stripped and refinished it, but since it is so old the wood becomes very dry. This weekend I did a little maintenance. I was really pleased with the finished product.

For the last several months I have intended to hang a shelf over the entertainment center. It has been one of those project that I kept saying, "Well, when I get around to it..." This weekend I finally got around to it. I measured, remeasured, and finally began drilling. It always makes me nervous to drill holes. I rarely get things exactly level. Well, there is a first time for everything. See for yourselves.

I think the finished product looked awfully nice as well.

Needless to say, I didn't have a very exciting weekend. Since I am going to Universal tomorrow, this weekend could be a little more eventful. I mean, I am spending the day with a bunch of teenagers!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Winning, Losing, and Sharing

(Note: You know you have a problem when you are laying in bed at 2:30 am and think, I really should write a post about that on my blog!)

You might wonder what these three have in common, and I will get around to making a connection. As I do, I ask that you be patient and let me explain where I am coming from.

Like anyone I would rather win than lose. I grew up in a competitive family, sometimes you won and sometimes you lost. As I got older I learned that you shouldn't rub your competitor's nose in a loss. Thankfully, I also learned the art to losing gracefully. But as I said, I would rather win than lose!

I will also confess that I can be a little stuck in my ways. I guess that happens when you have been on your own for the last 10 years. I have had roommates off and on, and you have to learn to share certain things. However, you always have that place that is just yours. For example, your room. In that room are other things that I don't like to share. My toothbrush is one. (I still have issues from one of the last times I was at my parents' house and found my brother using my tooth brush!) I think that is pretty understandable, but what I have in mind may sound a little unusual. The vast majority of it has to do with the fact that I don't have the habit of sharing this particular item. Hopefully the time will come when that changes, but it isn't an issue right now. (However, that is a whole different issue.)

When I agreed to dog sit for my roommate, I informed her that I wouldn't be sharing this particular item and I meant it. Friday night I was put to the test. Would I win or would I lose? It was late (2 am for those of you who are interested) and I was tired (I mean it was 2 am)! I put the dog's bed in my room and climbed into my own. The test began. The pawing, the crying, and whining. Would I give in? Remember I don't always share well. I held strong, but it continued. No, I wouldn't cave that easy...then it hit me. This could go on for a while. I did cave and shared. I lost, and not gracefully this time. There I was at 3 am, sharing my bed with a Daschund!

Each night after I would try to trick her so I would not have to share. Saturday I was very successful when she feel asleep in her bed (seen above) in the living room. I left the door to my room open in case something went wrong. At 4:30 am she wandered in and again I caved. Sunday and Monday did not go so well and shared the entire night.

You might wonder what are my issues? First, the dog liked to cuddle. Second, she snored. Third, she did not share the bed. On Monday I woke up and she had 3/4 of the bed, while I, the human being, had 1/4 of the bed.

All this made me begin to think what it would be like to be married. It didn't help that several people also asked me this question. I don't have an answer, but I have a feeling I will figure it out. Morning breath has to better than doggie breath!

What does winning, losing, and sharing have in common? They are all part of relationships. (At least they do from this single person's perspective.)

Adios Vundo Trojan Horse

It took the vast majority of the night. I have uninstalled programs, researched how to delete the files that were causing so many problems, installed other programs, and followed specific instructions from Microsoft. All of that does appear to have solved my problem. McAfee is NOT reporting that "Vundo" is still present this morning. I am able to get on the Internet and McAfee is running. It looks like my problems are solved. I have had a couple of pop-up ads though, and I will investigate this a little more. I am obviously on the right track and seem to be doing much better.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Computer Woes...Continued

You may have thought that since I was able to post that my computer had been miraculously healed. I wish it were true. I did figure out that my inability to get on the Internet was actually caused by the newest version of McAfee that I had downloaded in an attempt to fix my problem. I can tell you that it diagnosed the problem, but it has not fixed it. I do apparently have a Vundo Trojan Horse file. It is classified as spyware and is not a virus. That is good news for all the people that I e-mail. However, I cannot get rid of it. I do have a couple of other options to try and remove these nasty files, but needed to be able to get on the Internet to do so. I have deleted McAfee and will continue my quest. If I am unsuccessful tonight, I will call in the experts.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Computer Problems

I have another post just about finished, but I decided to share my computer woes. If you saw my laptop you would could immediately see a couple of problems. You my think it would be the fact that I don't have an "m" key. Or the fact that it has a funky "f" and "r" key. However, those are not causing my woes this evening.

Since it is Saturday, I have been on the computer a good part of the day working on a couple of different things. During some part of my time on the Internet I have picked up some ad program. Basically all these advertisements keep popping up. I have also been working on a piece of furniture that needed a little TLC. Between cleaning and coats of tongue oil, I came back to my computer only to find over 20 different Internet Explorer windows that had opened. It is absolutely crazy.

My computer skills are probably better than average, so I have been trying to fix the problem(s) myself. I found two infected files that have been deleted. I have removed multiple programs that were downloaded today. I have run a virus scan twice, and deleted my cookies. The computer has been rebooted more times than I can count.

The problems are not completely gone, but they are better. I think one of the pop up advertisement files is still stowing away somewhere on my computer, but I will find it! If anyone has any ideas to what I have gotten myself into or how to fix it, I am all ears.

On a completely different note, does anyone have any feedback on my new layout?

Friday, July 20, 2007


You might think that the title of this post is just because it is Friday. Don't misunderstand me, I was very ready for has been a long week.

It has also been a hot week here...especially since my air conditioning in my car is broken. Today, I finally got it fixed. Talk about sweet relief. The drive home was nice and cool. No more rolled down windows unless I want to enjoy the Florida breeze!

Sorry, no random or fun pictures today.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Beauty and Majesty

Taking the advice from a friend (thanks Meems), I ventured out again tonight. The rain had finally stopped and some fresh air after being cooped up in an office all days seemed enticing. Last night I saw a double rainbow, but was unable to photograph it. Not quite the same, but it was still really pretty.

Then I looked to the west and could see the sun as it was beginning to set. Now this is what I was trying to share the other day.

Now, if only I could figure out how to fit that in the fridge! Hmmmmmm.....

The Mighty One, God, the LORD, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets.

Psalm 50:1

From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the LORD is to be praised.

Psalm 113:3

So that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know there is none besides me. I am the LORD, and there is no other.

Isaiah 45:60

"My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations," says the LORD Almighty.

Malachi 1:11

Monday, July 16, 2007


Late yesterday afternoon I decided to finally venture out of my apartment. I had a nice quiet Sunday afternoon up until that point. However, it looked like it had been a gorgeous day and I decided that I should enjoy a little sun and I wanted to watch the sunset. I grabbed a book and headed to my favorite little spot on the trail. While the trail is a mile long, sprinkled throughout are picnic tables, benches, chairs, gazebos, and swings. The trail is lined with all sorts of plants and flowers, none of which I know by name. However there is this little patch of bamboo that grows in one area. Nestled nearby is a swing that overlooks the water. It has become one of my favorite spots to read, pray, or simply think.

After some time reading I went down to the other end of the trail where I could watch the sunset. There are two adirondack chairs down there that give you a great view. In the six months I have lived here I have seen some incredible sunsets.

I sat and I watched. To be honest it was a little disappointing. Many times the sky is colored with the most breath taking colors of pinks, oranges, reds, and other colors that cannot even be described. At first the sun was so intense and bright that it was almost blinding. I decided to pick back up and read my book for awhile. However, there were these spots all over the page and my sunglasses did not even seem to be doing their job.

Don't misunderstand, it was pretty, but not what I was anticipating or expecting. But isn't that true in life. We have all these preconceived ideas about a particular experience. What it will be like, and what it will look like. If we aren't careful we completely miss out on a great opportunity because we are so preoccupied with our own expectations. We also may miss out on a some of God's precious blessings. If I have learned one thing in life is that my expectations cannot even compare to what God has in store!

I continued to watch the sun set. It was as if inch by inch the sun disappeared behind the clouds. It reminded me of that commercial several years back where a father and son where watching a sunset. The dad was commentating, "going, going, going, gone!" His son looked up and exclaimed, "Do it again!"

The sun eventually disappeared behind the clouds and that is when I saw it. The brilliant colors behind the clouds and above the trees. The pinks, oranges, and reds peeked out as if just to say say hi. From the angle that I had, a picture wasn't a possibility, but I wondered what people saw further down on the beach. What angle did they have? Were the clouds in their way? Or did that have an unobstructed view and able to take in the beauty of God's world?

I guess it all comes down to perspective.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Saturday Fun!?!?!

My goal for today was to have a nice relaxing Saturday. When I got home from work last night my plan was to clean my room. However, that didn't happen. I did watch part of a movie...I feel asleep halfway through.

This morning I woke up after 9. I made breakfast and a pot of coffee. I turned the movie back on from last night and finished it. Then I cleaned up the breakfast dishes. That is when I noticed that the kitchen needed a little attention, so I began to clean it. Then I decided to vacuum. I ended the vacuuming in my room when I noticed that I really needed to clean my room. Of course after I cleaned my room I had to take care of the bathroom. Here are the fruits of my labor!

That when I saw it. Just to my right, the closet. Now I have always struggled keeping the closet neat. But since I was on a roll I decided to tackle it anyway!



It might not have been the most relaxing Saturday, but at least I have something to show for it. Now I can just enjoy the rest of the afternoon and evening! YEAH!!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Excuse Me?

I have not found time to go to the grocery store since I have returned from Texas. Today, I had no other choice. I officially had run out of things to eat for breakfast and had no lunch to take to work. I don't like to go grocery shopping. It takes too much time and planning. However, when you have to, you have to. I decided to run into the Super Wal-Mart by work. I don't really like to go there, but I pass it on my way home. I grab everything I need and head to the check out. Amazed, I find a check out person with no line. Just to make sure my eyes are not decieving me I ask her if she is open. She responds, but I do not understand her. I think she may have answered me in Spanish, but that is besides the point. I eventually realize that she has just informed me that it is a 20 items of less line. I tell her that I think I have less than 20 items. That is when she tells me to count them. Stunned and not wanting to go to another line, I obey. I have 19 items. She rolls her eyes, but begins scanning.

Michelle sent me her pictures today. Here is my favorite!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

My Vacation

This was the most interesting 4th of July celebration that I have ever experienced. The high was only 75 degrees and it was overcast. I think it kept a lot of people at home. However, Stuart, Michelle, Jacob, and I had a great time. There are some floats that haven't changed since I was a little girl. Every year the parade begins with flags being carried by the sheriff's posse. Other regulars include the high school cheerleaders on the fire truck, the marching band, and of course my favorite Dr. Long on his riding mower.

You can't really see it, but he is pulling over 30 red wagons behind the mower. Growing up there were only about 8 or so. Each wagon carried one of his grandchildren, and the last wagon always had a sign in it that said "future crop". Some where along the way he began including friends in the procession. It is a town favorite and it was really funny to see everyone pull out their cameras when he came driving by.

A new float in the parade was by HEB, which is our local grocery store. I don't even know how tall this shopping car was. I can tell you that they were able to go under the stop light that was just down from where we were sitting.

While the parade was fun, I also had a great time with my family. Stuart's birthday is actually tomorrow, the 11th, but we managed to throw two different parties for him while I was home. The first one was Friday night and Jacob and I made cupcakes. Here is Jacob pre-cupcake:

And here he is post-cupcake:

On Sunday afternoon/evening we had Stuart' second party. (For that one I made cheesecake, but there are no pictures. Trust me it was good!) This was also the first time that I was able to see Roger and Alisa. Jacob made sure that we all went swimming that evening.

Jacob has turned into a little fish this summer. He will jump to anyone and has no fear of venturing into the deep end. He even will put his face in the water. We still need to work on closing our mouth so that we don't drink the pool, but overall I was really impressed.

Something strange happened when we were all in the pool, but it was like we were all kids again. Between the dunking and shooting each other with water guns, it was insane...but it was fun! Roger decided to challenge Alisa to a little contest with one of the noodles. The winner got the other wet. He lost every time.

I have some other pictures, but these are the highlights. Obviously I took all of these and I hope to get some from Michelle that actually have me in the pictures. I will post those as soon as I get them.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Home, Sweet Home!

I just thought I would let you all know that I made it back from Texas. I have been up over 15 hours today and I am doing all I can to hold my head up at this time. I have lots of pictures and stories to share from my time in Texas, but you will have to wait until another day. I know the anticipation is almost more than you can handle!

Thursday, July 5, 2007


I am in Texas, but won't get a chance to really blog until I get back. Having a great time with the family. I have lots of pictures to share as well. I hope everyone had a Happy 4th of July.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Walking with a Dolphin

One of my favorite things about Monday mornings is that I do not go into work until after lunch, so I have the pleasure of having a leisure morning. I try to get a nice early morning walk in, an extended Bible study time, catch up on stuf around the house, etc. This morning I literally had to pull myself out of bed, but I really wanted to get my walk in before the day got hectic. My apartment complex is on the bay and there is this trail that just winds around the water. Last week during my walk I saw a sting ray and some sort of porpoise. I didn't get a really good look at it. This morning I am just thinking and praying when I hear something next to me. I look over in the water and there is this dolphin swimming right beside me. We walked for about a hundred yards that way. He or she would disappear but in a few seconds would crest again as we stayed in "step".

It was just a reminder about how incredible God is. He is Creator God. From the birds in the air (I think a flock of flamingos may have flown over me this morning) to the dolphin to me, He created each of us. From the glassy, still water of the bay this morning to the trees and flowers. I have often wondered how people can look at the beautiful, intricate world we live in and say that it all happened by chance. How could there not be a God? As Romans 1:20 says, "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."

That verse reminds me of a story. The people group that I worked with in China are animistic. They basically believe that everything has a spirit- the rocks, the trees, the mountains, etc. There job was to try and please all these gods by making various sacrifices. At one time they actually offerred human heads to their gods. One particular village elder had this dream that there was more in the world that all these gods, and began his quest to find the one, true God. In his dream he and several other men were to set out with a white donkey and follow it until it stopped. When it stopped that person would be able to tell them about God. They began their little adventure and when the donkey finally stopped they meet an American missionary by the last name of Young who was able to tell them about God. Many of the villages in this area are now Christians.

Which reminds me of a song:
From the highest of heights to the depths of the sea
Creation's revealing Your majesty
From the colors of fall to the fragrance of spring
Every creature unique in the song that it sings
All exclaiming
Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God

All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly
You are amazing God

Who has told every lightning bolt where it should go
Or seen heavenly storehouses laden with snow
Who imagined the sun and gives source to its light
Yet conceals it to bring us the coolness of night
None can fathom

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name
You are amazing God

All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God