Monday, March 02, 2009

I Have a Dream!

I post rarely these days because of my very limited time and mental capacity for forming complete sentences. However, I wanted to share with the 3 or 4 people who actually read my sporadic posts a dream/vision/calling that is on my mind all the time.

About a year ago I was doing a web search for Craftsman house plans for the dream house of our future. I love the Craftsman style of architecture in general, and Frank Lloyd Wright in particular. I had searched several times, but had never been able to find exactly what I wanted in a home. On this day I glanced over at an ad on the side of a house plans search, and I saw IT! There was a picture of MY HOME! I discovered it was a book of Craftsman house plans that just happened to be on sale for less than $10! I immediately ordered the book and anxiously awaited its arrival. When the book came, the plans for the house were even better than I hoped.

The dream began as a desire to build a large home in the country that would be a family homestead. Rooms for each of our kids and their future spouses to come and spend the holidays in comfort. A funny thing happened on the way to that dream, though. God began to stir in our hearts a desire to use the home for more than holidays. I began to do new web searches for retreat homes. Not a bed-and-breakfast or fun time get-away, but a place of ministry. I stumbled upon Pastors Retreat Network's website and discovered a really neat organization. I'm still doing some research, so I won't go into all of that.

Still, God started prodding us to implement a plan to build a pastor's retreat home. Most churches are small, 100 members or less, even here in the Bible belt. When a church is that small, the pastors must be bi-vocational. This translates into very overworked, generally under appreciated, and certainly underpaid servants. So the people who need to get a break the most, are often those who can afford it the least. We want a place that is independently funded, where pastors and their spouses can come for restoration, rest, and perhaps some counsel. Doug and I are trained and equipped to do just that. I have an M.Ed. in Counseling and staff licensure through my denomination. My husband's job is one that can be done from Tulsa or the country, and his experience growing up on a cattle ranch trained him to take care of just about anything a large home and acreage could throw at him. The one thing we don't have at this point is the provision for the land and house. In the natural, it will take about 6 years to try to put it all together. We also know that God works in the supernatural, and we are open to whatever, whenever, and however He wants to do it.

Basically, we just want people to pray with us that we will know how to proceed, directed step-by-step, that we will have the courage to walk by faith, not by sight, and the wisdom to make those decisions. We looked at some land yesterday that would be perfect, but it's for sale right now and there is no natural possibility for us to buy it. It may be that God is just showing us what's possible. We're o.k. with that. But we also know He's an amazing God. Amen.

p.s. The name of our home is Barnabas House, because Barnabas means son of encouragement.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

L is for Love!

This rather informal meme, in which the tagger assigns you a letter of the alphabet and you then list 1o things you love that begin with that letter, came from Diane. I won't tag anyone, but if you'd like to do the meme, just leave a comment or email me at and I'll assign you a letter for the meme. Diane chose the letter L for me, so here goes:

1. Lemon - pie, cake, and scented cleaning products. Though I don't usually eat the cleaning products.

2. Late nights - I'm a night owl, pure and simple. I've done everything in my power to adjust my internal clock, to no avail. Apparently, God made me this way, and it's in no way inferior to morning people. So there! ;0P

3. Lip Smackers - Dr. Pepper to be exact. It's the best chap*stick ever made!

4. Law & Order - I think I've seen every episode of every version ever made. I'm considering rehab.

5. Lotion - Orange Ginger from Bath & Body Works for the smell, and Gold Bond for the intense therapy.

6. Long baths - nuff said

7. Life of Grits - one of my favorite blogs

8. Lisa Whelchel Cauble - it has been a joy knowing this amazing woman. Working and playing together - an honor and a privilege.

9. Linus and Lucy - Vince Guaraldi Trio, you rock my world!

10. Learning - I have a ravenous hunger for learning. All kinds of things.

So let me learn about you!


I think I've survived, but I'm not entirely sure. You see, my employer, ORU, announced layoffs on the 13th. We lost three people from my department, leaving just two of us to take care of all the seniors. In addition to the all the transfer students I'm already managing. Then on the 15th, the other academic counselor was in a car accident. And hasn't been back to work since. And then there was one. But at least I still had my boss to ask questions of in an emergency. You do remember I just got this job in April, right? Now the boss will be out on Monday. I've had an eye twitch since the 14th. I'm thankful I still have my job. But it's hard not to envy those laid off who will be getting paid to stay home for two months.

Oh, and the girl who alternated weeks with me leading worship went away to college. So now I lead every week. Don't get me wrong, I love leading worship. LOVE IT! I'm just so very tired. And in need of a maid. And a massage. And a manicure. And a new bed.

I started a new semester - I'm taking Hermeneutics - interpreting and studying the Bible, Assessment I - a superfluous requirement for accreditation purposes, and Crisis Counseling - which I may need if things don't settle down soon. I'm really enjoying Hermeneutics, though I may become violent if he doesn't stop saying methiology instead of methodology, and tilafia instead of tilapia when he talks about going to Outback in front of us starving grad students. Haven't been to Crisis Counseling yet. It meets one weekend a month for three months, starting next weekend. Yep, we'll be singing familiar songs in worship next week!

Update on Mom - the diagnosis was some form of dementia, possibly Alzheimer's. The doctor took away her driving privileges, which was more devastating to her than the diagnosis. It was well past time. My brother is setting up power of attorney because she arranged cataract surgery on her own, opted for lens replacement which was not covered by her insurance, and was charged $4,000 to a credit card. She didn't understand that it was not covered, but the doctor's office said they explained everything and this is what she wanted. It's done now, and nothing can be undone. She has resisted any medication to treat chemical imbalance and Alzheimer's, so I don't know what the future holds for her. It must be very hard on my brother and his wife, since she lives in an apartment in their back yard.

So, all this since Christmas. Our decorations are still up. And may be for two more weeks.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Twas the two days after Christmas...

And all through the house, debris, flotsam, and jetsam covered many a mouse? Well, so much for post-Christmas poetry. The house is a disaster and my mother-in-law's coming over tonight. So, it's pretty clear what we'll be doing today. Right now the kids are still in bed, so things are pretty quiet.

Rachel and I will be heading down to Texas to see the fam Sunday evening. It should be an interesting mix of good and bad. You see, my mom has finally admitted there might be a problem, and went for some testing for Alzheimers. She will be getting her test results on Monday, and I don't think she's going to like what they have to say. It's been obvious to the family for a long time, but her quack doctor said she was fine. Where can someone find a doctor that actually listens, PAYS ATTENTION, and looks for answers until they are found?!? I can't believe what these guys get away with for the price we pay! MEDIOCRITY!! I think we all know where I stand on this issue now. The problem is, she could have been in treatment for well over a year now. Each time I see her, she's gone noticeably down hill. It's so painful.

On the upside, I'll get to see my Texas friends and attend a New Year's Eve party with one of my buds. I get to stay with my niece/best friend, and I can't wait to spend some time with her! I was hoping to get my hair cut while there, but my hairdresser in TX is booked up and I'm broke. So, I'll just have to struggle along with this sorry little mop for a little while longer.

Speaking of broke, I have a small moral dilemma. I am now the proud (or not so proud) owner of a Coach purse and an iPhone. I received both as prizes - it's strange, I happen to win things often. We looked into returning the purse, but they would only give store credit. I needed the phone, so we didn't try to return it. Besides the fact that I won it at the company picnic, so people would have asked questions. The dilemma is this: we are broke. As in, I'd like to buy a dozen eggs, but I just don't have the dough. Like, Doug and I didn't get gifts for each other - not even stocking stuffers - broke. So it feels really weird to be carrying around these luxury items. I have no illusions about them being luxuries, and they aren't things I would have ever bought for myself. Ever. I didn't even know about Coach before this sales contest came up. It just feels weird. Once again, I ponder "what is God up to?" Once again, He offers no clue. It's this deal we have. Any ideas out there? Is anyone still out there reading? I suppose not, but that's the consequence of not writing for months at a time.

If anyone is reading, I hope you had a blessed Christmas. My kids really stepped up to the responsibility plate and didn't complain about the dearth of gifts this year. I'm proud of them. Now I must start the pre-Mother-in-law cleaning process. Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Christmas Miracle!

Obviously that intention to post more often "gang aft agley." However, I did survive the semester - two "A"s thankyouverymuch! I don't think I'll try two evening classes again. The whole semester was junk food 3 meals a day. Bleah.

We had some stresses throughout this time. My grandmother-in-law passed away just 3 weeks after being diagnosed with cancer, my mother-in-law had a heart attack scare, and my husband developed a mysterious G.I. bleed and bowel ischemia that resolved itself with no explanation. Oh there were lots of tests, lots of bills, and a 5 day stay in our local hospital. But no explanation. My 16 yr. old son is experiencing a great deal of teenage angst - camp friend killed in a car accident 2 days before Thanksgiving, first love broke up with him by text right after that, and a good friend just moved to Switzerland. I wouldn't be 16 again for love ner money!

We camped again at Thanksgiving, which went pretty well. It was a nice campground with only one other camper there the whole time. The weather was just cold enough and the food was great. I miss my camping buddies, though. It's just not the same without them.

Once again, Christmas will be lean. I'm trying to keep a stiff upper lip about the whole thing - tell myself it's o.k. to wait till Jan.15th for my husband's quarterly bonus to come in - but a big part of me is not buying it. You'd think I'd be good at this "wait upon the Lord" thing by now. Not so much.

So, while I know this post has all the rousing Christmas spirit of the first half of "A Christmas Carol," the miracle is - I did post. I'm still believing for something to come through before Thursday. "Hope springs eternal" and all that. Remember us in your prayers - if anyone is still out there. I've enjoyed reading your blogs this semester - they've kept me going through this difficult time. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Is anyone still out there? Waiting ever-so-patiently for me to post? I realize I’ve been M.I.A. for quite some time. I will say I’ve been honing my lurking skills to a fine edge. Since I started the new job in April, life’s been a whirlwind.

Training is always a challenge, and I moved from a nearly silent office to an almost deafening cubicle. Printers, faxes, phones, copiers, people – I felt like the Grinch beleaguered by the Christmas celebrations of the Whos down in Whoville. Now don’t get me wrong – I love me some people. On the Myers-Briggs, I rank as high on the extrovert scale as it goes. It just took some desensitizing. On the plus side, WAY better boss! Wow, what a difference that makes! I’m so glad God finally opened the door. I love interacting with the students. And I get to see my daughters nearly every day. Double And, I have an office again, as of about a month ago. I would have posted sooner, but I barely survived registration.

I do have to tell you, my boss went on vacation for two weeks during the summer and I just had to give him a welcome back surprise. So just before he got back, I came in to work on a Saturday and, with the help of my husband and son, completely bubble-wrapped his office. Everything. Including his pens and dirty coffee mug. It was a hit. I, of course, denied all knowledge.

We had a back-to-school party last week, thrown by my daughter Roxanne. We had about 30 college students for lasagna, salad, bread, and sopapilla cheesecake. Also, Olympics-watching, Apples to Apples and Cranium competition. There were no survivors. So much fun!

One more thing, I started my second Masters program last week. Because of all the spare time I have. I shall endeavor to post regularly, but I’m making no promises. Thanks for checking back in!

Monday, May 26, 2008

It's Meme Time!

This meme comes from Redneck Diva, a blogger I truly enjoy!

Favorite person (outside family): I guess I’d have to say my friend Lori. She has this great, dry sense of humor that always cracks me up, and a true joy in serving the ones she loves. Thankfully, I’m one of those!

Favorite food: Rib eye steak. Hands down.

Quirks about you: How much time do we have? I love to pick. Paint, crepe myrtle tree bark, peeling sunburns, zits - I have a problem. Also, I have lots of texture issues with foods. Makes it difficult to eat at someone’s house.

How would the person who loves you most describe you in ten words or less? Voluptuous, woman, funny, dark, sweet, Jeopardy!, companion, counselor, encourager, nurturing, love-struck!

Any regrets in life? Plenty. And I’d definitely change them. Mostly it involves others I’ve hurt. That’s my greatest regret. And then, of course, self-destructive behaviors over the years.

Favorite Charity/Cause: Mercy House. It’s a ministry to pregnant women who have no place else to go. My sister-in-law founded it, and has incredibly impacted the lives of so many young women.

Something you cannot get enough of? Cilantro, free time, husband love.

Worst job you have ever had? My last one. It was in an environment of distrust and fear. No respect for boundaries. Besides the fact that I was alone in an office all day. I NEED people.

What job would you pay NOT to have? Daycare, no two ways about it!

Guilty Pleasure: Prince, Janet Jackson, Bellinis

Got any confessions? You can’t handle the truth!

If you HAD to spend $1,000 on YOURSELF, how would you spend it? Funny, “had” is in caps, as if that would be difficult. More kitchen stuff, shoes, clothes, I don’t suppose furniture counts as for myself, but if it did, new couches. NO, WAIT - a day of beauty! Massage, facial, mani, pedi, the works.

Favorite thing about your house? Location, location, location. We’re at last in a beautiful, non-ghetto neighborhood

Least favorite thing about your house? The painful rock floor in our entry. The rocks are large and uneven – a dangerous way to introduce others to our home.

One thing you are good at? Only one? Making people laugh.

If you could change something about your circumstances, what? Money, money, money

Who would you like to meet someday? Redneck Diva, Boo Mama, Big Mama, Shannon, Barb, Judith, Diane, Pioneer Woman, Barbra Streisand, Brian Duncan, C.S. Lewis (yes, I know he’s dead!), Harry Connick, Jr., Denzel Washington, Cher, Dolly Parton

What makes you feel sexy? Being thin, so obviously I haven’t felt sexy in a long, LONG time.

Who is your real life hero? Henry Cloud and John Townsend – authors of the “Boundaries” series. They truly changed the course of my life.

What is the hardest part of your job? I suppose the noise level in my area. I have a cubicle, and the sounds of the three printers, seal press, my boss’ very loud voice, everyone’s phones ringing, and other random conversations can be overwhelming sometimes.

When are you most relaxed? Sadly, when I’m watching t.v. I know, that’s very…um…lowbrow I suppose. I’m happiest when I’m performing, but I wouldn’t say relaxed.

What stresses you out? Being late for something, my son’s grades, mess, being broke most of all.

What can you not live without? God and Diet Coke

Do you agree or disagree with the recent article that reported that blogs are authored by narcissists? Well, if I was a narcissist, I wouldn’t care about anyone else’s feelings apart from their worship of me. Being a counselor pretty much negates that idea.

Why do you blog? I honestly don’t know. Which is probably why I’m not very consistent with it. I still hold back on my deepest thoughts and feelings, because I’m afraid people will think I’m too weird. And obviously, it’s important that everyone like me. (dang! There’s that narcissism thing again!)

I’m tagging Barb at A Chelsea Morning, Sarah at In the Midst of It, Diane at Diane’s Place, Boo Mama, Big Mama, Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer, Pioneer Woman, and Roxanne at Too Much Saga, Too Little Sleep. Plus anyone else who’d like to do it.

If you do the meme, leave a comment or email letting me know so I can go check it out. Here are the rules if you're interested:

1. Answer the questions
2. Link back to whoever tagged you
3. Tag eight bloggers to do the same, 2 from each category:
a. New/newer bloggers
b. Bloggy friends
c. Bloggers you would like to get to know better
d. Bloggers you don’t think will respond, but you hope will.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Greetings from Beyond - And A Plea for Help


I've been away for a while, huh? Sorry to abandon you, but it's been pretty crazy around here. I GOT THE JOB! Yes, that's where I've been. It's a very busy position, which I love, but it doesn't allow for any down time in which to blog. By the time I get home, I'm just exhausted. Hopefully my energy will catch up and the learning curve will slow down a little soon. I'm the new Transfer Evaluation Coordinator/Academic Counselor for Oral Roberts University. I can now exhale. I feel so much better already! I really have been meaning to post, but I wanted to do something special, so I kept putting it off. However...the time for procrastination is done because I have an earnest appeal for you.

My daughter Roxanne of is trying to raise money for a mission trip to Africa this summer. Here's the kicker: she still needs $1900 by Friday to pay for her airline tickets. If you feel led, please contribute what you can, and link me on your site. She fully believes God has called her to go - she just doesn't have rich parents! You can contact me in comments for the number to call to donate by credit or debit card at Victory Christian Center (mission video link) in Tulsa, Oklahoma. All donations are tax deductible.

I promise to do something flashy very soon! THANKS!