Thursday, December 29, 2011

Love is a Burning Flame

Can you guess that I'm listening to Johnny Cash?
I went down down down and the flames got higher-...what do you mean you don't know who Johnny Cash is?
....
I'm disappointed in you.
Go look him up on youtube right now. No, here, I'll make it easy on you.



Now watch that and then you have my permission to continue.
Sadly, it took the entire song to post that and now I'm listening to Johnny Horton's Battle of New Orleans- WHAT?? You haven't heard THAT? O.M.W.
Okay, well you're on your own with that one.

Anyways, how've you been? Eh? Yeah, I've turned Canadian since I've been gone. Oh! Deeds by Sanctus Real! Okay, okay! I'm going to stop broadcasting who I'm listening to. It's not my fault these songs don't last forever. I'm just listening to my own little "favorites" play list. So I guess, based on the past three songs I just listed, that gives you a little insight into my life of music. Yep. 
Speaking of the smug face. My brother bought me a MUG with the SMUG face on it. That one, right up there! It was an awesome Christmas present.
By the way, while I'm typing this I am wearing a light pink shirt with words on it. Do you know what the words say? If you were me you'd have said, "IDK, my BFF, Jill?" And you would have been RIGHT!

Anyways, so how was your Christmas? Mine was fine, it was a Christmasy Christmas full of Christmas relatives visiting (okay, my sisters). I have to admit, though, I'm a little glad that it's the end of -- OMW 'Gone' by Toby Mac!!! ehem. I'm a little glad it's the end of the holiday season. It's like I was all "oh yay! Thanksgiving and Christmas!" And then, well, I guess my Grandma passed away and that shook everything up. Then we got visitors twice in a month's time so it was like "WOAH! Downpour!" It was fun, for sure, and I do love seeing my siblings but now we can get back to normal life! It seems like it's been "go-go-go!" since June. Everyone was coming or going. Mom was constantly going places, having to go visit her Mom or whatnot. And then my sisters were visiting and we had Tina move in and JB visited and Grandma passed away. It was such a crazy year! But we got a nice little break in October but then it was back to the craziness. So that's why I say it's a little nice because we can all take a nice big breath and get into some sort of routine.

You know what's ironic? Mom used to make up routines for us. When I was growing up I hated the word! But now I need it! Aww, my Mom's birthday is coming up. I was just thinking tonight how sometimes I don't treat my mom as respectfully as she deserves. Sometimes I can be quite the brat. I was reflecting on that, tonight, how I'm in my mid-twenties and I can still act like a brat! Sometimes I want to slap myself. Well, I do, mentally. But, I mean, if I could watch myself in a moment of braterism and then just reach my hand through the screen of time and give myself a good slap and say, "your attitude stinks!" Then I, the slapper, would look smug while the slappee would look something akin to this:

Yes.
Anyways, routine, yes. I like routine.
The past two months have been havoc! My sleeping habits have been out of whack and so have my chores and working habits!
But I shall overcome! I changed around my room to the arrangement of my liking. I usually move my bed far away from my window in the winter because it's warmer but with my new comforter I think I'll be fine closer to my window. This arrangement helps me with my imagination, I think I write better this way, I do, I really do.

By the way, you shall be proud of me, I have two paintings finished and one waiting--just DYING--to be finished.
Any day now and I'll list them on Etsy. Though I wonder if I should have a few more to offer. Meh, I don't know.
Anyways, the point is, I'm getting work on that!
Writing is another story... sigh... Ever sense the grandma stuff going on with me and BFF in November our book has been on hold. BFF needs a new computer but, until then, she's been scribbling little writings in another book she's writing JUST for me! <3 so happy.
I, as well, scribble down little tidbits of things for other books or our book. Just nothing major.
But! We shall endure this dry writing spell and come out with some juicy creativity that will pour onto the pages.
Well, it's not lack of creativity, it's lack of computer.
But, you'll be happy to hear, we have our first meeting of the year set up! We will read through the last few chapters of our book and decide where we want to go from there. So that makes me happy!

I have many other thoughts but this is about all you're getting out of me.
So, until then, TATAW.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Introducing....

My new painting station!!






My awesome family made room in the dining room for my painting stuff, and even put in a little shelf and everything! I love them!
This is a painting I'm working on to sell on Etsy! What do you THINK?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

:3

That's it! I can't take it anymore!!
I have to paint. I've just got to.
My mom said I could paint in the dining room but I didn't want to make it a huge mess from all my crazy paint-splattering ways. But desperation has driven me to throw out my good sense and set up my easel in the dining room. Lord help us all.
I've got a ton of canvas, I've got turpentine, I've got loads of paint. The only thing I've not got -- until now -- is a place to paint! AAAAAAAAAAAH! I think I'm going stir-crazy. No, paint-stir-crazy. I've been out of the house a lot (for me) and it's not even snowy out so it's not like I've got cabin fever. But there are so many paintings sitting inside of me scratching at my brain and fingers saying, "Andrea, PAINT US PAINT USSS!!!" That I've just gotta!!

Okay, I think now that I got that out of my system I can just take a deep breath and speak rationally.

..............

Not working. Maybe I'll just go paint right now.
Okay.
Wait, it's almost midnight. And tomorrow's Monday. I have to work tomorrow. But-But-But-GRRRR.
It's funny, I set up my easel and everything, with the intention of painting tomorrow, and then I go upstairs and what movie are my brothers and dad watching? The Christmas Cottage. Which is about what? Thomas Kinkade. As if I didn't have trouble enough calming this ravaging painting beast inside of me, I had to become incredibly enthralled in a painting movie? Blast!

But, it's okay, because I'm going to Bed Bath and Beyond tomorrow to buy a duvet.
Wait, what does that have to do with anything?
Nothing.
Okay.
Moving on.
Is anyone else concerned here? Wait, no one else is here! AH!
.............

Okay, no really, I'll be normal now.

You really believed me that time, didn't you.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

When I Talk on the Phone

This happens..

Wilson called while he was on the road heading towards BFF's little part of the country. We both have the same telephone carrier so we get free phone calls and I'm afraid texting would have been hazardous while he was driving. 
Either way, this was the result. M&M art!
I think it's funny how we sometimes do things unconsciously while preoccupied with a conversation. 
Ironically, the M&Ms were a birthday gift from said person, so it was fitting I organized them while conversing with him. 
It was funny to see my parents' cautiously optimistic looks when they saw me open my gift. I had to assure them that Wilson was just a friend (as with every other guy I know, the story of my life for now :p) but it's still kind of funny to see them a little hopeful. And also a little sad, poor folks, just can't wait to get rid of me. (okay, okay, not true.) 

However, Wilson does seem to be somewhat of a kindred spirit. Remember I mentioned me and BFF losing two close friends to the Dark Side of the Force a while ago and that the Lord restores and Wilson was part of that. It's good to have another friend to laugh with and tease as if we were nerdy 15 year olds again (and that was quite a while ago for all three of us). He's caught on to all our inside jokes and he laughs at mine and BFF's jokes often which recommends his outstanding sense of humor 
All in all, I'm thankful for a new friend like him. It reminds me of the good old days of camaraderie, but this time it's the right kind which has the deep roots of truth. I'm always glad to add another brother or sister in Christ to my little circle of friends. And am always thankful for the ones I already have. 

Do you have friends with whom you can just talk and laugh and share concerns with? Are they true friends? Treasure them and thank God for them. I remember bawling my eyes out when my other two friends deleted me maliciously just because I didn't agree with homosexuality (we haven't been friends since) and so that's why I think meeting this new friend really warms my heart. Not only he, but another friend I only just started talking to two years ago and have only met twice, we've become close friends in the limited time we've known each other. These are true friends who stand on the rock of Christ along with me and will always encourage me and build me up and will not condemn me for disagreeing with worldly ways. The same encouragement I get from my other more-mentioned friends. 
True friendship is golden, never take it for granted. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

And Now Some Bronzer

Before I start I must mention that I'm listening to Gungor's CD: Beautiful Things, the song that's playing is "You Have Me" (you ought to look it up on YOUTUBE and listen while you read this to get the full affect). I have bright red fuzzy socks on, and am wearing a delicious blue, plaid button-up shirt. I'm sitting cozily on my snug bed in the eve of a crisp pre-December night. All but one sibling is out of the house and it's all good.

Oh, and I miss BFF.
There.

Now that that's over with... My other sister arrived the day after my last post. Nothing very interesting happened until Thanksgiving -- that I can remember -- so I'll skip to that. Even then, it was a pretty mellow day (for me) up until I had to start cooking. I sat around the rec room all morning watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade (it was boring) and then movies on TV.
Finally I dashed downstairs and made a quick batch of fudge because the only desserts for the day were Pumpkin pie (by Tina), Apple Bavarian pie (by Rachelle) and a Pear Tart (by Bethany). Um, firstly, pumpkin? No thanks. Secondly, fruit? Even more no thanks!
It's okay, I don't need dessert. But I wanted fudge, so I made some. And this time I made it right! AHHA! I had only used HALF the required amount of chocolate last time! HA!

After setting everything up for my five-mile food dash to the finish line of stuffing our faces, I went upstairs and changed into something presentable and went down and gave my face over to the stylings of Tina. I have to be honest with you... I've never had so much make-up put on my face before... She put THREE layers of stuff on my face! Well, let's back up, you may get lost (especially the guys). First she put on the eye shadow, which was awesome! But, still, a few different colors. Then she started with foundation, this wet stuff applied all over my face with a brush! Then she applied powder all over my face, and then another type of powder. I was a little frightened. Then she said, "and now some bronzer" I was like O_O and THEN the blush! And then eyeliner, mascara and lipstick!
But, surprisingly, I didn't look like a crazy painted lady, it was all subtle (if you can believe that) and I loved the eye shadow! Tina did a good job and I enjoyed looking all done-up. Make-up isn't something I use often, probably once every other month. I like looking natural. But I do like to play around with it from time to time. I don't think it's something that's needed to make someone look beautiful, but I do think it can be a little bit of decoration if used properly :p

Then the eating commenced. Dad read us a cute little poem of thanks. It was so sweet! (and he wrote it himself.) Other than that it was just eating. And eating. And eating. Oh, and my gravy was way too concentrated so I left in the middle to go fix it. BFF called later that evening so that I could open her awesome birthday gifts since she had to work on my bday. She gave me, among other things, an awesome shirt (which I mentioned earlier). It's a man's shirt (yeeeesss), like an old fashioned work shirt some cowboy would wear. And I LOVE IT! Yes, that's just me and BFF for you, buying men's clothes and adoring them. It's so cozy and comfy. She also bought me two movies, one of which I watched that night!

So, on the morning of my birthday I ran downstairs and only the parents and the kids were awake. I had stipulated that I wished to open presents early morning so that we wouldn't be up late (that's how it happens with our bdays, usually,) but everyone was still asleep! That is, everyone except for the awesome moose and elk that came by to say hello! They don't drop by very often so it was a nice surprise. I decided to go back to sleep. And I did, for an hour, until BFF called on her way to work! It was a pleasant surprise, so we got to talk for a little while. Then my mom made me cinnamon waffles. Later I chatted with Wilson buddy for a while before abandoning him to go eat noodles with my brother. But, you see, he bamboozled me into going shopping! (And this is even more weird because it was the brother dragging the sister shopping!!! It's okay, he wanted to get Christmas lights) We went to Sears, JC Penny and Macy's--the last two were my idea. We didn't get anything (okay, he got a few things but I'm not allowed to mention some of them since they are Christmas prezzies). Then we stopped at Michael's just for the heck of it.
And it was a good thing we did! They were having a 12-dollar-deal on canvases! There were packages of 10 small, 7 medium or 5 large. Do you know how good of a deal that is??
????
?!?!!!!!?
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So I bought a package of mediums for my painting business. MUAHAHA. So now I have 7 canvases expressly for painting on and selling.

Then we went to Costco and found NOTHING. And then, by a stroke of randomness, I found a down comforter. But it wasn't just any, it was a Pacific Coast down comforter! On sale! For 100.00!
Probably the cheapest one I've found yet. And I like Pacific Coast, they made my awesome pillows.
Alas, I didn't have the money for it at the moment. So, instead, I spent 18 dollars on eyedrops since I was THERE. (Dude, 18 for three at Costco or 14 for two at Walmart, which would you want? Yeah, thought so. Three bucks is a lot.)
Finally we went to Noodle Express and ate our fill of noodles and rice and egg rolls. MMM. Then on to Walmart where I bought an awesome prezzie for BFF. (I know, buying presents for friends on my bday, so thoughtful, yes, I know.)
Then we went home where I found Dad putting in crown molding in my room!!! It was at the top of my list and such a surprise! I was so excited and happy! It's not finished yet, but I can't wait to see it when it is. Ah, such a wonderful gift!
Finally we had my party! I made an Andrea quiz, an add lib letter and we played a game where I gathered random things from my room and people got to stare at them for a while then had to write down what they were from memory. Then came prezzies! My mother bought me an antique picture easel. It's more to showcase art than paint on, there wasn't a smidgen of paint on it. It's so beautiful! I also got books, jewelry, chocolate, a cool bracelet, movies, a notebook and a T-shirt that says, "I like Jesus" with a facebook thumbs up, and a Telly Monster beanie hat thing.
For dinner I made some yummy cheese ravioli and alfredo sauce and spaghetti sauce to go with it. Finally we watched Ramona and Beezus, another movie I got for my bday! It was a good day.

The next morning I found that I HAD had enough money to buy that comforter at Costco. And, well, I had been contemplating a comforter for over a year, now, so why shouldn't I buy it? Why not? EH?? So I went down there in the morning, bought a comforter (and some formula for Tina) and came straight home. Do you know, there were FIVE Canadian license plates at Costco. What on Earth? Did they run out of Costco's up there? Or is our American food just too good to be true? (snark). I came home and everything was good. Until the evening, that is, when I started to feel ill.
It turned out Bethany, Bradley and Dad were all feeling ill as well. The flu revisited! AH!
I was freaked out and praying. And then, well, to spare some details, got violently sick in the middle of the night. I slept in the rec room on the couch. Bethany and I had taken it over, being the two sick girls in the rec room. We watched movies all day. Thankfully the violent part had taken up the night, the next day it was all just lying around feeling ill and tired. Rachelle and family traveled home on that day, too. It was sad to see them go but they may be returning to Christmas so it's okay.

That evening I finally started to pull out of it and, by nearly 1 in the morning, felt right as rain, so I showered and got all cleaned up and snuggled into my little clean un-sick bed.
It turned out that everyone felt better the next morning and so we cleaned up the rec room and bade farewell to sickness once more. And good riddance! Praise the Lord for healing and health. I shan't take it for granted.
Well, I do believe that is all I have to say for now!
TATA.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Glowing Beacon of Light

Well, after that first snow it all melted off, and then returned with a vengeance!
The other two days have been drenched with snow-filled bliss. Below freezing and an acceptable amount (about five inches in some places it seemed,) I took my cousin sledding for the first time, she had a blast. You should have seen her child-like grin as she slid down a steep hill then said, "I'm moving here for reals." There's something about this place that gets in your blood once you stay here for a prolonged amount of time.
The next day there was more sledding with my niece. She loved it! (Who doesn't?) Then, later that evening, I dragged Nick out to the side of our yard where we have a large hill and we made two different sled runs. He claimed his was better but I liked mine more because it spun you around and was crazy.
My sister flew in last week and I think she brought a flu from the airport. Dad was the one that pointed it out and it seems accurate because none of us go anywhere. Okay, we do, but airports are like the germiest places on Earth.

So the kiddies got sick first, poor things, but then they got better. Then the adults started dropping like flies. When I say adults I really mean big kids. Rachelle, Jeff, Peter. It skipped me and Nick. Yesterday everyone but us and mom and dad were lying around sick as dogs. Nick and I were eating like maniacs because if you're able to eat you ain't sick. So we were constantly eating to prove we weren't going to get sick, I suppose it was a way of walking in our faith not to get sick, I know it was for me. I was trying to go about the day as I normally would. Even still, toward the middle of the day, I started to feel a little drag, and a little twisty in my stomach. But I was like, "nooo!!" And Carah called me and told me to stand firm and not give in to symptoms. That was a good little energy boost. I fled to Wal Mart with Nick to buy provisions and that seemed to help with the energy. I even drank a cheerwine, because I would when I was well, so why not?
It all seemed to work and, in the end, the only credit to give is to God. Thank-you, Father! =)

Now the snow is all melting off.  I have mixed feelings about that. I love snow and want it all the time, but I also love the order of nature, the temperature drops, it snows, it builds, it melts, repeat. I know it will be back-- it's only November after all. When the snow starts to melt it feels refreshing, like you can take a deep breath. It's a tiny hint of Spring, I suppose, to keep you sane. Of course I don't need to be kept sane in Winter, snow is not my enemy as it is to some. Except when I have to drive in it...
But I do love it when the snow falls off the giant pine trees, those glorious evergreens, they're... ever so green!

Anyway, Bethany is flying in tomorrow, so we'll have both sisters for Thanksgiving! And my birthday soon after (you'd like to know when, wouldn't you?) I'm still super bummed BFF will not be present. We just had a movie date. We watched Return to Me, the sacred Buddy BFF movie, we watch it together all the time and if we ever watch it without the other it just doesn't seem the same. It's an awesome movie. Bonnie Hunt directed it, so of course it's awesome.
My wisdom tooth is starting to hurt again, but Buddy prayed for it and I'm going to walk in healing and faith for it to be nice and fine. You know you can do that? God wants us to be healthy and whole, what can man do that God can't? Man can only rip out a tooth, or drill a hole in it and fill it with porcelain or gold or mercury. But God can heal. He's the only one that can heal (aside from some of His self-healing creations which He created). No man can heal anything, they can help the body heal, they can give the body man-made mixtures of God-made things that coax or manipulate the body into healing. But God's stuff is the true stuff, it's organic, whole, honest and clean. No funny business. I have no problem with people going to the dentist, though, and not even the Dr's sometimes. I think it's a matter of the conscience. My conscience says to trust in the Lord. If there is ever a time where I might have to go and get my tooth removed, I'll do it if I have peace in it. But I don't want to walk by sight, but by faith. In my experience, man has always let me down. God has never let me down. So, based on the past, I think I'll stick with God.

Anyway, I got some dark purple paint and painted the bottom half of my purple room, then I put white squiggles all over it. It's almost complete, just about three more feet of wall to go. I don't think I'll ever paint squiggles again--or at least for a year. Not en masse anyway. Okay, no promises.
But I like it!

Here is my glowing beacon of light in my room, it just sits there and glows all the time. Not really, it's just a lamp I bought from Wal Mart. I was so happy I committed to buying it. Sooo happy. I'd had my last lamp since I was, like, 11. It had a red shade and red roses on the stand. It was dated and partly broken. Yep, it was time for a new one.
Anyways, that's it for now.
Have a happy Thanksgiving and feel free to pray for my wisdom tooth if you think to. I'd appreciate it.
Love, love, love.

PS: The weird, pink feet hanging from my ceiling is my puppet I got a million years ago. Just FYI.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Guardians of Evergreen

At nearly 9 o'clock in the morning on Veteran's day, November 11th, 2011, my Grandmother passed away. She was getting pretty bad the night before so we figured it would be happening any time. Tina and I stayed up and read the Bible to her. My mother sang hymns for a while that day, as well.
I'll spare the details on how we figured she was going to go soon, but I can say that it was one of the most heartbreaking experiences of my life; To watch someone slowly lose grip of life, to fade away and, eventually, give over to death. Tina and I didn't want to go to bed. I, for one, didn't feel like sleeping, I didn't want the day to end. We stayed awake and played Star Wars Episode 1 Monopoly. Tina beat me. Good advice: Get the railroads (podracers) and the red properties--you'll smash them.

Finally, it was 4 am and we felt it was time to slumber. I got ready for bed then checked on Grandma one last time. Something I learned from her was that she always said thank-you. Whether it be for me giving her a shower and tucking her in, or giving her something to eat or drink. Something not many people really know about me (but my family notice) is that I don't tend to say, "you're welcome." very often, it's usually a, "uh-huh." or "mm-hmm". I do try to say you're welcome when I think to but the other responses are what usually fly out of my mouth. Anyways, I went to Grandma and said, "you're welcome." Then goodbye and I love you and went to bed at 4:30 in the morning.
About four and a half hours later I heard my dad, downstairs, say, "Grandma's gone."

And, so, that was it. She was gone. I had spent the past few days crying my eyes out over her so when she finally passed it was kind of a calm feeling. Still, all day yesterday I was so dazed I wasn't sure what to do with myself. We've had Grandma in this house for the past four and a half years, and then she was suddenly gone. I kept thinking, "I have to go check on Grandma", "I should feed Grandma", "I need to put Grandma to bed". I'd be in the kitchen and walk past her hall and think, briefly, that there was something that needed to be done with her, be it feeding her, bathing her or putting her to bed, there was almost always something that had to be done with Grandma at any given moment. But, no more. No more Grandma.

Today was a little better, just a little. But you know what made it good? Snow. Snow is one of my most favorite things in the world. Every year it comes, if it doesn't come enough, I'm disappointed; if it leaves too soon, I'm unhappy; If it piles up to the heavens, I'm blissful; If it snows all day long, I am content. Last night I went to bed at 2 am and it was snowing when I did. I woke up at about three inches and then it started snowing this evening. Five inches so far! Words couldn't express my delight. In a small way, it's a comfort to me. It's a little piece of happiness that keeps a smile on my heart.

I stepped outside tonight and watched the frosty snow drift onto the front yard and, beyond, the large pine trees stood tall, covered in snow. I love our pine trees, they are giant, majestic creatures that watch over our home. Guardians of evergreen which will always be there. They are so large and awesome, so very perfect. God's creation surrounds me out here in my piece of the world, it says, "be still and know that I am God." And how awesome a God He is.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

You are My Sister

After Grandma's minor stroke, or TIA as they called it, she had another *real* stroke, that wasn't a TIA, and she hasn't really recovered.
She was doing good swallowing food and water afterwards and Mom was waiting over the weekend to call the Dr. again. The Dr. said that she was fine since she could swallow and to call if anything changed. Well, that same morning, we couldn't get Grandma to wake up. Her eyes open, but she doesn't react, as if her body opens her eyes on its own but she's not alert in the least. Seeing her like this really shook me up.
To me water = life. So I was trying to get her to take as much water as possible. She had only had about two or three cups of water over the weekend and that concerned me. Mom called hospice and had a talk with them and they told her that if the body is dying, shutting down, water can do more harm than good. So, in terms of death water = not good.

Mom sat me down and explained it all and that's when it hit home, there was no saving her, Grandma was dying. For some reason I thought that, if I continued to give her water, if I kept sitting her up and getting her to cough so she wouldn't choke in the middle of the night, if I did everything possible, she might live, somehow there would be something we could do and she could come out of it. And here Mom was explaining that Grandma's body was shutting down and giving her water and food only prolonged the process and made it harder on her body. I cracked and started to cry.
This was Grandma, the persistent, cantankerous, stubborn Grandma who got on my nerves all the time! I was just starting to learn how to deal with her many moods. What business did she have in dying? She's only 94 years old. I was certain she was going to live 'til she was 100. At some points I was certain she was going to out-live ME. Death by Grandma had been my main cause of worry sometimes.

Satan has been picking at me like a chicken. He's brainless and cowardly like a chicken, too. I've felt so overwhelmed, ever since Buddy BFF left to her Grandma in the North, I've felt overwhelmed. And it's been hard without BFF there, constantly. She had worries of her own and, sadly, her Grandmother passed away last week so she was dealing with funeral plans and her own grief over losing her own Grandma. I felt like I was a zombie, I ate sugar, I couldn't think, I ate sugar. I can't believe how much sugar I ate last week. But, seriously, I walked around like a zombie. Last night I finally cried it all out and BFF finally called me and talked some sense into me--bless her dear little broken heart.

But the reason behind my post is something I think should be spotlighted. My cousin. Ever since I can really remember I've been the only girl in a house full of boys. My two older sisters moved out young, and when they were living at home (there were patches where they'd come and go) they had jobs and social lives so they weren't seen very often. So, since I was about 13 or 14 I've kind of been at it alone, me against the boys. Yikes. Since Tina moved in, though, it's been different. I have my gal pal right across the hall, always. I've become so close to her in just the two months she's been here I get so sad when I think of her leaving. See, she hasn't been able to get a job, so she's here all day, unless she goes into town for something. And since I don't have an outside job, either, I'm here all day too! So we see each other often, and it's great. She has been a comfort in these days of Grandma's illness. A little pillar of Tina-strength. I went and hugged her last night and sat on her bed and poured out my little thoughts to her and she comforted me and then we laughed a little at Friends on TV then I went about my way.
When we do P90X we laugh and make fun of the workout and have our little inside jokes about each video.
She's become a close friend.

Tonight I was reading the Bible to Grandma. The Word is living and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, so I figure that she can hear it better than anything else. Mom told me, tonight, that she can soak it up and hear what I am saying. That made me feel good. When I was done, Tina was in Mom's room and they were talking about my dear Aunt Susan's passing ten years ago. Aunt Susan was Tina's mother. Tina looked at me and said, "I don't like it when people die." Neither do I.. I walked to her and gave her a hug and she said, "you are my sister."
She is my sister, and I'm so thankful to have her here while we're going through all of this while my other sisters are away in other states.
We got to skip the messy parts of growing up and getting into cat fights and went straight to the awesome life-long bond between cousin-sisters.
Thank-you, God, for my sweet cousin Tina =)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

God is Good. All the Time.

Lot's has been happening.
It all started on Saturday. It was fairly good weather so I went for a run. I love running. Anyways, I got back and was walking up the front walk to see Dad arguing with my Grandma. He wanted her to get some sun since the weather was nice, and she didn't. She was bickering and wanting to go back inside, so I just walked up and took her hand and helped her down the steps. She forgot all about her bickering and walked with me. She walked up to the car and wanted to get in. We stopped and she said, "you don't have the keys?" Taking the obvious hint, I helped her in and buckled her in then took her for a little drive. It was a sweet little drive, she seemed to enjoy it. She started to doze off, a little, too. I thought it was a pleasant moment with my old granny who's usually cantankerous and argumentative. Then, that night, BFF's Grandma (Mother's mother) had a stroke. This was terrifying news. BFF and family were getting ready to travel North to visit Grandma on Sunday. I was praying, mostly in the Spirit. I felt restless and unsettled. I drank three cups of coffee and was wired until 2 o'clock. So I stayed up and watched What About Bob and King Kong. Sunday BFF and family left later than they had hoped and all day my thoughts were on them. I went to go see The Three Musketeers. It was a pretty awesome movie. It drove me crazy that they all didn't have the proper accents. But, oh well.

Sunday night I was becoming anxious for Buddy and her traveling band. It was late and was looking like they wouldn't arrive till about 4 in the morning. Buddy called be around 10 my time, 1 her time, for a little chat which put me at ease. It is hard for me to see/hear Buddy and her family go through this and not be able to be there with her. But I know God can comfort them far more than I can. I was uplifting her all day through texts, sending her Bible verses and encouragement. The Lord was sustaining her through their travels. She was a trooper and drove all the way into the night, arriving at 5 in the morning. Praise the Lord for safety.
Monday she went to see her Grandma in the hospital, I didn't get to talk to her until Monday night. Poor Buddy sounded so worn out and I know that her whole family is going through the same thing. My prayers remain with them in this troubling time.

In the meantime my own Grandma had been having troubles of her own. She had been falling down way more than normal, which results in cuts and bruises since she has extremely fragile skin, it rips easily. Things were getting out of hand, she was hurting herself way too much. We were thinking we might have to get her a wheelchair with restraints, since that's what they would do in a hospital/home. Well, Monday night Grandma had a mild stroke. It was the middle of the night, so I don't think we realized it until morning. Her whole left side was limp. Her left arm was just hanging there. It was so strange and unnerving to see it. Tuesday we decided to take her in to the Dr's office who confirmed that it was a mild stroke and that she should regain use of her arm and leg. Tuesday was also the day my dad got sick. Our business suffers slightly when we aren't all up and running at top peak. So we got Grandma home and we weren't sure what on Earth to do. She couldn't get up on her own, we had to walk her everywhere she went. She couldn't feed herself, we were dumbfounded.

All through this my body has felt drained of energy, I've abandoned my routine, I've scrimped by on chores, Tina and I have barely done P90X. I've been praying almost constantly but I haven't been reading my Bible--though I've been sending Buddy scriptures and encouragement.
I realized, if I don't fill myself up with God, explicitly, I will be doomed. I've been trying to lift Buddy and her family up in prayer and encouragement but have I been taking care of myself? This stuff with Buddy's Grandma, and then my own Grandma, plus stress at work and fatigue, it was all weighing down on me. This morning (Wednesday) I woke up and I said, "enough. Put God first, then everything else will fall into place." I'm going to put myself back into a routine, I'm going to fill myself up with the Word, because without it I'll dry up like a sponge without water. I will not be able to go through these trying times without the Word. How can I be strong for Buddy, for my own family, if I'm weak in the faith? In my weakness, He is made strong.

Buddy said she told her Gran, who's been asleep, that if she wanted to wake up, she could have faith. That got me thinking on my own Gran. I drove her home from the Dr's and I said, "Grandma, it's not too late, you know. You could have faith, you could be healed." I just sat there talking to her like that for a few minutes. I remember I used to read healing verses to her, I used to have her read them out loud, she seemed to like it sometimes. But once I suggested she could read them and she said, "I don't WANT to read them!" So I said, "fine!" I didn't want to push anything on her, but I wish she would have kept with it.
Either way, this is a whole new phase of Grandma. She stays in her chair all day, now, we feed her there, we give her drinks there. We have to pick her up and set her on the toilet when she needs to use the toilet. Only by God's grace will we survive this.
I'd like to mention that, even through all of this, last month we went out with a bang in sales for our company! I was praising God while tallying up the numbers. He's been faithful to our little business throughout the time and I thank Him that He's continued to provide for us.

All in all, I still say that God is good. These are fiery trials, "that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with FIRE, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:" 1 Peter 1:7.
No one said this would be easy. Jesus's burden is light, yes, but that's because we learn to put our burdens on Him. We wouldn't be able to survive any other way. It's hard to make the choice to walk by faith, and not by sight, to run to the tower where we will be safe. But once there, God keeps us in His loving protection. He will never leave us nor forsake us.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Aah, Recharged

Oh my goodness, I'm so glad it's Saturday.
Saturday is when I get to be slack with my strict routine and not have to get my chores and work done before noon, and can sleep in as late as I want (as long as it doesn't pass ten..)
It was some much-needed sleep, too, I was beginning to feel like a zombie running on low.
So I slept and slept and slept until glories nine o'clock.
Here is a smile of contentment:   =)
I now have a growing appreciation for the weekend, as never before. I still work on Saturdays, though it's not required of me, but that can be done in a jiffy. Then the rest of the weekend is mine for the taking!"
It's sunny out, and not too freezing, so I'm going to go for a run today! Tina and I have slacked a little on P90X this week, we skipped two days. So this weekend we have to make-up by working out tomorrow. I don't like yoga too much (one of the two we skipped) so I don't mind running instead, when I can. I love running. I'll always love running. Even if I say I don't like it, I really do.
I'm determined to catch up, though, so as not to get lazy. I've just been so drained it seems. But not anymore! *raises fist in the air* I feel refreshed and recharged already!

I started writing another book, as a writer you should always just be writing, no matter what it is, even if you never use it, you gotta exercise those writing muscles! Since BFF and I still haven't had time to sit down and talk about what we're going to write <insert frustrated huff here> I have to occupy my time with other things.
It's so strange writing without a buddy...I have to think for myself and don't have anyone to answer to...it's.........lonely.
Not too, though. I can call the shots and make it my own. It has it's ups and it's downs. All in all writing with BFF, though difficult and sometimes frustrating, I think yields more fruit than writing on our own. One idea is great, but if you pair it with the literary genius of the other, it becomes most excellent!
When writing our own things we do read them to each other and the other gives advice so the story turns out (IE: Buddy's novel is WONDERFUL, and I like to think I helped just a tiny tiny bit with my advice *angelic smile*)
But, like I said, there's nothing quite like writing a novel with another person, especially when that other person is your BFF!

Speaking of BFF, I miss her so much <cry face here>. It's been a little over half a year since I've seen her, so that's appropriate. It's usually after 3-4 months that the little twinge of "aww, I miss Buddy" sets in. Then after 6-7 months it's this growing ache where you're like, "give me my Buddy now, or I'm going to do something drastic!" We had gone a whole year without seeing each other, once.. *shutters* I'd rather not repeat that unfortunate happenstance. Usually after the half-year to three-quarter year mark there is talk of another visit, which sprouts in us hope, which we live off of until we see each other again.
Right now there are no TRUE plans for a visit, just light talks of maybes and perhapses and I hope so's.
Though the biggest disappointment in her not coming for my birthday happened at the end of September, I've seemed to come to terms with it and accept it as it is. But there's still this sad little bunny inside my soul that sits at the base of a tree with a little tissue and sniffles out its woes while the others are getting by.

Speaking of Grandma... wait, we weren't... either way, she is sounding much like a parrot we used to have. Though this isn't the worst that she's been. There are different levels of worse for her. Falling down all the time worse; Making bodily messes in the bathroom all the time worse; Speaking unintelligibly worse.. So this, really, isn't that bad, because we can understand what she says, she just repeatedly yells, all the time. If she's not yelling she's walking around the kitchen trying to pick up potatoes and eat them. I let her have one, she walked once around the island trying to eat it, then set it back in the potato bin on the second passing. *shakes head*
She was part of the reason I was feeling like a zombie over the week, so much noise can't be healthy. Oh, sure, I'm doing fine not getting upset. But it does fry the nerves. Just imagine a broken record. Times a hundred. I've felt like I've had a constant headache which is why I need to take a vacation!
Yep, I should. But where would I go?

Now that it's nigh unto November, it's time to start thinking of more indoor activities. This means putting away my painting things. Yes, sadly, it's come to that. I can't leave them out all Winter, surely the paint will be ruined! It's time to pack it up, though I have three paintings half done. But that's good, it'll give me things to do.
Wait.................. I have five paintings half done.. But, shhh! One of them is hanging on my wall right now, because I love it so much I don't care to finish it. Haha.
The other was one BFF suggested I do last year, it had a kite in it and the kite was so lame I gave up. But I'll fix it. I've got to fix it.
Anyways, the painting will have to wait for Spring, I guess.
So I think I'll really get my mom to teach my how to sew, then I can sew all winter long! Haha. And practice instruments.

Oh my, I love Winter, I love it so much, hibernating, snow, cozy feelings, fires, coco (that I won't be drinking much of), soups, baking, having indoor projects, going out in the snow (I have to at least once a year if there's a decent amount to be had). I love love love it. And then, let's not even fail to mention...the writing. Oh yes, trapped inside with delicious weather going on out, and your mind at work, ready to spill out words that speak to the soul.
Yep, Winter's my kind of season.
As is Spring. I love Spring because it's sooo refreshing. Summer's alright, I guess. And Autumn is pretty cool, but I think I like Autumn because it heralds in Winter.
Either way, Winter is on its way. We've got snowy rain showers in the forecast for next week which means, in reality, we'll have snow in about two or three weeks. EEK!!!!!
Cozy.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The was the Freakiest Thing I've Ever Seen...

Okay, so yesterday I went to Walmart. I had nothing else to do and I was feeling I ought to take advantage of that and go out and buy a new toothbrush! I know, talk about seizing the day. Well, it wasn't the day, it was evening. Anyways, I went to Walmart, had the best time there EVER (not really) and drove home. I was considering drastic situations and what I would do if they were to occur, such as getting slammed into by another car and the like. Usually I try not to think of things like that, so I transferred them to plot ideas for books. Then I started thinking about God as I listened to my Kutless worship album: It is Well. I love that CD. Anyways, I was praying and thinking of God and his nature, how He won't let us be ignorant of sin, He'll point it out to us. We won't have excuses. If there's anything that you don't know about, He will bring it up--especially if you make it a point to ask Him to. At this point Kutless was playing the Redeemer song, written by Keith Green. I love both versions. They are both unique. I started singing along (for I do so love this song) when I see this weird flash of light behind a car in front of me coming from the opposite way. Just like that, in a flash, this giant elk jumped out in front of me. Now, let me explain some statistics. I was going about 50 - 55 mph (as is the speed limit). The car the elk ran behind was just passing me as the elk was passing in front of me. The elk, in question, might not have been an elk, but an extremely large, pale deer. Really, it happened so quickly that I didn't take time to snap a shot to compare later. So, here I am, in a split second, nearly boxed in. My natural reflexes kicked in and swerved to the left, out of the way of the elk, my brain told my foot to stomp on the brakes as well. It was not a very good brake-stomping, and I don't remember how far I swerved to the left, I don't even remember if I went into the other lane. But it was a miracle that the car was behind me by this time. I mean, it had just passed me!! I'm so surprised I didn't hit the car or the elk for that matter. Because it wasn't going as fast as you might expect. I think it was so large she couldn't get her heaving bulk over the highway fast enough--alright that was uncalled for, but she was the one that jumped in front of a moving vehicle!! What's more is, there were cars coming from the other way, if they had been going any faster I might have hit them, as well! After all the swerving happened that's when my actual mind went, "look both ways, are there any cars!" It's so funny how my body reacted before my thoughts even did. I sat there and stared with wide eyes as my car kept going forward. I realized I'd just escaped death. Or at least a really bad accident. The elk/deer thing was so big, its body was the size and height of my windshield (like I said, heaving bulk). My arms and legs started to shake but, thankfully, I was yards away from my turn. I slowly turned in and stopped the car and stared. Then I called BFF.

I was still in shock, so I said, "I almost died." She waited. "I was driving." Still staring..
"I was driving..."
O_O
"Yes?" She asks, in suspense.
I started to laugh like a lunatic, "that's all I can say!"
So then I started to explain the incident. I didn't know if it was an elk or a deer so I said, "it was big foot!"
We laughed regardless of the situation that had just ensued. And then I started to cry. I still can't believe it happened. I mean people almost hit deer all the time. My brother ran into a deer a few years ago and my friend did as well. Two things. One: This was a huge deer, or an elk. Two: I've never had this happen before. Three (yeah, I said three things, hadn't I?): Cars were also involved.
I still can't believe it -- yet I can believe it.
This isn't the only time I've "cheated" death.
Once I was taking my brother to the beach to meet up with our cousins when, out of NOWHERE, came this freak rainstorm. It was a six-lane freeway and cars were slowing like crazy and we started to hydroplane across this jam-packed six-laner. Yeah, not ideal. I swiveled and turned the wheel and was saying, "no no no!" the entire time as I went from the far left to the EXIT of the free way without hitting a single car!
Not impressive enough?
On the way from CA to where I currently reside, we went through this insane pass in Oregon. It was February. And there was snow. People were sliding off the road left and right. We were a caravan of three, I was in my own car, Mom and Dad were driving the other two. I was in the far left, Dad was way ahead of us, and Mom was behind. There was a semi in the lane to my right and I had to put on my brakes or die. So I did. And I started to slide to the right-- straight under the semi. The wheel of the semi was flush with the back passenger seat which my brother was sitting in. I saw it then, my brother was going to get smashed, and then me, we were going to die. It was one of the most terrifying situations ever.
Praise God, the semi actually PUSHED us out of its way.
It PUSHED us out of its way!! Do you realize how incredible that is?? I am so thankful to God for protecting us that day. I was in such a fowl mood that day, I don't think I was prepared to meet Jesus. And that scared me.

We're always supposed to be prepared. We're not supposed to be asleep, we're supposed to be looking for the coming of our Lord, or--if it so happens-- be ready to meet Him if the time comes. The point here is to be ready. So are you the grumpy fowl-mooder that's driving along and being tossed under semis? Or are you the person praying and praising the Lord, singing songs to Him? I was both of those and, I've got to say, I prefer the latter.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Emo Pants

So P90X is going pretty well. You know how I can tell? I started looking at clothes on OldNavy.com again. I stopped buying clothes because I gained weight over the winter last year. But the other day I tried on a bunch of my clothes and found I fit into some of them!
Happily, I fit in my "emo" pants!!! Black skinny pants. I bought them at The GAP for 3 dollars. Best buy ever. I still have a ways to go. But, let me tell you something, I've got biceps!!! Yeah, it's pretty awesome, I can do modified pushups like nobody's business! Or, at least, like my business.. I'm not that impressive compared to everyone else, but compared to the other me, it's super impressive. I have forearms and triceps!

Anyway, I miss my electronics fast. I don't like having so much freedom, isn't that funny? But I did get Jude memorized. Now I'm thinking of memorizing something else, probably James 2. I thought it'd be interesting to memorize James and Jude, because they're brothers. ShnaShnaShna! <- that's a weird laugh.
I love this whole diving into the Word. God's really been working on me the past year or so. Well, really, the past 5 years. It's a constant work, but I really feel like I've been pressing in lately.
I was thinking on this whole thing about memorizing the Word; It's a good was to keep it hidden in your heart, then you have the Bible in your head wherever you go. You can sit down and think on it whenever you wish without needing a physical copy right there in front of you.
Reading the Heavenly Man was an inspiration to me. Brother Yun memorized whole books, gospels even, in days and months. He was a very dedicated man--still is, as he's still living. It's a good book, you should look it up.

I love cats. I've been dying for one for as long as I can remember. Alas, too many people in my family are allergic. So I've been dreaming of the day I move out and can have a cat of my own. I've always imagined I'd have a female cat and I'd name her Jael (look her up in the Bible, she's a crazy awesome character). We did take a cat off of someone's hands to live in our garage and kill mice, but he ran off into the wilderness. We only see him every now and then when he sneaks in to eat the food we set out for him.
Lo and behold, we've noticed this awesome black cat stalking our land, on the prowl for birds and other prey. She's super awesome and reminds me of a panther. Well, it turns out she was also eating the cat food we set out! While Chong abandoned us, this cat decided to adopt us! I love her so much already. She sits on our deck and we know she wants in but, if she were to come into the house...people would most assuredly die. Or swell up to an amazing size and have trouble breathing. Anyways, I want to name her Jael, of course, but my brothers refuse to let me name her that. For now I just call her Lou-Lou which is short for Luminara, which is a Jedi name. We dragged Chong's old bed up to the deck and she liked sleeping in it. But, lo, Chong came around and saw her using his crummy old bed and they got into a fight. Stupid Chong! He didn't use the bed anyways! So I tossed his crumb bed away and me and mom made LouLou a new one, all fresh and everything. With a little roof, too, so that she would be extra warm in this colder weather. She likes it! And I like her!

It's kind of sad, BFF and I haven't really written at all. I thought this might happen if we took a break from writing, but it was necessary. We are able to digest and refresh our minds. We're slowly warming up and getting back into it. Soon, precious, soon I will write. Yes.
I was looking at my face in the mirror tonight and thought, "me? A wife?" It's hard for me to imagine. Sometimes I think I have that single person look about me and it's hard to imagine me as a wife. Sometimes I consider being single forever. Gee, I remind myself of Anne Shirley sometimes. But it would kind of be awesome. A single old woman, of thirty, writing books and stories, being a published author, living with her parents, always. Then, maybe one day, she has enough money to buy her own house and she says, "I have means of my own." Like Miss Potter. There you go, Miss Potter, Miss Austen, so many inspirations! Sometimes I wonder, are some writers single because they're writers? Or are they writers because they're single? I think some writers can't help but be single. Sometimes they can get caught up in their delicious writer world and then life outside of it is a little less than glamorous--why would they ever want to leave? Don't worry, though, I'm not that far gone. Though Miss Potter DID get married. Jane didn't, though. Writing is such a delicious art form and I do adore it so, but I remember that it's not everything. It's not the point of life. Christ Jesus is the point of life. But, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest." Ecclesiastes 9:10. I've found writing and I'll do it with my might for as long as the Lord blesses it.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Life Without Writing? Surely you jest.

Last week BFF posed an idea to me, she told me she wanted to do a fast, an electronics fast. She said she had felt she hadn't been giving God enough time. She wanted to focus more on her walk with God. To do this she decided to go off of facebook, and the computer in general, limit her time on the phone, no movies and no delicious books (aka romance novels.) She was to establish her thoughts and rest in the meditation of Christ.
So I basically said, "okay. When are we going to do it?" I think it's funny that I just tag myself onto her projects most of the time. It's like, she decides to do something edifying and I'm like, how can I not go along? But that's how the brothers and sisters of Christ dwell together and lift each other up. We edify each other, we encourage each other and bear one another's burdens. I love doing these sorts of things with BFF because it gives you a pal with whom to talk about your experiences as you go about them.

Let me tell you: This past week has been one awesome experience. Of which I will tell you in as much detail as I can afford. We had decided to start on Thursday, it was a Bible study night and BFF thought it seemed appropriate to begin and end with a Bible study.
We gave ourselves rules:
No Computer
No Writing
No Movies
No Wasteful Thoughts (ie on our book, movies, useless things [this wasn't written but understood])
Less Phone
Study a Book (in the Bible) Together
Study More

In addition to the fast rules, we made new rules that we would try to keep up after the fast, they were customized but these were mine:

Wake up at 7 AM
Chores and work done before noon
Read the Bible in the morning and evening
Do not abuse the weekend
Rejoice in the Lord Always!
Be content
Keep room clean
Write 1 chapter a week (when we go back to writing)
Get off phone/internet by 9
Be more productive
Pray more, in and out of Spirit

Haha, I have to admit, I didn't read this list after we made it, as I had most of them in my head. I don't remember the study in the morning and at night.

So we started it on Thursday last. The first day went by so slowly for me. I get out of bed and the first thing I do is turn on my computer. Nope, I put it aside. Certain to not turn on my computer that week unless it was necessary. I slept in 'til about 8, I think. But that's alright, it was the first day. I got all my chores done in about an hour! That was amazing! I usually drag my chores out all day, even 'til I'm about to go to bed! Why? I don't really know. But since I had to get them done in the morning, I was forced to do them. And they really didn't take all that long! This was turning out to be extreme. I went to work and was finished before noon. I then had the rest of the day to myself. What...was I supposed to do??
I can't honestly say what I did with the rest of Thursday, except I did do a Faith Tech study, as I try to make a habit out of doing an hour every Thursday (like a regular Bible study.) I remember it was too cold to paint. I went to bed early, about 10:30 I believe.

Friday was different, I woke up when I was supposed to, I think around 7:30, and got my chores and work done in a jiffy. I was starting to enjoy this routine. But it was the afternoons I found mundane, I had nothing to do!! I cleaned my room. Top to bottom. Not just a light dusting, I went through my clothes, changed out Spring for Winter, put away old clothes, organized my closet, put away my instruments I barely play (Psaltery, violin and one cello), dusted, vacuumed. Ah, my room is spotless, and I've kept it that way, and I love it!! I felt a little lost in regards to the Bible and study time. What did I study? What did I do? BFF and I decided to study Daniel, but since I'd just gone over the first four chapters with JB and my Sister, all I had to do was read over them briefly to be ready for our study. Cleaning took up a good portion of the day, anyhow and I was still doing P90X for an hour every day with Tina. I was having serious withdraws from our book. We had just finished the first part of it and were ready to delve into the second half when we cut ourselves off. It was driving me bonkers! But I persevered! I also made chili. And corn bread *smug*.

Saturday I was starting to get the hang of doing nothing. It was still a little too cold to paint so I started in on my Faith cards (you write faith down verses on index cards and then group them in little groups to do a study on faith.) And I read the Heavenly Man, a book I've been reading since the end of March. It's an awesome book. I did read a little bit of Anne's House of Dreams, as it's not strictly a romance book. But I tried to keep it to a minimum. Buddy and I spoke on the phone and she talked about the progress she was making and explained a little bit more on her goals for the week which helped straighten out small confusions on what I was supposed to be doing -- as this whole idea was hers so she knew exactly what she wanted to get out of it, since I was just going along for the ride I was like, "so what's supposed to happen?" She was trying to memorize where verses were. So I decided to try that as well.
For a while I had been trying to memorize Jude. I had had up to 7 or 8 memorized so I started working on that, too.

Sunday was good since I didn't have to work I had a little more time. Plus, it was sunny, so I started to paint some more. Ahh, painting! Such a lovely pass-time! I've started five paintings! (I've completed two <_<). We were allowed to get on Facebook if we HAD to. And each time we did we had to post a Bible verse as our status. So I checked FB on Friday and Sunday, going for an every-other-day thing. I really enjoyed life without Facebook, for the most part. I did not enjoy life without our book. It was so hard to restrict my thoughts from veering off into book-world, my writer's mind suffered, but my spiritual mind thrived! I loved this time, for the most part. Satan tried to attack both buddy and I, and we learned some good lessons as well. Tina wanted to turn in applications at the mall so I went with her. I passed Claire's and thought I might want to get a gift card for BFF's sister, who's birthday was soon. But if I did I wouldn't have enough money for my motorcycle test on Tuesday. I had gone in on Wednesday and failed, for the second time, and was due back Tuesday for the third. And I didn't have any money in my checking account to speak of. Just then, Tina said, "oh, before I forget." And handed me thirty dollars that she owed me! Praise the Lord! (and thank-you Tina!) I went to Claire's and got the gift card. I was very thankful for God's provision.

Monday I was settling into the new routine well. I love waking up in the morning, I was enjoying it soo much! However, I do not like waking up when it's still dark. I do not! But I loved the simplicity of life without the computer. I realized that, without Facebook, I didn't have anyone to complain to or tell what I was making for dinner. Whenever I had a random thought I'd jump on FB and post it in about ten seconds. I'd also update what I was cooking and such things. I couldn't decided if that was healthy or not. I enjoyed it but I also found a different point of view on a life without constantly sharing what's on your mind. It makes a person a more private being, not a withdrawn being, just private. I also realized I don't need to know what everyone's thinking every moment of my life. They can wait until tomorrow. Facebook is a tool that doesn't prevent boredom, but creates it. Think about it: Life without Facebook, boring? Or more time to think up more things to do? Ah-ha! Without Facebook around you get to decide to entertain yourselves other ways rather than sitting there, bored, staring at a screen waiting for something to change.
I was also accepting the fact that I shan't think about my book. It was easier to do this. BFF and I played a game, we quizzed each other on where Bible verses were, we tried to memorize them. It's a fun game! We also studied Daniel and talked about the Bible in general and little nuggets of wisdom we'd found through our individual studies. I had decided to start taking Mila again, it's a chia seed that's supposed to be super good for you and high in omega-3's. I need omega-3's for my dry eyes and was tired of taking fish oil. When I was on Mila before my eyes cleared up and my skin wasn't dry. So I picked it up. I realized I was running low so I asked BFF to send me some. It was 45 dollars plus any shipping she had to spend to send it to me. As it is, she sells it to me at cost, because she's super special and lovely =). But I didn't have money! I was like, "aah!!" I had just spent my money on gas and food and had my 30 dollars set aside for my license (if I got it). Plus I owed my mom 50 dollars for car insurance this month. Though these aren't money troubles, they are still on my mind sometimes, I try to put it on God's hands because He ALWAYS provides. I've learned to just be patient and live paycheck to paycheck, resting in the Lord. So, that morning, I checked my bank account and, to my astonishment, there was a hundred extra dollars!!!
Dad had given me an "allowance" of sorts for taking care of Grandma, praise the Lord, I was so excited! A hundred dollars paid for Mila AND my car insurance!

Tuesday was the day of reckoning: My motorcycle test. Last week I was so stressed and afraid I'd fail. I hadn't taken the training course since August and took my first test at the DMV over a month ago, so I forgot all about the questions I did and did not get. So I failed.
Today, Tuesday, I was nervous. But I decided that I didn't fail because God "made" me fail based on His deciding He doesn't want me to have my license. I failed because of lack of knowledge and commitment. So I told April the questions I got wrong and we memorized the answers together. I also remembered the ones I did get right. We took the attitude, "praise You if we lose, praise You if we win." from Facing the Giants. So, in the parking lot, I said, "alright, God. I praise You if I pass, I praise You if I don't." But asked Him for help just the same. I went in and waited. And waited. I picked up the hand book and scanned over the stuff and took the sample test, as well. Then, it was my turn. I wanted a new picture but couldn't get one. Happily, the old one wasn't saved so I got a new one anyway - ha! Then I went to take the test. My heartbeat was thrumming! It was an intense few minutes. I only missed three.
I was ecstatic when it announced on the screen, "passed." I jumped up and couldn't stop smiling, paid the fee, filled out the paperwork, and was issued my temporary paper license with the awesome "M" on the back by "Endorsements."
I am now a licensed motorcyclist.
This is great for me because my Grandpa, Mom, Dad and two brothers have theirs so I felt as though I ought!
Two things that are praiseworthy on my license.
Endorsements: M - Motorcycle <- Praise God I passed. But better than that was the next one
Restrictions: None <- When I had taken my eye test three or four years ago I had barely BARELY passed. This year I prayed and went in and it was a piece of cake! I had avoided going in to get my Motorcycle license before because I was afraid I might fail the test and have to use my glasses. I did NOT want a restriction on my license! Praise the Lord for helping me get through this.
I walk past my wallet on my dresser and gaze at my license with a smile, I can't believe I can just go hop on a (street legal) motorcycle and ride it down the road if I want! Ah, bliss.

Wednesday came, the last day of our fast. I woke up to an amazing sunrise that I just HAD to paint. I snapped a picture of it. I love it. It was a good morning. I love watching the sunrise, even more than the sunset I think. Little did I know, I was to be tested. Grandma had had an accident and it was not a nice one. I had her stand in the bathtub while I cleaned it up but she was in a cantankerous mood that morning which wore on my nerves. She was yelling at me, calling me a brat, not cooperating so that I could clean her. I prayed in the Spirit and Grandma settled down. Regardless, I got angry and resentful. Why couldn't she go to the bathroom like a normal person? Why couldn't she just stand calmly in the shower and allow me to clean her up? Why did she have to yell and think I was the bad guy? My attitude stank worse than what I was cleaning up.
And then, when I was finished and she was clean, I was sanitizing my shoes (don't ask) and thought of a verse in Romans six that says, "what fruit have ye in that which you are now ashamed, for the end of those things is death?" (not verbatim) That verse always runs through my mind after I lose my temper or have a bad attitude. I always feel badly when I let my Father down. Especially with Grandma, she is my personal tester, she tests me in more ways than anything else, tests my temper, my patience, my love, and selfishness (or otherwise selflessness). She is a refining tool God uses often, so when I fail in regards to her I feel the worst, usually. I've been showering and taking care of her for about three years now, I ought to know better! So I repented and said, "do it again!" It wasn't a challenge, it was a request. I wanted to be tested again, and I said that only by His grace could I pass these tests, not in my own strength. I know I can, though, as I have seen a good work in me that He's done, I used to have far less patience and was far more selfish and angry. He helps me overcome when I purpose in my heart to do so. And I have to remind myself of this, if everyone always reminds themselves of their failures I think they may just end up in self-pitying heap. You've got to encourage yourself by the things you have done right, and the fact that you can rise above a situation. My temper and patience is often tested by Grandma and I was now asking God to test me, more and more. I want it! I want to be refined! BFF and I stayed up and talked, we didn't have our book to talk about, or anything else besides God, so we talked about God in the most hilarious way (though we were not being disrespectful). We were talking about Jude and how we thought that name was a girl's name once. Then we were making up different versions of Jude. Judely, Judrea, Judril, Judelle, etc. etc. BFF struck a chord when she said, "Judens"  in regards to Pudens from the Bible. We were in an uproar of laughter, I do so love that woman! We can find anything to laugh at, even when our conversation is limited (but not limited!) to the Bible. Haha. We would almost mention our book or start to talk about it and yell, "no! no!! Turn away!!" and laugh more.
My desk as it were this week. Without the computer which was banished.
We stayed up until her (new) bedtime and I woke up, today, thinking, "yay! I get to think about our book!"
But I couldn't think a thing.

Now I find myself missing last week. Even though it was a little rough, I liked the solitude. I did. I liked filling myself up with memorizing Jude (I've still got about 5 verses to go) and praying whenever I thought to. It was a special week and I'm glad Buddy thought to do it. I shall look forward to doing it again, in the future. But, until then I will remember that every day is a fast, every day we have to choose to die to ourselves and to live in Christ. Just because I have these "liberties" back, doesn't mean I have to fall prey to them again. I can be as disciplined as I want! And I like it!
Praise the Lord, praise Him for Buddies that help lift you up, praise Him for teaching us (for whom the Lord loves, He corrects), praise Him for provision, praise Him for His unending love!


The sunrise to rival all sunrises

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I Eat Flying Spaghetti Monster for DINNER

I love spaghetti. Did you know that? I love it! It's my favorite.
THIS is what I made for dinner tonight.
Ooooooh

Aahhhhh

PURE bliss.
Yeah, and the meatballs were SUPER good. They were moist and soft and flavorful!
I was smelling them while Tina and I were doing P90X. We're on our third week and already I'm feeling some awesome muscles on my arm. I have triceps! It's awesome.

So, since I'm posting pictures:

Those are my new sheets I dug out of the garage. I was hesitant about putting dusty red and green in my purple room. But, as you see, it's not too bad! But those pillows are awesome. I got them from JC Penny for just 40 bucks! (for both!) They're double chamber real down pillows. They were made for those pillow cases. If you don't have a down pillow, I pity you, and would suggest you get them, but they can cost an arm and a leg. So only do it if you have the moola. Luckily I had my BFF tell me to take advantage of such an awesome deal (yet another reason she's awesome).
So my brother just walked in and sat on my bed next to me, put his arm around me and said, "I love you!" How sweet! And then the other one said, "what are you sucking up for?" Psh.

Anyways, the secret reason I wanted to blog was to express my sadness over a lost love...HAHA. Okay, not REALLY. I mean, the real reason behind it was to post awesome pictures of my super delicious meatball.
But I was going to touch on the subject of heartbreak. Why? Well, I heard a Sanctus Real song today. *sigh* What is the significance behind this? Well, believe it or not, I was once in love. HAHAHAHA! Okay that sounds hilarious but, no, really, I believed myself to be in love at one point in life -- in my adult life, sadly. It all ended in shambles and I'm grateful for that. I don't wish it worked out at all. If anything, I wish I never liked the guy in the first place. The point of this is, I LOVE Sanctus Real, I have, like, four or five of their albums. But you'll never see me listening to them. That's because I listened to them all the time when I was going through my infatuation. This is what's wrong with today's society, they listen to perfectly good songs when they're "in love" and then the songs get ruined when they "break up". Rar! (actually, what's wrong with today's society is-well, hold on, I'll get to that). So I heard a song today, not just any song, but basically our theme song, "We Need Each Other", look it up. It twisted my heart into a sad, twisty scar for a minute. And I felt sad for a minute. And now I'm listening to Sanctus Real. Why? Because it's still an awesome band, darnet! And I want to listen to it!

But my point is, do not. And I mean, DO NOT, let your emotions run you. Listen to God, He will guide you. Never will He use emotions to tell you who you are marrying.
The whole "listen to your heart" thing is terribly wrong! Your heart (your emotions) will deceive you. THAT is what's wrong with today's society. People have everything backwards. They are attracted to a man, so they date them to see if they are marriage material to decide if they want to marry them!
When, really, God will tell you if the man is marriage material, then you are courted by him, then you are attracted to him, then you marry him!
If people would be patient and listen to the Lord on this matter, I am certain they wouldn't have broken hearts. Because you guard your heart by not giving it away to silly emotions that could turn around and bite you. Please learn from my mistake: Keep emotions out of it. Use a level head. God will tell you if he's the one or not. Either way, I'm going to still love Sanctus Real
Why? Because they are awesome. And you shouldn't let a single human being affect you so much. 

One thing I want to point out: Last year or two years ago, I might be bawling. Sheesh, I even bawled at the beginning of this year. Sometimes it seems like the pain is too great to bear. It's physical, in your chest. Have you seen Twilight? Bella says she feels like a hole was punched in her chest. That's how it feels. You feel in a fog, like you can't think. And people always say, "just give it time." And all you want to say back is, "are you crazy??" But, trust me, just give it time. God heals. Praise Him so much for healing me. For healing BFF, too, she was heartbroken once as well. God has made my heart new, and I will save it for the right man this time. God can make your heart new, too, if you trust Him with it. If it hasn't been broken then that's AWESOME and don't give it away until God says, "yep!" Otherwise I will come to your house and personally smite you reproachfully on the cheek! But if you happen to find yourself in a situation where you do hurt, and you do think it's impossible to ever feel whole again: God will heal. It just takes time. Thank-you God for healing and time. He is my savior, He is the love of my life, He is my portion, He is the reason I live and breathe today. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ahh, Serenity

This is the calm after the storm.
Rachelle left this morning to go back home, leaving the house with no guests. I went down to work (Monday's are crazy for me) and came up halfway through the orders because there were so many. Then I started cleaning my room, did laundry, dug up an old (but brand new) comforter that we were going to use for Grandma's room when we were moving--alas, she never got to use it because she now has a twin instead of a full--washed it, dried it, and worked out.
I can now take a deep breath and move on with my projects. I love having company but it's always nice to have things go back to the way they were after a while. Now I can focus on getting the house back in order.

I'll fold my laundry, make up my bed, write some scenes and then--then!! I will start on my painting project. Boy will I have a treat for you. I'll be recording it and make it into a fast-forward movie to post on here. I'm so psyched but I'm still not sure what I will paint. Hmm, ideas? Mom says my pink sunsets are the best, others say that the black silhouettes are good. Of course, if you haven't seen my paintings you won't know what I'm talking about because I've only posted a few from a million years ago. But you will, in time. I'm excited about focusing more on our book, too. You've heard this a ton in the past, but it's give and take. Sometimes I get time to focus, and other times I have to sit around and not get much done. October is my time of writing and painting and being awesome.

In other news, Bible studying has taken on a whole new meaning. I feel I'm about to enter a new stage with my walk with God. I really love Faith Tech studies, and I will continue to do that once a week for an hour. But I don't want to just read the Bible anymore - as I usually do every night - I want to dig into it, form my own studies, search everything out. Timothy says that we study to show ourselves approved. I want to be approved. I don't want to have to rely on somebody else's word, I want to rely on THE Word. I love calling BFF up and asking her questions but I think now's the time for me to grow up a little bit more. Of course I won't be going at it alone, I'll be including Buddy BFF in on some of my studies. Now that I have my dad's concordance, and the internet at my fingertips, I feel unstoppable!

So betwixt cleaning, painting, writing and studying I'm super pumped and don't expect to be bored any time soon. I love my life and I praise God for helping me be content. As we all know, Godliness WITH contentment is GREAT gain.
Sometimes I feel discontent and am dying to get married. Everyone's experienced a moment of loneliness before. But my good friend Carah and Buddy BFF both help put things into perspective. God is more than enough. You have to put yourself in that position where you're getting your energy, your life, your happiness and joy--your portion from God. Do not fill any empty space with a counterfeit. God is it. He is everything and anything you need. The goal isn't to put yourself in a false place of contentment just to get what you want. The true goal is to make God your desire, to make pleasing and living for Him your life and place of contentment. Don't be looking for the prize. We are supposed to die to ourselves every day. Wishing and hoping for a relationship is far from dying to yourself.

Have you died to yourself today? Hmm. That's a good question to ask every day.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Smugness abounds.

Right, so, keeping with my new resolution to start painting more aggressively, I cleaned up the balcony where I usually paint. I had let it go to ruins over the years and it was a dirty mess--mostly because it was outside. Plus, it's not officially "my" balcony or anything, it's a part of the house. That was, until today... 
I've decided to completely take over the balcony for my painting ventures.
Behold, my enterprise:

Here it is!!!

I didn't even realize I had so many brushes! But there they are, all organized. Flat coarse, rounded, fan, angled, rounded flat, and me old ones.

My paint collection of about thirteen years. I didn't realize I had so much!!

Then you have my special, fancy, large brushes, my dusting brushes, my special tools, and then my black and white.

And this... is an un-wanted neighbor. I'm debating having him put out.  Yuck. He's  bigger than my thumb.

A Spring/Summer writing spot, I think. Just add a little chair, maybe a cute little table. The balcony has an outlet! I can do it! And an extra rug, definitely. Yep. This is my little corner of the world. Ahhh. 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Yep..

Well, I just got back from taking JB (Justin Buddy) to the airport. This last week was full of lessons for me to learn. And I'll try to tell them all to you. See, it would be convenient for me to start from today and work backwards, but that would be hard for you. So I'll just start from the beginning.
The week started out with news that BFF can't visit (as you saw from my previous post). This had affected my mood somewhat throughout the week. Sometimes I'd get teary-eyed at the thought. I don't know when I'll get a chance to see her again. How is it that we're so close? Sometimes it amazes me. Some people say they don't understand what it's like to have a crazy bff like we do and that makes me sad. Our friendship is amazing and I am humbled by it, by this gift God's given us. Praise God, praise God for such a wonderful friend. It makes me think: If He can bless me with a best friend like that, how awesome is my husband going to be?? Wow, that's an eye-opener.

Anyway, this week's lessons included, but weren't limited to: Not taking offense at what people say, being humble, not being prideful (same thing, but still), not letting Satan rob my joy, forgiving others, putting down bitterness and anger, rebuking Satan, acting in the joyfulness of the Lord, being a cheerful giver and the list could go on. These are lessons I'm always learning but they were pretty hammered in this week.
Justin was such a generous buddy, he paid for bowling on Tuesday, he bought our tickets (mine, Justin's, Jacob's and Rachelle's) to see Courageous, and he left me with a ton of books and Downhere's new CD! And, the best part, he bought me GUMMY BEARS. My favorite. What a nice buddy.
He was a good example on how to give cheerfully.
Satan was really bogging me down with things and, finally, on Thursday, I called my good friend Carah. She laid it on straight and thick, encouraging me and correcting me in all tenderness and love; Yet another awesome friendship from the Lord --I love you Carah!! Praise God for brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Anyways, we had birthdays over the weekend, and, as you saw, Bowling on Tuesday. JB wanted to visit this ministry near where I live last year but it was closed. So, Wednesday, he, Rachelle and I went there again--and it was closed. Again. Rar!!! So we went to goodwill and shopped. I found a ring towel holder that I'd been looking at on amazon.com. It was normally 20 dollars but goodwill had it for 3!!! Good buy? Yes.
After that we went to krispy kreme and JB and Rachelle got donuts. Rachelle made the mistake of buying me a coffee milkshake. I was hyper the rest of the night. We went to walmart and bought toilet paper, broth, and marshmallow popcorn. Then JB and I studied Daniel 1 and 2. Thursday I let JB take my car shopping and I just hung out around the house all day. Then we studied Daniel 3 and 4. That was the night he brought me home gummy bears (you have to remember the gummy bears, they were the highlight of my week!) See, I fast forwarded all the way to Friday, which was the gem of the week (aside from the gummies).

Friday was Oktoberfest. We had plans to go preaching there. I have an addiction for open air preaching, I think, but where I live there are barely any people outside in large amounts (at least not this time of year), so we thought that Oktoberfest would be good. Rachelle and Jacob wanted to come so we brought them along. Oktoberfest was not that great...There were hardly any people there. So we went to the lake where I first preached, expecting there to be a might good amount of people...there were not. I was slightly discouraged but Justin said we could still preach, it would just be the witnessing preaching, not open air. Now, if you know me, you know I prefer open air. Walking up to people and talking to them makes me more nervous. Which is funny because my mom and dad both say they'd rather do one-on-one. *shiver* not me.

This was a good experience for Rachelle, I think. It was good for her to get out and see what it was like to witness to people and such. I had done this last year with Justin and it helped me see how it was done, it gave me good insight. Jacob just ran around and climbed on trees, he likes free running. So Justin starts by preaching to a few people, and then I see a hoard coming along and grab Rachelle's Bible and go jump on the wall (my good old faithful wall) but, sadly, they veered off to the bathrooms. But, determined to do something, I saw a nice Asian man sitting on a bench in front of me with his camera, so I said hello. He said hi back and I sat down on the wall and asked him if he knew that Jesus Christ died for his sins. He said yes. I think encouraged him to live without sin, and that Jesus commanded to go and sin no more (John 8:11) and that IF we sin we have an advocate to the Father which is Christ Jesus our Lord (1 John 2). He agreed with everything I said, so I made sure he knew exactly what it was I was saying (to not sin) and he still agreed, so I encouraged him to continue and blessed him then walked away.
Then a nice older couple walked past, I told them to be sure to forsake their sins and live for Jesus, they said something like, "already am." I'm not sure exactly what it was that they said, but I was spurred to say more (because I'm sure what they said wasn't right, haha), so I followed them as they walked and spoke after them telling them that one sin separated them from God, giving a simple, quick message, then let them go on their way. I really wish I remembered all I said to them, but can't.

Then...Justin was talking to this couple (about 40's) and the lady asks what Church Justin goes to. I really don't like it when people ask that because it's like, you're not even a qualified Christian if you don't belong to a church! Justin explained that he wasn't from around here so she asked me and Rachelle. I explained that I was a part of the church of Christ, the body of Christ, and that you don't have to go to a building to be a part of the church. So when she found out I didn't go to church she raised her eyebrows and gave me this look that said (to me), "oh, well, I'd better not listen to you, you heathen." I don't like churches, for the most part, because they all seem to give me a gross feeling. I don't like how commercial they've become, how they focus so much on GOING TO CHURCH. GET TO CHURCH. OH NO I DIDN'T GO TO CHURCH SO NOW I'M A SINNER. So, as a non-conformist, I didn't like to go. I'd rather have studies, I'd rather talk to fellow believers. I like having worship on Sundays, but we don't do that at my house. BFF's family has worship every other Sunday and it's so lovely and uplifting. I stood by the Bible verse that says where two or three are gathered I am in the midst of them. But the lady quoted Hebrews 10:25 "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." Then walked away. I said to JB, "are you going to let her get away with that?" Half joking, half serious because I thought just gathering together was good enough, you didn't need a church to do that. 


And he shrugged and said, "she has a valid point." I will illustrate, in words, how this made me feel: Plane diving noise--->VVVVVVRRRRRRRRRRR....
Plane crashing noise--->KAAAPOOOWWW! Just like that, I melted. Did I just say something wrong to her? Have I been wrong on my stance on churches this whole time? Rachelle was having the same thoughts so she talked to Justin about it. What he said wasn't very comforting. Then she asked if not going to church was a sin and he shrugged and thought and said it could be, it couldn't be, it depended. My mind shut down and I no longer felt like preaching. I walked to the wall, like a zombie, and sat and stared. Like I said, I don't like churches, I don't like people that go to church. But Justin explained that there are some good churches, you just have to look for one. I felt completely defeated (which is just what Satan wanted) and I wanted to go home. I didn't want to preach, I didn't want to go to the movies as planned, I just wanted to go home and call Buddy BFF. Rachelle was worried about me but I didn't know what to say, I didn't even know what was really wrong. If not going to church was wrong I'd change that. I had to be humble and admit it. I just didn't like the idea that I was arguing with a woman about it being okay to not go to church and then JB's like, "uhhhh.. actually." Justin and Rachelle both tried to encourage me to not let Satan get to me and continue to preach but I just fell in a trance and watched the sunset for a while, deep in thought. Carah's words from the night before, "don't let it rob your joy" echoed in my head. And I felt grieved.



Then, Justin preached to this lady pushing a stroller. She had huge bug-eye glasses, some nice linen beach pants and definite mom sandals (the brown leather braided ones). He preached to her and she got offended, saying she was already following Christ, then walked away. They continued to try to get me to preach when the same lady had walked to the beach (behind the wall) and stopped to reprimand us. "You guys have a lot of nerve," she said, "do I look like a sinner to you??" Justin continued to preach to her and I sat there, a little bit in a stupor, when she asked why were we just walking around trying to preach to people. I don't remember exactly what I said, the important part is that I jumped right in, I pulled out of my strange haze and started talking to this woman about how Christ walked around preaching to people just like we are, and that we do it because we love people and want to warn them of hell. She then said we should come when there are teens everywhere swearing and drinking, not when there are people walking around with their kids. Justin shot back that she was being prideful and then she said he should be ashamed and that he was judging her. He told her she was the one that was ashamed. This lady was very bothered by the sin message and the fact that we thought she "looked" like a sinner. What does a sinner look like? Satan himself disguises as an angel of light. I mean, really? We told her that if she was living right then this message shouldn't bother her.

Finally we decided to walk some more. There were two teenager girls that Justin preached to and I just walked around feeling like a zombie, and disappointed in myself. I heard the stroller mom-sandal woman talk to two guys saying, "there are people walking around preaching to people, murmur, murmur, I mean, nobody's perfect." I wanted to say, "you know, I can hear you." But she didn't say anything else and walked away, saying-- with a smile --"have a good night." Wow. Talk about double-minded. 

So then I walked over to the two teenagers, who were yelling (at Justin) "Jesus loves cigarettes". And I asked them, "are you talking to me?" "No, I'm talking to my mom," the brat said as she had her cell phone to her ear. Then I walked away and came back and asked, "what did that man say to you?" And they asked if I was "with" him and I said, "yeah, he's my friend, but what did he say?" So they said, "he was just saying things like "believe in God" and crap like that, like, whatever. I don't believe in God." They were smoking and spitting, two disgusting habits, yuck. I said, "how can you not believe in God when you have all this around you?" I ushered to the trees. "How can you not believe in Him when you are breathing in and out, you and your body with the millions of cells." Then she said (and when I say she I mean the brat on the phone, because her friend didn't say much), "we believe in Satan, we're Satanists, snark snark." I said, "who do you think created Satan." "SATAN! HAHAHA" So I was about to walk away when I said, "just know that there will be a day, when you will stand before the Lord. It doesn't matter if you don't believe in Him, because He still exists. And I'm not saying just you, but me, and everyone else, we will all stand before Him and give account of all that we've done. Your wickedness will put you in hell. You should know about hell, being Satanists and all." They didn't have anything to say after that comment so I walked back to where the others were.

Then this sweet old man was photographing the sunset and Justin talked to him about the Bible, he agreed! It was great! Then he started talking about how he was a catholic, and his wife joined him. When Justin explained that you should live without sin and all that good stuff they quickly turned from happy, nice people, to pitbulls. They were so angry with us, so upset, they were like "we are DEVOUT catholics" The man said that we were probably bothering "these people" as he pointed to Rachelle and Jacob who were sitting on the steps. I said, "this is my sister and brother" HAHA! ehem. Then the woman said, "don't even bother with these people, they're crazy." And they walked away. Sigh... At this point I was disappointed that I didn't do more preaching. But I remembered that it wasn't about numbers, I talked to a few people and I can pray for them, too. But next time I hope not to give up so easily. I was just so disheartened, I wasn't sure what to do. 



Then we went to see Courageous. This movie made my brother cry! Go see it, right now. Get off your computer, grab your money, and go to the nearest theater playing it, and see it. If you live far away from the nearest theater, then call your local theater, shake your fist at them for not playing it, then wait for it to come out on DVD. It is awesome. It was chock full of good messages. Justin said it will help a lot of people and I agree.
So then, this morning, I took Justin to the airport. We stopped at a graveyard so he could find a grave of a minister. A dog was there and I said, "hi doggy!" as I got out and he jumped--JUMPED in my car, then in the back seat! Ugh! Stupid dog.

On my way home from the airport, I was feeling rather put out. Justin Buddy was gone and I wasn't going to see Buddy BFF in November as I'd hoped. [[Buddy, don't read this, it'll just make you more sad]] You see, I've known her for 8 and a half years, and she hasn't been there for my birthday once. So the fact that she'd be there this year was momentous, and I was so happy about it too. So that's why I've been so sad, because it was something I've asked for every year for the past 8 years and, for once, I thought it was truly going to happen after year after year of disappointment. [[Seriously, Buddy, turn back now!!]]
So I started to cry on the freeway and got off and went to Hobby Lobby. But all I could think of was things I could buy for her. Ha. So I went to the oil paint section and bought some paint thinner and this neato brush restorer stuff. Then I went to the canvases and picked one single canvas out (this means something). This one canvas signified the start of something. Enough putting off my painting career. It doesn't take me that long to paint something. I bought this canvas with the express intention of painting something and selling it. This canvas will not be allowed to stay in my house unless I can't sell it--then I'll just have to keep it. But that was the intention of the canvas, that was what it was born for, that's what I predestined it for. So, pretty soon, I will clean up my dusty old painting station and get to work on it. If I can paint this in a day


I can certainly paint something else worth selling. 


So praise the Lord, for lessons to learn, for loving family and for friends. Thank God.